Passive income includes regular earnings from a source other than an employer or contractor. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says passive income can come from two sources: rental property or a business in which one does not actively participate, such as being paid book royalties or stock dividends.
1. Selling information products
One popular strategy for passive income is establishing an information product, such as an e-book, or an audio or video course, then kicking back while cash rolls in from the sale of your product. Courses can be distributed and sold through sites such as Udemy, SkillShare and Coursera.
2. Rental income
Investing in rental properties is an effective way to earn passive income. But it often requires more work than people expect. For example, if your goal is to earn $10,000 a year in rental income and the property has a monthly mortgage of $2,000 and costs another $300 a month for taxes and other expenses, you’d have to charge $3,133 in monthly rent to reach your goal.
3. Affiliate marketing
With affiliate marketing, website owners, social media “influencers” or bloggers promote a third party’s product by including a link to the product on their site or social media account. Amazon might be the most well-known affiliate partner, but eBay, Awin and ShareASale are among the larger names, too.
4. Invest in a high-yield CD
To make the most of your CD, you’ll want to do a quick search of the nation’s top CD rates. It’s usually much more advantageous to go with an online bank rather than your local bank, because you’ll be able to select the top rate available in the country. And you’ll still enjoy a guaranteed return of principal up to $250,000, if your financial institution is backed by the FDIC.
5. Dividend stocks
Shareholders in companies with dividend-yielding stocks receive a payment at regular intervals from the company. Companies pay cash dividends on a quarterly basis out of their profits, and all you need to do is own the stock. Dividends are paid per share of stock, so the more shares you own, the higher your payout.
6. A bond ladder
A bond ladder is a series of bonds that mature at different times over a period of years. The staggered maturities allow you to decrease reinvestment risk, which is the risk of tying up your money when bonds offer too-low interest payments.
7. Advertise on your car
You may be able to earn some extra money by simply driving your car around town. Contact a specialized advertising agency, which will evaluate your driving habits, including where you drive and how many miles. If you’re a match with one of their advertisers, the agency will “wrap” your car with the ads at no cost to you. Agencies are looking for newer cars, and drivers should have a clean driving record.