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Imagine kicking back in a chair, pouring a glass of lemonade, and watching the cash roll into your bank account. That’s the life, ain’t it? 

It might sound impossible, but there are many ways to achieve this lifestyle. It’s just a matter of lining up the right opportunities and taking advantage of them. 

With that in mind, here are 13 ways to make money in your sleep.

  1. Invest in the stock market
  2. Start a website, blog, or YouTube channel
  3. Start an e-commerce store through Amazon Podcast Writing
  4. Create an online courseLogo Design
  5. Invest in real estateInfographic Design
  6. Open a high-yield savings accountPhotoshop Editing
  7. Write a book Email Marketing
  8. Create an app
  9. Work in sales
  10. Buy a website 
  11. Rent out your car on Turo 
  12. Rent your house on Airbnb

Ways to start making money without trying 

1. Invest in the stock market 

One of the best ways to earn passive income — or money you make without much heavy lifting — is by investing in the stock market through a taxable brokerage account or a tax-friendly retirement account.

If you haven’t already done so, start by opening an account with a broker like Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade

You can make money by investing in individual stocks (e.g., Etsy, Shopify, or Palantir) or baskets of securities, like mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and index funds. 

2. Start a website, blog, or YouTube channel

Another great way to make money is by setting up your own online channels. For example, you could start a website, try your hand at blogging, or open a YouTube account.

There are a few different ways to make money with online content. While each requires hard work, if you form a strategy and stick to it, you could eventually get to the point where you’ve unlocked a massive passive revenue stream.

When managing a website or working as a blogger, you can make money by hosting targeted ads. This can be accomplished using Google AdSense or by working directly with companies and building custom advertisements — a better option for popular sites that generate a lot of traffic. 

If you’re using a channel like YouTube, you can become an influencer and mix advertisements into your content. You might also be able to secure sponsorships. At the end of the day, this is the goal of many YouTubers.

For example, if you have a cooking channel, you can use designer knives or kitchen appliances in your videos. Brands may pay you to be featured in your content — particularly if you have trending content and tons of subscribers. 

3. Start an e-commerce store through Amazon 

Amazon offers a variety of ways to launch an e-commerce business for recurring revenue. 

One of the most popular ways is to launch a store on Amazon and sell your own products (Amazon FBA). You can also sell designs through Amazon Merch or Amazon Handmade.

If you’re actively selling on Amazon, it could take some backend work. 

However, selling certain services could produce passive income. Plus, Amazon provides significant value by offering a powerful online store and robust analytics tools. 

4. Create an online course

Another great way to earn passive income is by creating an online course that people can sign up for, download, and move through at their own pace.

For example, you could teach a language, how to knit, or how to draw or paint. This is also a great option for musicians to teach music lessons. If you have a skill, share your knowledge on a site like Udemy or create your own WordPress website. 

5. Invest in real estate

Of all the asset classes to invest in, real estate is one of the most profitable — and the most stable. 

There are a variety of ways to produce money in real estate. Generally speaking, there are two ways to do this.

If your budget allows, you can buy direct residential and commercial properties and rent them to tenants. Or, if you don’t want the responsibility or hassle of dealing with a rental property, you can invest indirectly by purchasing real estate investment trusts (REITs). 

This involves buying shares of real estate from companies that buy and sell commercial properties. REITs generate money when tenants pay rent — enabling shareholders to profit without having to deal with direct ownership.

Another easy way to make money from real estate is through crowdfunding. Platforms like CrowdStreet connect investors to exclusive real estate properties they can invest in. 

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6. Open a high-yield savings account

Interest rates today are on the rise. You could make a few dollars through a high-yield savings account (HYSA) if you have a large sum of money you can afford to park away. 

Online banks offer HYSAs with higher interest rates than traditional banks. For example, at the time of this writing, American Express National Bank offers an HYSA with a variable 0.65% APY. So, if you started with a balance of $25,000, you’d make around $168 over the course of a year just by stashing your money with them. 

7. Write a book 

In the past, getting published as an author was very difficult. It required producing a manuscript, getting a meeting with a publisher, convincing them it’s worthy for print, and negotiating a contract. Countless authors over the years have struggled with the process, and many have gone unnoticed because of it. 

Thanks to self-publishing services like Amazon Kindle Direct, this is no longer the case. Today, authors can easily bring their own works to market and sell them to Kindle readers. Amazon even prints publications, too, making the process even easier.

So if you have a great idea for a book, consider writing it and selling it yourself online and marketing it through social media. Who knows? You could wind up making a small fortune if the project is successful.

Many self-publishing authors like to use print-on-demand options that sell directly to people who buy their books. That way, they don’t end up with excess inventory that collects dust for years to come.

8. Create an app

There are apps for everything today — from improving your diet and exercise regimen to discovering new movies to accelerate DevOps workflows. 

With a little bit of technical know-how, you can learn how to design simple apps and bring them to market for others to use. 

Consider looking into business use cases, because businesses typically prefer functionality over design. If you can produce a simple low-code app that streamlines specific workflows, you could potentially make money by charging for subscriptions. 

If your idea takes off, you can even launch a startup. At that point, the sky’s the limit when it comes to making money while you sleep.

9. Work in sales

Working in sales may not seem all that glamorous if you haven’t tried it. However, sales has changed considerably in recent years as many new technologies have come to market that streamline the process. 

To make it in sales, you want to find a growing company that has an impressive product portfolio. In addition to your salary, you can potentially earn a percentage of profits or revenue on a big annual sales contract.

Some sales positions are available as freelance opportunities, making them an excellent option for people who want to earn extra money on the side. So, if you love to talk and communicate, this could be a great opportunity to explore.

10. Buy a website 

Websites are prime real estate in today’s online economy. 

If you can get your hands on a great domain name — one that’s already established and generating traffic — it could turn into a cash cow that generates regular payments through advertisements and affiliate marketing links. 

Just keep in mind that if you buy a website from a site like Flippa, you should consider hiring a management team to oversee operations. If you decide to get involved directly, you could wind up taking on a fair amount of work. Unless you’re an expert, you might derail the efforts.

11. Rent out your car on Turo 

Chances are your car spends most of the day sitting unused in your garage — especially if you work at home. 

Pretty wasteful, isn’t it?

Good news: You can put your car to use on a site like Turo, a service that lets you make money listing and renting your cars.

This is an excellent option for people who own utility vehicles like vans and trucks, which are great for transporting items. Or, you may have a luxury car that you want to rent at certain times to bring in extra cash. 

Turo can put money in your wallet for doing nothing but making your car available to other drivers. 

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12. Rent your house on Airbnb

It’s also possible to make a decent income renting your house on a site like Airbnb.

All you have to do is create a listing and make your personal space available to guests who need a place to crash. It’s easy — and a great way to pay down a mortgage or pay rent. 

Often, homeowners decide to set up a guest house or side apartment to rent while staying in their own space. This is a great way to bring in extra income without having to leave or surrender your living area. 

It takes some initial setup, but it can be well worth it in the long run if you have a cool property.

13. Sell stock photos

Just about anyone can take pictures using their phone and sell them on a site like Shutterstock

Most sites require you to submit photos and get accepted onto the platform for quality control purposes. But once you’re in, you can potentially generate a steady income every time someone downloads your work. 

You can take photos of modern office spaces, nature, city scenes, food — the list goes on and on.

The benefits of passive income 

Not sold on the promise of passive income? Here are some great reasons to try to line up easy money-making opportunities. 

Maximize your time

One of the top reasons to make passive income is so that you can get time back in your schedule while earning extra money on the side. 

For example, suppose you buy a piece of property that you rent out and then go to work at a full-time job. This way, you can bring in twice the amount of income without putting in much more of your time. 

Pay down debt faster

If you’re in debt, you need to get out as soon as possible. Earning passive income can help you make payments and escape from high-interest balances much faster. 

On the other hand, staying in debt and paying hundreds of dollars per month on interest charges can destroy your finances. Depending on how bad it gets, you could set yourself back years in your investing goals. 

Make it a priority to get out of debt. If there’s one takeaway from this article, please let that be it!

Get ahead on retirement 

As you get older, it becomes increasingly important to start thinking about retirement. Bringing in more money can make it easier to make retirement payments and get ahead on your finances. 

The more money you put aside when you’re young, the more time it can grow. If you aggressively invest now, you can potentially reach financial freedom while you are still young and healthy. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What are some easy passive income ideas?

Passive income involves making money without putting forth a continued effort. It requires some initial setup or expense in most cases, but the end result is a steady cash flow without much additional effort. 

You can earn passive income through real estate, blogging, and investing, to name just a few examples. 

Just make sure to research before getting started with passive income opportunities. That way, you can appropriately identify risk and avoid biting off more than you can chew. 

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a type of retail methodology where the seller takes on customer orders but does not keep any inventory in stock. Rather, they pass the sale along to another provider who has the items in stock.

There are a variety of dropshipping apps available, including Oberlo, Spocket, and Spreadr.

Is peer lending risky?

Peer lending is one of the riskiest types of investing because there is no guarantee that the borrower is going to pay back their loan. Often, people seek out lending for risky business opportunities or because they don’t have the means to secure traditional financing. 

The upside is that you can charge higher interest rates and potentially profit from peer lending. However, you could just as easily lose your investment with this type of service. 

The Bottom Line 

If you’re wondering how to make money without trying, the good news is there are many ways to do it.  

Options abound, whether you want to start an online business with Amazon, give money through a site like Lending Club, or invest in real estate through Fundrise. When it boils down to it, there is an endless number of ways to produce passive income.

For many people, the hardest part is taking the first step. Start by brainstorming some passive income streams that interest you, and then squeeze in a side hustle to get a taste of what it’s like to have multiple revenue streams. 

Taking just a little bit of time to plan your strategy can go a long way toward unlocking ongoing income sources that don’t require much upkeep. 

Just remember that, in some cases, setup can include a lot of work and require upfront expenses. It’s important to weigh the potential return on investment for each project to determine whether it’s a good decision.

For example, if you’re looking into real estate, make sure that the place you buy can produce steady rental income over time.

At the end of the day, you have the power to take control over your personal finances and start making money for yourself any way you can think of. And along the way, you might just discover the path to financial freedom.

Just don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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