For many people, passive income sounds like a dream come true. It’s often touted as an automatic and effortless way to make money while you sleep and otherwise live your life. What many fail to mention, though, is that it doesn’t require an investment of time and/or money to get started, and you usually have to put in at least a little bit of ongoing effort to keep a passive income stream up and running. It also usually takes a considerable amount of time to start earning the kind of passive income that would allow you to quit your day job.

Earning lifechanging amounts of money through passive income streams is absolutely possible, but for most people, it takes time. Most are not able to quit working right away and need to find ways to generate passive income while keeping their day jobs. Here are a few smart passive income ideas that will help you start building wealth without saying “goodbye” to your 9-to-5 grind.

Launch Your Own Blog

Everyone has a story to tell. Why not use your story as a means of generating passive income? When you first start a blog, the money doesn’t automatically start rolling in right away. Over time, though, you can start to generate revenue. Some of the most successful blogs bring in six and seven-figure earnings, so there is definitely a lot of potential!

Choose a niche that means something to you, and blog about that. Keep in mind, though, that certain niches are more profitable than others. Blogs that fall into these categories are typically the highest earners:

  • Money and finance
  • Dating and relationships
  • Diet and fitness

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Becoming an affiliate marketer is a great way to earn passive income. And if you are already thinking about launching a blog, it’s a smart passive income idea that could allow you to create two revenue streams in one.

As an affiliate marketer, you get paid for referring sales to another business. You build a website (or a blog) that contains affiliate links, and every time one of your readers makes a purchase via one of your links, you earn a percentage of the total sale. You can share affiliate links via social media, too. There are also affiliate marketing models that allow you to get paid every time you send a lead to another business’ website.

It costs very little to get started as an affiliate marketer. Since you are not directly involved in selling the products or services you link to, you don’t have to worry about storing inventory or shipping orders. If you already have a strong presence on a blog or social media, you’ll likely be able to start earning money pretty quickly. If not, you’ll likely have to spend some time growing your follower base and nurturing relationships with your readers.

Share Your Knowledge and Talents

Everyone has something that they are really good at or know a lot about. Maybe you know all sorts of tips and tricks for taking amazing photos using a smartphone, or maybe you’re an expert fly fisherman (or woman). Perhaps you’ve already embraced affiliate marketing and you’re really awesome at it or you have in-depth knowledge of SEO or social media marketing. No matter what you’re good at, you can turn it into a passive income stream by writing an ebook or creating an online course.

If you choose to write an ebook, you can easily publish it through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. It takes less than five minutes to publish, and your ebook will be available in Kindle stores within a day or two. You can earn up to 70% royalties, and your ebook can be sold an infinite number of times.

For a more interactive teaching experience, consider creating an online course with a platform like Teachable. Creating a beautiful and informative online course takes some time, but like an ebook, your course can be sold infinitely.

Depending on your particular skill set, you may also be able to share your knowledge and talents via digital downloads. Usually formatted as PDF files, digital downloads can be everything from printable cupcake wrappers and party decorations to patterns for sewing, knitting, crochet, and cross-stitch. You can also design things like notecards and stationery that buyers can print at home.

With digital downloads, ebooks, and online courses, a single creation can be sold millions of times, and you never have to worry about inventory or shipping. These things take some time to create, but once they’re available online, they can earn you money for years to come.

Rent Out Advertising Space on Your Car

You’re already commuting back and forth to work every day. Why not earn some extra cash while you’re driving my renting out ad space on your car? With Wrapify, you get paid for wrapping your car with an advertisement. You don’t pay any money upfront for the advertisement and then drive as you normally would. At the end of the month, you get paid based on the where you drive and how much time you spend driving. Suddenly your long commute will seem a bit less frustrating and a whole lot more rewarding!


Whether you’re trying to earn a little extra money or you are trying to change your life, finding the right passive income streams is the way to go. With passive income, you can earn anywhere from a few extra bucks to thousands – even millions – of dollars, all without quitting your day job.

The experts agree that passive income is the key to financial freedom, and there are plenty of ways that you can get started today!


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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.