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5 Easy Ways to Make Passive Income
Sell Digital Files on Etsy
Etsy is an online marketplace for original work that people want to buy. Many people sell their homemade jewellery and other crafts. However, even if you're not very creative and able to make physical products to sell, you can still utilise this platform for your passive income empire.
Can you use a computer? I thought so. Many people will pay for your computer skills, time and ideas. One skill you could use is your ability to create digital artwork or wedding/party invitations using programmes such as Photoshop. Once you have made a few pictures you think would sell, you can upload these onto your Etsy shop and people can download these for a small cost. Just make sure you make it clear that you are selling digital files and no physical product will be received.
You can also use programmes such as Publisher, Word or Excel to make organisation files. Many people will buy products that make their lives easier by organising things such as what cleaning they do each day, or keeping track of their appointments. Make these look attractive and you may have another successful digital product to sell on the Etsy platform.
Be aware that Etsy will take a cut of your price, so check out their fees before setting your price to calculate your profit. However, with only your time invested, all the money you earn should be pure profit!
Rent Out a Room/Property
You may have heard of people with 'property portfolio's' making passive income off the houses or apartments they have bought and rented out.
If you have the money saved up and you can afford it, property investment is a wise move. The rent you make each month will be higher than the interest you make by leaving the money in the bank, and if you decide later down the line that being a landlord isn't for you, you can sell the property and (hopefully) make your money back plus more. Even if you sold at less than you bought the property for, if you include the rent you received previously you will probably find you still made money.
Don't have the money to buy an extra property? Maybe you have a spare room you can rent out? If you live in an area with many businesses operating, such as a large city, many professionals will happily rent out a room during the week to reduce their commute and go home at weekends. Some people will also rent out a room if they have a temporary job or they don't plan to work in the area for very long.
You could also use Air B'n'B to rent out a spare room on a short-term basis or rent out your property whilst on holiday. Just make sure you have a neighbour, friend or family member to keep an eye on your property whilst you are away.
Another thing to note: make sure that if you rent your property, your agreement doesn't prevent you from sub-letting a room.
When renting out either a whole property or a room, put a rental agreement in place to protect both yours and the tenants rights. You can either find an agreement online that you like or enlist a property agent to do this for you. When renting out an entire property, you can also enlist them to manage all aspects of property management, from finding tenants, to collecting rent and fixing any repairs needed for a small fee.
Many people are adverse to investing in the stock market. If you are really against it, then find the highest interest bank account and put your savings in there. In the UK, you could also consider National Savings and Investments Premium Bonds, where you put your money in and can draw it out at any time. Despite having no interest rate, for every £1 you put in, you get a chance to win cash prizes raging from £25 to £1m every month. It's like a lottery you don't have to repeatedly buy tickets for and you can get your money back whenever you want.
For those who can stomach a little risk, but don't have a clue where to start, an investment fund is a great way of dipping your toe in. A fund is a portfolio of shares and bonds (also known as gilts) that is managed by an investment manager who should know a little more about the stock market.
You can choose your level of risk by looking at the ratio of shares to bonds. Shares are a holding in a company that may perform well or may not perform very well. When they perform well, their shareholders will see their investment increase; when they perform badly, the share value will drop. Bonds, or gilts, are like loans given to governments, who will pay back the loan plus a small amount of interest. These tend to be a lower rate of income, but are less risky.
Funds such as the Vanguard Lifestrategy funds let you choose your level of risk and balance the portfolio accordingly. For example, the Lifestrategy 100 fund has 100% of your money invested into shares, whereas the Lifestartegy 20 fund has 20% invested in shares and the remaining 80% invested in bonds.
You can leave your investment tied up for as long as you like, though it is usually recommended to leave your investment for between 3 and 5 years. The average return on your money invested in the stock market is 7%, however it could be lower or higher depending on how you choose to invest your money and the market conditions.
Some people can lose their money. The best advice is: only invest what you are prepared to lose. If you are relying solely on that money for a future purchase, don't risk it.
A Blog (Yawn!)
Yep, I bet you've seen this one before. Although not entirely passive, many people make a lot of money by writing their blog and monetising it through affiliate programmes and things like Google AdSense.
If you choose to go down this route, make sure you choose a topic you are passionate enough about to write about it. A lot. Then make sure you are not alone in your passion. You need readers!
Think you can't write an eBook? eBooks can be about anything; you don't have to stick to fiction. Love fishing? Write a book on how to fish for beginners! How about knitting? Maybe you could produce a book of patterns.
With Amazon's Kindle platform, you could get your book published digitally and start selling on one of the world's largest eBook selling sites.
This is a lot of upfront work, but once your eBook is written you can keep benefitting from repeated sales.
Why are you here?! Oh yes, you wanted to find out some information on a topic you couldn't find elsewhere or you were browsing to see whether anything grabbed your interest.
Those people who have written these articles may be making a passive income from their knowledge. You can write articles for HubPages and just like a blog, monetise them through affiliate programmes and Google AdSense.
This is a great way of writing in-depth articles on topics you understand and want to share with the world! It also reduces the responsibility of writing and posting articles on a strict schedule like many blogs require.
Sell Your Junk
Junk? Yes, really, you can sell the stuff you actually throw away very easily. Check out eBay for milk bottle tops or loo roll tubes. People use these for crafts and if you can save a decent number of them, you can sell them to those more crafty than you.
Rather than throwing them in the recycling, save them up and sell them in bulk. Even better, if you can ask your family or friends to save them and give them to you for free too, you will make money even faster (if you have the guts to tell them what you're doing without being too embarrassed).
Get onto eBay and see what sort of numbers current sellers are offering and the prices they are being bought at. These will be more lucrative around holiday times, such as Christmas, when people are making gifts or decorations.
It may not make you rich overnight, but it's money for very little work!
Have You Had Any Success With These Methods?
© 2016 Stephanie Elford