Passive Income Ideas for Students

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Are you a student looking to maybe earn extra money? Maybe you still have some student loan debt that will eventually need to be paid – unless that student loan forgiveness comes through… Maybe you are a little older and are looking to help pay off some credit card bills, or just help pay rent?

But how can current college students (or even high schoolers) do to earn money in today’s economy?

If you have been on any social media platforms recently – YouTube, FaceBook, TikTok, Instagram – you may have been bombarded by ads, content, pop-ups, and video suggestions on passive income ideas. You’ve seen them – “This student makes $2000 a month from a passive income source, and is working on creating more passive income streams!” Or “Make money online starting today!” Seems like my daily feed is full of those ads/stories. Seems like lots of people are interesting in earning passive income – otherwise we wouldn’t see all of those ads!

In this article – I hope to give you some ideas on earning passive income, and creating your own passive income sources.

What is Passive Income?

But first – what exactly does it mean to earn passive income? In the simplest terms – passive income refers to income generated without having to trade your time for making money. There may be some initial investment before you start earning, but once things are set up, you start earning money without active participation. This is the opposite of a time job – where you are paid for the hours you work.

That’s the beauty of making passive income – once it is set up and going – you are free to do other things.

Notice how I said “initial investment”? There are typically 2 types of investment: 1. Time 2. Money. The less you have of one, the more of the other you will need.

Examples requiring large investment of money

Some examples of generating passive income that need lots of money to start:

Real Estate:

  • Buying property and renting it out.
  • Buying property and “flipping” it. That is buying a property for a relatively low price, fixing it up, and selling it for a profit.

Stock Market:

  • Buy stocks and either holding for investment, or selling at a profit


  • Foreign Exchange market – similar to stock market, but deals with the fluctuating values of different world currencies.

Savings Accounts.

  • Yes – you can earn money passively – but pretty low rate of return.

As you can probably tell from those examples, you would need at least $5000 or more just to get started, plus some additional training if you didn’t want to lose your investment. If you have that kind of money available, you probably wouldn’t be here right now.

Examples requiring little to no money

So let’s look at some examples of how people make money online – some are more passive than others…

  • Survey Sites

    • There are several sites that will pay you for your opinion. That’s right – you sign up and take surveys and get paid. However – this isn’t really passive – and some of the surveys can be quite in-depth – so don’t really qualify as “passive”.
  • YouTube Channel

    • There are several people making good content on YouTube. When they reach a certain number of views and subscribers, they are eligible to monetize their channel – which is why we now have Advertisements (commercials) on some Youtube videos. Once the videos are made – the user gets paid, and they don’t have to do much more than just keep making content. This certainly qualifies as passive income – but the initial time and effort can seem daunting.
  • Blogs

  • Affiliate Marketing

    • Becoming an advertiser for other people’s products or services, and getting paid when a someone buys that product or service. Instead of paying an advertising firm to produce commercials and ads – the company will pay a person directly for helping sell the product. This is called “word-of-mouth” advertising – and we already do it for many things. If there is a movie, or a restaurant that we really enjoy – we tell everyone about it. Basically – we are providing advertising for free. Becoming an affiliate is one of the best ways to generate passive income – because many times you don’t need to do much more than tell people about the product, and give them a link to it.

My Recommended Method!

Out of the listed methods above – affiliate marketing is the best one for students (or anyone short on cash) to get started. As a matter of fact – if you already have followers on Instagram, or Facebook, or even TikTok – you can get started with no money. All you have to do is find a product or service that has an affiliate program, sign up for the program, and share the link you are given. Since whatever you post on the internet is seen by many people, you don’t have to do much else. The more people who see and buy based on the link you give them, the more money you make – whether or not you do much more. Truly – passive income!

Since we have identified affiliate marketing as the best way for students, or those low on cash, to make passive income – how exactly does one get started?

There are a few things you need to get started with affiliate marketing.

  • Something to offer.

    • Find something that you are interested in sharing with others. One place to find affiliate offers is a website called ClickBank (https://www.clickbank.com). Go there, create an account, go through the tutorials, and then start looking for something that interests you. The site provides all sorts of categories you can search by, and gives a summary of how much you would make from a sale of that product or service. Find one that you like, and get your affiliate link to share.
  • An audience.

    • You need to tell people about your offer and try to convince them that it is worth their time (and money) to check it out and purchase it. Your audience can be small (like friends and family) or can be larger (like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter followers). Basically anyone that you can share your offer with becomes part of your audience.
  • Some post or entry online targeting your audience with the link to your affiliate offer.

    • This can be in discussion forums, a Tweet, a photo or video. Anything that catches the attention of your audience and has information on how to learn more.
  • A way to get paid.

    • You will have to set up some way for those affiliate programs to pay you! A lot of programs are able to send payments to online banking apps like PayPal, Payoneer. or Wise. Some affiliate programs will even send you a check in the mail – so you should try to get a bank account.

How to get started?

Those are the basics. But as with any topic – you may be asking the following questions:

  • What should I offer? There is SOOO much to choose from.
  • What is my audience? I don’t want to bug my friends and family, and I don’t have any social media followers.
  • How do I share my link without being considered “spam”?

Training and Resources for Affiliate Marketing

So many questions – and believe it or not there are lots of people (like me!) willing to help you answer them and train you along the way. To help you sort through all the information let me break it down for you.

Free video trainings on YouTube

  • There are lots of “gurus” out there who will try to show you how to make a quick buck – but a lot of them are either frauds – or at least unethical in their methods. One highly respectable YouTuber is Marcus Campbell – also know as the AffiliateMarketingDude. He has been doing this for over 20 years – and has a LOT of videos covering pretty much every aspect of affiliate marketing. Check out his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/affiliatemarketingmc/playlists

Hands-On Guided Training

  • If you would like to have a hands-on guided step by step walkthrough of becoming an affiliate marketer – and are willing to pay $7 – then I highly recommend my friend Dave Sharp. He has an amazing 15 Day Business Builder Challenge – that walks you through every step of building an ethical, sustainable, and profitable affiliate marketing business: https://incomebloggerschool.org/go/15day/

Ebooks / Reports

Any one of those links will provide a WEALTH of information to get you started with earning passive income as an affiliate marketer.

Thanks for stopping by – and feel free to drop me a line with any questions you might have.


22 Passive Income Ideas for 2022

22 Passive income ideas for 2022

The global world is becoming more and more digitalized.

This can be an advantage because you have infinite possibilities to make money online.

Here are some great examples of passive income ideas for 2022.

1) Invest in the stock market

Investing can grow your money, but it also brings risks with it. Remember only to invest what you can afford to lose. If you are successful at investing, you could be making anywhere from $500-$5000 yearly, depending on how much you invest and the success of the investment itself after five years. You will need to start this after 22 or 23 because some people don’t like working with young adults under 21.

2) Open and run a resell store

A resell store is one where people can buy or list products. As the owner of the website, you will receive a percentage of what those items sell for and keep any leftover fees from transactions. Etsy is an example of a resell site used by thousands of people worldwide. To start selling on these sites, you need to register an account with them and then list your first product. You can offer anything from clothing and accessories to jewelry and small household goods like phone cases and mugs. Also, please note that you need to have a certain location where your store can be physically located. For example, if you want to sell items from China on eBay, your only option is through their sister site called eBay Chin (which requires you to open an account and list products there).

3) Sell pictures online

This one requires more skill than the other passive income ideas because it involves photography and digital art skills. There are several websites where people will pay for good photographs or digital drawings. Some of them also pay in cryptocurrency, which helps diversify your portfolio.

Money isn’t the only benefit of this idea. You can also add these pictures to your portfolio and use them in your other works.

4) Do pet sitting or house sitting

This is a great option for people who like pets and staying at home. Please note that you may need to be 21 to do this depending on where you live because some people don’t like having strangers at their house while they’re away.

5) Sell items from around the world online.

Some of the hot items are accessories (sunglasses, scarves, hats, etc.), children’s clothing and toys, adult clothing and shoes, household items like cookware. Sell these items at your price and send them to buyers using shipping companies. This is another great way to diversify your portfolio because you can add pictures of the products to your presentations or websites for free while still making some money off of them.

6) Google Adsense Ads on videos

This one requires some knowledge in video editing and uploading that kind of software to YouTube. So I suggest you learn how to do it on Google. To start with this, you need to make a video of yourself talking about some subject. Then, edit the video using free online software like splice and cut. Next, upload the video onto YouTube and write something about it in your bio box. Lastly, you need to link that video to ads that appear on videos related to your subject. The main thing here is consistency, so get started now.

7) Participate in online surveys

Sites like Viewpoints are great places for getting paid for sharing your opinion on new products or companies.

8) Sell a book or e-book yourself

This one is not as passive as the other ideas on this list because you need to do most of the work yourself (writing, formatting, editing, etc.). But it’s still pretty easy to do with free advice from this blog and others like it on the world wide web. To start with this idea, you need to develop an original idea or write something already popular among the readership. Next, find someone who will edit your book at a low cost and publish it on different websites like Kindle, Google playbooks, and Smashwords. Then, promote the book yourself through social media ads or a website that specializes in promoting books to a target audience for a fee.

9) Sell watches online

If you’re into fashion with a knack for watches, this passive income idea is perfect! It’s time-sensitive, so get started now before others jump on this bandwagon. It would help if you had a smartphone, pictures of your watches from different angles, and something about them in the description box.

10) Sell original artwork online

This one requires some creativity and a knack for Photoshop or web design. You can sell your art on websites like Etsy, eBay, Fine Art America, etc. Or, if you are creative enough, start your website with links to these sites so that customers can buy directly from you.

11) Start making passive income through affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online without making a website. The idea is that you promote other people’s products and get paid a commission from their sales. To use this passive income idea, you need to develop a product or service others might want to buy using Google’s keyword tool. Once you find some good keywords, head over to Clickbank, Commission Junction, or other similar sites and start looking for products that match those words. You can create a site dedicated to recommending those items or recommend them on social media platforms like Facebook once you have an account set up.

12) Make money as a translator

Translating documents has been made easier by websites like Upwork, but before signing up there, you need to have a professional profile so that clients know they can trust you with their documents. Other than Upwork, there are other websites where translators congregate to offer their services. Once you sign up for one of these sites, start looking for work by browsing jobs posted on the site or bidding on jobs posted by employers. If nothing else, Upwork allows you to cash out your earnings through PayPal and transfer it somewhere else.

13) Participate in clinical trials online

This method has been around for years, but participating in studies has become easier because of Trial Pay and Samplitude websites. You can sign up to these sites for free and start looking for trials relevant to your profession. This method might require you to live near the testing center, which means first, do some research about places near you where studies are being conducted. It would help if you also had a steady income to participate in as many studies as possible because it takes time away from your daily life only to be paid at the end of it.

14) Sell stuff on Craigslist

You don’t need any special knowledge or abilities for this passive income idea other than being able to sell something online. It’s pretty straightforward- list the things you no longer want on Craiglist, eBay Classifieds, or similar sites pictures and accurate descriptions of what you’re selling, and people will eventually buy them. Craigslist might be a little hard to get used to, especially if you aren’t familiar with submitting ads. Once you’ve got that down, it’s smooth sailing.

15) Invest in real estate

This method is probably one of the safest ways to make passive income because real-estate prices increase over time. This means that houses will still maintain their value despite the economic downturn and be sold at some point. There are two main types of investing in real estate: wholesaling and flipping. Wholesaling requires no money on your part but does require plenty of time to look for good deals. You can find wholesaling opportunities online or start looking out for vacant houses sold at a low price for some reason. On the other hand, flipping requires you to have money, so it’s harder to get started but has much better returns because you’re selling something immediately. Check out this site if you want detailed information about how passive income through real estate works.

16) Get paid every time someone reads an article written by you

This is the least common method of all passive income ideas and one of the best because it scales infinitely, unlike any other method that eventually reaches a plateau and starts working against you. Many sites offer money for writers, but I’m only listing one here because they pay the best- Textbroker. Other sites like iWriter and Contentmart also pay well, so check them out if you don’t like Textbroker.

17) Invest in cryptocurrencies

This is another idea that requires a lot of research before diving into it, or else; you might end up losing more than you originally invested. This method also scales infinitely because many cryptos are being introduced every year, week, and day which means there’s always an opportunity to invest in something new without worrying about the saturated market. If you’re starting, go for Bitcoin because it’s the most popular and mainstream crypto. Check this article to get started if you don’t know how to invest in cryptos.

18) Invest in dividend-paying stocks

This method is similar to investing in real estate but has a much longer investment horizon (like ten years instead of 2). Instead of buying shares directly from companies, buy them from exchanges like Fidelity. Do some research before getting into this idea, though, because not all dividends are created equal, and there might be hidden fees that aren’t obvious at first glance. This site should help you out with that.

19) Create an education course or digital product, then sell it online

If you’re good at writing, technology, or anything else that can benefit others, this passive income idea might be for you. If I had to pick the easiest one out of all these ideas, this would be it- create an e-book about whatever you’re specialized in, then upload it everywhere. Alternatively, if your skills aren’t exactly book material but still something people want to learn about (like singing), create a series of YouTube videos and upload them to your channel. The more “how-to” oriented the content is, the easier it will be to monetize because websites like Teachable will allow advertisers to promote their products on your website.

20) write an e-book and sell it on Amazon

The bigger your list, the greater your chances of making even more passive income (through affiliate marketing, promoting products, etc.) I know the best way to build a HUGE email list fast is by using Leadpages. Many other ways vary depending on what method you’re promoting (you can look up information about that on Google)- make sure whatever you choose has apps like Autoresponder (and Textbroker ) integrated into it you can send out follow-up emails. After all, nothing beats having a steady stream of people getting added to your list every day.

21) Keep all your spare money inside a high-yield savings account

This method is the most basic passive income idea on this list because it requires no effort. You just set up an online savings account (like Ally ) with an app like Digit, then link it to your checking account. From that point on, Digit will automatically save some of your leftover change throughout the day (and night if you like) by withdrawing small amounts of cash from ATMs and investing them in funds. There are ways to make even more money with this passive income idea, but they usually require more time and effort than what’s required for this method.

22) Participate in paid surveys

If you enjoy taking surveys, then there’s a way for you to do it all the time, making a passive income simultaneously. The website I like for this is Swagbucks because they give you points (called SB) every time you complete a survey (or watch a short video etc.) and exchange them for real money. There are many similar websites out there, but none of them pay as well as Swagbucks does now. Also, check out InboxDollars if you want another website that works similarly while also having exclusive access to offers from other companies.

This is the most basic, effortless method of making passive income, and it can add up very quickly if you do it consistently over time. It’s a great way to create a foundation for the rest of your passive income ideas because working hard on one thing (like creating an e-book) will make earning money even easier with another idea in the future (like affiliate marketing).