Making money

Brainstorm: Passive Income Ideas (Part 1)

I have been exploring different ways of generating a passive income stream.  Part 1 is about passive streams of income that require little or even no start-up capital.  In part 2 I will be exploring ideas for passive income once you have built up some capital.  You can also read my post on why you should want to generate passive income streams.

What is a passive income stream?

Passive income is regular cash flow that requires minimal effort to maintain.  You create something of value and continue to get paid in the long-term.  It may require a lot of time and hard work to create this in the beginning, but once set up requires minimal time and effort to maintain.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, I’ve chosen passive income streams that could start off as a hobby and are attainable for the average person from the comfort of home.

  1. Sell photography online


If you enjoy photography as a hobby, why not sell your pictures online?  Upload hundreds of photos for free on websites such as iStock and Shutterstock.  Each time an image is downloaded you receive a small fee, these sites are definitely about quantity.  The more you sell the larger percentage of sales you receive.  You can even become exclusive with a site and receive an even higher percentage.  Bear in mind your images do need to be of a good quality.

I definitely think this passive income stream is worth a shot, once you have uploaded your images, you literally have to do nothing.  Seriously if you already pursue this as a hobby, it’s as simple as uploading them and then just sit back and relax.

  1. Write an ebook

It’s so easy to self-publish in this day and age.  Of course it will take a lot of time and effort to write the book initially, but it’s free to self-publish publish with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).  With your first book, it will be difficult to get an audience, however many suggest to offer it at a sale price the first couple of days on large websites such as Amazon and Facebook, once you start to get a few sales and good reviews the price can be increased as it will appear higher in the charts and more people will see it.

  1. Sell you own product online

The possibilities of this are endless, how about selling T-shirts, digital goods such as instructional videos, mugs, shot glasses, knitting patterns, printable planners…

These are all items where you can come up with a design once, the orders of this one design can then be in the hundreds, or even thousands if it goes viral.  I would suggest looking into sites such as Etsy, Amazon, Teesprings, Redbubble, Shopify, or even your own website.

I love creating art and designing on Photshop so this is definitely something I will be dabbling in for a passive income stream.

  1. Produce YouTube videos

YouTube videos can be about pretty much any topic including general vlogs, instructional videos, makeup/fashion ‘guru’, music, comedy.  It will take time and effort to produce and edit the videos, but if it is something you enjoy then why not?  Once you obtain an audience, monetise your channel and set up Google AdSense.  You will receive money per view and per ad click.

  1. Build an app

This is a fantastic one for those that can code, I’m seriously considering learning to code just to create a passive income from an app.  Have you got an idea for an app that will solve a problem or make people’s lives easier?  Code it!  An idea for a game?  Code it!  Upload it onto iOS and Android and you can either receive a fee for each app sale, or set up in-app purchases.

  1. Create an online course

Are you an expert in a particular field?  Your course can be practically about anything, makeup, fashion, Photoshop, coding, cooking, knitting…  Literally the possibilities are endless.  There are even websites such as Teachable to create a course.

  1. Affiliate marketing

This is best for those already with a blog or website.  Contact vendors whose products are relevant to your website, you can sign up to promote products or services on their behalf, you will receive a cut of the amount sold.  I think it’s best to try out the products or services prior to this to ensure you are marketing quality to your viewers.  This ensures you build up trust with your audience and you are more likely to have repeat customers.  If you have a public following on social media, this can also be used as a platform for affiliate marketing.  Just remember to disclose this to your audience.

There are even affiliate networks you can sign up to such as Amazon, Linkshare, ClickBank.  Some are for particular sectors, whilst others are broader.  Simply sign up to an affiliate program, any sales you made through your affiliate links, you will receive a percentage off.

  1. A book reviews website


Love reading books?  I know I do!  Write and in depth and honest review of each book you read and post it to your website.  You can then use Amazon affiliate links to advertise them and receive a percentage of the sales.  This would probably work best if you stuck to a particular niche, this way you’ll get return visitors with the same interests.  Then just use affiliate Amazon links.

Really you could do this with any product, it doesn’t have to be a book.

So which passive income stream to choose?

Even if you do not have any particular skills, pick one and learn it.  Just have a go!  I intend to put in a decent amount of time and effort into each of the above at some point over the next few years and track my progress online, share the challenges and successes for each as I gain more knowledge.

You can see most of these ideas can be from a passion or hobby, so you will probably enjoy the process, it won’t be all bells and whistles, but if you can make money doing something you love, that would be amazing!

Have you tried any of these passive income stream ideas?  How did it go?

6 thoughts on “Brainstorm: Passive Income Ideas (Part 1)

  1. Some excellent ideas here. It wouldn’t have to cost £150-£200 to publish an e-book, though. You can do this free of charge using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

    Liked by 1 person

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