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5 Inspiring Ways to Make Passive Income (and What to Do With It)

Passive income, on paper, seems too good to be true. The idea is to literally make money without doing anything. Obviously, this isn’t exactly true (or everybody would be doing it). Even though you won’t be working for the money in the conventional sense, you will be putting in time one way or another. But passive income is a very real possibility for those willing to seek it—you just need to know where to look.

Ideas for Passive Income

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There are several ways to make passive income—and you might be able to come up with some ideas on your own—but these are some of the most popular and easiest to approach:

1. Rental Properties. Rental properties are a somewhat straightforward investment, at least in theory. You’ll buy a house or an apartment complex capable of hosting multiple tenants, and you’ll charge those tenants rent to stay at your property—enough to cover any mortgage or loan you have, plus some extra. This may seem like a prohibitive investment option, ruling out anyone without substantial access to capital, but as Green Residential illustrates, you don’t need to be a millionaire to make money on property investment: “Even people who are not that well off can make a fortune in real estate if they select the right avenues and use their money wisely.”

2. Dividend Stocks and Index Funds. The stock market may seem like a risky venture, but some stocks are safer than others. Stocks of big-name, decades-old companies with a strong future are generally reliable long-term investments that have a low probability of burning you; these are often called “blue chip” stocks, and they typically come with a quarterly or annual dividend, where investors make a bit of money per share of the company they own. You can invest in dividend stocks individually as you see fit, or go with an overall dividend stock-based index fund, which will allow you to hedge your bets all in one place.

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3. Develop an eBook (or Similar Content). Content is hot. People constantly crave new information and new material to consume, and if it’s good enough, they’ll be willing to pay for it. If you have expertise in any area where the general population doesn’t (but still needs that information), it’s a prime opportunity to write an eBook as a guide, tutorial, or other handbook. You could technically write an eBook about anything, but practical ones tend to perform best. From there, you can put your book on Amazon and other services, and make a few bucks every time someone downloads your work.

4. Become a Mirco-preneur. “Micro-preneurship” is a term that’s come to define someone who engages in an independent business-like venture without taking the full reins of entrepreneurship. Good examples here include individuals who rent out sections of their homes to travelers via Airbnb, or drivers who make extra money through services like Uber and Lyft. You can pick up these gigs easily, applying or signing up in less than an hour, and depending on the service you choose, you could theoretically make money just by letting other people occupy your property.

5. Invent or Make a Product. If you’re fascinated with engineering, or have tremendous business acumen, or if you just have a creative spirit, you can try inventing a product. If it’s a hit, you can list it on Amazon and other third-party services (or create a website of your own) and watch the money come in. If you aren’t interested in the “inventing” portion of things, you could also create items—like crafts and art projects—though, obviously, this approach would take more effort and might deviate from the definition of “passive” income.

What to Do With Your New Income Streams

Once you have access to a new line of revenue, the sky’s the limit with what you can do. If you want to treat yourself, you can use it to go on vacation or fund a new hobby. If you end up making enough of an income stream, you may be able to quit your current job and live off your passive investments for the foreseeable future. But the arguably wisest move is to keep your main source of income (i.e., your job), and use your passive income streams to invest in even more opportunities. The more capital you invest in income-generating sources, the more eventual money you’ll be able to generate.v

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