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How would you like to make money while you sleep?
It may sound too good to be true, but it’s pretty simple.
All you have to do is invest in a few passive income streams.
Then you can start generating an income without having to work and maybe even get to the point where you can quit your 9-to-5 job.
Many passive income ideas exist to earn money without putting in continuous work.
In this article, you will learn about 38 ways to make money while you sleep.
Table of Contents
38 Ways To Make Money While You Sleep
What Is Passive Income?
Before diving into the many ways to earn money passively, we first have to ensure you understand passive income.
Active income is when you put forth effort at a job and get paid for it.
You actively have to work to earn money.
You don’t get paid if you don’t show up for work.
Passive income is money you earn without having to work.
But it doesn’t mean there is zero work involved.
Many times there is an initial effort you have to make to start earning money.
However, eventually, you can stop working and still generate an income.
Now that you understand the difference, let’s look at how you can make money without much work.
#1. Invest In Real Estate
Real estate investing is one of the most popular ways to make passive income.
And there are a few different ways that you can do this.
You could buy and rent a property, giving you monthly earnings.
But it will come with some responsibilities, such as being a landlord.
You could also invest in a real estate investment trust or REIT.
A REIT is a company that owns and operates income-producing real estate.
When you invest in a REIT, you’re essentially investing in a portfolio of properties and earning a share of the profits.
Finally, crowdfunding is a popular way to start real estate investing.
Here you and other investors invest a small amount of money into a property.
You then buy a property and earn a share of earnings based on your ownership percentage.
The best crowdfunding site I’ve found is ArrivedHomes. I’ve been passively investing in real estate with them for over a year now.
I get paid four times a year based on the income and my ownership stake in the property.
Recently, they started offering vacation homes to invest in too. I highly recommend them.
Looking for an easy way to get started investing in real estate without a lot of money? Look into Arrived Homes. Pick the single family houses in the parts of the country you want to invest in and earn passive income.
#2. Dividend Paying Stocks
Another way to make passive income is by investing in dividend-paying stocks.
A dividend-paying stock is a type of stock market investment where you buy shares of a company and then receive regular payments, called dividends, from the company.
Dividend-paying stocks can be a great way to generate passive income because you don’t have to do anything to receive the payments.
The company will pay you based on the number of shares you own.
And, dividend-paying stocks tend to be relatively stable, so you don’t have to worry about losing significant value.
While you could do this with individual stocks, you will need a lot of money.
A better option for those just starting is to invest in dividend-paying mutual funds.
#3. Invest In The Stock Market
Another primarily hands-off area is the stock market.
Here you buy stocks, mutual funds, or ETFs and let the market work its magic.
Thanks to compound interest, your investment will grow over time.
And if you invest in index funds, all you have to do is make sure you continue to invest more money.
You can even automate this task too, making it completely hands-off.
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#4. Peer-To-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer lending platforms are online platforms that allow you to lend money to others and earn interest on your loans.
The key here is to choose a platform with a good reputation and to vet the borrowers carefully.
You want to ensure that you’re lending money to people with a good chance of paying it back. Otherwise, you risk losing your investment.
You should also know that peer-to-peer lending platforms are not without risk.
There is always the potential that a borrower will default on their loan, and you could lose your money.
#5. Start A YouTube Channel
Some of you might balk at the idea of starting a channel on YouTube.
But, if you can build up a large following, it can be an easy online business to run.
The key here is to create videos that people will want to watch.
They could be anything from helpful how-to videos to entertaining vlogs.
Once you have a following, you can start monetizing your channel with ads.
And depending on how popular your channel is, you could earn a serious amount of ad revenue.
You can also promote products or services through your channel.
For example, you could sell an online course or a book you wrote.
#6. Build An Online Course
Speaking of online courses, this is another excellent passive income stream.
If you have knowledge or expertise in a particular subject, you can build an online course and sell it to others.
People are always looking for new ways to learn, so there’s a good chance that your course will be successful.
And while you will put in a lot of initial work, once you create your course, you don’t have to do much to maintain it.
Just collect the payments and provide customer support as needed.
#7. Build A Membership Site
Another option is to build a membership site.
These websites are where people pay a monthly fee to access exclusive content.
You’ll have to put in some work upfront to build the site and the content.
But, once it’s up and running, it can be a great way to generate income without extra work.
The success of your site will depend on the quality of the content and whether people are willing to pay for it.
But, building a membership site that people find valuable can be a great way to make money while you sleep.
#8. Paid Facebook Groups
Another way to make passive income is to start a paid Facebook group.
You start a group and have people join.
It is like a paid website, only on Facebook.
You offer premium content, access to others, and other benefits.
Once it is up and running, you don’t have to do much work.
You can hire a moderator, so you don’t have to be online to manage the group.
#9. High-Yield Savings Account
A savings account might not be the most exciting way to make money.
But, investing in a high-yield savings account is a great way to earn interest on your money without having to do much.
A high-yield bank account is a standard savings account with a higher interest rate.
With this account, you’ll earn more money on your deposited funds.
The key here is finding a reasonable interest rate bank account.
But, if you keep your eye out, you can find a high-yield savings account that will help you earn more money.
#10. Start A Blog
A blog post you write today can get traffic for years to come.
You can start a blog for $100 or less per year.
When you break it down, that’s just a few cents per day to have a site online where people can find you.
Plus, once you set up your blog and start writing quality content, you can attract advertisers, get sponsored posts, or even list products for sale on your site.
Blogging is a great way to profit from your hard work for years to come, with very little maintenance required.
You can easily set up a blog in less than an hour, and if you commit to creating content regularly, you could earn thousands of dollars per month within a year.
#11. Become An Affiliate Marketer
There are a lot of companies out there that pay you a referral fee for selling their products.
You could earn anywhere from a few cents to a couple of hundred dollars every time you make a sale.
And there are endless ways to promote these products.
You can promote them on your site, YouTube channel, webinars, or email newsletters.
The hardest part is figuring out the products your customers want and need.
But once you figure this out, you can generate a steady cash flow.
#12. Write An ebook
If you’re not interested in starting a blog, another option is to write an ebook.
An ebook is a great way to share your knowledge on a specific topic and get paid for it.
The best part is that you can write an ebook in a few weeks or even a couple of days if you’re motivated.
Then, once complete, you can sell it on Amazon or your website and make money each time someone buys it.
And, unlike a blog, an ebook doesn’t require ongoing maintenance.
You can write it once and sell it over and over again.
#13. Write PLR Content
More and more websites need content these days, and it can be hard to find writers to produce content at a reasonable cost.
Here is where PLR content comes in.
PLR stands for Private Label Rights, allowing individuals and businesses to take a piece of content, like a blog post, ebook, etc., and use it as their own.
In other words, there is no copyright on the material.
The end user can put their branding on it and market and sell it as their own.
If you create PLR content, you can sell it to hundreds of businesses without having to make a unique version for each buyer.
Once you create the stock content, you are finished.
#14. Sell Photos Online
You can make money by selling your photos online if you’re a good photographer.
A few sites allow you to do this, but the two most popular are Shutterstock and iStockphoto.
With these sites, you can upload your photos and get paid each time someone downloads one of them.
Of course, the amount you get paid will depend on the site and the photo size, but it can be a great way to make some extra money.
The need for stock photography is never going away.
Bloggers and YouTubers need stock photos all the time.
So, if you have a good eye and are willing to upload photos, you could make cash in your spare time selling stock photos.
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#15. Create A WordPress Theme Or Plugin
WordPress has been hot since it first released what feels like forever ago.
And because of this popularity, people are always looking for new themes and plugins.
If you’re a web developer or know how to code, you can create a WordPress theme or plugin and sell it on sites like ThemeForest.
You can also set up your website and offer your themes or plugins.
When someone buys one of your products, you get paid instantly.
And, if you have a popular theme or plugin, you can continue to get paid for years to come as people keep buying it.
An added bonus is many larger software companies buy smaller plugin companies from time to time.
So there is the potential for a large buy out if your plugin becomes successful.
If you’re not a programmer, don’t sweat it, you can hire one on sites like Upwork to create your theme or plugin.
#16. Stake Cryptocurrency
Okay, this one is a little risky, but if you know what you’re doing, you can make a lot of money with cryptocurrency.
Staking is when you hold cryptocurrency in your wallet for some time to help secure the network.
In return for this security, you earn rewards in the form of new coins.
You make money on every transaction on the network while you’re staking, so it can be a very profitable way to earn.
However, because it’s still a new industry, there’s always the risk that something could happen that would cause the value of your coins to plummet.
So, if you decide to stake cryptocurrency, ensure you only invest what you’re comfortable losing.
#17. Build An App
If you have an excellent idea for an app, you could build and list it in the Apple app store or Google Play store.
Of course, you need to create something people want to use, but if you can do that, you could make a lot of money.
Apps that focus on a specific niche tend to do well, so that’s something to keep in mind as you brainstorm ideas.
For example, there are many great recipe apps, but not as many focus on healthy eating.
You can also create an app that doesn’t serve a specific purpose but is just entertaining.
Games are always popular in the app store, so that’s another option.
#18. Print On Demand Products
There are several ways you can sell print-on-demand products, but the two most popular are through Teesping and Redbubble.
Both sites allow you to upload designs and put them on various products, including a t-shirt, mugs, phone cases, and more.
When someone buys one of your products, the site will print and ship it.
You don’t have to do anything except upload your design and wait for the orders to come in.
Another way you can do print-on-demand is by setting up a Shopify store and using a print-on-demand app like Printful.
Setting up your store gives you more control over the products, but it requires more work.
#19. Sell Handmade Products Online
If you’re crafty and make your products, you can sell them online.
Sites like Etsy make setting up a shop and selling your products easy.
You can try selling anything from jewelry to clothes to home decor.
And, because Etsy is so popular, you’ll have a built-in audience of people who are already interested in what you’re selling.
You can also offer your products on your website using Shopify or WooCommerce.
Having a website gives you more control over your store and allows you to build a brand around your products.
You never know when a customer will make a purchase, so you could be making money while you’re sleeping or even while you’re on vacation.
#20. Drop Shipping
Drop shipping is a bit different than selling your products, but it’s still a great way to make money online.
With drop shipping, you create a store and sell products sourced from a supplier.
When someone orders one of the products, the supplier ships it directly to your customer without your input.
You don’t have to worry about keeping an inventory, shipping products yourself, or the hassle of starting your own business.
The supplier takes care of all of that for you.
They ship the product, and you keep the profits.
Drop shipping is a great way to start e-commerce because it’s relatively low-risk and easy to set up.
You can create a store in just a few hours and start selling products immediately.
#21. Build An Email List
Email marketing has always been and will continue to be a great way to make money.
It’s one of the most effective ways to reach your audience and offer them products or services.
The first step is to build an email list.
You need a group of people whom you can market to regularly.
There are a few different ways you can build an email list.
You can offer something free in exchange for someone’s email address, like an ebook or a course.
You can also add a signup form to your existing site or blog.
And, you can run ads that send people to a landing page where they can sign up for your email list.
Once you have a list of people, you need to start sending them emails.
Your emails can include content and promotions for your products or services.
You can automate your email marketing, so you’re not manually sending emails daily.
#22. Sell Coloring Books
Did you know that many adults love to color?
You can make coloring books for children or adults.
There are a few different ways you can go about this.
You can create the coloring books yourself or find artists to make them for you.
Once you have the coloring books, you can list them on your website or sites like Etsy and Amazon.
The demand for coloring books increased a few years ago and is still strong.
So your income will become passive because you make the coloring book once, and people can buy it for years.
#23. Rent Out A Spare Room
Do you have an extra room in your house that you’re not using?
You can list it on Airbnb and rent it out to travelers.
You’ll need to create a listing for your room on the site, so people looking for a place to stay in your area can find it and book it.
Then set your price and decide how often you want to rent out your room.
You can even rent out your entire house if you’re on vacation.
Just be warned that you’ll need to be OK with having strangers in your home.
#24. Rent Out Your Car
If you don’t want to advertise your car but still want to make some money from it, you can rent it out.
Several companies, such as Turo, will allow you to do this.
With Turo, you can list your car for rent and set your price.
Then, when someone rents your car, you get paid.
This side hustle is a great way to make some extra cash, especially if you live in a city and don’t use your car that often.
#25. Record Webinars
The most common mistake people make with webinars is that they only host them live.
But, you can make more money by recording your webinars and using them to promote your business.
You can record a webinar once and allow people to watch it whenever possible.
They don’t have to be available at the same time that you are.
This means you can reach more people with your automated webinars and don’t have to put in extra effort to host them live.
You can promote your product or service or promote affiliate offers.
You can even use webinars as a lead generation tool to grow your email list.
#26. Flip Domains
Great domains increase in value over the years because good names become increasingly scarce.
You can buy domains now and resell them for a profit in the future.
This option is a speculative income idea, but it can be profitable if you know what you’re doing.
You need to choose domains that have the potential to go up in value.
To find domains you can flip, you can use a tool like GoDaddy Auctions or NameJet.
These are both sites where you can find expired or expiring domains that could be worth a lot of money.
You can then buy the domain and list it for sale on a site like Flippa.
If you choose the right domain, you could make money from flipping it.
#27. Become A Reputable eBay Seller
eBay isn’t just a place where you sell your unwanted junk.
You can open up your own eBay store and become a professional seller.
To be successful on eBay, you need to find products in high demand that you can sell for a lower price than the competition.
You can find products to list in several ways, including selling things around your house.
You can find manufacturers who will drop ship products for you, or you can find wholesalers who offer products in bulk.
You can even find products on clearance at your local stores.
Whatever route you choose, make sure you do your research and find highly sought-after products so you can make a quick sale.
You can then open up your store and start selling.
#28. Manage Social Media Accounts For Businesses
Almost every business has social media accounts, but they often don’t have the time or resources to manage them effectively.
That’s where you come in.
You can offer your services as a social media manager and help businesses to grow their online presence.
Your tasks will include creating and scheduling posts, interacting with followers, and doing anything necessary to grow the account.
You can find businesses to work with by searching for a “social media manager” on job boards like Upwork.
Apply for the jobs you’re interested in and start working.
You can make money without effort by using software that auto-posts your content.
Or once you grow big enough, you can hire people to do the work for you.
This allows you to be away from the computer doing something else.
#29. Start Your Own Podcast
Podcasters are the new talk radio hosts.
You can start a podcast and build an audience of listeners who tune in to hear what you have to say.
You can monetize your podcast by selling advertising or promoting your products and services.
You can even get companies to sponsor your podcast in exchange for a mention at the beginning of each episode.
You only need a microphone and some recording software to get started.
You can then record and edit your episodes and upload them to a site like iTunes or Stitcher.
#30. Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA is a program where you sell products on Amazon, and they fulfill the orders for you.
You don’t have to worry about stocking or shipping products.
You ship the products to Amazon’s warehouse, and they take care of the rest.
Then, when someone orders one of your products, Amazon will pick, pack, and ship it for you.
Finding products to sell on Amazon can be challenging, but there are several ways to find products.
You can find products on Alibaba and have them shipped to Amazon’s warehouse.
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You can also find clearance items at local stores and ship them to Amazon.
Once you have your products, you can list them for sale on Amazon and start making money.
#31. Vending Machine Business
Another great option is to start a vending machine business.
This is a business where you purchase and place vending machines in high-traffic areas.
You then stock the machines with products and start making money.
The only ongoing work required is occasionally checking the machines to ensure they are stocked and running correctly.
Depending on your profits, you could outsource this job and have the business completely hands-off.
#32. Create Sound Effects And Background Music
If you’re musically inclined, one of the easiest ways to make money is to create sound effects or background music for videos and earn money passively.
Several websites allow you to upload your audio files and earn money based on how many downloads they get.
This income is completely passive as you’re not actively doing anything after the initial file upload.
And if you have a large enough catalog of files, you could make a full-time income from this.
#33. Stream Your Life
If you’re interesting enough, you can get paid to live stream your life.
Several platforms will allow you to do this and earn money from ads or donations.
Of course, this isn’t for everyone as it does require putting yourself out there.
But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind being in front of a camera, this could be a great idea to make some extra cash.
#34. Get Paid By NASA To Sleep
This one is a bit of a long shot, but you can get paid by NASA to sleep.
They are looking for people to participate in studies that track your sleep patterns.
So if you’re interested in space and want to help with some research, this could be a great way to make some money passively.
However, you need to understand the job requirements.
Granted, you are only sleeping, but this is all you do.
You need to be laying at a 6-degree, head-down tilt for 70 days, non-stop.
#35. Test Mattress
Some mattress companies hire people to test out their mattresses and provide feedback.
And all you need to do is sleep on the mattress and provide feedback on how comfortable it is.
In some cases, you might even be able to keep the mattress.
#36. Watch Videos
Sites like Swagbucks allow you to watch a video playlist and earn points.
You then turn these points into free gift cards or cash.
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You make this task passive by starting the video playlist in one browser tab and then opening a new window and doing what you need to do online.
The only work is to start the next playlist when the first one stops.
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#37. Advertise On Your Car
One of the more creative ways to make passive income is to wrap your car with an advertisement.
You can sign up with companies paying you to have their ads placed on your car.
Then, whenever you drive, you’ll be earning money.
Of course, this isn’t the most practical way to make passive income if you don’t drive a lot or don’t live in a populated area.
But if you do, it could be an easy way to earn some spending cash.
For most of these ideas, if you get to the point where you have a decent monthly profit, you can begin to outsource any work you have to do.
This will turn the job into a 100% passive activity for you.
For example, you can hire writers, editors, and a virtual assistant if you run websites.
Then all you have to do is check in on things every few days to ensure everything is running smoothly.
There are 38 ways you can make money while you sleep.
Suppose you want to make additional income even when your head hits the pillow and achieve financial freedom.
In that case, these are the best ideas to consider.
While some will require a fair amount of work upfront, you can make money without any additional effort in the long run.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.