5 Ways to Earn Passive Income Online

ways to earn passive income online

Earning passive income is like the Holy grail of online money making. In case you were unfamiliar with this term, passive income refers to earning money continually without having to do anything. Its not actually earning money for nothing (wouldn’t that be great if it was!) but rather with passive income you do the work in the beginning and then wait for the money to roll in (hopefully!). With passive income the idea is that you are creating something that can earn you money from people buying it or clicking on it. The best thing is that these passive income methods should require no or little updating so after setting up your chosen passive income method you shouldn’t need to do much else but yet you still earn from your work. Passive income is what you really want to achieve if you want to earn money while you sleep! There are many ways of creating passive income, some more difficult than others and some will work better for different people depending on their own interests and skill set. If you are looking for ideas then here are 5 of the main ways to earn passive income online.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the biggest and most profitable forms of generating passive income. Affiliate Marketing refers to the type of marketing where a marketer (affiliate) gets paid by an online business a commission for sales generated by the affiliate. When a customer clicks on a referral link and then buys something then you receive a payment for referring the customer. Many online companies offer an affiliate program which you would need to sign up for to then get your unique url. This is needed so the online retailer can track where the customer came from and so you can get paid. If you haven’t already guessed then for affiliate marketing you usually need your own website. The basic idea is that you have a website that you use to attract traffic and place your affiliate links and hope that a visitor clicks the link and purchases something on the website they are directed to.

Anybody can set up a website nowadays. You just need to pay for hosting and a domain name and then build the website (or install WordPress – the best way in my opinion!) and then create content. Many people use their websites as a ‘blog’ and regularly post to it .Some people simply create a few pages of content sometimes using a ‘landing page’ to guide their visitor to the content they want them to see. Of course there’s a bit more to it than that and complete beginners may need to do their research first but hopefully you get the gist.

Although having your own website is recommended for affiliate marketing there is another way to do affiliate marketing and that is by using social media. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all allow affiliate links (although have their own terms and conditions) so can post your links using your accounts. However you ideally need lots of followers and can’t just spam by posting affiliate links all the time or you will find you lose followers and could get penalised by the social media platform.

There are absolutely loads of affiliate programmes out there so its best to do some research as some may work better for others depending on the niche of their website. Some popular ones are Amazon Associates, Share a Sale and Awin.


Ebooks are a great way of building online passive income. These days anybody can write their own ebook and have it published. One of the best platforms for selling ebooks is by using Amazons Kindle Direct publishing programme (KDP) and having your ebook available to Amazons millions of users. When a customer purchases your book, Amazon pay you royalties of 70% if your book is priced at £2.99 or more and if your book is priced at less you get 35%. There is also the option of listing your book for free which can still be a worthwhile option as you will get a whole lot more downloads and reviews and increase interest in your other books. If you love writing then this is quite a fun way to create passive income for yourself. It goes with out saying that your book needs to be well written or people simply wont buy it! Both fiction and non fiction sell well on Amazon and there are tons of niche markets out there so hopefully you will find something you like to write about. The process of uploading your book to Amazon isn’t too difficult, you just need to make sure that your work is formatted correctly and you choose a great cover. For more info then this article I found should be useful.

YouTube Videos

Becoming a YouTube star must be in the top 10 of career aspirations of the youth today. I can understand this as some of the big you tubers can become household names and make a ton of money. There is certainly a lot of money to be made on YouTube and it can be an ideal passive income opportunity as once you’ve uploaded your video that’s it really. The great news is that anyone can upload a video and create their own YouTube channel. Videos can be monetised by linking your account to google adsense which then displays ads when your video is shown. The more views your video has then the more money you can make. In theory it sounds easy however you really need to make videos that people want to watch or will probably only make a little money with adsense. Another way to monetise YouTube videos is by using affiliate links and earning a commission from them.


Creating your own course is particularly a good passive income option if you have a good knowledge on a subject. Websites like Udemy allow anyone to create their own course and charge users to buy it. Courses can be on any subject with ones on the topic of I.T, business and marketing especially popular. Udemy pay as much as 97% royalty on any course you sell. Creating and selling courses can potentially build a good passive income stream.

Sell Digital Products

Another way of making passive income is by selling digital products. Digital products refers to a product that can be downloaded such as an ebook or photographs. Currently printable are pretty popular right now. Printables can be anything from calendars to recipe cards and are something that anyone can create themselves with a bit of creativity! Back in the day you used to be able to sell digital products on eBay but that is no longer the case, however there is another perfect marketplace for printables – Etsy. Listing a digital download on Etsy is easy, you just need to upload the file of the printable so a customer can download it after purchasing.

These are 5 of some the most popular ways to make passive income online although there are many others ways too. Earning passive income is hugely desirable for anybody who wants to make money online for obvious reasons. Hopefully these ideas will get you started and with some more research and hard work you will be on your way to earning passive income!

ways to earn passive income online

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  1. Interesting, I think we are all working towards having passive income. I am putting some of my blog posts together and hope to publish an ebook within the next couple of years. Best of luck to all.

  2. I want to write an ebook. Got to come up with a topic, though!

    I do okay with selling t-shirts on Amazon. I’ve made a couple hundred bucks each month these past few months. Fun times!

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