Given the choice between having an additional source of income or not, most people would choose the affirmative. The trouble comes when you have to find time to earn that additional income. While we all have available blocks of time in our schedule, not everyone has the ability to take on a full-time second job. That’s where the development of passive income comes into play.

Yes, you do have to set aside the time to develop them. However, once you’ve done that, the amount of hours each week you’ll need to devote to keep the funds flowing is greatly reduced. This makes passive income particularly appealing to those looking to retire early, raise a family or simply to protect themselves from sudden layoffs. Here are nine separate ways you can begin to increase the number of revenue streams you have at your disposal.

Rental Properties               

If you’re looking for ways to be rent and mortgage free as well as build additional income, rental properties are a solid place to start. You start with one property and – at least in the States – even get the residential versus commercial mortgage interest rates on your purchase if you go with a four unit building and live in one of the apartments yourself. Not only will others be handling the monthly payment to put a roof over your head, if you price your rents right you’ll even have additional monies to use towards other projects. Upkeep and repair costs will be yours to handle as well of course, but the concept is a sound one that others have been using for quite some time. If you’re credit’s good and you don’t mind handling some of the maintenance issues on your own, going the landlord route could be for you.

Affiliate Marketing

how-to-create-passive-incomeThe idea of affiliate marketing makes many people’s short list of affordable business strategies for a reason. You don’t have to have any of your own products, and the shipping, handling and ordering is handled by completely by outside entities that you don’t have to pay. What’s not to love? If you don’t want to start your own web site and deal with that tech headache either, you still have options available to you. Tweeting daily deals, or developing resource articles on free-to-use sites like Squidoo for example will get the job done.

Stock Photography

Whether you’re into travel photography or simply enjoy taking pictures of your favorite baked goods, there’s money to be made in the stock photography scene. With sites like iStock and Dreamstime accepting high-quality amateur pics and handling all of the marketing and sales transactions for you, this passive income option requires most of the work to be done up front. After that, you can sit back and enjoy the sales revenue. Obviously, there’s a bit more to it than that, and certain types of pictures sell better than others. But if you have a high quality camera and an artistic eye, chances are you can eventually make a decent side income from stock photography. It’s definitely a numbers game, so although you may get lucky and have one or two images that sell repeatedly, your odds are better with a high number of pictures spread across a variety of stock sites.

Ad Sales

For those who are willing to embrace web site ownership, ad sales are a great way to earn extra cash on pages that have a strong search ranking. Whether you want to just stick with a simple Google Adsense setup, market monthly-billable ads independently or start to sell higher-value ads through larger ad networks, the additional revenue eventually adds up. Once you have your ad clients set up on automatic billing and payment plans, you’ll have less weekly work to worry about. As your income grows, what remaining work there is can be outsourced, leaving you with a passive income stream you can enjoy from anywhere. [More tips on starting a site on How I Make Money Online]

Article Residuals

When you begin your transition into working from home, one of the easiest ways to start is with article residuals. Whether you register with web sites that pay you by the number of reads such as Suite 101, or start compiling collections of web articles with a company like Hub Pages which allows you to earn income via shared ad network revenue while enjoying the extra exposure that comes from a larger site with many writers, earning money from article residuals is an authentic way to add a revenue stream to your monthly income. As with stock photography, this is a bit of a numbers game so it pays to have patience and tenacity when developing your written assets. Since you can essentially launch this type of business for free, it’s a great way for new entrepreneurs to make their financial mark.

Book Royalties

While the odds of getting rich from a single book deal are low, you can earn passive income from book sales whether you go with a traditional publisher or go the independent route on your own. Even if you only make one or two thousand dollars a year per book, those with plenty to say who can eventually develop fifteen or twenty titles to market online have a shot at a real living. You can sell these books through Amazon via the Kindle market, through sites like E-Junkie and ClickBank or as a pdf file through your own independently-owned web site.

Subscription Sales

If you have a site with frequently-updated resources such as recipe collections, money-earning tips or writing tutorials, selling access to information a bit at a time is a great way to build subscription-based revenue that can eventually be developed by additional writers when you are ready to spend less time on the project. Digital magazines are another way to go. The point is, just because you have to be involved in the beginning, doesn’t mean you’ll always be responsible for the full workload.

Land Leasing

Got a piece of land you don’t particularly want to tend yourself? Consider leasing out some of it to others who need to grow hay for their animals or crops to sell. You can also lease it for commercial use to businesses that have an easy-to-move shop such as shipping container offices for RV sales or used car lots that don’t require a permanent structure. Income without involvement. Who wouldn’t love that?

Superior Staff

If you embrace low-overhead business strategies from the beginning, it won’t take long before you can hire a manager to keep things afloat for you. The quicker you can turn a profit, the quicker you can remove yourself from the maintenance equation. Remember, not every money-making venture has to be the greatest world peace project ever. Seasonal ice cream stands, specialty import shops and even coffee kiosks can all make enough money to support a responsible staff member or two and add to your overall passive income stream in small increments. If your downtown coffee cart brings in a thousand dollars a month over and above all of the costs, that’s something most people can get excited about. Would you quit your corporate job for it? Probably not. But if you could add that amount to your monthly income and give a college student a job that required minimal supervision from you, isn’t that worth it?

If there’s a parting point of info I could offer, it would be that you don’t have to create an income stream that would support your entire lifestyle overnight. Even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had to start somewhere. We all hope that our idea is the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread that will make us millionaires overnight. Maybe it will. But not every idea has to be the most unique in order to be financially beneficial. There are plenty of consumer needs that need to be met in the same way around with world. Whether that’s the rental of beach chairs or morning caffeine access, the point is that there’s nothing wrong with going for the low-hanging fruit as your build your portfolio income. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. That’s how the tortoise beat the hare, after all.

Myscha Theriault

Myscha Theriault

A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.