11 Passive Income Ideas to Increase Your Cash Flow in 2024 (2024)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

With a passive income stream, you can earn money over time with little to no sustained effort. Here are some ideas to get started.

11 Passive Income Ideas to Increase Your Cash Flow in 2024 (1)

Passive income is a money stream that requires little or no continuous effort. As a business model, it’s largely self-sustaining; often, passive income involves some kind of upfront or initial investment that generates long-term steady gains.

Formally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines two “passive activities”: (1) Trade or business activities that don’t require material participation, and (2) rental activities [1]. Under their definition, passive income can come from things like financial investments—such as stocks, mutual funds, and royalties—or owning a rental property.

In this article, we’ll go deeper into what qualifies as passive income and offer some ideas you can try to start earning.

What is passive income?

Passive income is the opposite of active income. With active income, you are paid for the work you continuously do. Most careers or side hustles qualify as active income. With passive income, you do the work first, then collect payment over time—no further effort required.

Earning passive income can be an enticing idea, but it’s important to note that it can take some time to grow your investments. If you are looking for quick cash, you may want to consider starting a side hustle or pursuing a high-paying career path.

However, if you have time to watch your investment grow—and especially if you’re willing to put a little bit of sustained effort into nurturing that growth—building a passive income stream can be lucrative.

Starting a passive income business

In some cases, sustained marketing efforts can increase the returns you receive on your passive income stream. For example, if you are launching a rental property, creating a print-on-demand shop, or selling printable worksheets, your business may benefit from a strong social media presence. Here are some popular courses to learn techniques for marketing your business online:


- Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate

- University of California Davis Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization

- State University of New York Launch Your Online Business

11 Passive Income Ideas to Increase Your Cash Flow in 2024 (2)

How to make passive income

When people talk about “earning money in your sleep,” they’re referring to passive income. Traditionally, you would do this through financial investments. Nowadays, many creatives start a passive income stream by creating a digital product that you can sell repeatedly.

Here are some things to consider if you want to start earning passive income:

Depending on the passive income stream you choose to pursue, there may be things you can do to increase your short-term earnings. For example, some people who sell digital products will use various marketing strategies to enable more people to discover their products, which leads to more sales in a shorter period. Others may scale the scope of their passive income business with new products that further their initial offerings to recapture an established client base.

11 Passive income ideas

The first step toward earning a sustained income stream is choosing the passive source of income that makes the most sense for you. Whether you want to make a financial investment or start a business, here are 11 ideas to consider for your passive income strategy:

1. Make financial investments.

Financial investments include a range of options, such as investing in the stock market, mutual funds, bonds, and peer lending, and they require minor follow-up work as they accrue interest. Work with a financial advisor to figure out the best investment options for you.

ProsBe mindful of...
High growth potential over timeMay have limited access to funds in the short-term
Minimal maintenanceSubject to tax requirements

2. Own a rental property.

Rental income can be a steady way to earn extra money, but, whether you house long-term tenants or short-term renters, this passive income source comes with all the required maintenance of regular home ownership.

ProsBe mindful of...
Rental income can be a lucrative long-term investmentResponsible for property upkeep
Can begin earning money as soon as first renters move inOnly earn when you have renters

3. Start a print-on-demand shop.

You can sell your original designs on shirts, hats, mugs, posters, and other products, without dealing with inventory and fulfillment by opening a print-on-demand shop. All you need to do is select your provider—companies like Printful, Printify, or Gelato—upload your file, choose the products you want to sell, and advertise them on your online store.

ProsBe mindful of...
No inventory or fulfillment needsMay need to engage in self-promotion and marketing
Create original productsMay need to handle customer service issues

4. Self-publish.

If you have a wealth of knowledge or an idea for a story, you can write a book and sell it online. Many people choose to use a service like Kindle Direct Publishing, which enables you to transform your words into an ebook or print edition and sell it on Amazon.

ProsBe mindful of...
Write something that you feel proud to shareCan take a lot of time to prepare a book for publication
Retain complete control over your creative processMay need to engage in self-promotion and marketing

5. Sell worksheets.

There are several places where you can upload and sell worksheets online. Typically, the way this works is you create a printable worksheet and upload it to a website like Etsy or Teachers Pay Teachers, where people can pay to download and use your creation.

ProsBe mindful of...
Easy and inexpensive to createMay take time to generate noticeable returns
Utilize your specific expertiseHost websites may charge sales fees

6. Sell templates.

If you enjoy creating digital organization systems in programs like Microsoft Excel or Notion, you might be able to sell your templates. Many people monetize their creations on Etsy or other online marketplaces.

ProsBe mindful of...
Easy and inexpensive to createMay take time to generate noticeable returns
Combine organization and design skillsHost websites may charge sales fees

7. Create content.

If video is your medium of choice, you can earn money by uploading your original creations to YouTube and setting your account up for monetization with the YouTube Partner Program. There’s no limit to the types of videos you can create—informational, short film, original music, even ambient noise—however, there are a number of requirements to join the YouTube Partner Program, including a minimum number of views and followers.

ProsBe mindful of...
Retain creative control over the work you produceRequires building a following of 1,000 subscribers
Can continue earning money from the same videos long as you remain in the YouTube Partner ProgramRequires publishing new content every six months

Read more: What Is Content Marketing?

8. Create an online course.

Somewhere in between writing a book, selling worksheets and templates, and creating content, you may decide to package the resources you create as an online course. Many people create their content with platforms like Thinkific or Teachable, then host their courses on their own websites.

ProsBe mindful of...
Highlight your unique expertiseLabor intensive start-up process
Package a range of creative offeringsMay need to engage in self-promotion and marketing

9. Sell stock photos.

Whether you’re an amateur or seasoned photographer, you can sell your original photos as stock images using sites like Alamy, Shutterstock, Stocksy, or Adobe Stock.

ProsBe mindful of...
Start a photography business without finding clientsA lot of legalities to learn and navigate
Retain creative control over the work you produceHost websites may charge sales fees

10. Create an app.

You can passively monetize your creative skills as a developer by creating a mobile app and selling it via the Apple App Store or Google Play.

ProsBe mindful of...
Build a tool that can reach many peopleMay require updates and maintenance over time
Put your developer skills to the testApp store hosts may take hefty fees

11. Use affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is an area of digital marketing in which a person promotes products and receives a portion of the sales generated from their unique affiliate links. Many bloggers combine Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques with their affiliate marketing strategy to maximize their income.

ProsBe mindful of...
High earning potentialMay take some time to begin earning
Option to promote a range of productsPosts may require maintenance or updates over time

Start your passive income stream

When it comes to a business model centered around passive income, the more people who know about your product, the more money you stand to make.

Learn how to create and analyze effective advertising campaigns and leverage your social media presence with the Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate, available on Coursera. In , meanwhile, you'll learn how to build e-commerce stores, analyze online performance, and grow customer loyalty

11 Passive Income Ideas to Increase Your Cash Flow in 2024 (3)
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Updated on

Written by:


Coursera Staff

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Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

11 Passive Income Ideas to Increase Your Cash Flow in 2024 (2024)


How can I make $1000 a month passively? ›

Passive Income: 7 Ways To Make an Extra $1,000 a Month
  1. Buy US Treasuries. U.S. Treasuries are still paying attractive yields on short-term investments. ...
  2. Rent Out Your Yard. ...
  3. Rent Out Your Car. ...
  4. Rental Real Estate. ...
  5. Publish an E-Book. ...
  6. Become an Affiliate. ...
  7. Sell an Online Course. ...
  8. Bottom Line.
Apr 18, 2024

How to make $100,000 per year in passive income? ›

Ways to Make $100,000 Per Year in Passive Income
  1. Invest in Real Estate. Rental properties generate income through tenants who pay rent each month to live in a property you own. ...
  2. CD Laddering. ...
  3. Dividend Stocks. ...
  4. Fixed-Income Securities. ...
  5. Start a Side Hustle.
Jul 28, 2023

How to passively make $2000 a month? ›

Wrapping up ways to make $2,000/month in passive income
  1. Try out affiliate marketing.
  2. Sell an online course.
  3. Monetize a blog with Google Adsense.
  4. Become an influencer.
  5. Write and sell e-books.
  6. Freelance on websites like Upwork.
  7. Start an e-commerce store.
  8. Get paid to complete surveys.

How to make 10k a month passive income? ›

private job at electronic
  1. The Top 11 Ways to Earn $10,000 in Passive Income Each Month : Make Money Online. ...
  2. Dropshipping: The Gateway to E-Commerce. ...
  3. Using Endorsem*nts to Earn Through Affiliate Marketing. ...
  4. Etsy Print on Demand: Innovation Meets Business. ...
  5. Real estate crowdfunding. ...
  6. Creating and selling digital products.
Feb 10, 2024

How to make $2500 a month in passive income? ›

Invest in Dividend Stocks

One of the easiest passive income strategies is dividend investing. By purchasing stocks that pay regular dividends, you can earn $2,500 per month in dividend income. Here's a realistic example: Invest $300,000 into a diversified portfolio of dividend stocks.

How much money do I need to invest to make $4000 a month? ›

Making $4,000 a month based on your investments alone is not a small feat. For example, if you have an investment or combination of investments with a 9.5% yield, you would have to invest $500,000 or more potentially. This is a high amount, but could almost guarantee you a $4,000 monthly dividend income.

How to make 70k in passive income? ›

One simple strategy is to invest in two types of assets: closed-end funds (CEFs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs). A CEF is a type of mutual fund that can be bought and sold like a stock on an exchange. Some CEFs specialize in high-yield bonds. Others own preferred stocks and dividend stocks.

What passive income pays the most? ›

Dividend stocks

Dividends are paid per share of stock, so the more shares you own, the higher your payout. Opportunity: Since the income from the stocks isn't related to any activity other than the initial financial investment, owning dividend-yielding stocks can be one of the most passive forms of making money.

How can I make a 5k monthly passive income? ›

If you like the idea of earning passive income, one idea to make $5,000 per month is to rent out things for money. This is probably the best option if you're very busy with your job and don't have time to start a new side hustle. You can essentially let your assets make money for you so you're earning on autopilot.

What is the digital rental method? ›

A digital rental allows eBook access for a publisher-determined length of time. Access to content ends once the rental period expires. The product page displays rental duration and license details in the eBook Features section and at checkout.

How to make extra income while working full time? ›

There are plenty of ways to earn extra income outside of full-time working hours. You can do freelance work writing or transcribing for clients, turn your love of animals into a pet-sitting business, or squeeze in time to take paid surveys or deliver food.

How to make $10k fast? ›

Here are ten ways to make $10k quickly:
  1. Become A Freelancer. Freelancing is one of the most popular ways to make money quickly. ...
  2. Invest In Cryptocurrency. ...
  3. Participate In Online Surveys. ...
  4. Become A Virtual Assistant. ...
  5. Do Odd Jobs. ...
  6. Create An Online Course. ...
  7. Become An Affiliate Marketer. ...
  8. Sell Your Stuff.

How to turn 10k into 100k? ›

To potentially turn $10k into $100k, consider investments in established businesses, real estate, index funds, mutual funds, dividend stocks, or cryptocurrencies. High-risk, high-reward options like cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer lending could accelerate returns but also carry greater risks.

What is Jamie Lee's passive income? ›

Expert-Verified Answer

To find Jamie Lee's passive income, subtract his expenses from his total income. If his total income is $28,800 and his expenses are $10,000, his passive income would be $18,800.

How much do I need to invest to get $1000 a month? ›

Invest in Dividend Stocks

A stock portfolio focused on dividends can generate $1,000 per month or more in perpetual passive income, Mircea Iosif wrote on Medium. “For example, at a 4% dividend yield, you would need a portfolio worth $300,000.

Is it possible to live on $1,000 a month? ›

But it is possible to live well even on a small amount of money. Surviving on $1,000 a month requires careful budgeting, prioritizing essential expenses, and finding ways to save money. Cutting down on housing costs by sharing living spaces or finding affordable options is crucial.

How can I make $5000 a month in passive income? ›

If you like the idea of earning passive income, one idea to make $5,000 per month is to rent out things for money. This is probably the best option if you're very busy with your job and don't have time to start a new side hustle. You can essentially let your assets make money for you so you're earning on autopilot.


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