There are plenty of ways to create passive income for yourself while working from home. And when I say “passive,” I mean that you do the work once and keep getting paid for it, over and over again. Sounds like a dream, right? It is pretty awesome IF you can make it work.
I know of a couple of things and I did some research to find even more. I hope you find something that piques your interest in today’s post!
#1 – Blogging
Even though blogging is a lot of work for people who do it full-time, it can be passive. The blog posts you write can earn you money pretty much indefinitely if you have them monetized well (ads, affiliates, etc.). And unless you’re in a niche where things change all the time, you may not ever have to go back and do any updating of your old posts. Just leave them sitting there, earning you money.
I’ve heard of some people who haven’t gone in and added any new posts to their blogs in years, yet they still earn money from those blog posts.
Want to start a blog? Go here to read my step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
#2 – eBooks
Putting an eBook together is a lot of work, but once it’s written, it’s written. And you can sell it over and over again, making money off of it indefinitely. This probably works best if you’re writing fiction because there isn’t as much need to go back and update a fiction book as there might be with a non-fiction book.
You can go here to read about how I got an eBook written and published on Amazon if you’re interested in writing one. You’ll have to put some work into promoting your eBook, but there are tips and resources all over the web to help you do that.
#3 – Stock Photography
If you’re pretty good with a camera, there are a ton of stock photo sites you can use to submit your photos and sell the license to them over and over. So you literally can take the pictures once and keep getting paid for them.
Here’s a list of sites you can use to submit stock photography.
#4 – Create an eCourse
These days, eCourses are all the rage. You can find a course online to learn to do just about anything. Depending how in-depth your eCourse is, you may be able to sell it for hundreds of dollars. And just as it is with everything else on this list, you do the hard work once and then keep getting paid as people purchase what you created.
It may occasionally be necessary to update your course content, but for the most part this should be very passive income. If you want to create an online eCourse, Udemy is a good platform to use for building your course and also selling it.
Just like eBooks, you’ll need to promote your eCourse to get many sales, but apart from that the income should be very passive.
#5 – Sell Digital Patterns
If you’re crafty and you create your own patterns for things you make, you can convert these to digital files that you can sell over and over. To learn to do this, you can read this thread over on Etsy where some crafters are discussing it, or read this blog post at Sewing in No Man’s Land where it’s explained how to do it with Photoshop. Note that is an old blog post, but I’m hopeful the instructions will still be helpful.
As for where to sell your digital patterns, Etsy and eBay are great choices, but you can read this post I wrote a while back with a list of places to sell patterns if you’re looking for more options.
#6 – Getting Referrals On Extra Cash Sites
I often blog about sites you can use for extra money like Instant Cash Sweepstakes, Slice the Pie, and Cash Crate to name a few. You may or may not realize that these sites have referral programs where, if people sign up to use these sites under your referral links, you’ll get a small percentage bonus every time they use the sites.
So while you’ll definitely earn more if you use these sites yourself in addition to having referrals, you can still earn money even if you don’t as long as your referrals are active. It can be a lot of work in the beginning getting people signed up under you, but it will pay off once you have lots of referrals.
I have some tips here on getting referrals on extra cash sites if you want to check it out. Most survey panels and rewards sites do have referral programs, but be sure to read through the fine print in the terms to make sure it can truly be passive income. Some sites will require that you be an active user yourself regardless of whether or not you have referrals in order to be paid.
#7 – Sell Stock Music
If you’re a talented musician, you can create the music once and sell the license to it over and over, similar to how you would with photos (listed above). LuckStock is one site you can use to do this.
#8 – Create An App
I’m always thinking, “There should be an app for that!” Everyone wants an app for everything these days. And if you can create one, you can sell it over and over.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to be a tech genius to create an app. There are a lot of do-it-yourself tools available online that make the process pretty easy, but if you want a high-quality app, you should probably pay an expert to do it for you.
#9 – Create Niche Websites
Niche websites are a bit different from your average blog because they don’t need to be updated continually. Basically they are just a collection of static pages that provide information on a specific topic. You put the website together, monetize it with ads and/or affiliate links, and leave it be.
If you’re going to do this, it’s a good idea to make sure your niche topic is very evergreen — meaning that it’s centered around something that rarely changes, so there would be little need to ever go back in and update it. You can hire a professional to create your niche website for you, or you can do it yourself if you either know something about building websites or are willing to learn.
Once your niche site is set up, you can keep it and earn what you can from the ads and affiliate links, or you can sell it on a site like Flippa. To make the most money possible, you’ll probably want to have more than one niche website.
Here is an eBook on Amazon with some pretty good reviews that will teach you all about niche websites.
#10 – Design & Sell Physical Products
There are some sites like CafePress and Zazzle that allow you to create designs for T-shirts, mugs, calendars, etc. and then sell them over and over once your designs are made. This is different from running an eCommerce business out of your home because all you have to do is create the design. Once you’re done with that, the production and shipping items to customers is handled by CafePress, Zazzle, or whatever site you use to do this.
#11 – Rent Out Stuff You Already Own
When you think about renting out stuff you own, you might think of “house” by default. However, these days what you can rent out goes far beyond that. While you can certainly earn passive income renting out a house if you have an extra one you’re not using, you can also rent out your car, rent out your home when you’re not using it (or even just a room in your home), rent storage space inside your home, and even rent out parking space if you have some in a desirable location. You can also rent out our stuff (pretty much anything you own) when you’re not using it.
#13 – Create and Sell Artwork
If you’re artistic (whether it’s through graphic design or hand-drawn pieces), you can sell your artwork over and over online in digital form. I came across a site today called The Printable Marketplace that allows you to upload your artwork, set a price, and then earn 50 percent commission on sales. And yes, you can sell the license to your art over and over again, so you only have to do the work once.
#14 – Set Up a Membership Site
If you can think of something to build a site around where people would be willing to pay a fee to access it, that is continual passive income for you as people pay their subscription fees over and over. This is a little tricky because you have to have an incentive to get people to pay.
Here are a few examples I know of where this is (or was) working out:
- FlexJobs – This is a membership-based work at home/flexible job leads site. They charge $15 a month for membership, and they are able to get people to pay it because, unlike many other work at home sites, they can guarantee no scams will ever be listed there.
- Work Place Like Home – This is a work at home forum that’s free to access, but they do have a feature where people can pay $5 a month to have a signature that will link back to their website. This was worth it for me at one time, especially since I have a work at home blog. I was able to be active on that forum and have that signature that showed up every time I posted, directing people to my site. The $5 a month was well worth the traffic it drove, and it was for other people as well since I definitely wasn’t the only one paying. So in this example, the paid subscription was an option offered for an extra little perk, but not required.
- ProBlogger.com – I don’t think Darren Rowse is still running his fee-based members-only forum on ProBlogger.com, but he did for a long time. People would pay monthly for access to participate in the forum where other ProBlogger members along with Darren himself posted regularly. I paid for it for a couple of months and I remember one of the “perks” to paying for the membership were some pretty cool blog plug-ins that you could get for free as a member.
So it could be a bit tricky thinking of an incentive that would be worth getting people to pay for membership to a site you created, but it’s definitely something to consider.
#15 – Write Articles For Revenue-Sharing Sites
There are lots of websites out there that allow just about anyone to create content on any subject and publish it. After your articles are published, you can earn money from the ads and/or affiliate links that display, similar to how you would if you were publishing content on a blog or niche website like I mentioned above.
You may want to consider revenue-sharing sites as an option if you don’t know how to start a blog or a niche website and aren’t that interested in learning, but you do know how to write well enough and just want a place to post your content and earn from it.
Feeling Disappointed Because None of the Above Is “Easy”?
Unfortunately, none of it really is. But doing something that is worthwhile is rarely ever easy. The great thing about what I’ve listed above is that you do the hard work once and reap the benefits again and again.
And if you think you can’t do the things listed above because you don’t know how to write well, don’t understand graphic design, don’t know how to build a website, etc., then take the time to learn these things. Do you think I knew anything at all about creating a blog when I first started this one five years ago? No. But I took the time to learn, and I’m so glad now that I did even though the process of doing so was a huge pain in the rear!
These days we have YouTube, eBooks, fantastic online how-to articles, and eCourses to help us learn to do the things we don’t know how to do. If one of the options above appeals to you, but you just don’t know how to do it, don’t throw in the towel. Take the time to learn. There’s a chance you’ll thank yourself later on.
What Would You Suggest?
This is about all I have for now, but I’d love to read your suggestions for doing the work once and getting paid again and again. Good luck!