There may be no more pleasant-sounding phrase in the English language than “passive income.” That’s because, as the name implies, passive income suggests money being made — and bank accounts padded — without expending additional time or effort.
But not all passive income ideas are created equal. Some passive income streams are little more than entrepreneurial versions of “swinging for the fences” in the hopes something works. It’s far better to approach passive income creation strategically and come up with passive income goals that align with both your skill set and your expected return on investment.
With that in mind, here are five passive income ideas you can implement in 2017 (and beyond) to generate additional passive income — without getting an MBA or swinging for a single “fence.”
Passive Income Ideas That Can Help You Generate Income
1. Create An Authority Blog
We all know somebody who dreams of creating a blog, writing a few rants, and waiting for the checks to come in while they sit on a beach drinking Mai Tais. Just to be clear, that’s not the type of blog we mean.
Creating an authority blog, about a specific topic that educates and entertains a specific audience, is about establishing yourself as a resource; a valuable member of the community whom your readers and subscribers can trust — and this trust is usually created by “not” overtly selling.
This doesn’t mean you won’t make money from your blog. You can recommend products (affiliate income), offer courses, serve ads — even link to your landing pages — as long as you are creating content that’s helpful and entertaining (and doesn’t ask for somebody to buy something every few paragraphs).
One of the best ways for real estate investors to approach this blog model of passive income is to create a local interest blog that provides information on events, deals, and news in the town your prospective buyers or sellers would be interested in. This way, you can acquire leads inexpensively while simultaneously generating residual income from your blog. This two-pronged approach not only can put money in your pocket, but boost your overall real estate investing business. Dare I say an authority blog is a win-win?
2. Write A Book
Don’t worry if you haven’t written a word of prose since 12th-grade English. Writing a book doesn’t have to require years of experience or four hours a day spent working on your tome; it just requires a willingness to share your expertise, in whatever field you know something about, and help readers solve problems.
You could write a how-to manual on a topic you know a lot about, or a hobbyist guide on something you’re passionate about. Or you could simply have somebody “interview you,” only to have it transcribed; in it, you could share lessons you’ve learned about a particular subject that can help people save time or money (or both).
Not only can you make royalty income (while you sleep ), but you can leverage that eBook, print book — even audio book — for other revenue-generating activities like:
- Low-cost lead generation (such as for a consulting business)
- Affiliate income
- Public speaking
- Brand building (give copies away for free to build your social media following)
If you’re able to create a book that might speak to an audience and aligns with your budding real estate investing business — “How to Survive Probate in Denver” — then you’ll be leveraging your passive income ideas for maximum impact.
3. Renting Your Property With Airbnb
Whether you’ve got a few vacant rental properties, or simply want to make a little extra money while away from the homestead, renting out your property for a few days (or even as long as a few weeks) can help you make serious headway with your passive income goals — not to mention defer some of the operating expense of your properties.
Of the many vacation property renting platforms, Airbnb is the most popular. With its easy-to-use platform, and review system, this community-based online service can help you fill your properties with the confidence your property won’t’ be compromised.
But Airbnb is not the only player in this crowded field. Flipkey, owned by Trip Advisor, and Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) are two other popular alternatives. There’s even a service, Rent Like a Champion, which offers weekend vacation rental homes to college football fans (a great option for those in smaller, less-urban, college towns). TechBoomers has a list of nine non-Airbnb alternatives in their column on this subject and you’re sure to find a service that fits your needs.
Of course, the bigger, better, and closer to major attractions your property is, the more you’ll be able to charge people who stay there. But this strategy can be a great way to unearth passive income potential without lifting a finger.
4. Developing A Portfolio Of Rental Properties
When it comes to passive income creation, there may be no more proven and reliable strategy than that of acquiring real estate that you then turn into rental properties.
This doesn’t mean this particular passive income strategy is easy or that it won’t require an investment of time, money and energy learning the lay of the rental property land (especially in your area of the world). However, once a property is fully ready to rent, the potential for passive income with a property of this kind is extraordinary.
Adding rental properties to your passive income strategy does require you to keep the properties in excellent working condition and ensure everything is going smoothly. Of course, you can always hire a property manager to look after these responsibilities for a nominal charge, usually around 10 percent.
But what makes this strategy so effective — and passive — is that you are often paying off the mortgage of a property with the income received from tenants. And once the initial loan has been fully paid-off, your income will likely skyrocket.
This isn’t to say rental properties is a beginner method for building passive income streams, or that it doesn’t require education and experience to execute successfully. But as a long-term plan for the wealth, nothing moves the passive income needle quite like rental properties.
There’s Nothing “Passive” About “Passive Income”
Creating passive income streams that fill your coffers month-after-month isn’t a get-rich quick strategy, or something that happens overnight. It requires effort, focus, and a strategic approach to developing the best passive income investments that provide the biggest return on your resources.
But by making a list of possible passive income ideas, and honing in on the ones that fit your overall financial plan and interests, you can accomplish that most marvelous of entrepreneurial feats: creating passive income while you sleep — or sip Mai Tais on a beach — and building your wealth.