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10 Ideas for Passive Income: How to Make Money While You Sleep

Updated: Nov 17, 2023


Make money while you sleep!
Make money while you sleep!

Introduction: Make Money While you Sleep

In 2020 everyone was in a panic over the pandemic, present company included! While our jobs seemed relatively safe, the world seemed so much more uncertain. It was at that time my wife and I decided to try and make money while we sleep. This would help us become more financially secure should something CRAZY happen again. This began our quest to make more passive income.

What is Passive Income

Passive income is a type of income that requires minimal ongoing effort to maintain and generate. While there is often an upfront investment of time and money, passive income streams can provide a consistent source of income without the need for ongoing work. If you're looking for ways to make money while you sleep, here are some ideas ideas for passive income.

Ideas for passive income

These ideas for passive income to make money while you sleep are only the beginning and can all become income streams for you. If you are looking for a largeer list of side hustles and are willing to put in the extra work, check out our side hustle guide. We even created a side hustle launch guide to help you get off to a great start. AND we found the 4 EASIEST side hustles.

Advice from gurus will tell you that you should focus all your attention, become an expert, and then expand from there. I'm not an expert, but I believe that advice is sound. So keep that in mind as you work through the list below.

I like to pair some of these ideas together. For example, you can build a blog, like the one you are reading, and take any earnings and invest them in dividend stocks. That is actually something I do now. Now I have money working for me through two of the income passive sources below!

Dividend Calendar
Dividend Calendar

Invest in Dividend Stocks

One of the classic approaches to passive income is investing in dividend stocks. This strategy involves purchasing shares in companies that pay out a portion of their profits to shareholders. The beauty of this method lies in its simplicity and the potential for regular income.

What are Dividend Stocks?

Dividend stocks represent shares of companies that regularly distribute a portion of their earnings to shareholders. These payments, known as dividends, are typically made quarterly.

Why Dividend Stocks?

  1. Steady Income Stream: They provide a consistent source of income.

  2. Potential for Growth: Besides dividends, you can benefit from the appreciation of stock value over time.

  3. Compounding Effect: Reinvesting dividends can lead to exponential growth.

How to Get Started

  1. Research: Look for companies with a strong track record of dividend payments. My guide on choosing the right dividend stocks can help you start.

  2. Brokerage Account: Open an account with a reputable broker like E*TRADE or Robinhood.

  3. Invest Strategically: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your portfolio to manage risk.

My Experience with Dividend Stocks

When I first delved into dividend stocks, I was cautious. I started with well-known companies like Apple and Johnson & Johnson. Over time, as I saw regular dividend payouts and stock value appreciation. It still isn't enough to retire on, but my portfolio is growing steadily. You can get started by checking out "Investing in Dividend Stocks: A Beginner's Guide"

The Bottom Line

Dividend stocks can be a fantastic way to build a passive income stream. With some initial research and strategic investment, you can enjoy regular dividend payouts, which you can reinvest or use as a supplementary income.

Online Courses Make Money While You Sleep
Online Courses Make Money While You Sleep

Create an Online Course

Share your expertise and knowledge with the world by creating an online course. This passive income stream allows you to teach and sell your skills to a global audience.

The Benefits of Online Courses

  • Scalability: Reach a wide audience without the constraints of physical classrooms.

  • Flexibility: Create content on your schedule and update it as needed.

  • Long-term Earnings: Once created, your course can generate income repeatedly with minimal updates.

Getting Started

  1. Choose a Topic: Identify your area of expertise. Need help finding your niche? Check out Finding Your Niche.

  2. Select a Platform: Platforms like Udemy or Teachable simplify course creation and distribution. For an in-depth comparison, see Best Platforms for Online Courses.

  3. Marketing Your Course: Promote your course through social media, email marketing, and your website. Learn effective marketing strategies in Marketing Your Online Course.

For Rent Sign
For Rent Sign

Rent Out Your Property

Renting out your property can be a lucrative way to earn passive income. Whether it's a spare room, an entire house, or a vacation home, this strategy can provide a steady income stream. My wife and I tried this out in late 2022 and had some success. It was fairly easy to find a tenant and they worked out well. It also generated money while we didn't really have to do much, a pretty great situation if you ask me.

Benefits of Renting Out Property

  • Additional Income: Utilize unused spaces to generate income.

  • Flexibility: You decide when and how to rent out your property.

  • Connect with People: Hosting offers the opportunity to meet individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Getting Started

  1. Prepare Your Space: Ensure your property is clean, safe, and welcoming. Think about the comforts and amenities that would appeal to potential renters.

  2. List Your Property: Platforms like Airbnb make it easy to list your space. Describe your property accurately and upload high-quality photos to attract renters.

  3. Manage Bookings: Good property management involves being responsive to guest inquiries, ensuring smooth check-ins, and maintaining the quality of your space.

Investopedia Index Funds
Investopedia Index Funds

Invest in Index Funds

Index funds are a popular passive investment option, offering exposure to a broad segment of the market with lower risk compared to individual stocks.

Understanding Index Funds

Index funds are a type of mutual fund or ETF (exchange-traded fund) that tracks a specific market index, like the S&P 500. They offer a diversified investment portfolio, as they hold stocks of all the companies in the index they track.

Advantages of Index Funds

  • Diversification: Spread your risk across many stocks, reducing the impact of any single stock’s performance.

  • Lower Costs: Typically, index funds have lower fees than actively managed funds.

  • Simplicity: They are a set-and-forget type of investment, ideal for those who prefer a hands-off approach.

Starting with Index Funds

  1. Choose Your Fund: Decide which market index you want to track. Consider factors like your investment goals and risk tolerance.

  2. Open an Investment Account: You'll need a brokerage account to buy index funds. Look for platforms offering a wide range of funds with low fees.

  3. Regular Investments: Consider making regular contributions to your index fund to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.

Create a Digital Product
Create a Digital Product

Develop and Sell Digital Products

Creating and selling digital products is a fantastic way to generate passive income. This could include e-books, software, templates, or online tools.

Why Digital Products?

  • Scalability: Reach a global market with digital distribution.

  • Low Overhead Costs: Once created, there are minimal costs to sell digital products.

  • Creative Freedom: You have complete control over the content and design.

How to Get Started

  1. Identify Your Product: Choose a product that aligns with your skills and interests. Whether it’s an e-book on financial tips or a set of graphic design templates, ensure it offers value to your audience.

  2. Create Your Product: Invest time in developing a high-quality product. This stage is crucial for setting your offer apart from the competition.

  3. Set Up Your Sales Platform: Use platforms like Shopify or Etsy to sell your products, or sell directly from your own website for more control.

Define Affiliate Marketing
Define Affiliate Marketing

Leverage Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people's products and earning a commission for sales made through your referral.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

  • No Need for Product Development: You promote existing products.

  • Flexibility: Choose products that align with your audience and brand.

  • Potential for High Earnings: Successful affiliate marketing can lead to substantial income.

Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing

  1. Choose the Right Products: Select products that resonate with your audience and align with your content.

  2. Promote Effectively: Use your blog, social media channels, or email newsletters to promote affiliate products.

  3. Build Trust with Your Audience: Provide honest reviews and valuable content to build credibility and trust.

YouTube Channels Are Great
YouTube Channels Are Great

Start a Blog or YouTube Channel

Building a blog or starting a YouTube channel allows you to share your passion, connect with an audience, and monetize your content. If you are all about being in front of a camera, or have a great idea for a faceless YouTube channel, this can be a really lucrative route.

Why Blogging or YouTube?

  • Creative Outlet: Express your ideas and share your knowledge.

  • Build an Audience: Connect with people worldwide who share your interests.

  • Diverse Revenue Streams: Earn through ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and more.

How to Begin

  1. Choose Your Niche: Find a topic you're passionate about and that has an audience.

  2. Create Quality Content: Consistently produce engaging and valuable content for your readers or viewers.

  3. Monetize Your Platform: As your audience grows, explore monetization options like Google AdSense, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

Buy or Invest in a Business
Buy or Invest in a Business

Passive Investment in a Business or Franchise

Investing in a business or franchise offers a chance to earn income passively while benefiting from the success of an established brand or business model.

I've never tried this, but I'd really like to. I saw a YouTube video where someone suggested investing in, or buying your P&L (profit and loss). What that means is, if you own a home, you pay plumbers/electricians/lawn services/etc. to run your home. Why not invest in a locally owned business that provides that service. Similar to Warren Buffet buying Coca Cola stock because he drinks a lot of Coca Cola. Own what you use.

Why Invest in a Business or Franchise?

  • Potential for High Returns: Profit from the business's success.

  • Leverage Expertise: Utilize the expertise and systems of an established brand.

  • Diversification: Add a new income stream to your portfolio.

Steps to Get Started

  1. Research Opportunities: Look for businesses or franchises that align with your interests and investment goals.

  2. Evaluate Profitability: Assess the financial health and potential returns of the business.

  3. Invest Wisely: Start with a manageable investment and consider partnering with experienced investors if you're new to this area.


Utilize Robo-Advisors for Investment

Robo-advisors provide a simple and automated way to manage your investments using advanced algorithms.

Benefits of Using Robo-Advisors

  • Low Fees: Generally lower fees than traditional investment advisors.

  • Automated Diversification: They automatically balance and diversify your portfolio.

  • Ease of Use: Ideal for beginners and those preferring a hands-off approach.

Getting Started with Robo-Advisors

  1. Select a Robo-Advisor: Choose one that fits your investment goals and risk tolerance.

  2. Set Your Investment Goals: Define your financial goals and investment timeline.

  3. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your investment performance and adjust your contributions as needed.

Explore Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending involves lending money to individuals or businesses through online platforms, earning interest as they repay their loans.

Why Consider P2P Lending?

  • Higher Interest Rates: Potentially higher returns compared to traditional savings accounts.

  • Diversification: Adds a different asset class to your investment portfolio.

  • Supporting Others: Help individuals or small businesses that may not have access to traditional banking.

Steps to Begin

  1. Choose a Platform: Research and select a reputable P2P lending platform.

  2. Understand the Risks: Familiarize yourself with the risks involved, including the potential for borrower default.

  3. Start Lending: Begin with a small amount and diversify your loans to mitigate risk.


There you have it, ways to make passive income while you sleep. Whether you're looking to build wealth or just earn some extra cash, these strategies can help you achieve your financial goals. Don't wait, start building your passive income streams today!

There are SO many ways to make passive income! Don't limit yourself to the list above. Be creative and leverage the skills you have to try and increase the amount of money you can make every day/week/month/year. The more you make, the more you can save, and the more you save, the sooner to you can think about things like travel and retirement!

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