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 ( 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:

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:

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.


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