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5 Unique Ways to Generate Passive Income

Updated on February 22, 2018
Passive Income is a great way to stay afloat when times are hard.
Passive Income is a great way to stay afloat when times are hard. | Source

Multiple Ways of Making Money

When people think of passive income, they usually think of things like stocks, rental property, and royalties from books. These all sound like excellent ideas, but what if none of those are your interests? Shouldn't passive income be from something that you enjoy doing?

Passive income should certainly be in an area that you enjoy, so if owning rental houses, investing in the stock marketing, or writing a New York Times Bestseller are not your passions, then perhaps you should explore passive income sources that are often overlooked when people think of generating additional sources of income.


ATMs or, Automatic Teller Machines, are another form of passive income. You may be wondering how you can earn any money from owning an ATM, but most ATMs charge a small amount (anywhere from $1 on up) for the convenience of using it. This small surcharge is how the owner of the machine makes money from their machines.

ATMs can generate a decent passive income, anywhere from $200 a month on up, but they do require a that you place your machine in a lucrative location, as well as start-up fees and continuous maintenance costs.

Before getting started in the ATM business, you must find a prime location for your machine. Places that have ATMs are usually grocery stores, malls, and gas stations. All of these would be optimal locations for your ATM business.

You will also need the initial investment money. ATMs can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, so it is important to research what kind of machine you want, save up the amount that is needed, or acquire a loan for your new business venture.

There is also the cost of insurance, maintenance, and stocking the machine that will need to be considered. All of these add up quickly, which is why it is crucial to have your machine in a prime location.

Laundromats are one form of passive income.
Laundromats are one form of passive income. | Source


The laundromat business can be a difficult one to get started in, but it can be a very lucrative passive income source if everything works in your favor. There is some initial start-up fees, such as purchasing the facilities, the appliances, and possibly hiring people to run the business. You will also need to consider location, as location is a huge determining factor to the success of a laundromat.

Aside from start-up costs and location, laundromats can bring in a consistent amount of passive income for years. Laundromat businesses also tend to survive recessions, as people will continue to wash their clothes, even during hard times.

Vending Machines

Owning vending machines would be a great compliment to a laundromat business, as people tend to want a snack or a beverage after spending a few hours washing their clothes. You don't have to have a laundromat business to own vending machines and make a lucrative passive income from them.

Vending machines can be found in hospitals, malls, department stores, parks, community centers, universities, and numerous other locations. They tend to have a low initial investment, with only a few hundred dollars for the machines, depending on the type of machine purchased. However, the machines do require the costs of refilling them, maintenance, insurance, and rental cost for the location.

The key thing with making a vending machine business profitable is to have it in a central location. Schools, gyms, and highway rest stops are generally considered great locations for vending machines. On that same note, you will also need to consider what kind of products you keep stocked in the vending machines. At a gym, for example, you will want to keep protein bars, water, and items that are overall considered healthy convenience foods instead of items that are commercially deemed less nutritious.

Vending machines will also not likely generate massive amounts of passive income daily, unless your machine is in a highly populated area that is also easily targetable for a vending machine location. Many of the tasks required in maintaining a vending machine can be hired out, but then you will have to consider the costs that hiring contractors will generate.

Owning a vending machine, or several, is a business venture that should be well researched before getting started in. You will need to locate exemplary locations for your machines and research what products would work best in those areas. You will also need to have the start-up costs available, as well as any extra income that will be needed for insurance and other vending machine necessities.

Passive income can help you retire early and live a more abundant life

Website Flipping

With website flipping, you purchase an already existing website, fix it up, then sell it at a higher price. This concept is very similar to flipping houses. The capital investment involved in website flipping is much lower than that of property investing. There is also far less paperwork and legality issues involved with website flipping than property flipping.

Before jumping into this type of passive income, do your research. Website flipping isn't the easiest market to get into. It takes lots of research, planning, and dedication. It can take some time to properly flip a website, so account for that when planning your monthly budget.

Video Blogging is an often overlooked form of passive income.
Video Blogging is an often overlooked form of passive income. | Source

Video Blogging

Chances are, you’ve watched a few YouTube videos in which the person behind the video is using YouTube as a blogging platform. You can find a plethora of video blogs, or “vlogs”, on YouTube ranging from single mom life to firearm hobbyist sharing their latest target practice experience. With the advent of vlogging has come multiple forms of monetization akin to that used on a regular blog. With video blogging, you can enable Google Adsense to post ads on your videos. You can also do network and MLM marketing on vlogs by sharing the product that you’re promoting and providing an affiliate link with further information pertaining to the product for your vlog followers to click on. Just like blogging, vlogging is usually not a way to get rich quickly. However, it is a way to build up a passive income that continues for months and years as people view your old and new videos. As with blogging, it’s important to pick a topic that you’re familiar with, one that you can stay consistent with and actively post relevant content, and it needs to be a topic that you enjoy so that viewers can see your enthusiasm when watching your videos.

Passive Income Isn't a Get Rich Quick Scheme

While none of the sources of passive income listed will help you to get rich quick, they are excellent starting points of passive income that require little to no work for you beyond the initial start-up. Each of these sources require a start-up fee. While some of the initial start-up fees are small, others require constant monthly charges to maintain them.

These five ideas will likely not generate enough for you to maintain a full-time income, at least not at the very beginning. However, all of these ideas can be expanded and converted into full time businesses that become more than just passive income for you. With converting these ideas to living wage income sources, you could easily thrive off of the income they generate if you have the knowledge and means to make it so.

Do you currently have a source of passive income?

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