There’s no doubt that this is the age of side hustles. As prices grow higher and budgets grow tighter, creating a side business or becoming an entrepreneur is an increasingly popular idea.  

But how can you boost your income through your own small business without working yourself to the bone?  

The answer is passive income, which lets you bring in revenue while doing nothing at all toward the business. 

Sounds great, right? In this post, we’ll explain what passive income is and share some tips for getting started with making passive income, including a list of some popular platforms to use. 

Defining Passive Income: Passive vs Active Income

Passive income is when you invest some time and/or money into a venture upfront, but then that venture brings in money while you’re not doing anything further. You can be out with friends or at home watching TV, but if you check your banking or business management dashboard, you can see revenue coming in. 

This is in contrast to active income jobs where you’re making money as you’re devoting time to the work, such as through a salary or hourly pay. 

7 Ways to Make Passive Income 💵 

Anything that brings in income without you having to actively put in hours counts as passive income. Here, we divide passive income streams into some general categories and discuss platforms that you can use for your passive income stream.

Digital Art  

digital art

With digital art, you create one piece of art and earn money from it over and over again – whether that’s from selling prints of an art piece or selling digital stock photos. 

What’s great about digital art is that you can earn passive income in different ways from the same piece. 

For example, you could start by setting up a camera or smartphone to take a time-lapse video of your art creation process. Ensure the shot is well presented and that the artwork is attractive and clear to see. Then upload your video on YouTube with an appealing thumbnail and title. Once you’ve gotten enough subscribers and watch hours, you can start monetizing your YouTube videos

A screenshot of a video game

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Once your art is complete, you can post it to Instagram to build your follower base. Remember to use hashtags to get your artwork seen! 

Now that’s done, it’s time to sell prints. A print on demand service will take your artwork and print it on whatever you like – cups, bags, shirts, and more. Redbubble and Printful are some popular print on demand services, and you can also use Amazon Merch on Demand to reach Amazon audiences. 

Another option for digital art is selling stock photos. You simply take your high-quality photos and upload them to specialist stock photo sites such as Shutterstock, iStockphoto, or Getty Images. You can also sell both stock photos and digital art, together with many other digital products, on Whop

Lastly, selling templates is another great avenue for passive income. For example, you could sell templates for Notion, the planning and organization app, or templates for Figma, a design tool.  

What are the most profitable digital products to sell in 2024? Read our blog to see.


online courses

There’s a huge market for online courses that teach customers a new skill.  

You can teach a course on nearly any topic. One popular area is career-related skills, such as coding, but that’s certainly not the only subject area with potential. If you’re an artist, you can add to your passive income by creating a course to share your skill. You can also create content in the area of self-care, such as home organization or setting boundaries.  

There are many sites you can use to sell your online courses. Teachable, Kajabi, Thinkific, Udemy, and Whop are just some of your many options. The perk of choosing Whop is that, again, you can sell all kinds of digital products in one place. That’s great if you’re earning passive revenue from selling a digital product, and you’re also selling a course that teaches others to create the same kind of product. 

Ebooks and downloadable texts


Writing a traditional book is one of the oldest ways of earning passive income. 

But ebooks are also an increasingly large market – and it’s not hard at all to get started self-publishing your own ebook.  

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is the platform you might think of first when it comes to self-publishing. Apple Books and Barnes & Noble Press are similar platforms to other retail giants. However, all of these come with hefty fees, with Amazon taking between 30 and 65% of your ebook sales, and Apple Books and Barnes & Noble taking 30%. and

However, you can also sell your ebooks on Whop for just a 3% transaction fee. Plus, you can also sell other educational materials and downloadables on Whop. That means that if you’re selling a course too, you can sell a course and a book on the same material in the same store. 

Trading and investments 


Investing and stock trading can be one of the lowest-maintenance ways of earning passive income. One simple option for a beginner is investing in dividend stocks, which pay out money to stockholders on a regular basis. With dividend stocks, you’re not actively watching the market to buy and sell. You simply buy and then passively receive income.  

For more advanced investors, there are endless other options. Take a look at our beginner’s guide on stock investing to get started, or dive deep into our guide on building a long-term investment strategy

And for real trading and investing pros, you can monetize your know-how even further by creating video content, courses or books to share your knowledge. You can even sell access to an online community, such as a paid Discord server, where customers can discuss your tips and teaching. 

Real estate 

real estate investing

Income from rents on your property is another way of earning passive income that’s been around for a very long time! 

Airbnb is naturally the first platform you’ll think of when it comes to short-term lets. Vrbo and are some of its competitors. 

If you’re thinking more of long-term lets, then of course your local realtor might be the best place to start. 

This option can take more ongoing effort than some other passive income ventures – especially if there’s an emergency that needs your attention, such as a plumbing leak. Obviously, the upfront costs are also far higher than for most other approaches. However, if it goes well, you can also potentially get a high income from rent. 

Software and apps 


Here’s a passive income venture that could grow into a full-time career – building your own app or SaaS business.  

Software as a service could be a great choice for generating ongoing passive income. That’s because it’s sold on a subscription basis rather than through a single sale like traditional software.  

It’s entirely possible to bootstrap your SaaS startup, build the business on your own, and transform it into a very successful company. What kind of SaaS businesses could you create? Take a look at our handy list of SaaS business ideas for inspiration. 

Once you’ve created your software as a service, how do you sell it? Whop is a powerful platform that lets entrepreneurs sell their SaaS, together with many other digital products. It handles details like customer payments, leaving you free to focus on other things. It also provides a host of meaningful metrics to help you grow your business. 



Dropshipping can be a great way to get started in ecommerce. That’s when you sell others’ products without shipping them yourself. Then, once you’ve built a customer base, you can begin selling your own products. 

One well-known site to help you start dropshipping is Shopify. Once you’ve got your store set up on Shopify, the next step is to choose a supplier of the goods you’re dropshipping. For example, you could use DSers from AliExpress, or you can dropship other Shopify products through Shopify Collective. 

The print on demand services we’ve already mentioned fall under the category of commerce too.

How to Successfully Earn Passive Income 💡 

You know now that passive income ventures typically require a greater time and/or money investment in the beginning to help them get started. To some extent, there will always be a risk when you decide to commit to these upfront costs. However, there are some steps you can take to help your passive income venture thrive. 

Be unique 

Here’s a piece of advice that’s always been fundamental for any business – have a unique selling point. 

In many of the areas we’ve mentioned, the market is saturated with sellers with similar products. To get attention and grow your customer base, you need to have a unique appeal that makes you stand out. 

Do you have a special and unusual skill? Can you put an original twist on a popular topic? These are the elements that will help you get to success. 

You also want to think about what customer demand you can meet. What need can you fulfill for your audience?   

For example, Kat Norton turned her Miss Excel brand into a massive success by combining Excel tutorials with fun songs on TikTok. That’s an original spin that sets her work apart, plus she’s addressing people’s real need for help with a common workplace app. 

It’s worth noting that Norton also combined multiple passive income angles, starting with social media and then going on to create her own courses. 

Build a brand 

Selling digital products and services online is all about trust. That means you need to build a brand that looks professional and trustworthy. 

If you’re selling anything online, you’ll need to focus on visual appeal in materials relating to your business. That might mean hiring a freelancer to create a logo and some marketing images if you’re not a whiz at creating those yourself. 

Strong branding will also help you to stand out so that audiences recognize you. And if you’re working on multiple passive income streams, such as creating YouTube videos and online courses, recognizable branding will help connect all of your ventures together under one identity. 

Additionally, if you’re selling courses or educational ebooks, you should make sure you have a professional-sounding bio detailing your accomplishments, and perhaps a professional headshot photo. You might also want a professional website that lists all of your achievements and products. 

Get help with the logistics 

If you’re just starting up your passive income stream, you don’t want to be spending time figuring out how to handle a payment that didn’t go through. That’s why one major tip for beginning to make passive income is to use services that take care of as many logistical details as possible. 

You also want a platform that can give you meaningful metrics about how your business is performing. And, if you’re selling a digital product or service, you want your customer to be able to buy it easily, with no hassle. 

Is Creating a Passive Income Stream Worth It? ⚖️ 

passive income

Earning money while you are relaxing, sleeping, traveling, or doing anything other than actively working sounds great, right? That's because it is - creating passive income is absolutely worth it. However, as with everything in life, there are pros and cons, and we would be remiss to not share the good and the bad with you.


  • More free time – although most passive income ventures actually do require a little ongoing checking and maintenance. 
  • Enjoyment – selling artistic creations can be fun and satisfying. 
  • Independence – you make all the decisions and act as your own boss. 
  • Freedom to travel – usually you’re not tied to one location as you make money online


  • Some time demands – upkeep of some passive income ventures, like real estate investment, can start to feel more like active work. 
  • Responsibility – you’re accountable for paying your taxes correctly and fixing anything that goes wrong. 

Start Earning Passive Income Today with Whop 

whop sell

Passive income is the dream for many - but it can be difficult to land on the right earner for you. That's why the most successful earners of passive income focus on not one product, but many. Rather than putting all their eggs in one basket by focusing on a course, a paid community, a newsletter or an ebook, they create all of these and watch the revenue roll in.

If you're interested in generating passive income with ease then Whop is the platform for you. With Whop, you can sell digital products like apps, files, courses, and even access to communities – all at the same time, from the same place. For example, if you’re selling a course, you could also sell access to a community, ebooks, a paid newsletter, live coaching, and more.

Crucially, Whop also doesn’t cost you anything as a seller until you make a sale. Then it’s a flat 3% of each transaction, plus payment processing fees. When you’re starting a passive income venture, which typically has high upfront costs, that’s a huge benefit.  

Whop also takes care of the little details for you, by processing payments and making building your store incredibly easy. In fact, it takes less than ten minutes to get started on Whop.

Eager to start making passive income? Sign up today to start selling with Whop.