Remember the sense of awe you’d get from watching firework shows as a kid?
Boom! Crackle! Fizz!
Fireworks were magical. Spectacular.
Now imagine money continuously rolling into your account while you sleep, vacation, and go about living your best life.
Talk about exciting!
Sometimes all it takes to get there is money to invest or a bit of time and passion. With one of the ideas below, you could be earning a residual income in no time.
You just have to light the spark! And, when you do, the results will be nothing short of extraordinary.
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 which 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.
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.
Table of Contents
- 1. Try out peer-to-peer lending.
- 2. Invest your dough in stocks and bonds.
- 3. Try your hand with index funds.
- 4. Invest in real estate for long-term growth.
- 5. Blog, baby, blog!
- 6. Start a Youtube channel
- 7. Build an App
- 8. Earn residual income with a credit card.
- 9. Earn cash for doing stuff online.
- 10. Become a Brand Rep
- 11. Sell merchandise online.
- 12. Use a niche website for affiliate marketing or product sales
- 13. Start an Online Store
- 14. Rake In the Royalties
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.
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?
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.
The nice thing about Lending Club is that you can put your money to work. You can earn more money with your money. That’s a pretty cool thing.
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!
Not sure what the deal is with Lending Club?
Read my review.
2. 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 . . . .
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).
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 E*Trade’s features and how to open an account.
3. 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 straightforward.
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
When it comes to buying in, I always suggest M1 Finance due to their zero trading fees and endless investment options.
Also know that plenty of other online brokerage firms offer access to low-cost index funds which 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?
Related: Best Online Brokerage Accounts
4. 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 8.7-12.4 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.
5. 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.
Ready for a challenge? Sign up for my Make 1k Blogging email challenge. It’s a free 10 email series that’s the main goal is to help you get your blog set up and make your first $1,000 blogging. Sign up only if you want to make some extra money. 😉
6. Start a Youtube channel
Put yourself out there! You can create videos in just about any area that you like – music, tutorials, opinions, comedy, movie reviews – anything you want . . . then put them on YouTube.
A Youtube channel has two-fold benefits for an influencer: you can use it to establish yourself as a credible source in your niche, and also to make money as your brand grows.
You can attach Google AdSense to the videos, which will overlay your videos with automatic ads.
When viewers click on those ads, you will earn money from AdSense.
You have to create compelling videos, promote those videos on social media, and create enough of them that multiple videos are making money.
And no worries if you aren’t skilled in video editing. There are apps which can make that much easier and affordable these days.
Bottom line: there’s a good bit of work that goes into creating videos. But once a video is made it can become a completely passive cash flow source for a very long time and add to the brand you’ve worked to build.
7. Build an App
Even if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person out there, building an app isn’t out of your reach.
Whether you have a brilliant idea for organizing tasks or a treasure-trove of travel advice, you can create an app to help people out.
The key is creating something unique.
Do that, and you can make quite a bit of money. Simple – yet unique – apps can be pretty passive.
And if coding is a foreign language to you, check out codementor.com, where you can hire a developer to build the app based on your idea or get live programming assistance. It’s hard to beat!
Bottom Line: Don’t downplay the idea to build an app – it’s a good one!
8. 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?
9. 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.
InboxDollars is a good example.
After you sign up, you’ll get paid to search the web and shop online – you know, stuff you were going to do anyway!
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!
10. Become a Brand Rep
One of the best ways to wield your influence in exchange for cash is by becoming a brand ambassador. Depending on how large your sphere of influence is, you can partner with some major companies to grow both your following and theirs.
Once you’re accepted as a brand rep, you simply post photos to social media, primarily to Instagram, that meet certain criterion and promote the brand.
Some companies might require a weekly post and a number of purchases per month.
In exchange, you get cash, discounts, other perks, and recognition on the company’s social media accounts, all of which equates to more passive income for you.
11. Sell 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.
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.
Key Considerations for Selling Online
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.
12. Use 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.
To get you started, here are over 100 referral services online to help you make bank!
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 websites 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!
13. Start an Online Store
What I’m proposing here is a heightened version of affiliate marketing in which you curate items from online vendors which are tailored to your followers.
Although you set up a storefront on your site, the actual products are not your own.
So when people buy them, they’re making purchases from the company itself. You simply guide them there and profit from the purchase.
Pro tip: you need to choose products for your faux storefront to fit your website’s aesthetic and match your brand.
A Daily Something is an excellent example of this type of blog, with a shop section leading followers to the product purchase pages of vendors.
It’s like pinning your favorite outfits on Pinterest but getting paid for it.
Starting an online business doesn’t have to be hard. You can set up a storefront similar to the one above by building a store on Shopify.com, being as involved or passive as you prefer.
14. Rake In the Royalties
Writing a book is a one-and-done activity which can lead to long-term earnings.
It requires some work at the onset, but if writing is something you love, penning a book could be worth your while.
You can either sell the ebook on your own website or offer it as an affiliate arrangement with other websites who provide content related to your ebook.
I’ve spoken with several ebook authors, and many of them tell me the time spent putting these books together feels like finding free money by the passive stream of income they have today.
And there are plenty of free or affordable ebook formatting platforms to help you structure your content for digital publishing.
With a print book, a publisher might pay you royalties for the distribution and sale of the book. You’ll get a percentage of each sale made, and if the book is fairly popular, the royalties could be substantial.
Just as important, the royalties can continue flowing for many years. Mike Piper, from OblivousInvestor.com, did just that, writing a book called Investing Made Simple, which was sold strictly on Amazon.
After finding decent success with his first book, he decided to create an entire series. Those books now net him over 6 figures per year in residual earnings.
Not too shabby.
Photography websites such as Shutterstock can provide you with platforms to sell your photos. They’ll most likely offer either a percentage or a flat fee for each photo that gets sold to a site client.
In this way, a single photo could represent a residual income opportunity, since it can be sold again and again. You simply need to create your photo portfolio and put it on one or more photo platforms.
Then, the activity becomes completely passive. All the technicalities of photo sales are handled through the web platform.
Calling all songwriters, singers, and musicians!
If you create a piece of music, whether it’s background music for videos, lyrics, a song, a ringtone – you name it – you could profit residually from it.
You could potentially get paid every time someone downloads a digital copy of your music, or you could sell physical CDs.
Either way, you’re profiting from the music you made once again and again.
And with the right licensing, you could get paid every time someone plays or performs your song at an event or in a public setting.
You can create a new typeface or an illustration and list it on a website like Creative Market or FontSpring. With those sites, you can set the price for your assets and earn a large commission on every sale.
You could also work with a print-on-demand site like Society6 to sell your artwork.
On those sites, people can pay to have your artwork printed on virtually anything. You create the design once and reap the rewards every time someone purchases your design.
The best part? With a company like Society6, you never have to worry about handling printing, shipping, or product purchases. It’s all managed for you.
Talk about passive!
Residual income is the stuff of dreams. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make a high income 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!