Remember that sense of awe you'd get from watching firework shows as a kid?
Boom! Crackle! Fizz!
Fireworks were magical. Spectacular. And perhaps, a bit scary!
Business is sometimes like that. Sometimes, it takes guts to start a new business – to dive into something new that you really don't know much about.
I remember when I started this blog. I barely had a clue what I was doing, but I felt like it was a good idea.
Turns out, it was a fantastic idea. But it took some guts and certainly wasn't without its challenges.
Best of all though, it led to some amazing residual income that has helped boost my family's bottom line.
I'd like to share some spectacular residual income ideas with you.
But you're going to need a little courage to start these. So, if you're daring, let's start with the big fat disclaimer and then get to the meat and potatoes.
Big Fat Disclaimer about Residual Income Ideas
Behind every promise of a residual income business strategy is a price some people don't expect: work. In fact, sometimes, it's a lot of work.
Fortunately, most of that work is required during the early stages of any residual income idea.
You see, residual income ideas (also called passive income ideas) normally have a lot of work smushed toward the beginning of the project. In other words, you might work like a mad person for very little immediate income spanning several months or years before you earn a penny.
Yeah, I know, that's disappointing news.
The good news is, not all residual income ideas require a lot of effort up front. Some of them do, however, require some capital you may or may not already have.
But, there's more good news. Regardless of whether residual income ideas require a lot of upfront work (or capital), you can rest assured that they often pay off big time in the long run.
When you hear about people “making money in their sleep,” what you're really hearing about is people who worked hard or invested a lot to be able to make money in their sleep.
That's the big fat disclaimer. If you're cool with that, read on!
Spectacular Residual Income Ideas for the Brave
Okay, so you still have the guts to move forward. Let's do this.
1. Try out peer-to-peer lending.
I'll start you out with an easy one: peer-to-peer lending.
What's peer-to-peer lending? It's perhaps one of the coolest, most spectacular income ideas for the brave. Here's how it works . . . .
Peer-to-peer lending is basically lending that doesn't occur with a bank. Instead, it occurs between peers. Hence, the name.
In other words, you can be an investor in some notes (debts) and give the money to the borrower through an awesome company called Lending Club.
Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending company that connects investors' money with borrowers who need loans. As an investor, you can manually invest by choosing available loans yourself. Alternatively, you can choose automated investing where you would set the criteria, and notes are selected for you based on that criteria.
You might be thinking, “Well, that's awesome! But why must you be brave to invest in this residual income idea?”
Great question. You see, the loans may default. These investments are not insured, so you can lose your investment. The good news is that Lending Club uses some “best practices” to collect payments from delinquent borrowers.
With Lending Club being pretty low risk and having a nice reward, it makes it my number one spectacular residual income idea for the brave. Give it a shot!
2. Blog, baby, blog!
Like I mentioned earlier, blogging has helped me earn me some serious dough.
But unlike peer-to-peer lending, there are quite a few lessons to learn and challenges to overcome.
Namely, professional blogging takes time and money. At first, you can start out solo and see if you can gain some traction. But over time, I found that investing in your website is one of the best ways to earn some residual income.
The task that takes up a lot of time is learning how blogs work. What's a domain? What's a host? What's a cookie? What's WordPress? How does all this work?
And those things are just some of the things you'll have to learn. You'll also need to learn how to make money blogging (I have you covered if you follow the link).
Blogging, also means being very open with the world about your life. If you're not the extroverted type, you need to remember that blogging means having your work critiqued by the masses. It may not be as rough as attending a dinner party, but you'll definitely get your share of critical remarks. And at least part of the time, that feedback hurts!
However, if you can devote some serious time and money into professional blogging, you should give it a whirl! Who knows, it might just be the best residual income idea for you.
3. Sell some merchandise online.
Yep, you can sell stuff online.
Gumroad is one way to do so, and it's pretty neat. You can create digital books and courses to sell to your amazing followers online. Imagine the possibilities!
This is a fantastic residual income idea, as it allows you to create content once and sell it – pretty much forever.
If you're interested in selling through Gumroad, you might also want to try ConvertKit.
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool that allows you to send “drip” email to your followers. It's what I use, and I love it.
What's drip email? It's a way to create a series of emails upfront and have them “drip” to your email subscribers at a certain interval over a period of time.
For example, if you're selling a product on how to grow garden veggies, you might create a series of emails related to gardens for your followers.
This does a number of things:
- It establishes you as an expert on gardens.
- It gets people thinking about your topic on a more frequent basis.
- It gives you a way to get your product in front of the eyes of others.
One of the best parts about using Gumroad and ConvertKit is they integrate together for a seamless experience for your followers. Sweet, eh?
You might be wondering about potential downsides to selling merchandise online. Well, there are a few.
First, it takes some guts to create a product and launch it for everyone to see. You might wonder if your product is any good in the first place. You might wonder if it will flop. Don't let these fears hold you back.
However, I would recommend that you do some market research before you launch a product. Often, I will send out surveys to my followers to see what kinds of products and topics they are interested in so I can learn how to serve them best. This is a must, friends.
Spend months on your ebook or course. Take your time to age it to perfection. Don't be quick to pull the trigger. Get some feedback on your product before you launch it.
Create a beta product and see how it does. Then, you can tweak and polish your product so it's ready to launch to the masses.
Give this residual income idea a try. I think you'll be glad you did.
4. Invest your dough in stocks and bonds.
Yes, traditional investing is a residual income idea. And, in my opinion, it rocks.
Many residual income techniques, like blogging and selling online merchandise, take a lot of upfront time and effort. In fact, they require some ongoing effort, too (to various degrees).
When you invest in stocks and bonds, really, there's nothing much to do except to choose your stocks and bonds wisely and wait.
That's the spectacular thing about traditional investing: it's relatively easy. If you have some dough to invest, you can invest your money today and reap some residual income over time.
There are a few popular ways to invest your money to earn some residual income, and I'd like to briefly go over those methods here . . . .
Hire a Professional
Someone, like, me! If you're unsure how you should invest your money, and you need to make sure you're doing the right thing with your money to reach your goals, it's almost always a good idea to invest with a professional.
Also, this method can give you a tremendous amount of peace of mind. If you're worried about your finances and investments, you'll have someone who can help you change course or hold to the same – depending on what needs to happen given your particular situation.
If this sounds like the right route for you, I encourage you to learn more about working with me.
If you're the kind of guy or gal who doesn't really need access to someone you can sit down with across from a desk, but you want your investments to be automatically managed, you might think about signing up with a robo-advisor.
A robo-advisor is basically pre-programmed software designed to invest your money using various factors, such as your risk tolerance level.
Betterment, for example, includes some of the following features:
- Automated portfolio rebalancing
- Goal setting
- Tax-loss harvesting
- and more!
Also, many robo-advisors allow their clients to invest very little money to start (Betterment allows this).
More from GFC, Below
So, if you're thinking about investing in an automated way and/or don't have much money to start investing with a professional, I recommend you read our review of Betterment to learn more.
Do it Yourself
If you're wanting to personally select particular stocks and bonds to build your portfolio, you can use a number of online services.
This is probably the most daring option, so it's definitely not right for everyone.
But, if you feel you could do a good job and you have some investment knowledge already, you might want to take a look at E*trade.
Also, be sure to read my E*trade review. There, I'll show you some of Scottrade's features and how to open an account.
5. Delegate stuff you really shouldn't be doing.
What's your time worth? $25 per hour? $50 per hour? $100 per hour? More?
The truth is, sometimes, it's difficult to place a value on your time. However, as you go through life, you're going to need to figure out what you should be doing and what other people should be doing.
In other words, you need to figure out what you should delegate. Do you have a business? Yes? How many of your business tasks are you delegating to contract laborers or employees? Not many? Perhaps you should rethink that.
By having a fantastic support team in place, you can focus on the tasks that you're best at and leave other tasks for others to complete. This will almost always lead to residual income.
This is, by no means, an easy step to take. If you're going to hire someone to help you with your business endeavors, it requires quite a bit of trust.
Additionally, you may not be able to ascertain from an interview if someone will do a good job for you. It may take quite a while to train them and make sure they are treating customers right.
That's why this is a residual income idea for the brave. If you're a business owner who is flying solo, you probably already understand the fear that can rise up in you when you think about bringing someone else on board.
It's a leap of faith. But you know what? Should you take this leap of faith, and be able to manage the ups and downs of working with other people, you're almost sure to reap the rewards of residual income.
6. Earn residual income with a credit card.
Here’s another residual income idea that can pay off, just in a different way. With any one of the top rewards credit cards in your wallet, you can earn somewhere between 1 and 5 percent back on your money without much effort at all.
Plus, some cards offer a sweet signup bonus to boot!
Here’s an example of how this works:
Let’s say you just decided to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. Once you had the card in-hand, you could begin using it for purchases and earning cash back for every swipe. For every dollar you spend on regular purchases, you’ll get 1 percent back in the form of rewards. For dining and travel purchases, on the other hand, you’ll score a smooth 2 percent back.
Even better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers 50,000 points worth $500 in cash if you’re able to spend $4,000 on your card within the first 90 days. That part isn’t residual, but it’s still a huge perk!
With a few cards and a solid strategy, you could easily earn a few percentage points in cash back for everything you buy all year long. And as long as you pay your balance in full and never pay interest, this is free residual income for the taking. Does it get any better than that?
7. Try your hand with index funds.
If you rely on bloggers for your investing advice, you already know that index funds are extremely popular among all types of investors. This is partly because index funds are so easy to buy, but it’s also because they are fairly straight forward. As a type of mutual fund, index funds make it possible to buy packages of investments that are managed professionally.
If your goal is investing frequently without trying to “time the market,” index funds are one of the best options out there.
When it comes to buying in, I always suggest TD Ameritrade due to their low trade fees and endless investment options.
Also know that plenty of other online brokerage firms offer access to low-cost index funds that can take the headache out of your investment strategy. And if you really want residual income, you should try to save yourself as much stress and hassle as possible, right?
8. Earn cash for doing stuff online.
Believe it or not, there are dozens of websites that will pay you to do really silly things like watch videos and surf the web. If you get in the habit of using these sites, you can earn ongoing and residual income that can really add up over time.
Swagbucks is a similar site that offers the same deal. Sign up for a free account, click through their website when you search the internet or buy stuff online, and earn points you can redeem for real money or gift cards. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re on the internet a lot like I am, you can rake in some serious cash over time! Best of all, signing up for these programs is a piece of cake!
9. Invest in real estate for long-term growth.
I’ve written about real estate investing many times over the years, and for good reason. By and large, real estate offers a serious and proven way to become extremely wealthy over a lifetime.
Becoming a landlord isn’t for the faint of heart, but you can score huge returns if you don’t mind the hassle. Let’s say you purchase a few rental properties when your kids are young, let the renters pay them off over time, and own a few properties outright by the time you reach retirement age.
Depending on the quality of your rentals, you can easily score several thousand dollars in mostly passive income every month!
If you don’t like the hands-on approach, you can also crowdfund a real estate venture with a service like Fundrise. In my in-depth Fundrise review, I highlighted how people who use this service earn average returns of 13 percent.
Now, how’s that for residual income?
If you're leery of investing in something new, you can also consider investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs. With this option, you’re investing in real estate in an indirect way. The best part about REITs is that they are completely hands-off, letting you earn residual income built on an underlying real estate investment.
Another great perk is that, like stocks or bonds, you can sell your REIT any time you want. That makes REITs a lot more liquid than brick-and-mortar real estate investments, and thus, a lot more passive.
10. Build a niche website for affiliate marketing or product sales.
Even if you have no desire to become a “blogger,” you can still create a website geared at earning residual income. In some cases, people pursue this strategy in order to pursue affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you insert links into your content, then get paid when people click through and make a purchase.
While that may not sound lucrative, it's actually a great way to earn residual income that pays off. Take a look at my latest income report and you'll see exactly what I mean!
Another strategy in this space is building a niche website to sell a specific product. Let's say you are obsessed with hockey to the point where you live it and breathe it. By setting up a hockey-focused niche site, you create a space to write about the sport and sell hockey gear and products.
My wife and I have our Marriage More podcast. One simple way we've added revenue is offering what our listeners wanted – t-shirts!
We added a Marriage More shop offering t-shirts, prints, and pillows and see sales trickle in each month.
That's just one example, and you can find niche website that cover nearly any topic. At the end of the day, the sky is the limit when it comes to finding ways to get paid online!
Residual or “passive” income is the stuff of dreams. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make money in their sleep?
Unlike the money you earn at your job, residual income comes whether you show up or not. And if you’re able to put in a ton of work on the front-end, you can even earn enough residual income to replace the income from your job altogether!
Any of the options I have listed here can help you rake in some serious cash while you snooze, but this list isn’t all-inclusive.
If you really want to earn passive income, you can also try your hand at coming up with a new strategy! Brainstorm a new idea, come up with a new business concept, or invent something that will blow people away.
The opportunity is out there, folks. It’s up to you to find it.
Which idea is your favorite? Tell me some of your own residual income ideas in the comments!