Legitimate ways to make passive income are not as difficult to come by as you might think. In fact, while some require an initial investment, some are totally free to start. Most would tell you that you need to choose something you love and center your efforts around this philosophy in order to stay motivated over the long term. In my experience choosing to create passive income by finding the best match for both your interests and skills is not only a good idea, but essential.


Ways to create residual income streams are not a get rich quick or make money overnight endeavor, they require effort up front and planning over the long term on order to reap the true rewards of your efforts. While profits may be slow in the beginning, creating passive revenue turns into a cash machine after several years efforts.

What Do Legitimate Passive Income Opportunities Have in Common?

1. They all should warn you that it will take time to see more than a trickle of income from your efforts. You can expect to see slow, but steady progress in the beginning year, with compounding and exponential growth after several years of steadily working the program. You can get lucky or work harder to make your initial results faster, but in general expect to work harder than your results show in your first year or two.

2. Most will have very low initial upfront investments, with the exception of real estate investing or traditional financial investing.

3. Any program you buy teaching you about a specific passive income model will offer a full refund for at least 30-60 days. Anybody who does not is only after your money; steer clear of those who will not give their return policies up front.

Five of the Best Residual Income Opportunities

Traditional Investments for Passive Income

Traditional financial investments are the most common ways that people begin to make passive income. You invest your money and your money earns more money for you. You do not need to do anything other than be knowledgeable enough to know where your money to get the best rate of return with the lowest risk.

Real Estate for Rental Passive Income

Another popular way of generating passive income is the owning of 2 or more properties for the purpose of creating rental income. Again, the income is passive. You make the investment and are paid a set amount every month in the form of rents.

While both traditional investments and real estate investing have their advantages, namely relatively rapid and large returns, they also have their drawbacks. You need a lot of money to get started, and the risks can be substantial. If you are already carrying debt, have less than perfect credit or are risk adverse, you may want to look to other passive revenue streams. Here are three passive income streams for those who either do not have money to invest up front, or do not want to take risks to start generating revenues:

Selling Digital Stock Photography for Passive Income

Whether you are a professional photographer or have just purchased your first digital camera, there are now dozens of websites that will pay you a residual for every time your photograph is downloaded. You will need nothing other than a digital camera and your time to get started. Read more about selling digital stock photography for passive income.

Typing for Passive Income

One of the best ways to make money online for free is to type content for the Internet. No kidding, if you like to write, have specialized knowledge on just about any topic, you can literally type your way to a substantial passive income revenue stream. There are hundreds of websites which will pay your to write articles and content everyday. Try Info Barrel for articles any topic, Mahalo for questions and answers content, and Associated Content to name a few. The key is to write consistently build your portfolio of content on multiple websites.

Creating Video Content for Passive Income

If you have the skills and enjoy working with video, try creating content for the revenue sharing video sites. There are many of these sites out there, and each time your video is viewed your will make money on a cost per thousand views basis. Some pay as much as $5 per 1,000 views. If you are lucky enough to have your video go viral you can get thousands of views a day. Think wacky, tacky, off beat, or instructional on topic or genera and watch your income grow. Learn more about making passive income through video revenue sharing sites.

What's Your Passion?

This is the reason you need to pick your passion:

There are many residual income and passive income models out there, but the one best advice I can give you is to choose what you love and not give up. It will take time to get your portfolio of revenue streams large enough to see substantial income, but rest assured that a steady to your purpose approach is the key ingredient for success. Having a true passion for your hobby, which just happens to make you some extra money, will keep you motivated through those first few slow months and years. Without that motivation you will be much more likely to write off a true wealth building strategy before you can ultimately harvest the fruits of your labors.

Creating legitimate passive income opportunities is not a get rich quick scheme, but rather a legitimate money making opportunity. It requires work, hopefully with a lot of fulfillment and passion in the process, to get to the payoff. But what a payoff it can be in the end. I know personally of an Internet content writer who started as a hobbyist on an off beat subject and 5 years later is semi retired at the age of 48 off her passive income. I know of another who works as a video content producer now travels the world looking for humorous social faux pas. He makes over six figures a month and is a legitimate millionaire doing exactly what he loves. My next door neighbor is a WAHM who now makes more blogging full time than she did as an accountant with a large firm while she gets to spend more time with her family. These stories are not unique, but they all have two things in common. All started with something try truly enjoyed doing and all started as a part time hobbyist. Three to five years later they are still all doing what they love, and making many times over their original full time incomes in the process.

Where will you be three years from now? I hope to be taking my first world cruise and spending lots of time doing some things I have always put off "until I have more time." I would rather be living than working.

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