Passive income is a source of extra cash you can earn with minimal ongoing effort. While earning money this way requires some upfront setup (and sometimes, a monetary investment as well), once you have a side business or source established, you can bring in consistent money month after month.
There are many ways to earn passive income. You can earn it by investing, renting various assets out to others, leveraging advertising opportunities, or just monetizing the knowledge and skills you already have. Even sharing your photos of your favorite trips can be a way to earn extra cash if you do it right.
5 ways to earn passive income
Having a passive income stream can help support you in retirement, provide funds for paying down debts or saving for a long-term goal, or, in some cases, even support you entirely.
Julie Murphy, a certified financial planner at JMC Wealth in Chicago, has seen many clients succeed with passive income streams. The key to their success? “You have to be in one that resonates with you personally,” she says. “It’s all about what supports the life you want to create and live for yourself.”
If you’re interested in earning passive income, here are some unique avenues to explore.
1. Sell your pictures to stock photo websites
Taking photos and selling them to stock photo websites like Shutterstock, Alamy, Getty Images, and iStock Photo is one simple way to earn passive income.
You snap photos, ensure they meet the site’s specs (dimensions, size, etc.), upload them, and add related keywords to help them appear in search results. Whenever a user licenses one of your photos, you get a cut of the sales. Alamy, for example, offers anywhere from 17% to 60% of the image’s licensing price each time it sells.
Longtime travel enthusiast Kevin Mercier started selling stock photos in 2015, after a photo-filled trip to Singapore left him feeling inspired. His photo blog now averages about 100,000 pageviews a month, and he pulls in an average $75 per image license purchased. The money allows him to travel more and gives him a flexible work schedule.
“The only disadvantage that I can think of is the money I had to spend on my camera and gear,” Mercier says. “A good camera won’t define your photography skills but can surely enhance them.”
If you’re new to taking photos, Mercier recommends using YouTube and other free online resources to hone your craft. “This helped me produce more creative, engaging, and noticeable photographs,” Mercier says. “I can now sell almost any photo online—from street photography to pictures of food and animals.”
How much you can potentially earn: Income varies; 20 image license downloads per month on Alamy would bring in about $500.