Passive side hustles give you the potential to earn money on the side of your day job, while you’re taking care of your kids, while you’re in school, etc. And many sources of passive income can be fairly lucrative in the long term.
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.
And the reality is that making money from passive side hustles is a long-term strategy. No one gets rich overnight. Your initial investment takes time, and then you still have to nurture your passive income stream from time to time.
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.
That means you can focus on setting up other income streams, reclaim some of your precious time, spend more time with your family, and more.
To help you put things in motion, here are 15 passive side hustles.
Passive Side Hustles – Earn $1,000/Month in Passive Income
1. Create an online course to sell
I was a high school band teacher before I became a blogger, and as much as I disliked working in a school, I freaking love teaching. Figuring how to combine that passion with my blogging job has been a serious game-changer.
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 more. All of that course content is organized into one cohesive course that you package and sell online.
You put in all of the work upfront to create your course — your investment is the time it took to learn what you’re teaching and the effort required to put the course together.
Once your course is for sale, it can sell pretty much indefinitely without much additional effort, which is how it turns into a passive side hustle.
Of course, you’ll need to update your course from time to time, answer your student’s questions, etc. You want to make sure that your course continues to be valuable to your students!
One of my 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.
Here’s one of her recent payouts:
Most people probably have something they could create a course on, even if you don’t think so.
Think about the things you’re good at, problems you can solve for other people, that sort of thing.
Can you teach people how to create spreadsheets in Excel? What about teaching people how to manage their time? Are you awesome at creating graphics in Canva?
Take the skills you have and create a course based around them. Whatever you do, make sure your course provides value to your students — they need to feel like they got what they paid for and then some.
Definitely check out Thinkific if you want to start building passive income through course sales. Thinkific’s intuitive platform helps you create beautiful courses. You can learn more in my full Thinkific review.
2. Start a blog
Blogging takes a serious upfront time investment before it turns into a passive side hustle, but the reality is that it can. This site is proof of that.
When I started my site four years ago, I dedicated hours of my spare time to writing blog posts, getting traffic, networking with other bloggers, etc. Fortunately, blogging is flexible enough for you to pick the hours you work.
That work started paying off when I earned my first $3 from display ads — that was the first passive income I generated from my site.
A couple of years later, after I quit my job to blog full-time, I remember being on vacation with my wife and checking on my site one morning. I was looking at clicks and sign-ups on some of my affiliate links, and sure enough, my site was generating income while I was on vacation.
That moment was huge — all of that hard work had actually paid off.
Since then, M$M has grown into a 7-figure site, with the majority of my income coming from affiliate income and course sales. I still work a lot, but not nearly as much as I used to, and my blogging income has allowed me to focus my energy on other streams of passive income.
If you’re interested in learning more, here are some steps you can take to get started:
- Check out my free guide: How to Start a Blog in 2021: An Easy Step-By-Step Guide — this article takes you through each step.
- For anyone feeling overwhelmed with the tech side of starting a blog, you can use my free service Launch That Blog. My team sets up your blog for you, installs the best plug-ins, sets you up with a professional-looking and free theme, and more. Only available when you start a Bluehost blog using my exclusive M$M link.
3. Start a Shopify site
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 my 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.
4. Sell Etsy printables
Etsy has grown into a massive online platform where creative people can sell handmade, vintage, and unique goods. One niche that’s become popular with shoppers is printables.
These are digital files you can purchase, download, and print at home. They can be for calendars, planner pages, stickers, inspirational quotes, invitations, thank-you cards, and more.
Creating and selling Etsy printables can be a fun passive side hustle idea if you're a creative person. What makes it passive is that you can create one digital file and sell it almost indefinitely.
I recommend checking out the E-Printables Side Hustle Course if you’re interested in learning more. It teaches you how to pick a niche, create printables, market them, and more.
5. 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
Most people think they need to live in a touristy spot to generate income from Airbnb, but that’s not true at all. College towns are good places for Airbnb rentals because families often come to visit their kids. If you live in a place that has lots of business traffic, you can have a steady stream of long-term renters.
Hiring a property manager can make this side hustle even more passive. It will cut into you earning a little bit, but it gives you a chance to spend your time and energy creating other sources of passive income.
6. Wrap your car
I’m honestly not sure this is one of the passive side hustles I would be interested in trying, but I know it will be a good fit for some people!
Wrapping your car means you’re getting paid to have a company wrap your car in advertisements, like this:
It’s insanely easy (which is why it’s passive) – you sign up with a company like Carvertise, and if there are any campaigns currently running in your area, Carvertise will set you up with an appointment to have your car professionally wrapped.
The campaigns usually last anywhere from 2-6 months and pay ~$100/month.
While it’s a good option for generating passive income, you won’t get rich. But think of that $100/month as cash you can put towards more lucrative options, like investing in the stock market, REITs, etc. I’m going to go over some of these ideas at the end of this article.
7. Rent out your car
Renting out your car is like Airbnb, but for your car. The idea is that instead of letting your car sit idle in the driveway or garage, why not rent it out and make some cash. This could be a nice passive side hustle for anyone working remotely.
I highly recommend HyreCar if you’re interested in making money from your car. HyreCar is an online platform where you can list your car, when it’s available, and HyreCar pre-screens customers before they rent.
The people renting your car on HyreCar work for ridesharing and food delivery services like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc. They want to take good care of your car because it’s how they’re making money.
HyreCar gives you 75%-85% of the rental fee. That percentage depends on how much of a deductible you are willing to pay for HyreCar’s rental protection plan, which comes with up to $1,000,000 liability coverage.
You can learn more about protection for your vehicle and how to list your car on HyreCar in my full HyreCar review.
8. 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.
9. Rent out your pool
I live in Houston, Texas, and it gets hot in the summer. Honestly, sometimes it’s hot here from the spring through the fall. A lot of people around me have pools, and if you don’t, you’re dying to get in one.
But what people without pools don’t realize is how much money it takes to maintain them, and if you don’t use yours often, it can become a burden.
Hosts (pool owners) create listings on Swimply, when their pool is available, post photos, and list any amenities. You also set your own rules, like no food or glass containers by the pool, that sort of thing.
You keep 85% of the rental cost for your pool, and Swimply takes 15% as their fee.
Pools in my area list for an average of $30-$45/hour, and I’ve talked to a couple of pool owners who said they had back-to-back bookings over the summers. One guy, whose pool was listed for $55/hour, told me that a family rented his pool for six hours straight one Saturday, totaling $280.50 after Swimply’s fee. He shared that he regularly earns $1,500/month in passive income during the summer.
10. Rent out storage space
Neighbor is a site where you can rent out storage space in your basement, closets, driveway, or garage. It’s similar to a couple of the other passive side hustle ideas I’ve already listed — you make money renting out things you aren’t actively using.
It’s free to list your empty space on Neighbor, and Neighbor takes 4.9% of the gross reservation fee, plus $0.30 for each payout you receive.
There are strict guidelines as far as what cannot be stored in your space — no weapons, explosives, chemicals, waste, hazardous materials, etc. You can even ask renters in advance what they’ll be storing in your space for more peace of mind.
If you have a lot of extra space, like an empty garage or warehouse, you can list that space on Neighbor for RV, boat, car, and business storage.
Even more passive income ideas
I wouldn’t consider the following ideas to be passive income side hustles, but these are more ways of generating passive income. Some of these options take little work or money on your end. For the ones that require a larger cash investment, you can invest what you earn from any of the ideas above.This is how you start to build wealth – diversifying your income and stacking multiple streams of income on top of one another.
11. Start micro-investing
Micro-investing is investing with small amounts of money, even spare change. You’re purchasing fractional (or micro) shares of stocks and ETFs, which is more affordable than purchasing full shares. It’s become popular over the past few years because it makes it easy to start investing without much money.
There is a growing number of micro-investing platforms, and here are two of my top picks:
- Acorns: Acorns matches you with one of their five diverse portfolios based on your investing timeline and goals. This app is famous for their Round-Ups, which when they round-up transactions from a linked credit or debit card and invest the difference.
- Stash: Stash focuses on thematic investing so you can invest in companies and funds that share your goals. For example, you can invest in female-owned companies or those that focus on green energy.
Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.
12. Invest with an online brokerage
Online investment brokerages have started lowering or even eliminating many of their fees, including commissions, and offering diverse investment vehicles to appeal to new investors. This is a exciting thing if you’ve felt that investing wasn’t accessible in the past.
If you’ve never investing before, this post will help you get started: How to Start Trading Stocks | A 5-Step Guide for Beginners. Next to stocks, there are more advanced trading strategies like trading options. More advanced strategies come with more risks, but there’s the potential to earn more.
Depending on how you invest your money, you can either earn dividends (what companies pay shareholders when they make a profit) or interest.
Robinhood, despite how they make money, is one of my picks for new investors. Robinhood charges $0 commissions, the app is free to use, and the platform is incredibly intuitive and easy for beginners.
Just remember, investing in the stock market is a loooonnnggg game — be prepared to let your money sit and ride out those fluctuations.
13. Refinance your house
This doesn’t immediately sound like a source of passive income, but with mortgage rates at historic lows, you may be able to refinance at a lower rate and put the money you save towards building another stream of passive income.
Here’s an example using a $250,000 mortgage at a 15-year term:
- At a rate of 6%, you pay $129,739 in interest throughout your loan
- At a rate of 3%, you pay $60,762 in interest throughout your loan
That’s $68,977 you can invest somewhere else.
Refinancing costs an average of 2% to 3% of the remaining principal of your mortgage, and that’s paid in closing costs. You’ll want to crunch the numbers and make sure that refinancing makes sense financially and isn’t costing you more.
14. Open a high-interest rate bank account
Putting your money in a high-interest bank account can help you earn a little extra cash on your savings. The returns aren’t nearly as high as what you can earn in the stock market, but your money is more accessible.
Here are a couple of options for high-interest rate accounts:
- Online banks: They don’t have the same overhead as brick-and-mortar banks and can pass the savings on to their customers.
- Money market accounts: These accounts are similar to savings accounts, but you usually have check writing and ATM access, but they typically require a slightly higher initial balance to qualify for the best rates.
One of my favorite online banks is Chime — their high-interest savings account currently pays 0.50% variable APY. There are no account minimums or fees.
15. Invest in a REIT
Did you know that about 90% of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate?
But the reality is that real estate has such a high initial investment cost that it makes it incredibly inaccessible for regular folks.
Besides saving money you’ve earned from other passive side hustles on this list, there are a couple of other ways for average people to start investing in real estate:
- Invest in REITs: REITs stand for real estate investment trusts. They’re modeled after mutual funds and allow a large pool of individual investors to fund large scale projects. You can invest as little as $500 with a company like Fundrise, and once the project is funded and turning a profit, you start earning your returns.
- Find single-family properties using Roofstock: Roofstock screens and sells turn-key, single-family rental properties. Roofstock vets all of the properties before they’re listed and provides detailed analytics with the goal of helping you find profitable rental properties.
How can I make passive income with no money?
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that all passive income takes some kind of investment: time, energy, or money. A side hustle like blogging is a great way to start earning passive income with no money – seriously, you can start your blog for free.
I do, however, highly recommend starting a WordPress blog hosted on Bluehost (the platform is set up for bloggers who want to make money), and it’s as little as $2.95/month.
Renting out your car, listing your house on Airbnb, renting your pool, or your space for storage are all free ways to start earning passive income. These sites let you create free listings, and you only pay a fee after someone has booked and paid you.
The final word on passive side hustles
Finding ways to earn passive income is a serious life changer. It means your earning potential is no longer tied to the number of hours in a day.
Remember you have to nurture your passive income sources from time to time. That’s even true when you invest in the stock market – you need to make sure your portfolio is aligned with your age and goals.
Some of the best passive income side hustles are ones that you can start with investments of time and energy instead of money. Those are options like selling Etsy printables, creating an online course, or starting a Shopify site.
Time is one of your best assets, so stop wasting it and get hustling.