8 min read

The 5 Best Profitable Passive Income Ideas (2021)

Want to make money in your sleep and stop the everlasting 9 to 5 grind? Get your hands on one of these 5 passive income ideas.
The 5 Best Profitable Passive Income Ideas (2021)

The reason many people are searching for different passive income ideas are probably to make enough money to be able to sit on a beach in Puerto Rico sipping on Pina Coladas without having to worry about what your boss thinks about you.

At least that's why I wanted to build passive income streams and why I've spent the last few years working towards that one goal.

I want to share with you 5 different ways to build passive income that are fairly easy to start and are extremely profitable. I'll cover the following passive income ideas:

  1. Start a Ghost blog
  2. Create online courses
  3. Start a dropshipping store
  4. Invest your money
  5. Sell digital products online

Before I jump straight into the 5 passive income ideas I want to quickly cover a rather important topic; what passive income is. I'm also going to emphasize that creating passive income streams is not a stroll in the park.


Before moving on

Passive income basically means to earn money passively. Yoy're not only making money when you actively engage in a project but also while you sleep.

When people hear the word passive income they usually think of a world wherein you can earn a ton of money without working.

They think passive income has a real get-rich-quick appeal – which would be a dream come true. However, that is not entirely the real world.

Setting up a passive income source takes a lot of work upfront. You will usually have to put down an upfront investment and do a lot of nurturing at the very beginning.

However, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, a passive income can be a great supplementary source of funds and it is also a great source of income through a recession – or through a friggin’ coronavirus.

So, now that you know what ​passive income​ is, are you excited to get started? If so, we will not keep you waiting any longer! Here are the 5 passive income ideas that we have found the most profitable and easy to get started with.


1. Start a Ghost blog

I don't really remember how I got into blogging in the first place. I think I read a post by Ryan Robinson on how to start a blog back in 2018. From there I started researching different strategies on how I could turn a blog into a passive income stream.

This blog was created back in January 2021 so it's relatively new and not making any money yet. But take Ryan Robinson as an example. He made $36.257/mo back in December 2020 right around the time I kickstarted this Ghost blog.

Ryan Robinson monthly income from his blog

Ryan has been blogging for more than 10 years and has been featured on Fast Company, Forbes, Business Insider, HubSpot, and many other huge websites. The majority of his income comes from affiliate marketing. If you do not know what affiliate marketing is then read our guide to affiliate marketing.

He started back in college by inventing the iStash – an iPhone-looking device that he used to hide his weed in. He sold more than 6.000 of them online in less than 4 months.

He is not the only example of bloggers pulling in some serious passive income from their blogs. Adam Enfroy who started his blog in January 2019 made $83.737 back in November 2020 – which is impressive given that his blog was less than two years old back then.

Adam Enfroy monthly income from his blog

He worked as a digital marketing consultant before he started his blog which might be one of the reasons he could scale his blog at such a rapid pace.

He emphasizes the importance of building links and we would really recommend you to take a look at his blog since he has some really interesting points of view that other bloggers do not. But making a year’s salary in a month may seem a little unrealistic.

Our first assumption when first getting into blogging was that it was only people with a certain skillset that could make money blogging. Well, we were wrong. Anyone with enough determination can make money blogging.

Making money blogging is all about consistency and determination. If you keep creating awesome content and build backlinks your blog’s organic traffic will inevitably grow.

I've written a step-by-step guide to starting a blog using Ghost. Itteach you everything about starting, driving traffic, and monetizing your new blog.


2. Create online courses

The online education market is expected to be a $350 billion industry by 2025 and has seen a huge boost during the coronavirus since most people were forced to study or work from home.

It is an amazing opportunity for you to create an online course and build a passive income source. Think about what you are good at and if you can somehow turn that skill into an online course.

Take Aaron Ward as an example. He is a former HBO motion designer before he decided to quit his 9 to 5 job and create his own online business. He created an online course called Instagram Masterminds and made $79.625 from it in 2019.

Aaron Ward income from online courses

He has been selling online courses for the last three years and recently created another course called Course Launchers. It will teach you everything you need to know to create online courses and build a passive income.

We have not tried it ourselves but we have had a few friends that gave it a shot and really liked it. Take a look at the link above and decide for yourself. Just note that we have not tried it ourselves.

He is not the only one who is making big bucks by creating online courses and promoting them on his blog. Heather over at It’s a Lovely Life made $119.137/mo in June 2019 with her husband and has done it for multiple years.

Heather income from her blog

Heather started her blog back in 2014 with her husband and they started making a ton of money from it. They then turned their entire journey into an online course and are now making millions of dollars from their online businesses.

They believe in working hard and playing equally hard. It is not going to be an easy journey but by dedicating yourself 100% to your business, you can do it too.


3. Start a dropshipping store

Dropshipping has become a really popular way of setting up a passive income stream. It is an order fulfillment method that does not require any stocking. Instead, you simply drive the sale through your own webshoppen and pass on the sales order to a third-party supplier that takes care of the entire packaging and shipping part.

You do not have to be a genius to make money from dropshipping. Sarah Titus is really good at teaching you how to set up a dropshipping store using Shopify. She made $171.878 in December 2020 from her dropshipping stores.

Sarah Titus income from dropshipping

Sarah is a single mom who started out being homeless before she started blogging and creating online dropshipping stores. She really got the hang of how to create passive income streams and scaling her online businesses through organic traffic.

More and more people are getting into the whole “making a living online” niche and Becky Beach is a great example. She made $11.422 in December 2018.

Becky Beach income from online store

Becky has started multiple online businesses and also has a blog where she makes a pretty decent amount of money blogging. She has a few kids and that was pretty much the reason she started in the first place. She quickly paid off $72.000 in debt and started growing her online businesses through organic traffic.

Becky is just one of many people who are taking this very different approach to life. Not having to go to the office each day but instead finds freedom in growing their own little business and scaling it.


4. Invest your money

Chances are you have probably heard a thing or two about investing. More and more people are discovering that it is extremely easy to sign up for an investment platform and throw in their savings instead of having inflation slowly eating them up.

Did your grandpa ever tell you that “if you have money you will make money”? If that is the case then your grandpa is a very wise man. Think Gandalf like.

Gandalf standing with a staff

Investing your money in stocks, funds, or indexes will allow you to generate quite an impressive income. Now, investing in stocks comes with a bit of risk and is one of the most risky passive income ideas on this list. However, if you spread your investments over multiple stocks you will also lower your risk of losing any money.

In comes indexes. It is basically a collection of stocks. Have you ever heard about the S&P 500? It is an index of the 500 biggest companies in the United States.

The average annualized return of the S&P 500 index over the past 90 days is 9,8%. That means if you invest $100.000 in the S&P 500 and leave it for a decade you will have $254.696,75 instead of $100.000 – and you did not lift a finger.

Average return of s&p 500

It is highly unlikely that the return of S&P 500 will be 9,8% every single year but as long as you are in it for the long run then the average return would be around 9,8%.

Investing is not just something you do. You will need an upfront capital to start making a decent amount of money but this passive income idea would work great as a supplement to one of the other passive income ideas that made this list.

You want to build as many passive income streams as possible while still maintaining the full overview and control of your streams. That way you will not be affected if one stream fails on you and you will experience a much higher ROI.

We have invested our money through Nordnet but as far as we are concerned it is only available in the northern Europe. We unfortunately cannot recommend any other investment platforms since we have not tried them. But by doing a quick Google search you should be able to relatively quickly find a decent platform.


5. Sell digital products online

We were actually inspired by Oliur to smash this one on the list. He is a heck of a guy who has fought cancer, built two successful ecommerce stores, a killer YouTube channel and sells digital products online.

He originally started designing websites for a few clients and then went over to creating Tumblr (remember those times) themes which he made more than $500.000 doing.

Picture of Oliur

Since then he has grown his brand to an astonishing size and keeps on publishing amazing content. His digital products include Lightroom presets, wallpapers, and much more.

We cannot emphasize how great a job he is doing growing his online business and we would highly recommend you to take a look at his work and let yourself be inspired by his approach to digital marketing and making money online.


Key takeaways

It's not just a walk in the park to build your own passive income streams. It'll take years before your passive income streams will surpass your income from your regular job. But how awesome would it be, right?

I'm digging the blogging thing myself and is definitely considering selling digital products once my blog starts taking off. Another passive income stream I can add to the list of streams I currently have.