11 Best Side Hustles For Passive Income [Not For Lazy People]

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: July 2, 2021

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we will get a commission (at no cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase. Please read our affiliate disclosure for more information.

These days, it seems like everyone is looking to start a side hustle for passive income, and for good reason! Building streams of passive income can help you reach your financial goals much faster than relying solely on paychecks from your nine to five job.

Earning passive income allows you to stop trading your time for dollars and start building real wealth.


Because the money you earn will no longer be limited by how many hours you work.

Of course, there is no such thing as purely passive income. In most cases, developing a passive income stream actually requires quite a bit of upfront work.

However, after your initial investment of time or money, the systems you set up can start earning you money while you sleep.

But how do you create passive income? Here are 11 of the best side hustles for passive income that will help you start earning money while you sleep.

11 Best Side Hustles For Making Passive Income | Be The Budget

Start, Grow, And Monetize A Blog

Blogging has changed a lot over the course of the last decade.

No longer simply places to share recipes and family vacation stories, blogs are one of the best places for people to find the information they need, and thus, one of the best ways for you to start earning passive income.

The best part is, it’s easy to set up a blog, and you don’t have to be the best writer in the world to be successful.

It does, however, take a substantial initial effort to create content and start driving traffic to your blog, but after you’ve developed a solid amount of traffic, there’s no limit to how much passive income it can generate.

But how, exactly, do you make money with a blog?

There are several ways you could go about monetizing your blog.

For one, you can run display ads on your website. This is probably the most passive form of income on a website, as you get paid for ads appearing on your blog.

The only difficulty with ads is that you need a lot of traffic to start making a solid income.

Another great option is too use affiliate marketing to promote and sell other companies’ products for a commission. This is also a very passive form of income, and honestly, it can be incredibly lucrative!

Having your own website or blog can help you leverage many other passive income strategies, so it’s an awesome place to start.

To minimize the amount of effort you need to put into your blog to start seeing results, you could even hire freelancers to do the writing for you. Then, all you’ll have to worry about is your monetization methods.

If you do want to start a blog, we recommend setting up a WordPress blog through Bluehost. After a ton of trial and error, we firmly believe that Bluehost is the best (and most affordable) place for a beginner to start blogging.

Speaking of affiliate marketing… we are a proud affiliate of Bluehost, meaning we will make a commission at no cost to you if you purchase one of their hosting plans through a link on our website. We truly believe it is the best host for new bloggers because their hosting plans are incredibly affordable, and their customer service is second to none.

Interested in starting a blog? Here are a few posts to help you hit the ground running:

Create An Online Course

Online education has completely transformed the learning landscape in recent years.

Now, you can find digital courses on practically any topic, from indoor gardening to accounting and even coding.

For that reason, creating an online course is a great side hustle for people looking to make passive income.

So, have you mastered a certain area of your life that people are always asking you about?

Chances are, you have some level of expertise that you can build a course around.

Side Note: Creating an online course is a fantastic way to monetize a blog! Using your blog analytics, you’ll be able to see which specific topics your audience is most interested in, and you’ll be able to create a course that caters to those needs and interests.

The best part is, you don’t have to have a recording studio or any special equipment to create an online course. All you need is a computer and a way to record yourself.

Depending on your course topic, you may not even have to show yourself on-camera.

Instead, you could use presentation slides or record your computer screen and add a voiceover.

When you’ve finished creating your online course, people can continue to sign up for it as long as you keep registrations open.

If you set it up correctly and take the time to share it with your audience, your course can effectively earn you money on autopilot.

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Start A YouTube Channel

A YouTube channel generates passive income through advertisements placed on your videos.

While it does take some time to get monetized on YouTube, if you put in consistent effort, you can eventually build up a loyal subscriber base.

Just like with blogging, it helps to choose a specific niche rather than creating content that doesn’t have a consistent theme.

If people stumble across one of your videos and click through to your channel, they’ll be expecting to see more videos on similar topics. Therefore, narrowing your focus will help your audience know what to expect from you and increase their chances of subscribing.

You can create a YouTube channel on practically any topic.

Just be sure to choose one that you can create a lot of content about consistently.

After you’ve gained your first 1,000 subscribers and have garnered at least 4,000 hours of watchtime, your channel will be monetized!

In other words, you’ll start earning money from advertisements every time someone watches one of your videos.

As you build up a large library of content for people to watch, you’ll have even more opportunities to earn passive income from ads.

Additionally, YouTube provides you with the opportunity to earn affiliate income. For instance, if you talk about a product in your video, you can include an affiliate link to that product in the description and earn a commission every time somebody clicks and buys it.

Start A Podcast

You can further repurpose the content you’ve created for your blog or YouTube channel by starting a podcast.

Or, you can focus solely on podcasting as a side hustle for passive income.

Platforms like Anchor make it simple for anyone to set up a podcast.

However, you’ll want to make sure you have an adequate microphone and a quiet place to record your podcast episodes.

How can you make passive income from podcasting? The most common way to monetize a podcast is through sponsorships. After you’ve attracted an audience, companies may start to approach you and ask you to advertise their products during your show.

A quicker path to monetization of your podcast is to post your episodes on YouTube as well.

This will expose your podcast to a larger audience, and you’ll be able to earn money from the ads on your videos.

List Your House On Airbnb

If you have an extra room in your house, or if you travel a lot, you can become a host on Airbnb.

This is one of the best side hustles for passive income because it requires very little effort up-front.

You will, of course, need to keep your house in good order, and you’ll probably need to hire a cleaning service to make your house suitable for the next guests who visit.

Other than that, listing your house on Airbnb is simple.

To be a host on Airbnb, you need to be responsive to inquiries, accept reservation requests, avoid cancellations to the best of your ability, and maintain a high rating.

Meeting these requirements doesn’t require too much effort, and you can earn a substantial amount of passive income just from letting people use your accommodations.

Create And Sell Printables

You don’t need to create and sell physical products to earn income online.

There’s a huge market for digital products like printables.

This is a great passive income option to consider if you already have a blog, however, it is not a requirement. Rather, you can list them on a platform like Etsy, and earn quite a bit of income.

The best part is, creating and selling printables requires very little effort.

All you have to do is use a program like Canva or Adobe Illustrator to design and set up your document, and list it for sale online.

Seriously, people buy all kinds of different printables.

You can create fun party game printables for baby showers or birthdays, checklists that walk people through a certain process, or coloring pages for kids.

The possibilities are endless!

If you have the skills to develop a more complex digital product, like graphic templates, you can sell them on your website or on an online platform as well.

Digital products are a better choice for creating passive income than physical products because they tend to require much less overhead and effort. Plus, you don’t have to spend time packaging and shipping any products.

Invest In Real Estate

Arguably one of the most popular ways to make money from a side hustle is to invest in real estate.

If you have the capital to buy a property, it can be a very lucrative way to make passive income.

You can earn money from your real estate investments by renting out your properties to tenants.

Or, if you’re looking for an even more hands-off approach, you can use a real estate investing apps like Fundrise.

Fundrise allows you to invest in REITs (real estate investment trusts) which have a much lower barrier to entry.

REITs own and manage properties that are generating income, and they distribute the profits to investors.

Ownership or partial ownership of real estate is one of the best side hustles for passive income because it doesn’t require a lot of your time to start seeing results.

Rent Out Your Car

If you have a spare car, or if you don’t use your car very much, you can rent it out and easily earn some passive income.

Just like Airbnb which allows homeowners to rent out rooms in their home, platforms like Turo let car owners earn money by lending out their cars.

Turo is free to join, so there’s practically zero up-front investment.

As long as you’re able to keep your vehicle in good condition, you can help people in temporary need of a car and get rewarded in the process.

You’ll be able to earn extra money from your couch or while you’re working from home.

Sell Stock Photos

Do you have a nice camera and some solid photography skills?

Instead of charging clients for photoshoots and trading your time for money, you can shoot stock photographs and sell them to online stock photography websites.

Graphic designers, bloggers, and businesses are in constant need of high-quality photographs for their projects and websites. And stock photography platforms will pay you commissions whenever someone downloads one of your images.

You could take photographs with specific purposes or audiences in mind, like product mockups for beauty brands or flatlays for website backgrounds.

Or, you could create your own stock photography website, so you’ll receive 100 percent of the commissions on your sales.

You could even sell ongoing memberships for a monthly fee, or you could sell cohesive packages of photos.

After you build up your photography library, you can start passively making sales with very little effort.

Passive Income Side Hustle Ideas | Be The Budget

Become A Social Media Influencer

If you love social media, a great way to earn passive income is to intentionally grow your social media following.

While this side hustle does require dedication, you can end up making a great deal of income without ever selling your own products.

Having a large following on social media will help make any of these other side hustles for passive income that much easier.

Plus, you’ll have a wider audience to market to if you decide to start a YouTube channel, blog, or podcast, for example.

If you’re able to build a large following on social media platforms like Instagram, brands will begin reaching out to you to invite you to market their products and services.

They will pay you to post about their company, and big brands often pay influencers quite well.

Brands select influencers to partner with based on the size of their following and their audience engagement. For this reason, it’s important to be active on social media and to communicate with your followers if you’re trying to become an influencer.

In the beginning stages, this source of income isn’t the most passive option, but if you stick with it, you’ll be on your way to passively earning money from brand deals and sponsorships.

Self-Publish Books On Amazon

If you enjoy writing, this could be the perfect passive income side hustle for you.

Amazon is making it easy for writers and authors to self-publish their books without needing a traditional publisher.

In fact, Kindle Direct Publishing lets you publish your eBook and start selling it immediately on Amazon.

You can evem sell paperback versions of your book.

Amazon will print your book on demand whenever someone orders it, so you don’t even have to deal with the hassles of inventory and shipping.

While this is one of the side hustles for passive income that requires some strong effort and time up-front, your book can continue generating sales for years to come.

You’ll increase your earning potential if you publicize your book through methods like social media and blogging (yet another reason to start a blog).

Final Thoughts

These days, there are all sorts of side hustles that enable you to earn passive income. From blogging to selling digital products and even creating your own online course, the opportunity has never been better.

The only question is, which side hustle are you going to pursue? Be sure to drop your answer in the comments!

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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