15 Ideas to Build a Strong Passive Income in 2021

Who hasn’t thought of ideas to build a strong passive income? Imagine having a strong passive income every week/month in addition to your salary without making much of an investment.

During this global pandemic, all of us have thought of having a passive cash flow into our bank accounts to be financially stable in times like these instead of just depending on a job for basic needs and requirements.

Passive income is an income that you earn by setting up an asset or a system that generates income without your active involvement. Initially, it may seem difficult, but the more time and hard work you invest in building and developing your passive income, the more you will earn in the foreseeable future.

When you think of a passive income, what comes to your mind? Most people think of real estate and generating passive income through rental property. This might sound like a good idea, but many of us may not have enough capital to invest in a property. There are various other ways of generating a passive cash flow without much investment, depending on your interest. For example, a person interested in writing may publish a book or an e-book, start a blogging site, work as a content writer for other sites, or a person interested in sales might want to earn from affiliate marketing, network marketing or direct selling.

Here are some ideas to build a strong passive income in 2021…

Table of Content

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing online domains, as it is a smart and easy way of setting up a passive income. It is the process of earning money through commissions when you promote other people/companies’ products. The money is credited when the product you are promoting is sold to a buyer. The key strategy here is to choose products that attract buyers and use the latest techniques and methods to stay ahead of your competitors. 

Affiliate marketing is one of the ideas to build a strong passive income
Affiliate marketing is one of the ideas to build a strong passive income

2. Freelancing

Freelancing is one of the best ways to earn a passive income as you can work with various clients and companies on short-term assignments. This allows you to work for multiple clients and receive payment on an hourly/daily basis. The payment usually depends on your skills and the demand for it. Freelancing applies to all kinds of works, where you have the freedom to choose the niche you want to work in by operating from the comfort of your house. Websites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, and Freelancer.com provide excellent opportunities for freelancers.

Freelancing is one of the great ideas to build a strong passive income
Freelancing is one of the great ideas to build a strong passive income

3. Create Online Courses on Udemy.com

Udemy is an online teaching platform meant to make teaching easier and available to a much larger group of students across the world. Instructors can record their video courses in a specific niche and sell it online to students. You can create courses on almost every subject, varying from graphic designing, painting or cracking an entrance exam. You earn money for every student who signs up for your course. Depending on the demand, you can decide the fee that should be charged for your course. 

Online courses on Udemy
Online courses on Udemy

4. Blogging

Blogging can be a great source of passive income if you do it right. It requires hard work, persistence and patience. This is a great source of income for the people who are interested in writing – writers can select a niche they want to cover and start writing articles related to that niche, this is also a great way to share your experiences. Remember that there is no shortcut to success; there is no quick way to earn through blogging. It requires you to work consistently and create quality content so that viewers can visit and gain valuable information by reading your blog. Bloggers earn by placing ads on their website, through affiliate links and/or by selling their products.

Blogging is one of the ideas to build a strong passive income
Blogging is one of the ideas to build a strong passive income

5. YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing platform where you can upload watchable content like gaming, vlogging, educational videos, products reviews, etc. Contrary to popular belief – the number of views you get on a video doesn’t contribute to how much you earn. Youtubers earn through the number of clicks they get from viewers on the ads placed on their videos and through sponsorships. After acquiring a 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in the past year, YouTubers can earn by joining the Youtube Partners Program and set up monetization for their channel. 

YouTube can be a great source of income.
YouTube is one of the ideas to build a strong passive income

6. Micro Investing

Micro-investing is basically meant for relatively new investors – here you don’t require huge amounts of capital to start investing. There are various apps where you can start by investing as little as ₹75-80 each day. This allows you to invest in multiple sources. Micro Investing is a long-term investment strategy where you need to wait for at least 5-10 years to gain some profits. Micro investing is not an ideal source to make passive income but is still a good way to save and grow some part of your income with some returns over the years. 

Micro Investing is good for long term
Micro Investing requires a lot of persistence

7. Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce website that gives you access to businesses with a monthly subscription where you can add and process the products you wish to sell. You can create an online store on Shopify to promote, sell and ship your products. You can sell a variety of products on Shopify like beauty supplies, household goods, online classes, etc. Trendy products usually get more traffic. Shopify can also be used to rent out your products. 

Shopify another great ideas to build a strong passive income
Shopify another great ideas to build a strong passive income

8. Podcasts

A Podcast is a periodic series of spoken digital audio files that can be listened to online. Podcasting can be a great source of passive income where you can monetize your knowledge and make money through advertisements, affiliate marketing, selling merchandise, offering subscriptions, crowdfunding, and hosting live events. Spotify and Apple provide a great platform for podcasters that can help build your audience and earn extra income.

Podcasts are a great ideas to build a strong passive income
Podcasts are a great ideas to build a strong passive income

9. Sell your Professional Photographs

Photographers can monetize their photography skills by selling their photos to stock libraries and picture-sharing sites for prints. All you need is some photography skills and a decent camera. The best way to sell your photos is by creating your own website, this allows you to have complete control over the display of your photos and set your price without having to pay any commissions. You can also sell your photos on other websites like Adobe, Shutterstock, Alamy, etc.

Photography can be a great source of income

10. Publish a Book or an e-Book 

Writing a book is not meant for everyone, but in case you’re a writer, you can make enough money by writing a book. But before you write a book, you should know how to sell it and see if the audience is willing to read what you have written. Build an audience and promote your book/e-book on social media and other sites as this will help you in selling your book/e-book. In the case of e-books, choose the best-value publishing platform like Smashwords, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple iBooks Author, etc. 

Publish a Book
If you are into writing, you can consider publishing a book

11. Sell Digital Printables on Etsy

A digital printable is a downloadable virtual product just one click away – you can sell any virtual product like Educational material, Social Media Filters, Printable Wall Art, Planners (Budget Planner or weekly Planner), Banners, Invitation Templates and much more. You can make money by selling these digital products by making sure that your products stand out from your competitors’. You can also use social media promotion techniques and methods to attract more customers towards your digital products. 


12. Network Marketing

Network marketing is a chain of people who buy and sell a product or a service. In network marketing, you can create your own chain or network and earn commissions from all the sales made by people under your chain. To become a part of the chain or network, you must buy a product and sell products/services further to grow the chain. It involves strategies like lead generation, recruiting, building and management. 

Network Marketing
It all boils down to *marketing*!

13. Direct Selling 

Direct sales is a single-tier network marketing system in which a direct seller makes money by buying products from distributors and selling them to customers. Unlike network marketing, you don’t have to recruit other distributors to get your commission. Instead, you can sign up for a company’s affiliate program and sell their products and services to the customers. Once you sign up, you get various offers and discounts, and you can sell these products to the customers. You can also create your own website or use social media to improve your sales.

Direct Selling is still the way!
Direct Selling is still the way!

14. Social Media Influencer

Social media influencers are people with established credibility in a specific niche. Social media influencers make money from social media marketing by promoting brands and their products or services. Brands usually use this marketing strategy to endorse their product through an influencer. Influencers are paid depending on the number of followers and the type of audience they have. You can also earn by selling your presets and filters, and by promoting other accounts.

Social Media Influencer
Social Media Influencer

15. Sell your Art Online

The best way to sell your art is by making your own website or an e-commerce store and promoting it on social media to get more traffic to your website. You can also sell your art on other websites like Artpal, Amazon, Etsy, Storenvy, etc – these platforms will allow you to sell your art to a wider audience, be it jewellery, paintings, sketches, or anything as such. Pinterest is another great platform where you can promote your art, this will be a huge boost in selling your art to a variety of customers. 

Sell your art online
Make your art stand out!

Beware of Scams and Frauds while Setting up a Passive Income

No matter what passive income idea you choose – you must always be aware of the online frauds that many new freelancers come across. You should stay away from clients who ask for money before starting the project in the name of ‘security deposits’, clients who ask for personal information and documents before handing you the necessary details.

In case of network marketing, you may come across many scams related to MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) which are nothing but glorified pyramid schemes – attracting new and naive users towards their scheme by offering generous rewards for very little work. A lot of freelancers fall for this trap and a general perception is created in their mind that freelancing or setting up a passive income online is a complete hoax, full of scams and frauds.

Muntaha Anam
Muntaha Anam

Muntaha Anam is currently pursuing Medicine at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. She believes that financial freedom is a requisite for every individual, regardless of their profession. To shed light on the importance of financial education, she has begun her journey as a financial blogger to learn and educate people in order to help them achieve a financially secure future.

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