Whether you need some extra pocket money or want to build a whole new income stream, we've got a few ideas for ways you can develop a passive income
Extra cash always comes in handy. Whether you’re saving for a big purchase or simply want to ensure financial security for your family, generating passive income through a hobby or side project can help you to reach your financial goals faster.
The idea of a portfolio career (one where your income is spread across various money making opportunities) has become more prevalent in the age of the internet. From full-time bloggers to bitcoin billionaires, there’s never been a better time to make cash on the side. If the idea of passive income appeals, keep reading to discover some of the most popular ways to make bonus money without needing to quit your day job.
Buy business shares through crowdfunding
Crowdfunding has become a common route to investment for startup businesses. Rather than borrowing money from the bank, crowdfunded businesses ask the public to invest cash in exchange for products or shares in their company.
BrewDog is one of the UK’s most notable crowdfunded companies. Through its Equity for Punks scheme, the Scottish craft brewery invites customers to support its expansion by pledging money in exchange for shares and discounts on drinks.
Sian Bradley, an architect from Cardiff, is one such customer. After discovering BrewDog’s beer in her local pub, she took a punt and bought four shares in the brewery for £90. A few years on, her initial investment is now worth around £2,800.
“I thought it would be a cool thing to invest in because I loved their alternative approach to beer and business,” Sian explains. “I continue to support Brewdog, convincing friends to invest. I even bought some shares for my friends’ newborn baby. Just imagine what they’ll be worth in 18 years!”
Monetise a blog
If you’re passionate about a particular subject and enjoy writing about it, creating a blog that covers the topic could net you a tidy sum of cash.
Bloggers with regular readers can monetise their audience through online adverts and sponsored posts, or use affiliate links to drive traffic to business websites in exchange for regular payment. Barrie Smith has set up several websites that make him money this way, including football blog Premiership Tips.
“If you’ve got a passion for something, I cannot recommend enough that you share it with the world,” enthuses Barrie. “It’s easy to set up a website using Wordpress, and how long it takes you to create content for your site is all dependent on you. Today, my passive income makes up anywhere between 20 and 50% of my nine to five wage.”
Launch an online course
Like blogs, online courses can be a lucrative way to make cash if you’ve got skills that can be taught to others. From software tutorials to dating tips, people who share their knowledge online can build an audience and make money by teaching skills they already have.
You may choose to upload your course on a free video sharing website such as YouTube, in the hope that your clips will eventually be viewed enough times to qualify for earnings through the platform’s partner programme.
Another approach is to host courses on a privately owned website and charge people to access them. This is how Lucy Griffiths, a TV presenter and coach, makes some of her passive income.
“I already work with entrepreneurs and help them to look more professional on camera, so this is just an extension of what I do,” says Lucy. “Creating online courses is about leveraging what you do and sharing your skills with others. It was quite a lot of work to create the course, but the returns have been great for me!”
Become an Airbnb host
While renting holiday homes is hardly a new phenomenon, the internet has changed the way people find accommodation. Online services like Airbnb make it easy to turn your home into a holiday destination, and turn a profit from travellers looking for a place to stay.
With a passion for exploring new places, Vierka Vojcikova uses Airbnb to fund her nomadic lifestyle. She’s hosted hundreds of fellow travellers while living in cities throughout Europe, including Barcelona, Bratislava and Ljubljana.
“If you’re living in a location and have a spare room available, you can make money by listing it on a website like Airbnb,” suggests Vierka, who estimates that she makes around 50% of her income as an Airbnb host. “Before you do this, make sure that Airbnb isn’t prohibited where you live, and check that there’s a demand for it by seeing what other accommodation is available in the area.”
Cash in on cryptocurrency
Bitcoin was big news in December 2017, when investors saw an exponential rise in the cost of the digital currency. While its value has since slumped, many investors are keeping a close eye on similar cryptocurrencies to take advantage of potential price hikes.
Tom Clark, owner of search engine optimisation business Convert Digital, is hoping that his calculated investments in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin will lead to significant gains. “I started out with a bitcoin based system, where you are paid 1% interest per day in bitcoin for the money you have invested,” he explains. “This now generates roughly £10 a day for me, and my initial investment has been recovered and invested in other cryptocurrencies.”
The volatile and often misunderstood nature of digital currency means that investors accept a high degree of risk. Tom recommends that budding bitcoin investors should exercise caution, and consider safer money making opportunities alongside cryptocurrency. “I was originally planning to invest £10,000 in one go across a variety of different coins, but the volatility experienced in January 2018 has swung me towards gradually developing my portfolio,” says Tom. “Consider how much money can you afford to lose per month, and think about whether your goals can still be met by a safer route while you take on high risk investments like cryptocurrency.”