200+ Passive Income Ideas from the Top 10 Pages of Google

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I’ve been doing some thinking about money lately (who doesn’t?). Specifically about my own financial plan. I have a steady job that gives me a reliable source of income (so far, assuming I don’t get laid off soon because of coronavirus). I live very frugally in a room I found on Craigslist meant for a broke college student. My meals only cost $1 each and I rarely buy random stuff on amazon. 

What more can I do to strengthen my financial plan? You can only cut your spending up to a certain point. What if you literally can’t spend any less money than you’re spending now?

The answer: increase your income. There’s always the option of directly exchanging time for money with a side hustle, but what if you don’t want to spend the only resource you’ll never get back?

Passive Income Explained

The real answer: passive income. This is a source of income that costs you little to no time and effort to maintain. This is the best source of income because it does not require you to sacrifice your most important resource: time. You could even be making money while you sleep (turning your Z’s into dollar signs). Ultimately, what’s the point of making a lot of money if it means you won’t even have time to enjoy the money you’re making?

You can only trade so much of your time for money before you hit a limit. With passive income, the sky’s the limit. Since it doesn’t cost time, you can scale your passive income to pretty sizable proportions. It might even be enough to replace your full time job, leaving you with nothing but time and money. Wouldn’t that be nice?

There are many types of passive income. There’s money from rentals, owning dividend paying stocks, and peer to peer lending. Some of them are pretty easy to get started, such as buying high dividend stocks.

Others like creating and selling a digital product require a big upfront time and energy investment, but after that will earn sales with minimal effort on your part. If I had to guess, the passive income strategies that require the most upfront work probably have the biggest payout.

The Google Search

Alright, so passive income. How do I get it? Off I went to Google. I typed in “passive income ideas” and out popped 94,300,000 results. Then came the idea for this post. I’m doing the research anyways, might as well document it for other people to benefit (I’m looking at you, reader at home).

The top results are probably the most helpful, but what about on the 10th page of Google? Is this keyword so competitive that all 10 pages of Google will give me great content? I wanted to find out. I was also curious how long my list would get if I included every single “idea” I found.

So here is the ultimate list of 200+ passive income ideas from the top 10 pages of Google. I included all of them. Every single one. I did this search in May 2020, but the exact links will obviously change over time. Google’s algorithm changes all the time and more recent, relevant content usually gets bumped higher on the list. 

Passive Income Ideas

  1. Robo-Investing
  2. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  3. Bonds (Worthy Bonds, M1 Finance)
  4. Start a Blog
  5. Buy an Already-Profitable Website (Flippa)
  6. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) (DiversyFund, Roofstock, RealtyMogul, Fundrise)
  7. Rent out Your Room (Airbnb, Craigslist, VRBO)
  8. Store People’s Stuff
  9. High-Yield Dividend Stocks & Funds
  10. Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending (PeerStreet, Prosper, Lending Club, SoFi, Worthy)
  11. Private Equity Funds
  12. Sublease to Housemates
  13. Put Ads on Your Car (Wrapify, Carvertise)
  14. Rent Out Your Car (Turo, Getaround, HyreCar)
  15. Rent Out Your Parking Space(Stow It, JustPark)
  16. Rent Out Your RV (RVShare, Outdoorsy)
  17. Rent Out Your Boat (Boatsetter, GetMyBoat)
  18. Rent Out Your Bicycle (Splinster)
  19. Rent Out Your Backyard (Campspace, Gamping, Hipcamp)
  20. Rent Out Your Garage or Attic (Neighbor)
  21. Rent Out Your Lock Screen (Slidejoy)
  22. Rent Out Storage Space
  23. Rent Out Personal Items (Peer Renters)
  24. Rent Out Old Baby Gear (Babyquip)
  25. Private Notes
  26. Create an Alexa Skill
  27. Transcription
  28. Start a Podcast
  29. Create an Online Course (Skillshare, Teachable, Udemy, Coursera, BitDegree, edX, CreativeLive, CreativeBug)
  30. Create Software
  31. Start an E-commerce Business
  32. Buy an Existing Business
  33. Own a Laundromat
  34. Own Vending Machines
  35. Start a YouTube Channel
  36. Stock Photos (Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStock, PhotoDune)
  37. Buy and Sell Domain Names for Websites
  38. Flip Websites (Flippa)
  39. Manage Social Media Accounts
  40. Refinance Your Mortgage
  41. Financial Reward Programs
  42. Become an Angel Investor
  43. Inventory Investment for Small Businesses (Kickfurther)
  44. Invest in a Food Truck
  45. Lease Equipment
  46. Sell Retargeting Advertisements
  47. Sell Your Designs (Redbubble, Teepublic, Zazzle, FineArtAmerica, Spoonflower, PatternBank)
  48. Sell Handcrafted Goods (Etsy)
  49. Participate in a Sleep Study
  50. Become a Notary
  51. Customer Interviews
  52. Raw Land Flipping
  53. Become a Brand Ambassador
  54. House Sitting
  55. Lose Weight (yes, that’s a thing)
  56. Participate in Scientific Studies
  57. Be an Extra in Movies
  58. Email Marketing
  59. Create an Audiobook
  60. Make Money Watching TV
  61. Rental Properties
  62. Commercial Real Estate Leasing
  63. High Yield Savings Accounts And Money Market Funds (CIT Bank)
  64. Bond/CD Ladders
  65. Annuities
  66. Invest In A Business (Worthy Bonds, StreetShares, Worthy, Funding Circle, P2BInvestor, Wunder Capital)
  67. Sell an eBook Online
  68. Licensing Music (Audio Network)
  69. Create an App
  70. Affiliate Marketing
  71. Network Marketing
  72. Design T-Shirts (Merch by Amazon, Redbubble)
  73. Car Wash
  74. Display Ads
  75. CPC (Cost Per Click) Ads
  76. Sell Leads
  77. Create a Digital Product (Fiverr, Amazon, Gumroad, GraphicRiver, Design Cuts)
  78. Create an Information Product (Canva)
  79. Youtube Ads
  80. Sell Your Business
  81. Build a Sales Funnel
  82. Become an ATM vendor
  83. Create Alexa Skills
  84. Online Arbitrage
  85. Buy Royalties (Royalty Exchange)
  86. Video Arcades
  87. Index Funds
  88. Mutual Funds (YieldStreet, M1 Finance)
  89. ETFs (YieldStreet, M1 Finance)
  90. Write a book and collect royalties
  91. Become a business silent partner
  92. Participate in a Sleep Study
  93. Sell a Featured Listing on your site’s directory
  94. “Non-Display” Ads
  95. Create an Email Course (Highbrow)
  96. Amazon FBA
  97. Product Licensing (CafePress, Redbubble)
  98. Create a Print on Demand Online Store (Zazzle, Redbubble, Teespring, CafePress, Society6, Saatchi Art, Fine Art America)
  99. Share Your Data (Mobileexpression, SavvyConnect)
  100. Become a Social Media Influencer
  101. Start an Advertising Agency
  102. Buy Property that Appreciates
  103. Sell your Videos to a News Site (Newsflare, Rumble)
  104. Time Deposit
  105. Drop Shipping (Shopify, Amazon)
  106. Buying Mortgage Notes
  107. Invest in Coins and Collectibles
  108. Create a Membership Website
  109. Create a Price Comparison Website
  110. Create a Deals Website
  111. Create a Calculator Website (with Affiliate links)
  112. Internet Browsing (Bing, Swagbucks)
  113. Crowdfunding (Patreon)
  114. Invest in Artwork (Masterworks)
  115. Sell Your Own Products on Amazon
  116. Open a Batting Cage
  117. Residual Sales Income (life insurance, financial products, credit card processing, service contracts)
  118. Invent Something
  119. Printable Art Sales
  120. Self-Service Kiosks
  121. Credit Card Referral Bonuses
  122. Grow and Sell Trees
  123. Rent an Antique/Craft Booth
  124. Invest in Farmland and Agriculture (AcreTrader)
  125. Litigation Finance
  126. Create a plugin
  127. Create a logo template
  128. Create a lightroom preset
  129. Create a website design template (wordpress themes)
  130. Create pdf Templates
  131. Create Business Document Templates
  132. Instagram Highlight Story Icons
  133. Create Video LUTs
  134. Create checklists and workbooks
  135. Create Static Guide Websites to Directly Sell Advertising
  136. Build an Online Store for a Real World Service and Outsource the Work
  137. Create Software or Other Online App
  138. Write Book Reviews and Use Amazon Affiliate Links
  139. Create an Online Store that links to Amazon Affiliate Links
  140. Buy and Rent Out Expensive Equipment and Tools (Zilock, Fatlama, Sharegrid)
  141. Become a Digital Publisher
  142. Create a Business Franchise
  143. Build a Job Board
  144. Apartment Syndication
  145. Turn your Home into a Movie Set (Giggster)
  146. Create a Chatbot
  147. Own an Ice Cream Truck
  148. Retirement Accounts
  149. Run a webinar that refers to your products or affiliate links and replay it on demand
  150. Get Paid to Walk (Sweatcoin)
  151. Get Paid to Watch TV (Swagbucks)
  152. Get Paid to go to Stores (ShopKick)
  153. Create a Font (FontSpring, FontShop, Monotype)
  154. Create 3D Printing Models (TurboSquid, HighEnd3D, DAZ 3D marketplace)
  155. Create coloring pages and books
  156. Create Building Plans
  157. Create Boardgame Printouts
  158. Create Knitting, Sewing, or Crochet Patterns
  159. Create Nutrition or Meal-Prep Plans
  160. Create a Workout Plan
  161. Create Vacation/Travel Plans and include Affiliate Links
  162. Join a Tiny House Rental Program
  163. Upsell Pre-Existing Clients
  164. Party Tent Rental and Favors
  165. Hall Rental
  166. Create Phone Cases, Watch Bands, and Laptop Covers (Casetify)
  167. Automated Forex and Crypto Traders (Cryptohopper)
  168. Invest in Online Discount Brokers
  169. Sponsorship
  170. Invest in Precious Metals
  171. Invest in Foreign Real Estate Markets
  172. Micro-investing (Acorns, Bumped)

I wouldn’t exactly call these following ideas passive income, but they do offer the potential to build your net worth over time without a direct exchange of time and money.

  1. Cashback Rewards Cards
  2. Cashback Sites (Rakuten, Drop Rewards, ibotta, Dosh, RebateKey, Paribus, MyPoints, Swagbucks, GetUpside)
  3. Payoff Debt
  4. Refinance Debts (Credible)
  5. Start a Business then Outsource your Business Needs
  6. Car Detailing Service
  7. Flip Goods on eBay/Craigslist
  8. Save on Bills Automatically (Trim, Paribus)
  9. Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses
  10. Invest in Local Creative Businesses
  11. Buy Bulk Overseas and Sell It on Ebay
  12. Custom Beauty/style/skincare
  13. Reselling Web Hosting
  14. Repurpose Old Projects for Extra Cash
  15. Open up a Gym
  16. Sell Your Art in Galleries
  17. Get Paid to Install Apps on Your Phone
  18. Start a Financial Planning Practice
  19. Multi Level Marketing (Warning: very high risk of running into a scam)
  20. Pet or House sitting (DogVacay, Rover)
  21. Sell Your Clothes
  22. Donate/sell Your Plasma

These next ideas were listed as “passive income” on some articles, but I would probably categorize them under side hustles. You are directly exchanging time for money here and I find it hard to imagine backing off your time involvement without losing out on most or all of the income. Just to be completely thorough with the list, I’ll include them here.

  1. Drive Uber/Lyft
  2. Survey sites
  3. Copywriting
  4. Data Entry
  5. Turn Your Gaming Skills into a Business (Twitch)
  6. Rent a Friend
  7. Charge Scooters
  8. Deliver Food
  9. Teach Languages
  10. Video Editing
  11. Become a Virtual Assistant
  12. Become a Freelancer
  13. Provide Consulting Services
  14. Do random gigs for people (TaskRabbit, Zaarly, NextDoor)
  15. Become a Tutor (Wyzant)
  16. Become a Headhunter
  17. Start a Coaching Business
  18. Standard Rate and Data Service
  19. Become a Video Game Tester
  20. Provide Website Services
  21. Run a Temp Employee Agency
  22. Become a Keynote Speaker
  23. Become a Yoga Instructor or Personal Coach
  24. Become a Notary

“Passive Income Ideas” that I Excluded from the List

Obviously, I’m not literally including everything as not everything I found was relevant to passive income ideas. Here are some things I skipped:

  • Links to Youtube videos for passive income because I only wanted to include text based articles. 
  • Google ads because I feel like that’s kind of skipping around Google’s ranking algorithm. 
  • A few results for “passive income ideas” books (one with poor reviews, one with no reviews, one with a few decent reviews)
  • 1 link to pinterest for “Passive Income”
  • The wikipedia page for “passive income”
  • Several repeats of pages that already appeared on earlier pages for some reason.
  • A link that redirected to “Congratulations! You won a million dollars! Click Now!” (while assaulting my ears with the sound fire alarms make on low batteries) and probably gave my computer a corona-virus. Honestly, I’m not sure how that got ranked on Google above the other thousands/millions of “passive income idea” posts (including a reputable blogger’s site making a 6 figure income). Probably shady, black-hat SEO black magic.

There were also a few pretty amusing ideas that I decided not to include:

  • Ask a developer friend to teach you how to create a digital download and sell it
  • Find an engineer who has experiments sitting around and sell them to people (I know lots of engineers, none of them have “experiments” just sitting around)
  • Interview someone then turn that interview into an ebook and sell it
  • Get paid to do things you’re already doing (with no further explanation offered)

Thoughts on Post Qualities

The quality was pretty random, but on average decent. The quality had little to no inverse correlation with page number after the first page. There were some not so great articles that showed up on page 2 while some nice, good quality content showed up on page 10. I’m genuinely confused how some of those did not make it to the first or second page of Google. Maybe there was something wrong with their site’s SEO that wasn’t apparent by reading it.

I was pretty surprised by the amount of not so great content that ranks highly on the second and third page of Google while the occasional gem gets buried in the deeper pages. I guess Google’s algorithm doesn’t care too much about sorting/ranking things past the 2nd or 3rd page. I’m no search engine expert, but I’m assuming it doesn’t make much sense to spend computing resources on sorting the remaining 93 million links when no one will ever look at those.

Past the first page, most of the content in the posts were repeats of what showed up in the first page. Most of the results were short, generic content that didn’t tell me anything new and had no personality. I’m guessing a lot of these were outsourced to a ghostwriter who was just trying to hit the 1500 word mark. 


So that’s my list. I hope at least a few of those caught your attention. Let me know if you found an engineer who has an experiment sitting around and want to sell it to people.

Me personally, I found robo-investing, REITs, and peer to peer lending pretty interesting. I’ll probably take a look into those a little more closely (and maybe write another post about that).

If you liked this post, check out my other post on personal finance tips or some of my other personal finance posts.

Joe Wong

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