10 Ideas How to Generate Passive Income in Your Business

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” ~ Warren Buffett

Passive income improves your finances and puts you on the path to financial freedom. Not having to exchange your time for money reduces stress and anxiety, and gives you confidence about your financial future.

Passive income is NOT “easy money”.
Passive income does not mean YOU get to be passive or do nothing. Sorry!

Passive income is revenue you earn over and over again, from doing the work only once. It IS revenue you generate without having to exchange time for money.

For example, you create an online course teaching people how to do something. Now you can, theoretically at least, sell it 24/7 for the rest of your life – without having to create the course again.

The bad news is – in reality, it looks a little different.

Most passive income streams are the result of hard work: building an audience, optimizing sales funnels, and delivering a great experience and a remarkable product.

The good news is – if you already have these or if you’re not afraid to put in the time to do all of those things, then creating passive income is definitely possible.

If you don’t generate passive income in your business, I encourage you to change that as soon as possible.

Here are 10 ideas to get you started with generating passive income in your business:

1. Sell Digital Products

A digital product is any type of product that you create, sell, and deliver digitally. Templates, workbooks, mini-courses, masterclasses, kindle books, design elements… No storage or inventory. Delivery is automated. Profit margins are high… To start – focus on one problem you can solve your clients or one result they’d like to get. Produce an easy and quick digital product. Offer it at a low price to your existing clients. Learn. Improve. Repeat.

2. Teach Online Courses

I love online courses. The whole Business University is a collection of dozens of my online courses. Those usually take more work to produce than the above digital product, deliver a more in-depth solution, and are sold for a higher price. You can even sell your online video courses on platforms like Udemy, Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning.

3. Launch a Membership Site

A membership site is a password-protected part of your site. Members pay a recurring fee to have continuous access to that content. The content can be e-books, online courses, webinar training or coaching. Usually people subscribe to membership sites for more than the access to the content. A membership site’s biggest asset is its community. If you have an expertise, then you have to start a membership site.
The Passive Business Course in our own membership program (the Business University) teaches you all you need to know to start your own membership program.

4. Create Self-study Programs

Self-study programs are online courses on steroids. Add to an online course – assignments, quizzes, accountability buddy, mastermind group or Q&A sessions and you’re delivering tons of value, which you can charge more money for.

5. Earn Affiliate Commissions

Use your website or blog to promote brands and companies that you love, and then earn commissions by referring sales. Basically, any time you recommend a tool, product, course, service, book, or anything else to your audience, make sure it’s an affiliate link! The content that will usually generate the most affiliate income are tutorials where you show how to use a certain tool or product and explain why you love it. DISCLAIMER: We do NOT do affiliate marketing – so I can’t share any advice from experience.

6. License Your Work

Product licensing is a great way to earn residual income from your ideas – while letting someone else do the work. For example, you can license-out your design, photography, music, voice over, trade marks, etc… to someone else in return for a fee.

7. Convert Your Assets to Paid Content

Find ways to make internal tools and resources public so you can earn an additional passive income for work you are already doing. For example, upload an internal training on sites like Coursera or Udemy, or describe a system or a process you’ve developed for internal use and put it on sale as a PDF.

8. Develop an App or Software

Could you solve a problem with software? An app or a software tool can be sold either as a one-time purchase or a recurring monthly subscription. If you don’t have the technical knowledge to build something like this yourself, you can always partner with or hire someone who does. This can be an expensive adventure upfront, so make sure to do your homework before.

9. Serve Startups in Return for Shares

If you have an expertise in an area that startups need (marketing, sales, accounting, legal, technology…) look for promising startups and offer to consult/coach/mentor/work for them – for a few hours a week in return for a small shares package. Nine out of ten of these startups will probably go nowhere (but you’ve gained experience, connections, and lots of goodwill) but if one of those 10 is going to make it big… you’ve got yourself the best passive income source for life.

10. Lower Your Passive Expenses

This strategy is not about earning passive income, but stop paying for recurring expenses you no longer need (gym membership, magazines, Netflix, etc…) Every euro saved is a euro earned…

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… how can YOU generate passive income in your business?

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Top Commenters – last 30 Days

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. I have created a digital course De 9 leerstijlen - ont-dek en ont-wikkel het talent van je kind (the 9 learningstyles, discover and develop the talent of your child).
    As Brain Gym International is very strict how courses and sessions are given I cannot digitilize it and sell it as a course. I can loose my license. So, instead I want to create courses for parents how they can support their child with cognitive learning without too much effort. E.g. the right food, movement, enough sleep etc.
    In the future I could start a community.

  2. Dear all.

    Since the service that I provide (maths lessons, projects, workshops and guest lessons) are mainly interactive by nature, passive income does not really appeal to me. I like to have one-to-one or one-to-many contacts, such that I can see the audience understand it or not what I am telling. Only the first things that can be obtained as .pdf documents to grasp where a project is about, can be provided without my interference. At least, that is what I think now. My aim is not to have a lot of passive income from my business, but to give a helping hand to children to understand and appreciate mathematics, together with their parents.

    Regards and have a good time.

    1. You mean that you don’t want to create passive income with it, right? Because it’s quite possible to do so- there’s a fantastic maths teacher doing YouTube video on math. That’s not one on one indeed but he is helping a lot of kids that way.

      It sounds like to you making passive income is contradicting helping children. I don’t think it is.

      Just imagine how many more kids you could help just by creating something that can be used over and over again instead of being limited by the amount of time that you can spend on them one on one. there’s only 24 hours in your day…

    2. You mean that you don’t want to create passive income with it, right? Because it’s quite possible to do so- there’s a fantastic maths teacher doing YouTube video on math. That’s not one on one indeed but he is helping a lot of kids that way.

      It sounds like to you making passive income is contradicting helping children. I don’t think it is.

      Just imagine how many more kids you could help just by creating something that can be used over and over again instead of being limited by the amount of time that you can spend on them one on one. there’s only 24 hours in your day…

  3. You need (some) capital, but you can invest in companies or bricks (rent), in order to receive a regular income.

  4. Many of the things you mentioned, I'm working on...

    I have written two books, and since I rotate some evergreen content on social media, I sell every now and then (only the posting takes a bit of time).

    I want to automate as much as I can since I noticed I tell the same story over and over again (I'm now more aware of that and that there is a solution). I've been treating Covid patients and at least a big part is the same thing. Now again with the long haul covid and injection side effects. I want to make videos on these topics to send to my patients.

    Same for the microbiome... just the preparation of making slides takes a lot of time, why I don't do it...

    Put this on my URGENT to do 🙂

  5. I think the list is pretty extensive but here are my ideas.

    Affiliates - but only use products that you believe in! For that, though, you will need a mailinglist.
    Rent out a room or a house, or a car (snappcar).
    Create a system and have other people teach it (like Hugo is doing with 101)
    Have other people sell your products
    Sell stuff on amazon that you buy in China and let them take care of the fulfillment too
    do a standard order bump to everything that you sell on the website with a digital product
    Create funnels to sell something after every download

  6. WOW so many possibilities! You would expect creating passive income is difficult for a designer/maker. But I can apply 9 out of 10 on my business. All I have to do is adjusting the concept a little bit (and of course creating my passive income products ;))

    I can digitalize all my work. People are on their iPad and phone all day. A great amount of their screen time, they're looking for things they like, things that touch their souls. Why not asking them a small amount of money, to get access to my work (my picture book, an inspirational magazine, etc.). I could even offer downloads of my 3D designs, so people can have it printed themselves.

    For a designer, product licensing is a good idea as well. I have to mention that getting a good license is very, very expensive and a lot of work. Investing in it is a risk. And evil competitors will work around your license anyway. It got a colleague of mine almost killed.

    Passive income is next level entrepreneurship for me, so there's only one thing I can add to Nisandeh's top 10:

    1. Delegate and automate your webshop (from production to fullfilment) - It saves you a lot of time. Time you can invest in the development of new products.

  7. Lowering passive expenses
    Paying off any loans.
    Changing providers for phone, internet, television.

    Generating electricity
    Over the next 10 years we will lose it as a source of passive income though (in the Netherlands), but it will be a way to buy less energy still.

    Get interest on savings
    I know bank accounts barely pay, but there are some really interesting things you can do with cryptocurrency.

    You could rent out a room, put a car on a sharing platform, set up something with an AirBnB service.

    Convince your parents to give you an allowance again
    Not sure they will fall for it xD

  8. I have not yet unlocked the true potential of passive income😥. Thus my main focus is on creating the highest possible predictability of my revenue. With a solid forecasting process, monthly target setting, a healthy pipeline and focus on the sales process. In addition we have a balanced product portfolio consisting of;
    - Certified Revenue Coach (licensed) we now have two revenue coaches but this should grow
    - Revenue coaching (1:1), core product
    - Online revenue coaching, monthly recurring
    - Linkedin for Business Challenges , course runs 4-5x annualy
    - Linkedin for Business Implementation program, core product, online, ongoing
    - Some affiliate business on Active Campaign and Webinargeek

  9. I guess my whole income is... Passive Income... as my main income is the royalties from my books.
    However, that sounds so not true...even if you're in the leagues of people like J.K.Rowling or Stephen King, which I'm not...

    If people believe passive income means "passive" they are into a HUGE surprise. It's not just the writing of the books, but also marketing that you need to do for them, even when you have a publisher and an agent... There is a lot of work that goes into making a product/service become a passive income.

    However, what I found on my way is that actually any knowledge that you have, which can help other people and they are looking for it, can be turned into an instruction course which can become a source of passive income.

    This way I turned some of the topics that I was telling stories about in my children books, into an instruction course and manual for parents who wanted to learn how to handle the issues I covered in my books, which became a great resource for them and passive income for me.

    Another thing is take one of your skills and even though it's not your main source of income, if it is something people are looking for you can create a side-business from it which becomes passive income. For example, my ability to write creatively got me to create courses for people about creative writing.

    If you're not into marketing platforms like Udemy are fantastic for you. What I've learned through the years is that you don't need a HUGE amount of passive income. All you need are a few products, which each one of them sells around 300-500 a month and then suddenly you get a steady passive income of additional 1500 a month, which is nice...

    1. I love this idea that ANY knowledge you have, can be turned into an instruction course. Making an instruction course and manual for parents, based on the topics in your children books is a beautiful idea! Thank you for sharing @Bina

      1. Thanks @Ine - I LOVE reading your input, each time I learn something new... Happy to read this gave you some ideas.

        1. Thank you for asking, Vered. I'll try to keep it short 😉

          1. Active grieving - I call it 'Rouwarbeid' in Dutch. I've been faced with different kinds of grief in my life. I discovered that dealing with grief is a matter of getting hours and every tear shed counts. The missing and the pain won't stop, but they change shape in time, they become softer. By actively DOING things with your passed beloved one on your mind, this process will be accelerated. For instance, I picked up hobbies and habits my mother used to do. I have many more ideas, I could write a digital handbook/manual on this topic.

          2. DIY gravestones - Inflation means less money that can be spend on a monument. Why not making it yourself? In an E-book, I could offer design ideas, inspiration, how to do lettering, give tips where they can buy the things they need, tips & tricks for plants, experience on sustainability and how materials will age outside. And of course I can offer affordable basic elements in my webshop.

          3. Learn from my mistakes - a handbook for young designers that want to start their own business.

          1. WOW . The nr 1 sounds fantastic!! My father in law bought a clean wooden coffin for himself that we as the family could all draw on. It was fantastic- and because he was sick before he died he could also see it. But even not so, it was a fantastic way to say goodbye and spread love.

            If that could be transferred to a monument instead of the horrible stones that we tend to place on peoples graves, or the vases we put ashes in…. I would love that….

          2. Beautiful @Gerdy! It must have been great and comforting to do together. Something you and your family will never forget. That's active grieving.

            Fortunately more and more people are looking for unconventional and personal gravestones. Graveyards slowly turn into inspiring and mindful parks where you can spend hours in peace and tranquillity. Whenever you're in Amsterdam, check out Zorgvlied. It's a nice place to be.

          3. go go go go @Ine! I really think these are great idea's.

            Can I suggest some idea's to you?

            How about:

            + a "Grieve" Community/membership area where people can hang out, read/watch your video's, give each other comfort and talk about their loved ones or recommend services to each other

            + Did you think of a Grieve-niche online program like for "Parents with Butterfly kids who died too soon" (ouders met Vlinder-kinderen die te vroeg geboren worden) or "Introvert vs extravert guide line / online program " How to handel Grieve"

            This actually exactly like Edgar Nijdam did (just google his testimonial about Open Circles Academy and Nisandeh). He had a retail shop and was a Suit Seller (high end). Well, Nisandeh thought him how to become a "Image Consultant" so that he would transform his whole business model into a much more Passive Model.

            What I mean is: You need to become the #1 Grieve Expert so that You can creat your designs and stones as a "bij product" 🙂

            What do you think or Am I "Vloeking" in the Church now? 🙂

          4. Thank you for thinking along @Aramik! Great ideas 🙂 About the Grieve Community: the first thing that comes to my mind is a beautiful Second Life like environment where you can talk to others in an intimate setting. Or maybe that's too complicated, hmm

            An online Grieve Program for parents of 'Butterfly' or 'Star' children would be perfect as a part of the Jizo collection I'm developing right now. After my collection is finished, I'll get back at you for some advice 😉

            Inspiring guy, Edgar N. ! Thank you for letting me know

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