Best Passive Income Streams

I’ve spent a lot of time and effort looking for the best passive income streams using various strategies. After trying and failing at various schemes and methods I’ve had one or two successes too. Some of the ideas in this list are better than others. Some of them I have tried personally and other I have yet to attempt.

Best Passive Income Streams – My Journey

I started looking to the internet as a means to earn an income about 15 years ago. Using ebay I sold a few items from my house. Not exactly a passive income but little did I know it would lead to something else. My ebay journey took my charity shop interest and turned it into a small profit. I looked for items to buy and sold them on ebay. Some sold for a profit and some didn’t sell at all!

I tried various methods of buying and selling on ebay – see my article how to buy and sell for profit on ebay. After a while I decided something was flawed with all the ‘systems’ I had tried. I had to do something every time I wanted to make a profit.

best passive income streams
Best passive income streams

Ebay – Best Passive Income Streams

I had bought a few e-books off ebay and at the time they could be downloaded instantly. I just paid and clicked to download the e-book. Since then e-bay have changed their rules, but this little idea started me thinking. I bought the ebook, paid and clicked to access it. The seller didn’t have to lift a finger at the point of the transaction. All they did was continue to list the item (the ebook), again and again. They didn’t have to keep finding new items to sell. They just re-listed their item over and over again.

Ebay is great for selling items like this or turning your shop into a global business. But it’s not passive unless you can get it all working on autopilot. There are a few little methods to get ebay working for you which require only a small imput:

  • Drop shipping on ebay. Drop shipping companies do the handling and selling for you. You simply create a listing pointed to the item for sale. When the sales comes through you refer the item to the drop shippers. Have a search for drop shipping companies on Google.
  • Buy it now listings on ebay. Buy it now listings are probably the best way to sell on ebay. You create one listing and sell multiple products through it. Although ebay is fairly competitive, if you have something unique to offer this is a great low maintenance strategy. You can also buy in bulk from companies like The more you buy the cheaper each item becomes and the higher your profit margin when you sell through a buy it now listing. However, there is a tone of competition on ebay and it can be tricky competing with the established players.

Best Passive Income Streams – Google Adsense

Google Adsense deserves a mention next because that is where I directed my attention for a few years. I tried several online courses which taught blogging, keyword research and use of Google Adsense. The idea with Adsense is to create a popular blog and place adverts on it which you can get from Google’s Adsense program.

You simply place a piece of code on your blog and it populates the space with a targeted advert – targeted to your blog topic. When someone browses your blog and they click on an advert, you earn a small commission. The goal is to build a blog big enough and useful enough to get a few thousands click a day. Each click is only worth a few pence but with enough website traffic you have a nice income and it’s mostly a passive one. You still need to put in a lot of work before you can earn from it. But it beats working for a living right!

turnkey internet business

You can also use Adsense with YouTube – now also owned by Google. By creating regular videos and building a following, you can earn money from visits to your YouTube channel and videos. Although this isn’t passive initially and takes some time to build up, once you have several hundred or thousands videos think of that passive clicking earning you money every day.

Best Passive Income Streams – Affiliate Marketing

After a long trial of going after the Adsense money train I decided affiliate marketing was a better option. I had dabbled with selling digital products on my blogs and noticed a few affiliate sales was worth a month of Adsense clicks. So I decided this was the better option. You can of course use both these methods on your blog. The only problem is that for every penny you earn when someone clicks on your Adsense adverts, you lose that person from your website. Also you need a lot of traffic to make income with Adsense. Anyway, I digress.

Affiliate marketing is basically selling someone else’s product on your website. You can point a banner or a link to almost any product on the internet now and earn a commission from its sale. Affiliate marketing allows you to make a passive income from the work you have done previously. Much the same way Adsense works, but instead of getting them to click an advert, you send visitors to products. If your visitor buys the product, you earn a commission.

Is Affiliate Marketing Passive?

best passive income streams
Best passive income streams – Affiliate Marketing

Well not in the first place. It’s not like having a million in the bank and earning interest. However, it can become passive once you have put in the work in the first place.

  1. An article can continue to earn an affiliate money long after it is written, this is one way it is passive.
  2. You can sell memberships with affiliate commissions attached to those memberships – selling a ‘one off’ product gets you a commission, selling monthly memberships gets you monthly commissions for the same initial work.
  3. Up-selling – Up-selling products through the same product line can earn you a passive income. You still need to make the initial sale but a built in sales team can earn you thousands if you join a program which offers this benefit.
  4. Email List – An email list makes an internet business very passive because it allows you to automate most of your communications with your potential customers.

Best Passive Income Streams

Obviously the best passive income streams are those which work. Even for writers, actors, authors and other kind of artists, they only get their passive income from royalties for work they have done previously. Passive income from earnings comes when you invest money to make money. Property development and buy-to-let properties give you a passive income but you need to own property first to rent it out! You need money in the first place to invest and speculate with your money.

Best Passive Income Streams – An Internet Business

There is opportunity for anyone to make an income online and then scale it upwards using tools and systems which can be automated. The opportunity to earn multiple passive income streams by working online is probably one of the most accessible opportunities which anyone can take advantage of today. Learn more and access a free video series which will explain how you can start your own profitable internet business from scratch.

best passive income streams - affiliate marketing

Best Passive Income Opportunities

What are the best passive income opportunities available to anyone? Of course passive income is there for those who have been proactive and ‘lucky’ enough to be in a career which offers passive income for work previously done. These could be such jobs as actor, writer, director etc. However, here I am going to discuss only the options available to the vast majority of people who are looking to set themselves free of their daily grind by creating sources of income which don’t rely on selling their time.

The internet has made passive income a much more viable opportunity for the masses and over the last two decades many online entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this to set up passive income streams from their laptops and home computers. There are many ways to do this from your laptop and I have listed a few below which I believe to be the fastest and best ways to generate a passive income from the internet.

You can skip straight to the meat and bones by signing up to my video series hosted by Jay and Stu’ on the right of the page.

What is a passive income?

A passive income is independent of your activities – it is an income which keeps coming in whether you turn up for work or not – the ‘holy grail’ of wealth creation and a flexible lifestyle. You could argue that a pension was a passive income since it comes in constantly, without working until you die! Since no-one here is looking to wait that long, or maybe you want to add to your pension fund, you will need to find another way to create one!

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How easy is it to create a passive income? 

Artists, musicians and actors will tell you there is a lot of work which has been done before they saw a jot of passive income. The success of bands like The Beatles is not going to happen for every musician either! The same is true with an internet business. The difference is that most people can learn and implement the skills needed to build a passive income from the internet – whereas becoming a successful musician is a much harder path. Here are my top passive income strategies from the internet which you can start straight away:

Using Google Adsense and ranking articles online

My first passive income experience from the internet came from using Google Adsense. The Adsense program allows you to place code on your website which creates an advert relating to the content of your blog. When people click on it you earn a small amount of money. When I first saw this working it was quite a great moment even though the amounts were so small I could hardly say retirement was imminent. However, it was just a glimpse into what was possible from the internet.

How this is done 

There are two trains of thought on getting people to your website – paid traffic and free traffic. Paid advertising sends people directly to your website and is like turning a tap on – you get instant traffic. Free traffic comes from ranking on the search engines and getting found from your blog titles, SEO (search engine optimisation) and back-linking efforts. Free traffic takes time and effort but is necessary if you are to monitise your website with Google’s Adsense program. Since you only make a few pence with your adverts for each click, paying for traffic is difficult. To really make a ‘passive income’ from your website you should aim to rank it on Google for a number of keywords and earn money from placing Adsense adverts in your content.


Selling things from your website

This method can be used in conjunction with the previous one and can allow you to make a profit even with paid advertising. This is because you can sell products which will offset the cost of advertising. You don’t need your own products because you can sell pretty much anything you can get on the internet through an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make a passive income from the internet.

Is this really passive? 

Sending someone to a website (via paid traffic) and selling them a product might not be as passive as earning money from a website which you no longer need to ‘tend to’. However, the idea that you can throw up a site and earn from it without any work is fast becoming extinct. It used to be much more common than it is now when the internet was less competitive. Google now spends a fortune on its algorithms which determine which websites rank highly in the searches. To get a passive income from a site ranked highly on Google takes a lot of work – but can be done. Using paid advertising is a quicker method but requires testing (more on this below).

Sell membership programs with a built in ‘upsell’ and sales team

To sum up I have mentioned two of my best ways to earn a passive income from the internet at the start. You should also choose products to sell with an automated ‘upsell’ and a sales team in place so you don’t have to do any of the selling personally. (I personally do this and you can access it through my sign up form on the right). By also promoting membership sales, rather than ‘one off’ product sales, you can build in a passive income after the initial sales.

Create content which brings visitors to your website

You can do this by writing useful articles and blogging but also by creating videos for YouTube. (Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more on this – see top of website). Again, over time you will have a steady stream of visitors to your website or landing page. By creating daily videos which are of interest to people in your business niche, you can, over time build a huge audience to your website and sell more products/get more clicks of your Adsense adverts.

Paid advertising vs. free traffic generation

best passive income opportunities
Best passive income opportunities


By using the free methods of generating traffic to your website you can, over time build a slow progressive following and build on your sales. This is done through content creation, link building, guest blogging and various other methods. It takes time and you won’t see fast results.

By paying for traffic to your website or landing page you can get instant traffic. You will need to offset your expenditure through your sales so unless you get your advertising, landing pages and sales pitch right, and to the right audience, it can be costly. By testing various strategies with a small daily expenditure, once a successful strategy is found, the advertising can be ‘geared up’ or scaled. This means once you have an advert which costs £1 for every £2 earned, you can simply increase your budget and therefore profit. By constantly testing and ‘tweeking’ your adverts, landing page, target audience and even products you can find a tactic which works and scale to the tens of thousands and upwards eventually. This again takes time and money but can be scaled to a large size in much less time than by only using the free methods of advertising.

List building and traffic

One of the reasons why an internet based business is one of the best passive income opportunities around today is because of the possibility to sell instantly to thousands of people at once. This is done very well with successful online businesses through the process of list building. List building can be done through a website like this one with a simple email opt-in form. (enter your details on the right to see how it works – opt out at any time).

Why is list building so important?

List building is so important to building a passive income online because traffic is so important. Without traffic to your website or landing page you have no sales and no income. Only by getting people to your website and to your products can you earn an income from your internet business. You can get people to your site through the various methods but once they leave they are potentially gone forever. By building a list you can stay in touch with your visitors, offer useful content and promote your goods, services and affiliate products. A good sized list can also sell thousands of products through a simple link promoting an online product.

Best passive income opportunities

Although there are many passive income opportunities online, I have chosen what I consider to be the best options for anyone starting out online. Here are a few other options if building an internet business isn’t your bag:

1. Create your own e-book and list it on Amazon – a lot of people are doing this now and it’s a good way to get your message out there about your blog if you have one. You can also get other people to promote your book on Clickbank or JVZoo.

2. Sell your own membership site online – This is only a good idea if you have something of value to offer. Otherwise it is better to use someone else’s program and simply promote theirs. Here’s one you can promote.

3. Create a review/comparison site and list product reviews linking to the products with your affiliate link. This is a good idea for a startup if you’re new to affiliate marketing. Reviews are often the last step an online consumer will take before a purchase. If they purchase through your affiliate link you make a commission.

4. Build an opp for the Iphone or Android phones – You can learn how to do this and create your own app which can make a nice passive income through either the sale of the app or, (if you give it away for free), advertising through the app.

More Passive Income Opportunities

5. Get your YouTube channel running – by creating a following of over a certain amount YouTube will contact you directly and offer you a monthly income for regular video creation. You need to offer some value in your videos and have enough to start a high level of views before this can happen. If you join the Adsense program you can make a trickle income from this while you are building up content.

6. Buy an online business which is already making a passive income – you can find these on e-bay. Just search for websites for sale. Although I have never done this personally you can purchase a website which makes money from adsense or affiliate marketing. You can also build up your own websites and sell them here or on

Although I have tried numerous ways to build a passive income from the internet, over the years I have settled on a plan which covers both paid and free advertising/traffic methods. If you would like to learn more about starting your own internet business from scratch check out this presentation from Stuart Ross. Thanks for visiting please leave a comment below if you have anything further to improve on this article.