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30 Passive Income Ideas: Make Money While You Sleep

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Written by: Kate Starr
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Key Takeaways

  • Investing in real estate through platforms like Fundrise or renting out your property on Airbnb can generate significant passive income, with potential returns of up to 12% annually or $1,000+ per month, respectively.
  • Creating and selling digital products, such as online courses on Udemy, ebooks on Amazon, or stock photos on Foap, allows you to earn money passively from your skills or creative work without the need for inventory or active involvement.
  • Other passive income ideas include sharing your internet data with Honeygain ($1 per 10GB shared), referring friends to Swagbucks (earning a percentage of their points), and investing in dividend-paying stocks through apps like Rocket Dollar (2-4% annual dividends). While these options may generate smaller returns, they require minimal effort and can add up over time.

30 Passive Income Ideas

Investing in Real Estate with Fundrise

Investing in real estate is one of the most lucrative passive income ideas. Most real estate investors invest in commercial and residential properties, either selling them for a profit or renting them out.

However, most people cannot invest in real estate due to the high upfront costs. Thus, for such individuals, Fundrise offers a great way to start investing in property without breaking the bank.

The platform offers crowdfunded investment opportunities, and you can start investing in real estate with just $500. In addition, real estate investments on the platform are also specifically selected for their quality. Thus, you can expect to earn average annual returns of up to 12%.

Nonetheless, do note that investing carries risks, and there is always a chance that your investments may not perform well.

Investing in Stocks with Acorns

Acorns is a micro-investing and robo-advisory app that allows users to generate passive income by automatically investing their spare change and a portion of their earnings. Here’s how you can make passive income with Acorns:

  1. Round-Ups: Acorns automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change into a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For example, if you spend $3.75 on a coffee, Acorns will round it up to $4 and invest the extra $0.25.
  2. Recurring Investments: You can set up recurring daily, weekly, or monthly investments, starting from as little as $5. This feature allows you to invest consistently and take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.
  3. Found Money: Acorns partners with various brands that offer cashback rewards when you shop with them. These rewards are automatically invested into your Acorns account, providing an additional source of passive income.
  4. Dividends: The ETFs in your Acorns portfolio may pay dividends, which are automatically reinvested, allowing your investments to compound over time.
  5. Referral Bonuses: Acorns offers referral bonuses when you invite friends to sign up using your unique link. You can earn a small bonus for each successful referral, which is invested into your account.

While the passive income generated through Acorns may start small, the power of compounding and consistent investing can lead to significant growth over the long term. For example, if you invest just $5 per day ($150 per month) and earn a conservative 5% annual return, you could have over $10,000 after five years and more than $23,000 after ten years.

Start the Blog

When approached correctly, blogging can be an effective passive income strategy. The idea is to create valuable, engaging content that attracts a loyal readership and generates traffic to your website. Once your blog gains traction, you can monetize it through various methods, such as advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and digital product sales.

For instance, if your blog receives 10,000 monthly visitors and you earn an average of $0.01 per page view from display ads, you could generate $100 per month. As your traffic grows to 100,000 monthly visitors, your ad revenue could reach $1,000 or more. Affiliate marketing, where you earn commissions by promoting other people’s products, can be even more lucrative. If you have 5,000 monthly visitors and just 1% of them make a $100 purchase through your affiliate links with a 10% commission, you could earn $500 per month.

The key to successful blogging is consistently producing high-quality content, optimizing for search engines, and building an engaged audience. While it initially requires significant time and effort, a well-established blog can provide a substantial passive income stream that grows over time.

Sharing Your Internet with Honeygain

Honeygain Summary

  • Earn $1 for every 10GB of data shared
  • Get $5 for each person you refer
  • Maximize earnings with more IP addresses
  • 2 payment options – PayPal and Bitcoin

Honeygain is a great app that enables you to share your internet data with companies in exchange for cash. Companies do this to gather market data about how their content and services appear in different locations.

You can earn $1 for every 10GB of data you share. However, this passive income idea may suit people with unlimited internet data plans more. If you have a limited data plan, the cost of sharing your data may exceed the amount you can earn.

Advertisement on Your Car with Wrapify

If you drive a car regularly, one of the best ways to turn it into a source of passive income is to wrap it up with advertisements. Companies like Wrapify will pay you to do this, transforming your car into a mobile advertising board.

Here is an explanation of how the process works:

  1. Download the Wrapify app on your iPhone or Android and apply for an available campaign in your area.
  2. Wrapify will place an advertising banner on your car.
  3. Activate the Wrapify app to track the driving time when you start your car.
  4. Earn money based on the number of hours that you drive your car.

In addition, you can wrap your vehicle if you are a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft. Thus, it is one of the best ways to maximize your earnings as a rideshare driver.

Renting Your Storage Space with Neighbor

Neighbor is one of the peer-to-peer self-storage rental platforms in the US. If you have extra space on your property, you can rent it to other people in your area to store their things. You can rent out almost any storage space, and your earnings may vary depending on the type of space you rent.

Type of Storage SpaceEarnings
Garage$100 – $600 per month
Car Ticket$50 – $150 per month
Shed$50 – $200 per month
Parking Space$50 – $300 per month

The platform also offers up to $1 million in liability insurance coverage. You will receive your earnings at the end of each month via bank transfer or credit card.

Reducing Your Bills with Rocket Money

Rocket Money is a platform to help you save money on your bills and subscriptions. You can link your bank account to the app, which will identify any unused subscriptions that you may have and cancel them for you.

In addition, the company can also help you renegotiate your bills with your service providers, such as your utility company. The platform does not charge anything if they do not manage to help you save anything. If it helps you save money on your bills, Rocket Money will keep 40% of the savings that it helped you get.

On average, Rocket Money users save an average of $96 per year. Thus, It can greatly reduce spending and free up more cash for other expenses. In addition, you do not need to pay any fees upfront, making it one of the most risk-free passive income ideas on this list.

Referring Friends to Swagbucks

Swagbucks Summary

  • 18 ways to earn money and e-gift cards
  • $5 sign up bonus
  • Up to 10% cashback when shopping online
  • $1 minimum e-gift card withdrawal

Swagbucks is one of the most popular online rewards platforms you can join to earn passive income.

Earning passive income with Swagbucks involves referring friends using your unique link and then earning a percentage of their earned points. Initially, you share your link actively, but as your referrals use Swagbucks for tasks like surveys or shopping, you earn passively.

The effort is front-loaded, with ongoing earnings requiring no additional work, making it a streamlined way to gain passive income as your network of referrals grows and remains active on the platform.

The platform offers 18 other different ways for you to earn money, including:

  • Printing coupons
  • Shopping online
  • Playing games
  • Answering surveys
  • And many more

Renting Out Your Truck with Fetch Truck

One way to earn a passive income is to rent your truck with Fetch Truck. To begin using the platform, list your truck or van on the Fetch Truck website and install the Fetch smart gadget. This gadget allows clients to unlock and rent their vehicles.

You can then manage your fleet and alter pricing using the Fetch dashboard. According to the company, vehicles available full-time can earn around $1,250 in monthly rental income and potentially make up to $30,000 per year.

Fetch Truck pays out to partners on the first business day of each month and the first business day following the 15th. The company offers keyless access, rental fulfillment, and insurance and allows you to retain control over your vehicle.

Writing a Book or eBook with Amazon

If you are interested in writing or have a story to tell, you can turn it into a source of passive income by writing a book or eBook.

Amazon offers a program called Kindle Direct Publishing, which allows you to self-publish your book or eBook. You do not need to have any inventory on hand. Instead, Amazon will print your book on-demand each time someone purchases it. If it is an eBook, Amazon will make it available for download after someone purchases it.

Generally, you can expect to earn between 50% to 70% of the price you charge for your book in royalties.

Losing Weight with HealthyWage

Healthy Wage Summary

  • Meet your weight loss goal and win cash
  • Win up to $10,000 from challenges
  • Low minimum wager amount of just $100
  • Join up to 10 challenges at once

Although this may not immediately come to mind when you think of passive income ideas, losing weight can be a great way to earn extra cash, thanks to apps like HealthyWage. HealthyWage is one of the best apps that will pay you to lose weight.

The amount you earn from HealthyWage will vary depending on how much you bet. Your initial wager must be at least $100, and you can use the prize calculator on the HealthyWage website to estimate your potential earnings.

Amount of Weight You Want to LoseLength of BetAmount You Want To Bet Per MonthCash Prize
10lb6 months$20Between $131 to $306
20lb10 months$40Between $436 to $880
30lb14 months$60Between $838 to $1346
40lb18 months$80Between $1470 to $1926

However, do note that you will forfeit your wager if you fail to meet your weight loss target. Additionally, it may also be hard to keep earning money in the long run after you have lost a certain amount of weight.

Renting Out Your Stuff on FriendWithA

If you have spare gear or equipment you do not regularly use, you can rent it out on FriendWithA to earn extra income.

You can rent out almost anything you want on the platform, including:

  • Outdoor backpacks
  • Climbing equipment
  • Cameras
  • Lawn care tools
  • And many more

In addition, it is also free to list your items for rent on the platform, and it only charges a 10% fee if you manage to rent out your item. Depending on the type of stuff you rent out on the platform, you can earn up to $1000 per month.

Investing in Dividend-Paying Stocks with Rocket Dollar

Rocket Dollar is a leading investment app that specializes in retirement investing. If you want to retire early, consider investing in dividend-paying stocks on the platform.

A dividend is a company’s payment to each shareholder. The company typically makes this payment using any profits earned that year.

On average, the top dividend-paying stocks in the market pay between 2% to 4% dividends per year. This means you will receive a cash payout of 2% to 4% of your investment capital each year.

Nonetheless, do note that investing carries risks, and there is always a chance that your investments may not perform well.

Earning Cashback with Ibotta

Ibotta Summary

  • 2 ways to earn – app or browser extension
  • Earn up to 30% cash back on purchases
  • Get a $5 bonus by referring friends
  • Over 1500 stores you can earn cash back at

Ibotta is one of the most generous cashback rewards programs in the US. You can earn up to 15% cashback on in-person and online purchases at affiliated merchants.

In addition, Ibotta partners with over 1500 merchants that offer you cashback, including:

  • Walmart
  • Groupon
  • Macy’s
  • The Body Shop
  • Sephora
  • Udemy

You do not have to do anything to earn cashback other than pay with a linked card. If you purchase something in person, all you have to do is upload the receipt to the app. Thus, earning cashback with Ibotta is one of the easiest ways to earn a passive income.

Once you have accumulated at least $20, you can withdraw your earnings via PayPal, bank transfer, or gift card.

Starting a print-on-demand online Store with Etsy

A print-on-demand (POD) business model is also one that does not require you to hold an inventory.

Print on demand is a business model where you promote customized products for sale on your website or other channels. When a customer places an order, you order the customized product from your supplier and instruct them to ship it directly to your buyer.

Here are some of the items that you can sell using a POD business model:

  • T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies
  • Tote bags
  • Phone cases
  • Hats
  • Notebooks
  • Mugs
  • Stickers
  • And many more

One of the best suppliers for your POD store is Printify. The website allows you to store your custom designs and create mockups. Once you have created mockups of your product, you can set up an Etsy store to sell your products to a global audience.

Selling Your Photos on Foap

If you enjoy taking photos in your free time or are a professional photographer, you can sell your photos on Foap for extra income.

The platform enables users to upload their photos for others to browse and purchase. You earn $5 in commissions each time someone buys a photo you own.

In addition, one of the platform’s best features is that you can sell each photo multiple times. Thus, if you take a photo that becomes very popular, you can stand to earn a lot of money from selling it to different people.

Becoming an eCommerce Store Owner with Shopify

Starting an eCommerce business can be one of the most profitable passive income ideas if you have an entrepreneurial spirit. While building an eCommerce brand at the start requires a lot of effort and commitment, it can be automated in the long run, enabling you to earn passive income from your store.

Your profits and earning potential can depend on the type of products you sell and your profit margins. On average, top eCommerce store owners can earn up to $1000 or more per week.

Shopify is a platform that allows you to set up your eCommerce store without any design or technical skills. Prices start from as little as $29 per month, making it a great option for new eCommerce store owners.

Renting Out Your Car on Turo

A car is a useful asset that you can also turn into a source of passive income. If you do not use your car regularly, you can consider renting it out on Turo to earn an average of $50 per day in passive income.

Turo is one of the most popular car rental platforms in the USA. The platform enables you to rent out all sorts of vehicles and even provides free liability insurance coverage of up to $750,000.

As a car renter, you can also decide how much you want to charge to rent out your car on the platform. However, you can maximize your earnings by using the automatic pricing feature suggested by the app. You can also use the Turo Calculator to check daily, weekly, and monthly earning potential based on your car.

Creating an Online Course with Udemy

If you are passionate about a particular skill or subject, you could create video courses and sell them on platforms such as Udemy. The platform has over 35 million students worldwide, and you can earn up to $150 each time someone buys your course.

Your actual earnings will depend on the price you charge for your course and the number of times it is purchased.

There are 13 different categories on Udemy you can create courses for, including:

  • Finance & Accounting
  • Business 
  • Marketing & Sales
  • IT & software
  • Development 
  • Photography & video
  • Music
  • Health & Fitness
  • Lifestyle
  • Design
  • Personal development
  • Office Productivity
  • Teaching & academics

Renting Out Your Property on Airbnb

Most passive income investors consider real estate one of the best things you can invest in. If you own an extra property, a holiday home, or have an extra room in your house, renting it out on Airbnb is one of the best ideas to turn it into a source of passive income.

Airbnb is a hugely popular platform for short-term renters and holiday travelers. When you rent your property through Airbnb, the platform handles most things. Airbnb also offers built-in messaging and calendar apps, so you can communicate directly with renters and manage your bookings flawlessly. 

In addition, the platform also processes payments, ensuring that you receive payment for your property. Depending on your property’s size and location, you can earn up to $1000 per month or more by renting it out.

Starting a Vending Machine Business

Vending machines dispense snacks and beverages to people on the go in public places. While the products in the vending machines are usually relatively cheap, you can make a decent profit by selling a large volume of products. In addition, you can also benefit from purchasing your stock in bulk, enjoying cheaper wholesale prices.

Vending machines can be highly profitable if they are well-placed. You can earn up to $100 or more per week from a vending machine in a good location.

A used vending machine can cost between $1000 to $3000, whereas a new one can cost up to $10,000.

Becoming a Dropshipper

Dropshipping is a business model that allows you to start an online business without investing in inventory.

As a drop-shipper, you advertise products on your storefront or website. When a customer buys an item from you, you purchase it from your supplier, who ships it directly to your customer. 

Your profits will be determined by the difference in price between what you charge your customer and the price you pay your supplier. On average, most drop shippers earn between 20% to 30% of the prices they charge for each item in profit.

Buying an Existing Business

Buying an existing business gives you the freedom to do business in any industry you are passionate about. Moreover, you can also enjoy profit margins of up to 50% or more, depending on the business you buy. Thus, it is crucial to do your due diligence before purchasing a business so you know it is profitable.

Moreover, established businesses already have a customer base, enabling you to earn a decent passive income from day one.

However, established businesses require a much higher financial investment than starting a new business. The cost of buying an existing business can range from $1000 to up to $1 million. Thus, you should consider this factor too before committing to a purchase.

Starting a YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel can be a great way to generate passive income. As a YouTuber, you can get paid by showing ads on your videos. On average, you can expect to earn between $3 to $5 for every 1000 views your videos get.

Alternatively, you can collaborate with brands and businesses to do sponsored videos. For such videos, brands and businesses will pay you an upfront fee in exchange for promoting their products or services in your video.

Your potential earnings through sponsored videos may vary depending on the size and popularity of your Youtube channel.

Creating a Software

Creating and selling software is one of the best passive income ideas. Although this process can take quite some time and effort at the start, it can be a reliable source of income if your software becomes popular.

You can create many different types of software to meet unmet needs in various industries. Once you have built your software, you can sell it to multiple people. The profit margins you can enjoy are typically also higher than traditional businesses selling physical products.

The prices you can charge for your software depend on its complexity, although prices generally start from just $1 for simpler software. You are also free to set your own prices, and if your software becomes very popular, you can charge up to $100 or more.

You can even offer your software on a subscription basis to turn it into a source of regular income.

Subletting to Housemates

If you own a house or are currently renting one, you may find that you are not fully utilizing the entire property. This may be the case, especially if you have a spare room or extra space in your house.

If you are in such a situation, you can consider subletting your house to housemates. You can contact people in your social circles to see if anyone is looking for accommodation. If you can successfully lease out your extra space or spare room, you can save up to 50% or more of your monthly housing costs.

These costs may include utility bills, rental fees, or mortgage payments. Although these may not exactly count as passive income, they can free up additional cash for other things.

Creating an App

Mobile applications are very common; you have probably downloaded them many times. If you have an idea for a new app, you could build it to turn it into a source of passive income.

If you lack the technical skills to build an app, you can hire an app developer or partner with one to turn your app idea into reality.

Furthermore, if your app is successful, you can earn regular income from people who buy your app or spend money on in-app purchases. According to market data, the top 18% of Android app developers and the top 25% of iOS app developers earn over $5000 per month. Thus, creating an app can be a very profitable side gig.

Starting a Laundromat

If you live in a crowded city, you can consider starting a laundromat. Laundromats are an easy source of regular income since all you need to do is to visit the laundromat occasionally to collect your earnings from the machines.

A laundromat can earn you between $450 and $500 per day. Nonetheless, you should factor in the rental cost, utilities, and supplies.

When starting a laundromat, it is important to do research beforehand to identify your target audience. A laundromat with many rental tenants who do not own washing machines is likely more profitable than one in an area with many large houses whose owners tend to own washing machines.

Refinancing your Mortgage

If the bank interest rates are lower now than when you took a loan for your home, you can consider refinancing your mortgage. Refinancing involves taking advantage of a lower interest rate to reduce the amount you have to repay the bank.

If you successfully refinance your mortgage, you can decrease your interest rate by up to 1%. Depending on the size of your loan, this could save you up to $10,000 or more.

Becoming a Social Media Influencer

A great way to build a source of passive income is by becoming a social media influencer. If you amass a large following, brands and businesses will pay you to create sponsored posts promoting their products and services.

Your potential earnings as a social media influencer will vary depending on your following size. For example, if you have 10,000 followers, you can expect to earn around $100 per sponsored post. As an influencer, you often also get to keep the products you promote, giving this passive income idea an extra benefit.

What is Passive Income and How it Works?

Passive income is a way to earn money with minimal active involvement, like getting paid even when you’re not working. It requires an upfront investment of time, money, or skills to create a revenue-generating asset.

Example: Active vs. Passive Income

  • Active Income: Imagine you’re a photographer. Normally, you have to be there to take photos of your clients. That’s active income because you’re trading your time for money.
  • Passive Income: Now, imagine you create a website where you sell your photos as digital downloads. People can buy your photos and use them for their projects, such as websites, brochures, or advertisements. You set a price for each photo, and whenever someone buys one, you get paid. You’re making money from your photos without having to take new pictures or meet with clients each time. That’s passive income.

Key Points:

  • Passive income has the potential to provide financial freedom, but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.
  • It requires patience and consistent effort to succeed.
  • The main idea is that you put in some work or money upfront, and then you continue to get paid even when you’re not actively working on it.

How Can I Make Passive Income Fast?

People often try to find ways to earn passive income without doing anything. However, that is just not possible. To earn a passive income, you will either need to make an initial financial investment or invest time and effort.

This initial investment can help you build your passive income stream. Once you have grown it to a critical mass, you can automate it and enjoy a regular source of additional cash each month.

How Can I Make $1000 a Month Passively?

All the ideas on this list can enable you to build a passive income stream.

However, if you want to make $1000 per month passively, here are some of the best options you can pursue:

  • Investing in stocks with Stash
  • Investing in real estate with Fundrise
  • Creating an online course with Udemy
  • Starting a blog with Bluehost
  • Renting out your property on Airbnb
Photo of author

Kate Starr


About the author:

Kate Starr is a personal finance, FinTech and MarTech writer. Her areas of expertise include making money, investing, and money management.

From earning money as a beginner entrepreneur to advanced investing in the stock market, Kate’s guides can help you to get more ideas on how to earn income online and increase your wealth.

The content on is for informational and educational purposes only and cannot replace any professional financial advice.
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