Passive Income Online – 8 best Ways To Make Money From Your Computer

You’ve probably read about how people say they can make money even while they sleep.  It’s called passive income!

There are quite a few ways to make passive income. You can make passive income on rental properties, passive income from dividends, and the list goes on and on. While there are many different types of passive income, making passive income online is definitely one of the most popular.

For as long as people have used the Internet, more and more individuals are figuring out how they can use it to earn money.  And they’re doing it right from the comfort of their own homes using nothing more than a laptop! So, what are the best ways to make passive income online? We’ve gathered them up in this guide.

passive income online sources

Best Ways To Make Passive Income Online

Making passive income from the comfort of your own home doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are eight of the top ways you can start making passive income online.

1- Invest In The Stock Market

Investing in the stock market is easily one of the best, time-tested ways to generate passive income.  When you invest for the long-term, history has demonstrated that the average return of the S&P 500 index is 10 percent annually.    

The thing that makes investing in the stock market so incredible is something known as compound interest.  This is when you earn money on top of the money you contribute as well as all of your previous earnings.  For example, let’s say you invest $6,000 every year for the next 30 years (a total of $180,000).  If we invest that money into a stock market fund that grows by an average of 10 percent annually, your money would actually grow to be $986,964 – thanks to the power of compound interest!

(You can try your own numbers using this free compound interest calculator from

The easiest way to get into stock investing is to buy the whole market through something called an “index fund”.  An index fund is simply just a financial asset (usually a mutual fund or ETF) that contains all of the same holdings as a major market benchmark, such as the S&P 500. 

You can buy and invest in an index fund or try your hand at other stocks using a robo-advisor such as Betterment or Wealthfront.

passive income with stocks

2- Start A Blog

For the past two decades, building a website or a blog has been an incredible way to make money passively.  What’s the secret to their success?  Traffic.  

The more high-quality content they create that ranks well in Google, the more readers they will attract.  And that means more money from advertising.  For example, in this podcast interview from Niche Pursuits, Jeff Proctor, the co-founder of the personal finance site Dollar Sprout, says they earn $238,000 of revenue per month with a 50 to 60 percent profit margin.

If you’d like to start your own income-generating blog, then check out this tutorial from SEO guru Neil Patel.

Alternatively, you don’t always have to start a website from scratch to start making money.  Lots of online entrepreneurs will buy “turn-key” websites from services like Empire Flippers or Flippa.  These sites are already established and will be producing revenue starting from day one!

passive income from blogging

3- Create A YouTube Channel

If you’re not afraid to get in front of the camera and post your videos online for the whole world to see, then then you could be making some pretty serious dough!

Similar to websites, YouTube channels make their money from the advertisements that play every time someone watches a video.  According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Google pays out roughly $0.10 to $0.30 per view, with an average of about $0.18 per view.  Doing some simple math, if you can build a fan base that watches your videos 100,000 times per week, that would be $0.18 x 100,000 = $1,800 per week or $93,600 annually from AdSense alone. 

Here’s how you can get started making your own YouTube channel from Wix.

passive income from youtubing

4- Invest In Real Estate Without Buying Property 

If you’d like all of the passive income benefits of being a landlord but don’t want to actually buy any properties, then there’s a way you can do that to.  It’s called a REIT or real estate investment trust.  REITs are companies that own and operate income-producing real estate such as apartment buildings, medical facilities, offices, hotels, etc.  

Similar to stocks that make dividend payments, REITs are very attractive because they payout at least 90 percent of their taxable income to shareholders.  According to the Motley Fool, the average REIT dividend is approximately 5 percent.  That’s not a bad payout for doing more than just being a shareholder!

If you’d like to purchase a REIT, try a full-service broker (such as Vanguard and Fidelity), discount broker, or robo-advisor.

passive income from reits

5- Publish An Ebook

Ever since self-publishing first started, its been a passive income dream come true for authors.  With little more than Microsoft Word and a great idea for a story, they could write a book one time, list it on Amazon for free, and then sit back as shoppers download copy after copy.  Amazon even has a print-on-demand service that will make a paperback version of your book and ship it to your readers if they prefer.    

Lots of people have struck it rich with self-publishing.  Just check out this lucky author who turned his crime-thriller fiction series of ebooks into $450,000 of passive income.  If you’d like to give self-publishing a try, check out this free guide from Smart Blogger.

side hustle with proofreading

6- Create An Online Course

If you’ve got something specific you can teach to other people, then creating an online course can be a great way to command a higher rate per sale than other online products.  

Online courses are ideal money makers because once they’re created, they can operate autonomously.  No matter how many people sign up, your customers will be able to download the content and go through the lessons at their leisure without any physical interaction on your part. 

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from the blog Making Sense of Cents launched her first online course on Affiliate Marketing back in July of 2016.  After just two and a half years, she reported that it generated over $1,100,000!

If you don’t already have a website, you could also create one on an already established platform such as Udemy.

passive income with online courses

7-Sell Digital Products On Etsy

Sure, there are lots of people on Etsy who physically hand-make products and sell them to customers.  But what if you could produce only one product and then make it available for purchase over and over again?

That’s the beauty of creating digital products for sale on Etsy.  Similar to an ebook, you only need to create them one time and then they are available for purchase all year round.  

Believe it or not, some people have made some decent passive income off of their venture into Etsy selling.  Michelle Rohr from the site Secret OWL Society made over $30,000 in 18 months selling nothing but digital printables on Etsy.  

Take a look over on Etsy for yourself and see kinds of products are selling.  If you’ve got any talent with digital media, then it might be worth a try!

passive income with etsy

Final Thoughts: Make Passive Income Online

If you’re looking to make some extra money, without even having to leave your home, making passive income online is the right choice. There are a variety of options for ways to make that extra cash you’ve been wanting with just a computer. Whether you’re interested in selling digital products on Etsy, publishing your own ebook, or investing in the stock market, making passive income online is achievable. Decide what choice is right for you and go make your money!

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DJ Whiteside

DJ Whiteside is a financial enthusiast who believes in helping other people to achieve financial independence. He’s constantly looking for practical ways to optimize savings, reduce spending, and create a lifetime of passive income. DJ holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, which allows him to take an analytical approach to financial topics. He has been a financial writer since 2011 and has self-published 5 personal finance eBooks relating to saving, retirement, and financial independence.

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