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25+ Proven Passive Income Ideas for Students: The Ultimate One-Stop Guide for Making Money

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Are you a struggling college student? Are you drowning in school expenses, fees, rent, etc.? Are you looking for some passive income ideas? If so, for you.

According to reports, over 70% of college students are stressed about their finances. Being “broke” in college is so widespread that it’s now considered the new norm. Sad, but unfortunately true.

The good news is that there are multiple ways to earn a passive income in between classes. In this article, we’ll show you some of the best passive income ideas for students. Once you commit yourself to a certain strategy, it can be a tremendous way to make long-term income and create financial security while in college. 

What Is Passive Income?

Passive income is income that requires little to no effort to earn and maintain. It flows in regular or semi-regular intervals without direct intervention. As it runs on auto-pilot most of the time, money is still earned even while you’re sleeping.

This type of income stream allows students to earn a little extra cash without having to work a part-time job. College students rarely have time in between schoolwork and projects, which is why passive income is ideal. It doesn’t interfere with school priorities and often takes minimal upkeep.

In some cases, passive income takes a lot of initial effort and upfront work. It’s quite similar to building a business; it’s all hands on deck until it stands on solid ground and runs by itself.

Despite its ‘get-rich-quick’ appeal, passive income almost always involves hard work in the beginning. But once you overcome the initial hurdle, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of steady-flowing passive income.

Passive Income vs. Active Income: What’s the Difference?

Students often use “passive income” and “side hustle” (AKA active income) interchangeably. However, passive income and active income are two completely different methods of making money.

Examples of side hustles include hourly photography sessions, driving for Uber, and writing freelance. On the other hand, passive income involves investing in real estate, renting out your car, and publishing a book. Notice the difference?

As mentioned earlier, passive income involves making money on auto-pilot. It doesn’t take a considerable effort to run. Most of the time, it’s earned through investment or work completed in the past. Due to this, passive income is often dubbed as the “holy grail of income streams.” It can sustain your lifestyle for a number of years if done right.

Active income is earned through an equal exchange of time and effort. This includes hourly wages, tips, commissions, salaries, etc. It’s the regular 9 to 5 job. Although passive income is preferred by working individuals, many choose active income because it’s secure. Passive income doesn’t always bring in money, but active income almost always does.

For students, passive income is the best way to make money. This type of income stream allows them to focus and put all their efforts into their studies rather than worrying about dividing their time earning money. 

Best Passive Income Ideas for Students

Now that you know the difference between active and passive income, here are some of the best passive income ideas to try, from investing to social media.

1.   Make YouTube Videos

Passive Income Ideas for Students

YouTube is a great place to make passive money. You can rake in hundreds of dollars per video if it goes viral. If most of your viewers watch the ads on your videos, you’ll earn about $4 per 1,000 views. It’s not much, but you’ll still have enough to buy yourself a new pair of jeans or two at the end of the month.

Becoming YouTube famous isn’t your goal here—making passive money is. Therefore, you don’t have to dedicate much of your time and energy to your channel.

If your YouTube channel is already monetized, upload an educational and/or entertaining video every week or two. Once your videos gain a bit of traction, you’ll be amazed by how quickly they can turn into a profitable source of passive income.

Usually, per every dollar paid by advertisers, you’ll receive a commission of 55%. If most of your viewers watch the ads on your videos, you’ll earn about $4 per 1,000 views.

2.   Stream on Twitch

If you play a lot of video games in your free time, streaming might be up your alley. Twitch streamers have multiple ways of making money, including advertisements, donations, subscriptions, and sponsorships. Depending on your average view count, you can make anywhere between $50 to $1500 per video.

When you’re in the mood to play games, pull out your camera and record yourself. Some of the most popular and most-viewed games on Twitch include the following:

  • GTA V
  • Fortnite
  • Minecraft
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • CS: GO
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Valorant

Playing these games increases your chances of people viewing your content. However, don’t be afraid to play other games too. Some communities, while small, have dedicated viewers that’ll keep coming back if you set a streaming schedule. Play whatever you have available like you normally do in your spare time.

3.   Rent Your Place

If you’re going away for spring break, renting your house, apartment, or even a single room (basement, attic, guest room, etc.) is a brilliant way to earn passive money.

Storage spaces like closets, garages, and RV pads can be rented out by small companies and businesses that have run out of space. Websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and Vacasa help you rent or lease an apartment/house space on short-term contracts. You can also list your space on peer-to-peer platforms and Facebook groups.

Depending on the location, space, and demand, you can make anywhere between $500 to $2000 a month.

4.   Rent Your Car

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Too busy with schoolwork or other campus activities to use your car? If your answer is yes, rent it out to others and earn some passive income while you’re at it!

The amount of money you earn depends on your location and the type of vehicle you’re planning to rent out. Apps like Turo, Kayak, and Virtuo allow you to turn your car into a short-term rental vehicle. You can also rent out your car through trusted peer-to-peer platforms.

Gain and retain clients by ensuring your car is clean, roadworthy, and in an overall excellent condition. Once you’ve established a decent clientele, gradually raise your vehicle’s rates. Renting your car allows you to passively earn up to $1000 every month.

5.   Rent Your Personal Stuff

Do you have a camera, a gaming console, a bike, an extra laptop, or even unused college books? If so, earn passive money by renting them out to trusted individuals.

You can rent out just about anything under the sun. Popular websites such as Fat Llama, Loanables, and Rentah allow you to list things like tools, sporting products, electronics, instruments, furniture, and more.

You can also rent out clothes and accessories you don’t need. Some people are more than willing to rent used clothes for a day or two rather than buying them new. This is the perfect opportunity for fashionistas and individuals with closets full of designer clothes they don’t want to get rid of.

Style Lend and Rent My Wardrobe are websites that make renting out your clothes possible.

6.   Start a Blog

Blogging helps budding entrepreneurs earn passively through sponsored posts, affiliate links, courses, book deals, and more. You can also use it for advertising or selling your own products. It’s one of the most sustainable ways to generate a steady stream of clientele through social or organic traffic. Per 1,000 monthly page views, you’ll likely earn anywhere between $10 to $100.

Moreover, blogging allows you to turn one asset into several different streams of income.

Creating a blog is one of the best ways to share your thoughts and knowledge. Choose a topic you’re interested in and go from there. It may take a bit of upfront work initially, especially if you’re trying to grow a business online. But once you’ve established a solid online presence, you’ll passively earn money year-round.

You don’t need any special coding or design skills to start a blog. Hosting services like WordPress, BigCommerce, and Wix allow you to create your online store or website in no time.

If you can spare a couple of dollars for web assistance, consider using online marketing companies like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Moosend, and others. These content management systems help you increase your online visibility through email, social media, SEO, and other forms of online marketing.

7.   Start an Etsy Shop

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Opening an Etsy store is a swell way to make passive money. Use your creative mind to sell unique, niche products that no one has ever seen. Depending on your item cost, you can earn anywhere between $30 to $1,000 a month.

Design, print, photograph, and list a minimum of two new items each week. Then, take captivating product photos and sell them at a reasonable price. Your price should account for the cost of the materials you’ve used and the time that went into making the item.

Some of the best selling items on Etsy are as follows:

  • Miniatures
  • Handmade jewelry
  • Stickers
  • Digital designs/graphic designs
  • Notebooks and journals
  • Posters
  • Pendants
  • Candles
  • Personalized blankets
  • Pet treats/toys

Between college courses and schoolwork, you probably don’t have a lot of free time to make overly complicated products. But that’s okay. Minimalistic items are rising in popularity nowadays, which is brilliant news for college students who want to make a quick buck.

8.   Become a Social Media Influencer

Do you have a ton of followers on social media like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook? If so, why not become a social media influencer?

As a typical student, you’ll likely spend at least two to three hours of your day browsing the internet. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through hundreds of posts, earn a passive income through your social media.

Create a community of people using groups or pages, and invite and/or add as many people as possible. Then, post engaging and informative content to attract more and more people. Once you reach enough followers, you can start promoting affiliate products, sponsors, services, and graphic designs.

When a follower clicks on the link you’ve promoted and made a purchase from the third-party affiliate, you’ll receive a commission that ranges from 3% to 7% per product. The larger your social media presence, the more money you’ll obtain.

9.   Invest in Stocks

Some of the world’s richest people are stock investors. The act of investing in stocks is pretty passive. As company rates increase, a fraction of their earnings is funneled back to investors. Investors can then decide to pocket the cash or reinvest it into other shares.

Luckily, there’s no minimum amount of money needed to start investing in stocks. Theoretically, you can open a brokerage account with just $1.

Yields vary significantly from one company to the next. Some yield double or even triple your initial investment. Others return only 10 to 15%. The more shares you own, the higher your payout.

10.  Invest in Fractions

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Rather than investing in one full share of stock, why not invest in fractions?. Fractional shares, as the name suggests, allow you to purchase a fraction of the stock you want to invest in. It also lets you buy the amount of stock you can afford—whether it’s $5, $50, or $500—rather than spending thousands for a single share.

If you have a small budget, partake in an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Although mutual funds often have minimums of $1000, ETF allows you to purchase them for a shared price between other individuals.

Fractional shares also help you develop a more diversified portfolio, as they allow you to invest in baskets of ETFs. Moreover, they can mitigate some of the risks in your portfolios.

When investing in stocks, your goal is portfolio diversity and risk reduction. Therefore, you shouldn’t skimp on research. Find stocks that’ll amass a nice residual income over time.

11. Invest in a High-Yield CD or Savings Account

If you have a couple of thousand dollars to spare, it’s worth investing in a high-yield certificate of deposit (CD) or savings account. Truly, this is one of the best ways to make passive income.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), no one has lost a single cent invested in FDIC-insured CDs. Usually, it’s much more advantageous to go with an online bank rather than your local bank because you’ll be able to choose a bank with the highest interest rates in the country.

Before investing in a high-yield CD, it’s worth doing a quick search of the nation’s top CD rates or savings account. Some banks offer returns of up to 1% of the deposited amount. Others, like CIT Bank (Savings Builder) and Discover Bank (Online Savings), yield in the neighborhood of five to six times the national average.

Although by no means a large amount, it’s an investment with fixed, predictable returns and flexible terms.

12. Invest in Crowdfunded Real Estate

Investing in real estate is the ultimate form of passive income. For college students, investing in crowdfunded real estate is a smart investment strategy because you don’t have to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single property. In fact, some projects cost as little as $10.

Here’s how it works: multiple investors put money into a real estate investment trust (REIT), where it’s then dispersed back to investors when the REIT buys properties.

Crowdfunding has the benefit of transaction transparency as members know exactly when and where their funds will be invested. It also gives you the chance to diversify your investment to various countries and assets. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about real estate or landlord duties. 

13. Invest in Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin)

Passive Income Ideas for Students

There’s a lot of risks when investing in cryptocurrency. The price of Bitcoin and all other types of cryptocurrency fluctuates significantly due to its volatile nature. It can wildly swing within a day or even within several minutes. Therefore, like most investments, you need to fully accept the risk of both gain and loss.

With that said, investing in cryptocurrency can be extremely profitable, especially with the number of users it brings.

Two of the most common ways to invest in cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, are through Bitcoin mining and Bitcoin trading. Bitcoin minings entail solving mathematical problems that appear in the currency software. Oftentimes, mining requires specialized skills and software.

Bitcoin trading is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a buy-and-sell strategy. Once the rate of Bitcoin increases, Bitcoin traders either trade or sell them for cash. This strategy is easier than Bitcoin mining because you only need to link the purchased cryptocurrency into your bank account and wait until the exchange rate increases.

14.  Advertise With Your Car

As a student, you won’t have much time to find innovative ideas to make money. This is why advertising with your car is one of the easiest and most time-effective ways to generate passive income. Offset the costs of gas and car maintenance by using your car as a moving billboard and earning cash while doing so.

Advertising with your car is as simple as adding stickers or wraps on your vehicle and driving around town. Companies such as StickerRide, Wrapify, Carvertise, and ReferralCars all pay you a couple of hundred dollars to advertise on your car.

Simply download the app, select a campaign that piques your interest, and start earning money. Most of these companies pay you every other week via direct deposit. Advertising campaigns usually run anywhere between one to three months, so you don’t have to worry about long-term commitments. Plus, you can participate in as many campaigns as you like.

Of course, there are certain “rules” to follow when advertising your car depending on the company you choose. For instance, Carvertise won’t hire you if you drive less than 30 miles per day. Your car must also be a 2008 or newer model. With that said, Carvertise can pay you anywhere between $300 to $1,200 per campaign.

15.  Help Businesses Bring in Clients

Tons of businesses are willing to pay individuals to bring in clients to help increase their online exposure.

Freelancers, photographers, solopreneurs, and budding musicians often pay referral fees and bonuses for every client that supports or signs a contract through your introduction.

With your connections, you can start building a passive income by helping said businesses increase their clientele.

16. Sell Your Photography

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Photographers don’t only make money from taking photographs, but by selling them too. If you have a keen eye and a top-class hand camera or phone, snap a couple of neat pics and sell them to stock image sites, magazines, and e-commerce websites like Amazon or Etsy.

Stock photography agencies like Shutterstock, iStock, Getty Images, Dreamstime, and 500px give you access to a much broader audience and therefore increase your chance to sell your photography. You can also use social media like Instagram and TikTok.

17.  Write an eBook or Publish Your Works Online

Ebooks are a hugely popular medium. Although physical books remain the most popular format for reading, a decent chunk prefers eBooks, as they’re convenient, readily accessible, and cheaper than physical copies.

Not anyone can publish physical copies of their books, but everyone can publish eBooks. If you’re confident with your work, you can build a fanbase of loyal readers that’ll follow your characters’ journey through thick and thin. You can self-publish your works through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble Press, iBooks, and more.

You can also use popular writing websites such as Wattpad, One Story, and Craft Literary. These websites allow you to publish short 1000 to 8000-word stories or chapters, so you don’t have to write the entire book before selling it. Instead, you can get paid per published chapter.

Set a price for your book, advertise it to friends and social media, and watch the passive flow of income increase. Per eBook or chapter sold, you can earn an average of $2 to $10.

18.  Create an Audio Track

If you have a keen ear for music, beats, and remixes, why not put them to work? It doesn’t have to be overly complicated or long. A simple jingle or podcast intro will do.

Making audio tracks for people is an awesome way of making extra cash. It also increases your musical talent online. Submit your tracks to music platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, and Audiosocket and earn some passive income through royalties. You can also upload them to your YouTube account and social media.

You never know—your tune might suddenly make its way to TikTok’s trending page!

19. Create a Mobile App

Passive Income Ideas for Students

If you have a talent for coding, creating a free mobile app is another fantastic passive income idea. After the initial investment you’ve put through making the app, you’ll be rewarded for your time as more people download and use your app.

Bring something new to the mobile app market so you can outdo your competitors right from the start. Make it functional, entertaining, and/or useful. Once you reach a decent amount of downloads, implement ads, subscriptions, in-app purchases, and other transaction fees. You can also add premium features for a specific cost.

Submit your app to the App Store and make sure it’s compatible with Android, iOS, and Huawei devices.

As your app gains popularity and feedback, start adding incremental features to keep it relevant and satisfy the needs of certain users. Per 1,000 application downloads, you’ll likely earn anywhere between $10 to $100.

20. Sell Online Merch

Unlike Etsy and eBay, where you need to source, design, advertise, and ship your products yourself, selling online Merch simply requires you to create an item, set a price, and start selling. Said website would then handle the rest—production, shipping, customer service, etc.

Teespring, Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, and Shopify are some of the best platforms to create and sell merch. They’re easy to use and feature a decent deal of print-on-demand merchandise. This includes t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, bags, phone covers, water bottles, and more.

Redbubble and Sellfy are terrific options for individuals who aren’t too big on marketing or SEO as they both have in-built marketing tools, SEO & analytics. 

All the websites mentioned give designers and artists a chance to earn a living—or, in this case, passive income—from their creativity. Best of all, they support worldwide shipping, unlimited bandwidth, and embed shopping cart or “buy now” buttons for easy purchase.

21. Fip and Sell Stuff on eBay

Selling items on eBay is an easy and inexpensive way to start making passive income, especially if you have a ton of items in your home. You can also flip items from Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, garage sales, and local thrift stores for a little extra cash.

To give you an idea, here are some of the best things to sell on eBay:

  • Old toys (1980s to early-2000s)
  • Stuffed animals and dolls
  • Vinyl records and electronics
  • Collectibles
  • Sports and music memorabilia
  • Lego
  • Authentic Disney merchandise
  • Car parts
  • Video game controllers of current consoles
  • Broken crayons (to be used as wax for crafts and arts)
  • Empty or partially used perfume bottles
  • Empty makeup containers
  • Pokémon cards

As you can see, there’s no limit to what you can sell on eBay. During your weekend, feel free to browse local vintage shops, garage sales, and thrift stores and search for things you can flip on eBay. To help you with your search, go through eBay’s recently sold or popular items so you’ll have an idea of what to look for.

Once you’ve bought the item and flipped it, take several flattering photos and upload them to eBay. Let the website do its magic as it fills your account with a steady stream of passive income.

22.  Open a Patreon Account

Passive Income Ideas for Students

If you spend your time on YouTube, you’ve surely heard of Patreon. Patreon is a membership platform that allows content creators to run a paid subscription service for loyal fans. It’s an excellent way to earn extra money for things you’re already creating (music, art, books, webcomics, etc.).

Unfortunately, Patreon only works if you already have an established fanbase. It doesn’t have to be large; as long as people regularly (or even semi-regularly) follow your content, you’ll be able to make money with Patreon. Casual fans can pay a low rate of $1 per month, while more dedicated followers can pay as much as $20 or even $30 per month.

Depending on the type of creator you are, you can offer exclusive “rewards” and unique benefits to your members—rewards that non-Patreon members can’t access. This includes additional content, engaging experiences, and exclusivity.

Fiction writers, for instance, may release a new chapter to Patreon two to four days before its official release on their writing account. YouTubers may publish exclusive never-before-seen videos, outtakes, and even one-on-one sessions with top-tier fans. Webcomic artists may post early scribbles of their work and full-size images and wallpapers of their characters.

23.   Become an Audiobook Narrator

Do you love reading books out loud for an audience? Do you want to be a voice actor? If so, becoming an audiobook narrator is the perfect niche for you.

Websites like ACX, Spoken Realms, Findaway Voices, and BunnyStudio help individuals earn money from narrating audiobooks. You can also generate leads and outsource your work to freelance platforms like Fiverr.

Depending on the length of the book, expect around $50 to $200 per finished hour of your audiobook narration. You can also choose to set your own per-finished-hour rate or, alternatively, split royalties 50/50 with the rights owner. This means that per audiobook sold, you’ll receive 50% of the commission, making it an ideal source of passive income. 

With that said, becoming an audiobook narrator does take a bit of upfront work at first. In fact, some of the work involved goes way beyond simply recording the voice-over. It requires hours and hours of editing and other technical learning curves. Therefore, it’s best to start with smaller jobs before taking on lengthier projects. 

24. Create an Online Course

Creating an online course not only polishes your skills but also shares your knowledge with individuals globally. It takes a bit of upfront work—research, making a script, and filming your course—but once you’ve uploaded your course online, it shouldn’t take long to earn passive money.

The e-learning market is one of the most profitable online businesses. All you need is knowledge and passion for your work. You can sell your course as a package or allow people to access individual “episodes” or chapters for a fixed cost. You can also establish a membership site accessible only to paying members.

As long as members are subscribed to your work, expect a steady flow of income.

To make money through online courses, choose a subject that sells. Some of the most sought-out online course subjects are as follows:

  • Computer and technology
  • Arts and crafts
  • Writing
  • Lifestyle/personal development
  • Health and fitness
  • Entertainment
  • Science and math
  • Social science
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Languages

Of course, you don’t have to cover the subject entirely. Try to find a more niche topic within these subject matters; ideally, something that’s less talked about but equally important. You don’t have to have high credentials or professor-level speech, but you do have to have better-than-average knowledge on the topic.

Once you’ve created your course, upload it to a popular learning marketplace like Udemy or Skillshare.

25. Repurpose Your Transcription Work

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Home-based transcription services are currently in high demand. You’ll find tons of opportunities out there across all fields, industries, skill levels, and professions. There’s something for everyone!

Since you’re working for passive income, search for work related to your college course or interest. Most transcriptionists make anywhere between $15 to $25 per hour.

I know what you’re thinking—this sounds more like an active income rather than a passive income.

Well, here’s the thing: if you’ve got content that includes audio files, there are multiple ways to convert them into resources that can be sold for passive income.

When repurposing transcriptions, always make sure to convert the content into your own masterpiece to avoid copyright issues. It should work as a separate entity from the original. Expand on what you already have and adapt it into a new medium. With this, you can turn an active income into a passive income.

26. Consider Peer-to-Peer Lending

In a nutshell, peer-to-peer lending (P2P lending) allows investors to lend money from other individuals at a fixed rate. You, as the lender, will receive the money you’ve lent plus the agreed interest when it’s repaid by the borrower.

It’s quite similar to a traditional bank or lending institution, but without the complicated paperwork. It’s an easy way to earn passive income at the end of every month.

P2P lending comes with its fair share of risks. The loan may go bad, for example. There’s also the psychological risk of lending money: constantly asking yourself whether or not the money will be returned.

Due to the many risks P2P lending poses, lenders need to choose a trusted P2P platform to get the most bang for their buck. Websites such as Vincent and Lending Club manage the risks by performing background and credit history checks on the borrower.

Other Low-Effort Income Ideas for Students

If you have a bit of free time on your hands before or after your college classes, consider the following low-effort income ideas:

27.  Do Translations Online

If you study or speak more than one language, earn money by doing translations online. Being a translator not only helps you earn money online but also allows you to widen your vocabulary and discipline your mind.

Websites like LiveTranslation and Speakt allow you to apply as a freelance translator from the comfort of your own student accommodation. You can also offer translation services to freelance companies like Fiverr, Upwork, and Outsourcely.

If you love reading foreign mangas or manhwas, apply as a typesetter/translator to international publishing groups like Amimaru and INKR. Amimaru and INKR work directly for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese publishers from Lezhin, Tapas, Webtoons, Tappytoons, and more.

28.  Baby Sit

Babysitting isn’t only for teenagers but also college students. Babysitters get paid at least $15 per hour. In large cities, the hourly wage can go up to at least $25.

Babysitting comes with multiple advantages. For one, it’s flexible. You can do it before or after your courses. It also provides work experience to put on your CV, showing that you’re both reliable and responsible.

On top of that, it can potentially help you make trustworthy relations with busy, working parents who can vouch for your character. The fact that you can squeeze in college work while you’re watching a child is a nice bonus, too.

There are a number of ways to get babysitting jobs. For instance, you can hold out business cards to parents at schools, parks, playgroups, etc. To increase interest, consider creating a website or online profile that tells your story. Similarly, you can join online communities or agencies.

If you’re new to babysitting, offer your services to people who already know and trust you. This is the easiest way to get the ball rolling and get glowing references in your profile.

29.  Pet Sit

Passive Income Ideas for Students

Pet sitting is a fantastic way to earn easy money. If you’re an animal lover, it’s a win-win situation: you get to spend time with a pet and earn a little extra money doing what you love.

The best way to earn money by pet sitting is to advertise your service through pet care apps like Rover, Wag, and Care. Unless the owner requested extra services (bathing, walking, administering medicine, etc.), you’ll only have to watch and feed the client’s pet until they return home. You may also need to play with said pets to encourage mental and physical stimulation.

Pet sitting services usually take no more than two to three hours a day. Plus, it’s usually stress-free and simple, especially if you have experience with animals.

Most pet sitters charge $10 to $30 per hour, so in a two to three-hour day, you’ll likely earn an average of $30 to $50.

30. Art or Writing Commissions

If you have a talent for digital art and writing, commission your works to individuals online. Publish examples of your work through social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. You can also use freelancing websites like Fiverr, Upwork, 99 Designs, Art Wanted, and WriterAccess.

When doing commission work, don’t be afraid to state your terms. Be clear with your descriptions and check in with the client at certain intervals throughout your work process. Depending on the quality of your work, you can earn anywhere between $10 to upwards of $100 per commission.

To make sure your time is well spent, always ask for a mandatory fee in case the project is canceled midway. It’s also best to ask for payment upfront. Freelance artists/writers usually ask for as much as 50% upfront to cover the cost of materials and time.

31.  Edit Videos

With the rise of YouTube stars and influencers, the demand for video editors is at an all-time high. This is especially true for YouTubers who upload videos daily or every other day.

If you have a talent for editing videos, use these skills to earn a couple of hundred dollars a month. YouTubers and influencers usually search for editors on Fiverr and social media such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram.

Take advantage of tags like #searchingforaneditor or #editorialwork to get started. You can also advertise your work on the same platforms.

32. Make Money Through Mobile Apps

As a student, you’re likely spending most of your free time scrolling through social media, browsing the internet, and chatting with friends. Alongside your online activities, make extra money through mobile apps by completing small tasks, signups, surveys, answering questions, and playing games. Such apps include Mcmoney, Poll Pay, Cryptotab Browser, and more.

Install said apps in your free time and spend about 10 to 30 minutes every day completing the required tasks. Once completed, rewards range anywhere from Amazon gift cards to real money. Other applications, like Raketen, reward you with cash-back for shopping through their application.

Sweatcoin is another excellent moneymaker. It converts your steps into a virtual currency called “Sweatcoins,” which you can spend on gadgets, sports kits, food, and more. You get paid on something that you’d do anyway—walking—and become healthier in the process. Think of it as a personal gym trainer!

33.  Surveys Online

You’ve surely heard of this easy moneymaker. By completing surveys online, you get paid for your thoughts and opinions. Although the payout won’t push you to financial freedom, it provides enough to be considered a feasible income at the end of every week.

Some of the most popular survey sites include:

  • Swagbucks
  • Opinion Outpost
  • LifePoints
  • Toluna Influencers
  • Survey Junkie
  • i-Say
  • MyPoints
  • InboxDollars

Depending on the site you choose, you can earn anywhere between $10 to $100 doing surveys online. Some even allow you to earn up to $50 per survey. The points you earn can be redeemed as gift cards or cash via PayPal.

Some sites, like InboxDollars and GrabPoints, reward you with cash for watching videos and playing games. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can make as much as $50 per day doing surveys.

As a college student, you probably won’t have a lot of free time doing surveys and watching videos. Spending 10 to 25 minutes a day doing surveys is enough to generate passive income at the end of the month.

34.  Sell Your Notes

As a college student, you’ll have likely written a ton of notes, papers, essays, and projects. Instead of discarding them, earn passive money by selling them to students that need them.

Educational blogs, agencies, and essay sites like StudySoup and Course Hero buy content from students all over the world. Depending on the size, type, and content you sell, you can easily make hundreds of dollars per month without disrupting your college life.

Apart from StudySoup and Course Hero, you can sell your notes to the following websites:

  • Nexus Notes
  • Notesmate
  • Notesgen
  • Notesale
  • NoteXchange
  • Omega Notes
  • OneClass
  • Oxbridge Notes
  • StudentVIP
  • Stuvia

35.  Become a Virtual Friend Online or in Real Life

It might sound weird, but there are actually a ton of people who find it difficult to find friends. This is why rent-a-friend services are so popular. If you love making new friends, consider selling your friendship. Who knows, you might actually end up developing real friends!

Rent-a-friend services range from phone calls, video calls, text messaging, and real-life hangouts. Tourists may also use these services to find a friend willing to show them around the city. Rent-a-friend services are strictly platonic, so you don’t have to worry about the other party’s expectations. Per hour, you may make anywhere between $30 to $100.

Passive Income Tips to Consider

When it comes to passive income, time is everything. The whole point of passive income is to make money with the least effort possible. That said, don’t fall for any passive income ideas that promise quick and huge amounts of return. In most cases, passive income stems from a lot of upfront work.

Making YouTube videos, for instance, requires months and months of prior content creation. The same is said for writing a book or eBook. Investments require hours of research beforehand to minimize the risk of monetary loss.

Here are some passive income tips to consider to save both your time and effort: 

Utilize Your Skills

The best way to boost your income is to attract long-term paying clients through your skills. Use your passions, experience, and other parts of your life that make you unique and provide value for other people. If you’re fond of writing, publish a book. If you’re an artist, make a webcomic. If you’re a coding genius, flip websites and sell them for a profit.

Ask yourself this: what are you good at? What differentiates you from others in your space? What value can you add to someone else’s life? The answers to these questions will help you decide what product or service you can offer to the world at large.

Be Mindful of Your Time and Resources

College students have limited time and resources. Creating passive income can quickly become a trap if you don’t consider the time and effort you spend when building your niche.

Passive money makers often require learning new topics and skills alongside those you already have. The goal of passive income is to minimize your time investment once the initial upfront work is over. It’d be a shame to have all the work and time you’ve put through your project fail.

Therefore, you should always be mindful of the time and resources you’re planning to spend on your work. Be realistic about your commitments. If you don’t have much time to spare in the beginning, it might be best to consider investments rather than long-term projects like making videos for YouTube and online courses.

Listen to People’s Voices

In other words, listen to what people are asking and what they’re interested in. Scroll through social media, Google, and YouTube. Look at the numbers. What’s the most popular “thing” right now? Based on your skills, choose something you’re knowledgeable in and turn it into something people can consume.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read on for some of the web’s most frequently asked passive income questions!

How many streams of income should I have?

As a student, your main priority should be studying hard for your degree rather than building multiple income streams. Nonetheless, it’s always beneficial to have a little extra cash to splurge from time to time.

Three to four streams of passive income are preferable, but not required. It all depends on your personal needs, time, and college fees.

Is passive income taxable? If so, how can I minimize it?

Similar to full-time jobs, passive income is entirely taxable. The amount you owe depends on several factors, like your source of income and how much time you usually spend in maintaining your business. Therefore, approach an accounting professional before pursuing long-term passive income opportunities.

The best way to minimize passive income taxes is to receive a tax identification number for your business. You can do so by registering with the IRS. Then, contact a broker who can help you open a self-employed account like Charles Schwab or Fidelity.

Note that you have to own a legitimate business to qualify to the terms set by the IRS. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay your taxes normally.

Is investing worth the risk?

For many people, yes, investing is worth the risk. When investing, risk and reward are closely linked. Profit isn’t always guaranteed. If the company you’ve invested in doesn’t do well, you might lose a ton of money. This is why research is extremely important. The more you know of the market, the better you’ll be at predicting its performance.

Final Thoughts

There are multiple ways to generate a passive stream of income, from investing to making revenue from YouTube videos. There’s passive money to be made almost anywhere, and while it may take a bit of funding and effort to get started, you’ll reap the rewards long after you’ve put in the work.

The wonderful thing about passive income is that it doesn’t interfere with your college work. So, what are you waiting for? Establish your financial goals and decide which of the above moneymakers fits your style of making money. Good luck!

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