9 Great Ideas to Earn Passive Income for Students [2020]

Passive Income for Students- College life for most students is a mixture of drama, emotions, and learning. For some, college life means partying and enjoying life to the fullest.  But not many consider the fact that this is also a golden time to start building your financial future.

This does not necessarily mean you should go out there and apply for a full-time job. Instead, you may consider looking for passive incomeOpens in a new tab. opportunities to earn some extra bucks and gain experience.

Passive income refers to income derived from any enterprise in which a person is not actively involved.

With a passive income, you can start building your nest egg early, reduce your financial burden due to student loans, or save for a vacation abroad during holidays. You can also gain employable skills that will prove invaluable as you start your career.

Here, you will learn about passive income opportunities for students through side hustles. Most students who earn passive income through a side hustle spend five hours a week. So, you can earn money while sacrificing your health, study, or relationships.

Passive Income for Students – How they can earn while studying


1. Online Courses & Tutoring Classes

Passive Income for Students

Offering online classes or courses is a great way to earn passive income. In fact, you can generate six-figures passive income using this method. As long as you are passionate about teaching others, you can make a lot of money using the side hustle technique.

Creating courses and offering online tutoring classes will help students improve learning. Teaching others is the best way to develop a deep understanding of subjects. It will help you build confidence in explaining college-related concepts.

Tutoring will also let you gain teaching experience. You can bank on your experience to get a professor job after completing your studies.

Passive Income for Students by Tutoring and Selling Online Courses

Consider creating courses for SAT, A-Level, or GCSE students. You can sell your courses on e-platforms such as UdemyOpens in a new tab. and CourseraOpens in a new tab.. For every course sold, you will earn a commission.

In case you are tech savvy, you can also create your own website to sell your courses online. Selling courses through your own website will be harder, but it will allow you to retain all revenues on sales.

You can also create a YouTube channel to share your knowledge online. You will not be able to charge viewers, but you can monetize and earn over $1000 through the YouTube PartnershipOpens in a new tab. program.

To become eligible for the program, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and about 4,000 public watch hours in the previous 12 months.

Lastly, you can try signing up for online tutor platforms. Sites such as BitDegree.org, Skooli.com, and Buddyschool.com allow you to sign up and start tutoring students to earn income. You can earn extra income just by tutoring one to two hours a day.

2. Start Your Own Business

You can start your own business to earn extra income while studying. Starting a business in this internet technology age does not require hundreds of thousands of dollars or an advanced degree. All that you need is a risk taking, entrepreneurial spirit.

Many wildly successful business owners such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs started their business while they were in college.

The author Chris Guillebeau in his book $100 StartupOpens in a new tab. has given examples of many people who have started a business by investing $100 or less. They were able to monetize their passions to become successful businesspersons.

Passive Income for Students by Setting Up a Business

The tried and tested business success formula is to find a need and make an effort to fill it. You should select a business that offers products or services that solves peoples’ problems. This method works most of the time to build a profitable business.

You need to be sure that people would be willing to buy what you want to sell at a specific price. A big mistake when setting up a business is to assume that the product or services will be a hit.

You should undertake market research and carry on a pilot study to find out whether there is an actual need for what you want to sell.

Talk to potential customers whether they would be willing to buy your product. You should go ahead with a business idea only when it is clear that there is a demand for products or services.

Additionally, you need to know about the competitors in the area. Setting up a business in an area with dozens of competitors will probably be just a waste of time and effort.

3. Rent Your Car

Do you have a car that you rarely take out? Consider renting it out and earn passive income. Peer-to-Peer car-sharing companies such as GetaroundOpens in a new tab., TuroOpens in a new tab., and ZipCar Opens in a new tab. allow you to rent your car to earn cash.

You can earn about $900 per month by renting your car through these car sharing companies.

Additionally, you will feel good to know that sharing your car will be of benefit to the environment. Car sharing removes about 10 cars off the road every month. Fewer cars on the road mean less traffic congestion and less pollution.

Passive Income for Students by Car Sharing

Students who want to rent out the car to ride sharing services should first check the local laws and insurance coverage before renting out the car.

States such as Washington, Oregon, and California have insurance legislation that specifies when the car owner’s policy ends and the commercial policy begins. Personal liability insurance in these states doesn’t cover liabilities in the event of an accident.

Another important thing to remember when renting out your vehicle for car sharing is that you may have to pay fees that can be up to thousands of dollars. So, you need to read the fine print before signing an agreement.

4. Sell Goods Online

Sell Goods Online

Do you have old stuff lying around the house? If so, consider selling them on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. You can easily sell just about any item online.

It is not that difficult to sell old items on these online platforms. You can get a significant amount for getting rid of unused items by selling online.

Students can sell their old textbooks online. Amazon is generally the best place to sell books at the best price. Consider comparing Amazon prices for similar books before selling a price for the used books. eBay is a great place to sell collectible items.

You would be surprised at how much you can gain from the side hustle. Etsy is the place to go if you want to sell artwork and other creative items.

Passive Income for Students by Selling Goods Online

Apart from selling old stuff, you can also buy items at a low price and then sell them online. You can make more than $2,000 per month using this side hustle idea. However, you must consider the fees charged by the online platform when using the strategy.

You can create painting or décor items to sell on Etsy. A lot of people are selling hand-made embroidered and stitched items on the online platform. Selling creative stuff online will allow you to earn a decent income.

4. Write a Book

Write a Book

Do you love writing fictional or non-fictional books? If so, you should consider writing a book to earn a passive income. Writing a book provides dual benefits.

You will improve your essay writing skills, which is critical for college and doctoral students. Additionally, you will earn passive income in the form of royalty payments by the publisher for every book sold.

Before the advent of the internet, most writers had to go through the frustrating process of publishing through a publishing house.

Book publishers have built the notorious reputation of rejecting even the best writers. Consider the following facts:

  • Agatha Christie had to wait nearly four years for her book to be published.
  • Gone with the Wind, the hugely successful book by Margaret Mitchell, was rejected 38 times before being published.
  • Harry Potter, the boy who lived, by J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was rejected dozens of time

Fortunately, we live in a time you can easily self-publish a book. A lot of authors have taken this path, earning millions of dollars along the way.

Still Alice written by Lisa GenovaOpens in a new tab. was rejected 20 times by publishers. Genova decided to self-publish her book in 2007 that became a New York Best Seller and was adapted into an Oscar-Winning movie.

Self-publishing a book offers various benefits as compared to traditional publishing. You get to keep full copyright of the content along with the ability to republish the book. Additionally,

ou get to keep a major percent of the profit on book sales. You can save a lot of time by self-publishing a book as there is no need to send out different proposals as required by the publisher. You also have complete control over the editing and the book distribution process.

Passive Income for Students by Publishing a Book

To become a successful author, you should consider having multiple books to your name. Most successful authors who have earned millions of dollars from writing books have written a series of books. The more books you publish, the greater are the chances of success.

The best genres for writing books include romance, crime/mystery, inspirational, science fiction, and horror. According to stats by BookstrOpens in a new tab., romance books earn more than $1.4 billion followed by crime novels and inspirational books that earn more than $700 million.

Self-publishing a book is easy. You can publish your book for free on online platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)Opens in a new tab., Apple eBook StoreOpens in a new tab., and SmashwordsOpens in a new tab.. Additionally, some platforms such as Pblishing.com not just publish the book for free, but also offer the services of editing, designing, distributing, and marketing for a small fee.

5. Do Freelance Work

Freelancing can allow you to earn a significant passive income every month. You can earn money by offering services through Upworks.com, Fiverr.com, Guru.com, Freelancer.com, 99designs.com, and other websites. You can earn about $1,000 every month by doing freelancing work during your spare time.

At the start, you won’t probably get a big sum by working as a freelancer. But once you get experience and gain positive reviews, you can charge a higher sum for your services.

Passive Income for Students by Freelance Work

Determine what you are good at and log on to the freelancing sites to accept related projects. You will have to sign up for an account and build a profile before you can start offering your services.

Freelance work requires some effort, particularly during the start. Consider charging a low price so that you are able to attract new clients. Once you are able to build a reputation, you can charge as much you like for your services.

You can charge your clients a fixed fee or hourly fees for your services. The calculation for freelancing fees should take into account personal fees, business expenses, savings, and taxation.

In some cases, you may have to negotiate with the client. But it is recommended that you should never negotiate on price. Instead, you should talk to the client about the scope of work or what services will be included at a given price.

6. Become a Social Media Influencer

Are you popular at your college? Have a talent for attracting people?  You should consider becoming a social media influencer to earn significant passive income.

Social media has become extremely popular all over the world. You can attract thousands or millions of followers on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Companies look for social media influencers who can promote their goods and services online. You can earn a lot by promoting their offering to your social media fans.

Passive Income for Students by Becoming a Social Media Influencer

You should research and select a niche that you are interested in and can create content for the same. It is recommended to have some experience regarding the selected interest area so that you become an influencer.

Research and post informative and entertaining content to attract the interest of social media fans. You should select a topic that is trending and people are passionate about. The posts can be about cooking, movies, DIY projects, or political events.

Most social media influencers are popular on just one social media platform. So, you should focus on one and at most two channels. Optimize the social media profile by writing an engaging bio that will attract fans.

The bio should tell a personal story to which the online audience can connect. It should also include information about your location and area of expertise.

To gain insights about your social media fans, you can use analytics tools such as Twitter analytics. Analyzing social media demographics will allow you to create engaging content.

Additionally, you should decide the posting frequency and time. Studies have shown that posts get the most engagement during late mornings and early afternoon during the midweek.

Social Media Influencer

7. Rent Out your Apartment

Become an Airbnb host if you have an extra room in the apartment or going on a vacation during the summer break. Renting out your apartment is a great way to earn extra income.

Just make sure that you comply with the local laws when using this option to earn passive income. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law and pay penalty for violating local laws on subletting.

Passive Income for Students by Renting Out an Apartment

Airbnb makes it easy for you to put your apartment for rent online. But you must comply with its rules if you want to offer the rooms for rent.

You can use an online calculator at the site to check the monthly estimate for your rental space. Airbnb requires every host to provide certain amenities such as the following for the guests.

  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Clean sheets
  • Pillows
  • Fresh towels

Additionally, local laws require that the hosts take measures to ensure the safety of guests. You should ensure that the following supplies are available in your area.

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Working CO and smoke detectors
  • Emergency safety card
  • First aid kit

You can get a Superhost status from the Airbnb website by maintaining a 90 percent response rate, 4.8 plus rating, and hosting the space for 10 stays per year. To achieve a high rating, you should consider offering amenities such as HDTV, Wi-Fi, and storage space for storing valuable items.

A welcome basket is also recommended if you want to impress your guests. Consider including essential items in the basket with a nice note. You can reiterate the house rules in the note and tell your guests important safety information.

8. Sell Digital Stock Photos

If you are into photography, you can make money by selling stock photos online. Various sites like iStockOpens in a new tab. and ShutterstockOpens in a new tab. look for contributors from professional photographers.

You can sell your photos to these sites and earn a royalty whenever someone purchases your photos.

You can also sell digital art to the stock photo sites. Many stock photo sites accept creative work of art. The competition is tough and the price for each photo is low. But if you have lots of photos, you can earn a lot of passive income through the side hustle.

Passive Income for Students by Selling Stock Photos

Stock photos are mostly used by small business owners and bloggers. So, your photos should meet their requirements. Images of professionals such as lawyers, contractors, painters, plumbers, and others are popular among businesses.

You should also capture photos of delicious food items from around the world. Photos of natural landscapes, cityscapes, and buildings are also popular online.

Apart from stock photo sites, you should also consider selling your photos through your own website.

Most of the professional photographers sell their photos through their own website created on WordPress. You should select a WordPress theme with image galleries to showcase the pictures to online audiences.

9. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way for students to earn passive income. You can earn affiliate income by promoting the goods and services of other companies on your website.

Whenever someone clicks on the link on you your site, you will earn a commission.

You can earn affiliate income by promoting a variety of products online. Another option is to find affiliates that work in your niche.

Passive Income for Students by Affiliate Marketing

You can start a blog site for affiliate marketing. After setting a site, contact the company that offers affiliate marketing opportunities. You will have to sign up for the affiliate program to begin promoting the company’s goods on your site.

You can also make income with affiliate using podcasts and YouTube channel. Moreover, it is possible to earn affiliate income using your social media channel.


Social Media Influencer

College is the perfect time for you to make money and gain experience. Unfortunately, many students don’t think about making money in their spare time. They lose out on the opportunity to increase their employability in the process.

Time is money, and you should make the most of it.

The side hustle ideas listed here will allow you to earn passive income without sacrificing your time on your studies and relationship. Earning passive income will help you graduate with zero student debt and jumpstart a financially secure career.

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