How to Make Money From Doing Nothing and Earn Passive Income

Woman relaxing and getting paid to do nothing

Dear Dreamer,

Are you looking for legitimate ways to make extra money? I was in your exact shoes 10 years ago and have found some amazing side hustles and income streams along the way. My goal is to help you find the best opportunities that fit your lifestyle.

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Making money doing absolutely nothing obviously sounds too good to be true. Believe it or not, though, this can be accomplished โ€“ by setting up passive income streams. Simply lay a foundation to help you work (or invest resources) now to make residual income later.

You will need to put in some work upfront in order to eventually sit back and enjoy the passive income stream you created for yourself.

When I set out to become an entrepreneur years ago, I had one thing in mind: a stable income. Entrepreneurship can be a rollercoaster. I had been bringing in a steady stream of money by balancing my side hustle with a full-time job, but I was nervous about the longevity of my plans.

To cope with these fears, I created multiple income streams for myself. In addition to running my business, I now make additional income on the side for little to no work.

We foster relationships with brands we use and trust. The testimonials on our site represent real experiences, but they don’t guarantee you’ll achieve similar results. When you make purchases through our links to our partners, we may earn a commission. Your support helps us continue this work. You can read our full disclosure here.

How to Make Money Doing Nothing at All (25+ Real Ways)

There are many ways to make money from nothing. While it isn’t included in the below list, one of my favorite ways to earn a passive income is from my niche site.

I’m always putting time toward creating new content and updating old posts, but I can truly sit back for days โ€“ or even weeks โ€“ watching my niche site earn passive income.

To find out more about making money doing nothing โ€“ as long as you’re not afraid to put in time upfront โ€“ check out Niche Site Academy‘s free training. A successful niche site is one of the most lucrative investments that you could make.

Check out the following 25-plus ways that you can make money for doing almost nothing at all.

Invest Your Money and Get Paid for Doing Nothing

The best way to make money without doing anything is to invest part of your income and let it grow.

1. Invest in Real Estate

Fundrise sign up

Real estate investment apps offer an easy way to invest in real estate while spending far less than you would by purchasing a property on your own.

Fundrise lets you get in on real estate investing for as little as $500. This company gives you great returns on your money and manages the entire project on your behalf.

It will pool your cash with other investors’ and give you access to private real estate deals. This is a cool way to diversify your investments and make money for doing nothing.

2. Diversify Your Investments

M1Finance screenshot

A diversified portfolio can bring in some of the biggest possible returns. To this end, use a free automated investor platform like M1 Finance and automate your contributions so that you can truly grow your money without lifting a finger.

3. Acorns

Acorns investing

Investing app Acorns uses your spare change to help you earn a passive income in interest. Acorns will never draw more than 99 cents from your account at one time.

This app works by connecting your debit or credit cards. When you make a purchase for, say, $24.50 at the grocery store, Acorns will round up your payment to $25 and invest 50 cents on your behalf. This is an extremely easy way to start an investment account without dipping into your savings or committing to monthly payments you may not be able to afford.

Sign up with Acorns and start investing to earn money for doing nothing.

Install Passive Income Apps

Install the below “get paid to do nothing apps” and let them make you money on autopilot. Each offering can help you build an income out of your normal activities, like shopping, browsing the web, or playing games.

4. InboxDollars

InboxDollars app

InboxDollars provides its members with many opportunities to get paid for doing nothing. Work for your income by taking surveys, or skip them and earn money for activities you already do on a daily basis.

Shopping. InboxDollars pays members to shop online. Click on the store link of your choice and earn back a percentage of the purchases you make.

Search the web. Use the InboxDollars search bar as an alternative to Google or Bing. Get paid to do your web searches through this popular InboxDollars offering.

Watch videos & commercials. Hop on InboxDollars to pass the time by mindlessly watching videos on your phone or browser. You could earn rewards while sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing but pressing play on the videos that interest you.

Check out the InboxDollars website to find additional ways to make money.

5. Mistplay

Mistplay screenshot

Android users can earn rewards for playing games through Mistplay. This passive income app makes it easy for game-loving members to get paid to do nothing but continue playing.

Start earning by downloading the Mistplay app onto your Android device, searching the available games, and playing popular options like Candy Crush, Scrabble Go, Yahtzee, Poker, and many more.

6. Rakuten

Install the Rakuten app or extension onto your smart phone or laptop to begin earning cash back on many of your purchases, both online and in-store.

Before placing an order, open the app, search for the store of your choice, and click on the “shop now” link. Complete your normal purchases after being redirected to that retailer. When your order is finished, you’ll receive cash back (percentages vary by store).

Rakuten process

To earn money for physical shopping visits, navigate to the in-store category and link your payment method to the retailer at which you plan to shop. You will receive the cash back in your Rakuten account each time you make an in-person purchase. Read more about how it works in my Rakuten review.

Rakuten in-store category

7. Trim

Download the automatic bill negotiator Trim and make money doing absolutely nothing at all.

Using the information you’ve provided, Trim will tackle every single bill you pay and attempt to negotiate a lower rate with your creditors. While some may remain the same, others will be dramatically sliced. If Trim can’t negotiate a lower rate, you won’t pay a thing.

Trim comes with a cost that equates to 15 percent of the amount it can save you during a one-year period.

8. Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel

Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel

Trusted data-collection company Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel has spent more than 90 years conducting surveys and using the gathered information to improve products, services, and various organizational processes. Become a member of Nielsen’s Computer & Mobile Panel to participate in these endeavors while earning money passively.

Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel rewards members who download and install the free app and computer software, and collects anonymous data based on their online browsing and shopping habits. Install the app onto multiple devices to gain additional opportunities to earn cash prizes and other rewards.

Related: Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel Review

9. Survey Junkie Pulse

Survey Junkie gift cards for surveys

Survey Junkie, one of the highest-paying survey sites, revolutionized the paid opinion industry by creating a desktop app that anonymously and automatically tracks certain digital behaviors. In exchange for your participation, you will make money doing nothing at all.

Sign up for a free account with Survey Junkie, even if you’re using a smart phone. Take surveys whenever you choose, or visit your account the next time you’re on a laptop and download SJ Pulse to start earning money passively each month.

Subcontract Work

Many subtractors outsource their work to other professionals in a practice known as drop servicing.

Hereโ€™s an example: You become a social media manager and find your first client, a restaurant owner who needs help creating social awareness and increasing traffic to his or her location.

You then hire a freelance social media manager to do the work for you and keep the difference as your profit.

If the job pays you $1,000 per month, find a contractor to work for you at $400 per month and keep the remainder ($600).

This is a great tool to use in a variety of industries, and will allow you to make money doing nothing. Always hire reliable freelancers who perform quality work, and only pay a subcontractor after youโ€™ve secured payment from the client or customer.

Subcontracting is flexible, and can be utilized with both online and local services.

Online Service Examples:

  • Proofreading
  • Transcription
  • Freelance Writing
  • SEO

Local Service Examples:

  • Yard work/Gardening
  • Car Detailing
  • Online Consignment

Related: How to Sell Plants Online for a Profit

Subcontracting allows you to get paid to do nothing while trusted freelancers handle the work. Many of the below positions can be subcontracted out to another person.

10. Proofreading

Proofreaders review written material to check for errors. This involves reviewing documents for grammar and spelling, and revising them as needed. Proofreaders are in high demand by professionals including writers, editors, and authors.

You don’t need a college degree to land lucrative proofreading jobs, but it’s important that you (and especially your subcontractors) know how to fully deliver the type of service you decide to offer.

Professional proofreader and instructor Caitlin Pyle started out proofreading documents and earned more than $40,000 per year working part time before crafting an online course on the topic. Learn more in her free, 76-minute Proofread Anywhere webinar.

Related: How to Become a Proofreader

11. Transcription

Professionals performing transcription jobs type what they hear from audio files provided by clients like podcasters, attorneys, or teachers.

Transcribing audio into written format requires great listening and typing skills, plus attention to detail. Janet Shaughnessy made a decent living as a transcriptionist until she realized that subcontracting this service would be much more lucrative. Get some great incite on using a transcription service to make money doing nothing in her free online mini course, General Transcription: Theory & Practice.

12. Freelance Writing

Freelance writers get paid to write various types of content including blog posts, articles, white papers, resumes, and website text.

Even a great writer needs direction on how to get started offering freelance services. Establish a good rapport with your clients and then begin subcontracting the work. Pay attention to the final products’ quality so your customers continue to return to you for their freelance writing needs.

Related: 15 Ways To Get Paid To Write Slogans In Your Spare Time

13. SEO

Search engine optimization professionals help their clients rank higher on Google and other sites. Companies that appear on Google’s first page will receive the most traffic to their sites, which is the end goal.

Help your SEO clients improve their Google rankings and increase traffic generation, leading to heightened revenue and brand awareness.

To begin this type of work, you’ll need to learn how to do SEO like a professional. Keyword research is at the forefront of SEO; finding and researching the keywords that will help your clients rank on Google is both tedious and rewarding. Check out the eBook Get Your Keywords Together to learn how to do keyword research using only free SEO tools.

Get Your Keywords Together Mobile Ebook Cover

Related: More Ways to Get Paid to do SEO

14. Yard Work/Gardening

Yard work, gardening, and landscaping help beautify homeowner and renters’ yards. This can include lawn mowing, edging, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and planting flower beds. Hire a team of workers or subcontract entire projects to make money doing nothing yourself.

Related: How To Start A Worm Farm For Profit

15. Consigning Stuff Online

Go through your belongings and pull out items you no longer need or use โ€“ including clothing, toys, home goods, and other items โ€“ to sell online. You can also perform this service for others, splitting the proceeds with your consignees.

All of the above service business ideas offer the opportunity to make money from doing nothing, other than securing a client. Outsource the work to allow you to build a reliable, mostly hands-off, stream of income.

Leverage Real Estate

Woman relaxing and getting paid to do nothing

Participate in real estate, one of the most profitable business ventures today, to start making money for doing nothing.

Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran used real estate to achieve success, saying, โ€œOwning made me rich.โ€ She is evidence of the fact that real estate is one of the best types of investments you can make.

Leveraging real estate is a very real example of how to get rich doing nothing.

Residential and commercial properties can generate income year-round. Short-term rental companies like Airbnb make it easier than ever for people to break into the real estate market and make a passive income.

Purchase a piece of property rather than renting it, to start investing in something that can appreciate over time. Other benefits of investing in real estate include:

  • Tax breaks
  • Passive income opportunities
  • Financial security
  • Mortgage payments made by renters

People will always need a place to live. Invest in property without tying up your cash, and grow your wealth while doing nothing.

16. Rent Out Space on Airbnb

Becoming an Airbnb host is one of the easiest ways to start earning an income from your property.

Join the Airbnb website for free and list your property for rent. Next, prepare your space for short-term renters by:

  • Stocking bathrooms with toiletries
  • Furnishing the rooms
  • Purchasing linens, towels, and other necessities
  • Cleaning and disinfecting your space

Finally, welcome your first guests!

Airbnb hosting is one of the most profitable ways to leverage real estate.

Related: How To Get Free Airbnb Stays (Plus Make Money In The Process)

17. Buy an Apartment Building

This next opportunity is a smart way to live rent-free and make a profit.

A few years ago, a friend of mine purchased a 4-plex apartment building and rented out three of the spaces while living in the fourth unit.

The rent he collected from his three tenants was enough to pay rent for the entire building, plus generating additional profit.

Related: Make Money from Vending Machines

18. Flip Old Houses

House flipping is a very lucrative gig for the right person. Start by purchasing a property (undervalued or at a great deal). Hire a handy person to fix it up (or do the work yourself), and then flip the house for a profit.

Sell Digital Products

Sell digital products to begin getting paid for doing nothing after the initial setup.

Create a digital product and sell it online. It will live on the internet forever, helping you make money passively in the future.

Your initial setup will require some work, including brainstorming a lucrative idea and drafting, creating, and designing the product.

Skip this first step by hiring someone else to create your products for you. Locate creators on Upwork, social media, and your own personal network.

Examples of digital products you can sell include:

  • ECourses
  • EBooks
  • Planners
  • Printables
  • Software
  • Apps
  • Photography/digital artwork

19. ECourse

Design and create an eCourse to teach your audiences a skill and help them solve a problem. Popular course examples include computer programming, learning piano, french baking, transcription, and proofreading.

20. EBook

Write an eBook for people to read on a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Great eBook examples include meditation, organization, and productivity. Read my tutorial to learn how to make money writing eBooks.

Related: SamCart Review

21. Planners

Offer organizational planners in a digital format. These are helpful for anyone who primarily uses electronic devices like tablets or smart phones.

22. Printables

Printables solve a consumer problem and can include recipes, organizational sheets, and checklists โ€“ to name a few examples.

23. Software

Spend some upfront time and effort to design a computer program or app, and then monetize your product and enjoy making future money doing nothing.

24. Photography

Photographers can indulge in their passions and turn their images into a lucrative online product, earning money for no additional work!

Related: Get Paid to Take Pictures With Your Smartphone

25. Digital Artwork

Digital artwork can be printed at home or at a local store. Sell your digital art โ€“ including motivational phrases, quotes, and drawings โ€“ on marketplaces like Etsy. Your customers will purchase the products to later frame and hang in their homes.

Places to Sell Digital Products

The internet offers a plethora of locations to sell your digital products. Use the following three ideas to help you get started.

26. Blog

Existing bloggers already have access to the perfect location to sell their items. Simply market your products right to your audience.

27. Shopify

Use the eCommerce platform Shopify to sell digital products online. Sarah Titus tried this and made more than $50,000 selling digital products during her first month.

Related: How To Start A Shopify Store: A Step-By-Step Tutorial (With Pictures)

28. Etsy

The online marketplace Etsy is chock full of creators selling their products. Use this site to make money off of your printables, planners, digital art, and photography.

Check out some of the other things you can sell on Etsy to make money.

Learn how to start your Etsy shop in my free guide.

To Make Money Doing Nothing Requires Time or Money Upfront

Stop stressing, and start getting paid to do nothing with a passive income stream. You will have to put in some upfront work, but even that can be outsourced to make the project completely hands-off.

Only you can decide if time or money is more valuable to you.

Save money by setting up the income stream, or save time by paying someone else to do the work.

The more money youโ€™re willing to initially spend, the less work you will have to do to make money.

It’s simple to earn a living while doing nothing by subcontracting work, leveraging real estate, or selling digital products. This will allow you to earn money passively and also diversify your income streams.

It’s time to get paid for doing nothing!

Related: 5 Legitimate Car Wrap Advertising Jobs (+ Scams to Avoid)


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