As an entrepreneur, your income can be unpredictable at the best of times. However, during a global crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty surrounds businesses and consumers alike. That’s why it’s important to have a backup plan that includes passive income ideas. The great thing about passive income is that while some ideas might require a bit of effort to get up and running — like affiliate programs — once set up they require little or no daily effort to maintain.
10 passive income ideas for entrepreneurs
This article will share multiple ideas for generating passive income, including:
- Start a blog.
- Create and sell eBooks.
- Create and sell audiobooks.
- Sell photos online.
- Develop online courses.
- Create membership sites.
- Provide consulting services.
- Offer digital downloads.
- Join an affiliate program.
- Monetize YouTube videos.
Let’s take a look at some ideas that might help your business not just survive, but thrive, during this challenging time.
1. Start a blog
Blogging is an affordable way to start making some passive income, and one that’s suitable for just about any industry. Aside from promoting your own products and services on a blog, you can earn money from affiliate products and sponsored reviews. Here are some resources to get you started:
- How to start a blog in 7 steps (in 2020)
- Learn how to blog in 5 simple steps
- How to design a blog that converts
- 8 blog SEO tips and tricks
- How to plan your company blog editorial calendar
2. Create and sell eBooks
Thanks to a variety of affordable and accessible digital technologies, creating and selling eBooks has never been easier. If you’ve already got a blog, one strategy is to turn related blog posts into an eBook. Here’s how to do that. You can also leverage your expertise in your niche to create an eBook your audience will find valuable.
Use this guide to quickly plan, outline, write and publish an eBook.
3. Create and sell audiobooks
With your book already written, an audiobook is a natural progression. Many consumers prefer to absorb their information in this way, with one in five Americans saying they read audiobooks. And while they’re still not as popular as eBooks, this is an area with plenty of room for growth.
4. Sell photos online
Both amateur and professional photographers can earn extra income through photo sites like Shutterstock, Dreamstime and Fotolia. As a seller on these sites, you’ll earn a commission for each download you sell. Some say making money this way isn’t as easy as it used to be due to the sheer volume of photographs. However, it’s still possible to make money from selling your photos online.
Check out an ultimate guide to this lucrative side hustle.
5. Develop online courses
You might’ve read about other entrepreneurs who are using their business expertise to create courses on Udemy, Teachable and similar sites. What’s stopping you from doing the same? Not everyone will make it big, but some course developers report six-figure incomes every year. And with more people indoors at the moment, now could be the time to launch your course.
6. Create membership sites
A simple way to earn extra money every month is through membership sites. With this passive income idea, you create valuable content that readers will pay for. You could offer content like video conferences, member-only incentives, courses and premium products.
Here’s how to start a membership site.
7. Provide consulting services
If you have expertise as a consultant, this lends itself well to developing passive income online. But even if you don’t, you can develop your consulting expertise by focusing on matching your strengths with services that are most in demand among your customers. You might even develop consulting services in text format or video format to offer via a paid online course or membership site.
8. Offer digital downloads
Creating digital downloads — like blueprints, plans, templates, planners/printables, patterns or illustrations — can be a great way to build passive income. You can sell these on your own website or via other online platforms.
9. Join an affiliate program
Joining an affiliate program is a proven passive income idea. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing works like this: You basically are a reseller. You share or write about someone else’s product or service and if a reader clicks on the link and purchases it, you make a percentage of the sale. You can even start your own affiliate program, although that will require a bit more time and effort.
Whichever path you choose, here are some resources to get you started:
- How to start affiliate marketing on your blog
- How to get marketers for your affiliate marketing program
- How to use affiliate statements on your website and social posts
Editor’s note: Check out GoDaddy’s Affiliate Program to earn cash from sales when you promote GoDaddy on your website.
10. Monetize YouTube videos
If you’re confident on screen, then YouTube videos could be your way forward. To get started, all you need is a niche and a Google AdSense account.
Here’s an in-depth guide for making money on YouTube, including insights from the pros.
Passive income ideas for your business
The above passive income ideas can work for a wide range of industries. Here are some suggestions for products you could develop for your business based on your current industry or a specialty area you’d like to grow your talents in.
Beauty and spa services
Beauty channels are extremely popular on YouTube, so why not consider setting up your own? You could share beauty tips, styling, and pampering ideas.
If you run a service business like gardening or cleaning, an eBook can work well. In your eBook, you can share tips and advice with readers. Make it available as a download from your site or sell it on Kindle for a commission.
Educational courses that focus on various areas of the health sector may prove popular. For instance, on Udemy there are courses like Fundamentals of Healthcare Communication. Alternatively, you could focus on job seekers with courses on how to improve your LinkedIn profile for the health sector, or how to write a resume.
Education and sports
Courses may be the ideal fit if you work in education. For sports, downloadable nutrition plans or a YouTube channel can work well.
Turn your love of animals into a side business. You can share tips via your blog, and then add links to affiliate products.
Restaurants and bars
Recipe books/cocktail recipes are popular with consumers. Or share tips on running a restaurant, a bar, or home dining. You can make this available in an eBook format or through courses.
Create eBooks that offer tips on topics like tires, such as knowing when to replace them or choosing the right ones for a specific vehicle. You could also set up a membership site and share premium content.
Hotels and lodging
Many hotels run a successful blog to engage readers and encourage visitors. Ideas for content include behind-the-scenes posts, FAQs, customer reviews, and interviews with key staff. You can then monetize it with affiliate links.
Arts and entertainment
Creators in the arts and entertainment sector can build a passive income through products like downloadable short videos, animations and images.
As an entrepreneur, you have valuable information to share about your industry. There are several ways you can use this to build a passive income and further promote your company. Over time, this can allow you to develop a passive income stream that helps cushion you during periods of uncertainty.