7 ways to earn a passive income
5 min | 13 March 2023
If you’re looking for ways to boost your earnings, a passive income stream is becoming a popular route. You’ll need to be realistic about how much you could bring in and what you’d need to make it a success, but there are ways to kick-start a passive income that works for you.
Passive income means you’re earning money with minimal effort and without spending a huge amount of time keeping it going. You’ll need to do some prep work beforehand, but once you’re set up, you could eventually see a stream of income. Here’s where you could start.
First, find something you’re good at (and enjoy)
If you want to give your idea the best chance to succeed, it’s important to enjoy what you plan on selling. Say you’ve decided to start a blog but don’t spend a lot of spare time on your computer – it’s probably not the best choice. Playing to your strengths is easier (and feels less like work) if it’s something you enjoy.
You should also consider the following:
- How much time will you need to set up your project?
- How much time will you need to spend on it once it’s established?
- Are people like you making money doing the same thing?
- Is this a long-term income stream?
- Have similar projects fallen through for other people, and why?
Doing some research will help you explore areas that have worked for others and could suit you and your skills.
7 passive income ideas
There are lots of ways to earn a passive income and no one-size-fits-all solution, so here are some ideas to get you thinking, whatever your situation:
1. Rent out your spaces and possessions
Your space could be a spare room, a garage, or even your driveway or parking space if you live close to a city centre or event venue. Some online platforms make it easier to rent other items, from bicycles to vintage or designer clothing and accessories.
2. Start a blog
If you have an interesting or niche area of expertise, a blog could bring in some revenue for you. There are many platforms that make it easy to create a blog. If your site is gaining enough traffic, you could sell ad space, host sponsored content, work with brands, or join affiliate programs linking in with large companies to earn money. Competition in the blogosphere can be fierce, so it may be worth keeping your content fresh and regularly updated to generate traffic.
3. Start a video channel
If your skills need a visual angle, use a video-sharing platform. These days, all you’ll need is a smartphone with a good camera. Again, it's likely worth keeping content up to date. If your videos are gaining decent daily views, you could sell advertising slots or sponsorship. As with a blog, if your subject area isn’t overcrowded with existing content, it’ll help you stand out. ‘How to’ guides are generally always popular – it’s just about approaching popular topics from a unique angle.
4. Create an online course
If you have professional qualifications or expertise in a niche field, you could create a series of digital courses for people to pay for. Whatever your skill, online courses are often a popular way of making money; there are easy-to-use platforms to set up your series that pay you when someone subscribes. You could pre-record your videos or create a mix of written, visual, or audio content if you prefer.
5. Publish your stories and sell your photography
If you’ve dabbled in some writing, you could try one of the many online self-publishing platforms available. And if you enjoy photography and have some good quality shots, explore stock image websites where you can upload your photographs for others to use and pay for. These two paths won’t make you rich overnight but could bring in a trickle of passive income for something you already do – and enjoy.
6. Invest in the stock market
This does need money upfront, and you may wish to seek some professional advice to figure out the type of investment you’d like to make – anything from a stocks and shares ISA to a passive investment fund. But if you’re patient and committed to being in it for the long run, investing could be a good way to build passive income.
7. Buy property
This may not be a financially realistic option for everyone, but buying a property to rent usually generates a monthly rental income. Being a landlord does come with commitments and overheads, and buy-to-let mortgages aren’t as attractive when interest rates are high. There are alternative options if you want to invest in property (like an investment fund that holds commercial premises) – but you may wish to seek financial advice first.
Generating a passive income takes some effort and planning. But once you’re up and running doing something you enjoy, you might find you’re able to take on more than one idea and boost your income even further.
This article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice.
As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. A stocks and shares ISA may not be right for everyone and tax rules may change in the future. You may wish to seek financial advice.