5 Most Lucrative Ideas That Earned Passive Income Surprisingly Well

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Most of us are upside-down financially. You are ‘upside-down’ because you work and work and work to get paid once. You work hard to make someone else rich. Trading your time for money is backwards. That makes it tough to get ahead. There is only so much time and you can never get it back. Every paycheck keeps you tied to that job because it’s already earmarked or actually spent. Almost no one gets rich working for someone else. So, what can you do to get ahead?

The way to get ahead is passive income. After working all day it’s really hard to do something for yourself. But that’s what you need to do. You need to do something that is ‘right-side-up’. Spend an hour every day working for yourself. Eventually this can replace your day job.

Here are 5 ways to earn a passive income.

Every idea on this list is something you can do. Most only take about 1 month’s time. Once complete, these can earn a passive income for years to come. I encourage you to choose one project and work on it (when you’re not working hard to make someone else rich). Each of these projects has the potential to completely change your life and your future.

1. Write an E-Book

One of the most often overlooked sources of passive income is e-books.

E-books might not seem as profitable or even as exciting as some other sources. In my experience, they can be a great source of long-term passive income. Especially if you’re looking for something you can create this month to generate passive income for years. Everybody is really good at something. Maybe you learned something original or maybe you speak another language. Often something common in one culture is completely new to another region or culture.

Here are a few things I love about e-books.

You can literally start now and be finished in a month. Once it’s done it’s done. There’s no real ongoing work or updating required. Really, if you want, you can write it, list it, and be done. Nothing else is required unless you market it. Leave that for later.

An e-book can earn income for years! Some other sources of passive income fizzle out really fast if you don’t keep updating them or adding new content. In my experience, e-books can keep earning you a paycheck for years.

Lots of people are afraid to write. They don’t think they know enough or they think they’re not a very good writer. You don’t have to be an expert or an amazing writer to earn an income from an e-book. Books from the perspective of a beginner or someone who’s learning have a lot of value. They make you really relateable to the reader. Just pick a topic you know something about, or that you’re passionate about. Write what you know and don’t pretend to be an expert if you’re not.

So here’s what I suggest. Make a beginning. Break it down into smaller parts, if that helps you. Write your book in a word processor like Microsoft Word. Most e-books are about 50,000 words. Plan to get above the 30,000 level and you’ll probably be fine. Once you’re done, have a friend or someone read through it and help you fix any typos or things that don’t make sense to them.

Most people are honored to read your first draft. Make sure they make notes, so that you can use the feedback. This is invaluable. Do not take their comments personally. Just fix the typos and explain things better so people understand what you are saying. If you disagree, get a second opinion.

Focus on one person

One of the best tricks in public speaking also applies to writing a book. Most people freeze when they think of all the people they are addressing. How can you answer all their questions all at the same time in only a few words? Don’t. Trying to address too many people is confusing. Instead, pick one person. This can be someone that you either know or would like to know, and then write it for that one person. Don’t address it to them by name, but write as if you were talking to just this one person.

When you are happy with your finished manuscript, your work will need to be formatted so it looks like a book. Go to smashwords.com. They’ll take your Word document and format it for distribution to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the other major e-book distribution sites. Be sure and request that you can also distribute your book. You will make more money selling directly.Breathe.

You’re done!

Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 1 month
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: 10 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $100 to $1,000 per month (varies greatly)
Ongoing Work Required: Almost none

2. Build a Passive Income Website

People think of websites as something they have to support with time and money. Turning your website right-side-up means that your website pays you time and money. Nice!

I have lots of experience with both types of websites. I have been building websites since 2003. I have made thousands of websites, maybe even tens of thousands of websites. Some of those websites were money-and-time-sinkholes. On the other hand, the website that I spent the least amount of time on, and forgot completely, made more money than my full-time job. Lots more. I made it once and I got paid every week for years.

Building your own website is a great way to earn a large, passive income for a long time. There are several ways to approach this.

E-book Marketing

One of them is to market your new e-book. Here’s the basic idea. Take the same type of content you just put in your e-book and put it on your website. If you target the right keywords with about 30 posts you can get enough traffic to earn a good income selling your e-book. There’s a little learning curve to writing these posts, but it’s easy once you get started.

The important part is not sell anything, and just be helpful. Pick one of the topics in your e-book, and talk about how you selved this problem in general terms and give them a few ideas. Then show them where they can buy the book.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing – The basic concept of affiliate marketing is that you make a commission on other people’s products. Sometimes there are rules about who they will accept and what methods you will use. Once you are accepted, you will receive tracking code for your website link. You put this link on your website. When someone uses that link, and they make a purchase, you receive credit for that sale. There are two flavors of affiliate marketing programs: in-house and partners.

In-house: Some companies handle their own affiliate marketing. Most people will market products by Amazon or Alibaba. Uber and LYFT signed up new drivers with their affiliate programs.

Partners: Larger companies may not run their own affiliate programs, but most will participate in other affiliate marketing programs. TripAdvisor, most airlines, hotels and travel companies do their marketing this way.

This is actually a LOT simpler than you imagine. I built UberInviteCode.com in about 30 days. And I promptly forgot about it as I moved on to paying jobs from my real clients. (Be patient – Google will ignore your website for about six months.) After a while, I started getting bank deposits.

This, by the way, is THE biggest mistake beginners make. They quit too soon. They write their 30 article. When they don’t earn an money in 3 months, they quit and delete their site. This is a HUGE mistake. It’s normal for a new site to take 3-6 months before its content to starts to bring in any substantial traffic.

IF you have built lots of time and effort on a passive income website and want to sell it, CALL ME. But this is the reason why I would advise you NOT to quit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed about building a website. But I’ve been there and I have got you covered. I’ve taught lots of people how to do it. Your passive income website can replace your full-time income in about 24 months. You can learn more about it here.


Once you start to get some traffic, you can place ads from premium ad networks on your site. Don’t overdo it. It used to be that Google Adwords paid handsomely. Then advertising fell off dramatically. Today, advertising from selected sources is becoming more and more exciting. The more interesting your page is, more visitors you have coming to read it, and the higher an advertiser will pay to be in this spot.

This is the most important part of what you are doing. There are two kinds of websites: your website and someone else’s website. This is where you control the content and where you make the rules. Every other website out on the Internet is controlled by somebody like your boss. They want to use you to make money for themselves. Don’t fall into the trap of working for the man again. Work for yourself, make your own rules, and own your content, and build your community.

You’re the boss.

Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 3 months
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: 2 to 15 years depending on the topic
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $500 to $5,000 per month
Ongoing Work Required: Check in every couple months

3. Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube is a huge opportunity right now. Google owns YouTube, which in fact, is the world’s second largest search engine behind Google. In fact, I recommend to everyone taking the course at Income Website School that they also make a YouTube channel for their website.

What I recommend is that you take one of the post articles on your website and make a short (10 to 15 minute) YouTube video about that one topic and mention your website page for further information. Then you can link that page below the video. For example, if your blog post is “10 things you should do today” make your video about “5 things you need to do today” and say I briefly covered this topic, but I ran out of time. You can read more on my web page!

You can then tell them the keywords to use in Google to find your page. This does several things at once: they searched and found your YouTube video, they watched your video, they Googled your keywords and selected your web page from the list (it’s even better if they selected your article from that list even tho it wasn’t listed first), and now they are reading your web page. Wow. Google should be impressed. If your book is on this page, they may think you are the expert and buy your book.

Make a beginning

If you don’t have a camera, use your smartphone. You can also use your laptop. I recommend you take notes of what you want to say but don’t fill it out too much because you can fall into the trap of reading your script. That will sound r-e-a-l-l-y boring. Don’t. If you make mistakes, just pause and continue. You can edit out the biggest mistakes. YouTube has a FREE video editor you can use if you don’t have video editing on your laptop. The iPhone 6 has a much better camera. Most of my videos are made on iPhone 5.

If you don’t want to appear on camera, record this video anyway. It is very easy to replace your visuals with screenshots or screen captures or photos once you have a video. But get started. You can always make improvements on something that exists. It’s not possible to improve something that does not exist. Make a video for each blog post. It’s very easy to record the video right after you have written the article.

You can also start and run a YouTube channel without a website, a YouTube channel can be a great source of passive income. This works just like the website. Pick a topic you can share information about and then start recording videos. Keep them simple. Use a cell phone camera and YouTube’s video editor.

Once you start to get views on your YouTube channel, you can start making money with ads. But that’s not even the exciting part. You can also start making money just like we talked about on your website. You can recommend affiliate products and even sell your own info products. So if you’re not up for writing a bunch this month, just start making some videos.

This may or may not be easy for you. Regardless of how you feel, it is worth it.

Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 5 months
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: 1 to 5 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $400 per month
Ongoing Work Required: Adding more video content on a regular basis will dramatically grow your earnings—but if you don’t add more content, then no ongoing work is required

4. Record a Podcast

There are reasons that podcasting isn’t my number 1 recommendation. I don’t do this one. But it’s still a viable business. Actually, once you have the YouTube video made, the Podcast is just audio editing. Podcasts are a different market than YouTube or Google or Blog, but it will work just like a YouTube channel with a different medium. And, you are half-way there already!

Podcasts are scheduled weekly. This may not fit your schedule. One way around this is to finish recording one full season. Like a TV show. Then you can introduce it. That way you’re not committing to an ongoing, weekly episode. Just edit your YouTube video audio section and schedule them. Spend the next 30 days making 30 episodes on your post topics and schedule them to go out once a week.

You’re done.

Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 1 month
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: Less than 2 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $50 to $500
Ongoing Work Required: Like a YouTube channel, to continue to earn on an ongoing basis and take your earnings to the next level, you’ll need to keep adding content

5. Re-Publish on Medium

Take your best blog articles and republish them with medium.com. There is a way to link back to your website and web pages. And, there is a way to tell Google this is not duplicate content. Medium is a membership website and people pay a small subscription to read the articles. The can vot your article up. You can get paid when people read your articles.

You have already written these articles. By now you know which ones were the most popular on your website. Why not start with those.

You’re done.

Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 1 month
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: Less than 2 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $50 to $500
Ongoing Work Required: Like a YouTube channel, to continue to earn on an ongoing basis and take your earnings to the next level, you’ll need to keep adding content

6. Bonus – Answer a question on Quora

Remember when I said this was “5 Most Lucrative Ideas That Earned Passive Income Surprisingly Well”? I lied – it’s actually 6 and a half. I like to help and I like to deliver more than I promised. Here goes.

Go to quora.com and create an account. You will be asked about your interests. Then you will be asked to help people with the questions they are asking. Be helpful, answer their question fully but briefly, and suggest there is more information on your web page.

You can do something similar at reddit.com. Join and see what the place is like. Look around first, make sure you follow the rules and be helpful. Eventually you can contribute to a conversation and gently suggest there is more on your website. Remember to pull, not push. Everyone likes help with their problems, almost no one likes to be sold stuff.

Each of these is on a different medium. All of these can link to each other. You can put slightly different content on each medium. For example, recording a short interview with a real expert, embed that on your web page and mention it in your YouTube video. You might be surprised by how many people will follow your suggestion and see what the next one says differently.

For example, consider how many people want to hear an author talk about their book, and maybe read from it. Your YouTube channel can be just that. Your Podcast might be you reading from your book.

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