Passive income is a worthy goal for anyone. It is defined as income that you earn with a limited time commitment. For generations, wealthy families have depended entirely on passive income; collecting interest, dividends, and paychecks with little or no effort whatsoever. When you consider the freedom associated with passive income, it is not surprising that investment vehicles providing passive income opportunities are highly-sought after lifestyle solutions.

Create and Sell Online Courses

Creating a course can take a week or more of hard work, but once you have completed it, this income source becomes passive income for years to come (according to this post). If you are knowledgeable about any particular subject matter that people are hungry to learn about, then you can create a course to sell. The popularity of online classes has grown in recent years, representing a new way of learning and making money.

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be technologically competent with coding skills and other abilities once thought necessary for creating a quality course, there are now platforms that make it easy. As is true with most business platforms, you pay for what you get. Udemy is a popular online course platform; however, they do charge a considerable percentage for providing the software and an audience.

Teachable offers another popular choice for new course creators, but they do not provide the traffic that Udemy does. Teachable platform fees are also more reasonable. The benefits don’t end there, with many entrepreneurs selecting Teachable over Udemy, citing more control over the process as an essential reason for their decision.

There is no reason you can’t use both of the popular platforms together. Some course creators test on Udemy, then move to Teachable later.

You can also bypass these traditional platform options and set up your own landing page using a blog, YouTube video, website, emails or other platforms. While this route might take longer on the frontend to get started, it will ultimately provide the most freedom and the least restrictions.

Use Your Artistic Talents

While you might not be doing this full-time, you can take some time to create some creative assets to put out into the world. There are plenty of websites that host photos and illustrations for people to buy and use for their business projects, especially since illustration and photos are important in web pages these days. While you might have to take some time to create the assets, once you upload them to sites that will host and sell them, you will receive a portion of the sale, creating a passive income.

Real Estate Investment and Management

Real estate investment was once considered the province of the wealthy, requiring substantial upfront capital funding for those willing to assume a high level of risk. Like so many business opportunities, new business models have arrived offering low investment, turnkey real estate options that almost anyone can afford. According to one site, with the right amount of research, business sense, and dedication it’s possible to never even feel like you’re taking a gamble on the market.

Fundrise operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) which allows investors to purchases shares costing as little as $500. This barrier to entry into real estate investing is so low that it opens the door for new investors, leveling the playing field and spreading the risk. While there are no guarantees about ROI, this article reports favorable 11.44 percent industry returns in 2017.

Affiliate Marketing

Another passive revenue opportunity source being touted as an attractive option online is affiliate marketing. This particular revenue source is perfect for entrepreneurs who don’t have much capital to invest if any. The business model pays commissions to affiliate marketers who refer customers to a partner company. An affiliate link is provided for that purpose, with affiliates marketing their partner’s products and services in exchange for a commission.

What makes this such an exciting and unique business alternative is that an affiliate marketer does not have to buy or store inventory. According to this article, once they refer the customer to their affiliate partner to purchase the item, then they have completed their job and get paid. The unique affiliate link that the customer clicks on acts as an identifier that signifies the company as a referral source and triggers payment.

Granted, it is always helpful to have a website or blog to promote affiliate marketing products or services. Some affiliate marketers work without the benefit of a website or blog by using YouTube, email marketing or a landing page to promote affiliate products. Links placed on other people’s sites can even be used to direct customer traffic to a landing page to consummate a sale.

Payment is calculated as either a flat fee or a percentage of the sales price. There are thousands of companies interested in affiliate partners as they seek to leverage any sales channel available to them. Companies open to affiliate partnerships can be approached directly or found on network websites. Clickbank is one of the largest of these network websites.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending cuts out financial institutions in the lending game, allowing individual investors to act as the bank and loan money to borrowers. Technology has revolutionized this business model, growing rapidly since 2006 when the first P2P platform was founded. This site reports that this investment model is being touted as a less volatile investment option than the stock market.

Lending Club and Upstart are two other significant platforms that investors can check out if they’re interested in P2P lending. Upstart’s minimum investment is $100. Comparatively, Lending Club requires a $1000 initial deposit and then a minimum $25 investment per loan investment. Considering the fact that you can automate the process, this type of investment represents a passive income opportunity worth serious consideration.

Dividend Investing

This website recommends dividend investing. This strategy involves buying stocks that pay consistent dividends. The reason this type of investment model is so attractive is because you can choose to reinvest these regular cash rewards. Reinvesting your dividends leverages the benefits of compound interest which can explode profits.

While this is truly a passive income source, it may represent a less interesting option for some new investors since it requires significant investments before the dividends paid are substantial. Investors with large amounts of capital to invest can utilize a dividend investing strategy to significantly increase their portfolio.


Quality of life concerns are a motivating force as investors search for passive income opportunities. Given the choice, most people choose freedom over working for a living and being tied down by a 9-to-5 schedule. The five passive income opportunities mentioned above represent some of the best business models available in 2018 that might provide you with some extra cash (just remember to manage it well for more investing opportunities later on).