Residual income opportunities

are best described as "set and forget" income opportunities. The idea is that once you have done the initial work of setting everything up, you just can sit back and see the "money rolling in". Whilst there are a lot of residual or passive income opportunities around, that are perfectly legitimate, there are also a lot scammers around, that try to rip you off your hard earned cash by promising you things like "work only 5 minutes per day and get rich over night". I have tried here to compile a list of both reliable opportunity types that help to make a residual income from home and a list of warning signs, that might indicate that some great offer is not so great at all. First lets summarize what residual or passive income actually is:

  • It doesn't require maintenance work, or at least not much.
  • It might involve some initial set-up costs, but has only low or no maintenance costs at all.
One great example of this kind of income are royalties. No matter if you have published a book, recorded a piece of music or if you sell photos online. Once you have published your work, it will continue to produce income in form of royalties for you for a long time to come as long as there is a demand for your book / music / image. You might still have to invest some time in promoting your work, but especially if you work together with a good agency, this should be far less then during a normal 9-5 job! So, residual income can be obtained from royalties.

Other forms of passive income include rentals.
Now the obvious example of this is owning a flat or apartment and renting it out. This requires a rather high initial investment plus maintenance costs and work. These costs are lower if you do the work yourself and the work is less when you outsource it, but that would increase the costs. But you don't need to own several houses or apartments to make a residual income with rentals. You could rent other things out. Depending on where you live and on your creativity, this could provide you with a nice part time income without much work. One example, one of our former neighbors owned a "bouncy castle", you know one of this fancy inflatable thingies you see children at garden parties bounce up and down in. He rented it out for children and school parties and made a nice income of it. People even came to pick it up and brought it back. So start to think what you own already that other people might be interested to rent!

Niche websites and affiliate marketing
Yes, there is money to make on the internet. You can either build your own niche website or blog around a narrow (hence "niche") topic or you can promote products you want to recommend to others and earn a commission if people buy them via your link. This whole area is a bit of a land-mine field, as there are good ways and bad ways of doing it. If you have never owned an own website or promoted a product online, I suggest that you start slowly and for free with a Google blogspot blog and the Adsense / Amazon programs. The most important thing is finding a profitable niche that has a low competition. Check out my make money online for free article to learn more about how that works. Remember it is always better to start small and at no costs, then to spend money on courses and e-books you later discover are useless. After you have started to make some money online, you can always re-invest this money into services and tools like web hosting for your own sites. Both niche web sites and affiliate marketing can be set up in a way that they produce a regular, passive stream of income without further work and with very low maintenance costs, if you know how!

Dividends and interests
Saving money has unfortunately come completely out of fashion, but if you want to invest a lump sum of money, make sure you do so with a reputable bank or broker that has all the necessary credentials that you can check. Stay away from investments via the internet, whilst there are a few good ones around, a lot of these "opportunities" fall in the category of internet fraud.

Fraud Alerts
Many people have the idea that "making money online" is best done by selling worthless products and services to others. A rule of thumb to evaluate these kind of opportunities is "If it sounds too good to be true, it is not true!" Outrageous claims of return on investment (ROI) and sentences like "work only 5 minutes per day", "proven system that has created millions of millionaires" are always warning signs that something is "rotten in the state of Denmark". (That is a quote from Hamlet, not a political insult!) Another warning sign is that you are always asked to pay something upfront without knowing exactly what you get in return. The only thing you get often in return is instructions on how to "sell this same secret to others", making it de facto a pyramid or snowball system.

Be also careful when it comes to work at home assembling xyz.
You are required to purchase the initial material, but you will often discover, that there is no market at all to sell the things you made to and that, apparently your work is so sub-standard that, unfortunately the company you bought the material from can't buy the products back from you as initially promised.

Selling Opportunities
There is a whole scam industry out there that sells you lists and opportunities to make money from home. Best thing to do is always to research them before you part from your hard earned cash by doing a Google search like "Company name + scam/review/experience/worth the money" etc. Another great source for further information, like always, is Wikipedia. Check this article about "Internet Fraud" to find out if you were offered a genuine opportunity to make residual income online or if it fits the description of the numerous internet frauds around.