The advent of the internet has introduced opportunities for just about anyone to become financially stable. From affiliate marketing to selling digital products, there’s lots of ways to create a passive income stream that doesn’t cost the earth. Passive income is one generated without a great deal of input from you – a kind of set it up and watch it go, situation. While there’s almost always a ton of work involved at the start, once the work has been done you can sit back and watch as people invest in your creation! Let’s take a look at 5 ideas that you can get started on without spending a lot of money to get them going.


This is possibly one of the more popular and cost-effective ways of generating income in the era of the internet. This is where you offer up your expertise on a given subject– provided that you actually have expertise in a given area, of course. There are lots of different things that you can choose, so long as it provides value and allows people to get from one situation to another.

There are language coaches, for instance, IT consultants, SEO experts, and the list goes on! The list is pretty much endless and the startup costs can be very low. Most people already have a computer and internet access, which is all you really need to start a consulting business from scratch.

WordPress developer

If you have a background in development, designing themes and plugins for WordPress is a great way to build a steady stream of extra revenue. Again, the startup costs for this are minimal and it’s likely that you have the required equipment already. The market for this is huge, with over half of all websites being powered by WordPress there is definitely lots of opportunities here. One of the best places to sell your themes is Themeforest, with the most popular themes there earning their developers millions every year.

The downside to this type of business is that the marketplaces charge you a lot of money to host your products on their websites. In some cases, they’ll take up to 50% of your commissions. What you can do instead is strike out on your own. Start your own website, create content and drive traffic to it. This can be a powerful way of establishing yourself in your niche and making more profit as you won’t be listing your products on the common digital marketplaces.


More and more people are exploring this option today and with good reason. With low startup costs and no need to invest in inventory, there is a lot of money to be made in this business. Dropshipping is a product fulfilment method where the seller doesn’t purchase stock in bulk. Instead, they only purchase items from suppliers when a customer has purchased the same item. The product is then shipped directly from the supplier to the customer.

This is a powerful way to do business as it minimises risks for the dropshipper and generally lowers the barrier to entry. Wholesalers tend to sell their products at incredibly low prices, with stores in China being among the more popular. AliExpress is in such store where you can source products at low prices. All you need to do then is set up your store figure out a traffic-generation strategy.

Web hosting

You may not realise it, but you can start own web hosting company without having to invest in any kind of infrastructure. It may sound a bit far-fetched but you can make use of existing company resources and become an official reseller. This allows you to have a hosting company under your own brand whilst not risking any significant finances in purchasing your own (very expensive) server infrastructure.

This is perfect upsell product for web designers. Many web designers recommend web hosting to their clients but don’t realise they can provide the service themselves by partnering up with established businesses.

Become a stock photographer

There are websites such as Shutterstock that will happily pay commissions on every photograph of yours that sells through them. Businesses all over the globe use stock photography so this can be a great way to earn money once you are established. If you know your way around a camera then is something that should be considered.

Another good about selling your snaps is that each one can be sold over and over, there’s no need to keep uploading pictures although you will undoubtedly increase your earning potential if you. Whatever your particular skillset, you’re sure to be able to get at least one of these passive income ideas off the ground with a little effort.

Ahmad Ben
Ahmad is a young, ambitious entrepreneur that loves helping people achieve their goals. He spends his time crafting case studies and other useful content on his site, Bengu, so people can learn how to start profitable online businesses.