residual income

20 Residual Income Ideas

What is Residual Income?

The idea behind residual income is to have expended little effort to grow a progressive income. An example could be renting an apartment, building an online course or ebook that sells on its own, or investing in something that would compound over time.

The idea is to create an income stream where you don’t have to put too much effort in the long run for your money to grow.

How to get started with building your Residual Income sources?

If you browse the internet there are hundreds of ideas people will share with you.

And many of them work.

Many of them won’t.

The truth is, that building a residual income stream is much harder than it sounds. In most cases, you need to have a fanbase or loyal followers to purchase from you or have a substantial sum of money to make your savings compound in itself.

Most of these ideas you can launch on the go. But they need some research, some extra money to spend and some marketing skills to make them work. Unfortunately, not everyone can create residual income streams as it can get complex, competitive, and needs a lot of time and effort to build. However, some of these are quite possible even if you are on a tight budget or a strict schedule.

financial freedom

Rent out personal items

Just like renting rooms or cars, renting out personal belongings is a way to increase your residual income stream. Things like drones, cameras, electronics, or musical instruments can be rented out.

Go to sites like FatLlama to advertise your stuff to people who may be interested in renting it.

Rent storage facility

Just like with Airbnb, you can sublet your storage or space for a monthly fee. You can do this on platforms like Djeepo, Storespace, or Stashbee.


Etsy is an amazing eCommerce platform focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies. You can build up your online shop for free and start selling your products on day one. It’s as easy as that!

Design with Printify

With Printify you can start creating print on demand products like shirts, bedsheets, mugs with your very own visual designs. Once you’ve made them, you can add them to your store and start selling.


This is where things get a little risky and you need to do some market research. But investing has always been a lucrative source of income. Online investment platforms like Etoro or Robinhood are easy to enter and you can start investment within minutes.

But be aware! A majority of people, (around 76%) lose money according to Etoro’s risk disclosure. And the situation is even riskier on other platforms. Before you get started, make sure you follow our guide on how to get started with Etoro.

Some of the safest long term investments, according to are mutual funds, ETFs and stocks, and real estate. But even in those cases, you’ll have to do your research before putting money on the table.


Even if you live in a rental or a small apartment, as long as you have an extra room or a closet in a city with several tourist spots, you have a good chance to make some money with several guests.

I’ve been doing Airbnb for nearly a year now and the pay off has been huge. My apartment in Budapest is not even in the city center, yet before the COVID19 pandemic, I had people making reservations on a daily bases. Literally!

Since I take all my valuables with me or keep them in a safe, I can leave my apartment to my guests or share it with someone for a short period. As long as you provide a good place for your visitors to sleep and make them feel welcome you will continue getting good reviews and making a few hundred bucks every month.

Website ads

We can’t express enough the importance of having a website. And we’ll tell you why. If you don’t have one yet, we’d recommend you creating one with Bluehost or Dreamhost right away. And we’ll explain why?

With website builders and a CMS such as WordPress its easy to create a website. You could have a site or a blog up-and-running within a day (or even less!)

When you have your own website, you basically own an online domain, where you can start building your own brand and authority in your niche. People or your followers will be able to find you on most search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

The most common way for making money with a website is through ads. With ads like Google ads, you can automatically generate a steady flow of income if you have a lot of traffic to your website. Once you have an audience, you rarely ever have to touch your computer. The money will keep rolling.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the idea of selling someone else’s goods or services for a commission price. You are kind of like the middle-man or the salesperson, where you get anywhere from usually 1% to 50% commission when someone buys something from you online. (Depends on the affiliate deal.)

A great example of an affiliate network is Commission Junction, ShareASale, ClickBank, or Amazon.

I would recommend starting with Amazon Associates affiliate program. You can choose which item you want to promote on and earn a small commission through your unique link.

If you have a website, a Youtube channel, or a social media page, you can insert an affiliate link into your bio or description, or a hyperlink into an article or under a Youtube video. Whenever people click on your link and make a purchase you’ll get a percentage of what they’ve spent.

Did you know you can get paid to take online surveys? Platforms like Vindale Research, a paid survey community, helps thousands of companies get feedback and opinions from consumers on their products and services to look for improvements. You have to fill out some questions and you get paid for it. These survey communities operate in the US to the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Another one we could recommend is InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Mypoints. (However, be aware that some of these only pays in the form of gift cards.)


Crowdfunding is a different way of earning some money online. If you are not familiar with the term, crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people.

There are many crowdfunding platforms where people can help you earn a residual income to help you build your project. This is great if you want a steady flow of income for a project or business.

By using social media, Youtube channel, or your website to spread awareness, people can reach more potential donors than traditional forms of fundraising. However, you must be aware not to deceive people. Crowdfunding is meant to help you build or start something.

Do not use the funds to your personal life or you’ll permanently lose people’s trust.

Online courses

Sharing your knowledge and expertise with others can pay off tremendously. Elearning is becoming more popular every year. According to, the global online learning market will reach $325 Billion by 2025.

Websites like Kajabi, Udemy, and Skillshare are the places where you can start designing your tutorship and help people out for a steady flow of income.

Sell stock photos

Platforms like Shutterstock or Foap are amazing places to upload a bunch of high-quality images and get paid for every purchase.

Be aware that selling stock photos is another competitive industry and this might be insufficient to make a living. But they are easy to start. All you need is an iPhone or a camera with high-resolution.


Online sales is the future!

Rental prices for stocking your goods are escalating sky-high in malls and other retail areas. Companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay are building the future of online retail and you can be a part of it by selling your goods and services on either of these platforms.

Another option, in case you have a WordPress website, is to use a free plugin like Woocommerce to start selling.

Youtube Videos

A Youtube channel is perhaps the most popular way of expanding yourself or your company as a brand. In our previous article, we’ve mentioned the tremendous market of online videos. There are  1,300,000,000 people who use Youtube with 30 million visits per day with annual revenues of $4,000,000,000 from ads alone.

YouTubers make money from ads, affiliate brands, online sales, merch, sponsors and patrons.

Upload on streaming services

According to research, an estimated 62 million people listen to podcasting every week. According to an assessment by Rainnews, 77% of U.S. internet users aged 13 and up listen to music via streaming. That is roughly 183 million people in the United States alone.

Ad revenue for streaming services like Spotify provides artists between $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream.

Rent out your vehicle

In many countries, an individual may opt to sublet his or her car in order to make some extra money or alleviate the financial burden of ownership. This highly depends on your location or country of residence, but there are many platforms where you can apply your vehicle for leasing.

P2P lending

P2P or Peer-to-peer lending is simply lending money to borrowers who typically don’t qualify for traditional loans.

As the lender, you have the chance to choose the borrowers and are able to lend your savings out to mitigate your risk. The most popular peer to peer lending platform in the US is Lending Club.

What’s great about Lending Club is that investors are earning 4-6% returns on average – and that’s all passive income. You simply lend your money, and you get paid back principal and interest on that loan.

Create an app

Are apps cool? Yes.

Do you need to know how to code? Not really!

There are plenty of platforms to help you construct various apps like or Mobileroadie. And it’s actually pretty easy for anyone.

Sell on Shopify or Woocommerce

If you have a WordPress website, you’d normally go with a free eCommerce plugin called Woocommerce. You can start uploading your physical or digital products.

If you don’t want to go, full-WordPress-web-designer, use Shopify. You can start with a 14-day free trial and go to a basic offer that’s 29 dollars per month.

Self-publish your book

This is where a bit of work and marketing is needed in advance. But once you have created a beautiful and immersive hardcopy or ebook, you can upload it to several platforms like Amazon’s Kindle, Lulu, Barnes and Noble, and many other places. You set the price, the distribution, and can even make the design of your cover.

The best thing about self-publishing is that it doesn’t take months or years like conventional publishers. You make most of the money and you set the terms and conditions of your own book.

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