Diversify your Earnings: 3 ways to get started with Passive Income

Many of you might have heard the term passive income thrown around by a neighbor, a work associate or family member. The idea may seem remote to those of us stuck in the traditional 9 to 5 world, where income arrives in your bank account each month and the only reliable bonus is in your Grandmother’s end of year Christmas Card.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Passive income represents the opportunity for a consistent source of returns from an initial investment of time or money. The idea is that once you’re set up the returns keep coming in with minimal upkeep required on your end.  Sounds great right? We all want to be able to sit easy and enjoy the fruits of our labor, but where to invest and how? Here’s a list of ideas to get you started on your way.


Real Estate

Rental properties are a tried and tested method of earning income. While being a landlord generally requires more of an active investment in your property, you can always outsource this facet of the job to a management company for a percentage off the rent once you’re up and running.

The main decision to be made is where to rent out? It could be a room in your house or an extra property you own in which case sites like AirBnB can provide a constant flow of regular visitors to earn you income.  

If you don’t have existing space you may need to buy a new property, for many people the sticking point is coming up with the necessary capital to make such a purchase. Thankfully websites like Realtyshares and PeerStreet cater to just this niche. These are both crowdfunded real estate sites that allow you to get in on property investments at anywhere from $1000 to $5000 dollars at a minimum, promising consistent annualized returns on your investments for far less work.


Peer to Peer Lending

Sites like Prosper and the Lending Club take away banks and other financial institutions from the lending process. Instead people who may have difficulties securing loans through conventional means can apply directly to individuals like you for a loan. Though these websites only sprung up about a decade ago, they’ve gone from strength to strength since, growing into a combined multi-billion dollar industry. You can start investing for as little as $25 and pick who you want to lend to spreading your investments to lower risk. The website advertises annual returns of 7% on investments, with very little work required after your initial investment.


Sell your own media Online

This is a strategy that requires an initial investment of time and effort rather than money, and depending on how successful you want to be it might take quite a bit of it too! These days content creation is all the rage, and anyone can take advantage of the marketing opportunities the internet provides to monetize their skills and knowledge.

  • You could write an educational EBook and sell it through your website, or if you’re more fiction inclined then self-publish it through Amazon’s publishing platform.  
  • If you have the proper equipment and some sonic expertise you could try selling an audio book instead through portals such as ACX.
  • If you’re more of a photo-buff then try selling your pictures online through stock photo sites like iStockPhoto or Shutter Stock.

Whichever method you choose, your time and expertise can prove valuable in more places than just the job market. Though it might take some work, a book or piece of media that connects to an audience can reap you passive income for years to come.


Live well into the Future

Whether it’s through the methods mentioned above or other passive income opportunities like Certificates of Deposit and dividend stocks a good source of passive income can form a vital part of an early retirement strategy.

It’s important to remember that while passive income can seem like a dream, it does require hard work, effort or money to start off. So make sure you’re willing to dedicate yourself to ensuring the long-term success of any strategy you choose to pursue, an hour more worked today or an extra penny saved can pay off in a big way years down the line.