How to Make a Passive Income Online: 17 Ways to Make Passive Income a Reality

If you have been looking into how to make a passive income online, then we definitely have the answer you have been looking for.  We have come up with 17 different ways you could make passive income a reality.

If you are looking for a more in-depth step-by-step guide on how to earn passive income online, then please check this helpful guide we created.  Otherwise sit back and enjoy our list.

What is Passive Income?

People often get a little confused over what exactly is passive income.  The key differences between passive income and What is Passive Income?active income are that you do not need to be present to hand-hold the transaction.

The example we use is Gemma’s wedding stationary business.  When someone places an order for their wedding stationary, there are a number of actions that Gem will need to action to be able to process the order and ultimately deliver the invitations to her customer.

There are actions like personalising the invitations, printing them, hand wrapping them, etc.

Passive Income is completely different and more appealing, as there are none of these active activities when you get going.

If you have an online business that uses affiliate marketing for example, when someone reads your blog and places an order for something that you recommend – the owner of the product does all the hard work, you just get a notification stating that someone has placed an order and you are getting a commission as a thank you.

Want another example, you invest money in a business as a silent partner and get a dividend at the end of the financial year – Passive Income.

There are tons of examples, but we have come up with 17 for our list.  But, before we get into that list, we want to stress what passive income is Not!

What Passive Income is Not!

Passive income is great and it means you can earn money without a specific action at the time of the transaction.   But Passive Income is Not:

  • Easy Income – You are going to have to work hard to get to the point where you are earning passive income
  • Quick Income – These methods are not a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
  • There is No Get-RIch-Quick Scheme that is genuine!

There is no magic-button system that will earn you money on auto-pilot.

When searching online for terms like make money online, passive income, etc.  You will be bombarded with tons of products that all claim: YOU CAN BE EARNING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WITH ONLY 10 MINUTES WORK A DAY!!

Who would not be drooling with anticipation and wanting to buy that very product that makes those claims…

But in reality, you will be not be earning any money, you will soon realise the owners make money because they have people buying these products that are full of crap and they all wish they had not been enticed by those FAKE PROMISES…

These products have only one intention – to introduce you to a Sales Funnel, where they can sell you other crap that and then you realise the base product will not earn you money and you are going to have to spend hundreds of dollars on products that might.

There are only 2 things that you need to invest to earn passive income online besides a little money:

  1. Your Time – I earn passive income online and I cannot do anything productive within ten minutes.  You are going to have to invest time in learning what you need to know when you choose your preferred method.  You are then going to invest time in taking action for you to be able to earn passive income.  No time spent, no earnings spent.
  2. Your Effort – Time and Effort go hand in hand.  You are going to have to work hard to get to the point where you are earning passive income.

However, just because you are going to have to work hard and spend time trying to earn passive income, please do not think that it is going to be difficult or you won’t enjoy it.

We love the way we make passive income, as we get to help a lot of people.

If you go to number 3 on our list – Making money from Photography.  If that is your passion and you take photos because you enjoy it, and can earn money from those photographys by learning how to upload them to Shutterstock.  Isn’t that worthwhile??

Anything requires time and effort these days, but the best thing about the internet is that most of the ones we have on the list are something that you can incorporate a hobby or something you really enjoy and make passive income too.

True passive income requires your time and effort in the early stages but it can also be highly rewarding but know that nothing will happen if you do not invest some time in learning and then implementing any of the ideas, we present to you today.

Related Post: How to Earn Passive Income Online – A Step-by-Step Guide

Make YouTube Videos

If you don’t know how popular YouTube is right now, know that you are missing out on a huge opportunity.

Google is the most popular search engine, with YouTube in 2nd
place and getting more popular as we speak.

Create a video in any subject you like – upload music videos, how to guides, opinions, product reviews, movie reviews, game reviews, anything that you want.  There will typically be an audience for it.

Make YouTube Videos

When you reach a certain audience level, you can then apply for a Google AdSense account and then you can start to put advertising on your channel.  You will then start earning money as people view and click on those adverts.

There are a few things that you need to consider before getting started.  You do need to create some quality content if you are going to get people to watch it.  You are then going to need to create content regularly to ensure that your viewings are going up to then be able to apply AdSense to your channel.

You will also need to consider how you are going to record the video, etc.  Most of us have a smart phone and you can start out like that, but as you progress you might want to invest in a decent camera and ensure you have decent lighting and audio to complement your videos.

Having said that, once you have done the hard work of recording the video and uploaded it to YouTube, it then becomes a passive income flow as you increase the number of videos you post.

There are a number of examples that show this works.

Ryan’s Toy Review channel is earning Ryan and his parents millions a year.  My son used to watch Ryan’s channel when he was younger.  Ryan would play with toys and give his opinions, along with his parents views too and kids watch his channel.  That is how Ryan makes money passively.

Emily Eddington does it with a Makeup channel.  Emily has received over 66 million views on her YouTube channel.  She has given up her job and does this full-time.

Emily can record videos as she wants and posts them to her channel, but will also make money any time someone comes and watches any of her previous videos too

Try Affiliate Marketing & Make Sales

Affiliate Marketing is how we earn money online.  You will need to start a blog or have a blog up and running to benefit from Affiliate Marketing.  But it is an awesome way of earning passive income.

We love the fact that you can start an affiliate marketing business in literally any subject you want and be able to earn money from promoting products or services related to that subject.

You want to start a blog about video games, you can!

You want to earn passive income and engage in designer clothes, you can

Whether you interests are:  technology, hair and makeup, photography, toys, video games, finance, sports, fitness, healthy food, binary options, cbd oil, weddings, you name it you can create a passive income from creating an online blog and utilising Affiliate Marketing.

Let’s start off with an example of how Affiliate Marketing works:

How Does Affiliate Marketing work

You start a blog about any subject you want.  It could be a hobby, a subject you are quite knowledgable about or something that you want to learn a lot about and want to start with.  For our example, we are going to use the Keep Fit Theme.

SO, we create a blog about how to keep fit.  We are going to write a number of different guides that are highly relevant to the keeping fit theme:

  • Healthy Meal Ideas
  • Exercises for at home
  • Exercises for at work
  • We also include some product reviews

Once you have written a load of helpful guides related to the subject, we can then start including some product reviews.  This is your opportunity to make passive income through affiliate marketing.  You want to build up an audience and then you can start introducing them to products that you have found useful.  Let’s say you are helping people lose belly fat.

You have written plenty of articles that help with losing belly fat, but as you are writing your healthy meal ideas and exercise guides you might also include some recommendations about products.

It might be an exercise mat, blender for creating healthy smoothies, etc.  Whatever, your opportunity to earn money is through including an affiliate link when you are making these recommendations and writing product reviews.

As an affiliate, you sign up with an affiliate programthe best one for beginners is with Amazon.  By signing up with the Amazon affiliate program, you can then promote any and all products that Amazon sells.

So, if you are in the keep fit area, and you are writing an effective product review about certain fitness gear you recommend or the best food blender for making smoothies.  You get to earn a commission from one of your readers clicking your affiliate link and buying that item from amazon.

Just in that one example of keeping fit, you could include hundreds of product reviews relating to elements of keeping fit and earn a passive income every time someone goes and follows your recommendation.

It is truly passive, as you do not need to be there when they make their purchase.  One post could lead to hundreds of sales as you concentrate on writing more content and expanding your content.

Whatever your interest, you can follow the same example and write effective content and help your audience get more involved in whatever your subject matter is.

The key element to making this work though is to ensure you are helping people and not selling people.  If you are coming across as selling to them, they may feel your opinion about these products is not genuine.  Whereas if you are helping them out understanding both sides of the product, they are more likely to trust you and follow your suggestions.

There are thousands of affiliate programs out there and depending on your niche you can find that there are too many to choose from.

If you decided to choose affiliate marketing, know that you could also benefit from the YouTube option as you could record videos that are relevant to your subject and this is more content for your website and you can also utilise Google AdSense on your website as well as YouTube and earn money from multiple streams – your website ads, YouTube ads and Affiliate Marketing.

If Affiliate Marketing is an option you are interested in learning a bit more about, then you can check out our in-depth guide here.

If you feel you are ready to get started with the fantastic opportunity that is Affiliate Marketing, we highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate as our top recommended training platform for starting an affiliate marketing business.

You will get expert help and support and follow a step-by-step guide that will truly lead you to success if you put the time and effort into succeeding with affiliate marketing.

Are you a Photographer?

If you are into photography, you have an opportunity to make some passive income.  There are websites like ShutterstockPhotographer - Passive Income Ideas and iStock photo.  You can upload your images for others to use in return for a commission.  They typically offer you either a percentage or a flat fee for each photo that is sold to a client.

These images are normally referred to as Stock images and a decent photo can easily create you a steady revenue stream.  You just upload you image to either or both provider and as people pay to use the image you earn passive income.

The more photos you provide the better opportunity you have to make this a steady earner.

You will need to ensure you photo is high quality and what people are looking for, the best way to check what opportunities there are is by visiting these sites as a potential customer and see what is available and where your opportunities to post similar photos or better photos to make yours more appealing.

Buy High Dividend Stocks

This will require you to go away and do some proper research on this option, but there are some good opportunities by building up a portfolio of high dividend stocks.  You can create a passive income at an annual rate, which you will typically find is a better return that what you would get on bank investments.

You also have the potential of benefitting from capital appreciation.  That way you can earn two routes of passive income – dividends and capital gains.

Like I said, you are going to have to do some research on this option and you will also need a broker, which again good research will bring up the best options for you.

Write an eBook

This will require a lot of work upfront, but once you have published your eBook you can then see it provide you with aWrite an eBook - Passive Income Ideas passive income.

The first step would be to choose a subject for your eBook and then do the relevant research and ensure you are going to be providing some value with your eBook.  To make money, you need to make sure it is something that people are going to buy.

People are going to want value when they choose to buy your eBook, so as long as you provide the value then you will earn passive income from it.

You could post your eBook on the kindle store, etc. or you can sell it on your own website.  There is also the opportunity to offer it as an affiliate arrangement with website owners that provide content related to the content within your eBook

Earn Cash-Back Rewards on Credit Cards

Get yourself a decent cash-back credit card.  You can get credit cards that offer anything from 1%-5% of the amount purchased.  If you are going to be shopping, you might as well benefit from earning some cashback, right?

This is an opportunity to earn passive income in the way of reduced outgoings from stuff you would already be buying.

Be mindful about how much you put on your credit card though, as you don’t want to cut out the benefits of the cash back in finding your repayments are going through the roof…

Sell Your Own Products Online

If you have the inclination to create your own products you can sell them online.  It could be a physical product you have to manufacture or a digital product that you can easily sell in mass.

Then you have the opportunity to sell your products either through eBay, Amazon or create your own website where you can sell them.

Or you can use the affiliate marketing method and get others to promote and sell your products for you and you pay them a percentage commission.

It is less passive than other options on the list, but you can learn to sell your products online and make quite a bit of money doing it.  The best bit is you could do it at home rather than getting up to go to a normal job.

Invest in Real Estate

Real Estate is not entirely passive, but once you have done all the hard work of acquiring the property and got yourself a Invest in Real Estatedecent tenant.  It just becomes a matter of managing the property and keeping it performing well.

You can also hire a professional property manager who will manage your property for you, but for a cut of the monthly rent.  It makes this a more passive income but cuts the profit margin.

You need to consider that you need to make the right investment, as some properties will not give you a good return on your investment.

There is also another benefit from investing in rental properties.  If you obtain a loan or second mortgage to buy the property, each month your tenant will be paying off part of the loan.  Once you have paid off the mortgage for the property, your monthly income will increase dramatically.  Great for building a pension pot.

Buy a Profitable Online Blog

Many blogs are created every year and you will be surprised about how many of these blogs get completely abandoned by their owners.

If you can go and buy a blog that has a reasonable amount of web traffic and has a demonstrated cash flow, there is a passive income opportunity.

A lot of these blogs employ Google AdSense, which provides a monthly revenue based on ads.  There could also be affiliate programs generating income, both of these streams will become yours once you buy the blog.

Typically, blogs will usually sell for 24 times their monthly income.  So, if you have a blog that generates $250 a month, you can likely buy it for around $3,000.  Basically a $3k investment, should get you $1,500 cash flow a year!!

You might be able to cut a good deal, especially if the owner wants to get rid of the website.  Some of these sites have evergreen content that will continue to earn revenue for years to come.

This also leads to another opportunity, if you buy a blog that is generating revenue and then go and create some fresh content for that blog, you could easily raise the money you earn from this blog and always be able to sell it further down the line for a profit.

Or, you could forget about the investment in an existing blog and start a fresh blog and make money that way.

Pay Off a Credit Card Early

If you can reduce a fixed expense, it turns out to be the financial equivalent of creating a passive income.  Credit cards are a prime example of this.

For example, let’s say you owe £10,000 on a credit card, on which there is a monthly payment equal to 2% of the balance, or £200 a month.

If you were able to pay off that credit card, you would free up £2,400 a year in cash flow.  That is equal to a 24% return on a £10,000 investment…

Write a Book & Earn Royalties

IN much the same way as creating an eBook, you could write a physical book for people to buy.  Once you have done the hard work of creating the book, once it has reached the sales stage it is truly passive.

If you can go one step further and sell it to a publisher, who will pay you royalties for the distribution and sales of the book where you will earn a percentage of each sale made.  That could be a good deal

Invest in a Business as a Silent Partner

If you can find a successful business that requires investment, you could provide that company with some capital but instead of giving it to the business as a loan you take it as an equity position in the business.

This way, the business owner takes care of all day-to-day running of the business, and you will get a cut of the profits.

Rent Out Your Spare Room with Airbnb

Hotels are expensive, and many of those who are travelling the world benefit from the services of Airbnb.  It is where they can find affordable accommodation but staying in rooms people have made available via Airbnb.

You can sign up and use your residence to accommodate guests and earn money by renting out your spare room.

This will depend on your location and size and condition of your home.  If you are located in a high cost city, or close to a popular resort it can be quite a lucrative opportunity.

I know a number of people who use Airbnb in and around London.  It is so expensive to stay in a hotel whilst they have work down there, this makes it a much better option for them.

Build an App

How many of us have smartphones these days?  There is a huge opportunity if you can create an app that people will find Build an App - Passive Income Ideasuseful and unique.  Apps are there to make our lives easier.  Whether you can create an app that helps people keep track of tasks or is a good information app, there is a hunger for fresh content and fresh ideas all the time.

Don’t worry about the competition, if you have a great idea and it will definitely help people there will be a hunger for it.

People will often be put off by the fact that they do not need to code…  But if you do not know how, then go and learn how to do it.  Nathan Barry wrote an inspiring article called “How I Made $19,000 on the App Store While Learning to Code”  Definitely worth a read, he also designed an eBook teaching others how they can design their own apps.

If this still doesn’t seem like you, you could always hire a developer that could build an app based on your idea.  It might be the more expensive option at first, but it if turns out to be a great app, you will see the earnings for possibly years to come.

Create an Online Course

Create and produce your own online course.  If you have something to offer, this could be the option for you.  There are Create an Online Course - Passive Income Ideasplenty of ways to produce and host your own online course, but the simplest option would be to use a website like

We recently went through a wedding photography course through Udemy, for our wedding business.  We wanted to just brush up on a few things and it also showed us the opportunity to create our own course when the time is right.

If you have something to offer, then this could definitely be an option.  Once you have created and hosted your course, you can then sit back and watch the money come in.

You can use a combination of videos, checklists, downloadable and even small eBooks.  There is plenty of options for how you deliver the content.

You will need to factor in what the course is worth and what people will be willing to pay but this can be a great passive income option.

Outsource Your Business Needs

If you already have an existing business and feel like you are spending too much time on it, you could always consider outsourcing some of the work.  Most will feel uncomfortable with this option as it means you need to give up some of the control you currently have, but in many businesses the only way you are going to free up your time to be able to focus on other stuff is if you pass on some of the work to others.

My suggestion would be to use freelancers to complete some of the tasks, you can use places like Upwork to find decent freelancers to complete these tasks.

You might want to consider outsourcing these tasks:

  • Accounts or Book-keeping
  • Content Creation (Website)
  • Web Design
  • Editing
  • Social Media Marketing

If you are making money from your business, the best way to turn that business into passive income is to start outsourcing some of the work so you can concentrate on other tasks like scaling the business, etc.  If you are having to do all the work, you might not be able to scale it the way you want.

Make Money on Tasks You Already Do

Think about it, you already browse the internet.  You already shop online.  Why not make a bit of extra money whilst doing these things?

Services like Inbox Dollar and Swagbucks, allow you to earn money by doing these kinds of things.  You can also complete surveys if you want, but if you are constantly searching the internet you can earn money by using their search bar.

If you are shopping online, you can earn cash back or get discount codes through their system.  We have used Swagbucks for a while and you can get some great deals when shopping online through it.

There are also other ways of earning money through them like playing games and surveys.

Now It’s Time for You to Decide…

There you have it, 17 ways on how to make a passive income online.  Whilst we think Affiliate Marketing is a fantastic way for those looking to start out, you might decide to explore another avenue.  It’s up to you which method you think is the best fit for you.

But know that if you want to make passive income, you are going to have to put the groundwork in and build a solid foundation that will lead to you being able to earn money passively.

I wish there was a magic button system that would instantly make you money, but other than earning a little bit of money with completing surveys or watching videos you are going to have to put some serious effort in to make a passive income.

If you want to learn a little more about how we make money online, I would recommend you read our Wealthy Affiliate review.

How We Make Money Online - Wealthy Affiliate

This program literally changed the way I thought about the possibility of earning money online and is now leading to me to be able to earn money online.  Have I made a fortune yet, no.  But that is because I am still working on the groundwork.  But in time, I will have built myself a passive income base and can carry on from there.

Thanks for checking our our 17 ways to make passive income, Which one are you thinking of getting started with?? Have you any experience with any of these and can share your experiences with our readers?  We would love to hear your thoughts, stories or answer any questions you may have.  Just write them in the comments section below and we will get back to you as soon as we can! 🙂

8 thoughts on “How to Make a Passive Income Online: 17 Ways to Make Passive Income a Reality”

  1. I like that you’ve discussed exactly what passive income is. I think this is very relevant as many people can get confused and not understand there is still work involved in earning passive income, but it’s certainly different to manually processing and delivering a service or product. You have also explained how to apply affiliate marketing with a great demonstration of a niche one can select and help others understand how to monetize it as well as linking it to youtube. I think this is very helpful and thorough post with lots of helpful ideas. 

    • Hey Kat,

      thanks for checking out our blog and for writing some comments.  Passive Income is a fantastic thing, but there is definitely some hard work involved in actually earning money.  Most of us are not in a position where we can invest in property or lack the knowledge to earn money through stock trading so we are left with the other opportunities online.  

      Affiliate Marketing is our favourite, as it leads us to a business where we like what we are doing.  If you have an affiliate marketing business about a subject you love, it makes the work so much easier and enjoyable and that is why we recommend affiliate marketing.

      YouTube is cool, but it can be the harder path at first as we need to get over our own fear about it.  Something we need get over too.

      Thanks again for dropping by


  2. I’ve recently heard about earning passive income in a YouTube video and I can say that I was intrigued but the potential. I had never considered it as a possibility… 

    I am thinking about starting with affiliate marketing and maybe creating a YouTube channel as well. Which of those ways have you tried and which one is the most effective according to your opinion?

    • Hey Harry,

      thanks for checking out our blog and for writing some comments.  Passive income can become a reality, as long as you do the right research and work hard to achieve it.

      As to what we have experience with.  We run a family owned wedding stationary business so we have experience where we are doing with the fact we process orders and are dealing with customers regularly.

      We utilise affiliate marketing to help our earnings, this also covers off the blogging and using Google Ads on our websites.

      Surveys and watching videos are never going to earn you big bucks, but benefitting from cash back on our online purchases makes a Swagbucks account worthwhile.

      We have checked out all 17 on our list and feel they would benefit people, but you need to know where you are to be able to make the decision on which one is best for you.

      YouTube is next on our list to add to our business… fingers crossed


  3. Thank you for your great explanation of what a passive income is and what it is not. I think many people are confused about this issue. Another form of passive income once you have money to invest is investing because your money is earning income for you without you needing to do anything other than investing it. Obviously, you are going to have to work hard to make the money in the first place.

    Having your own affiliate marketing business is a great way to earn passive income, as the work you do today can pay you for years to come. We all aim to be at that stage of the game, but the work never really stops does it?

    • Hey Michel,

      thanks for checking out our blog and for writing some comments.  No, the hard work never stops… But as I thoroughly enjoy it, it isn’t too bad!

      Passive Income is a reality, but what people are sometimes after is easy money.  They confuse the two and that is the problem.  There is no such thing as easy money.  You can invest and earn money, like you say.  But first you need the money in the first place and often we don’t

      But that could be different if we spent a year working hard on a form of passive income like Affiliate Marketing.

      Either way, it will require hard work.



  4. I’m thankful, John for your article on 17 ways on how to make a passive income. I am beginning in developing my website and what I do is write content. I don’t have the confidence to do YouTube videos but maybe in the future.

    I understand clearly about passive income from your explanation and it affirmed and strengthened my belief about it. I hope what I’m doing this time will serve the purpose as soon as possible.

    • Hey Abagatan,

      thanks for checking out our blog and for writing some comments.  Video marketing is growing and it is definitely a good time to get into YouTube… (we are hopefully posting our first video soon) But as we are our own worst critics, it can stop us doing it.

      If you can put your lack of confidence aside for a few minutes and record a video.  You might be surprised at what you could achieve.  It is like writing, at first we are not that great.  But as we practise, it improves.

      It will be the same with your videos.  Good luck with recording your first one, but keep up the hard work on your blog



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