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12 Best Wealth-Building Passive Income Ideas for 2024

Nicole Martins Ferreira

It can be challenging to come up with passive income ideas, but if you're looking to make more money without adding too much work to your plate, it can be a rewarding experience. Passive income is all about increasing your revenue passively. Some people even refer to it as "making money in your sleep." That's what makes earning passive income so attractive. There may be some upfront work, but after that is done, you'll earn recurring income passively. So, to maximize your earning potential, you can add multiple passive income streams to boost your cash flow. In this article, we'll share what passive income is and a list of passive income ideas to help you get started.

What is Passive Income?

Passive income is when you earn money without needing to work on an hourly basis for it. Compared to active income, such as working a nine to five job or freelancing, passive income sometimes requires upfront work to get started, but eventually, money earned is made at all hours of the day, including while you sleep. Finding passive income ideas can allow you to multiply your earnings without matching your work hours by the minute to achieve that income.

what is passive income

12 Best Wealth-Building Passive Income Ideas for 2022

1. Dropshipping

One of the ways you can generate passive income is by dropshipping from home. One of the most popular reasons why people turn to dropshipping is because apps like Spocket automate many parts of the process to allow you to earn money passively. But, like some other passive income ideas on this list, some upfront and maintenance work needs to be done before you earn passive income. For example, when starting a dropshipping business, you'll need to sign up for Spocket, research product ideas by browsing millions of products on Spocket, choose a niche, sign up for Shopify, come up with a business name, add products to your store, and design your website. After that's done, you can create ads that you occasionally check to ensure they're still running profitably. The ads will be like an employee finding you customers all hours of the day. You can outsource tasks, such as managing social media, marketing, and customer support. And the manufacturer will take care of product manufacturing, packaging, and shipping the product to your customers for you. So, it can be a pretty automated business model for those looking to scale their passive income streams.

what is dropshipping

2. Print-on-demand business

Like dropshipping, print-on-demand businesses are another passive income idea you can try. With print-on-demand, you'll need to create designs for clothing or buy professional designs from a site like Creative Market, 99 Designs, or other professional graphic design resource sites. You'll need to visit the Shopify App Store to find print-on-demand apps that will manufacture your designs, package them, and ship them to your customers. You'll also need to do many of the typical sign-up steps, such as signing up for Shopify, BigCommerce, or any other in-demand ecommerce website builder. Finally, you'll need to customize your site, pick the best niche, and manage marketing and customer support.

3. Invest in cryptocurrency

If you're looking for passive income ideas without any upfront work other than some research, you can invest in cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency niche has many types of ways to earn money. For example, if you invest in big bets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, you'll likely benefit from big wins but also experience significant losses. If you're looking for a reliable way to earn passive income without overdoing it, you can invest in yield farming coins, which are tied to the dollar. You'll likely generate passive income that outperforms your retirement plan. Some yield farms guarantee around a 16% return, whereas the average retirement plan is capped at around 8% with most traditional lenders. Passive income ideas like investing in cryptocurrency are still new, so there's some risk involved without regulation. However, many people have succeeded in earning income this way.

generate passive income from cryptocurrencies

4. Invest in dividend stocks

Investing in stocks is one of the most popular passive income ideas because it only requires some research. If you're looking to add a passive income stream that boosts your income a bit more, consider investing in dividend stocks. Depending on the company, you'll earn dividends regularly, such as every quarter. Something to note is that some house and car insurance companies are also on the stock market. Sometimes you can choose an insurance company that will pay you dividends for being their customer. It might only be paid annually, but it still helps you earn passively without needing to do any upfront work other than signing up. As for dividend stocks, you'll need to research the best companies that pay dividends regularly to pick the best ones. Plus, once your stock has appreciated in value, you can sell it for a profit.

5. Invest in real estate

One of the best passive income ideas that have helped many individuals earn passive income is investing in real estate. The best time to buy always varies depending on the city or country. However, as people shifted towards remote work during the pandemic, more people have been buying bigger properties. That means condos are the opportunity, at least at the time of writing. You can earn rental income by renting out the property or listing it on Airbnb. The only downside to investing in real estate is that there's an upfront investment involved. You'll need to put down a down payment of 20% if this isn't your first property. You'll also need to have a positive credit score. Real estate investing isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The thing to realize is that there's a finite amount of land in the world, making owning it valuable over time. That's why housing market crashes are rare in some countries.

real estate investing

6. Invest in businesses

As previously mentioned, investing in stocks is a passive income idea you can do to invest in businesses. However, investing in companies can also be done before the company’s IPO. Being an investor doesn't require millions of dollars to get started. You can become an angel investor, which requires a typical investment of between $25,000 to $100,000 to a business that you'll earn equity from. Then, when the company sells, you'll earn the percentage of the sale, depending on what you negotiated. For example, investors can negotiate a percentage of the business and a multiple of their investment. So, if you're looking to generate passive income, this doesn't require upfront work. However, some investors choose to mentor the businesses to ensure that they get their money back and then some.

7. Sell digital products

Passive income ideas can also be as simple as selling digital products. For example, you can create an online course, sell spreadsheets, create music, logo designs, or any other type of digital product. Some Etsy sellers sell printables, a highly popular kind of digital product. The benefit of selling digital products is that the only cost is your time if you make them yourself. Everyone has the skills to at least create one specific type of digital product. You'll need to market your products unless you're selling on a marketplace for that type of digital product. However, you can earn income from each sale or monthly through a subscription service. Whether you're designing an online course or designing printables for teachers, there's a way to make money online selling digital products.

make passive income with digital products

8. Create an app

Some of the most popular businesses are apps. From TikTok to FitBit, there's a need for a new app in so many different niches. For example, you can start an app in health, social media, image editing, home security, password management, etc. You don't need to develop the app yourself, either. If you have some capital, you can hire developers to build the app you want to your vision. To succeed in the app space, most app owners have multiple apps in different niches to build out their passive income streams. You'll need some cash flow to manage the app updates, marketing, and freelance costs. However, having an app can help generate passive income that scales quite easily. A passive income strategy for app creation is to build for iOS, Android, but also a web version. By having a web version of your app, you reduce the risk of getting your app banned from an app store so that you can retain your customers. You can even build a Shopify app, if you’re in the ecommerce space. 

9. Start a blog

A blog is an asset that allows you to earn passive income, but you'll need to do quite a bit of upfront work to get things going. You'll need to create various SEO-optimized blog posts in a specific niche. To start the blog, you'll want to start with the most high-intent keywords first. Then, as those articles rank, you'll broaden your keyword choices a couple of degrees broader. And then you'll do that again as you've started ranking for multiple keywords in your niche. There are various types of passive income streams you can earn from blogging. For example, you can earn money from exclusivity deals, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertising, selling physical or digital products, or even selling your services. There are so many passive income streams that come from blogging that it's worth some of the hard work involved in making it a success.

10. Become an affiliate

Any individual with an asset can become an affiliate and earn passive income. An affiliate can promote various businesses via their email list, webinar, blog, app, website, social media, or even guest posting. Ultimately, owning an asset with a big audience makes the difference in becoming an affiliate. But, of course, everyone starts from zero. So you can build an asset with affiliate links early on. It'll just take longer to earn your affiliate commissions. Plus, depending on the affiliate program, you might not be able to withdraw until you hit a specific dollar amount. However, being an affiliate can be a lucrative business. One of the most popular affiliate programs is the Spocket affiliate program, which allows you to earn commissions for every customer you refer to Spocket.

spocket affiliate program

11. Start a YouTube channel

Unlike most social media apps, YouTube is one of the only social networks that allow you to earn ad revenue as a content creator. While some influencers post on YouTube about their lives or create viral content to generate the most views possible, you can also earn passive income from YouTube as a business owner. For example, if you own a dropshipping website with various trending products, you might create a product review YouTube channel so people can see the products in action. Then, you'll earn passive income from your business and your YouTube channel, which also helps to market your business. To earn passive income on day one, you can create YouTube Shorts. Otherwise, you'll need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours to make this your passive income stream.

12. Lend money with interest payments

Countless peer-to-peer lending programs allow you to earn interest for lending money to people. You can earn passive income with very little capital. The good thing is that you get your money back, and you earn additional income. It's almost like having a high-interest savings account. The benefit to doing this is that you're helping someone in need. There may be businesses that can't afford to buy new equipment that will help them drastically. So, it can be a net good you do to help people while also earning passive income to boot.

lend money as a passive income idea


There are many more passive income ideas you can start that go beyond this list, such as selling NFTs to high yield savings accounts. You can choose to build multiple income streams that allow you to earn more money without added effort. Many passive income ideas will enable you to earn multiple streams from a single asset. The key to making money while you sleep is building or owning an asset that generates money. That way, you have the asset, which you can sell at a later date, plus recurring income from it in the meantime. So whether you're looking to start dropshipping or keen on becoming an investor, there are multiple paths to success. So, what passive income idea will you invest in today?

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Nicole Martins Ferreira

Nicole Martins Ferreira is an experienced ecommerce entrepreneur who's built online stores in various niches. In her spare time, she shares her experiences with others, so they can succeed in ecommerce too.

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