Passive side hustles give you the potential to earn money on the side of your day job. It's even how you make money while on vacation or sleeping. What people misunderstand about creating passive income is that you have to put in some kind of upfront investment. It might be time, energy, or money — but passive income doesn’t materialize on its own.
But here’s what’s so cool about passive income side hustles — once you’ve set things in motion, you can make money without much work. You’re no longer trading time for money, and many sources of passive income can be fairly lucrative in the long term.
To help you put thing in motion, here are our favorite passive side hustles of 2023:
Invest in commercial real estate
Micro-invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs
Start a professional looking blog on Bluehost
Passively earn dividends and when properties appreciate and sell
Make passive income through dividends and when you sell shares that have appreciated
Earn passive income through display ads, affiliate marketing revenue, course sales, digital products, and more
1. Invest in Commercial Real Estate
Billionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie famously said that 90% of the world’s millionaires grew their wealth by investing in real estate. Real estate is known for having an incredibly high initial investment cost that it’s seemingly inaccessible for regular folks, but that's not the case anymore...
With REITs (real estate investment trusts), average people can passively invest in commercial real estate for as little as $10. Yes, $10!
If you’re interested in this passive side hustle, we recommend Fundrise. The way Fundrise REITs work is that they’re modeled after mutual funds and create a large pool of individual investors to fund large scale projects — think apartment complexes, office buildings, and retail developments.
You make money with Fundrise through quarterly dividends and when properties appreciate over time and then are sold. There are other ways to invest in real estate, but this is one of the most affordable opportunities to start making passive income. Learn more in our full Fundrise review.
2. Buy Fractional Stock Shares
Investing is the secret to long-term wealth, and fractional stock shares (also known as micro-investing) make investing accessible for the average person. The idea is that you buy portions of stock shares instead of a full share. It's far more affordable, and you can still see your investment grow!
- You can start investing for as little as $5.
- Acorns recommends investments based on your current financial situation and goals.
- Plans start at $3/month.
Learn more in our full Acorns Review.
All passive side hustles take some kind of investment, and the investment with blogging is time. But here’s the thing — the income potential with blogging is virtually unlimited. There are bloggers who are making $5,000, $10,000, and even $100,000 a month in somewhat passive income!
We’re saying "somewhat passive" because bloggers still have to run traffic to their site and create new content, but this is while you are earning passive income through:
- Affiliate marketing
- Course sales
- Digital products
- Display advertising
- Brand merchandise
What’s so cool about blogging is that you can blog about nearly anything as long as there is an audience for it. Your blog could be about home decor, cooking, parenting, travel, entrepreneurship, and more. And there are ways to monetize any of those ideas.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, here’s what to do next:
4. Sell on Shopify
Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform with tools for setting up your online store and processing sales. But what makes this a passive side hustle is something called dropshipping...
Dropshipping is when you outsource warehousing and order fulfillment to suppliers while still managing the listings and sales on your Shopify site. You don’t touch, store, or ship what’s sold on your site — you’re listing them for sale and then connecting customers with your dropshipping supplier.
Check out our Shopify for Beginners Guide to learn more about getting started. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and easy to get your e-commerce site up and running.
5. Rent Out Your Space
Did you know that you can make passive income renting out space in your closet, garage, attic, basement, storage space, under your carport, and more?
Neighbor is a peer-to-peer rental platform where you can make money renting out unused space in your house. The idea is that people pay you to store their stuff in your house, and Neighbor protects you with a $1,000,000 Host Guarantee to cover any personal liability.
Here’s an example of how much you can make with different spaces on Neighbor:
- Bedroom $30-$140/month
- Closet $10-$150/month
- Garage $125-$340/month
- Self-storage unit $20-$80/month
6. Sell Etsy Printables
You know Etsy for all things crafty and creative, but did you know that it can be one of the best passive side hustles? What we’re talking about is creating and selling digital printables on Etsy. Here’s how it works:
- Create designs for planner pages, art, stationary, temporary tattoos, gift tags, holiday decorations, party invites, and so much more. These are all digital files that you can design using free software like Canva.
- Open an Etsy shop and list your printables for sale (Etsy charges a $0.20/item listing fee).
- When someone purchases one, the file is automatically delivered to them — there’s no shipping or re-listing items.
- Your files can sell indefinitely with very little work on your end because they’re digital!
Here’s a fantastic free ebook, The Seasonal Products Secret, that details best-selling Etsy products by month. It’s a great resource if you aren’t sure where to start.
7. Churn Bank Bonuses
Churning bank bonuses is an unusual passive side hustle, but it’s an excellent way to put your savings to work. The way it works is that you move your savings around every few months to take advantage of different cash bonuses that banks offer to new customers.
For example, Axos Bank is currently offering new customers a $150 cash bonus when they open a Rewards Checking Account. You also benefit from a 1.25% APY.
8. Open a Better Checking Account
Since we’re talking about bank accounts, the reality is that most checking accounts only pay out around 0.03% APY on checking accounts, but M1 Finance is offering an APY that is 43x higher!
You’re not going to earn a ton of interest on your checking account, but this is one of the easiest passive side hustles!
9. Earn Dividends
One of the most traditional sources of passive income is investing in the stock market. Building your portfolio involves time and money, but investing is an excellent strategy to build long-term wealth. It’s also important to mention that your returns depend on the overall market.
Starting to earn passive income from dividend stocks begins with finding the best trading platform.
We highly recommend Robinhood because they have $0 commissions, user-friendly mobile, and desktop trading platforms, and you can start building your portfolio with just $1. Robinhood also gives new customers their first stock for free. Learn more in our full Robinhood review.
10. Download a Passive Income App
There are tons of excellent passive side hustle apps right now, and these apps can generate passive income when you buy gas, grocery shop, shop online, and more. Here are two of our top picks:
- Earn up to $0.25 back per gallon of gas with Upside (formerly GetUpside)
- Make up to 30% cash back when you shop in-store or online with Ibotta
Here’s our full list of passive income apps for even more ideas!
11. Rent Out Your Car
One of the best passive side hustles for those of you who aren’t driving as much these days is to rent out your car, and you can make anywhere from $30-$60/day when you rent your car out on HyreCar.
In fact, HyreCar says the average car owner earns $720/month! HyreCar takes a 15% to 25% commission on every rental, and this helps them offer up to $1,000,000 liability coverage in the event of physical damage or theft. You can find more information in our HyreCar review.
12. Create an Online Course
Teaching online courses is a lot different than in-person teaching — as in, you’re not teaching live lessons. You’re recording video-based lessons, writing text-based lessons, creating worksheets, and so on. All of that course content is organized into one cohesive course that can be packaged and sold online indefinitely.
There are over a dozen different platforms to host and sell your course. Ones like Skillshare and Udemy have a built-in audience, but you aren't in control of how much your courses sell for. Others like Teachable and Kajabi give you total control of your courses, but the downside is that you'll need to run traffic to your course to be truly successful.
One of our readers leveraged her background in graphic design to create a series of popular courses that she sells online. It’s been exciting to watch her income grow these past few years. Last year she earned around $10,000/month, and it’s grown to around $80,000/month.
Our article How to Sell an Online Course (Complete Guide for 2023!) explains how to get started.
13. Rent Out Your Pool
Having a pool can be a lot of fun, and it can also turn into one of the easiest passive side hustles. You can list your pool on Swimply, and people in your area will pay anywhere from $20-$100/hour to rent your pool.
Swimply lets you set your rates, when your pool is available, and the rules. For example, you can say no food or glass containers by the pool.
14. List Your House on Airbnb
Listing your space on Airbnb isn’t a 100% passive side hustle because you need to prep your space (clean, put towels out, make the beds, etc.), be available to answer questions, and clean up after the guests leave.
Using data from their site, Airbnb gives you an idea of how much you can make renting your space each month. Here’s a picture of different rental situations around the U.S.:
- $900/month renting out a private, 2-person room in Houston, Texas
- $2,500/month renting out an entire place that fits 4 in Denver, Colorado
- $3,700/month renting out an entire place that fits 1 in Nashville, TN
- $1,400/month renting out a private 2-person room in Chicago, IL
Check out How to Become an Airbnb Host to learn more.
15. Wrap Your Car
Wrapping your car means you’re getting paid to have a company wrap your car in advertisements. For food delivery drivers, this is one of the best passive side hustles because companies specifically want high-mileage drivers.
Companies like Carvertise will pay you around $100/month to wrap your car. Read more in our full Carvertise review.
16. Get Paid to Sleep
They say passive income is being able to make money while you sleep, and this passive side hustle is literally that! NASA did a study a couple of years ago where they paid people $19,000 to lay in bed for two months. There are also TikTok users going viral and making cash streaming themselves sleeping.
17. Sell Stock Photos
Many of the photos you see on your favorite websites are stock photos, which means someone took that photo and made money licensing it to a stock photo site. Photographers can make money when the site buys the photo from you or receive a commission every time someone purchases one of your photos. Alamy and iStockPhoto are two of the most popular marketplaces.
18. Record a Podcast
Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing types of media. Back in 2006, only 20% of the U.S. population had clue what they are, and now almost 80% of Americans have caught on. This isn’t a 100% passive side hustle because it takes time to build an audience and market your podcast, but your episodes can generate revenue through affiliate marketing and advertisements well after you release the episode.
19. Start a YouTube Channel
Did you know that the highest paid YouTube made $54 million in 2021!? Making money on YouTube takes a lot of time, but it can be incredibly lucrative in the long-term as you earn passive income from YouTube ads, merchandise sales, affiliate revenue, and more. Read How to Create a YouTube Channel and Make Money for more information.
20. Self-Publish Books on Amazon
There’s a lot of work that goes into writing a book — for starters, you have to actually write a book. But one of the hardest parts is getting your book published and out in the world. You have to find a publisher who wants to take you on, work with their editors, etc.
That’s why a lot of new authors have turned to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. You still have to write the book, but Amazon KDP breaks down barriers to traditional publishing.
Once your book is finalized, you upload it to the Amazon KDP platform, and Amazon handles selling and delivering your book to readers. This means more passive book sales for you.
The Final Word on Passive Side Hustles
Remember, every passive income source will take an investment, either money or time, and the great thing about this list is that you get to choose what kind of side hustle and investment you want to make.
Letting people store stuff in your house is one of the easiest ways to start earning passive income, and you can make an extra $20-$500+ a month renting out your space on Neighbor.
Blogging is our favorite way to make $1,000+ a month passively. It may take a few months to start seeing real progress with your income, but being able to work from home, on your schedule, and pursuing something you love is an incredible feeling.