It's only a few more months before 2019 ends. This means it's time to welcome a new year. Are you considering starting an online business that earns passive income? Read on to learn how to make money in 2020 with these excellent passive income ideas.

Start a blog

If you like to write and share your knowledge with your readers, then you might as well make money doing it.

But you might be asking, “How does a blog make me money?”

It can be a number of things:

  • Affiliate marketing – promoting products and services and getting commissions from sales
  • Banner ads – putting up ads on and getting paid per click or per action
  • Get hired – Someone might see your blog and hire you
  • Sponsored content – Write a sponsored or paid blog post which promotes a product or service.

Starting a blog can be a lot of work and not the easiest to do among many passive income ideas — but once you've published a considerable amount of content, you'll soon see the money come in and your efforts greatly rewarded.

Sell digital files

If you're a photographer, musician, or illustrator, you can sell your art through stock image sites like Shutterstock.

Just like blogging, you need to create content first and reap the rewards later. What's great about selling digital files is that you don't have to set up a website — you simply sign up for a contributor account and upload your files there.

Sell an online course

In this digital age, more people now prefer online courses rather than physically attending a class. Websites like Lynda and Udemy are becoming the go-to of people who are looking to learn something new.

If you are confident, knowledgeable, and love sharing what you know to help others, then creating an online course can generate passive income for you over time.

Building an online course does involve spending time and money. Not all passive income ideas are completely free especially if you want to make something that you're going to be charging for with premium rates.

You can host your course on WordPress and buy a plugin like WP Courseware or use an all-in-one solution like Teachable.

Start a YouTube channel

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world next to Google? People who want to know or learn more about something go to YouTube.

When you start a YouTube channel, you can earn passive income in two ways:

  • Get ad revenue from YouTube
  • Promote products in your videos (these can be affiliate products or your own)

Starting a YouTube channel is free and you don't have to spend a fortune on a camera and other equipment if you're just starting out.

An iPhone and a tripod work okay if you want to film yourself or you can be off-camera and share your screen with a screen capture software like Filmora or Camtasia.

YouTube is a great free platform for starting making passive income with little to no cost.

Write and sell an eBook

Maybe you're camera-shy but you love to write. Earning passive income from an eBook is a great option for you.

These days, it's so easy to publish an eBook and sell it on Amazon. All you need is a word processor like Microsoft Word, a great idea for a book, and an Amazon author account. It couldn't get any simpler than that.

Sure, you might need to make an eBook cover and convert your document into an eBook format, but these are jobs that other people on Fiverr can do for you for as low as $5.

In addition to being a cost-effective passive income idea, having an eBook builds your reputation as an authority in your space. When people enjoy reading your book, they are more likely to follow you and buy from you in the future.

Flip domains

The concept of “flipping domains” is buying a premium domain name (usually 5-7 letters) for a reasonable price and selling it at a higher price.

You can find expired domains from, buy one or two for as little as $69 and sell it for up to $2000. Of course, this might not happen for every domain that you buy or if it does, it might take some time — but it's passive income nonetheless.

The appeal of this passive income idea is that you don't need to build a website. You just have to buy the domain and that's it!

The key to buying domains that have the potential of selling is to find short, brandable, and memorable domain names that a business owner or brand would love to own.

Be aware that you can't use trademarked brands when buying domains. So even though you'll see an expired domain for, buying it would put you in legal trouble because Coca Cola is a trademarked name.

Rent out your place on Airbnb

Do you have a property you're not using? You can rent it out for short-term vacations on sites like Airbnb.

In 2018, Airbnb reached over 2 million hosts earning an average of $20,000 per year.

Signing up for a Host account in Airbnb is free and you can add your home to the many listings in the Airbnb network for potential guests to see.

Note that Airbnb does take 3% of your sales and there are certain restrictions as to how long a guest can stay in your home.

While most homeowner policies in cities around the globe do not restrict homeowners to rent out their place, there have been several measures taken to discourage homeowners to lease their homes with Airbnb. It is then best to check with your state, city, or country to make sure you are not violating any laws.

If you have read through this list and one specific method appeals to you, then it's time to make plans, take action, and start earning passive income that can help you reach your financial goals.

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Make money doing things you love. 


Kim is a versatile freelancer with a background in content management and digital marketing. She loves to try new things, especially when it comes to making passive income.

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