19 Great Passive Income Ideas That You Can Build Now

by Neal Frankle, CFP ®

Passive income ideas are all around you – but they are often disguised. Unlike fruit you can pick from a tree you didn’t plant, a passive income stream has to be built if you want the income to be significant. What I’m trying to say is that you’re going to have to work hard at first if you want to create a great revenue stream down the road. Good passive income ideas are never turnkey.

Your Investment

In order to build a substantial passive income you’re going to have first invest at least one of the following 3 elements:

  • Your Money
  • Your Time
  • Your Skill Managing and Motivating Others

You can use any one of the above or any combination of these but you must be willing to provide at least one of these if you want passive income. (You’ll have a much better shot at success if you are willing to invest at least 2 out of the 3 above.)

The Output

Besides income, you’ll be able to have more freedom and a great sense of accomplishment once you take your passive income entrepreneurial ideas and turn them into reality. The payoff is tremendous and well worth your efforts. With this in mind, let’s get to the passive income ideas that you can build now.

Passive Income with Investments

1. Social Lending

Social lending is a business that finds investors and borrowers and puts them together without using a bank. The loans are uncollateralized meaning they are unsecured and higher risk. You would only consider investing in these loans if you were comfortable with that risk.

Probably the best company to use for this is Lending Club. I like this company but I am not a huge fan of putting serious dollars into this as an investment because the loans aren’t backed by assets. But you might want to give it a try if you can tolerate the risk.

2. Equity Portfolio

Using equity to create long-term passive income is a wonderful approach. The value of your capital will rise and fall, and so will your income. But over the long-haul, your income will rise with the market. I love this passive income idea.

3. Real Estate

Real estate is another passive income idea I am crazy about. With today’s low interest rates and real estate prices, it seems like a no-brainer if you buy in the right location and if you are a long-term investor. Rents and property values will rise with inflation. Win-win.

4. Get out of debt

Once you are out of debt, you will notice a huge bump in your passive income. That’s because you won’t have to work any harder yet you can take the money you used to send off to your creditors and invest in one of the ideas above. That way your money will create even more passive income. Sweet-a-kimbo!

The nice thing about getting out of debt is that you can do so by making more money, spending less or a combination of the two. I love this idea and if you are currently in debt I suggest you move getting out of debt to your number one priority.

Passive Income from Work

You may not have the capital to buy real estate or equities or tap into social lending. But you can still create passive income with your” sweat equity” – work.

5. eBooks

Information is the best product to sell because you create it once and you can sell it forever. These days it’s super easy to create your own eBook and market it through Amazon. Anyone can do this.

What are you expert in that others need information about and are willing to pay for? If you don’t have that expertise, you can easily pay someone to write an eBook for you. But you must find the need first.

Even after you find the need, the trick to having a successful eBook business is marketing. You will need to establish a great network of people who are willing to help sell your eBook for you if you want to be successful.

If I was going to pursue this, the first thing I’d do would be to identify the need and then run it by my network. I’d want to be sure they would be willing to help sell the product before I put my efforts into creating it.

When I started my blog I made the mistake of creating an eBook before doing the groundwork. It was a colossal waste of time because I didn’t have my marketing network set up first. Don’t repeat my error. Don’t invest your energy into an eBook unless and until you are sure there is a demand and you have a good solid marketing network set in place.

6. Blogging

I love blogging and I enjoy making money blogging too. It’s a passive income stream somewhat in that posts I wrote years ago still make me money. But you must be passionate about what you are going to write about, be willing to work a long time without making money and get plugged in to a network of other bloggers who are willing to assist you if you want to be successful. Of course, you must be willing to be helpful to others as well if you want to make this work.

Blogging can be extremely rewarding. But it is hard work on the front side. Don’t start this unless you are ready to see it through.

7. Efficiency Expert

Are you super-efficient? Why not leverage your skill. Go into a small business and take over their marketing or some other segment of the business the owner isn’t happy about. Tell them you’ll take a percentage of the increased sales/decreased costs in exchange for your expertise. Once you work your magic, all you’ll have to do is sit back and collect checks. Nice. Find clients by interviewing in your market and find out where the problems are that you can solve.

8. Sell Insurance

Selling insurance is a wonderful way to front-load your career. You’ll have to work hard for a number of years. But if you do it right, you’ll collect commissions for years and years and years. Just make sure to keep your karma on the right track. Focus on insurance that people really need (health, property, term life) rather than junk that just makes you money and rips off your clients like whole life.

9. Create Expert Videos

If you have special expertise in something that others value, why not create and sell videos and DVDs? Create teaser ads on YouTube and use those to market your full product line. Like most of the ideas above, the trick isn’t to create the product but to have a solid marketing program in place.

If your expertise is in creating some physical product, go to specialty stores that sell the materials and/or equipment used and recruit them to market your products for you (for a piece of the action of course).

10. Run a Class

Contact your local adult education department and offer to run a class on something you are expert in. Video tape the course and sell it to the students along with workbooks that you create. Then, set up a blog and create a following of people who are interested in this subject. Once you do, offer the course materials (DVD and workbooks) to your followers.

Passive Income from Managing Other People

One of the best ways to create passive income is to manage and leverage other people. This is not taking advantage of others – take it easy Karl Marx. You’ll provide jobs and in exchange get a mark-up on their labor. You are taking the risk and you are applying your management skills to create something that wasn’t there before you got there. Don’t let the 99% make you feel guilty. Wear your “Passive Income from Managing Other People Prize” with pride!

11. College Mover

When kids move in or out of the dorm, they need help. It’s exhausting – especially for the wimpy accounting students (of which I was one!). Why not put a group of students to work providing moving services for everyone else? I love this idea. I know it’s been done on some campuses but I also know first -hand that it’s not available everywhere. Jump on this idea fast. Your work will be seasonal but it will also be very profitable.

Set up a website where students can put their request in for your service along with a time they want the moving to be performed. Set up a PayPal account and hire a few off-season jocks to do the schlepping. You may or may not need permission from the school so check this out locally.

12. Convert Video to DVD

Find a techno-nerd enthusiast and get them to convert video to DVD for people. This is something that we all need to do before our video decomposes completely. Print up flyers and pay a college kid to distribute them. Then sit back and watch the passive income flow.

13. Tutor

Does your student need help in some particular subject at school? Chances are good that a great many students face the same challenge. Advertise in the local college for students who can tutor and line up clients for them. Businesses that do this charge an arm and a leg for tutoring and I can guarantee that the tutor is only getting a very small percentage of this fee. You can undercut those companies and provide better services too. This is a great business for passive income.

14. Consultant

Similar to managing tutors, you can locate consultants all over the world using the internet and market their skills using the same tools. Provide in-depth screening for your staff and you’ll have a competitive edge.

15. Car Detailing

I couldn’t believe what it cost to detail my wife’s car recently. It got me thinking about having this done by anyone other than the carwash. They simply mark this up too much. You can take this problem and turn it into passive income.

Find 3 or 4 different independent mobile car detailers. Vet them by talking to prior customers, making sure they have proper business insurance and do a credit check and criminal background check as well. Then, market your service like crazy in your neighborhood with flyers and keep at it. The trick here is to brand your service in the minds of your customers as safe and reliable. Before you know it you’ll have a thriving small business.

16. Resume Writer

You may not be able to write your own name but if you can find great resume writers on the internet, you have yourself a passive income strategy. Simply use the process I described above to vet your staff and then market your services.

17. Blog Content Provider

Blog owners need content every day. They need original posts that haven’t been used before and that aren’t simply the same old ideas everyone has written about time and time again. Create a service that solves that problem. Demonstrate how you make sure the content is original and fresh. Then get the word out. You’ll have more business than you know what to do with.

18. Clutter Cleaner

Organize students to go in to homes and help people clear the clutter by selling it on eBay. Your success in this business will be a function of:

  • Vetting and training your staff
  • Marketing

There is plenty of demand for this service and there isn’t much competition either. Great passive income idea.

19. Organizer

Similar to the clutter cleaner business, locate people who are really good at staying neat and organized and then market their services to all the rest of us slobs who desperately need them. Use the clutter cleaners for the physical mess we’ve accumulated and use organizers for the mess we’ve created with our paperwork.

As you can see, passive income ideas aren’t completely passive. In fact, even the most passive ideas (income from investments) require vigilance. Other than pension and social security, there is no “set it and forget it” income idea. It doesn’t exist.

If you want significant passive income, you’re going to have to be anything but passive – at least to start. Don’t get me wrong, you will be able to earn money while you sleep or while you are on vacation eventually. But when you wake up and/or get back from Hawaii, you’re going to have to make sure your marketing is working and tweak it if not. You’re going to have to check up on your staff and make sure they are providing excellent service.

Passive income ideas, the best ones, are really small business ideas. To do well, you must identify the need in the market and be clear about what is missing. Then you have to provide what is missing in a profitable way.

People today are ready to pay for excellent service. But they want to make sure they are going to get excellent service they can trust. If you can deliver on these two requirements, you’ll be successful no matter what you do.

What other passive income ideas have you implemented? How did it work out?

 

email

Subscribe & Get Your Free E-Book and E-Course as My Gift to You!

Investing Your Money Made SimpleOnce a week you'll get unique tips to make smarter money decisions about your investments, retirement, taxes, and career. You'll also get encouragement and ideas to help you get out of debt, earn more money, and generally stop worrying about your money.

Neal Frankle is a Certified Financial Planner™ with over 25 years experience. Subscribe today and tap into this wonderful, free resource!

Become a Fan! Follow @NealFrankle

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment


seven − 2 =

Previous post:

Next post: