11 Smart Passive Income Ideas that Actually Work


How to make passive income, make money while you sleep, work from home jobs, passive income ideas, create online coursesPassive income is a great way to earn money without being actively involved.  This means that you can get money while you are sleeping, on holidays or spending time with your kids.

As you can see by the title of my blog, I’m a passive income fanatic. I love the idea of doing all the hard work now so I can enjoy the success later.

Passive income has turned my life around. I love the idea of waking up in the morning and realising that another $100 has been added to my bank account balance overnight.

I’m going share with you how I earned $1,500 passive income and some other passive income ideas that you can start implementing today and start earning.


Do you want to become your own boss and make a full-time passive income?

If your answer is yes, then the best way to do it is by blogging. I started my blog two years ago (but I didn’t take it seriously until 6 months ago) and now, I am earning over $1,500 per month as a part-time blogger. I’m actually considering leaving my 9 to 5 job to start blogging full-time.

Is this what you want to do too?

Since I started blogging, my life changed dramatically. Today I am one step further to reach financial freedom and I spend less 20 hours/month blogging. Yes, that’s less than 5 hours per week!


The good news is that for a limited period of time I managed to get a discount coupon special for my readers. For as low as $2.95 per month, you can start your blog (instead of the regular price of $7.99/month). This price is not available anywhere else and it’s exclusively for you as I negotiated it directly with Bluehost. 

Starting a brand new blog is as cheap as a Starbucks coffee, but the potential to make money is huge, the limit is the sky! You can’t miss this deal (because I don’t know for how long I will be able to keep it). I want the best for my readers and I want you to start your making-money blog at a low price.

Free Domain. 30-Day Money Back Guarantee


If you feel like starting a blog but don’t know how to start, I’ve created a step by step tutorial on how to start a blog with WordPress.

Additionally, you can enroll to my free blogging course below.

Make money for tasks you’d do anyway

This is another way of making money, however, it’s not 100% passive. You can make money doing things that you are already doing.

Swagbucks is a search engine (like Google or Bing) that offers a chance to earn points (swagbucks) for shopping online and testing products. When you have enough points you can get paid or receive gift cards. I already redeemed 3 Amazon gift cards for $50 and it feels great. If you sign up now, you’ll get 100SB sign up bonus.

Get 100SB sign up bonus.

You can join Swagbucks here.

More examples of sites that can make get some extra passive income are Inbox Dollars and Ebates. Both are great and I’ve made over $100 last month from each of them.

FlexOffers / iGain / ShareASale

These three websites have helped me make over $600/month passive income over the last 6 months.

They are affiliates platforms that partner with companies to offer their affiliate products (sort of like the middle man).

FlexOffers is great for personal finance bloggers. There are many good products that I use and I recommend in my blog. In fact, a big chunk of my income is coming from FlexOffer. You can join FlexOffers here.

ShareASale is similar to FlexOffers but it has fewer products. However, the active products they have, perform very well. Their products are mainly blogging related and that’s why I love ShareASale. You can join ShareASale here.

iGain is a network to promote paid survey sites. I recently found it and I can’t be happier about it. Most of the surveys sites that I already knew are there, so it’s so easy for me to recommend because I’ve used them in the past. You can join iGain here.

The way it works is easy. You join these three affiliate programs and promote those products you’ve used in the past, then just talk about them in new blog posts (or update some of your old blog posts). You will make passive income from these posts every time a reader purchase any of the products you recommend.

You don’t even need a blog to promote these products, you can promote them directly on your FaceBook, Twitter or Pinterest account.

Affiliate Marketing

Did you know that you can start making passive income with affiliate marketing? In fact, last month I made $1,200 passive income only with my affiliate marketing.

The truth is that many other bloggers are earning the same or even more through affiliate marketing. Michelle is one example. She is making over $100,000 a month from her blog. As a matter of fact, I learned how to make money blogging through her course.

Buying her course was an investment, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

If I could make a small fraction of what she was making, the course would pay for itself. And it did! In less than a week! And that’s how I went from $302.58 to  $1,023.18 in less than 3 months.

You can read here my post about I tripled my affiliate income blogging.

Get More Information about Michelle's Course Now

Build an Email Sales Funnel

Sales funnel is the process of converting your audience from readers into buyers. It requires some big investment in terms of time to set it up but the returns are 100% passive income.

In order to build your sales funnel, you need an email list with as many targeted subscribers as possible. To get subscribers, you can create free material (for example, printables) in exchange for their email address. Giving a freebie is a good way to get targeted subscribers because they would love to hear more about similar products.

Once you have your email list (or even before), you should sign up for a professional service like ConvertKit. Then, it’s a matter of creating a sequence of emails with a sales funnel. Make sure you start with cheap products and move progressively to more expensive and targeted products.

In the case study below I explain in detail how to make money from your email list.

Case study: How I Made $876.41 From My Email List With Under 1,000 Subscribers

Rent out with Airbnb

This is another semi-passive income. Airbnb is getting more and more famous recently and some people are making even a full-time income out of it.

Do you have a spare room at home that you hardly ever use? You can become an Airbnb host and make some semi-passive income. The reason why I say semi, is because you’ll need to do some maintenance (washing bed sheets and vacuuming the floor).

However, if you want to make it 100% passive, you can automate the process.

Suggested article: How to make passive income with Airbnb

Sell professional photos online

If photography is a passion for you, then, selling photos online may be your thing.

You can sell them via websites like iStockPhoto or Shutter Stock to make passive income.

Alternatively, you can set up your own website to sell your photos. Rachel, from Haute Chocolate, sells her stock images on her website. Haute Chocolate is a membership site where you can have access and download her photo collections for a monthly fee.

Since I’m not good at photography, I subscribed to Haute Chocolate to have access to stock photos for my blog. And I simply love it!

How to make passive income, make money while you sleep, work from home jobs, passive income ideas, create online coursesCreate an Online Course

I’m sure there are plenty of things you are passionate about. Is any of those, something you are good at? You can share it with the world as a course.

There are plenty of people making thousands of dollars every month from online courses. Michelle, from Making Sense of Cents, made $434,698+ from one online course.

The platform she uses is Teachable, which is in my belief the best one. Plus you can start it for free!

Once you create an online course, it can work on autopilot while you sleep.

The content of the course can be video lessons, plain text, worksheets, printables or a small ebook.

Invest in Lending Club

Lending Club provides the opportunity to get interests rates of more than 10% per year. This is amazingly higher than what you will earn on more conventional interest-based bank investments (typically 1%).

It’s important for you to know that these high rates do come at a cost. These loans can go bad and you can lose part of your money. However, there are ways to minimize those risks.

A good initial deposit should be something around $2,000. Lending Club allows you (and I encourage you) to invest this money into different loans. The smallest amount you can invest in a single loan is $25, so you can actually buy into 80 different loans with a $2,000 deposit. By doing this, you will minimize the risks in case that any of the loans start going bad.

Of course, the more money you invest, the more money you can earn passively.

If you want to open a free account with Lending Club you can do it here.

Read more: 7 Things You Need To Do Before Investing Your First Dollar

Sell products on the internet

There are thousands of possible products to sell on the internet. It could be a book, a video course, your own music or even t-shirts.

You can set up your own website to sell these products or host them on your blog (if you already have one).

Then, you can sell it as an affiliate. People will be able to sell your course and you will split the income between the seller and you (the creator of the product).

If your product is an ebook or course, Sendowl is a great platform to host it. It will not only host your course but also will be in charge of all the payment process. It also offers an affiliate service in which you can create affiliate links for people who want to promote your product.

The effort of creating your own product is up front but after you finish it, you will be able to make 100% passive income out of it.

Invest in real estate

Buying a property and renting is a good way of making passive income. You can pay for the mortgage with the money from the rent and it will be like if the property is paying for itself.

However, real estate investments require maintenance and a proper management.

Real estate is my ultimate goal of passive income. Having 4-5 properties will guarantee me that I can retire anytime I want.

If you want to know more about real estate investments and how to make passive income, I recommend you to check Alex’s blog, Cash Flow Diaries. His total current net worth is $500,000+ and he owns nine properties already (he was having five when I first met him two years ago).

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I hope you liked this list of ideas to make passive income (mainly from home). Now you should put some action on you and start making some passive income.

I can guarantee you that having passive income in your cash flow is amazing and it gives you some sort of financial freedom.

Is there any passive income idea you would like to add to the list? Do you have any passive income stream? How did it change your life?

About Francisco Anes 89 Articles
Francisco Anes is a personal finance blogger who loves blogging and spending time with his family. He works from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday but his dream is to reach financial freedom. On his blog, he writes about saving money, budgeting, pay off debt and making money blogging. Francisco lives with his family in Cambridge, UK.


  1. I can totally agree with the blogging and affiliate marketing aspect of earning. I casually started a blog about about travelling and over the period I got hooked by it. Meanwhile, I became an affiliate for PureVPN and promoted safe digital traveling.

    For many people out there it all seems to be so wasteful but it’s actually not.

  2. Hey Francisco,

    For your rent out a room we use Airbnb and STOW IT (https://www.stowit.com/).

    We rent out a room on Airbnb and rent the garage on STOW IT. It isn’t as lucrative as Airbnb but we make an extra $150 a month with our garage in Denver for a single car. I know a lot of friends that use STOW IT because they don’t have an extra room but still want to use their house for income.

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