Types of Passive Online Income

On this site, I’ll teach you how to make passive income through websites. There are other forms of passive income like investing or real estate, but this is not what you’ll learn here.

There are many ways to build and monetize a website.

Below is a list of various ways one could make money through a website. Next to each idea is a difficulty rating. 

The difficulty rating on each of these is a combination of how hard or how much work it is to set up a website with that type of monetization method and how hard it is to make good money.

Monetization methods:

Adsense & Ad Marketing

By displaying Google Ads or paid ads on your website, you can make money. The only way to be profitable with this method though is to have a website that is getting a lot of traffic.

If you have a new website, you can make a few cents with Adsense, but I’d recommend to monetize in other ways first. You won’t get approved to run Google Ads until you have decent traffic to your site. For sites without a lot of traffic check out media.net.

Amazon Affiliate – Easy

Create a website that recommends specific products to a specific audience. By building a blog or ecommerce style website, you can help people find what they’re looking for and link them to that product on Amazon to buy it.

If you know a lot about a certain type of product and want to share it with the world, this idea is for you. Other ideas for Amazon affiliate sites would include a book club, gift giving ideas blog, or a review site. Here’s a link to a website I built that is monetized this way: https://bestfacemasks.ca

Get signed up today: USA Affiliate Program or Canada Affiliate Program

Also, if you have a product to sell, you can become an Amazon seller. Check out this article on 5 Tips and Tricks to Help you Sell Products on Amazon

Affiliate Marketing – Easy

Affiliate marketing is recommending a product to someone else and making a portion of the sale when they purchase it.

There are an endless number of products and services you can become an affiliate of. Many companies offer you a percentage of each sale you send their way and this is an easy way to make some extra change. To learn more about how to get started with Affiliate Marketing, go check out Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Affiliate Guide to get inspired to start affiliate marketing.

This website is an affiliate site. Most of the content on this site teaches you how to become an affiliate marketer while we try and make affiliate income on the products we use. There are many ways to do affiliate marketing so check back often as we show you different techniques to be successful at it.

Authority Sites – Medium

Find a niche industry you are passionate and build a resource site for that industry. As you site gains authority in that space, you’ll be able to generate income through the other types of passive income listed on this page. You can offer ebooks, links to products on amazon, do paid posts or reviews, etc.

Classifieds – Hard

Build a website with classifieds for a specific niche or industry. Offer free classifieds but have paid upgrades for top, featured and highlighted listings.

You could also add a classifieds section to an existing website when appropriate.

https://kijiji.ca – Example of a classifieds site that does well here in Canada.

Ebooks – Medium

If you have a website with an audience, and you have expert advice people would pay for, put it in an ebook. Craft an ebook on a topic that you’re an expert on, and sell it as an ebook. Depending on the length and demand for the knowledge, you can price your booking anywhere from $3 – $99.

Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School website has made a killing off ebooks.

Ecommerce Site – Easy

Do you have products to sell? Maybe you can import items from China and mark them up. Drop-shipping is another way to start an ecommerce store without actually having to own physical goods.

Creating an ecommerce store gives you the ability to sell anything online.

Pro tip: Start a multi-vendor ecommerce website and have people signup to sell stuff on your site and make a commission on all their sales.

Job Board – Hard

Similar to a classifieds site, but build a website with job listings for a specific niche or industry. Offer free listings but have paid upgrades for top, featured and highlighted listings.

Online Course – Medium

Building an online course probably has the highest potential revenue generation. If you’re an expert at something, create a course to teach people how to do the thing you know how to do. E-learning is a rapidly expanding industry and now is always a good time to get in.

Thinkiffic and Teachable are a couple on online course products you could use to build an online course. If you are a WordPress guru, you could also find online course themes on websites such as Themeforest to work with.

Print on Demand (POD) – Easy

Creating a print-on-demand store is one of the easiest ways to make passive income if you are at all creative. 

Redbubble and Printify (among others), are online platforms that allow you to upload your designs and sell them on various things like shirts, cups, phone cases, etc. People order your products and they print and fulfill the orders. These sites are easy to get started with but the work comes in when trying to promote and sell your stuff.

Review site – Medium

Create a blog around reviewing specific products or services. As your audience grows you’ll be able to do paid reviews of products. Business will do this to build exposure for their product.

Keep your reviews honest and you’ll see better results.

WordPress plugins – Hard

This idea is for the more technically savvy, or at least those willing to work with a developer. If you have an idea for a tool that could improve a website, build it out as a WordPress plugin. This market is competitive, but if you have a unique idea, there is good money to be made. With 30% of the websites on the internet using WordPress, the market is large.

Some WordPress plugins that have been successful are contact forms, membership plugins, and podcast plugins.

Other ways to make money online

There are many others ways one could make money online other than building a website. Here are a couple of the most common.

  • Youtube star
  • Instagram influencer
  • Buy, improve and sell websites from Flippa
  • Write on medium.com


This is by no means a comprehensive list and I will continually update this as I learn of new ways to make money online. Also, stay tuned as we create individual pages for each of the items above to dive into the how and why of each.