PASSIVE income can be a great way to help you generate additional cash flow, whether you are running a side hustle, or just trying to make a little extra money each month.
With passive income, you can have money coming in even as you pursue your primary job, but you want to balance your efforts to make sure that you are choosing the best opportunities for your time.
What is passive income?
Passive income is about creating a consistent stream of income without you having to do a lot of work to get it, and it is not your job. It does not come from something that you are actively involved in, such as the wages you earn from a job, or a second job. You will still need to show up and do the work to get paid.
Building a solid stream of passive income will give you extra security if you suddenly become unemployed and allow you to kick back a little, if you voluntarily take time away from work, and even to help you save to meet your retirement goals.
Many people think that passive income has a ‘get-rich-quick’ appeal, but it still involves some work. The only thing is you have to put the work upfront. For example, you may have to keep your info-product updated, or your rental property well-maintained, to keep the income coming.
Generally, it can come from two sources: rental property or a business in which you do not actively participate, such as book royalties or stock dividends.
Here are six passive income ideas for building wealth, if you are thinking about creating multiple income streams.
Investing can be a great way to generate passive income but only if the assets you own pay dividends or interest.
1. Selling Information Products
One popular strategy for passive income is creating an information product such as an e-book, or an audio or video course, then kicking back while cash rolls in from the sale of your product. These courses can be distributed and sold through online sites such as Udemy, Skillshare and Coursera.
Alternatively, you may consider a “Freemium model” – building up a following with free content and then charging for more detailed information, and for those who want to know more.
The free content acts as a demonstration of your expertise and may attract those wanting to go to the next level. However, you must build a strong platform and market your products well in order to be successful, while continuing to create more excellent products.
2. Rental Income
Investing in rental properties is an effective way to earn passive income. But it must match your return for investment. Start by calculating the property’s total costs and expenses.
For example, if your goal is to earn $10,000 a year in rental cash flow, and the property has a monthly mortgage of $2,000, and it costs another $300 a month for other expenses, you have to charge $3,133 in monthly rental to reach your financial goals.
In order to manage the risks, ask yourself these questions:
Is there a market for your property? What if you get a tenant who pays late or damages the property? An economic downturn may also pose a big challenge, as your rental may not be able to cover your expenses. What if you are unable to rent out the property?
Always weigh the risks, and have a contingency plan in place to protect yourself.
3. Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, website owners, social media “influencers” or bloggers can promote a third party’s product by including a link to the product on their site, or social media account.
When a visitor clicks on the link and makes a purchase from the third-party affiliate, the site owner earns a commission.
Currently, Amazon is a well-known affiliate partner in the world, but eBay, Awin and ShareASale are amongst the big names too.
Affiliate marketing is considered passive because in theory, you can earn money just by adding a link to your site or social media account, but the truth is, you won’t earn anything if you cannot attract readers to your site, to click on the link to buy something.
Start by growing an email list to draw attention to your blog, or direct people to the products and services they might want to buy. You can also use Instagram and TikTok to grow a large following to promote your products.
If you can grow your following, or have a lucrative niche (such as software, financial services or fitness), you may be able to make some good money.
4. Dividend Stocks
Shareholders in companies with dividend-yielding stocks receive a payment at regular intervals from the company. These companies pay cash dividends on a quarterly basis out of their profits, and all you need to do is to own the stocks. Dividends are paid per share of stock, so the more shares you own, the higher your payout.
Since the income from these stocks isn’t related to any activity other than the initial financial investment, owning dividend-yielding stocks is one of the most passive forms of money-making, as the money will simply be deposited in your brokerage account.
That said, you can also go with exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, which are investment funds that hold assets such as stocks, commodities and bonds, but trade like stocks.
ETFs are an ideal choice for beginners as they are easy to understand, highly liquid, inexpensive, and have far better potential returns because of far lower costs than mutual funds.
5. Create a blog or YouTube channel
Are you an expert on travel to Thailand? A maven of Minecraft? A sultan of swing dancing? Then you can take your passion for a subject and turn it into a blog or a YouTube channel, using ads or sponsors to generate income.
Find a popular subject matter, even a small niche, and become an expert on it. At first, you’ll have to build out a suite of content and draw an audience, but it can create a steady income stream over time, as you become known for your engaging content.
By leveraging on the free (or very low cost) platform, you can generate great content to build a following. The more unique your voice or area of interest, the better for you to become “the expert” to follow. Then draw sponsors to you.
The challenge is to build out content at the start, and then create ongoing content which can take time. You will also need to be really passionate about the product to make your business sustainable, especially if your followers are still finding you.
How many income streams should you have?
There is no “one size fits all” advice when it comes to generating passive income streams. Generally speaking, you will catch more fish with multiple lines in the water. It depends on where you are financially and what are your financial goals for the future.
It is good to start with a few to diversify your income stream in addition to your day job, rental properties, income-producing securities, and business ventures.