These days “passive income” is a popular buzz phrase that can sound more like hype, a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) ploy, or something exclusive to rich who already have more than enough money. We have come up with tried-and-true ways for even the thriftiest blue-collar worker or poor millennial to start earning extra cash now.
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1. Create Your Brand
Use your natural abilities and skill-set to find an existing niche market on which to build your foundation. A successful brand will incorporate the next few tips into this brand, including a blog, a lead-generation website, a YouTube channel, and any affiliations you acquire.
It is a good idea to educate yourself on existing niche markets that may be trending and newly emerging. Watch the videos and look at the content of the most successful brands in that genre to figure out what the fan base craves. However, remember to be authentic; don’t start a DIY brand if you aren’t crafty or thrifty.
Continuity and comprehensiveness are important. The links, blogs, affiliations, and videos should all relate to the brand in some way. Putting in the effort to making it a success takes time as well as a willingness to learn the mechanics of marketing. If successful, you will be able to create and sell your own products and courses from your generated traffic flow.
2. Create a Lead Generation Website
Within your brand empire, consider your website Home Base. All your other offerings such as courses, blogs, links, videos, social media pages, and affiliations are offshoots that will be part of your website platform. It should encompass all aspects of your passive income.
Lead generation means you refer your fans to specific businesses. If your “brand” revolves around health and beauty, you will ask your followers to contact you to learn more. When they do, you refer them to a specific cosmetic or fitness company, and the company pays you for the lead.
When a follower contacts you “learn more,” this is considered a “warm lead,” instead of a “cold lead,” meaning companies will pay you more than if you had initiated the conversation to try to recommend specific products.
This website can also generate income from advertisements if you take time to gain an understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make it a successful operation. One of the most important determining factors in the success of your site is how high up on a search engine it appears, as most professionals would be more willing to pay.
You could also make money by having advertisements on your site. Note that you would have to understand SEO rules in order to ensure your site is successful. Getting your site at the top of search engine pages would be vital to success.
Start a Blog
Just about anyone can start a blog, but not all blogs will generate significant income, if any at all. As with your brand, and life, in general, the time and effort put into it directly correlates to profitability. Blogging in and of itself will not automatically and immediately generate income. These things happen slowly over time. As your reader-base grows and traffic increases, companies will pay you to link to them and advertise on your blog.
Your blog can be a platform to showcase your digital products, physical products, as well as endorse others’ products and conduct reviews.
4. Start a YouTube Channel
If you brand yourself as a frugality-minded, organic, DIY mom, for instance, you could offer video tutorials on how to refurbish furniture for pennies or create your own household products. You could review new organic granola bars, tested personally on your own kids.
Conducting these videos provides the opportunity to plug the other offerings within your brand, such as your online course on raising your own chickens, thereby generating more traffic and profits.
Be an Affiliate
If you already have a website, this is a no-brainer. It can be confusing to learn how to best get started. Again, it is important to remember that your affiliates should relate to your brand in some way.
Generally speaking, when a follower clicks on one of your affiliate links, you receive a commission. We recommend visiting the websites of stores you already frequent and looking up their affiliate programs, as specific rates and perks will vary company to company.
Once your site’s traffic picks up, you will begin to see companies approaching you offering more lucrative deals based on your popularity, but this takes time. Starting out, It is a good idea to educate yourself on the ins and outs of affiliate marketing.
6. Create Physical Products to Sell Online
There are two basic ways to do this:
1. Refurbishing Unwanted Items for Resale
Positing your unwanted items on sites and apps like eBay, Etsy, craigslist, Decluttr and social media marketplaces can be a great way to earn extra cash. Taking the extra step of restyling it before you sell, however, can raise your profits significantly.
If this turns out to be a pastime that you enjoy, going to local junk shops, flea markets, and thrift stores and purchasing apparel and home goods for next to nothing for refurbishing, repairing, restyling or repurposing can be a lucrative pastime. Keep in mind shipping for larger items can be pricey, so those might be best kept to local sites.
2. Making Your Own Products
From beauty and hygiene items to household cleaners, soaps, and even luxury spa gifts, there are a plethora of child and pet-safe, organic products that can be made for pennies and sold for a profit on sites like Etsy, eBay, or local social media marketplaces.
Hundreds of products can be made using just a handful of inexpensive ingredients. As you start out, these products would not generate a huge income as they are being made personally by you out of your home. Of course, the initial process of making the products takes time and effort, but these products can be made in large batches. The more you sell, the more money you stand to make.
However, the more popular your brand gets, the bigger the chance of a company offering to buy out your product line. We recommend looking through Pinterest to get you started on the basics involved in making these.
7. Create an Online Course.
Whether or not you have an advanced degree in a particular field isn’t an issue here. Everyone is good at something, from refurbishing furniture on the cheap to creating homemade products or learning how to sew. Most people have expert-level skills in several areas they could use to educate the general public, and some of those skills have an existing niche market online.
If you have a website, blog, or YouTube channel, linking, recommending, or mentioning this course will generate traffic flow to your course. Many sites give free step-by-step advice on how to get started.
8. Join a Humanitarian Shopping Rewards Program
By choosing a unique rewards and charity platform like Giving Assistant, you can save money while donating to charity. Earn up to 10% cash back on your regular purchases from over 3,000 of the most popular retailers and take advantage of exclusive discount promo codes all while giving any percentage of cash back to your favorite charity.
Don’t miss out on Giving Assistant’s coolest feature: The Button! The Button is a free browser extension that automatically populates current deals, discounts, and promo codes while you shop. Simply click the Button to activate your cash back earnings without navigating away from your store check-out page.
9. Sign Up for Your Favorite Stores’ Newsletters and Emails
Create accounts and receive email newsletters at the stores you frequent most often to catch all the store’s promotional deals and sale notifications. Don't forget to check through them before making your purchases to make sure you are getting the best possible price.
For a catch-all for cashback shopping, try Rakuten (formerly Ebates), where you earn a part of your purchase back in cash! Learn how to use Rakuten to save money shopping online, then try Rakuten for free, with a $10 bonus if you sign up and make a qualifying purchase.
10. Invest in Crowd-Funded Real Estate
Real Estate is one of the most truly passive forms of income-generation options available, though it does require an initial investment. A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a company that operates, owns, or finances real estate for profit.
Crowdfunding companies vary on initial startup requirements, with options ranging from just $5 to $1,000, with the most popular option being an initial investment of around $500. As with most things, the more money you put in, the greater your potential returns.
These companies allow you to choose which products and trusts in which you will invest your money, with the goal of making real estate investing available to everyone.
Open a High-Yield Savings Account
Internet-based savings accounts like Aspiration or CIT will pay anywhere from 10 to 100 times the interest rate of traditional banks. While this tip is a far cry from a get rich quick scheme, it is a reliable way to earn interest on the money you are able to save. Some of these accounts even offer a “no ATM fees Ever” guarantee as well.
We recommend starting with whichever option seems possible for you or excites you the most. Spend some time thinking about your brand.
In the age of content and product saturation, consumers are as much choosing the person as they are the product, and it really easy to spot a fake. Research the trends, but don’t forget to use your natural skill-set and infuse your authentic personality into your offerings.