That’s a nice read! I love your many tangible ways mentioned to make passive income unlike certain people trying to recruit others by mentioning network marketing and trying to get them to join up and sell products like Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Cutco or 5Linx. People get sucked into wealth and profits and become influenced joiners from the use pressure tactics.
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.
Walk around your neighborhood or town and I’m sure you’ll see tons of great local businesses with terrible design. However, with increasingly easy-to-use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Venngage, Stencil, and Visme, just about anyone with a creative mindset and a good amount of motivation can start making money online by being a graphic designer for local companies.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
Like writing (above) transcription is another type of work that often equals a full-time income. However, there are lots of sites that accept beginners that don't pay very much for the audio transcribed. While a professional transcriber may not bother with the sites below, someone without the skill to be a professional could use them here and there for some quick extra cash:
It’s like if you met someone for the first time and the first thing they ask you is if you’re interested in buying something from them. I’d much rather get to know somebody first, trust them, and then have them tell me what they might have to offer. Or better yet, be genuinely interested in what they’re doing, and ask them about it myself. This is the kind of philosophy that I use when promoting other people’s products.
Another option: Consider starting your own real estate investment group. This is a great way to team together with other small investors, either via pooling your money together or simply by learning from eachother. According to Joseph Hogue, CFA from PeerFinance101.com, “The common bond in all real estate investing groups is that you help each other compete against the big money players to get the best returns.”
Offering specific online SEO services is also another online freelancer role that businesses are crying out for. If you know how to improve a website’s SEO by doing keyword research, creating content that can rank in search engines, adding metadata/schema to posts and pages, and building backlinks to a domain, to name a few tasks, then this could be a great line of work for you.
Many banks will give you a cash bonus just for opening an account with them. Talk about easy money! Banks are in tough competition for your business and will pay $100, $200 or even $300 just for becoming a customer. For example, right now Chase Bank is offering $200 cash for opening a checking account, and then another $150 cash for opening a savings account. Certain qualifications must be met but if you do qualify that's one easy way to earn $350 cash! Collect $350 cash with Chase Bank
Why did P2P lending get a liquidity ranking of 6? It is quite possibly the most illiquid investment option you listed. You said you rank liquidity by “difficulty level of withdrawing your money without a massive penalty”, and for Lending Club notes, it’s not only difficult and extremely time consuming to sell all of your notes in their super illiquid market, but you would have to sell your notes at large losses to hope to get others interested in buying your notes. On top of that, it is impossible to withdraw your money any other way other than just waiting for interest/principal to pay off every month until maturity in 3 to 5 years. You can’t just one day tell Lending Club “I want to quit, please give me my money back.” One can even argue that it is less difficult to sell a home (in order to “withdraw” the money invested) than to withdraw all of their money from a P2P loan portfolio because it is very possible to sell a home before 3 to 5 years.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites offering users the ability to get paid for taking surveys online. Same as with Cashback sites, if you encounter a survey site where sign up if not free, simply avoid it. I have not checked it myself, but a few online entrepreneurs suggest trying toluna.com. Also, you might want to try Cash Crate - In addition to getting paid for taking surveys, they offer cachbacks and other quick online income perks.
Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I made over $320,000 in 2015 by blogging and nearly $1,000,000 in 2016. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
While writing also falls under the category of an actual work at home job, it can be great for extra cash, too. Particularly content sites. These are sites that post writing assignments for any of their approved writers to grab, and for most you only need average writing skill to become an approved writer. While the pay isn't fantastic, if you can write fast, you can for sure earn substantial extra money. Most of these sites will pay a penny per word or more:
Sell baked goods. Working parents might not have the time to whip up a birthday cake or cupcakes for school parties. That’s where you come in if you can create tasty baked goods. A friend of mine who is a single mom started making cupcakes as a way to keep herself occupied while staying with her dad when he was undergoing chemotherapy. She posted a picture of her cupcakes on Facebook and instantly received several orders from friends. Now she makes about $200 a month making cupcakes for others who hear about her through word of mouth or see pictures of her cupcakes on her Facebook page.
In 2017, I ended up deploying roughly $611,000 into stocks and $604,327 into municipal bonds. The stock allocation should boost dividend income by about $12,500 a year, and the municipal-bond portion should boost income by about $18,000 a year after tax ($26,000 pre-tax). Therefore, total passive income gets an about $38,500 lift, which recovers over half of my $60,000 loss from selling the house.
Find items that you know are selling below their full value (either online or through a deal website like SlickDeals.net), discount stores (Marshalls, Ross, etc.) buy them and sell them for more on eBay or Amazon. Once you find your product niche you can set up a system. Don't read over that too quickly. You need to find a particular product or niche to really make this work. Otherwise, you're met with different shipping costs, always trying to figure out new margins, etc. Don't try to be everything to everybody. Try to be good in one particular. Maybe it's a product you're passionate about such as selling trucker hats.  🙂 Click here for more on this idea.
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
You can start by going to your personal Facebook page and posting about the teething ring you like and telling your friends about it.  Then include your Amazon Associates link to the product.  If one of your friends buys the teething ring after clicking on your link, you get a percentage of the sale.  Your friend doesn’t pay any extra, and you make money.  Win-Win.  Oh, and if your friend clicks your link to the baby teething ring and gets distracted and ends up buying a new vacuum–you still get your commission even though that’s not what you linked to!  Awesome!
Another good one for crowdsourcing is iSoftStone. You are actually an independent contractor for Microsoft. HitApps don’t pay much per hit but if you get good at it and are productive this is a very good way to work from home. I think I actually found them through you, Anna. Real money paid through PayPal. You have to wait about a month to get paid but it’s cash and the potential is huge.
I wouldn't think of a high yield savings account as a source of passive income but your savings should be getting something (less like Seinfeld syndication residuals and more like a commercial jingle residuals!). It won't make you rich but it's nice if your baseline, risk-free rate of return on cash is 1% or more. The best high yield savings accounts (or money market accounts) offer higher interest rate and there is absolutely no risk. CIT Bank currently leads the pack with the highest interest rate.
I have not. While I am intrigued with the possibility of making online income, it seems to be less passive then how I want to spend my time. Regarding your blog / site, you have done quite well for yourself. However, you have to keep pumping out content or your site would eventually go out of business. That sounds like more of a commitment then I would want. Regarding your book sales, it is probably relatively passive now, but certainly was not when you were writing the book. Now if you love it, great. Just not for me.

Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.

If you can find and restore items like furniture and appliances, you can make a substantial amount of money. You can acquire the items on Craigslist, or even at garage sales or estate sales, restore them, and then list them for sale on the site. You may also be able to market certain items on eBay, particularly if they are small, unusual, but high in price.
Have a spare bedroom — or two? Making it available on vacation rental sites can provide a lucrative side income. For example, Airbnb hosts earn an average of $924 per month, according to data from Earnest, an online lender. If you’re a renter, just make sure that everything is kosher with your rental agreement beforehand. Learn how to cash in on short-term rentals.
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.
 @dasjung No doubt! I know this and you know this, and any other highly skilled and educated designer will also know this. But what about the customers? The people who are looking for a logo design with much consideration of price in this economy.  Knowledge and talent expect the monetary reimbursement it deserves, but unless everybody has a trained eye to recognize it, they just aren’t going to dish out the money for it. That is the point I am trying to make. It is like calling the neighborhood handyman instead of  a high cost plumber to fix a small leak.
If you have a background in a specific field, you may find there is a demand for writing industry papers in your area of expertise. For example, there are often adverts for doctors, lawyers, nutritionists, and business experts from particular niches, to write white papers on different subject areas. These are well paid jobs that you will need to stake your reputation on, but that can often be worked on from the comfort of your own home.

Another way to generate passive income is to invest and be a silent partner in a business. This is very risky, but with risk comes the potential for high returns. For example, several years ago both Lyft and Uber were looking for private investors to invest in their companies. Today, they are worth billions - but you as an investor would only reap that benefit if they go public via an IPO, or get acquired. So, it's risky.
Perhaps a coworker purposefully tries to make your life miserable because they resent your success. Maybe you get passed over for a promotion and a raise because you weren’t vocal enough about your abilities, and mistakenly thought you worked in a meritocracy. Or maybe you have a new boss who decides to clean house and hire her own people. Whatever the case may be, you will eventually tire.
You can set up a website, gradually build up the content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.), then eventually monetize the site through advertising, affiliate marketing, or even the direct sale of specific products or services. Even better, you can generally find whatever services and technical assistance you need online and free of charge. Later on, when your site develops a reliable cash flow, you can begin working with paid providers who can take your blog to the next level.
The most liquid of the private investments are investing in equity or credit hedge funds, real estate funds, and private company funds. There will usually be 6 month – 3 year lockup periods. The least liquid of the private investments are when you invest directly into private companies yourself. You might not be able to get your money out for 5-10 years, depending on the success of the company and upcoming liquidity events.
There is no job too small when it comes to earning to save more or pay off debt and a paper route is about as basic of an extra money job as you can get. Yep, people are still buying newspapers these days. Nothing like a nice clean, crisp paper with a good cup of coffee to start your day. This job will likely take up your early morning hours. You can also search for a paper that only comes out once a week if you want to work less. The bottom line is that a paper route is still a valid way to make extra money and I’d be remiss to leave it off this list.
Software is one of the most lucrative passive income streams but most online entrepreneurs shy away from it, mainly because of the technical aspect that is involved. The truth is that you don't need programming skills to build a software; the whole process can be outsourced fairly easily. You do need to know how to pick a good developer and, of course, have a winning idea that customers are willing to pay for.
When you lack the luxury of time, making money on or offline can seem like an impossible task. How are you supposed to do that when you're working at a life-sucking nine-to-five job? While the stability of full-time employment might allow most to sleep well at night, it doesn't empower your creative juices to search for new income-producing strategies.
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