7 Best Passive Income Ideas to Build Wealth in 2021

Updated: July 14, 2022

By: Marcos Isaias

If this past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of having passive income. Being in 2021, we have so many options to make money without constant effort. And it also helps us prepare for any financial blows that are out of our control.

Whatever your interests and skillset, many passive income ideas can help get the money rolling in, even while you sleep.

What Are the Best Passive Income Ideas?

Creating passive income can seem daunting, but once you get started, it’s worth it. These ideas vary on how much time investment it takes to establish, your creativity level, and the amount of money you’re looking to make right off the bat.

Building a passive income stream – or many income streams – may not happen overnight, but with patience, persistence, and a little hard work upfront, things can really take off.

Here are the top seven best passive income ideas that will help you supplement your income or help you build wealth over time.

1.    Start a Blog

Start a Blog

Blogging is an incredible way to create passive income that can continue to build momentum over time.

There are comprehensive resources on how to start a blog if you’re entirely new to blogging, but once you start, you can build an audience and make money through ad revenue.

The best way to start blogging is to begin by writing about what you love and are interested in or on a topic where you have expertise.

By finding a niche topic or industry, you’re going to attract people who will value your content and keep returning to your site.

As you build an audience that trusts you and sees you as an authority in your niche, you unlock other potential passive income streams in your blog through affiliate links and sponsorships.

Once you build up a catalog of articles on your blog, the posts will continue to make you money sometimes years after you post the blog.

2.    Create an Online Course

If you have detailed or insider knowledge about a topic, consider crafting a course that you can sell.

You can earn passive income on its sales by making videos or audio presentations that people can listen when they please.

The benefit of this passive income idea is that you have to do the preparation work once, and you can sell the course for however long you choose without any more work. You have the option of trying to sell your class on an established learning platform, such as Skillshare or Udemy. But if you have a built-in audience through a blog or website, you can sell on your own.

Sometimes, it may feel like there’s nothing new to be said, but you have knowledge and experience that no one else has.

But whether you’re learning how to cook, garden, or write, people always want to hear different voices on a subject.

3.    Sell Digital Products

Like creating an online course, digital products are something you can make once and continue selling as a digital file. This is a basic passive income idea because it’s so versatile.

The possibilities are endless, whether you’re a graphic designer who wants to sell prints, someone who designs digital planners, or even a frugal shopper creating a budgeting worksheet. You won’t need to print or ship anything.

You can make these products on Photoshop or even in Canva if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option. Many resources can help you make the perfect product to sell.

Selling these products is easy, too. You can create your own Shopify store integrated into your website, or if you’d like to keep it simple you can also sell on Etsy (just beware of their fees). Every time someone makes an order, they get the digital file without you having to lift a finger.

4.    Sell Stock Photos

If you have a creative edge and a love of photography, an excellent way to make passive income is by selling stock photos. You don’t need a professional camera; you can use your smartphone to capture high-quality images.

Play around to find what you love to photograph.

Take a mini road trip into nature, snap some photos around your city’s architecture, or introduce some portrait photography into your portfolio.

It may feel like a lot of work upfront, but passive income will come whit a solid collection of photos.

The easiest way to sell images is through Adobe Stock or Shutterstock, all you have to do is wait to get paid.

5.    Write an eBook


You don’t have to write the next bestseller to publish an eBook and make money – unless you want to. The beauty of self-publishing an eBook is you reap in the sales revenue without constant energy output.

While the eBook market can be competitive, people will buy if you’re a solid communicator with insight and knowledge to share with the proper marketing.

If you’re a personal trainer, you could write an eBook guide outlining workouts. If you’re a designer, you can write an eBook about helping people find their unique style.

There is an audience for everything; you just have to find yours.

6.    Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a massive industry and one of the best means of passive income around. Almost every large brand has affiliate programs so you can advertise products you use and make money doing it.

Not all affiliate marketing programs are created equal. Some brands offer better commissions than others, so you have to research to find the best fit for you. Amazon and Shopify have popular affiliate programs, and Rakuten Affiliate is a go-to option.

Keep in mind that specific affiliate programs have different standards and barriers to entry.

You may need to have a certain number of followers on social media or readers on your blog to access some affiliate programs, but many options are in reach.

7.    Start a YouTube Channel

Posting videos to YouTube can offer multiple passive income streams. From sponsorships to ad revenue, the more people watch your content, the more money you make.

Like blogging or other content creation, you need to maintain consistency, and you may not see results right away. But if you find your niche and offer compelling and engaging content, people will want to watch your videos.

You can create educational content, commentary videos, or travel vlogs, and if you’re unsure which direction you want to go, start by looking at what you’re already watching.

There don’t have to be any upfront costs. You can use your phone camera to start and don’t need any intense editing software. As you grow, you can invest in those things to up the quality of your videos and make more money.

Final Thoughts

Creating passive income is an achievable dream. New passive income ideas are coming up all the time because there is so much possibility in technology.

In 2021, we have so many online options available to crush passive income and build incredible passive income flow with little effort.

These tried and true options are lucrative paths to create a more financially free life. 


Marcos Isaias

PMP Certified professional Digital Business cards enthusiast and AI software review expert. I'm here to help you work on your blog and empower your digital presence.