Biz Features

9 Ways to Get Passive Income Through Building Online Businesses

by . September 8th, 2014

I’m gonna give you two juicy words today: “online” and “passive.”

Page Dooley
Those two words seem to have been hot for business for the past few years and have every right to be. Having an online business denotes that you could do everything from home, and having it passive means that you could leave it alone and still make money.

Here are 9 ways to start making passive income through online businesses

Drop shipping

Drop shipping is a way for you to fully automate a retail service. Your only job is to connect customer orders to the manufacturers, who will make and deliver the products for you. This can obviously be fixed so that you only have to manage the sales once in a while, and just have to check on them semi-regularly.

Membership sites


“Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day.” That’s what this basically is. Or rather it’s to charge people to see your hobbies. By adding a premium to your personal blog or vlog, you can earn money by just living. Another way to make membership sites work, is to have an online community based service, like a forum, and give that a premium. Like drop shipping, management of these sites shouldn’t be regular, unless your community has developed quite badly.


A huge thing that other people do is make ebooks. If you’ve got knowledge, share it. Write something down and publish it, cause it’s a whole lot easier than publishing a real life book. You only have to write once for every book, and that’s it. It’ll be available for sale forever, and you just have to wait.


A more hip version of a ebook is an ecourse. Lots of people these days are looking for an alternative source of education, whether it’s someone that just wants to know more about something, or maybe someone not happy with their college course choice. Whatever the case, they’re quite hot. People go on sites like Coursera, Skillshare, Udemy, and Khan to learn skills they’re interested in. If you’ve got a skill you believe someone would want to do, go ahead and start teaching.



This is a bit active, but can be thought of as passive if you’re the type of person who really just likes helping people around. By offering online consultation (not live lessons) to people that need a bit extra help for something they’re doing, you could charge hundreds of dollars for a bit of time and a few words.

Licensing photos and music

Are you a creative hobbyist? Do you like taking photos or making music in your free time? Maybe you doodle around to make the time pass by. A mistake that a lot of people do is to not monetise their free time. You can earn a whole lot more by charging for what you do anyways on a daily basis.

Mobile app development


Just like ebooks and ecourses, mobile app development is a create-once/sell-forever deal. And success, while somewhat random, doesn’t need some sophisticated piece of technology that will revolutionise the world. Look at Flappy Bird and Angry Birds. Simple concepts that have made both owners millions. You just have to know people.

Batching published content

This is the one that could make you feel like cheating. If you own a vlog or a podcast, what some people do is batch lots of episodes together, and sell them as a bulk. Call them seasons or whatever and monetise. After all, people pay for convenience.

Reselling items

This one’s quite active, but I’m putting it here because it’s quite interesting. It’s a process that’s existed for a really long time off the internet, mostly with garage sales and flea markets.What this is is basically looking for things that are grossly underpriced, repackaging them, and reselling them for a much higher price. This happens with a lot of sellers in eBay who just don’t know the true price of what they offer. You could make this passive by not taking it seriously, and just going with the flow while you shop for yourself.

And that’s it. 9 ways to make passive income through online businesses.

Is there a way to make money that we didn’t tackle? Let us know through the comments below.