have been debating about writing this for about 2 weeks now as I felt it might set the wrong example. None of the ways on this list is truly passive in the way most people think about passive income. What this article covers are ways to generate income from minimal effort online. A lot of these will generate income for years after the initial effort outlay.
Start a blog
A blog is possibly the easiest one on this list to start but one of the hardest to make money from. If you can write you can blog and I recommend using Ghost for creating a personal blog. The hardest part is not starting here, the real work comes in building an audience.
You can’t just post content online and have people find it, for the most part, this tactic called SEO is a long game and you are competing with millions of other sites writing about the same thing. You need to be willing to invest months if not years of your time and some money without seeing a penny come back.
There are a few ways to make money from blogging but the main 2 are adverts and charging readers for a membership to access more content. If you are looking for an advertising method then you will need to be going for around 6 months with a good 50-100 articles on your site before applying to Google Adsense.
Create an online course
If you have a skill that you can teach then create an online course. Sites like Skillshare will pay you a small amount of money every time someone watches your course and you don’t have to have an audience to start with.
If you are already doing a blog or a YouTube channel and have an audience you can sell your course yourself on sites like Teachable and set your own pricing.
Courses, especially evergreen courses are great for recurring passive income. After the initial effort of creating the course you can sell a digital course an infinite number of times with little additional effort.
Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube is a great way of making money but it is not truly passive. I have included it in this list as a video you made months ago can still be earning money for you today but to get popular and stay popular on YouTube, you need to keep outputting videos.
There is also the getting started factor here, YouTube requires you to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watched hours of your videos before you are eligible for monetisation. Depending on your niche this could take anywhere from a few months to a few years to build your audience.
Additionally, there is a cost to producing some of the highest quality videos you see on YouTube. While you can start with an iPhone and recording yourself to produce the high-quality stuff you see from popular YouTuber you will need to invest in some good camera and audio equipment.
Write a book
Once you get past the initial effort of writing a book that people will buy this is probably the most passive option in this list. You can self publish your book with Amazon and be on the worlds largest book store shelves within a week. Not only this but Amazon handles the distribution and printing of your book when orders are placed.
Additionally, you can submit your book in e-book form to Kindle, Apple Books and Google Play for additional distribution.
Depending on the topic of your book, especially if a non-fiction book you may have to write some updated versions overtime to keep the book relevant.
This requires you to have some level of talent to start with. If you can draw, illustrate, paint, photograph, play music then you can sell copies of your work online. All these things in the digital form are infinitely copiable and provide some form of passive income. You will need to market your self and your work which will take some time and effort every week and you will need to provide new works every now and then.
To do this you will need a website and I recommend Squarespace as a starting point as they have some really simple tools to build an attractive site and include e-commerce with some of their pricing plans.