26 Best Passive Income Ideas [That Earn $1,000+ Per Month]

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

the millennial money woman blog post "26 passive income ideas"

Passive income is a great way to produce extra cash flow while filling in the gaps that your regular 9 to 5 job can’t seem to manage.

Especially after the economic turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to start building multiple income streams.

In fact, 2020 has seen the following:

2020 in review

In summary, the pandemic shed some serious light on why we cannot rely on just 1 source of income anymore.

Building multiple income streams is a form of self-care.

And that’s why I’m going to show you the best examples of passive income ideas in this blog post.

Let’s dive right in.

Sneak Peek: Top 3 Passive Income Ideas

Stock Market Investing 👇

Fine Art Investing 👇

Crypto Interest Account 👇

What is Passive Income?

There are 2 types of income: Passive income and active income.

Below is a short description of each:

Passive Income Defined Active Income Defined

Earn money while you’re spending time doing something else

Earn money while actively performing a service

Passive income is often seen as the more desirable of the 2 types of income because you could literally make money while you sleep.

Active income, which arguably is the more common type of income, is when you go to your regular 9 to 5 job, sit at your proverbial desk, all in exchange for a paycheck.

In this blog post, I’ll detail the best passive income strategies to help you build passive income streams that could one day replace your regular job – and you would never have to be bound to your desk again.

Here’s why passive income works:

Time is our most precious asset. Passive income helps us optimize our time because we earn money while still having the choice to focus on other tasks.

You heard me.

Passive income doesn’t just mean you sit back, relax, and never move a finger. That’s a myth. The passive income ideas that I’ll discuss require some type of upfront work.

Take a look if passive income vs. active income is the best for you:

When Passive Income Could be Right When Active Income Could be Right

You want to achieve financial freedom

You enjoy your 9 to 5 job

You want to earn money while you sleep, travel, cook, etc.

You enjoy spending time at the office or with your colleagues

You want to diversify your income to not rely on 1 income source

You are fairly confident that your job is stable

If you’re seriously looking to build passive income investments for your future, then you could expect to spend some time and work upfront so that your passive income will match your active income.

Typically, you’ll see little if any income in the first few months (or even years) as you build your passive income.

However, if you’re consistent with your efforts, it will very likely pay off on the backend.

How Much Passive Income Could You Earn?

How much you earn from passive assets is completely up to you.

Below are some factors that go into determining how much you can earn:

  • Your effort 
  • Your patience
  • Your consistency 
  • Your initial monetary investment
  • Your time spent setting up this passive asset

In reality, you can make as much or as little from your passive income sources. 

I should note, however, that most passive income sources do require some sort of upfront work and time and that they are not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Start building multiple streams of income early to reap the benefits later.

26 Best Passive Income Ideas 2021

It’s time to take a look at 26 of the best passive income ideas to help you build wealth, protect your family financially, and move one step closer to financial freedom

Let’s get started.

passive income idea - invest in the stock market

1. Invest in the Stock Market

MMW Rating
Stock Market Investing



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



You can make a lot of money in the long term with little to no work


You could lose money if you stock pick or if you sell during a recession

Best Resource

Out of all the passive income strategies, investing should be a must. 

Here’s why:

  • It’s a long-term game
  • If you’re young, time will be on your side
  • It works if you keep investing consistently
  • You don’t have to put a lot of work into investing

Especially if you are young, you should start investing today.

That’s why I would recommend investing consistently, over a very long period of time – like a few decades. 

As an example, here’s how you could start investing:

  • Automatically invest 2x a month
  • Automatically invest in a predetermined investment fund
  • Invest a few $100 with each auto transaction (assuming you can afford to do so)

This investing strategy is also known as dollar cost averaging (aka DCA).

Because the DCA strategy is automatic, it removes the human emotion from investing. 

And trust me, you don’t want to be emotional when it comes to investing. 

Often we act on our emotions than on logic (like being scared during a stock market crash and selling your stocks instead of buying more stocks because they’re technically “on sale”). 

How do you make money through investing?

There are several ways your investments can be passive assets:

  • You earn interest from your bonds (more conservative)
  • You earn dividends from your stocks (more aggressive)
  • Your stocks and/or bonds appreciate in value over time

In all reality, your interest and dividends are true passive income types. 

You make money through capital appreciation (aka a stock you bought for $100 a few years ago is now worth $1,000 today) only when you sell your stocks and/or bonds. 

There are many different types of investment vehicles you can use, including:

  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Stocks
  • Index funds
  • Mutual funds

Personally speaking, I’m a huge believer in index funds – specifically in the S&P 500 index fund.

The good news is that if you’re not 100% comfortable with investing, then consider taking a look at some of the best investing apps like M1 Finance.

M1 Finance, which essentially is a robo-advisor, offers pre-constructed “pies” that give you a preset investment allocation so you don’t have to do any of the research or thinking.

passive income idea - invest in a private REIT

2. Invest in a Private REIT

MMW Rating
Investing in Private REITs



Upfront Investment

Minimal to High (depends on you)

Time Commitment



Earn passive income by investing in a private REIT. The REIT manages the properties and the tenants for you. REITs are also used to diversify investment portfolios


High fees, long lock-up periods, and sometimes the private REIT structure is a little confusing

Best Resource

Here’s your chance to earn passive income and not deal with renters. 

For those of you who love:

  • Real estate
  • Collecting passive income

…But if you hate dealing with tenants in any capacity, then you should consider becoming a REIT investor. 

So, what’s a REIT?

You can invest your money in a passive asset like a REIT (kind of like in the stock market), and the REIT takes care of collecting the rent, dealing with tenants, maintaining the properties, etc.

All you do is collect a portion of the rent that the REIT generates.

If you need to withdraw your money early, you may be charged penalties and additional fees, so REITs are generally good investments for long-term investors. 

Below is a list of the pros and cons of REIT investments:

Pros Cons

Easy to purchase

Money is typically tied up 

Source of passive income

Typically high management fees

Protection against inflation

Risks are typically property specific

Good portfolio diversification

Real estate prices are subject to fluctuation

Could outperform market returns

Cannot deduct real estate depreciation against your income

REITs could be particularly attractive because they often serve as a hedge (aka protection) against stock market volatility (like recessions).

Take a look at the chart below:

graph of annual return of private real estate vs stocks

Source: Funrise

While the average annual return of private real estate companies also decreased during recessions, like the Great Recession in 2008, the value didn’t drop quite as much as with stocks (as illustrated above). 

So, if you want one of the best passive income opportunities, you might want to consider REITs. 

A REIT could invest in many different housing sectors, including:

  • Hotels
  • Health care
  • Retail centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Office buildings
  • Apartment buildings

REITs are awesome secondary income ideas because you earn passive income without really moving a finger. 

There are 2 types of REITs:

  • Publicly traded
  • Privately traded

The difference between the two is that typically publicly traded REITs are available to anyone on the stock market, while privately traded REITs often have their own, typically more complex (and sometimes more lucrative) structures.

One of the leading real estate investment platforms is known as Fundrise.

Real estate investing is often exclusive to the high-roller world.

The cool part about Fundrise is that you don’t have to be ultra-wealthy to partake in real estate investing. 

With Fundrise:

  • Anyone can invest
  • You only need $10 to start investing
  • You can make money, especially in the long run

Investing in a private REIT like Fundrise will give you the best of both worlds: 

  • Relatively low risk 
  • Relatively above-average return

Take a look at this chart:

graph of risk adjusted return potential of bonds vs private real estate vs publicly traded reits vs stocks

Source: Fundrise

This chart shows how Fundrise (a private REIT) compares in terms of volatility (the amount of risk you take) and returns (how much you earn on your investment).

The diagram illustrates that:

  • Private real estate is typically less risky than stocks
  • Private real estate could have higher returns than stocks

Does this mean you should jump head-over-heels into private REIT deals?

Probably not. 

Make sure you do your research first before you commit financially.

passive income idea - invest in fine art

3. Invest in Fine Art

MMW Rating
Fine Art Investing



Upfront Investment

Minimal to high (depends on your situation)

Time Commitment



Investing in art typically has outperformed the stock market, it’s a great way to diversify your portfolio, and you can earn some serious money if the artwork sells for a profit


Your money is often locked up for 3 to 10 years, you pay high fees, and the art world is typically unregulated

Best Resource

One of my favorite passive income ideas is investing in fine art.

Typically, the art world is exclusively available to the high roller, glitz, and glam world. You don’t often associate fine art with the average Joe.

That’s where the fine art investing platform, Masterworks, is the disrupter.

Masterworks is a fine art investing platform where:

  • You can diversify your investment portfolio
  • You can invest in fine art in just $20 increments
  • You can invest in fine art ranging from $1 million to $30+ million

The reason why I’m a fan of investing in fine art as a passive asset is because artwork is often considered a hedge (aka protection) against the lowering interest rates.

Here’s what I mean:

graph of contemporary art vs. real interest rates (2000-2020)

Source: Masterworks

The fine art index (the green line) continues going up (meaning more money in your pocket), while the red line (interest rates) keeps going down.

Artwork can also be a great method to protect your overall net worth against the ups and downs of the stock market, as illustrated by this correlation chart below:

graph of comtemporary art correlation factor 1995-2020

The correlation on this chart shows that when the stock market goes down (which is portrayed by the S&P 500 Total Return bar), the contemporary art market does not go down.

Now, you can earn some serious money investing in art as well – on average, you could earn around 14% per year, while the stock market typically returns between 7% to 10% per year.

graph of contemporary art annualized performance 1995-2020

While investing in art does sound like a great option, I do want you to consider the cons as well.

Remember that investing in art is risky:

  • The fees are typically high
  • The artworld is unregulated
  • The fees can be confusing for new investors
  • Your money is tied up for a long time (3 to 10 years)

As I always say, make sure you do your research before you commit your money. 

Recommended Reading: Masterworks Art Investment Platform Review

passive income idea - p2p lending

4. Peer-to-Peer Lending

MMW Rating
P2P Lending


5/10 (your money is locked up)

Upfront Investment

As little as $10

Time Commitment



You can start investing for as little as $10, earn passive income, and after a certain time period, you can get your original investment back as well


It’s a bit risky, your returns are not guaranteed, your money can be locked up for a while, and fees could be a bit expensive as well

Best Resource

Have you ever dreamed of being the bank, instead of owing the bank?

Now you can, with peer-to-peer lending.

In simple terms: 

You loan out your money (as little as $10) and you collect an interest rate on top of getting your initial investment back. 

Think of P2P like this:

  • You’re the bank
  • You give out micro-loans to borrowers
  • You collect interest payments each month 

Talk about one of the best passive income ideas!

If P2P lending sounds like something you would be interested in, then consider checking out Groundfloor.

GroundFloor is a real estate P2P platform that gives you (the investor) the ability to fund “micro” loans (for as small as $10) to home flippers. 

Your loans would be:

  • High-yield
  • Short term
  • As small as $10

The people who would borrow from you (aka the home flippers), would use your money to:

  • Buy a fixer-upper home
  • Fix up the home
  • Rent it out
  • Sell it

There are different types of loans you could take out:

Loan Type Risk Return

Grade A


Low = ~5%

Grade G

Very High

Very High = ~26%

As you can see, the higher the risk, the higher the return.

Passive income generated from P2P platforms can be very lucrative, but it can also be a bit risky.

Just make sure you do your research first – before you commit your resources financially.

passive income idea - store your crypto in an interest account

5. Store your Crypto in an Interest Account

MMW Rating
Cryptocurrency Interest Account



Upfront Investment

Minimal to very high

Time Commitment



Earn passive income by keeping your money in a crypto interest account


It’s not FDIC insured and crypto, in general, is a bit high risk

Best Resource

Do you love cryptocurrency?

And do you love earning passive income?

If that’s the case, then you should consider investing in a cryptocurrency interest account (yes! That’s a thing!).

In today’s low-interest-rate environment, you’ll typically find yourself earning less than 0.06% APY on your cash if you leave it in a regular savings account.

Now, you can optimize the amount of passive income you earn by using modern crypto platforms like BlockFi to earn up to 7.5% APY (subject to change) on your crypto holdings.

With BlockFi, you can also:

  • Sell crypto
  • Buy crypto
  • Borrow cash 

BlockFi is also a pioneer in offering a Bitcoin rewards Visa credit card – where you earn Bitcoin points with every purchase!

While I don’t suggest you put all of your cash into crypto, I do think this is a cool alternative investing strategy for you to earn passive income and build long-term wealth.

passive income idea - affiliate marketing on twitter

6. Affiliate Marketing on Twitter

MMW Rating
Twitter Affiliate Marketing



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment

Medium to high


You make money connecting with cool people while using social media


Twitter can be time-consuming

Best Resource

If you love social media and enjoy connecting with people, then making money on Twitter might sound like one of the best passive income ideas to you. 

Believe me, you can earn $1,000’s per month on Twitter.

I’ve done it myself – and I’m going to give you the tools so that you can do it, too.

Twitter is a very popular platform, receiving over 2 billion queries daily – and the more people that use the platform, the more opportunity there is for you to earn passive income.

twitter receives more than 2 billion search queries per day

Source: Kinsta

I’m going to show you the strategies that I used to make between $1,000 to $2,000 per month on Twitter consistently.

Here are the steps you can take:

  • Design an aesthetically appealing Twitter profile
  • Create consistent content that adds value
  • Engage with your audience
  • Build relationships
  • Start monetizing

First, I focused on growing my Twitter audience by adding value to their lives with every tweet I made. 

To grow my audience, I followed the strategies in this guide: Create 24/7.

This guide transformed my Twitter growth from losing followers on a daily basis (I’m not kidding) to gaining more than 55,000 followers in 1 year.

You don’t need to build your social media audience to 55,000 followers as I did.

How much money you make on Twitter depends on the quality of your audience – and not the quantity.

Once I had built my audience, it was time to monetize my account.

That’s where I downloaded the Twitter Affiliate Mastery guide, which can help you earn an extra $100 to $500+ per week.

The strategies in this guide are simple, easy to understand, and very easy to apply.

What I love about affiliate marketing is that you don’t even need to create your own product.

The only investment that you make, aside from purchasing these courses, is probably the upfront time commitment to grow and engage with your audience.

Once you start selling other people’s products on Twitter, you’ll see why this is one of the best passive side hustles out there.

In fact, the passive income you earn from Twitter could replace your 9 to 5 job.

passive income idea - become a flipper

7. Become a Flipper

MMW Rating
Flipping Items



Upfront Investment

Medium to high

Time Commitment

Medium to high


You can make money on things that most people are too lazy to look for and upgrade themselves


You’ll likely need some upfront cash to flip the products, and you’ll also need to invest time to determine where to find your products for flipping

Best Resource

If you love buying and selling new or used items for a profit, then you may want to consider becoming a flipper.

But beware…

Many beginner flippers make the mistake of doing instead of learning first.

To minimize your losses, it’s important to first learn the art of flipping from trusted resources like Trash2Cash.

Here are a few examples of things that you can flip:

  • Cars
  • Tools
  • Houses
  • Domains
  • Furniture
  • Equipment

And much more.

You’ll want to understand the market prices of each product you sell so that you can accurately identify and purchase underpriced products and sell them at a profitable price point. 

What am I suggesting here?


Research your industry with caution and care so that you can come out a winner.

If you’re ready to start your flipping journey and want to avoid all the beginner mistakes then consider checking out Trash2Cash.

passive income idea - become a freelance writer

8. Become a Freelance Writer

MMW Rating
Freelance Writing



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment

Medium to high


You can make $1,000’s per month just by writing with minimal to no upfront investment


It may take some time to find a writing gig, and you may have to refine your writing style

Best Resource

Back in school, I was taught that to be successful, you’ll need to work in an office, work for a boss, and have a 9 to 5 job. 

In today’s world, those teachings are outdated (in my humble opinion).

Thanks to technology, you can build multiple sources of income, right from the comfort of your home. 

In fact, 31% of freelance writers earn $75,000+ a year!

31% of freelance writers earn $75,000+ a year

Source: 99firms

Here’s how you can make money writing:

  • Find your niche
  • Practice writing daily
  • Ask for writing advice
  • Promote yourself to customers

You can learn how to make $1,000’s every week from one of the top freelance writers known as Writing to Riches and his writing community.

Here’s a little fun fact: I’m also part of this community and I get so much value.

And here’s why you should consider joining:

  • You have access to the book “50 Rules for Better Writing”
  • You have access to advanced writing tactics
  • You have access to freelance writing guides
  • You have access to networking with writers

When I think of freelance writing (and earning more than the average office job pays), I’m definitely on board. 

In fact, 60% of freelancers earn more than when they had an employer.

60 percent of freelancers earn more than when they had an employer

There are a lot of awesome perks that come with freelancing, including:

  • Improved performance
  • Better work opportunities
  • Improved work-life balance

So, if you enjoy writing and can’t wait to break free from your 9 to 5 job, you may want to consider joining The Writing to Riches Community and start writing as a side hustle.

While writing itself isn’t exactly passive income, you could be earning royalties or other forms of income generated directly from the articles you write, for years to come. 

passive income idea - become a landlord

9. Become a Landlord

MMW Rating



Upfront Investment

Very high

Time Commitment

Medium to high


Earn passive income by charging rent – and have your tenants pay off your mortgage at the same time


You’re 100% responsible for maintenance, repairs, dealing with the tenants, etc. If you haven’t vetted your tenants properly, then they could make your time as a landlord a nightmare

Best Resource

Becoming a landlord and earning money on the side is one of the best – and arguably most popular – passive income ideas. 

And, believe it or not, I’ve dabbled in being a landlord, too.

I loved the thought of earning passive income while having my tenant help pay off my mortgage – it sounded like the best of both worlds – but there are some precautions you want to take before you jump head-first into becoming a landlord. 

Being a landlord is not always sexy and awesome:

  • You take on a lot of liability
  • It’s a hassle to work with unwilling tenants
  • It takes a lot of time to screen your tenants
  • Tenant communication could be somewhat difficult
  • If your tenants have an issue, then you’re responsible to fix it
  • If you’re an introvert (like me), it gets pretty hard to ask tenants for rent

Make sure you recognize that being a landlord brings both positives and negatives.

On the bright side, there is a solution: RentRedi.

RentRedi is like your personal tenant manager. Both you and your tenants will have to download the app. The app then allows you to directly manage all disputes, charges, financial transactions, etc.

The app gives you a good deal of peace of mind.

If you’ve saved enough cash for a down payment on a rental property and want to optimize your rental real estate passive income ASAP, then I have an app where you can purchase rental property – with tenants that already occupy the house!

Why would you do that?

So that you can start earning passive income the second you sign the paperwork.

The app is called Roofstock.

Finding and vetting tenants is a tedious and time-consuming task. Roofstock pre-vets its tenants through its property management companies.

If you decide to buy a home through Roofstock, I would probably still recommend hiring a property management company (and Roofstock typically offers you some recommendations) to help you manage your rental property.

As far as long-term investments and income-generating assets go, real estate investing could be a great option to build wealth and diversify your portfolio.

Learning from someone else who has been successful in the game can save you time and money.

Can you make money being a landlord?


In fact, I had a friend who was in her early 30’s and started focusing heavily on buying and renting out properties. 

By the time she hit age 37, she was earning about $12,000 per month, all in passive income from her rental real estate. I’d say that’s a win.

passive income idea - start a blog

10. Start a Blog

MMW Rating



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment

Very high


You can earn a lot of money ($10,000+ per month) by simply working in your pajamas, from home


It takes a very, very long time to start earning money on a blog. We’re talking years

Best Resource

One of the best passive income ideas – hands down – is starting a blog

You could be earning over $10,000 per month “just” by being a blogger, working in your pajamas, from home. 

Everything is possible in the modern world.

You can blog about anything:

  • Cars
  • Dogs
  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Finance
  • Gardening

The list goes on.

Here are several ways to make money from blogging:

  • Advertisements
  • Selling services
  • Selling products
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored content

But… beware.

Blogging could be right for you, if:

  • You enjoy writing
  • You love creating content
  • You have a long-term mindset
  • You are passionate about a subject
  • You are OK working on the technical things

If you’re still in it, to win it – then you should consider starting your blog today.

I thought about starting my blog back in 2016 – and just never did anything about it. I wish I had (I started my blog in 2020). Imagine where I would have been if I had started The Millennial Money Woman earlier. 

Better late than never, right?

You can start building your website with HostGator (I use them as well!).

I love HostGator because I’m (honestly) technically challenged, and they have a 24/7 support service crew.

I’m not kidding when I say that I think their tech support team probably knew me by my first name at one point, because I needed their help so many times.

Your success – or your failure – really depends on how much time, energy, and commitment you dedicate to your blog.

However, looking back, blogging is 100% worth the effort.

passive income idea - micro invest

11. Micro-Invest

MMW Rating



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



You can make a lot of money in the long term with little to no work


You could lose money if you stock pick or if you sell during a recession

Best Resource

Are you ready to start investing but you aren’t able to invest several $100 or several $1,000 each month – yet?

That’s ok.

The micro-investing app Acorns could be the perfect passive income idea for you.

The Acorns investing app will benefit you if:

  • You struggle to save money
  • You can’t afford to invest $100’s 
  • You get stressed even thinking about investing
  • You want the program to do the investing for you

Sound like you?

Then consider downloading the Acorns app (it’s free to download) and start your investing journey with as little as $5. 

Here’s a quick Acorns overview:


Minimum Investment


Minimum to Open an Account


Automatic Investing?


Account Fees

$1, $3, or $5/month

Here’s my favorite Acorns feature: The Round-Up feature, where you can invest your spare change.

The reason why I like investment apps like Acorns is that it’s automatic and it helps you build long-term wealth a few dollars at a time.

passive income idea - create and sell a course

12. Create and Sell a Course

MMW Rating
Creating and Selling Courses



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



You can make a lot of money when your work is done for a long time to come


You’ll have to put in a lot of time (and often money, too) upfront

Best Resource

One of the best passive income ideas is to create and sell your own course.

In fact, I had a good friend of mine who built her own course and started earning over $50,000 per month!

Here’s how you make passive income by selling a course:

  • Know what you’re good at
  • Build your own course
  • Promote your course

If you decide to build a course through top platforms like Teachable, you will have to put in some upfront work (and probably money).

This could mean several things like:

  • Finding a unique niche
  • Incorporating a “freemium model”
  • Co-hosting your course with an industry celebrity

…The ideas here are endless. 

The point is that if you want to make long-term money by selling your own course, you’ll need to build something detailed, informative, and different. 

Below are some example categories for courses:

  • Investing
  • Side hustles
  • Programming
  • Cell phone repair
  • Affiliating marketing
  • Search engine optimization

Not only do you want to put time, energy, and effort into creating your course but it’s equally – if not more – important to dedicate your time, energy, and effort into promoting your course.

The easiest and most cost-effective way to promote your course is likely through your social media platforms and/or your email list. 

If you’re wondering how to grow fast on social media, then consider downloading the course Create 24/7, which has helped me personally grow my Twitter audience to more than 55,000 followers in just 1 year. 

Remember that to consistently generate passive income, you may have to update your course – or you might even have to build a new course.

passive income idea - high yield savings account

13. Open a High-Yield Savings Account

MMW Rating
High-Yield Savings Account



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



You can earn more interest – up to 10x the national average – with an online high yield savings account


This passive income vehicle should only be used for your emergency savings fund because you earn more in the stock market, real estate, etc.

Best Resource

I have a trick to get you a bigger bang for your buck. 

And that trick is one of the easiest passive income ideas: Open an online high-yield savings account.

Here’s why high-yield savings accounts are better than regular savings accounts:

  • FDIC insured
  • Liquid accounts
  • Super-easy to open
  • Nationwide availability
  • Up to 10x national average interest rates
  • More cash in your pocket because of the higher interest rates

With a high-yield savings account, you earn passive income on your emergency fund cash – without even moving a finger!

Consider opening a high-yield savings account now with Axos Bank (it’s free).

Over time, the passive income you generate can make a pretty significant difference in your net worth.

Your bank accounts will thank me later.

passive income idea - collect cash back rewards

14. Collect Cash Back Rewards

MMW Rating
Cash Back Rewards



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



Earn a little extra money every time you shop at a partner store with cash back programs


Not all of your favorite stores might be listed as a partner program with the cash back apps

Best Resource

Cash back rewards programs are likely also a little out-of-the-box when it comes to the best passive income ideas, but these programs certainly do the trick. 

Here’s how cash back programs work:

You earn money by running your expenses through credit cards or other cash back rewards programs. 

Every time you spend money, you earn points (typically 1 point = 1 cent). The amount of points that you earn depends on the type of cash back program you’re involved in. 

Some programs will give you 2% to 4% of the total purchase price in points (so if you bought something for $100, you get 200 points, aka $2).

You could spend money on:

  • Hotels
  • Airfare
  • Groceries

As you spend money, you earn your points.

These points, in turn, could be:

  • Converted into cash and sent to your checking account
  • Used to pay off your credit card or other debt
  • Paid toward other items or purchases

Ibotta is one of my favorite cash back rewards programs.

Here’s why I’m a fan of Ibotta:

  • Fast cash back
  • Easily find offers
  • 3 payment methods 

If you think that you might succumb to this – spending more to earn more cash back rewards – then I wouldn’t sign up to cash back programs.

passive income idea - affiliate marketing for bloggers

15. Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

MMW Rating
Blogger Affiliate Marketing



Upfront Investment

Minimal to medium

Time Commitment

Very high


You can literally earn $1,000’s in your sleep


It might take a lot of time and effort to see a successful affiliate marketing campaign

Best Resource

Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry and you don’t have to be a genius to have a piece of the pie.

In fact, 80% of brands have affiliate programs, so you could become an affiliate partner for virtually any type of product or service, including industries such as:

  • Food
  • Travel
  • Fashion
  • Finance 
  • Education
80% of brands have affiliate programs

Source: Findstack

Especially with COVID, staying indoors, and the push to work-from-home, more and more people are utilizing the internet to make purchases.

Currently, 16% of online orders come from the affiliate marketing industry – and that number is expected to continue increasing.

16% of online orders come from the affiliate marketing industry

Source: Findstack

How do you actually make money through affiliate marketing? 

Here are some basic steps to start earning passive income:

  • Find your niche
  • Build a website with HostGator
  • Consider building a social media following
  • Add value to your audience with well-crafted content
  • Market your affiliate products through your platforms

Promoting your affiliate products on your blog can be pretty effective because about 65% of affiliate marketers generate traffic just by blogging!

65% of affiliate marketers generate traffic by blogging

Source: Findstack

Being a successful affiliate marketer comes down to your level of consistency.

Affiliate marketing is passive income – with a twist.

That’s because you typically don’t make a lot of money right away. In fact, it often takes years of hard work (and $0) before you start seeing passive income generated. 

That’s because:

  • It takes time to build an audience
  • It takes time to build trust with your audience
  • It takes time to be recognized as an influencer in your niche

When I first started my affiliate marketing journey, I had no idea what I was doing. 

That’s when I found out about one of the most effective affiliate marketing platforms – Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and bought this course myself.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing like I was, this course is perfect for those who are not yet comfortable in this area. 

After a few weeks of implementing the tips from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, I already saw more passive income from my blog!! (Ok, so we’re talking between $25 to $50 more – but when you’re starting affiliate marketing, that amount seems like a lot!).

So, if you’re patient, consistent, and willing to put in the hard work upfront, then yes, affiliate marketing can be one of the best passive side hustles in the long run.

passive income idea - become a digital designer

16. Become a Digital Designer

MMW Rating
Digital Designing



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



Make money/royalties by selling your digital artwork on major platforms


You might spend a lot of time designing your artwork for little to no profit – if your work isn’t popular

Best Resource for Beginners

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a digital designer – and selling your products online for money?

Then you’ll love this passive income idea.

If you have a gift for:

  • Working with technology
  • Creating unique art
  • Designing

…Then you might want to consider selling your digital designs on major platforms like Etsy or Fiverr. 

One of my favorite digital design platforms for beginners is Canva.

I use Canva to design this website and all of my social media profiles as well. 

It’s easy to use, intuitive, and you can make some pretty cool artwork with the tools that the website offers. 

Here’s a way to start making money by selling digital designs:

  • Consider downloading design programs like Canva
  • Open an account on platforms like Etsy or Fiverr
  • Begin creating several digital designs on Canva
  • Upload your digital creations

Once you have created and uploaded your digital design to Etsy (for example), you can start promoting your creations and products through social media, a blog, or you could even partner with a promoter.

Selling your digital designs is a great passive income idea because there is virtually no limit to the amount of money you can start earning.

passive income idea - become an app developer

17. Become an App Developer

MMW Rating
App Developing



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



You make passive income for years to come through the sale of just 1 app


You have to be skilled with technology, coding, and you have to put in a lot of time upfront

What’s cool about becoming an app developer is that you can create an app for just about anything.

Some popular app options include:

  • App for kids
  • Gaming apps
  • Trading apps
  • Traveling apps
  • Educational apps

There’s more good news when it comes to developing your own apps: A savvy technique that has worked in the past is using old apps, making them better, and then selling the improved app for money. 

If you’re completely new to developing apps (like me), there are a couple of different options you can pursue to build your first app.

Here are some ways to create an app:

  • Learn how to code with Udemy
  • Use an app development program
  • Hire an app developer from Fiverr
  • Partner up with someone who’s a programmer 
  • Hire an app development consulting company 

Since I don’t live in Silicon Valley and probably won’t find a technical partner any time soon, I would probably rely on app-building software programs first.

Some popular app building programs include:

  • AppyPie
  • Appery.io
  • AppSheet
  • Zoho Creator
  • Bizness Apps

While there is a very large time investment – and likely some sort of a financial investment – upfront, your app can generate passive income once it’s complete.

It’s up to you to decide how to make money from your app.

You could make passive income by:

  • Using in-app adds
  • Charging an upfront fee
  • Using the “freemium” structure
  • Charging a monthly subscription fee
  • Incorporating affiliate links within the app

Just keep in mind that you’ll likely need to continue updating your app to keep up with the changing times. 

passive income idea - advertise on your car

18. Get Paid to Advertise on your Car

MMW Rating
Advertising on your Car



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



It might take some time to find a willing advertiser and it’s not always fun to drive around town during peak traffic hours


You may want to be diligent in selecting your tenants so that you won’t have any trouble once they live in your place

Do you travel by car? A lot?

Then, another one of the easiest passive income ideas is advertising on your car.

Here’s the short version of starting your car advertising career:

  • Contact an agency 
  • Agency evaluates your driving routes
  • You’re paired with brands that match your driving routines

To make passive income while advertising on your car, you’ll probably have to contact an advertising agency that first analyzes your typical driving patterns. 

Once the agency has a better understanding of your routes, you will likely be provided with customized advice on how to increase your chances of successful advertising.

The companies will give you their logos to apply to your car for free. 

Imagine earning passive income while driving to work or driving to get the groceries.

I’m for it.

I would take the time to read through reviews, and possibly even interview past drivers to confirm whether the agency was, in fact, legit.

passive income idea - rent out your home for the short term

19. Rent out your Home for the Short Term

MMW Rating
Renting out your Home



Upfront Investment


Time Commitment



You can earn passive income without having to do much upfront work


You may want to be diligent in selecting your tenants so that you won’t have any trouble once they live in your place

If you want to make extra money without virtually doing anything, then renting out your home is one of the best passive income ideas.

We had an extra room in our home, so we decided to rent that out for the short term.

We earned extra money each month, used that passive income to pay off the mortgage, and we had an awesome tenant who paid on time.

Here is when you may want to rent out your home:

  • You have a spare room
  • You want to use up empty space
  • You want to generate passive income
  • You want to reduce the cost of monthly rent

If that sounds like you, then renting out your home as a passive asset could be a great secondary source of income.