What Is Passive Income? Everything You Need to Know to Start Earning Today

Updated 08/30/17
@lucywilliams02

No matter how much you love working, we all have those days when we wish we could just kick back, relax, and still watch the money roll in. But it isn't just celebrities or people with patents for whom this daydream is a daily reality. Some savvy individuals have realized the potential of something called passive income. What is passive income? In layman's terms, it's creating a cash flow (or supplemental income) without putting a significant amount of time or energy into maintaining it. In other words, you're gaining money without losing time—essentially the perfect side hustle.

There are many passive income opportunities and streams to tap, so you just need to determine which makes the most sense for your skillset and lifestyle. If your interest is piqued or you're simply curious to see how much (or little) lift is required to get on board with this strategy to bolster your bank account, head below to see our top passive income ideas.

1. Invest in stocks. This strategy is one of the most common ways to make your money work for you. If you're new to investing, consider meeting with a financial adviser to go over your options and diversify your portfolio. Your money's literally depreciating when it's just sitting there in the bank.

2. Sell a renewable product. If you're looking to make some extra money by making something, consider a digital product that only needs to be produced once. Whether it's a digital magazine, ebook, or recording, once it's created, you can earn with every download without having to lift a finger.

3. Rent out your home. If you travel regularly or have a spare room in your home and wouldn't mind a roommate, consider renting out your home for a duration of time. Sites like Airbnb and OneFineStay make it easy to list your space and rent out for days at a time.

4. Create an affiliate blog. You can create a blog on any subject of your choice, then refer your following to relevant retail products from partners. Every time your readers make a purchase through the link, you earn a small pre-determined percentage (often between 3% and 15% of the sale), even if your reader doesn't choose the exact item you referred.

5. Open an online store. While launching your own business seems like a huge undertaking, opening an online store is a relatively low-lift project that can have big payoffs.

Do you have a stream of passive income? Let us know which route you took in the comments.

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