Passive Income Ideas That Actually Pay

Passive Income Ideas

Passive income is the holy grail of earning online and as a result, people wrack their brains for passive income ideas. The issue is not coming up with ideas to earn passively, but rather to find those that are legitimate and actually payout.

Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work and have researched, tested and compiled a list of every way you can earn by doing nothing. Just sit there and watch the money roll in.

Truly Passive Earning Ideas

The first set of earning opportunities we’re going to look at are those that have the following criteria:

So is this really possible, no investment, no pre-work, just click a button and you start earning while you go about your life? The answer is thankfully yes, and even better there are several opportunities to earn that fit the bill.

Earn Passively While Videos Stream on Your Device

The most effective way to earn online is to stream videos automatically on your laptop, tablet or phone. The process is easy and all you need to do is navigate to the site, click any video and it will play, and automatically move to the next video when done.

Because the videos are on autoplay, there is no interaction needed from you at all. So, one click and the videos will stream all day, earning you points that you then redeem for cash while you’re off doing other things or living life.

hideout tv videos
A sneak peek at Hideout.TV

The best two sites to earn passively by “watching” videos (remember, you’re not actually watching them) are Loot TV and Hideout TV. As you can see above, they’re very “YouTube-like” and will autoplay all day long.

The sites are very simple but there are ways you can boost your earnings here, so make sure you check out our detailed earning guide below:

Passive Earning by “Playing” Video Games

That doesn’t sound too passive, does it? But don’t worry, you won’t actually be playing the games. Much like with earning via watching videos, you just open it up and walk away.

There are a handful of mobile apps that pay you to have a certain game open on your device.

Passive Income Ideas That Actually Pay
Mistplay features dozens of games to earn passively from.

Depending on the app, you can just leave it open and not interact at all (as long as you set your screen to not timeout!), or sometimes you will have to click something in the game every so often.

The two apps we recommend are Mistplay and AppStation. Both work in a very similar way. Within the app, you choose the game, click it, install it, open it and your time spent in-game will rack up points that can be exchanged for cash. Mistplay earnings are higher than AppStation but do require you to click around a little in the game every 5 to 10 minutes or so. But this can be done absentmindedly while watching TV or working on something else.

Passively Earn Using Your Internet Bandwidth Warning

This can be a nice, completely hands-off earner where you install an application on your laptop that allows others to use your connection/bandwidth. The more GB of data used, the higher your earnings. But comes with a stark warning:

  • You have no control over what content other’s view using your connection.
  • It has been known to be used by spam/bot attacks.
  • It can get your IP address blocked from certain websites.

For that reason, we do not recommend this, but many people swear by this as a source of income. For us, the risks are too large, but as with anything the choice is yours if you choose to use this as a source of income.

As such, we do not recommend this for most people and in fact will not link directly to such apps from Earnologist. However, if you are still interested and want to check it out for yourself, search for Honeygain on Google, but please be aware of the risks before you earn using this method.

Passive Earning Ideas That Require Pre-Work

If you’re looking for passive earning ideas that are more profitable, then you will need to put in some pre-work to set them up.

The idea here is that you will put some time and effort into getting your earnings up and running, and once they’re earning you can take a back seat and earn passively from that point onwards.

Start a Blog and Earn with Ads and Referrals

Starting up your own blog or even a fully-fledged website has never been easier. If you use a full coverage web host such as Ionos you can have a fully automated install of WordPress, a .com or domain for £1 each (or sometimes even for free). The monthly costs can be as little as £1 in the UK, $0.50 in the USA or your country equivalent for a fully hosted WordPress blog.

ionos pricing
Ionos WordPress pricing in the USA, but also available in UK and EU.

Once you’ve signed up with Ionos, or another reputable/cheap web host and created your WordPress based website in a few clicks, just start posting.

We advise that your blog is based on a topic that you enjoy but also that you are knowledgeable about.

Now that you’ve got your content in place, you can monetize it and start pulling in passive income.


Take a look at Google Adsense, which allows you to monetize your size. Google has a nice new concept called auto-ads, which means that Google decides where ads are added on your site where they are most likely to be clicked. You’ll be paid whenever anyone clicks an ad on your site. This means you’re earning passively as people browse and read your blog posts.


Referrals are just links to another site where if your readers buy something you get a cut of the profits. Your readers don’t lose anything, and sometimes they even get a better deal, and you get some passive income.

Just remember, only look for products, services or sites that are relevant to your users and that will actually be beneficial to them.

Have a look at products and services that are relevant to your blog, sign up and add the referral links in, but don’t overdo it!

Go Passive, or Not!

This simple blog idea will allow you to earn passively and once your content, ads and referrals are in place you can go hands-off. But if you’re enjoying it or if you want to boost your funds even more, keep blogging! Keep adding content and you’ll see your ad revenue and referral profits increase over time.

Use Amazon’s Print on Demand Service

What if I told you that you could knock up a quick text-based design, just a simple quote or funny phrase and have that automatically applied to a t-shirt, listed on Amazon and people can buy it without any input from you? Well, that’s exactly what Merch by Amazon is.

What you do:

What Amazon does for you for FREE:

So really, the pre-work is minimal. All you need to do is use an editing program like GIMP, which is free or something a bit easier to use such as Adobe Photoshop, which is around $10/£10 a month to create your simple design and upload it. Amazon does the rest.

Once you’ve uploaded your designs just sit back and let Amazon work its magic. Or if you want to boost your earnings check out our complete (and free) money making guide for Merch by Amazon:

And why stop there? If you’re thinking about starting up a blog in our passing income earning idea above, you can even promote your own t-shirts that are now listed on Amazon on that very blog. Effectively combining two passive ideas together for ultimate profits!

Passive Earning Ideas That Require Investment

They say that money makes money, and this also applies to passive earning. You can even stack this with the ideas above. Once you’ve earned passively, you can invest that to earn even more.

Investing in Cryptocurrency

If you’re not already invested in crypto, this can be a nice way to make your earnings or your savings work for you, earning in the background.

Some points to note:

But if you understand the risks, this can be a nice earner, right up to an incredible earner.

If you’re a newcomer to the world of crypto we suggest you start off small, and with a service that takes all of the complications out of buying cryptocurrency. We recommend Coinbase for exactly that reason. You buy crypto with your debit card, or via bank transfer and the Coinbase interface is very “online-banking-like” so won’t feel too unfamiliar.

What’s more, Coinbase offers £7/$10 of free crypto after you deposit and an additional $45 of a variety of free cryptos for answering simple quiz questions – check out our full Coinbase guide that covers sign-up, how to get your free crypto and the answers to those tricky quiz questions. Or alternatively:

More Traditional Investments

If crypto investment isn’t for you, you can go the more traditional route with stocks and shares, although they do come with the same risks as crypto investment.

If you need something a little less risky, just make sure that your earnings aren’t sitting in a no-interest account. Drop them into a savings account or an ISA (or your country equivalent).

Non-Passive Earning Ideas Shouldn't Be Ignored

Here at Earnologist we research, test and collect hundreds of ways to earn. Some are passive, some semi-passive, and some quite honestly not passive at all.

But even the non-passive earning opportunities can be really low effort for some good profit, so don’t exclude them entirely. Take a look along our top menu bar or just head straight to our big list of earning opportunities below:

The BIG List of Earning Opportunities

An ever-growing list of fully researched ways to earn extra cash, each with its own FREE extensive profit-boosting guide.

Check it Out Now!

Site Earning Guides

Mistplay allows you to earn simply by playing games. Earn around £20 for 2-3 weeks of semi-passive game playing.

YouGov Direct is a sister program of YouGov. It offers surveys direct from advertisers based on your profile information. Fewer earning opportunities than YouGov but a much lower withdrawal.

Sermo review and earning guide. Can physicians earn extra cash with medical surveys on Sermo? Is it legit and how to maximize your profits.

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