Passive Income Ideas: 8 Practical Strategies

Looking for passive income strategies? Here are eight passive income ideas to explore in 2020.

Looking for passive income ideas? Good plan. Generating passive income can help you reclaim your time and achieve financial benefits.

I mean, why get paid for the time you work, when you can get paid for the value you create over and over again?

As the famous cartoonist Carl Barks said, “Work smarter, not harder.”

But what is passive income exactly? And how could you earn passive income while you sleep? Keep reading to find out.

(Psst! While we feature certain third party brands in this article, we are not affiliated with them, other than those related to Shopify and Oberlo.)

What is Passive Income?

Passive income is a recurring source of money that doesn’t require much time or effort to maintain.

Passive Income Definition

When you earn money from a job or a business, it’s called “active income” because you have to continue working to keep earning money.

As the writer Mokokoma Mokhonoana said, “He who makes $25,000 annually through passive income is more enviable than he who earns $100,000 annually through a salary.”

Possible Ways to Create Passive Income

Let’s get one thing straight: Passive income strategies are not get-rich-quick schemes. 

You need to work hard to create passive income sources – you just do this work upfront. Then, if everything goes to plan, you can reap the rewards later with minimal effort.

The author H.W. Charles explains: “The key is to work extremely hard for a short period of time, create abundant wealth, and then make money work hard for you through wise investments that yield a passive income for life.”

Once you’ve done the initial work and are earning money regularly, you need to automate the money-making process. This way, you can extract yourself from the work and turn your active income into a passive income stream.

This may involve hiring employees to manage your business or the use of automated marketing methods such as Facebook automated ads.

Keep in mind, once you’ve found ways to make passive income, you can’t quit working entirely. 

Your passive income investments will always require some upkeep and maintenance to keep the money steadily flowing. For example, you would need to manage your finances or work to re-invigorate your business model to stay ahead of new competitors.

Passive Ideas That Could Boost Your Income

If you’re looking for ways to earn passive income to boost your income, here are passive income ideas to explore in 2020.

Passive Income Idea #1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business model in which companies pay you a commission for every sale you generate through your marketing efforts.

Take Shopify for example.

This ecommerce platform runs an affiliate program that pays affiliate marketers an average of U.S.$58 for each user who signs up for a paid plan using their referral link.

Shopify’s Affiliate Program

To get started, sign up to affiliate marketing programs and start marketing the business using your referral links. Consider using marketing methods such as Facebook advertising or SEO blogging to maintain your business.

Passive Income Idea #2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is the process of selling physical products online while your supplier manages, packages, and ships products directly to your customers, on your behalf.

In other words, you can market and sell products without needing to handle the order fulfillment. As a result, dropshipping is a great business model if you want to work from home.

Let’s run through how it works step-by-step.

First, you would find dropshipping products from suppliers on a platform like Oberlo. This service allows you to add these products to your store in one-click! 

Next, you would “markup” the products – in other words, you would set a price to sell the products for more than you buy them for. Then you would promote your store to a target audience to sell your products!

When your customers buy from your online store, your supplier will be notified of the sale, and paid the price of the product, minus the markup. Finally your supplier will ship the product to your customer for you.

Dropshipping Business Model

To start a dropshipping store in minutes, head to Shopify and sign up for their free trial. Then install the Oberlo app to source products from dropshipping suppliers.

Oberlo Dropshipping App

Passive Income Idea #3. Print on Demand

Print on demand is a business model similar to dropshipping. But instead of selling generic products from suppliers, you sell products that feature your brand’s unique designs.

When a customer places an order on your store, your print on demand supplier will print your design and send it to your customer on your behalf.

A good example is The Happy Givers. This brand sells merchandise through its online store. Whenever they receive an order, their store will automatically notify and pay their print on demand supplier, who will then fulfill the order.

The Happy Givers Print on Demand Store

To create a print on demand store, set up a Shopify account and install a print on demand app.

Shopify Print on Demand

Passive Income Idea #4. Influencer Marketing

The term “influencer” typically refers to anyone who can influence a relatively large number of people.

Influencers can earn passive income through brand endorsements and sponsorships. For example, basketball player Lebron James makes money promoting Nike and Coca-Cola.

However, you don’t need to be a world-famous celebrity to earn passive income from influencer marketing.

Vegan athlete Hellah Sidibe earns passive income through his sponsorship with fitness brand and Shopify merchant, Gymshark.

@hellahgood9: Gymshark Influencer Marketer

As Sidibe continues to grow his online following, he’ll be able to earn more money promoting brands to his followers on social media.

To start, work to grow an online following by creating and publishing content on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Then find ways to partner with relevant brands to earn money from your content.

Smart Passive Income That Takes Little Time

Sometimes passive income strategies take time to set up before they can run on their own. On the other hand, if you turn your strengths into passive income ideas you can spend relatively little time implementing them.

This is because you will put less effort into learning new skills, understanding a different market, and you won’t be outside your comfort zone. All the ideas are smart passive income strategies based on skills and hobbies that you may already possess.

Passive Income Idea #5. Sell Photography

Are you a photographer in your spare time? Even if you own have a smartphone camera, taking photos in your spare time can be one of the best ways to create passive income. How do you sell photos online? You have two options:

  • 1. You can set up a photography website, upload all your prized photos (with watermarks), and sell them to your audience for a price that you can determine based on similar photographers
  • 2. You can set up a profile on a photography / ecommerce marketplace that will market and sell your photography for you. Places like Etsy and PhotoShelter allow you to upload your images, and they will look after the ecommerce side of things. This leaves production, marketing, and delivery in your hands.

No matter the option you choose, the thirst for photography is on the rise. People want to create their stamp on their apartments, workspaces, and so much more. Photography is an outlet for this.

Passive Income Idea #6. Create an eBook

The last three ideas on our list are related to creating unique content around a subject you are an expert in. Unlike dropshipping and affiliate marketing, if you are an expert in a subject you have the means for success before you have even started your passive income journey.

If you can logically create content around your expertise, why not turn this into an eBook that you can sell on Amazon, or other publishing/educational platforms for an agreeable price.

Passive Income Idea #7. Produce a Course

Maybe an eBook doesn’t suit the subject you are an expert in and an online course would be better. Do a simple Google Trends analysis if which format is more popular will give you insight into if an online course would be more beneficial as a passive income strategy. 

Google Trends data on Marketing ebooks vs course

For instance, if you had expertise in marketing, it could be more advantegous for you to create a marketing online course, rather than a eBook based on Google Trends data over the past 12 months. 

Passive Income Idea #8. Start a Vlog

If written content is not your forte you can consider starting a vlog to share your expertise. Using a platform like Patreon you can offer advanced information to subscribers who pay a fee to you. This way you can earn smart passive income, without learning something new along the way. Plus this is a great way to keep up with things in your industry.

Summary: Best Passive Income Ideas in 2020

Passive income is a recurring source of income that doesn’t require much effort or time to maintain. 

In summary, here are eight of the best ways you could possibly make passive income online in 2020:

  1. Affiliate marketing
  2. Dropshipping
  3. Print on demand
  4. Influencer marketing
  5. Sell photography
  6. Create an ebook
  7. Produce a course
  8. Start a vlog

Remember, the best passive income ideas require a lot of work before you’re able to sit back and watch the money flow in – but don’t let this put you off. As the ancient Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

Want to Learn More?

Thomas is a B2B content writer specializing in SaaS, ecommerce, and digital marketing.
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