21 Best Passive Income Ideas in 2021

Woman counting her passive income money.

The importance of passive income has been increasingly clear, especially after the events in 2020. This is why we put together a guide to the 21 best passive income ideas in 2021.

We have all had many realizations about financial stability. Relying on one income source is no longer an option anymore.

So what should you do to not need to rely on one income source?

And the answer is to have multiple streams of income. Simple, I know, right?

There are many ways to build passive income, all of which will be discussed in this article.

Having passive income can help you out in so many ways. If you just lost your job due to layoffs, your passive income sources can serve as a fallback plan.

If you want to start a business but don’t have the required funds, your passive income sources will be a lifesaver.

In this article, you will learn exactly what are the best passive income sources in 2021 and how you can start making more money right away!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

What is Passive Income?

You earn passive income by earning money from a business that you spend very little time with.

Do not get this confused with get-rich-quick schemes. You cannot magically start earning money instantly. If this were the case then everyone would be a rich business owner.

Usually, passive income streams require a lot of initial hard work at the start before the income turns truly passive.

Using rental properties, for instance, you need to invest your time and money to turn it into a passive income stream.

All this hard work is extremely rewarding. Nothing feels better than making money while you sleep.

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Passive Income Ideas for 2021

Here are the top passive income ideas in 2021. These low-risk passive income ideas are easy to start and provide the best results.

Pro Tip: Have multiple sources of passive income for the best results. Diversity among income is key!

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a good passive income idea because you make money promoting and selling other peoples products or services.

With affiliate marketing you do not have to create your own product, you sell others instead!

Affiliate marketing can be a great option and extremely passive when you have a decent-sized website or following.

Affiliate marketing can take time to start and require a lot of hard work initially.

12 Minute Affiliate provides a great alternative to start making money with affiliate marketing in as little as 12 minutes!

There are multiple ways to start making money with affiliate marketing, all of which can be extremely profitable.

There are many affiliate marketers making six and seven figures every year!

Initial Investment: $0+

Time Investment: 12 minutes or one month and up

2. Blogging

If you create a successful blog it can be a money-making machine, if monetized the right way.

Starting a blog is very cheap, under $5 a month if you use Bluehost.

Starting a blog takes a lot of time initially. After this initial time investment of posting content for a few months, once your site starts getting traffic, you will start to make money.

The best way to monetize your blog is through ads and affiliate links.

Here is my guide to starting a successful money-making blog in 2021: How to Make Money Blogging in 2021

Initial Investment: Less than $5 a month

Time Investment: About six months to a year.

3. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Certificates of Deposit are not nearly as exciting as other passive income ideas. However, they are a safe way to make money.

They are insured by the FDIC and are a good place to keep your money to make up for your losses due to inflation.

Something to be aware of is that CDs have a minimum deposit period required. An example of this is depositing your money for at least a year.

The trick to becoming wealthy is diversification. Consider adding CDs to your portfolio of other passive income sources.

The main attraction to CDs is the very low risk involved with using them.

Initial Investment: Amount Varies

Time Investment: Long term

4. Sell Online Courses

Selling online courses is a great passive income idea for anyone who is knowledgeable about a certain topic or subject.

You can create a course using Teachable or Thinkific and start making money.

An alternative way to sell online courses is by creating your own website.

With your own website, you have complete control over how the site is designed and the courses are priced.

You can start selling your own course today for less than $5 a month.

Initial Investment: $0 to less than $5 a month

Time Investment: One month and up

5. Invest in Real Estate

Real estate investing is a very popular way to make passive income. Just like affiliate marketing, real estate has many different sub-categories.

If you own a home currently you can rent out an unused room and start making money every month!

Many do something known as House hacking in the real estate world. this is when you buy multi-family rental properties, live in one unit, and rent out the others.

More times than not you will be living rent-free and maybe even making a couple of grand extra every month.

The amount you make depends on how much you rent out the other units for.

Initial Investment: $0+

Time Investment: A couple of weeks.

6. Sell a Digital Product

Selling digital products is a great way to make steady passive income after the initial time investment.

There is no inventory required when selling digital products, compared to physical products. This means you do not have to worry about the headache of shipping involved with physical products.

Digital products that can be sold for passive income can be e-books, templates, guides, mobile apps, stock photos, or even audio tracks.

The list goes on. There are so many ways to make money selling digital products!

Initial Investment: $0

Time Investment: One year to create and publish the product

7. Photography

Photography is another great passive income idea. If you like taking pictures, you can sell them online for a lot of money!

Websites like Shutterstock and Getty Images make it easy to start selling your photos.

Getting paid to take photos is an easy passive income idea to start today!

If you have a phone with a camera, consider making money selling photos online.

Initial Investment: $0

Time Investment: Varies (You make your own schedule!)

8. Print on Demand

Print on demand is a good way for beginners to start making passive income.

It’s extremely simple to get started making money online for very little work.

To make money off print on demand you have to make designs, upload them to websites like Redbubble, Merch by Amazon, or Teespring.

Your designs get placed on products like t-shirts, mugs, or masks.

You can start making designs from your phone using free apps like Canva.

Most of these print on demand websites do the marketing for you!

The more designs that you upload the more money you will make.

Initial Investment: 0

Time Investment: Varies (You decide)

9. Refinance Student Loans

Refinancing your student debt is a great way to save a lot of money over the life of your loan with a lower interest rate.

You can fill out an application to check all the rates that are available to you. This application will not affect your credit score.

No one likes to pay more money in interest than they have to. If you have student loans, consider refinancing them. Paying less on student loans means more money in the end for you to enjoy!

Initial Investment: $0

Time Investment: 15 minutes (Application time)

10. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real estate investment trusts are a good source of passive income due to their generous dividends.

REITs usually invest in high-interest debt services or properties that produce income, This makes them more passive income-oriented.

REITs are an amazing investment opportunity when real estate markets are doing well. If real estate markets are not doing well, it’s not recommended to invest in REITs.

This being said, it’s easy to quickly buy and sell REITs just like other investments.

If you want to diversify your passive income streams, consider choosing REITs.

Initial Investment: $500+

Time Investment: Long term

11. Create an Alexa Skill

Creating an Alexa Skill is a good way to make extra passive income in 2021.

As the popularity of Alexa increases the need for Alexa Skills increases. Alexa has skills similar to how smartphones have apps.

If you can master creating an Alexa Skill you could see a large amount of added passive income.

Initial Investment: $0

Time Investment: 2-3 Weeks

12. Transcription

Transcription work is a very easy way to make a ton of extra money.

It does not take much thought to do transcription work. Though it does require some work, it is very flexible.

What you would do is listen to audio files and transcribe them. Typically you are paid per hour of audio. However, you are not usually assigned tedious amounts of audio to transcribe.

This makes it a very flexible way to earn extra money.

Initial Investment: $0

Time Investment: Varies

13. Turn Text to Speech

Turning text to speech is another good passive income idea to make money online.

Companies always want to improve their profits. They mostly go about this either making written or video advertisements.

Your job is to find the companies that are only using text ads. You will contact these companies, telling them that you will make a high-converting professional video advertisement for a fee.

If you use Speechelo, you will easily be able to instantly transform their current ad text into a high-quality video ad.

Speechelo works with any video creation software.

Businesses will pay top dollar for a good video ad. Go out and contact a bunch of businesses and offer your services!

This is a great way to make extra income with very little work as long as you use Speechelo to convert the text to speech.

Initial Investment: $47

Time Investment: Varies (depends on how many businesses are contacted)

14. Start A Niche Affiliate Marketing Site

Building a niche affiliate marketing website is one of the best passive income ideas in 2021.

In short, you will start a website and create content that is SEO optimized. This is so it shows up in search engines and people visit your website.

In this content, you will put a bunch of affiliate links to products that you believe in or use.

Every time someone clicks one of your affiliate links you will earn a percentage of the profit.

After you post a certain number of articles on your website (typically 30-50) you can leave it there and watch the money come in.

This money would be completely passive. With affiliate websites, you put in a lot of time up at the beginning. This only is until your website has 30-50 posts and Google views it as complete.

Many affiliate marketing niche websites make tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands every month!

The only expense is website hosting, which through Bluehost, is extremely cheap.

Initial Investment: Less than $5 a month

Time Investment: 3-4 months

15. Start a Podcast

If you have been online for any amount of time, you have probably heard of podcasts. They are viewed as the replacement to radio and serve as an excellent source of passive income.

If you do not like to write and prefer to create audio-focused content, you should start a podcast.

Podcasts are good alternatives to blogs because they require you to know how to be slightly entertaining or informative and well, know how to talk!

You can make money through advertisements and sponsors on your Podcast.

Initial Investment: Less than $50 (Equipment)

Time Investment: Varies

16. Laundromat

Laundromats are a great passive income source for people looking to expand their portfolio of income streams.

If you have ever gone to a Laundromat before, you know that you have to pay money to use washing machines, similar to how a gumball machine works.

As long as people come to your Laundromat and continue to use your machines, you will make significant passive income.

Initial Investment: $200,000

Time Investment: 1-3 Months

17. Write an E-book

If you want to become an author, but do not want to go through all the hassle of creating a physical book, consider writing an e-book.

There are plenty of websites that let you market and sell your e-book. Selling e-books on Amazon is a popular choice by many.

With Sqribble Prime’s templates creating an e-book has never been easier

Sqribble has templates for every niche, if you think it, there’s a good chance they have it.

Initial Investment: $47

Time Investment: 1-4 weeks

18. Vending Machines

Making money from vending machines is another great passive income idea.

Go out and find a brick-and-mortar business that has space for a vending machine and start making money!

You will need to do some upkeep such as restocking inventory and collecting the profit. Other than that, making money from vending machines in 2021 is completely passive.

Initial Investment: $1,500-$5,000 (Cost of one vending machine)

Time Investment: Varies

19. Create Software

If you have a skill for creating software, you can make passive income from it!

The term software can mean a range of things. It can mean anything from apps for a smartphone to online applications.

To make money from your software, you can offer a free model with additional add-ons for a cost or an initial fee to start using

Initial Investment: varies

Time Investment: varies

20. Become an Angel Investor

Becoming an angel investor is a great opportunity for passive income.

The trick is finding a business that you think will take off and offer to lend them money.

After you invest in a business that you believe in, wait for them to go big and make you a ton of money as a return on your investment.

Initial Investment: $25,000+

Time Investment: Varies

21. Start an Etsy Store

Starting an Etsy store is one of the best passive income ideas in 2021.

It is really easy to start an Etsy store. Buying and selling arts and crafts is the platform’s specialty.

You can start selling your work today and gain a following through the site.

Shipping and getting paid is very simple and easy to do. If you sell something that is popular, you can make good money selling on Etsy.

Initial Investment: $0

Time Investment: Varies

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many passive income ideas that work in 2021.

Whether you want to start making passive income as a student or to replace your full-time job, it can be done.

People have seen success through all the passive income ideas listed above. Some passive income streams take longer to start making money. But in the end, they make you money passively, and that is the goal.

If you liked this article, make sure to check out these other articles and guides on how to make more money online, start a business, or personal finance tips.

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One Comment

  1. Wonderful ideas to make a huge sum of passive income and writing an e-book, creating a podcast and create software are some of the best-selling passive income ideas in today’s corona times.

    Thanks

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