Top 10 Passive Income Streams While Working Full Time in 2024

December 12, 2023

The top passive income streams while working full time are local lead generation, YouTube automation, and opening a high-yield savings or CD account. Local lead generation has the potential to provide the most passive profits in the long-run. YouTube automation allows you to earn ad revenue even if you’re working on your full-time job. Opening a high-yield savings or CD account allows you to store your extra money and earn passive income annually from interests.

Still, these income streams may not be right for you. There are dozens of other options that may cater more naturally to your skill sets and lifestyle. In the end, passive income can help you save, pay off debt, or even build another income instead.

Local lead generation requires minimal effort once it’s stable. Once you’ve created your website, ranked it, and produced leads to small local businesses, generating passive income will be stable and you’ll remain in control.

Top 10 Passive Income Streams While Working Full-Time

1. Local Lead Generation

Local lead generation is the best passive income stream to have while working full time because of the amount of profit it generates\. Local lead generation produces and sells leads to local businesses. We do this by renting out the sites to businesses that do not have their own digital marketing or need optimized marketing.

In order to produce leads, you would need to have a ranking website on the Google results page. Setting up a website using organic SEO takes time. You would also need to spend capital on the website for hosting plans and its domain name. But, once the site is ranked and rented to a small business, you will be able to bring in money while you continue to work full time. 

Pros

Multiple income streams as you add more rank and rent sites

Only needs occasional maintenance once running and ranked

Opportunity to help small businesses

Cons

Takes time to set up websites

Needs capital

Not a saturated market with over 42,000 zip codes in the US alone

2. YouTube Automation Channel

Setting up a YouTube automation channel is different from a conventional influencer-style YouTube channel. YouTube automation takes advantage of tools and freelancers that can help manage a YouTube channel a lot easier and gain traction faster, like UseViral and SidesMedia. Good examples of these tools are social media integrations, content scheduling, and hiring freelancers to do the work for you.

Normally, you would do all the work, from creating content, to editing, to publishing. With automation tools, a lot of your time will be free, allowing you to focus on your full-time job. But of course, it comes at a significant cost since you’ll need to spend money for those. Setting up a YouTube automation channel also means more work should be done on your marketing and branding, since it takes time for your channel to gain an audience.

Setting up a YouTube automation channel is a great business opportunity once your channel stabilizes, gets enough audience, and gets approved for the YouTube Partner Program.

Pros

Multiple income streams possible as you expand to multiple channels

Opportunity for additional income sources like affiliate marketing, promoting your online shop, etc.

Cons

Needs capital

Takes time generate passive income

Building an audience takes time, and you can’t make money until you have an audience

3. Invest in Stocks, Real Estate, or Crypto

Investments guarantee ROI as long as it’s invested in the right place. Here are some investment ideas you can put your extra money into.

Dividend Stocks

Unlike normal stock investments, dividend stocks make you a shareholder of a company wherein you get dividend income at regular intervals. Since you’re perceived as part of the company, you’ll be paid a part of their overall profits.. The more shares you own, the higher your payments.

The risk of investing in dividend stocks is choosing the right company. A lot of beginners often go for companies with high dividend payouts without being able to sustain it. So, its very important to study the company’s financial status for weeks, or even months, before investing into it.

Real Estate

There are a lot of real estate investing options you can dive into:

Direct Real Estate - directly owning a rental property and collecting rental income from tenants.

Real Estate Investment Groups - REIGs are groups that buy certain properties and allow investors to purchase them. These groups will handle the management of the property you bought, but they will take a share of the rent profits. 

House Flipping - a more complex type of real estate investment that is ideal for experienced real estate investors. With house flipping, the goal is to get profit from a property that was undersold.

Real Estate Investment Trusts - REITs are more like dividend stocks. You buy them through major market exchanges. It’s quite good for beginner investors since it can guarantee regular profits.

Real estate investing certainly requires a hefty amount of capital, but can generate profits as most properties appreciate over time, especially if it’s at an ideal location.

Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency investment is a little risky for beginners because of its volatility. The markets rise and fall in just a snap and unaware traders are at risk of losing a lot of money. But if you know how the crypto market works, your investment may gain a lot of profit.

Pros

Convenient access to markets

Potential steady cash flow

Cons

The crypto market is volatile and the global economy affects stock markets

Need capital for investments

Crypto market can be at risk of cyber attacks and security breaches

Stocks markets are more stable than crypto

4. Opening a High-Yield Savings Account or a CD Account

Opening a high-yield savings account is a foolproof way of earning extra income since your money will never incur a loss. High-yield savings and Certificate of Deposit accounts are more available for online banks, while it’s less common with traditional banks. Depending on each bank, annual interest rates may reach up to 5%.

High-yield savings accounts offer interests as much as 20 times more than traditional banks. Though some traditional banks offer high-yield savings accounts, online banks usually offer more than them. CD accounts offer a little more than high-yield savings accounts, but you would have to lock-in your deposits for a certain amount of time.

There aren’t any major risks to losing money by opening these accounts. However, while these accounts offer high annual percentage yields (APY), it most probably won’t last forever since it may fluctuate anytime. For CD accounts, there’s a lock-in period for your deposits and withdrawing them for emergencies might incur your penalties.

Pros

Lower risk of losing money

Higher annual interest compared to traditional bank accounts

Convenient access

Cons

Unable to withdraw without penalties for CD accounts

High interest may fluctuate

Needs capital

5. Renting Out Your Things to Others

Having a rental business is a good side hustle while working full time. There are a lot of things you can collect rental income from, or you can invest in buying things you can rent out to others. Good examples are:

  • Storage spaces
  • Cars
  • A spare room
  • Parking space
  • House space
  • Motorcycles
  • Bikes
  • Clothes
  • Musical Instruments

There are also sites that you can list them on for others to see and send inquiries, like Fat Llama, Fetch Truck, and SpotHero.

While renting out your things to others is a good way to make use of your things to earn additional income, you should always be ready for any damages your renters might cause to your properties.

Pros

Unused property can be used for income

Potential steady cash flow

Cons

Extra expense for maintenance

Difficult renters

Risk of damages and additional expense for repairs

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing focuses on promoting products online using affiliate links. These affiliate links let you earn commissions for each successful customer buying the product using your affiliate link. Depending on the ecommerce platform the product is in, commission percentages vary from 3% - 7% of the product’s price.

Affiliate marketing is a great additional source of income, especially if you already have platforms with a built audience already, like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. If you have your own ecommerce business, you can use affiliate marketing to boost your sales by starting your own affiliate program and getting influencers to promote your products for a commission.

Engaging in affiliate marketing means you already have an audience. The more audience your affiliate link reaches, the more opportunity for referral conversion. Otherwise, you would have to double your effort on marketing each affiliate link. 

Pros

Opens up other income opportunities

Easy to set up

No need for capital

Cons

Less audience means low conversion

Competitive market

More work creating promotional content

7. Selling an Online Course

If you have talents on a certain skill, you can teach it to others by creating a digital course and selling it online. Your online course can circle around topics like starting your own business, effective graphic designing tips, or career insights. Selling an online course lets you earn passive income because it’s a leveraged asset- you’re not really teaching the course to every student, but you’ve created content which can be used instead of your time.

Selling an online course can also be a good source of leads for your future courses, or you can store those leads which you can sell to other small businesses. Depending on the niche, each online course can be sold for around $30 - $5000.

However, creating an online course takes a lot of time since you have to write the course and script, do retakes, create graphics and do editing, and a lot more. Given the competitive market, you would also have to work on the branding and marketing of your online course for it to stand out against thousands of competitors.

Pros

Significant source of leads

Income will still come in even after making the courses and guides

No need for capital

Cons

Takes time to build up an audience

A lot to work on when creating courses and guides

One take is never enough

8. Starting a Dropshipping Store

Starting a dropshipping store is very easy to set up since ecommerce platforms, like Shopify and Amazon, offer support in setting up your online shop, including optimizing your product listings and pages. Unlike traditional ecommerce, dropshipping takes advantage of listing products you don’t own. That means you’re relying on a 3rd-party to store inventory, handle packaging, and process shipping to customers.

Dropshipping works by listing 3rd-party products at your online store. Once a customer purchases the listed products, the order will then be forwarded to the 3rd-party to handle packaging and shipping to customers. You will then have to pay the 3rd-party for whatever the price of the product is and you earn whatever is left of the product price you listed.

However, its advantages are the same reasons dropshipping is a bad idea. Having a 3rd-party control post-buying operations means you won’t have control over product and packaging quality. And since it’s your store’s name on the line, it could affect your store’s reviews. It’s extremely important to know how the 3rd-party works to boost your opportunities for earning dropshipping passive income.

Pros

Easy to set up

No need to worry about inventory, supplies, packaging, and delivering

No need for capital

Cons

Poor marketing and branding equals fewer dedicated customers

Limited access to product and packaging quality

Hard to please customers if packaged received is of poor standard

9. Running an Airbnb

Running an Airbnb is great if you have an extra room to rent out, or if you have to leave your home for days, you can have your home listed on Airbnb and earn extra cash while traveling. This is a brilliant use of your home or extra space you’re not using.

Having to run rental property on Airbnb allows you to collect rental income before your guests’ arrival date, so profits are guaranteed upon their booking. You can also invest in any modifications that can entice people in booking your Airbnb listing.

Renting out your property means you’ll have to get ready for maintenance. Keeping your property in top shape would definitely be a priority to keep guests coming. Your rental property will also be at risk of damages from your tenants, so repairs will be an additional expense.

Pros

Good for extra cash

Great use for unused space/home

Cons

Extra expense for maintenance

Risk of damages and additional expense for repairs

Difficult renters

10. Freelancing

Freelancing is a good way to earn extra money whenever you have free time. This idea takes advantage of working from home for other employers or companies, which you can do maybe on the weekends when you have no work, or every time your full-time work is done.

Most companies who employ freelancers don’t offer full compensation for benefits to freelancers, but most offer a higher salary than usual full-time jobs. But then again, having to work only at your convenience and from home definitely compensates for the loss. This makes freelancing a good passive income stream because you can do this in your free time and can accept project-based work for more time flexibility.

Freelancing also allows you to expand your knowledge and skills because of the wide variety of jobs you can do, like SEO, content writing, and virtual assistance. According to Upwork in 2020, freelancers make an average of $20/hour. Definitely a good way to earn extra. If you want to start a freelancing business and you are in tight budget, check out the free masterclass Online Money Maker

Pros

Easy to start with

Flexible work hours

Can do on your free time

Cons

Takes time looking for clients/employers

Less passive income in the long-run since work equals pay

Recommendation:

If you're a graduate of any engineering course and you're planning to diversify your income with extra work, you can check my list of top engineering side hustles

Tips to Earn Passive Income While Working Full Time

1. Save Capital

Though there definitely are passive income ideas you can start without having to shell out capital, like affiliate marketing, having enough capital for the bigger ideas will allow you to earn more income. Ideally, the more extra cash you have to spend, the more profit you can earn, and the faster you can experience stability.

2. Have a Dual-Monitor or More Set-up

If you’re working full-time at home, having a dual-monitor set-up can easily help you out on starting your passive income stream. This allows you to have your full-time work on the first monitor, and your passive income stream on the other monitors you have. Not only will you be able to do your full-time work, you will also be able to monitor your passive income business on the side.

3. Learn and Master Needed Skills

Diving into a passive income stream without learning the skills to do it is not a good idea. Like any other business, it will fail if you don’t know how things work. Learn the skills needed before running a business, and master it along the way. It’s a great opportunity to grow your business and learn new skills.

4. Screen Talents Efficiently to Get the Best

Having a passive income stream while working full time means you’ll need to look for someone to work for you soon. No matter what platform you’ll be getting your freelancers, screen them thoroughly so you would get the best ones. Not getting the best ones would mean wasted time and effort, and will need you to find another one soon.

How Do You Pick the Right Passive Income Idea?

To pick the right passive income strategy, plan everything ahead. Here are steps you can follow to help you out:

  1. Assess your skills and see what passive income idea you can try out.
  2. Check the risk level to see what can go wrong and how you would deal with it.
  3. See how much capital is needed to be spent to start your chosen passive income strategy.

What is the most successful passive income idea?

Local lead generation is the most successful passive income idea while working full time. It might not be the easiest, ‌but this keeps the market from getting too saturated and protects your profits.

What is the best way to set up or start a passive income when working full time?

The best way to start a passive income stream while working full time is to have capital ready. To build capital, take on small ideas first that don’t require capital, like affiliate marketing. You could even start by saving some extra cash from your full-time job. That way, you can slowly save as you make your way up to the bigger ideas. If you are into real estate, you can check my ultimate list of 30 real estate side hustle ideas

What does it take to have a passive income source?

Having a passive stream takes a lot of work at the beginning, maybe more than the effort you’re doing with your full-time job. 

Is starting a passive income from nothing possible?

Yes, starting a passive income from nothing is possible. If you have no capital you can spend yet, doing double the work can help you earn extra cash. Alternatively, you can start with ideas that don’t need any capital, like affiliate marketing. Once you’ve saved up for passive income capital, you can extend your passive income stream portfolio by diving into other ideas like opening a high-yield or CD account.

What are the easiest passive income ideas to start with?

The easiest passive income ideas to start with are subjective to your own personal strengths. It depends on whether you’re looking for a passive income stream that you can start with minimal capital or with lesser work. If you have the capital but want less work, you can start on the bigger ideas like YouTube automation channel or local lead generation by hiring freelancers.

Alternatively, if you have minimal capital and will do more work, then you can start on any work not needing any capital, like starting a dropshipping store, affiliate marketing, or running an Airbnb.

If you already have a full-time work, then capital might not be a problem. Check out more passive income ideas and pick what suites your budget and schedule.

Conclusion

These passive income stream ideas you can do while working full time can help you earn extra profits while having a full-time job. You would also be getting an ROI for any capital expenditures once your passive income source has stabilized. 

As much as possible, you would want to get yourself diving into local lead generation to get maximized profits with minimal work as it becomes stable once your website ranks and produces leads.

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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