29 Passive Income Ideas That Actually Work (2023)
29 Passive Income Ideas for 2023
When I was first getting started with passive income back in 2008 I had zero idea where to start. There we’re so many websites and YouTube channels it made it really confusing trying to pick the right passive income source to get started with.
Like most people, I googled “how to make money online” or “passive income ideas”. And I found thousands of videos, blog sites and shady business ideas that really confused me.
Here’s the good news, right now in 2022/2023 the internet is still the absolute best way to generate passive income while you sleep! What you’ll find below are my hand selected passive income ideas 2022.
If you’re looking for a detailed and up to date list of real business ideas that actually work in 2022 and 2023 (many of which I use today), you’re in the right place. The ideas below are simple and easy to get started with.
The other good news is, many of the passive income ideas below require little to no start money to get started – which makes them perfect if this is your first time around.
So let’s hop into it!
Right now in 2022/2023, there are still a TON of ways to make reliable consistent passive income month after month. If you’re just getting started, our pick is Print on Demand or Amazon KDP. Both have very low barriers to entry and provide excellent profit margins. Click the links in the drop down box above to skip down to the passive income method that catches your attention!
What is passive income?
Passive income refers to regular earnings from sources other than employment or contracting.
Passive income may be derived through multiple sources, from real estate or the share market, but for this particular blog post we will be focusing mainly on internet based passive income streams.
Passive income is not…
A job. Generally speaking, creating passive income is not income that comes from something things such as the wages you earn from a job. In fact, passive income is basically the opposite of working job, and that’s why I recommend building a building that is entirely free of your time.
What It Takes To Earn Passive Income
Okay, lets get real for a second.
What does it actually take to make passive income?
In my 10 years experience, I think the key to making this whole thing work is sticking to ONE method until you start making your first $1000-$5000 a month. Once you’re at that stage, you have the ability to begin outsourcing and getting freelancers and contractors to help you speed up the whole process. Focus on one idea and work at it until it’s working for you.
Should you start a Dropshipping store in 2022?
Dropshipping stores continue to be viable passive income stream in 2022, and they’re usually created by selling online through an eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. One of the biggest selling points for dropshipping is that you don’t have to see or physically manage the products you sell. Which again, makes it a very good strategy to get started with – however I didn’t include it in the list because I personally feel that print on demand is a better option for most people.
Passive Income Jobs From Home?
Whilst this post is not focused on creating passive income through a job, the skills you’ll learn about digital marketing, SEO, copywriting & graphic design will often allow you to work for digital agencies who allow you to work from home. (I still do this at the time of writing). Digital marketing skills are highly sort after and often pay upwards of 6 figures per year, so it’s a win win no matter how you look at it.
What About Crypto Passive Income Opportunities – do they work?
Personally, I haven’t spend a ton of time looking into crypto, however I do have several friends who big into the market and do very well from it.
What’s interesting is they don’t make their money from buying, selling and trading… but rather they make their passive income from high yield farming. Here’s a great article that I’m sure you’ll find really helpful.
What’s the fastest method to start making passive income?
Personally, I think the fastest strategy to start making passive income to stick to something you know you’ll get some enjoyment from. For example, if you like the idea of selling clothing – start with Print on Demand. Or, if you know you enjoy teaching, look at creating a short course on Udemy.
Many blogs and websites claim that the easiest ways to earn passive income is by investing in stocks, honestly though, I don’t think that really holds true in 2022 simply because there are so many viable options now.
Start simple, and do something you’ll enjoy. Once you’re making your first $5-10k a month, then consider moving to something like stocks or the share market.
How much up-front time will I need to invest?
Setup time varies depending on the kind of passive income stream you decide on. Expect to spend a minimum of a few hours a week or whichever stream you pick.
The good news is, most of the business can be started for as little as $50-$100, but some (Kindle and YouTube for example) allow to you get started absolutely free of charge which makes them a fantastic option for people getting started with their first business idea.
If you decide to do something like dropshipping, just be prepared to spend money on ads, because you need to get eyeballs to your products to sell them.
Can you earn enough to make a living?
You can quickly replace your 9-5 job if you’re prepared to put in the work to make it happen. Most people can easily enjoy a great life on $10k a month which is easy to obtain if you stay focused and continue to work on your passive income business.
Should You Sell a Physical Product?
A lot of recent articles claim that Amazon plans to close down all its brick-and-mortar retail locations.
Personally, I don’t believe this is true. The main reasons why people shop at brick-and-mortar stores instead of online are because they’re easier to browse and shop for products in person than online. So yes, selling a physical product is still a great idea even in 2023. (Check out the Amazon FBA option below).
What’s the Time Frame To See a Return on Investment?
I’ve personally found that most passive income streams typical require 1-2 months of continuous upfront work before you’ll begin to see a return on your investment.
Typically you’ll need to input a few hours a week for any of the passive income ideas I mentioned in this list. Personally, I set aside every Wednesday and Sunday evening to work on my own projects and that helps me to stay balanced with everything else in my life.
I’ve personally found that most passive income streams typical require 1-2 months of continuous upfront work before you’ll begin to see a return on your investment.– Luke Kelly
How can I make passive income with no money?
Yes you absolutely can – YouTube or the Amazon Influencer program would be a great place to start, as both of these are free to join and you can use your existing smart phone to create content.
That being said, most of the passive income ideas on this list require very little start up capital.
How Many Passive Income Streams Should You Have?
I get this question a lot actually! Personally, I think you should start with one passive income stream and get it to at least $1,000-$5,000 a month before you start looking at a second stream. Although $1,000 sounds like a lot of money, it’s actually easy to achieve with focus and determination.
It’s very easy to get shiny object syndrome and start working on multiple streams in the beginning. Try and pick the one you think you’ll enjoy the most and put all your time into that one stream before you consider moving onto the next one.
Can passive income make you rich?
Passive income is considered by many to be the best form on income, as it typically requires none of your time once you’ve built the income stream.
Earning $20,000-$50,000 per month isn’t out of the question once you’re doing well with 3-4 passive income streams! If your goal is to become a millionaire then passive income streams are a fantastic foundation to begin with.
Does Passive Income Really Require “No Work”?
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Creating a passive income business requires you to put time and energy in before you’ll start making money. If someone is trying to sell you a “make $3k doing no work!” scheme, my suggestion is completely ignore them because there’s no such thing as a no work business.
Once you’ve got the ball rolling, and you’re covering all of your expenses, then you can look to hire external help and cut your hours down. (Upwork.com or fiverr.com is personal pick).
How To Get Tax Help
Unfortunately, I’m not a tax expert or an accountant. However, I’d personally suggest you do some proper research and make sure you get setup as an LLC or registered business once you start seeing some income from your passive income streams.
If you can afford it, speak with accountant who understands how online businesses work and they help you get your taxes in order.
What is the Easiest Passive Income to Start
Picking the easiest passive income business will depend entirely on the type of things you enjoy doing the most.
In the list I created above, I tried to pick a variety of passive income streams that most people can start and quickly earn money while they sleep.
How Can I Make Side Income
If side income is your goal, you can pick one of the streams that cost $0 to get started like Amazon KDP, YouTube or Merch by Amazon.
With an hour or two each week, you can quickly and easily make yourself a very nice side income. Once you start seeing money coming into your account, you’ll probably want to keep building it up so that it becomes your full time income.
If side income is your goal, you can pick one of the streams that cost $0 to get started like Amazon KDP, YouTube or Merch by Amazon.– Luke Kelly
What are Passive Income Ideas to Easily Make $500/day in 2023
Personally, right now I’m having a great experience on the Amazon Influencer program and during the peak season I’m earning upwards of $500 or more a day. If your completely new to passive income though, take a look at the list on the page and you’ll be able to find multiple programs that can help you earn upwards of $500 a day.
Open a High Yield Savings Account
Once you start earning a few extra dollars each week, I would recommend opening a high yield savings account and putting your extra cash into that instead of stuffing it under your mattress. You can find high yield savings accounts for as low as 1% APY, and even higher rates if you qualify.
Beginner Passive Income
The good news about creating passive income in 2022 and 2023 is it’s really designed to be simple for beginners to pick up and get started with. Most of the programs mentioned below are easy to learn and take less than a few hours to get setup with. If you’re beginner, you’re in the right place!
Passive Income Businesses To Start in 2023:
Merch by Amazon
I’ve been part of the Merch by Amazon program for 8 years now, and I still think it’s one of the best (and easiest) passive income streams for beginners. I’ve sold thousands of t-shirts, hoodies, raglans and earnt a small fortune in the process.
All you need to do is create some basic t-shirt designs, upload them to Amazon’s print on demand platform, and whenever it sells – Amazon prints and ships the product and you get paid a commission! Super simple stuff.
You can sign up to Merch by Amazon for free with this link:
I originally started with Amazon’s Kindle Program many many years ago, and I still make passive income from the platform to this day.
There’s heaps of different strategies to get started with KDP, whether you want to write your first book, create low content or no-content books (journals, writing pads etc), KDP is incredibly easy to get started with and can quickly scale to a full blown 5-figure a month business.
You can sign up to Amazon KDP for free with this link:
Amazon FBA program
FBA allows sellers to source products (or create them), and utilize Amazon’s huge selling platform to reach a hungry audience. The profit margins can be huge on Amazon, and once you’ve got the ball rolling the whole business can be very hands off.
The FBA program lets sellers store products in Amazon’s own warehouse, meaning whenever a product sells you don’t even need to ship it out. The goal of making Amazon FBA work as a passive income stream is picking the right product.
You can sign up to Amazon FBA for free with this link:
Amazon Influencer Program
The Amazon Influencer program is still a fairly new program, but I think its one of the best ways to create passive income in 2022-2023. Personally, I LOVE the Amazon Influencer program! I started on the platform roughly 4 months ago, and I’ve quickly generated a very very profitable passive income stream. The program lets you create videos on products you already own to upload to Amazons product pages.
Then, if someone watches a small percentage of your video and then purchases, you get paid! It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Check out this Amazon Influencer Course
A good friend of mine actually told me about the Amazon Influencer program at the beginning of 2022, and I was really impressed with his strategy and profits. Right now he consistently generates upwards of $10k a month ($17.5k in October 2022). If you want some additional help starting with the Amazon Influencer Program, click this box to get more info.
Learn more about the Amazon Influencer Program here:
Print on Demand (Etsy, Amazon Seller, Shopify)
I originally started my Print on Demand journey with Merch by Amazon, only to find out that there are a TON of other platforms that also offer Print on Demand services with very healthy profit margins. I’ve personally used and recommend Printful and Printify to sell on Shopify & Amazon seller central and Etsy. Each partner has a HUGEEEE selection of products and you create basically anything you want.
Depending on which platform you select, you could have profit margins of 150%. If you can’t get into the Merch by Amazon program I’d suggest you try Etsy or Amazon Seller (via Shopify).
Check out my Etsy + Printful Course
If you’d like to see how I created a passive income stream selling t-shirts, hoodies and other Print on Demand designs using Etsy + Printful, check out my full online course by clicking this box.
Canva.com / Selling graphic design work
If you have a background in graphic design or you simply love Canva.com, I have good news for you! Did you know one of the biggest industries online is selling graphics and designs? Canva.com has it’s own designer hub to help you upload and sell design work. If you upload a design into the platform and someone purchases, you get a cut.
Because of the HUGE user base of Canva.com, this can quickly turn into a very healthy passive income.
Find out more about the program here:
Online Courses as a Passive Income Strategy
The online learning industry is now worth 8.4 billion in 2022. Let that sink in for a minute. Creating online courses and teaching a skill you already have might be your ticket to passive income in 2022.
Personally, I’ve created 5 online courses over the years and they sell every day without me having to lift a finger.
Courses normally range from $27 all the way up to $2997 meaning you can make a very nice living selling information or skills that you might already have. Although it might feel daunting, creating an online course can be as simple as recording your voice over a basic Powerpoint presentation.
To find out more about creating a free online course check out:
Make an Online Course with Udemy
Udemy is an online course/skill sharing platform that has a HUGE audience of eager learners. If you love the idea of creating an online course, but you have no idea how to sell it to your audience, there’s a very real possibility that your audience is already waiting for your on Udemy.
I currently have 3 best selling courses on Udemy and they make me passive income month after month and the good news is I barely do a single thing for that money to keep rolling in. Udemy also takes care of the marketing for you meaning once your course is created, you can sit back and let the dollars roll in. Nice!
To find out more about Udemy click here:
Teach on Skillshare
Skillshare is an online learning community, where anyone can create and share skills to learn a variety of topics. There are currently over 1 million classes available for people to access from anywhere at any time.
To make a passive income stream with Skillshare, you create a course and you get paid when someone enrols and watches your content. You can also earn money through the referral commission when someone enrols using your affiliate link.
Etsy is the online marketplace for selling craft and handmade goods. It’s also an excellent platform to sell all kinds of digital files like vector files, pdfs, digital art, and much much more. Anyone can get started on Etsy and it has a huge user base of regular highly engaged shoppers.
I’ve personally done very well with Etsy over the last few years, and it’s an ideal place to get started if you have an interest in Print on Demand.
If the idea of selling jewelry, clothing, digital designs, print on demand or something handmade is up your alley, Etsy is the place to be!
Create a new Etsy store today:
Podcasting is growing at a rapid pace, so it’s any wonder so many people are making passive income from their content. The thing I love about podcasting is the fact you can create a podcast about any topic, grow a fan base and turn that into a regular source or passive income.
Personally, I’ve created two Podcasts over the years and right now I think the best platform to get started on is anchor.fm – it’s free and integrates with all Podcasting networks like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, deezer and more.
How Podcasters are getting paid currently
I had a few questions on the blog about how Podcasters are getting paid at the moment, and whilst I don’t consider myself a Podcasting expert – I have spent time monetizing my Podcast. Once your Podcast starts getting some traction, you can either add ads to your Podcast or work with paid partner who will ask you to promote their product or service on your show.
Click here to start your own Podcast:
YouTube Partner Program
YouTube has been around forever, and still has one the best profit sharing systems for anyone that joins their partner program. Once you’ve gained the initial 1000 followers and 4000 hours of watch time, it’s incredibly easy to start making passive income. I’ve personally been making money for the last few years from my tech review channel and it’s a great way to turn your hobbies and interests into profits.
YouTube only gets bigger and bigger every year and their new Shorts platform is growing at a crazy speed. YouTube also announced that in 2023 they will begin monetizing their shorts, giving creators access even more revenue share possibilities. YouTube is still one of the best platforms to get started with in 2023.
Click here to create a free Youtube account:
If you love listening to books or the idea of being a voice over artist takes your fancy audible might be a great way for you to make passive income.
Depending on what strategy you take, you could either write your own short e-book and then record yourself reading the book or you could become a voice over artist and record other people’s books instead. Either option would lead you to creating passive income through audio books.
Blogging is still considered one the best methods to make money online, even in 2022. There’s a ton of free website builders out there now from Wix, Squarespace, Zyro and Yola. Personally though, if your goal is focus primarily on blogging I would suggest going with WordPress.
Blogging is a fantastic way to review products & services that you already own and use, adding affiliate links to your site for recurring passive income sales. Once your site begins to rank and people begin reading your content, your page/site can stay in the top ranks for years to come.
P.S. That’s exactly what I do on my website!
I have a real passion for product reviews, both in video and written form. It’s one of the main reasons I started this website and why I love creating content on YouTube and TikTok. There’s multiple ways to make passive income with product reviews, and a real need in the marketplace for good content creators.
From experience I can tell you that once you get the ball rolling, vendors will reach out for content to be created. So not only do you often get paid to create the initial video, but you can make passive income from affiliate sales and ad revenue. Not bad right?
Start a SaaS (Software as a service)
Starting a software company might seem pretty daunting especially if you’re not a software developer, but recurring monthly profits from your own software is a fantastic business model.
During Covid 19, I was looking for new opportunities and I happened to stumble across an amazing opportunity to start your own fully fledged white label SaaS company. The income potential is crazy and the software itself is super powerful.
More details can be found here:
Rank and Rent
A friend introduced me to a really cool business model called Rank and Rent. You build a website in a home services industry (plumbing for example), get it to the first page of Google and sell the leads to a local contractor.
I had 3 sites ranking at #1 on Google generating consistent new leads and I was making anywhere between $1000-$3000 a month.
Check out the following site for more info on how to get started:
Digital Marketing Services
I’ve been in the digital marketing space for 8+ years now, and the industry is absolutely massive. There’s a huge shortage of skilled media buyers, copywriters and digital strategists. Depending on how you position yourself in the market, there’s many opportunities to build passive income streams in joint ventures or start ups.
Personally I’ve been able to partner with people in SaaS companies & digital asset businesses, earning a commission each time one of my ads sells their products. Once you have the skills under your belt, you’ll not only have a decent paying job – but the ability to venture into new opportunities.
Flipping products on eBay
I have a friend who is a power eBay seller, and his business buys and flips toys online. Turns out, buying and flipping products on eBay is a huge business. I also have another friend who buys and sells smartphones, making a profit on each one he sells.
eBay has a low barrier to entry and if you love finding bargains to make a profit it’s a very viable passive income stream. I’d suggest buying products you know well or have an interest in and eventually branch out once you get your seller ranking high enough.
More information here:
Teaching a New Language
One thing I always wished I took the time to learn in school was a second language. If you know a second language (or maybe even a third), you can turn that skill into an income source by teaching others.
There’s multiple ways to earn income doing this, from teaching on Udemy, creating your own online course, or following a guide like this one. People are eager to learn new languages, either for work or travel.
Put your second language skills to good use and make a nice side hustle from it!
Teacher Pay Teacher
If you’re a teacher, or you work in the education sector, you’ll know how important quality resources are! The downside to teaching resources is they take a considerable amount of time to write and put together.
Well, the very clever people over at Teacher Pay Teacher have build a site where you can buy and sell teaching resources. If you’ve got hundreds of lesson plans and math resources you’ve already created, why not upload them and earn some extra cash!
Most resources can be sold for $10-$50 each meaning a very nice side hustle indeed.
ClickBank or JvZoo
Not sure what to sell? Looking for ideas of what other people are selling? Want to promote someone else’s products instead? Good news, ClickBank & JvZoo has your back.
They have a monstrous size catalog of software & digital products you can promote within a few clicks. ClickBank has an excellent reputation and very healthy profit margins.
ClickFunnels is an incredible piece of software. I’ve used it for the last 6 years, and it’s how I build 90% of my marketing funnels. Russell Brunson is also a fantastic author and online marketing genius. If you’re looking to learn digital marketing, funnel building and copywriting, go check out ClickFunnels & his amazing collection of books.
His affiliate program has crazy good commission rates and you can make very healthy passive income promoting it to others.
Amazon Associates Program
The Amazon associates program is pretty amazing because it allows you to make a commission by promoting products already available on the Amazon marketplace. You can promote products on basically any platform from YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and your own personal blog. I’ve been part of the Amazon Associates program for over 6 years, and recently I saw a huge influx in my income when I joined the Amazon Influencer program.
Commissions on the platform vary depending on the products you promote, but it’s one of easiest ways to start making income online because it has such a low barrier to entry.
Messenger Chat Bots
A big part of digital marketing is running paid ads on Facebook Ads. About 2-3 years ago, Facebook rolled out a new ad type called ‘Messenger Ads’. These ads were designed to automate real conversions in Messenger, allowing advertisers to sell products, services, and basically anything you can think of.
Currently the best platform to build these Messenger bot automations is Manychat.com. I’ve personally had HUGE success with ManyChat Messenger chat bots, and in my opinion it’s still a growing market that’s largely untapped.
If you can find a niche that needs a Messenger automation, you can easily create and sell your bot over and over again. (I personally made one for people to order Coffees from their local Cafe!)
Selling WordPress, Shopify or Google Chrome Plugins
Building plugins for WordPress, Shopify of Google Chrome is such a huge opportunity because of its ability to reach such a massive audience. Funnily enough, I built a Chrome plug several years ago to quickly resize .png files and until recently it was making me daily passive income.
Even if you don’t have the skills to build the app yourself, jumping on Upwork of freelancer.com will give you access to thousands of highly skilled (and affordable) contractors who can build the plug in for you.
Selling your video/photography
One of the things I honestly love about making passive income and Internet marketing, is often you can tie into your passions and interests. If you have a passion for photography, you can easily turn that into a passive income stream by uploading your work to sites like Adobe, Pixabay, and Pexels.com
Depending on which platforms you decide on, you can see commission rates from 7-9% on every image you sell.
Creating an App
The app market is still as popular as ever! And whilst I haven’t personally ventured into selling on the iOS or Google Play store, there seems to be no end of new apps popping up each week. I would recommend that if you are looking to get started with build apps, you make your first app really simple. Skip the complex games and think more along the lines of the popular word app Wordle.com
Build Excel Spreadsheets or Google Sheets
I have a friend who is an absolute genius when it comes to building custom Google spreadsheets. I asked him to build me a spreadsheet that converts my foreign income into my home currency and it saves me upwards of an hour each day.
If you have excel spreadsheet or google sheets skills, this might be your calling. I found a really handy guide if you’d like to find out more info on what others are doing:
Key Takeaways from this article:
Pick one passive income stream and focus your attention on that for at least 6-12 months.
Try your best not to get shiny object syndrome watching YouTube videos showing you “how to make money re-uploading YouTube videos!”
Reinvest back into your business to work with contractors or freelancers who can double your work output.
Once you’re making your first $1,000 – $5000 a month consider adding a second passive income stream.
Frequently Asked Questions about Passive Income:
What are some good Low risk Average reward passive income ideas?
Most of the options we selected in this blog post have a very low risk and high reward potential. The best strategy is the one you start and stick with until it’s providing you with passive income.
What are some side hustle/passive income streams that just don’t work and waste your time?
Great question! Here’s what I’ve personally found… If you put the time, focus and energy into ANY passive income stream, it can work. If theres someone else making money from it, it can work for you too. You need to focus and move away from shiny object syndrome.
What are some good passive income ideas I can start as a graphic designer?
Being a graphic designer gives you a heap of options to start making passive income from! I’d personally suggest you look at Print on Demand of Amazon Merch by Amazon as both of these require the work of a graphic designer to be successful.
Is there a passive income idea which I can invest my monthly savings in?
Yes! Absolutely. A high yield savings account will be able to provide you with passive income, or, if you have the time you could invest your extra cash into a small business that often has profit margins of 60-150%.
Any tips for passive income when you are a student?
If you’re currently a student and you want to add passive income to your monthly earnings, then you’re in luck! The typical student can easily pick one of the 29 options we mention above and dedicate 2-3 hours a week to grow a passive income stream. Stay consistent and you’ll be able to add $500 a month within a few months. (More than enough to pay for beer!)
Active income vs. passive Income: Which is best for me?
Right now, if you’re completely flat broke, starting a passive income stream may not be the best idea. Getting a part time job for active income might be a better option to get some cash flow. Once you’re covering your basic expenses, then put some time into your passive income stream.
Is blogging a passive income source?
Yes! Building a blog is a great way to build passive income. You’ll need website hosting with someone like Bluehost.com and the newest version of WordPress on your site.
Is earning passive income safe?
Yes! Absolutely. I personally recommend Wise.com for sending and receiving passive income through international currency.