Passive Income Ideas for 2023: How To Make Money Online

Published: | By Georgi Todorov

Did you know you can generate income online without exerting much effort? Think of individuals playing online games, taking surveys, and posting video clips on YouTube. They all make money on the Internet. That's where passive income comes into play.

Passive income is regular earnings from real estate properties, investments, or side hustles. The idea is to earn without engaging in an activity or having no direct involvement in a business. In fact, a famous phrase says, "Passive income is making money while you sleep."

Thanks to digitalization and technological innovation, the internet has allowed people to earn money in more ways than one - there are many exceptional business ideas you can explore if you want to start a business. But no, you don't need to get employed, sell products, be a product manager, or offer services online. Having a passive income is plausible through a vast array of options.

In this article, we've rounded up some passive income ideas for 2023. Keep on reading to see how you can make money online.

Understanding How Passive Income Works

Simply put, passive income is money flowing regularly, requiring zero-to-minimal effort. Generally, there are three common types of income: active, passive, and portfolio.

To better understand passive income, you must compare it with active income. The latter refers to money received for performing a particular service, such as wages, salaries, commissions, business profits, and even service tips.

On a more technical note, the passive income typically comes from the following sources:

  • Rental property generates passive income when you rent a property and receive a regular payment from your tenant, often facilitated through a rental payment app. A few exceptions include being a real estate professional with rental property and allowing a company to pay to occupy the property where you conduct your business. Or you can become a developer and get involved in build to rent projects.

  • A limited partnership (LP) consists of two or more business partners; the main person runs the company, while the rest do not manage the business. However, the secondary partners do contribute through shared capital. The profits they receive are considered passive income. 

  • Business funding occurs when you finance a business and earn profits out of doing so. But you must not be actively involved for your earnings to be considered passive income. It means that you only fund the business but have no material participation. 

In addition, investment portfolio income is often considered a passive income. Why? It's derived from activities with no active participation. Here are some popular investments with passive income:

graphic on stocks and real estate investments


  • Peer-to-peer lending: Simply put, it's lending money directly to a person or business. You can start your peer-to-peer lending scheme to create passive income through online platforms like Prosper and LendingClub.

  • Dividend stocks: An investor puts money in a company without active business participation. When the company earns a profit, a portion of it goes back to the investor in a dividend form. Hence, dividend stocks are considered passive income. As an investor, you must study and analyze the market before investing. Be sure to get recommendations from stock analysts and watch stock research websites like WallStreetZen or (see screenshot below). From there, you can make the right decision in giving shares or read the guide on trading stocks.

screenshot from wallstreet zen on best free stock screeners


  • Index Funds can be mutual or exchange-traded funds linked to a particular market index. The earnings are passively managed based on index performance and are deemed passive income. For this, elite trading funding can be a valuable resource for exploring advanced financial strategies that align with passive income generation.

8 Practical Ways to Generate Passive Income Online in 2023

After understanding passive income, let's tackle practical ways to generate income online this year. Take note of the following:

black laptop

1. Write an ebook

Books in digital format are prevalent in this digital era. It's easy to find various ebook types, from fiction to nonfiction.

They are non-editable and reflowable, meaning they can fit any screen but cannot get edited out. These books are relatively short, consisting of between 30 to 50 pages.


If you have a knack for writing and specialize in a particular niche, you can develop an ebook. Once done, you can put it on the web and get paid.

For instance, take advantage of Amazon for your books to get seen by potential buyers. You'll only work hard one time. Once it's out online, you can earn in the long run and have passive income.

2. Create an online course

Online courses are in demand on the web, where market size exceeded $315 billion in 2021.

By the 2028, the global e-learning market is anticipated to climb nearly $1 trillion. Since 2020, 98% of universities have moved their classes online. E-Learning increases a learner’s retention rate to 82%, and compared to traditional learning, corporate e-learning requires 40% to 60% less time to complete.

They can be in the form of audio or videos, which usually vary from one subject to another.

While they can be academic courses, they can also tackle online skills such as digital marketing, SEO, graphic designing, web designing, and app development.

If you are a subject matter expert, you can leverage your knowledge. For instance, you can create an online course for affiliate marketing.

Additionally, you can explore a list of the best affiliate marketing courses to gather inspiration and insights for designing your own highly effective curriculum.

Not only will you help many individuals acquire knowledge and develop their skills, but you'll also earn in the long run. Sell your online course to sites like Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera. 

3. Sell photos online

Images will always have a place on the web. Personal websites, social media channels, and other digital platforms will need striking photos to make up the visuals on their platforms. These images are even downloaded and turned into hard copies.

If you're into photography, it's time to harness your skills and turn this hobby into money. You can publish your images on Getty Images, Shutterstock, or Alamy. Should some people download your photos, you'll get paid for them.

4. Sign up for cashback websites

For the uninitiated, cashback is a reward program that allows you to earn back a portion of the money spent on shopping. It is a credit card feature offered to cardholders.  You can sign up for cashback on a shopping website.

After placing orders on this site, you can get some points and turn these points into cash. But now, even banks providing debit cards, brick-and-mortar stores, and online retailers offer this option.

There are many ways in which you can make money online. You can take surveys on platforms like PrizeRebel (see screenshot below), play online games, and watch video clips.

It’s just a matter of knowing where to look and what to do. In this digital era, it pays to be resourceful to make passive income via the Internet. 

screenshot of prize rebel sign up popup


5. Venture into affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years. It was Amazon that initiated and popularized this form of online marketing.

They have allowed websites and bloggers to advertise and put links on their platforms. They then get an advertising fee for every purchase.

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing involves promoting the products of an entrepreneur or a company and getting a commission for every successful sale.

As an affiliate, you can post on your social media channel to advertise. If potential buyers purchase the advertised product, you can get a commission

6. Start a blog and monetize it

Blogging has long been flourishing in recent times. It’s still the most popular method for creating passive income. It has allowed entrepreneurs and individuals to earn passively online through affiliate links, online courses, sponsored posts, and even actual products.

It’s never too late, however, to start blogging this year. You can take a few key steps to create a highly functional website and monetize it in the long run.

If done successfully, you can turn your blog into an asset and ultimately have various income streams. Alternatively, you can also sell your website if it gets successful.

Check out the prices for buying websites on Quiet Light — that’s definitely an inspiration to start creating your own.

screenshot showing online businesses for sale


7. Begin vlogging

Apart from blogging, vlogging has become all the rage in recent years. It’s easy to see ordinary individuals publishing videos online and making money.

Think of YouTubers and their various clips being posted and getting viral. They earn simply by having subscribers and persuading them to watch their videos.

If you have a passion, start vlogging. Think of a small niche, create content pieces, and start posting your videos. Also, find ways and means to attract your target audience. In time, you’ll have a strong following and make your vlogging a great source of income.

8. Become a social media influencer

Did you know that influencer marketing has taken the whole world by storm? It has become an authoritative yet authentic source of product or service recommendations. 

In fact, 81% of consumers refer to blogs for advice, and many of these bloggers are so-called influencers. These influencers have built their reputations and earned a strong following over time.

In addition, 78% of consumers look at social media posts to help them decide what to purchase. Hence, becoming a social media influencer has its perk, thus paying off in the long run.

word cloud showing financial freedom opportunities

Grow Your Money Online While You Sleep

Financial security encompasses having a business or employment. The road to financial freedom goes beyond getting a job and launching a business.

In fact, most wealthy individuals have a stream of passive income. Their money keeps growing while they do little or nothing at all.

It's a good idea to harness the power of the Internet and make some money. Consider the passive income ideas recommended above, from writing an ebook to venturing into affiliate marketing to developing an app. 

This year, take note of one or some of these passive income ideas and start boosting your finances. Ultimately, you'll be surprised at how you make money online while you sleep!

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