“The biggest surprise is real estate being second to last on my Passive Income Ranking List because I’ve written that real estate is my favorite investment class to build wealth. Real estate doesn’t stack up well against the other passive income sources due to the lack of liquidity and constant maintenance of tenants and property. The returns can be huge due to rising rental income AND principal over time, much like dividend investing. If you are a “proactive passive income earner” like myself, then real estate is great.”
A large subset of our society is earning a full-time income by selling items on Craigslist and eBay. You can do this by selling your own items, or you can help sell items for other people and take a small commission. Selling on eBay offers more friction than Craigslist and you'll need to establish solid reviews before you can begin to move high-ticket items.
Buy and sell domain names. If you’re good at finding popular yet undiscovered domain names, you can make some cash on the side by buying and reselling websites. Think of it as digital real estate speculation. Domains are available on GoDaddy.com for as little as $2.99 per year, but are sometimes resold at far higher prices: According to Business Insider, the site MM.com sold for $1.2 million dollars in 2014. Once you find the perfect domain name to resell, you can market it on Flippa.com for a flat fee.

You can make extra money left and right if you just know where to look. If you like to ‘tinker’ I’d suggest going to the DIY section on Pinterest. You can find thousands of projects there to make, and you can sell them at a nice profit. You can make 20, 30, or 50 bucks at a time, in real money. Not the ‘get rich online now!’ stuff you see around. I make old teapots into lamps, or old shirts into aprons and sell them locally on Kijiji or Craigslist. It’s totally doable. 


As I’ve thought more deeply about how to answer this question over the years, I’ve come to a realization that the problem is not the answer, but the question itself. For those who’ve asked it, I don’t think it’s always coming from a place of “quick money.” If we reframe the question, I think there’s room to empower and actually help those who’ve asked it—to give them a foundational understanding of what it really means to generate an income online.


I’m a 45 year old business owner who also has focussed on diversifying my income streams. I have a short term vacation rental in Florida that I bought for $390k in 2012 and net rental income for the last three years has been growing steadily. 2015 I am at $70k gross right now but should end up at $80-85k with net around $45k plus we use the place about 35 nights a year.
This is one of my investments. It’s a very simple index fund. Took about 5 minutes to set up and it automatically withdraws from my bank account each month. Spend five minutes couponing and you’ll save a few bucks. Spend 5 minutes setting up an index fund and you’re likely to build substantial wealth over time if you invest consistently and don’t pull your money out with every little fluctuation in the market.
Get paid to shop and share your experience. In short, stores or restaurants hire people to evaluate their services to ensure quality. Obviously, social media can impact a brand when a customer isn’t taken care of well. Mystery shoppers help prevent this from happening. As a mystery shopper, you’re compensated to provide impartial feedback about products and services. Your feedback may very well prevent the next social media rant. We’ve devoted an entire article to Mystery Shopping that you can read about here.
If you’ve got expertise in a certain area, package up your knowledge into an online course and sell it. This has become a very popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years. The two big websites that are used to sell online courses are Udemy and Teachable. Check out this awesome article by Regina on How to Create an Online Course that Sells.
While we all have some extra time, it often doesn't feel like it. But it also doesn't take too much effort to make some extra dough on the side. We're not talking about millions upon millions here -- we're mostly talking about doing small, bite-sized projects to generate some fast cash. And depending on your skill set, you could easily make a few hundred dollars or even a few extra thousand per month. 
Salvage and resell. Do you love antiques or have a knack for finding valuables at flea markets or yard sales? If you do, it might be time to consider salvaging items for resale – or even scouting out antiques to sell for a profit. While you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time searching for prospects and spend some money buying upfront, you could easily turn a profit if you know what you’re doing.
First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.

I will share what we did, because it’s an incredible success story. We used an existing tax loophole where if you sell your primary residence (after having lived there at least two years) you get to keep your profit tax-free. So, we stair-stepped. We bought house after house, at least two years apart, used the profit money to pay down on the next house (so on and so forth, yadda yadda) building up equity as we went along… and now, we own a $600,000 house debt-free. And now we are using our paid-off home as leverage to borrow money to buy commercial buildings to rent out. I like commercial because it’s a BUSINESS transaction… kids, pets, other wear and tear that you see with residential rentals is nonexistent. People take care of their business space much better than residential. You have to be in a good area for renting out commercial – a thriving business community – to make this work. But that’s how we “made it”, and though it took 15 years, we will have residual income to take care of us when we’re old enough to retire. People made fun of us for moving so much, but who’s laughing now? 😉 Oh, and our child only had to change schools once (and we wanted to anyway) because we stayed in the same general area as we moved around. We were careful not to disrupt his life too much.
First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.
You can earn above average rates of return because peer-to-peer lending eliminates the bank function. That means that you participate in nearly the entire interest rate being paid by the borrower, rather than the less than 1% that you will typically earn on certificates of deposit. And you can reduce your risk by investing in slices of hundreds of different loans.
But cutting costs only goes so far. Unless you already make a lot of money and spend like a bon vivant, most people can’t eke out that much more from their budget by decreasing expenses. Plus, the more you retrench, the more your quality of life suffers. (It’s all relative, though — certainly some overspenders could actually improve their lives by tempering their expenditures. Here are 101 ideas for saving money.)

In college I earned a good amount of money by flipping our car.  I took the old beat up piece of junk car we already owned and listed it on Craigslist for about $800 more than I thought it was worth.  It took a while to sell at the higher price, but it eventually did!  Then I bought another car with the additional $800.  I flipped my car about 4 times per year (my state only allows 5 sales per year before you have to be a dealer) and each time rolled the earnings into a new car.  Eventually we had a much better car and it hadn’t cost us a dime.


Etsy: While Etsy's popularity has declined recently, it's still a great resource for selling handmade items online. No need for complex ecommerce sites or merchant accounts or any sort of automation. The company takes a commission of every sale and charges a small listing fee per item. But many still use Etsy as their primary source of income. The best part is that you can also sell digital products on here such as poster designs. 
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