Passive Income Ideas from Business Insider

Here’s a post from Business Insider that contains some really great passive income ideas.  I decided to go through the list and provide insights into my personal experience with each stream.  There’s a few wholes and I would love to hear about your experience and it is in this post.

1. Try out index funds.

“Index funds provide you with a way to invest in the stock market that is completely passive. For example, if you invest money in an index fund that is based on the S&P 500 Index, you will be invested in the general market.”

I have a small amount of experience with index funds.  I have a TD Ameritrade account to  buy and sell indexes, stocks, and options.  I was really into energy indexes a few years back.  We really didn’t have the energy boom I was expecting, but energy is a still a strong long term buy.  You can start your portfolio at TD Ameritrade and receive some bonus cash in the process.  You should really think about the $250,000 deposit.:)


Grade of the stream: A

You can earn a solid 4 – 8% A.P.R. yield on your investment with index investing.  The great part of index fund investing is that you’re betting on the whole market or an industry and not just a single company.

2. Make YouTube videos.

“The keys will be to create compelling videos, to promote those videos on social media websites, and to create enough of them that your income will be coming from multiple sources.”

YouTube is one of my favorite platforms to make passive income.  I have a channel with over 200 subscribers and some of my content is in Google’s index.  Getting your content index is an extremely powerful tool for passive views.  Passive views is this case translates to dollars.  Here’s my a video from my channel that explains the economics.  Video CPMs are ridiculously high!

Grade of the stream: C

Your mileage will vary with YouTube.  I have received payouts from YouTube, but not enough to quit my day job.  However, I really enjoy it and met some really great people while doing it.  I receive a moderate amount of traffic and it’s a nice small stream.

YouTube can be a game changer for many people. I happen to know Eli the Computer Guy.  We both live in Baltimore. He’s an awesome guy and he has 647,000 subscribers for his YouTube channel.  His day job is YouTube.  No, I’m serious.  He’s just doing YouTube.

3. Try affiliate marketing and make sales.

“This is a passive income technique that is better suited to people who have blogs and active websites.”

This one is funny.  Ty is a best affiliate marketer in the house.  What kills me is that she doesn’t even try.  We both blog, but she her work really resonates with people.  We’ve had some success on one of the biggest affiliate platforms out there, Amazon.

Grade of the stream: C

If you have an established following of buyers, affiliate marketing is a great path to pursue.  Building and maintaining a following is tricky.  We are in the attention economy.  Once you stop being interesting or fall out of favor, driving sales will become difficult.  This can be a great stream but can require a lot of effort to maintain.


4. Put your photography to work on the web.

“Do you like photography? If you do, you may be able to convert it into a passive income source. Photography websites such as Shutterstock and iStockphoto can provide you with platforms to sell your photos.”

I don’t have any experience in this area.  What about you?  I would look to hear your story.

Grade of the stream: C (no experience)

A great picture of the Space Needle, Seattle, and Mount Rainer via Pexels.

5. Purchase high dividend stocks.

“By building a portfolio of high dividend stocks, you can create regular passive income at an annual rate that is much higher than what you get on bank investments.”

I own a few stocks in the category.  What’s helpful for me is that I have a long view on my position.  I don’t watch the stock price day by day.  This really remove the frustration and anxiety of being in the market.  I’m not a day trader, nor do I want to be.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know some day traders.  Some are great friends, but I don’t want that life.

Grade of the stream: B

I feel this passive stream has more risk than 1, but can offer similar returns.  Remember, you are betting on an individual company.

6. Write an ebook.

“This can be a lot of work upfront, but once the ebook is created and marketed it can provide you with a passive revenue stream for years.”

I wish I had some valuable nuggets of insight here.

7. Get cash-back rewards on credit cards.

“There are credit cards that provide cash-back rewards ranging anywhere from 1% to 5% of the amount purchased. You’re going to be out shopping and buying anyway, right?”

I love this stream.  I use to pay utility bills with my cash-back reward credit cards.  However, my bank caught on to this and offered me cash back percentage if I use my regular card.  However, these cards are good if you travel a lot.  Just remember to pay off your balance immediately.  Here’s some option for reward cards to look into.

Grade of the stream: B

You have to make purchases all of the time.  If you can do this through a credit cards with cash-back rewards, this can be a solid income stream.  This would be ideal business purchases.

8. Sell your own products on the internet.

“The possibilities here are endless — you can sell just about any product or service that you like.”

More information coming soon…

9. Invest in real estate.

“This probably falls more in the category of semi-passive income, since an investment in real estate is always at least a little bit of an active venture.”

My personal story coming soon…

Image via Red River

Grade of the stream: A-

I only gave this a A- because you need a lot of capital to properly invest in real estate.  This is a really passive venture.

10. Buy a blog.

“Thousands of blogs are created every year, and thousands are either completely abandoned by their owners sometime afterward.”

More information coming soon…

11. Pay off a credit card (or two or three).

“Reducing a fixed expense is the financial equivalent of creating passive income. This is certainly true when it comes to credit cards. Let’s say that you owe $10,000 on a credit card, on which there is a monthly payment equal to 2% of the balance, or $200 per month.”

I really like this one.  It focusing on cutting cost and opposing to opening a new stream.  Most people can do this, because most people reading this have one more cards with an outstanding balance.  Am I right?

Grade of the stream: A+

Image available via Early Retirement Ahead

Let me really drill in the math.  The scenario listed above has an A.P.R. of 24%.  Yes, you will give the lender 24% of the loan, because that’s why credit cards are… loans.  For $10,000 you are forking over $2,400 a year.  This should be one of the passive stream you should focus on.  You should not give away your future dollars.

12. Write a book and collect royalties.

“Much like writing an ebook, there’s a lot of work upfront. But once that’s done, and the book goes into the sales stage, it becomes a completely passive venture.”

More information coming soon…

13. Set up a website selling a product.

“If there is a product that you are particularly knowledgeable about, you may be able to sell it on a dedicated website.”

More information coming soon…

14. Invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

“In #10 we talked about investing in real estate. But let’s say that you want to invest in real estate, but do it in a truly passive way.”

More information coming soon…

15. Become a business silent partner.

“Do you know of a successful business that needs capital for expansion? If so, you can become something of a small-time angel investor and provide that needed capital. But rather than offering a loan to a business owner, you instead take an equity position in the business.”

I wish I was I was a silent partner in a business.  The idea is like investing an index fund, dividend yielding stock, or REITs.  The returns can be collected on a shorter interval.  Some partnerships may payout monthly or sooner.

Grade of the stream: B+

Photo via Telegraph

16. Become a referral source.

“Every small business needs referral sources in order to maintain sales. Make a list of small business providers that you use on a regular basis and feel you can recommend to others without reservation.”

More information coming soon…

17. Rent out unused space with Airbnb.

“Airbnb is a concept that has only been around for a few years, but it has exploded around the globe. Airbnb allows people to travel all around the world and to stay in accommodations that are a lot less expensive than traditional hotels.”

I have no experience with Airbnb on the buying or selling side.  I find the concept of the sharing economy interesting.  I think many people are successful with this.  Some people don’t like hotels.  I feel there will always be a market for short term housing rentals.  I don’t see Airbnb going away anytime soon.  This maybe a great place to invest your time.

Grade of the stream: C (no experience)

Photo via Huffington Post

18. Build an app.

“Apps can be an incredibly lucrative income source. Think about how many people today have smartphones. Come on, it’s just about everybody! People are downloading apps like crazy — and for good reason . . .”

I’ve built a few apps, and didn’t develop any income streams.  The truth is I didn’t design my apps as an income sources.  I built them mainly to learn.

Grade of the stream: C

There are tons that allow you to build a mobile app in five minutes.  This is definitely worth looking into if you would like to develop a product or service to use on a mobile device.

19. Create an online course.

“Everyone is an expert at something. Why not create an online course about your passion?”

Why not create course out of it indeed.  This questions makes me feel a little bad about this one.  I’m sure I could be successful on this one.

More information coming soon…

20. Make an online guide.

“If writing articles or creating videos isn’t your thing, and you want to make money online, try creating an online guide.”

More information coming soon…

21. Outsource most if not all of your business needs.

“If you’re spending too much of your time on an existing business running it yourself, why not outsource most if not all of your tasks?”

I don’t have any experiencing in the virtual assistant space.  Do you have any?

[Your experience can go here]


Grade of the stream: C (no experience)

22. Make money for tasks you’d do anyway.

“Yes, you can make some money doing some of the things you’re already doing.”

Remember how we talked about how we live in the attention economy.  You like to play games, great!  You like to watch videos, fine.  There are companies like Swagbucks and InboxDollars that would love for you to do those things on there platform.  For your activity on their sites, the will pay you.

I’ve used Swagbucks in the past, and it requires a lot of effort for payouts.  I’m sure it’s great for some people but I decided to do something else with my time.

Grade of the stream: D

You don’t really own the stream here, but you can still earn some nice pocket change.  The reason I rated it a D is because you have to constantly manage this stream.


Business Insider did a great job showcasing some great streams.  There’s a ton of potential things to do.  You may it this far.  You should sign up for my newsletter.  I will update this page with more content.  When it’s updated I will let you know.


Passive Income Ideas from Business Insider

I Need a Second Income Stream

The biggest question to the title of this post is, what should I do?  Am I right, or am I missing something?  I live in the United States.  If you live here, you understand that the economy is okay.  It’s currently not great or bad either.  Some feel the economy will contract and others feel it’s growing to slow.  For you however, your dollars aren’t stretching far enough for you.  Here’s some ideas on what to do to generate dollars through a secondary stream.


Ebay Reports Quarterly Earnings
SAN JOSE, CA – JANUARY 22: A sign is posted in front of the eBay headquarters on January 22, 2014 in San Jose, California. eBay Inc. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There are many people that have quit their day jobs to do Ebay full time.  If they can do this, you can create a second income stream from it.  There’s a simple formula to be successful on Ebay.  The formula is:

  1. find items
  2. list items
  3. ship items when people buy them
  4. and repeat.

I know this seems really simple, but it is.  Would an extra $100 or $200 a month help you.  To most people, I’m sure they would consider this a reliable stream.  It costs $0 to start an Ebay business.  You don’t have to buy any merchandise.  You should start with the items you already have in your home.  Find the items you don’t use and see what the market is willing to pay for them on Ebay.  You can easily find a $20 item in your home to sell.  You can sell 10 $20 items in a month with a small amount of effort.  That’s an extra $200 dollars a month.  To give you a better idea of what sells check this video from Scavenger Life.

That’s pretty amazing.  Still seem to good to be true?  I will make it easier by coaching you; and get this.  The lessons are free.


Amazon Direct Selling

This is pretty much the Ebay income stream model but using Amazon.  The Ebay and Amazon marketplaces are extremely similar.  I’ve noticed that Amazon does very well with new items and books.

I have consistent sold well with books on Amazon.  Here’s my process.

  1. Go into any store that sells books
  2. Scan a book with the Amazon app
  3. Compare the price on Amazon versus what the book costs
  4. Buy the book if the profit is good
  5. List the book on Amazon (trust me, this is really fast)
  6. Ship the book when it sells

Amazon FBA

FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon.  It’s Amazon Direct Selling but you get access to premium customers.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to cover this one just yet.

Amazon Affiliate

You can still make money on Amazon if you don’t have any products to sell.  I have a great story about my wife’s success with Amazon affiliate. You will have to check back for this information.

Reclaim Spent Dollars

I will be honest here.  This stream may not be as reliable as the others listed above. You have to spend money on certain items.  There are program that will give you money back on the items you spend.  I wrote a piece on this that scratches the surface.  You should learn about Coupon apps.  It’s a passive income stream that you should be aware of.

Wait, You Didn’t Finish

Yes, there’s some teaser content here, but first I want to say thank you.  You are reading the end of the blog post.  You should signup for the newsletter.  I will send you updates when I add more content.


I Need a Second Income Stream

Use Coupon Apps

by: Eliot, Ty

My wife is a coupon maven.  If you are reading this, you’re maybe a coupon maven as well.  It took me a while to realize this but using coupon apps is a simple passive income idea you can use to build a reliable income stream.

Here’s the run down.  There are many coupon apps out there.  Most are legitimate and some… eh.  One time, my wife paid $1.09 for 10 bottles of Tide Simply Clean & Sensitive.  I will share that story with you later.  Before that, let’s get you up to speed with a few coupon apps.  Please take a few minutes to watch this video.

Now that you’ve had your crash course, let’s discuss a few apps.  I haven’t used these apps personally.  Fortunately for us, I have a resident expert.  Ty has been using these apps for a while and here’s her thoughts.

Ibotta – Ty’s Recap

I like the Ibotta app and I give it 5 stars, because it’s easy and user friendly. It also has a large variety of items on the list of things you can get a rebate for. It has healthy rebate options for fruits and vegetables. I usually can count on getting a 1lb of bananas for free. Most stores sell them .49 a lb, and the Ibotta rebate is usually .50 for any brand of bananas.  I have already earned the minimum pay out amount in short period of time. Get started now by visiting here.


SavingStar – Ty’s Recap

I would rate SavingStar in the middle, so about 3.5 stars. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. The process is pretty simple for this app. You load your loyalty card number to the app and pick which items you may purchase at the store. It will take a few days for the rebate process to happen. Some stores without loyalty cards can be used but you have to submit a receipt using your smartphone camera.  The long wait is what bothers me with this app. It’s not like Ibotta, which is almost instant.  But saving money is important so I will not uninstall it just yet. Let’s see what happens with this one.


​Ty’s .10 Cent Bottle of Tide

Let me share that story now.  I’m in my room watching Netflix and my phone rings.  “Hey, It’s me.  I need your help.”  I put my phone down on the bed and walked down the steps.  Without a thought, I open the door and started walking down the stairs in front of our house.  I thought to myself, it’s cold and I should have put on a coat.  I see Ty, it was a little chilly, but I walked to the car and trunk is open.  I could not see what was waiting for me.  I started to grab bags.  Back and forth a few times from the car to the house and finally after 5 minutes we were done.

Ty asked me, “Guess how much I paid for all of the Tide?”  I thought to myself, I did bring in a lot of bottles.  I countered with, “How many bottles did you get?”  Ty said, “10 bottles for $1.09.”  I did the math.  Normally we should have paid $50 for all that Tide, but she paid $1.09.  I will have to tell you exactly she did next time.  I have to finish telling you about the coupon apps.


It’s Not Just About Defense

Coupon apps aren’t really just about defense.  Most people look at coupon apps as something that saves you money.  Try to think of it another way.  You have certain items you will have to spend money on to survive.  A few items are food, laundry detergent, and deodorant.  The second two aren’t mandatory, but you definitely use them to fit into society.

Investing a little time you can either get refund on the dollars you spent, reduce the cost of the item, or free a item buy purchasing some amount.  Regardless on how you look at it, you are either getting free items or dollars back for what you purchased.  Those dollars in your pocket can do much for you.  Investment of returned dollars is on option.

Paul Getty and Referrals

He is the creator of Getty gas.  One of my favorite quotes of his is:

“I’d rather have one percent of the efforts of 100 people than 100 percent of my own efforts.”

This is where this become a real passive income stream.  You don’t have to use the app personally to benefit from it.  You can get all of your fellow couponers or people who like to coupon, to sign up.  The rates vary from app to app.  You should give this idea a  try.  Install the app, use it, and teach another person to use it.  A good candidate is your mother or sister.  They are probably using coupon just like you or use coupons if you do not.

How Big Can You Grow This Stream?

A dedicated user can cut their grocery bill 50 to 75% using these apps.  You have to buy groceries, if you can limit the cost, you will have additional dollars to spend on other items.  With average app use during the year you can net a plane ticket for a domestic vacation.

I have seen this personally.  Remember, I’m married to a coupon maven.  Remember to come back to see how Ty picked up $50 worth of Tide for $1.09.  That’s a great story but I have to go!

Use Coupon Apps