As someone who spent most of my early life trading hours for dollars, I had always been intrigued by the idea of passive income. Doing work one time and then continuing to get paid — who doesn’t love that? The downside is that, unlike a typical job, it generally requires more work on the front-end and often comes with no guarantee of payment.
Curious to explore passive income, I ended up trying seven different forms of it to see which one worked best for me. Hopefully, these will generate some passive income ideas for you.
1. A Dividend-Paying Stock
This was the first investment I ever made. I invested $500 in Ameren (a local utility company); at the time, they paid a 3 percent dividend.
This earned me about $3.75 every three months. While $3.75 isn’t life-changing, I was thrilled because it was my first taste of earning money passively — and I loved it.
2. Starting a Blog
Now just to be clear, blogging income isn’t necessarily passive — it’s all in the approach. The way I chose to build my blog, it not only turned into my full-time job after two years, but it allowed me to take off a month each year without seeing a significant change in earnings. This endeavor was so successful that I wrote a post about starting a blog.
One of my favorite things about blogging is that I have articles I wrote six to seven years ago that still earn me money each month.
Check Out: 6 Bloggers Making Six-Figure Salaries
3. Writing for HubPages
This is like blogging, but a bit easier. HubPages is a site that allows you to write an article about any topic and post it. You then share in the ad earnings with them. To date, I have written about 100 articles for this site and I earn about $200/month with them.
Pro tip: If you go this route, focus on writing about what people are searching for in Google by doing some keyword research beforehand.
4. Kindle Books
I often say that I accidentally wrote my first kindle book. It actually was a long blog post that, on a whim, I decided to turn into a Kindle book. And I am so glad I did. Many years later, it still earns me about $100/month.
More on Alternative Forms of Income: 101 Ways to Make Money Without a 9-to-5
5. Music on YouTube
We all know how difficult it is these days to make money as a musician. Well, a few years ago, I recorded a few songs and posted them on YouTube. I had no idea what would happen, and to be honest, for the first couple years, pretty much nothing did. We had a few people listening here and there, but almost no earnings to show for it.
Over time, however, the traffic to the videos has grown, and the earnings have followed suit. At this point, I earn about $30-$50 each month from those videos.
6. Selling Stock Photos
This one was probably the biggest failure of them all. I took my DSLR out and spent a lot of time taking about 400 photos of various objects. Of the 400, I picked the best 40 and submitted them to various stock photo sites to sell.
Of those 40, they accepted only five. We might earn 50 cents each month from those submissions.
To be fair, I am not a professional photographer and someone with better skills might have more success, but for me, this wasn’t a winner.
7. Real Estate Investing
I have now done it both ways: I’ve owned a rental property, and I have invested in real estate with Fundrise. Fundrise, if you aren’t familiar, is a simple, cheap real-estate investment platform.
In my case, Fundrise was not only more passive, but my earnings were higher, as well. I even made a video about my thoughts on it.
As you can see, some of these forms of passive income were winners and some were losers, so the key is just to start trying. As you start testing out ideas, you will find that not all of them work, and that is OK. Just keep trying until you find those winners.
Read More: 15 Odd Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well
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