14 Ways To Generate Passive Income (Without Using Social Media)

Say goodbye to the 'like' button and hello to these innovative passive income ideas.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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In a world buzzing with online opportunities, the quest for passive income often involves social media strategies. 

However, for those seeking alternatives to the digital noise, there exist diverse avenues to build wealth passively.

Diving into the realm of dividends, real estate, and innovative investments, here are 14 ways to make extra money that don't involve scrolling through social feeds.

Earn money online by taking surveys

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Invest in dividend stocks

hafakot/Adobe dividend-paying stocks

Dividend stocks offer a steady stream of passive income. By investing in companies with a history of paying dividends, you become a shareholder entitled to a portion of the company's profits.

This creates a consistent cash flow, making dividend stocks an attractive option for long-term investors. 

While the predictability of dividends is a strength, it's important to monitor the financial fitness of the companies in your portfolio to ensure continued payouts.

Purchase certificates of deposit (CDs)

Andrii/Adobe certificate of deposit document on table

Certificates of deposit (CDs) provide a low-risk avenue for passive income. Purchasing CDs allows you to benefit from higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. This strategy ensures low risk while maximizing returns.

While CDs offer security, the trade-off is lower returns than other investments, so it's essential to balance your investment portfolio based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Own rental properties

Monkey Business/Adobe for rent sign in front yard of house in street

Real estate remains a classic choice for passive income. By owning rental properties, you earn regular income through tenants' monthly payments.

While management demands attention, the potential for long-term appreciation makes real estate a compelling option. 

Remember that being a landlord involves responsibilities; thorough tenant vetting and property maintenance are crucial for a successful real estate investment.

Stop overpaying when you shop online

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Rent out unused space

eccolo/Adobe rental agreement contract

Utilize unused space for passive income by renting it out. This could include a spare room, parking space, or storage area. Platforms like Airbnb and Neighbor provide accessible avenues for transforming idle space into a revenue stream without extensive commitments.

Before diving in, research local regulations and be clear about the rental terms to help avoid potential issues with tenants.

Invest in vending machines

Syda Productions/Adobe hand pushing button on vending machine

Vending machines offer a unique passive income stream. Placing machines strategically in high-traffic areas allows you to earn without active involvement.

Regular restocking and maintenance become minor tasks when compared to the potential returns from this automated business model. However, location matters; choose spots with consistent foot traffic to maximize your vending machine income.

Create an online course

Kateryna/Adobe young woman in stylish casual clothes studying remotely

Turning expertise into a passive income stream involves creating and selling online courses. Platforms like Udemy and Teachable allow you to reach a global audience, providing value while generating income without constant engagement.

Understand your target audience and create courses that address their needs, ensuring your content remains relevant and valuable.

Participate in peer-to-peer lending

William W. Potter/Adobe loan bags on a laptop

Engage in peer-to-peer lending through platforms like Prosper or LendingClub. By lending money directly to individuals or small businesses, you earn interest on the borrowed amount.

Diversifying your loans mitigates risks while fostering a passive income stream. Be sure to regularly assess the creditworthiness of borrowers to make informed lending decisions.

Write a book

Farknot Architect/Adobe hand writing on a notebook

Publishing a book, whether in print or digitally, offers royalties as a form of passive income. While the upfront effort is substantial, the ongoing returns from book sales and potential adaptations provide long-term financial benefits.

Consider the subject matter and audience appeal when writing your book, aiming for timeless content that continues to attract readers.

Create an app

REDPIXEL/Adobe designers drawing website ux app

Creating a successful app can lead to substantial passive income for those with programming skills or the resources to hire developers. Revenue from app sales, advertisements, or in-app purchases can accumulate over time.

Always stay attuned to market trends and user feedback, updating your app to enhance functionality and maintain relevance in a competitive landscape.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

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Try it

Invest in real estate crowdfunding

ArtemisDiana/Adobe real estate tokenization concept

Real estate crowdfunding platforms, like Fundrise or RealtyMogul, enable you to invest in properties without the challenges of property management. This form of passive real estate investing provides a share of rental income and potential appreciation.

Before investing, thoroughly research the crowdfunding platform and the specific properties available to ensure alignment with your investment goals.

License your photography

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe beautiful model on camera

If you have a knack for photography, license your work to websites, publications, or stock photo platforms such as Shutterstock or Getty Images. Each use of your photo can generate royalties, creating a continuous income stream from your creative assets.

To maximize earnings, diversify your portfolio and cater to different market demands for stock photos.

Create an affiliate marketing website

onephoto/Adobe affiliate program

Building an affiliate marketing website involves promoting products and earning a commission for every sale through your unique affiliate link. You can build wealth while you sleep by crafting quality content and strategically placing affiliate links.

Focus on authenticity and choose affiliate products that align with your niche, providing value to your audience and increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Invest in a business

ARMMY PICCA/Adobe financial analysts analyze reports

Diversifying your investment portfolio through a stake in an established business offers a hands-off approach to passive income. 

Engage with active partners or owners to understand the business's trajectory and potential challenges. Regularly assess the market conditions and industry trends that might impact the business.

Drafting comprehensive legal agreements is paramount, clearly outlining profit-sharing mechanisms, exit strategies, and any potential contingencies.

Open a high-yield savings account

Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe black piggy bank over banknotes

While not as high-risk as some investment options, a high-yield savings account can provide passive income through compounded interest. 

Open a high-yield savings account to maximize the growth of your savings. Keep an eye on changes in interest rates, as they can impact the overall earnings of your savings.

Bottom line

Stillfx/Adobe american cash banknotes money

Trying to build wealth passively requires patience, strategic planning, and a willingness to adapt.

Consider your risk tolerance, interests, and long-term goals.  Reflect on your financial aspirations and ask yourself: “What passive income streams align with your lifestyle and vision for the future?”

If you’re still stumped, consider the 14 passive income ideas above and set yourself up for long-term financial security now.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.