Are you interested in passive online business ideas but not sure which works best for you?
Whether as a side hustle or a full-time engagement, passive income is one of the greatest ways to build a secure financial future.
Passive business ideas do not require a lot of active engagement, as it allows you to earn money while doing other things.
We put together 35 of the best passive online business ideas you can start in today.
For each passive income business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of other businesses to help you see what it really takes to start.
Here's the full list:
1. Start a website flipping business
Website flipping business helps people buy and sell online businesses. The website flipping business has a low barrier to entry and requires minimal investment. To start a website flipping business, make sure you have all the legal paperwork, buy a website, and improve and sell it for a profit.
My name is Gregory Elfrink and I’m the director of marketing with Empire Flippers. We’re a three-time winner of the INC 5,000 award for being one of the fastest growing companies in America and we help people buy and sell online businesses.
We have brokered over $50 million worth of deals, and since we’re a big believer in transparency we also created a scoreboard that details most of our stats - from the hundreds of thousands of website visitors we get to our pool of potential buyers that grow by the hundreds every month.
2. Start an affiliate marketing business ($290K/month)
Are you looking for a side hustle that will pay you a passive income? Affiliate marketing is one of those side hustles that will pay you well over the long-term. It is a way to earn money online by promoting other companies’ products and services. You will be paid a commission for each sale you make as an affiliate marketer.
To get started, learn how to find the right product and find the right brand to partner with. You may prefer becoming an affiliate marketer for an eCommerce store or partner with a manufacturer, and market their products for a commission.
My name is Spencer Mecham. In 2016 I first heard about an industry called affiliate marketing and in 2017 I founded Buildapreneur, an affiliate business.
3. Start a vacation rentals business ($12.5K/month)
Vacation rentals host travelers for a short period. Often located in top vacation destinations, vacation rentals feature spacious rooms and a cozy lifestyle and are cheaper than booking a hotel.
Building or buying a vacation rental is a smart way of creating a passive income without much involvement in the business.
To make money through the vacation rentals business, ensure a strategic location, often nearby attractions. Choose an area that is easily accessible and desirable all year round and create a beautiful space for your guests.
Stand out by optimizing the vacation rental listing online and feature all available amenities.
My name is Julio Sanchez, and together with my wife Alison we are the proud owners at Cardiff Vacations. We own three beautiful vacation rentals in Cardiff by-the-Sea, California. The Penthouse, the Parkhouse, and the Seacottage have been in the family for quite some time. Alison’s parents have built the duplex, what is now the Parkhouse and Penthouse when they moved here as a young family back in 1978 and this is the home where Alison grew up.
Each year we welcome around 3k people. Only 2020 has been a bit slower on business due to the pandemic restrictions. Hopefully, next year will bring us some good news and business will be closer to normal.
4. Start a youtube channel
For anyone looking to start a successful YouTube channel, there are plenty of YouTube channel success stories that can be used as inspiration and encouragement. YouTube has an established monetization system and boasts incredible popularity, making it a potential platform for revenue generation.
In this article, we'll look at different approaches you can use to help promote your channel and grow your viewers. While there's no quick and easy way to success, you can take these tips to build your own YouTube Channel Success story. If you love content creation, you can capitalize on YouTube`s popularity to earn an extra income.
If you are looking to join the Youtube partner program to monetize your channel, you will need to reach a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.
I am Chhavi, the founder and owner of the blog and YouTube channel Mrs Daaku Studio along with my husband Amit.
Our blog, YouTube channel, and products are designed to help you achieve what we have (...and, more).
5. Start a dog treat business course ($33K/month)
Hi! My name is Kristin Larsen. I’m the founder of Diva Dog Bakery™, a program that teaches students how to start a thriving dog treat bakery business that earns $500 to $1,000+ per month.
Since launching the program in November 2020 to mostly my existing audience (which consists of people looking to start their own business, whether it’s a side hustle or a replacement for their full-time job), it has consistently brought in five figures a month.
6. Start a podcast ($36.6K/month)
Do you have knowledge and passion that you'd love to share with other people? Or perhaps you are a content creator and looking for ways to expand your revenue streams? If you match any of these criteria, then becoming a podcast host could be the perfect opportunity for you.
Podcasts are the new radio. Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing mediums for online audio, and it's not expected to slow down any time soon. But unlike traditional radio, podcasts are driven by content creators who have a passion for sharing stories with their listeners.
One of the main benefits that come with starting a podcast is the minimal investment needed to get started. All you need is a computer or phone with a microphone and a way to host it online. You can even create one on your own website if you want.
Hey there! I’m Jeremy Enns, the founder and Storyteller In Chief at Counterweight Creative, a podcast production and strategy agency.
I started the company 3 years ago, in 2016 with one client, making $15/hour and have grown into a team of 10 contractors producing more than 30 shows per week with revenue of over $10K/mo.
7. Start an ecommerce platform ($304K/month)
Over the past decade, eCommerce has become an indispensable part of the global retail framework. According to statistics, over 2 billion people prefer shopping online.
While brick-and-mortar stores are still making more sales compared to online sales, adoption of eCommerce is still rising, mainly because of the increased speed and convenience of online shopping.
Therefore, starting an eCommerce platform could set you on the right path to building a futuristic business.
I am Jean-Loup Karst, the co-founder of Secret. Secret is the first platform of exclusive deals on services and software for startups. Entrepreneurs can sign up and save up to $50,000 on 70+ SaaS deals (Airtable, Pipedrive, Mailjet, etc.). It’s 100% free! It's a no-brainer.
When we launched our beta in April, our 100+ first users paid an annual subscription of $50 per year (roughly 1% conversion rate on our website). We generated $5K+ in revenue and decided to switch to a free model to grow user acquisition faster through network effects and monetize the database later through premium deals and affiliation with our partners.
8. Start a dropshipping business
Dropshipping allows you to start your online e-commerce store without stock-keeping. Therefore, you do not need huge capital, and the risk is minimal because the manufacturer is responsible for the inventory and ships it directly to the customer. Therefore, your responsibility remains to market and offer customer service.
To start a successful dropshipping business, you need a mastery of online marketing and a focus on improving customer experience.
Hello, my name is Kamil Sattar. I am an entrepreneur who’s developed many six-figure drop shipping businesses. I’ve also created systems to maximize opportunities in different markets and I’ve started companies in many industries. One of those companies specializes in helping people who are seeking to create drop ship companies of their own.
Of course, with every store that I open, I am able to learn new things. With every new thing that I learn, it helps me improve my system that I use to create these six and seven-figure stores and it helps me improve my process for helping others generate their stores.
9. Start a mobile app development business ($79.2K/month)
Mobile app development is the process of creating software applications that run on mobile devices. These apps can be used for a variety of purposes, including games, productivity, and social networking.
Starting a mobile app development business is a great way to enter the world of software development. This type of company is growing in popularity as businesses are looking for ways to reach their customers through mobile apps.
To start a mobile app development company, you need to have strong technical skills and be able to develop high-quality software. You should also have a good understanding of how to market and sell mobile apps
Hi! 👋 My name is Tim Bornholdt, and I’m a co-founder of The Jed Mahonis Group. We are a custom iOS and Android app development consultancy, and we specialize in building native mobile app solutions for businesses of all sizes.
We’ve grown at a steady pace over the past eight years. We currently work with several large and small organizations including Great Clips, Profile by Sanford Health, Green Mill, and the USA CUP. My business partner and I started the company right out of college by investing $250 each and have since turned it into a nearly seven-figure a year agency.
10. Start a blog ($16.7K/month)
In recent years, blogging has become a highly sought-after & lucrative Business. This is location-independent business is a creative outlet to reach a broader audience and even work at any time. According to Optinmonster's list of blogging statistics and facts:
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source of gathering online information.
- 77% of internet users read blogs.
- Each month, approximately 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages.
Originally blogging started as an online journal, but today it is a highly profitable career option. Many people are choosing blogging as their full-time career and are earning their bread and butter from this profession.
If you want to start blogging as a side hustle or as a full-time profession, first choose a niche you will enjoy writing about and have a content strategy ready. Then, create a mailing list, and decide on a good blog posting routine to keep your audience engaged.
Hello! My name is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, and I run Making Sense of Cents, a personal finance and lifestyle website that helps readers earn more, save more, and live more.
I earn around $100,000 a month from Making Sense of Cents and have made over $5,000,000 from it over the years. Much of it is profit, as my expenses are extremely low. I am the only full-time employee of my business, but I do outsource some work. I have a virtual assistant, an editor, and a technical manager.
11. Start an amazon FBA business ($500K/month)
I’m Tom Wicky, Co-Founder of MyFBAPrep, a nationwide network of 3PL (third-party logistics) warehouses, along with my partners Bart Boughton and Taylor Smits.
Our business is completely self-funded/bootstrapped and we’ve grown 1000%+ annually year/year since inception. We’ve grown revenues from zero to a $5 million+ run rate annually, with no outside capital investment. Since inception, we’ve processed over 4 million products through the network with a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of over $1 billion.
12. Start an online art prints business
The art print is a fast-growing segment. Although there is a lot of competition in the fine art marketplace, selling original art prints online can be profitable.
You do not have to rely on original artwork sales alone for financial stability in your artistic career. Selling copies and digital art from different artists is a simpler way of starting your online art print business.
Troy Parker is the founder of an Etsy shop selling customizable garments for both humans and pets. He specializes in fun & weird customized garment & accessory printing.
Goober Prints had a breakthrough year in 2020, increasing total sales to $80,000 from just under $10,000 in 2019. In 2020 he sold around 4000 items in total and this gave him a boost to turn his side hustle into a full-time business.
Read the full article on sidehustlenation.com ➜
13. Start a price comparison website business
Hiya! My name is Alex Goldberg, and I’m the founder of Fin vs Fin, a portfolio of popular product reviews that include, among others, finvsfin.com and zenmasterwellness.com. Despite not being much of an online shopper nor a wellness guru, my partner and I somehow managed to build a profitable media business centered on helping consumers compare health products online.
This is the story of turning a “dumb side project” into my full-time focus, stumbling into financial freedom by repeatedly doubling down on tiny wins. I hope you find it inspiring enough to launch your entrepreneurial project or keep at whatever hustle you’re currently focused on. Truth be told, you may be closer to predictable seven-figure revenue than you think.
14. Start a laundromat
The first laundromat opened in the United States in 1887. It was invented by the entrepreneur Josephine Cochrane, who was frustrated with having to wash her family’s laundry by hand.
The laundromat is a self-service facility that provides washing and drying machines for personal use. There are many different types of machines available, including coin-operated ones and those that require a card. They also provide various types of detergents and fabric softeners for use with the machines.
A laundromat can make a lot of money if it is in the right location and has the right prices.
- Mort and Nachshon Fertel created Sudshare, a website that links those who don't want to do the laundry with those looking to make extra money.
- SudShare is primarily a technology company creating an Uber-like tech stack for laundry.
- This business offers on-demand laundry services in over 400 cities and is the first and only one of its kind in the country.
- SudShare is a marketplace for laundry. In total, the platform has more than 50,000 users.
- The CEO of this business began his career as a Sudster (washer).
Listen to the full podcast on podcasts.apple.com ➜
15. Start a co-working space rental business ($300K/month)
The co-working spaces are becoming essential in the post-pandemic world. Experts estimate five million people will occupy coworking spaces in the next few years. The projections are based not only on the growth the coworking industry has experienced over the past few years but also on the sharp increase in the number of startups coming up each year.
Therefore, creating your coworking space business will become a lucrative opportunity. To create a coworking space, do proper market research to ensure you have the demand for a co-work space in your target area.
Then, focus on finding an ideal location where you can attract the maximum number of customers.
I’m Lucas Seyhun. I’m the founder of one of the earliest New York City coworking spaces, The Farm Soho, established in 2014. Unlike most of our competitors (don’t want to give any names), we adopted the affordable workspace model which became our fuel both before and during the pandemic.
Now we cater to all these as well as established businesses discovering the agility and cost-effectiveness of flexible office space rental as opposed to conventional long leases; and also to event organizers in need of unique spaces backed up by expert support.
16. Start an online tutors business
Kalyan Mazumder founded Prepmedians on the premise that every student should enjoy prepping time studying for the SAT/PSAT/ACT.
Kalyan uses his background as an actor to create interesting, funny, and interactive videos that will help people learn without the monotony of a conventional classroom.
After watching a video created by the team just once, students show a 9% statistically significant improvement in their baseline question sets.
To date, Prepmedians has assisted millions of students across the globe to accomplish their dream scores.
They use TikTok as one of their main social media channels to connect with people and build a community of Prepsters. Currently, Prepmedians has $361K followers on TikTok and 7.4M post likes.
Listen to the full podcast on podcasts.apple.com ➜
17. Sell e-books
Hi, I’m Naveen Joshi and I co-founded AllAuthor with my brother, Mady Joshi. We started AllAuthor together five years ago as a book promotion platform focused on helping self-published authors to market their books.
Readers’ accounts on AllAuthor are entirely free of cost. Readers can browse through the various book and author listings, find ebooks at discounts and search for books from multiple genres and book types.
18. Become an airbnb host
If you have an extra room that is not in use, short-term rentals like Airbnb hosting can be a profitable side hustle. You can list your room on Airbnb for $40 per night and generate enough income to take care of your recurring bills. To start Airbnb host side hustle, decide the rental arrangement you want, set up the space, create your Airbnb listing, and market the space.
My name is Gary Fox, and I run HostButlers, an Airbnb concierge service in Dublin, Ireland.
Since we started nearly four years ago, we have hosted over 200,000 people and have been profitable from month 5.
19. Sell stock photos
Stock photography is the supply of licensed photographs for specific uses. If you have a camera and love traveling or taking photos, you can start your own stock photo business.
Create a stock photography website and upload the best shots to start your stock photography business. To ensure professional images, you can hire freelance photographers and photo editors. Alternatively, you can invest in a professional camera and learn the art of photography before launching your business.
Running a stock photo website allows you to create unlimited earning potential. Besides, stock photographers enjoy flexible working hours and have the potential for passive income.
Hi! I'm Viktor and I run a free stock photo site picjumbo. Anyone can visit it and download any photo of mine for free, without any registration or email input, and use it for their blog, website, Instagram, or even a billboard.
While all photos are free, you can buy the All in One Pack to download all the free photos to your computer at once or sign up for PREMIUM Membership to get access to more unreleased photos, entire collections, and extra content every month. Together with advertising, these are the main sources of income and currently, picjumbo is above the $10,000/month mark.
20. Start a stock investing business ($4K/month)
My name is Luc and I run Ticker Nerd with my close friend and business partner Sam! Ticker Nerd is a monthly subscription service for investors that surfaces and analyzes trending stocks before the hype train arrives. All packaged neatly into our weekly report. We’re currently at $4.5k MRR without spending a single dollar on advertising.
21. Start a freelancer platform ($1.51M/month)
Freelancer platform is a place where people come with skills and services to offer and people come who need those skills and services. So we can say freelancer platforms are a marketplace for sellers and buyers of services and skills.
The freelancing industry is growing rapidly and it's becoming a popular career option for people who are "non-traditional" employees. The global Freelance Platforms market size is expected to reach $6.7B by the year 2025. While working on a full-time job, freelancers simultaneously work on a freelance career. The platforms available online help them to increase their business by attracting new clients.
With all of the businesses looking for help on their websites, it would be a good idea to start a freelancer platform. Freelance platforms do well because people have jobs that need to be done and businesses have the resources to pay for the job at hand.
Hello! I’m one of the co-founders of CloudDevs. We started this company in 2019 with a mission to change things around in the tech talent-hiring industry. We launched for sales in March of 2020, right before the initial lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
We are proud to say that within our first year of sales, we reached 1 Million USD in GMV, and we are aiming higher this year.
More business ideas
- 22. Start an amusement arcade
- 23. Start an audiobooks business
- 24. Start a kindle book sales business
- 25. Start a dividend investing business
- 26. Start a peer to peer lending business
- 27. Start a mutual fund investing business
- 28. Start a film set rental business
- 29. Start an ebay reseller business
- 30. Buy a crowdfunded real estate
- 31. Renting out a parking space
- 32. Purchase a real estate investment trust
- 33. Start a bond ladder
- 34. Open a high-yield savings account
- 35. Start advertising on your car
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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