Passive income

Reddit’s 25 Best Passive Income Ideas to Make Money in 2020

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Disclosure: All content is provided for educational purposes and should not be considered as investment advice. This article may contain links to services from our partners who compensates us.

Making money while you sleep sounds like a dream too good to be true. It might appear crazy, but establishing residual income streams is actually easier than you’d think. In fact, most people already posses the skills, creativity or willpower to get started today.

If you’ve spent any time on Reddit at all, I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon some great passive income ideas in various subreddits. But in case you’ve missed them, we’ve collected the 25 best passive income ideas Redditors use to make money online and offline in 2020.

Using Reddit to Find New Side Income Projects

A quick search on the internet throws up limitless numbers of ideas, most of which centres around making money online. But how do you know which of these ideas that really work? And which of them are more useless than an ashtray on a touring bike?

For answers, we turn to our favorite forum: Reddit.

Reddit is probably my favorite place to find new side hustle projects and passive income ideas.

The best part?

These are real people sharing real-world success stories. And even if you can’t copy their ideas directly, it’s still a fantastic place to get inspiration for your own developing your own.

Let’s dive in.

Best Passive Income Sources, According to Reddit

1. Rent out Rooms Through Airbnb

Put your spare bedrooms to good use by renting to short-term guests. Airbnb allows you to set schedules so that the rooms can be available when you want to use them.

But it doesn’t end there.

You can rent out your entire home if you’re going to be away for some time. And if you can afford it, why not buy rental properties specifically for listing with AirBnB? It’s better than having to screen potential tenants and all the hassles that come with being a landlord.


2. Run a Niche Site Or Start a Blog

A niche site is a website that focuses on a singular topic or interest that is shared by a narrow group of people out of a broader market.

In fact, anyone can start a blog for cheap for as little as $3.95 / €3.56 per month and make money from it.

You must be passionate about your chosen niche because making money with a niche site takes time and persistence. It wouldn’t do for you to quit 2 months in because you chose a topic that doesn’t obsess you. Some knowledge of SEO is required to get your site seen by as many readers as possible. You can monetize your site using Adsense, affiliate marketing, and/or selling your own products.


3. Create Online Courses

Is there a topic you know more about than the average person? You have the key to one of the best passive income opportunities. You can distill your expertise and knowledge into a video or text-based course and market it to people who share similar interests.

Wile you can set-up a website and sell courses yourself, there are online course platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera that allow you to sell through their already popular platforms. That way, your courses gets across to a much larger market. You basically set-it and forget it, and it will continue to generate passive income for you years after.


4. Invest in Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a fund that is set-up with the sole purpose of owning investments. These investments could include stocks, bonds, gold, real estate, etc. When you invest in a mutual fund, you could earn residual income in 3 ways:

  • Dividends on stocks and interest on bonds. This income is paid out in the form of distributions, which you can reinvest for additional units or collect for everyday expenses.
  • When the price of the securities rises, the gains are added to increase your principal.
  • When the fund share price rises, you can sell your shares for a tidy profit.

This is about the most passive income investments there is.


5. Publish Books on Amazon

If you can write, and you have ideas that you think might interest people, you can publish a book on Amazon. Don’t be put off by the scary thought of writing a book all by yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything massive- start with smaller books that comprehensively treat your topic of choice. You can even hire someone from a freelance site to ghostwrite it for you.

What to write?

If you don’t have any book ideas yet, just scan Amazon and check out the bestseller lists. You’ll now have an idea of the kind of books that have the potential for profit. Amazon has made it easy to self-publish on its platform, and your book should be up for sale in a few days. However, your work isn’t ended yet. You’ll have to market your book for more sales. Also, putting more of your books out there will increase your income. Amazon pays you 60 -70% of the cost of each book downloaded.


6. Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending websites offer you an opportunity to pursue a career as a loan shark – although unfortunately, you won’t have to go around bursting debtor’s kneecaps. You can browse through the loan requests on the site and choose the individuals to lend to and terms of the loan.

Expect returns in the range of 6 – 12% and some risks as well. Start with money you can afford to lose. As you get better at evaluating the requests on these sites, you can up the ante.

If you’re based in Europe, make sure too check out our list of the best peer-to-peer lending platforms in Europe and our overview of cashback sign-up bonuses for new investors.


7: Seller Representative

Earn passive income by representing a seller and sending business their way. It helps if you’ve spent some years in a specific industry and knows everyone. There’s also a lot of information on how to generate leads online. You’ll get paid an agreed percentage once the deal you referred gets closed and settled. It’s even better if it’s a recurring business. You’ll get to collect passive income for a long time.


8: Rent out Stuff

Instead of letting your camper, boat, or any other gear gather dust in the garage, you can rent them out for a fee. These are stuff you own but use only periodically. Might as well put them to work making cool passive income for you. The only work required is to ensure insurance and maintenance are up to date. There are sites like fatLlama, who can help you advertise your items to interested parties.


9: Rent out Your Car

Rent out your car on Getaround, Turo or similar sites when you’re not using it. Kind of an Airbnb for cars. People who travel for vacation or business may need a car to run around. So, you basically lease it short term to them. The income from a single vehicle can be up to $400 monthly. Rather than sell your old cars for a pittance, you can turn them to a rentage fleet


10: Affiliate Marketing

Promote other people’s products or services for a commission. When you sign on to an affiliate platform, you are given a unique link to the product you are interested in selling. You then create a system of sending qualified leads to your sales funnel. Each time someone buys through your unique link, you get paid a percentage of the sale.

You can promote the products through paid ads or organic reach. If you have a large following on social media, you may be able to make good passive income without spending on ads. Another popular way affiliate marketers sell is through niche blogs.


11. Upload Videos to YouTube

Find a niche you are interested in and know a thing or two about more than the average person. Slap on some make-up and shoot videos on the subject. Upload to your YouTube channel on the subject. And watch the money roll in. Easy-peasy right?

Well, not so fast.

You can make a lot of money creating quality videos that entertain as well as educate. But you’ll have to bid your time. You’ll need to attract thousands of views to your videos and grow your subscriber before you can start earning from your efforts.

There are several ways to monetize your YouTube channel:

  • Partnering with YouTube and Earning a fixed rate per view. But you must have at least 10,000 channel views to qualify.
  • Linking your channel to Google AdSense. Advertisers will place relevant ads on your videos, and you’ll get paid whenever a viewer clicks on or watchers the ad.
  • Selling your products or services by attaching a link to your product sales funnel.


12. Sell Designs on

This might be the passive income opportunity for you if you have a flair for design. is a website were users can create designs for various merchandise – t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, phone cases, etc. Anytime someone purchases a design of yours, you earn a percentage. And you know the best part? It won’t cost you a dime to set-up your store on Zazzle makes it easy for your designs to get noticed and purchased. They even allow customers to customize designs precisely to their taste.


13. Develop Mobile Games

If you know how to write codes for Android or iOS, you can develop mobile games and release them on google play store or apple store. Mobile games can be monetized in several always:

  • Ads placement.
  • Single upfront payment
  • In-game purchases


14. Produce Music for Spotify

Music streaming services like Spotify and iTunes offer passive income opportunities for artists. But first, you must have a song that people will want to listen to. When you are confident you have made some good music, start by getting a verified profile on Spotify. Then pitch your song to get featured on a popular playlist some of which have millions of followers.  Also, increase exposure by sending your tracks to music blogs. You can also build an email list and email your fans whenever you release a song on Spotify.

Spotify will pay you an average of 0.00437p per Stream. So, try to get it across to as many people as possible. The best part? Your songs, if evergreen, will continue to earn for you indefinitely.


15. Sell Illustrations on Stock Photo Sites

Stock photo sites pay photographers for photos downloaded through their platform. With the millions of images hosted on the site, you must be very good with the camera for your photos to stand out. A better way of earning passive income is by selling illustration, which does not require much expertise and expensive equipment to get started. You simply create stunning graphic designs using software like Cinema4D or blender. The more illustrations you upload, the more passive income you will make.


16. Literary Royalties

You can buy a percentage of the income from royalties on several books by a bestselling writer.  Be sure the books are already generating sales and will do so for a long time.  You can search for deals in the business section of Craiglist.


17. Rent out Land

Buying a piece of land in a good location and renting it out is an excellent passive income investment. The land could be rented out as a parking lot if it’s near a commuter station, for use for agriculture, or even to a telecom company to install a transmission tower.


18. E-Commerce Site

Sell physical products online using the drop-shipping model. Once you set up the site and a system for sending traffic to it, you can start earning with little extra effort. The dropshipping company handles all your logistics for you. You must source for products that your niche customers are interested in, and that is not widely available.


19. Cryptocurrency Mining

This residual income idea is for the tech-heads who are interested in cryptocurrency. You’ll require a GPU (graphics processing unit) or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) to set up a mining rig. This complex rig consisting of graphic cards and cooling fans is set up to be automatic. Cryptocurrency miners get paid in bitcoin (or equivalent coin) as a reward for “Mining” or completing “blocks” of verified transactions which are added to the blockchain.

As a beginning, crypto mining might seem overwhelming, so why not start of slow with investing in cryptocurrencies with sites like


20. Donate Sperm

A bit unconventional, but you can make money as a sperm donor if you march the right criteria. Sperm donors give their sperm to sperm banks in exchange for cash. The donated sperm are needed by heterosexual couples unable to conceive, same-sex couple or single women. The screening process is arduous and takes into consideration your health, physical appearance, genetics, intelligence, and more. If selected, expect to earn up to $1000 each month.


21. Sell Software

Snoop around for problems people are having and develop a solution for it. If you can’t code, go to a freelance site and pay a developer to translate your ideas into software. You can have it regularly updated to keep it relevant. There are several passive income models to be derived from selling software. You can offer it as a onetime sale; freemium model with “in-app purchases” or a subscription model. This is a great way to earn passive income for as long as you want.


22. Vending Machines

Set-up vending machines at strategic routes to dispense small, inexpensive goods. You can use them to sell snacks, food, cigarette, candy, and more. Other automated machine services similar to vending machines include arcade games, batting cages, and pinball machines.

Vending machines provide a good passive income stream, although you’ll do a little bit of work managing inventory supply and maintaining the machines.


23. Sell Stickers on Amazon

Bumper stickers are cheap and easy to make. They offer you an opportunity to earn income online. Here’s how it works. Source for great-looking stickers in any niche of your choice on Aliexpress or Alibaba. These websites allow you to buy in bulk at meager prices. You can then add a mark-up, list the stickers on Amazon or eBay and watch the sales roll in.


24. Phone farming

This involves running different apps on several phones to make money passively. You’ll need plenty of old or unused phones to make a profit out of this. This is how it works. Your army of mobile phones exploits mobile incentive programs by performing the same action simultaneously. These programs are usually paid-to-watch apps or data collection apps. They pay a token, which is why you’ll run them across many phones to increase the total amount earned. The initial setup can be tasking, but it’s purely passive earning afterward.


25. Discord Servers

This is how you can create passive income with no money at all. Discord is a VoIP application designed for avid gamers. Basically, Skype for online gamers. You create and manage a server (an online community), list it on disboard (the public discord server listing) to attract people to join in and sell roles that put the member buyer higher up on the member list. The roles cost as much as $25 per month.

It will take you a couple of months to build up your membership to a reasonable size. And after the initial work setting it up, it’s primarily a passive income source.


Why You Need a Second Income Source

Except if you’re a bum, earning an income is probably your primary activity as a grown-up. And whether you work a 9 to 5, make money online or offline, freeing up more time from the demands of everyday life seems to be nothing more than wishful thinking. At least for those of us who weren’t born rich.

So, what’s the answer? Generating passive income

A passive income or residual income is earned cash that does not need your time and effort to produce. And continues to earn for you time and time again. Ask Mr. Gates or any of your wealthy associates. A passive income idea properly actualized and scaled, is what will spring you from the rat race.

Although a truly passive income source will continue to generate money without your ongoing effort, some ideas will need initial effort and creative thinking to set up. It requires some sort of leverage, which could be capital, technology, products, or people.


There you have them. A list of passive income generating ideas from Reddit. From the commonplace to the improbable. However, nothing gets done unless you make a move. Pick 2 or 3 ideas, research, and get started. Who knows? It could be your golden ticket to sacking your annoying boss.

About the author: Lucas Peterson, a pen name for privacy reasons, is an investor, hobby finance writer, and die-hard FIRE enthusiast. Lucas has previously served as editor for a news outlet in his European home country but now spends his time dabbling with traditional and alternative investments. To learn more about Lucas, visit his profile page.