Sources of Passive Income For The Average Person

A common question I get is “how can I make passive income ?”.   This is harder to answer than you might think as sources of passive income (often referred to as residual income) don’t just fall out of the sky.  The definition of passive income according to wikipedia,  is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.  Or, as I like to think if it, a way to make money with little effort that won’t make you rich.

Lets get real
Income requires you to work for it.  You may commute to a job, or work at home, but you work for your earnings.  Unlike collecting Unemployment, Social Security, retirement benefits, and dividends or interest on assets, passive income does require thought, persistence, and a real business sense.  Rarely does it exist for the average Joe.  But lets go back to the definition of passive income.  See the words little effort ?  That is the key.  But to get to the point of little effort, you have to put in BIG effort.  Big effort is the work required to get to the point of little effort.

So What Are Some Examples Of Passive Income ?
Getting to the point of little effort can be achieved quicker than you might think, provided you’re doing something you enjoy.  There are several different ways to generate passive income, in a variety of business formats.  Income may be derived from the sale of a product, or recurring fees from customers, but the initial work will always be a prerequisite.  Here are a few ideas:

  • As a fitness or yoga instructor, create a dvd for sale to the general public
  • As an owner of a retail shop, your managers run the day-to-day operations
  • Create an e-book or a digital product.   Check out
  • If you have a blog, make money with ad revenue serving applications such as Adsense.
  • “Sell” your photos or artwork on the web
  •  Create a smartphone app.

You probably won’t get rich with any of these ideas, but once you have your project underway you’ll have more time to do other things.  Perhaps start another revenue stream ?


Image courtesy of Ambro /

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