Have you ever thought of living from passive income? We don’t know anyone who hasn’t. No matter where you look, you will hear of this term somewhere on the Internet.
By popular definition, you create some business model and enjoy the profits for the rest of your life, not having to work ever again. Although that sounds amazing in theory, we haven’t met a single person who can relate to that exact description.
Think about it: If you had to build something that lasted for years, how much work do you think it would take? We spend decades on formal education with no job guarantees, yet we tend to believe millionaire businesses get built in two months.
Possible? Yes. Likely? Not without experience or preparation. Many get into this world with that idea in mind. Unfortunately, most quit because they do all this work while having the wrong expectations.
Let’s debunk those myths once and for all. How to generate passive income?
- The Passive Income Dream: Myths You Must Stop Believing
- #1 You expect passive income to be fast or easy
- #2 Thinking passive income lasts forever
- #3 Passive income is the way to get rich quick
- #4 You only need to get it right once
- #5 You can build a passive source of income by learning how to do it
- #6 You think success is guaranteed when you do everything right
- How To Always Make Passive Income
- 13 Passive Income Models To Change Your Lifestyle
- #1 Options and day trading
- #2 Drop servicing / Dropshipping / Retail arbitrage
- #3 Rental income
- #4 Marketing agencies
- #5 Service Businesses
- #6 Affiliate marketing
- #7 Virtual commerce
- #8 E-commerce
- #9 SaaS Business
- #10 Content Creator
- #11 Long-term investing
- #12 Platform perks and credit cards
- #13 Pay-for-doing-nothing Apps
- Don’t Start Yet! These 3 Traps Will Guarantee Failure
- How To Stay Passive?
- Wrapping Up
The Passive Income Dream: Myths You Must Stop Believing
If you try many methods and stick with it for long enough, you can make the passive income dream come true. The problem is, you haven’t done it yet, and you probably don’t know anyone in person who can teach you.
Although having deadlines sounds motivating, you simply can’t optimize something you never tried. Focus on making it work first, not how long it takes.
Sure, you can skip this part and go right to the strategies. But if you don’t address the overwhelming number of people who tried (and failed) before you, you fall for the survivorship bias. What the successful ones teach about passive income may not be enough to ensure your success.
What do we mean by that?
#1 You expect passive income to be fast or easy
We know most of you already know nothing comes easy. But even when you do, you may unconsciously expect things to happen easily. You just have to Google “passive income” to start finding stories on how to make thousands in X weeks. How not to think otherwise?
You can even double your money overnight, no matter the amount, as long as you consider a third factor: risk. Day traders who make “passive income” every day will likely have 10-100x more money on the line. Sometimes, you can’t prevent the loss.
Yes, you can get it fast and easy. But you can also lose it at this same pace. The problem appears with our second myth, which is:
#2 Thinking passive income lasts forever
It’s indeed possible to profit long term from these streams, sometimes decades. But when choosing high-risk models, it’s impossible to ensure enough consistency to make it last.
That’s why making easy money fast and forever doesn’t work. Ideally, you would start with high risk and then switch to slower models to ensure that consistency.
Even then, your stream is prone to become inefficient as markets change. Unless your business solves a direct problem, it will stop working the moment you stop improving it.
The problem is get-rich-quick (and easy) is, it’s not sustainable. If it took you no work to get it working, then it doesn’t take much for a competitor to create a better product and capture all the sales.
The only way to make it last forever is to aim to grow, not just maintain. And the more you work on it, the longer it will stay profitable.
#3 Passive income is the way to get rich quick
Allow us to contradict. Although your goal should never be to “maintain” your income level, passive income is still the most stable source out there. That’s why you see so many millionaires owning multiple income streams. They require low maintenance and time to keep running.
But staying rich is different from getting rich. If someone becomes a millionaire only with passive income, he or she probably spent years working on it before it made any money. You’re most likely to earn the big money when you actively grow the business.
Think about it: no matter what your passive model does, you could probably do that yourself and earn more if you worked harder. Passive doesn’t make much sense when only making a couple hundred here and there.
But how about escaping the 9-to-5, achieving freedom, and making money while you sleep? It’s not worth it unless you’re extremely patient or have lots of leverage.
No matter what project you choose, you will encounter problems and frustration. On average, it takes the same energy to produce X results as it takes to create 10X. If you have to put the same hours and work, would you go with a high-paying active stream or low passive income?
Passive may not work in the short term but pays better in the long-term. If you’re looking to escape work, we have bad news for you. The early years of passive income take more work than active streams. You may need to take it as a side hustle until it earns you something.
If you are planning for trading or investment instead, you could skip most of that hard work. The downside is, you can only win as much as you can lose, not having much control of the outcome.
#4 You only need to get it right once
If one stream were enough, you would stay in your job, not start a business.
Why do we believe it? Is it possible to retire from a single business? Yes, it happens all the time. But it may not be what you’re looking for.
You don’t hear of passive businesses lasting decades (unless someone puts active work on them). Let’s say the market changes, and you’re suddenly making half of what you should. Wouldn’t it be better to have other sources rather than relying on a single one? You can ignore this advice and still make money while you sleep, but you’d likely be stressing about your business every night.
Two high-risk models are more secure than a single income stream, even if it’s “risk-free.”
You will see how many millionaires still play a passive income game. Most keep their wealth on index funds and real estate.
Why not store it in a bank account? How you keep it matters as much as generating passive income. You don’t need bad spending habits to waste money. If your account isn’t growing, you’re already losing.
Lose your income stream, and you’re back where you started.
#5 You can build a passive source of income by learning how to do it
You can buy the best course on the topic. You can befriend the richest mentor. You can know the most and still be on ground zero.
After buying a few courses, we learned that tactics have no use without action. If you aren’t successful, you’re either doing the wrong thing, you don’t give it enough importance, or you didn’t do it right for long enough.
Passive income can be frustrating because it never feels like you’re making progress, which is counterintuitive. Because of the exponential pattern, you may spend months not crossing the $50/month mark, then suddenly 10x that next month.
Knowledge isn’t enough. It still takes skill to focus, research the market, and do the marketing. That’s why beginners may spend years on the learning stage while trained hustlers make passive income in a few months.
The reason people never get skilled is the frustration barrier. But if you want to overcome that and make real money, check this insightful talk.
Don’t start a business assuming it requires no skills.
#6 You think success is guaranteed when you do everything right
Remember college? Did they guarantee you a job when you got the degree?
Can you guarantee to lose X pounds by following a certain diet?
Do you know a company that can guarantee the number of sales, when, and how much they’ll make?
Life is probabilistic, and things may go wrong no matter how right you are. It’s not about doing it well, but doing it until it works.
Statistically, if you keep using the right strategy, you will win long term. But in the meantime, anything could go wrong. If it does, don’t say it doesn’t work. Assess whatever made you fail and try again. The more you try, the luckier you get.
How To Always Make Passive Income
If you want lasting wealth, you need something valuable in your control to stay profitable. By control, we mean the market or economy cannot influence its value. It may still swing but is always worth something.
Best of all, what we’re about to share will pay off forever, even if you lose your passive income stream.
#1 Skills and education
Although it’s cliché, the best investment you can make is in yourself. It takes discipline, yes, but it puts the control on you. No matter the economy, you have the skills and knowledge to generate income.
Because of it, most people are switching goals from financial freedom to financial confidence. Imagine if you could make all the money you ever need. Nobody can take that away from you.
Out of business? Start another one.
Lost money on trading? Improve your risk management skills and move on.
No skills? Turn on your laptop and learn some for free.
None of these are expensive. These only cost work and energy. Even if you aren’t successful yet, someone who never tried it may still pay you to learn that experience
Although one business may not be enough, you only need to learn how to win once.
When you are researching home based income opportunities, learn how to recognize work at home scams as well.
#2 Money leverage
If you have thousands of dollars, you’re much more likely to grow your account than if you started from zero. Yes, you can make money from nothing, but it’s a grind. Not very passive.
As soon as you have something, you should automate and delegate most tasks to make it truly passive. Once it’s working by itself, you can generally increase the profits by spending more on marketing.
The same applies to investments. When trading with small accounts, traders hope to hit it big with some 5-10% return in a day (which magnifies the risk too). When owning six figures, however, you may need less than 0.5% to make a profit and live comfortably.
#3 Products and knowledge (digital products)
Although e-commerce isn’t 100% passive, there’s great potential when selling to a large audience.
Let’s say you find a product many people need but not many sell. If you’ve proven that people want to buy it, you can sell your version of the product and make passive income. It’s not difficult to outsource manufacturing, logistics, and marketing.
For a few hours a week (unless you hire a virtual assistant), many sellers have grown six and seven-figure stores. Ideally, you want to create a brand with most products related to each other so that you can create a customer base.
If you like e-commerce but don’t want to deal with the inventory, don’t forget about digital products. You could use the same market research principles to find what people like to buy. Some people promote courses, others write books, and others even sell their music.
Once you have a product with demand, you want it to reach as many people as possible.
#4 Social capital
What would be money without people? If you have millions but can’t exchange money with anybody, it has no value.
Networking suggests people will respect your ideas after you earn their trust. The best of having a big following is, there’s always going to be someone who agrees with you, especially when qualifying your audience.
Almost nobody questions the value of communities, but few people have the persistence to grow them enough. If you have never tried to build a channel, expect it to take years before turning followers into dollars.
Ironically, some influences have millions of people but aren’t very good at monetization. Then, how much is enough? It depends on your niche and what you sell.
Now, the size of your community will depend on your market volume. The more people are interested, the better. Next, you want to niche down, because specialization makes it easier to stand out and offer value.
Why do you think companies invest so heavily in lead generation, client acquisition, and content? It takes work to create relationships, but once you have them, your business is almost unstoppable.
Imagine having a new product to sell and ten thousand followers. You make a thirty-second sales video on your smartphone, no preparation, and hours later, you’re already getting sales: social capital.
Before you complain that it will take forever, let us show you a few alternatives to earning followers:
- Borrow them: Find influencers who can relate to your brand and ask them to promote you. Most work for commissions, which means you pay nothing until you get results.
- Buy them: Place ads on Google, Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook. If your business works, advertising is the key to 10X your revenue.
- Recycle them: One active follower matters more than an inactive subscriber. If you create regular content or have an email newsletter, you can sell multiple products to the same list and get more than one sale per client.
We don’t recommend it, but you could stop working on your following and still benefit from it. Even then, you would not lose your community. There are even some dead channels with no new content for years that still get thousands of followers a month because they posted “evergreen content” in the past.
Suddenly, the printing money concept no longer sounds mystical. You have a practical plan on what you need and how to get it.
13 Passive Income Models To Change Your Lifestyle
We don’t believe there is a perfect passive income model everyone should follow. Depending on your situation and personality, you may choose one or another.
That’s why we’ve added enough options to have enough choice. At the same time, we neither want to show fifty business plans because it would probably lead to “analysis paralysis.”
Since we don’t want to waste your time, we’ve started ranking the fastest ways to make money online. We’ll also include the amount of money required and the level of risk.
#1 Options and day trading
What could you expect from the fastest income stream? High rewards involve high risks, and trading may be the solution if you consider yourself smart financially.
Now, trading has the popular perception of resembling gambling, which could be because of the many factors and unpredictability. The best traders will agree with you: one can make all predictions right and still get it wrong. The market behaves the way it does, regardless of patterns or expectations.
Anybody can get it right. What matters is what you do when you get it wrong. How good are you managing risk and understanding your thinking? How do overcome the brain’s flaws for rational thinking, such as hindsight, FOMO, or sunk cost fallacy?
Even with a small account, trading skills can earn you high ROI, depending on your risk tolerance. Options trading allows you to agree on a trading price, so you can later buy or sell at a difference.
Whatever prediction strategy you’re using, your priorities should be learning:
- How not to lose and survive in the market
- How to stay profitable
- How to achieve your objective profits for the day
Why is it passive? Because it relies on skills, knowledge, and leverage. It takes almost no work to make a decent income. You could technically make money overnight by setting trading bots, for example.
Trading provides fast passive income, and the money you make is variable, proportional to the risk you accept.
How to start right now? Open a trading account in any platform (Forex, Binance, TD Ameritrade), connect your bank account, and buy some stocks.
#2 Drop servicing / Dropshipping / Retail arbitrage
Why do these business models make the second place of our list? Because you get paid as soon as you get a client to buy. You can take advantage of entire e-com structures without worrying about inventory, logistics, or product quality.
The concept is simple. The business already makes money because people want their products. But when comparing one market to another, there’s usually some inefficiencies. Because of it, you can buy for less and sell for, at least, the average price.
You basically sell on the seller’s behalf, except that you work for yourself, not as an affiliate. You find a high-volume product and advertise it as if it was yours.
Whenever a client pays you for the product, you buy it from the cheap seller. The seller never meets the actual client, and the client never meets this seller.
You may wonder: why aren’t customers doing that? Who knows. Maybe they don’t trust other platforms. Or it may not be profitable unless you buy in bulk.
Drop servicing works in a similar fashion. High-quality workers aren’t always the most popular. If you’re just starting on freelancing, you may want to work for cheap to get some reviews, for example.
You’d need to find those people in sites like Fiverr, then sell it somewhere else at average, if not higher prices.
- A client orders from you.
- You pay the freelancer for the work.
- You deliver the work to your client.
Again, clients may not trust freelancers with no reviews, or the good ones may be too expensive for them.
All the work you had to put in is research and create a listing. That’s it.
Dropshipping variations generate income fast at minimum risk (refunds), but the amount you make depends on the products you find and their demand. Since it’s so easy to do it, it’s hard to find good margins with so much competition.
How to start right now? Visit any discount/coupon website or Chinese retailer to find products, and create a listing on eBay or Amazon. For drop servicing, you can try searching for voice actors on Fiverr to sell audiobooks in Amazon ACX Narrators.
#3 Rental income
Few things are more passive than lending. Someone may want the resources you don’t need, whether it’s a property, a car you don’t use, or money (it’s just sitting in the account).
- Too much space? Rent a room or other properties you don’t use.
- Want to grow your savings account without investing? Lend someone else.
People who need these resources will pay you an extra for the time they spend using them (interest). But it’s not as simple as having something to lend. You still need to:
- Make sure you own property renters are interested in.
- Manage the property and do the necessary renovation.
- Find a responsible client to trust.
Once you find enough borrowers, the other tasks are easier to delegate. The only work you’ll be doing is collecting payments and managing renovations (rarely). And because you own a physical asset, rental properties are less likely to get affected by economic downturns.
And that’s why so many get into real estate: “stable” passive income.
Rental properties may require more capital but can generate lots of cash flow at low risk every month. How fast you start making profits depends on the work you put upfront on promoting the property and qualifying renters.
How to start rentals now? You don’t need to be a millionaire to do it. You can rent a room you don’t use in your house on Airbnb, or rent the whole place when you’re on vacation.
Could you find a nice rental in your area for less money? Some people have started Airbnb businesses brokering dozens of properties.
#4 Marketing agencies
Today, entrepreneurs feel divided into two types of people. You find those who believe marketing to be the holy grail of business, while others believe it’s all about the product. Do you think someone would buy a worthless product just because they’ve seen it on every ad?
The idea behind it is, when something is good enough, people will promote it themselves (free marketing). Most people would wish to be in this situation.
But that applies for established businesses with a minimum audience. You still need someone to know you before they can recommend you to others.
You can have the most differentiated product and sell it for free. Nobody will buy if they don’t know it exists.
So what, spend more time on marketing? Then, the team wouldn’t be as focused on the product, and quality would decrease.
That’s where marketing agents come into play.
What’s best about agencies is the control you have. Almost every problem solves with direct action. Not enough clients? Work harder on lead and customer acquisition.
But why marketing? Because if you can get clients to pay for your service, you can also do that for your client. It validates itself, ironically.
The next big thing about marketing agencies: you get paid for results, not work. You’re technically working on calling clients, ranking pages, and copywriting. But clients pay you based on the revenue you produce them.
Work with bigger clients, and it won’t be hard to cross six-figures. And because you’re creating an agency, you can teach what you know to other people, so they work for you. Sometimes, you can simply hire a group of freelancers.
Most companies will outsource UX design, content creation, coding, video marketing, funnel building, and SEO.
Agencies can generate passive income fast at no risk. The time it will take you to profit will depend on customer acquisition and assembling the right team.
How to do it? Start your career as a freelancer with a high-income skill. Once you’re getting so many clients you don’t have enough time, you either increase your rates or recruit your first members.
#5 Service Businesses
Not to be confused with outsourcing companies, service businesses have clients paying them to solve a problem. Although what they do is similar to an agency, they focus on the brand more than the product itself.
- They create ad campaigns, opt-in pages, and content to raise brand awareness.
- They do funnels, copywriting, and video sales letters to get clients.
- They may offer a subscription plan and enroll people after talking to them on the phone.
Marketing agencies take less time because there’s no product to sell other than the client’s offer. But here, your service is your product. It takes time to build a team and a customer base, but once it’s running, most tasks become automatic.
Whenever you hear the word “business,” this is the model people popularly think about. It requires time, money, and has some risk (market need and competition), but later can grow over seven-figures.
How to start a service business? Choose a niche you know well, preferably with high demand. Talk to other people in this circle and learn what they like and not like about the sector. Find a big common problem, then find the minority of people who have already solved it. Learn from them, base your business on that solution, and show it to clients.
#6 Affiliate marketing
Whenever you hear of passive income, you’ll find this term. Most business channels you follow may have talked of how affiliate marketing is so profitable and simple. That is also one reason why there are so many scams in the affiliate marketing industry.
All you do is find a product people already like and promote it to others. Whenever the business makes a sale because of your referral, you get paid. You don’t need a product or business, only focus on selling.
But as you can see, we ranked it as slower than starting a business. How is that possible?
Technically, you make passive income as soon as someone buys. Ask the millions of affiliates, and see what they think of sharing offers. Aside from the profitable few, most people never make any money.
But if you ask the successful, they say it’s not worth it because of the effort. If promoting someone’s product takes the same effort than selling your own, why would you do affiliate marketing and reduce your profit margins?
In order to make a decent amount, you either require a system or social network. Ask influencers how long it took them to gather thousands of followers (probably longer than starting a business).
But if that’s you, affiliate marketing could be an efficient way to make four to five figures a month.
Despite how attractive it sounds, this model takes a lot of time to work (unless you have an audience), and the income is less than an idea. As for the risk, you can expect sales to decrease as more affiliates join doing the same thing.
If you’re already living off of affiliate marketing, keep doing whatever works better for you.
#7 Virtual commerce
What we love about digital products is that, like the physical ones, you can make money from selling the same successful product millions of times. If you sell virtual goods, guess what your production cost is: zero dollars, only time.
It would be surprising if you were in 2020 without ever hearing of online courses, podcasts, ebooks, or programs. Subscription-based businesses are just as scalable.
If you have a social community, you may love this passive idea. If you sell services on a particular niche, you could sell access to a private group as well.
Most info-product marketers do it. They sell you a course plus access to a Facebook group where members share exclusive information. Because what better way to get results than receiving support and help from likeminded people? As a bonus, whenever people interact, they’re creating free content for you that anyone can learn from.
If you don’t have much time to teach people, you can partner with an expert to do the content, and you do the marketing. You’d be surprised to know how many times entrepreneurs do it.
Although you can choose any niche, people mostly care about health, relationships, and money. Most of them sell for less than $100 except for the make-money-online courses (these can charge over $2000 because people pay for results).
You want to sell high-ticket, but the business niche is saturated. Instead, pick a microniche to teach business to a narrowed group of people: A course for Italian restaurant owners on how to create their online presence, or a funnel-building service for oral surgeons. You get the idea.
If you’re skilled, virtual commerce can make you decent passive income as soon as this month (risk-free). The more you promote, the sooner it will happen.
Let us know if you know anything about e-commerce and what made you choose this model. Here’s the short story:
You choose a product, outsource it from somewhere else, and sell it in your marketplace for more.
If you start from zero, you may need a business structure: lead generation systems, advertising, customer bases, logistics, a website, and email sequences. Most programs already get all this done for you: Shopify, AliExpress, ClickFunnels, or Amazon FBA.
- Find a product
- Buy and ship inventory
- Create your listing
- Launch your product
If you’re looking to make six figures a month by following Tim Ferris’ 4h workweek, this may be the right model for you. The only caveat here is, you have to get product research perfect from the beginning, or all your work is for nothing.
You see, the no.1 reason businesses fail is because of a lack of market need and demand. The second reason is the lack of funding (people underestimating how much it costs).
The good news is, it’s all skill-based. If you have other successful businesses and get into e-commerce, you can expect success as well. If you know about copywriting, market analysis, negotiation, and product creation, your chances to sell well skyrocket.
Even then, there’s no guarantee the next product will be a home run. But it will take far less work. And for every winner, you can make at least five figures a month (on page one) for years. Imagine if you ranked dozens of products.
Once you’re selling, you can max out your revenue by scaling with advertising. Up to a limit, you will be getting two dollars back (or more) for every ad dollar spent, especially when building a brand.
E-com sellers make high revenue, but the time and risk it takes retracts people as well. Expect over four months of work (and the first product may still fail), and you’ll have set the right expectations to thrive.
#9 SaaS Business
Can you remember how hard it was to start a business back then compared to 2020? A decade later, Most tasks you spend months doing today may get done within minutes because of technology.
It’s the reason you can make money while you sleep, sell to millions of faceless customers online worldwide, and why it costs so little to start today.
Is it surprising that most Forbes super rich are tech entrepreneurs? Not really.
You could argue this doesn’t sound very passive. But when selling software, you can hire people, automate your funnels, or exit the company if you want to. A truly innovative organization can scale to billions of dollars, millions at least.
Despite the long term potential, we don’t recommend starting SaaS due to the investment required. You should own another passive income stream to support this company, as it may take a few years to develop the product and sell it to client companies.
Examples of SaaS are Slack, ConvertKit, SalesForce, Zoom, Adobe, HubSpot, Google, Microsoft, Glassdoor, Shopify, or Stripe.
Software as a service involves medium risk, requiring a great investment of time and money. It can become a passive stream, and the income potential is unlimited.
Research the market. Is there something many people would wish to have but doesn’t exist yet? Do you enjoy a program, but people wish it was better? That’s a market demand opportunity.
Once you know the idea, you can either develop it yourself or hire someone with more knowledge.
#10 Content Creator
Content may be king, but many people wish it didn’t take so long to work. Unlike sales videos and copywriting, you don’t know how much content you need to get people’s attention. How much is enough?
More is always better. Whether you post on social media, rank pages on SEO, or upload on Youtube, you are earning a valuable long-term currency: social capital.
If you get $1000, you spend $1000. If you get 1000 followers, you can sell them over and over again. Your best followers happen to be your top customers, who buy the most, enjoy the product more, and stay for longer.
Few companies understand the time it takes to rank on the first page or build relationships in your community. But once you have it, not only can you sell your ideas with ease, but others may hire you to sell products to your audience (influencer marketing).
Content creation follows simple truths:
- A client will not buy if they don’t know you.
- If people can’t find you on search engines, your awesome product doesn’t exist for them.
- The more you educate your customers, the more they trust you.
It doesn’t matter if only a few people buy. You can launch a new product and try again. And because they trust and value your content, they may share it with someone who may want it.
It’s not expensive to create content. Although it takes longer than building a business, it becomes easier to grow your community once it’s big.
Aside from complementing your products, some services pay you exclusively for content (Youtube, Google Adsense).
Choose a niche you enjoy spending time and interacting with people in online groups. Just answering or reading their questions will show you what they are interested in learning.
#11 Long-term investing
You may have heard of investing as the ultimate goal for financial independence. Once you’ve stopped working for others and take control of your finances, you want to make your money work for you.
You support others on projects you believe in and get ROI because of their work.
We’re sure you made the math in your head at least once. How rich would you be if you invested in the early days of Apple, Amazon, Netflix, or even Bitcoin? You could probably live off of it by now.
Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect you to predict these events, let alone betting large sums on new projects. Today, anything can happen in the stock market. Tomorrow, the perspective is almost always positive.
If you go long term, not only you’re taking the most passive approach, but you’re getting the highest chances of winning.
From those who invest in the markets, here are the ones who make the most money by order:
- Those who time the market and win
- Those who hold for the long term
- Those who try timing it but lose
- Those who never join the market
Make sure you’re not in the last group. If you aim to maintain your current savings, playing it safe proves useless. Investing is a requirement not to make money, but not to lose what you already have.
Buy and hold may take a long time before you see the benefits, but the revenue has no limits. Because the markets favor investors long term, you can almost get free money for minimum risk.
How to start investing? Open any trading account and deposit some money. Find multiple sources of research, and make your own criteria of which stocks you should buy. The hardest part, of course, is to wait, letting it alone regardless of what the economy does.
#12 Platform perks and credit cards
From this point, we don’t expect anybody to become a millionaire with the ideas we’re about to mention. But since we’re introducing strictly passive models, you should still know these exist.
These “tricks” may make you free money for low risk, but they can take months or years to achieve. They neither take much maintenance work, so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get those extra bucks.
If you want passive income, you may as well want passive savings. Believe it or not, some companies will pay you for using their services, most of which you already use every day.
- Make sure you’re using a payment method that gives you cashback whenever you buy.
- Try switching to a new platform and benefit from welcome rewards.
For example, some credit cards qualify you for discounts, actual cash, or free subscriptions (Netflix, Amazon Prime), even flight tickets and hotel stays.
Imagine if you could somehow manage dozens of credit cards, take all these perks, and then cancel the lines you don’t need. We call it credit churning, and although it can jeopardize your credit score, if you’re responsible, it may add extra thousands of dollars a year.
If you’d like to know more, check our guide to start credit card churning. There, we show you three ways to take advantage of credit cards, from most to least risky (and rewarding).
#13 Pay-for-doing-nothing Apps
Why would something give you something for nothing? In reality, you are giving something already. Nobody pays you, or nobody told you you should.
We don’t know about you, but it’s a no-brainer to get cash for tasks we do anyway, no matter the amount.
Make money online? Yes.
Get rich quick? No.
Passive income? Yes.
Here’s what you may be paying:
- An app may want to use the power of your device to contribute their own network. You’ll see this happening a lot in blockchain initiatives.
- The platform may want to save your data to advertisers. Nobody likes to be sold, except when you get promotions for things you actually want to buy. By allowing data tracking, companies learn to target the right buyers and stop promoting to uninterested people.
Before we start, let’s set the right expectations. Most of these apps earn you a few hundred per year if you’re active daily. But once you stack a bunch of these apps, it can become a decent source of extra cash.
What’s best about the following examples is that they barely consume battery. They work behind the scenes while you use your phone for everyday tasks.
- Get paid to run ads on your phone.
Don’t worry about ads. They’re not going to spam you. You’ll only have advertisements when you choose to turn them on.
We’re not giving any particular app. Given the dozens of options you will find out there, we recommend you review a few and choose your favorite.
You open the app and find a button to start running ads. Some applications don’t even show the ads. As long as you keep it open and running, you’re getting paid.
A variation for ads is getting paid for listening to music: Current. Press the play button (mute it if you want to), and your phone will generate up to a passive $600 per year. You also get rewards from playing games, installing apps, and cashback.
Months later, you can transfer the amount to a bank or PayPal account.
- Get paid for receiving SMSs
Like ad applications, you can make money by receiving free mobile messages every day. Find the SMS app you like, choose how many daily SMSs you want, and mute them to avoid distractions. Passive income, set-and-forget.
- Get paid for mining crypto
Miners earn rewards by solving the algorithm that verifies a blockchain transaction. The problem with Bitcoin is, algorithms exponentially become more complex as more people join the network. By contrast, anybody could mine BTC from the phone in 2011 (now you need an ASIC facility).
The question is, which coin will become the next Bitcoin? A few millions of people believe in Pi Network. Learn more about the platform here.
All you do is open an account and login once a day. Press the mine button, and your phone will mine Pi tokens for 24 hours (about 0.2 per hour). You can increase it by referring people, but it will reduce over time as more people join.n
Despite having 8 million followers, Pi is still in its early stage with no market valuation. But if you look at your chances, you have nothing to lose and a lot to win.
- Get paid to walk
What better motivation to exercise than passive income? Sweatcoin will pay you whenever you walk without location tracking.
After you set it up, you can forget about it. But if you login every day, you can get extra points from ad videos and a 2x booster for 20 minutes.
We’ll do the math for you:
- For every ten steps you make, Sweatcoin will record around 8.
- The app measures your progress in Sweatcoins, being 1100 steps each.
- Aside from rewards, the only way to cash out is a $1000 PayPal transfer, which costs 20,000 Sweatcoins.
- 20 Sweatcoins make a dollar.
- You can earn up to 1500 coins per month ($75). That’s 50 per day or 55000 daily steps (excluding the 2x boost and rewards of 1-25 coins per day).
At best, it takes 1-2 years to accumulate the amount. But if you give up later, you can sell them to others at a discount.
Don’t Start Yet! These 3 Traps Will Guarantee Failure
After everything we shared, you may feel excited about so many options. Or on the contrary, you believe none of these methods will work for you.
What if the problem wasn’t the tactic, but how you apply what you learn? Whenever you research a possible income stream, beware of any dubious promises and get rich quick scams that promise you the world.
Watch out for these common mistakes:
#1 Trying as many strategies as possible
You’re going to work unnecessarily hard and get nothing because you can’t focus on any project. The fallacy here is, if you try all of them, at least a few will work. Or if you only earn a few hundred from each, you can stack them and make thousands.
Up to number 11, each of these can make you rich without side hustles. But unless you spend 95% of your time focused on a single one, you won’t be even getting one-tenth of the results.
It takes more work to build a passive income stream than to work on a job. What makes a good idea to start five businesses?
#2 Rushing for success
When you worry about getting things done asap, it tells us you’re too focused on the tactic, not the skill set. Building a business isn’t the same as making it profitable. If you follow all the steps but overlook market demand research, it won’t work.
Take your time so that you don’t waste it on mistakes.
#3 Going passive too early
How can that be a mistake? Why not make it work fast?
You do want to complete your business processes, but don’t get the money out yet. You’re now making passive income, but it may not be consistent. To really make money while you sleep, you reinvest these profits until the machine is so powerful that nothing can stop it.
Why make $1k when you can make $10k? If it works, you should spend more on marketing and grow the traffic volume.
This patience exercise makes the difference between five and six figures of passive income.
How To Stay Passive?
Many of us dream of creating this set-and-forget business and retire early. But unless you reinvent, good things will stop eventually.
Depending on your resources, your strategy will change, which is why we added so many.
Imagine you get this passive income lifestyle. How do you keep it (don’t say saving money!)?
Adapt your strategy.
If you start small, it makes sense to choose high-risk models because you have nothing to lose. Once you have enough money, talent, or social capital, you no longer need such risks.
If you value consistency over growth, we recommend you the models that take the longest to develop: investing, real estate, maybe SaaS and service businesses.
But as a beginner, you will make much more by investing in skills and education, not buying a property.
It’s common knowledge you need automation for passive income. But unless you’re already successful, it will only make the company more complex.
Before “retiring,” spend time on your business to make everything perfect. Learn about everything that can go wrong, and plan for it when outsourcing and automating.
However, you should never delegate crucial decisions, such as market research, product creation, or brand identity.
Money is useless until it’s used. Although you shouldn’t spend mindlessly, you shouldn’t have more money than what you need, except for savings and emergency funds.
Reinvesting will ensure your wealth is, at least, conserved.
We hope this introduction inspired you to search for financial freedom. If you want to expand and learn from the best, these sites will be beneficial: