100 Passive Income Ideas To Help You Make Money After a Layoff

man using a laptop and mobile phone while working on a project in a workshop
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Job security seems to be a thing of the past. The sudden jolt of a layoff can derail even the most meticulously planned financial goals. During these challenging times it’s critical to pivot and seek innovative avenues for income.

Passive income has become a lifeline for many, providing an opportunity to generate earnings with minimal effort. Whether you recently lost your job or you’re simply looking to diversify your income streams, there are endless possibilities for boosting your wealth.

From blogging and affiliate marketing to real estate, there’s something for everyone. Here are 100 passive income ideas that can help you bounce back after a layoff.

1. Dividend-Paying Stocks

Purchase shares in companies that return a portion of their profits to shareholders. As these companies earn, you receive a regular dividend payment.

2. Virtual Reality Property Tours

Design and offer VR tours for real estate agents or property sellers. By creating a platform or service where agents can upload property photos/videos and convert them into VR tours, you can charge for each conversion or maintain a subscription model for continuous use.

3. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Invest in portfolios of real estate assets. They allow you to earn rental income and benefit from property appreciation without buying property yourself.

4. Rental Properties

Buy a property and rent it out. You’ll earn rental income and might also benefit from property appreciation over time.

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5. Airbnb Hosting

Rent out a room or your entire home to guests for short stays. This often generates more income than traditional long-term renting.

6. Peer-To-Peer Lending

If you have savings to spare, use platforms like LendingClub to lend money to individuals, earning interest as they pay back their loans.

7. Create a Mobile App

If you have a great idea, develop an app. Monetize through ads, in-app purchases, or upfront fees.

8. Sell Digital Courses

Use your expertise to create educational courses and sell them on platforms like Udemy or Teachable.

9. Sell E-Books

Write and self-publish books online, making money from each sale or download.

10. Affiliate Marketing

Promote other people’s products on your website or blog. Earn a commission for every sale made through your referral link.

11. Ad Revenue From Blogging

Create a blog around your passion. As it grows, monetize it through ad platforms like Google AdSense.

12. Create a YouTube Channel

Produce video content and earn from YouTube’s ad revenue once you hit a certain number of views or subscribers.

13. Dropshipping

Start an e-commerce store without holding inventory. When a customer makes a purchase, buy the product from a third party, and have it shipped directly to the customer. Use tools to automate the dropshipping process, reducing the time you need to spend managing sales.

14. Vending Machines

Purchase vending machines and place them in strategic locations. Earn money every time someone buys a snack or drink.

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15. Photography Licensing

Take high-quality photos and license them on platforms like Shutterstock for others to purchase.

16. Music Royalties

If you’re a musician, earn royalties whenever your music is purchased, used, or aired.

17. Sell Your Notes

If you have notes from school or a training program, make copies and sell them on Etsy or eBay.

18. House Sit

Get paid to watch someone’s home while they’re away.

19. Purchase ATMs

Buy an ATM, set it up in a location with high foot traffic, and earn a transaction fee from every withdrawal.

20. Franchise Your Business

If you have a successful business model, allow others to replicate it in various locations for a franchise fee.

21. Purchase a Laundromat

Invest in a coin-operated laundry facility. Customers pay to use your machines, providing steady passive income.

22. Storage Unit Rentals

If you own or can invest in property, convert it to storage units. Rent out these units for people needing storage space.

23. CD Ladders

Create a CD ladder by buying several certificates of deposit with different maturity dates. This ensures regular returns at staggered intervals.

24. High-Yield Savings Account

Keep your money in a savings account that offers a high-interest rate. Earn passive interest on your balance.

25. Buy an Existing Online Business

Acquire a profitable online business. Benefit from its established income streams.

26. Digital Art Sales

Create and sell digital art or graphics on platforms like DeviantArt or Etsy.

27. Sell Stock Videos

Shoot high-quality videos and license them on platforms like Storyblocks or Getty Images.

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28. Domain Flipping

Buy domain names with potential value and sell them at a higher price.

29. Use Cash-Back Apps

Make money during your grocery trips. An app such as Fetch Rewards can transform your receipts into gift cards. It collaborates with various brands to award points for each receipt you submit. These points can then be traded for gift cards from major retailers.

30. Sell Software

Create software solutions for specific industries or needs and sell them to interested parties.

31. Rent Your Tools

If you own tools, rent them out to those who need them occasionally.

32. Sell 3D Designs

Design 3D models and sell them on platforms like Shapeways.

33. Create a Subscription Box

Curate and send out monthly boxes for niche markets, like gourmet food or niche cosmetics.

34. Write a Play or Script

If your idea gets produced, you can earn royalties from every performance.

35. Design Apps for Businesses

Many businesses seek specific app functionalities but lack the expertise to create them.

36. Write Software Guides

If you’re proficient in using specific software, write guides or manuals and sell them.

37. Rent Out Your Car

Platforms like Turo allow you to rent your vehicle when you’re not using it.

38. Parking Space Rental

If you own a parking spot in a busy area, rent it out during hours you don’t need it.

39. Referral Programs

Many services offer bonuses for referring new clients. Take advantage of these for passive bonuses.

40. Start an E-Commerce Store

Sell products online through your own e-commerce store or through platforms like Amazon or eBay.

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41. Invest in a Startup

Use platforms like AngelList to invest in startups. Earn returns if the startup succeeds.

42. Viral Video Content

Create videos with the potential to go viral, monetizing through ads or sponsorships.

43. Niche Subscription Services

Offer a unique product or curated content targeting a specific audience and charge a recurring subscription fee for continued access. 

44. Invest in Farmland

An option for land investment is crowdfunded land ownership. Platforms such as AcreTrader give you the ability to purchase shares in farmland. The company manages all administrative and property responsibilities. Earnings come from the lease of the farmland, with the rental fee paid upfront, mitigating potential losses from crop failures.

45. Design and Sell Templates

Whether you’re selling website templates, resume templates, or business card designs, there’s a market for high-quality templates.

46. License a Product Idea

If you have a product idea but don’t want to manufacture it, license it to another company.

47. Purchase a Billboard

Rent out space to advertisers for a consistent income stream.

48. Online Webinars or Workshops

While they might require effort upfront, if automated and evergreen, they can generate income with minimal ongoing effort.

49. Automated Online Quizzes or Courses

Design them once, and users can pay to access them indefinitely.

50. Invest in Foreign Markets

Diversify your investment portfolio by investing in booming foreign industries.

51. Create a Paid Membership Community

Offer exclusive content or benefits to members of a niche community.

52. Develop a Niche Job Board

Charge companies to post jobs in specific industries or fields.

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53. Build a Mobile Advertising Platform

With the proliferation of mobile apps, a platform that displays ads can be lucrative.

54. Rent Out Ad Space on a Personal Blog or Website

If you have significant traffic, advertisers might be interested.

55. Set up an Amazon Shop

Let Amazon handle product shipments for you. With Fulfillment by Amazon, you send your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Amazon then stores, packs, and ships the products for you. The retailer also handles customer service and returns.  

56. Rent Your Clothing

If you have clothes sitting in your closet that you don’t wear, consider renting them for cash.

57. License an Idea to Schools or Businesses

If you have an educational program or business strategy, many institutions might pay for its use.

58. Sell Data or Analytics

If you have access to unique or valuable data, companies might pay for insights.

59. Automated Digital Marketing Services

Set up digital marketing campaigns that run automatically for clients.

60. Sell Merchandise With Print on Demand

Create unique designs for apparel, mugs, posters, and more. Use print-on-demand services to produce and ship items only when customers order, minimizing upfront costs and inventory management.

61. Rental Property Management

If you don’t want to deal with the day-to-day of renting properties, manage properties for others for a fee. 

62. Automated Social Media Management

Create a service that automates social media posting, analytics, or customer engagement for businesses.  

63. Design Niche Affiliate Websites

Set up sites catered to specific products or industries and earn from sales.

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64. Online Market Trading

Platforms allow you to invest in stocks, commodities, and currencies.

65. Share Your Opinion

Participate in surveys and get paid to share your opinion. Popular websites include Branded Surveys and Opinion Outpost.

66. Crowdfunded Investments

Pool money with other investors to fund startups or small businesses.

67. Solar Panel Leasing

If you live in a sunny area, lease your rooftop for solar panel installations.

68. Advertise With Your Car

Companies will pay for ad space on your vehicle.

69. Timberland Investing

This type of investing involves purchasing land with timber on it, allowing the trees to grow, and then generating income from harvesting and selling the timber. Over time, as trees mature and timber prices fluctuate, you can earn money either from the periodic sale of the lumber or from leasing the land for timber harvesting.

70. Create a Review Site

Sites like Yelp make money from businesses paying for better visibility.

71. Create an Online Directory

This is like a review site but broader. Businesses pay to be listed.

72. Develop a Browser Extension

Ad blockers or productivity tools can be monetized through ads or fees.

73. Online Travel Agent

Set up automated booking platforms where users can book trips and accommodations.

74. Design WordPress plugins

If you’re technically inclined, design plugins for the popular platform and sell them.

75. Invest in Commodities

Gold, silver, and other commodities can be sound investments.

76. Rent Your Friendship

Accompany someone to an event or outing. Services such as Rent a Friend and Rent a Cyber Friend allow you to provide companionship in exchange for money.

77. Rent Your Electronics

If you have electronics that you don’t use, consider renting them for cash.

78. Rent Out Specialty Gear

Camera gear, camping equipment, or drones can be rented out when you’re not using them.

79. Rent Out Your Backyard

Charge a fee to use your backyard space for social gatherings.

80. Sell Board Games

Design a unique and fun board game and sell it online or in stores.

81. Online Tutoring Videos

Create educational content and sell it to students around the world.

82. Design Chatbots

Businesses pay for well-designed chatbots for customer service.

83. Invest in Bonds

Bonds are loans that pay you interest over their lifespan.

84. Develop Online Tools

Tools like calculators or conversion sites can be monetized with ads.

85. Invest in a Brewery

Craft beer is big, and breweries can be profitable investments.

86. Sell Your Junk Mail

If you have a pile of junk mail sitting on your coffee table, you can make some money. Small Business Knowledge Center, for example, will compensate you in exchange for your old mail.

87. Design and Sell Patterns

Whether for sewing, woodworking, or 3D printing, patterns can be sold online.

88. Create a Dating App

If you’ve got a unique idea, dating apps can be quite lucrative.

89. License Your Content

Whether it’s a course, a book, or a video series, license your content to others.

90. Sell Custom Products

Using 3D printing or other on-demand production methods, sell custom products online.

91. Rent Your RV

When you’re not using it, rent out your RV or camper.

92. Become a Silent Business Partner

Invest in a business but don’t handle day-to-day operations.

93. Purchase Commercial Real Estate

Buy a property and lease it to businesses.

94. Sponsorship Revenue

If you have a platform (like a podcast or blog), sponsors might pay for mentions.

95. Design Virtual Reality Content

In addition to property tours, you can create other content on this platform. VR is booming, and there’s a market for well-designed material.

96. Create a Review Blog

Review products and earn money through affiliate commissions or ads.

97. Offer Cloud Services

With the right setup, offer cloud storage or computing services.

98. Voice-Over Work

Record voice-overs and get paid each time they’re used.

99. Design Apps for Smart Home Devices

As homes get smarter, they need well-designed apps to control them.

100. Participate in Studies

Sleep studies, for example, will allow you to make extra cash while you rest.

Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.


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