Passive income is the pillar of financial freedom. Passive income refers to money you receive without having to actively perform a job to get it. The idea is to do something once, or make an initial investment and continue to receive money for it long after the effort is done. A few of the most familiar types of passive income are royalties from a photo, buy-to-let properties, and financial investments.

However, there’s plenty more where that came from. Generating passive income in the UK is a key part of achieving financial freedom, so let’s dive into the basics.

What is Passive Income?

At its simplest, passive income is a revenue stream that continues to payout after the work is done. Usually, you will need some effort or money to ‘grease the wheel’ at the beginning, but the idea is that it continues to pay out over the long term without needing you to work all the time.

While you may well have a talent you can capitalize on, many other passive income streams will need a small investment. They can be a game-changer in your financial strategy and wealth growth when done right.

Active employment has a ceiling. There’s only so much you can do day-to-day to generate income, no matter what your talents. At most, you can carry a regular 9 to 5 and an active side hustle. This is the key benefit of passive income- it’s working even when you’re sleeping or busy at work. Some people even manage to leverage enough passive income that they don’t have to work actively again! 

The good news is that there are many legitimate passive income opportunities in the UK that can help you do just that. From programmers and developers to creatives, designers, and artists from stay-at-home moms to teachers, and writers, there are passive income ideas online for everyone. There’s plenty you can do to open passive income streams and grow them over time.

passive income ideas
Passive income ideas you can use to build real wealth

Passive Income Ideas

1) Long-term Investing

Assets that generate passive income can provide a steady stream of earnings without requiring constant effort or attention.

Traditional savings accounts pay you interest to leave your savings in the bank. While this was once a valid way to generate some income on your money, inflation and the slow erosion of your buying power over time mean what little interest banks offer you get eaten up.

You can leverage larger sums for better interest through fixed-term savings accounts. These savings instruments will lock your money away for a set period of time, however, rates increase with the length of time you commit to. You cannot get this money back until the end of the period.

High-yield savings accounts offer a low-risk method of generating passive income through competitive interest rates, allowing individuals to earn money on their savings without the need for active management.

Looking to the stock and bond markets, however, is the real way to get an inflation-busting rate of return on your investment and build wealth. For those who want a truly passive investment strategy, there are robo-investor accounts. You can set aside the money to invest, and allow algorithms to pick stock and index choices based on your investment profile.

For those who would like to grow their money over time, there are online brokerage accounts. Here you can select your own ETF, index tracker, mutual fund, and stock picks, allocate your funds as you desire, and rebalance your portfolio for growth as you choose. You can also choose to seek out established dividend-paying company shares and ETFs for a steady cash flow.

2) E-books

If you have a talent you can leverage that will generate royalties or long-term repeat sales, you can create a passive income stream from it. Can you create a helpful e-book?

Writing and publishing a book is definitely an ambitious project, but it can pay off. It is a way of generating passive income with no investment. You can explore many different publishing platforms. You can then use your book to promote yourself as an expert in your field and earn passive income from your e-book sales.

3) Stock Photos

With websites like Shutterstock and iStockPhoto, you can make money off of your photos. This is an extra income source suitable for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts. You can license your images to be used by a wide array of different companies, or individuals.

Obviously, the only catch is that you need to take the photos yourself. Even if you don’t own a professional camera, you can start with the smartphone in your pocket that could come in handy. Many smartphones come equipped with a high-quality built-in camera that can capture professional-looking pictures when combined with the right lighting technique.

4) Stock Videos

If you have a talent for making impressive videos, you may be able to turn that skill into some extra cash. There are many websites out there that will pay you for useful or interesting videos. Websites like Adobe Stock and Istock will pay you for creating stock videos that can be licensed for other websites or advertisements. You can earn through digital downloads.

5) Create an Online Course

There are so many people who have knowledge, skills, or expertise that other people would love to learn from. Researches show that online courses are one of the biggest trends in education in recent years and are expected to continue to get more users.

By creating a useful online course, you’ll be able to teach other people and make money at the same time. You can use open online courses platforms like Udemy or Teachable to get your course online or put it on your own website if you want more control over how it looks and how you’re promoting it.

6) Real Estate Investment

Real estate is one of the oldest forms of passive income. Rental income remains a cornerstone of the passive income market. Buy-to-let properties are purchased to let out in order to produce a rental return. Researches also show that they can grow in value, producing a capital gain when you sell.

Another option is to invest in a real estate investment trust (REIT).

A REIT is a publicly traded company that invests primarily in real estate. Often, REITs will buy and manage big commercial properties like shopping centers, office buildings, or apartment complexes. REITs can be bought and sold on the open market like stocks.

7) No-code Apps

The process of hiring a programmer or learning how to code and build an app is time-consuming and expensive for most solo entrepreneurs. No-code app builders are the easiest way to build a mobile app. If you have a great idea for an app, you can utilize no-code app builders as a way to make money passively.

They require no coding experience and allow you to create an app with just a few clicks. These tools make use of visual builders that allow you to drag and drop elements to create your app.

Building mobile apps is one of the great passive income sources for students as it requires very little up-front investment. No-code app builder platforms such as Bubble, Appypie, and Airtable all have low-cost plans.

8) Blogging

Blogging is the act of regularly creating new articles for your own website where you share your knowledge and experiences with a specific audience. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to write just about anything, from your passions to your area of expertise. If you have something valuable to share, other people will want to read it.

You can monetize your blog by displaying advertisements using platforms such as Google AdSense, Ezoic, or Taboola. Affiliate marketing is another way to monetize a website through commission-based earnings on products or services.

Blogging is a great way to create an automated passive income because the money is earned passively as you provide your target audience with valuable information.

9) Podcasts

Who doesn’t love a good podcast? They’re perfect for car rides, working out, or even just doing the dishes. And as more and more people are tuning in, there’s never been a better time to start your own podcast. Not only is podcasting a great way to connect with others and build an audience, but it is a second income opportunity as well.

With an effort up front, you can set up your podcast so that it requires minimal ongoing maintenance while still generating income. For example, you could sell advertising or sponsorships, or include affiliate links in your show notes. You could even charge for access to premium content or create a subscription-based podcast.

10) Youtube Channel

One popular method of making money online with a small investment is to start a YouTube channel.  It does take some initial work to get your channel up and running. Once it is established, it can provide you with a steady stream of income with minimal effort on your part. 

Youtubers can monetize their channels by enabling ads on their videos, and they can earn a percentage of the revenue generated by the ads. The more views a video gets, the more money the creator can earn. Another monetization opportunity is to take affiliate marketing deals or to directly work with brands to promote their products in the videos.

In order to be successful, you need to choose a niche that you are passionate about and that has a large enough audience to support your channel. You also need to produce high-quality content that will keep viewers coming back for more.

11) Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a type of online business model in which an individual or company sells products that are acquired from a third-party manufacturer directly to consumers.

Dropshipping is convenient because the seller company doesn’t need to hold stock of the goods it sells. The products are packaged and shipped by the manufacturer or wholesaler.

12) Digital Designs

Selling digital designs can be a great way to earn income on autopilot. You can start off by selling digital products such as logos, graphic design elements, branding resources, templates, and illustrations on platforms such as Envato, Creative Market, and Motion Elements.

If you’re looking to build up a portfolio then this is a great way to do so as you can showcase your work online. It is one of the convenient ways to make money with your digital design skills.

13) Create a Print-on-Demand Store

Running a print-on-demand store is a semi-passive income source. It can be an active side hustle depending on how you decide to run the business. These digital stores allow creatives, designers, illustrators, and artists to sell their designs on various products such as t-shirts, phone cases, and mugs, without having to worry about inventory or shipping.

Etsy is a practical platform for setting up a print-on-demand store. Sellers can upload their designs to the platform. With the right marketing strategy, a print-on-demand store can be a continuous source of additional income.

14) Buy and Sell Domain Names

There are many ways to earn money off of websites, and selling domain names is just one of them. Selling a domain name can be a profitable business if you invest in the right words. The first thing you need to do is find the right domain names that have the potential to become much more valuable in the future.

A good domain name has a nice, catchy name that people will remember. You can also follow the recent trends and buy domain names that include popular words. Common practice is to buy domains for £10 to £50, then sell them when their prices increase considerably.

15) Generate Passive Income on Amazon

Amazon is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world. It offers a variety of ways to make passive income. One way to make money on Amazon is by selling products on the platform. Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a program that allows sellers to store their products in Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon handles the shipping, customer service, and returns for the seller. This makes selling on Amazon a passive income opportunity for sellers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of storing and shipping their own products.

Another way to generate passive income on Amazon is by publishing eBooks. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform allows authors to self-publish their books and sell them on Amazon. Once a book is published, it can bring passive income through royalties without any additional effort from the author. The beauty of this option is that authors can create and publish their books from anywhere in the world.

16) Run an Affiliate Marketing Business

Affiliate marketing is a business model that allows individuals to earn a commission by promoting other people’s products or services. Affiliate marketers can earn a percentage of the sale by promoting products on their website or social media channels. Amazon Associates and Clickbank are popular affiliate marketing platforms.

17) Rent Out Your Spare Room

Platforms like Airbnb make it easy for homeowners to rent out their spare rooms to travelers. Renting out a spare room is a way to build a lucrative passive income stream for homeowners who have extra space.

It can be a perfect second income idea for young adults who would like to meet with more people from different parts of the world and socialize.

18) Becoming an Influencer

Social media has changed the way people earn money. Influencers are people who have a large following on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. They earn money by promoting products and services to their followers. Brands pay influencers to create content featuring their products. This content can include sponsored posts, product reviews, and giveaways. Becoming an influencer can be a great way to earn money from home if you can build a follower base on social media.

19) Create Passive Income with AI Tools

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way we do business. It has given rise to new opportunities and opened up avenues to unique passive income ideas. One such tool that has gained popularity recently is Midjourney. It is a cloud-based tool that helps you create visuals and images using AI algorithms.

With Midjourney, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create professional-looking images.

The best part about using Midjourney is that it can help you generate passive income streams. You can create and sell templates, graphics, and icons on various online marketplaces or even on your website. This can be an excellent way to build a passive income portfolio. All you need to do is create the images, photos, templates, and graphics once, and you can sell them over and over again.

Another way to earn passive income is with AI tools such as using ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a language model that uses AI to generate human-like text. It can be used for a wide range of applications, including content creation, translation, copywriting, and even customer service. 

20) Passive Income with Crypto Mining

Crypto mining involves using powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems and validate transactions on the blockchain. When you solve these problems, you are rewarded with a certain amount of cryptocurrency.

To start mining cryptocurrency, you need to invest in hardware, such as a mining rig, and pay for electricity costs. While the need for initial funds is significant, the returns can be substantial too.

21) Invest in Businesses as a Silent Partner

Investing in businesses as a silent partner is a smart modern wealth-creation method. Sometimes called angel investing, (also known as private investing and seed investing) this option requires providing funds to small startups or entrepreneurs.

As a silent partner, you invest in a business and receive a share of the profits without having to take an active role in the day-to-day operations of the business. This can be an excellent option if you don’t have the time or expertise to start your own business.

To invest in a business as a silent partner, you need to find a business that is looking for investors. You will then negotiate the terms of the investment, such as the percentage of profits you will receive and the duration of the investment.

When done strategically and with due diligence angel investing can be one of the most profitable passive income sources. In fact, this approach to funding startups has the potential to make millions of pounds, turning a small initial investment into a significant fortune.


Everyone who is trying to achieve the goal of financial independence knows that the answer is to work smarter, not harder. There will always be a ceiling on how much income you can generate through active, engaged work. A passive income stream is a great way to supplement your earnings.

Whether you’re looking to replace your full-time income, or just want to have extra money to spend each month, creating a passive income stream is a smart move. Whatever approach you choose, be sure to put in the work upfront so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.

Diversifying the income streams and building a strong online investment portfolio are great steps toward ongoing financial freedom.


Passive Income FAQ

How can I generate passive income?

You can generate passive income by investing in assets that generate income without your active involvement, such as stocks, and rental properties. Also, you can create digital products like e-books, run Youtube channels, and write blog posts.

What are passive income ideas with no money?

If you don’t have any money to invest, some passive income ideas that require little to no investment. These include affiliate marketing, starting a blog or YouTube channel, selling digital products like printables or earning royalties from creative work like music or writing.

Is passive income taxable?

Yes, passive income is taxable in most cases. The type and amount of tax you pay on your passive income depends on the source of the income and your tax status. For example, if you earn passive income from rental properties, you will need to pay income tax on the rental income.

What are passive income options with no tax?

There are some passive income options that may be tax-free or have a lower tax rate, such as investing in an Individual Savings Account (ISA) or receiving income from certain types of government bonds.

How much money can I earn from passive income?

The amount of money you can earn from passive income varies greatly. It depends on the type of passive income stream you choose, the amount of time and effort you invest in it, and external factors like market conditions. It’s important to remember that passive income is not a get-rich-quick scheme and often requires patience and a long-term mindset.

Can passive income make you rich?

Passive income has the potential to make you wealthy over time. It’s important to remember that it’s not a quick fix. Building a portfolio of passive income streams takes time, effort, and patience. The amount of passive income you earn depends on your investment choices and market conditions.

How understanding behavioral finance can improve your passive income?

By understanding and acknowledging mental shortcuts and cognitive biases, we can make more informed decisions about our passive income strategies. Recognizing our inherent biases can help in evaluating opportunities more objectively, leading to more robust and effective income streams.

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