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How to Make Passive Income With No Initial Funds

Wondering how to make passive income with no initial funds. Try one of these exciting options....
Curtis Christopherson
December 21, 2023

Passive income is money that you earn regularly without having to actively work for it. The idea of generating an income stream that pays you month after month without needing ongoing effort is appealing to most people.

But often, the barrier to entry for passive income seems high. Many opportunities require a significant upfront investment of both time and money before you start seeing returns.

The good news? There are ways to get started with passive income that require little to no initial funds! With some creativity and hustle, you can begin building your passive income streams from your living room.

In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 realistic ways to generate passive income with little money down.

10 ways to make passive income with little to no funds

Here is our list of how to make passive income with little to no funds: 

1. Monetize your influence with WRKOUT

If you already have an audience, why not earn cash rewards for recommending relevant products and services?

Platforms like WRKOUT make it simple to earn passive income by sharing your favorite brands. WRKOUT is designed specifically for health and wellness professionals.

Here's how it works:

  • Browse products. WRKOUT has thousands of products from leading brands spanning fitness equipment, supplements, apparel, and more.
  • Share recommendations. Recommend products you love through your custom affiliate link, via your email list, or on social media. 
  • Earn cash rewards. Get paid when someone purchases through your recommendation link. You can earn up to 15% per sale!

It only takes a few minutes to set up your account. Once your profile is ready, start recommending products to your audience and watch the passive income roll in.

2. Start a YouTube channel

Over 2 billion people log into YouTube every month. Tapping into even a fraction of that massive audience can be lucrative.

Starting a successful YouTube channel requires consistency and patience—not to mention lots of time and energy upfront. But in return, you can build a subscriber base that provides long-term passive income.

Here are some ways YouTubers monetize their channels for passive income:

  • Affiliate marketing. Review products and include your affiliate links so you earn commissions on sales.
  • Sponsored content. Get paid by brands to review or mention their products in your videos.
  • YouTube memberships. Fans pay a monthly fee to get special perks like bonus videos and livestreams.
  • Merchandise. Design t-shirts, water bottles, and other merchandise to sell to your loyal viewers.

And, once you hit 1,000 subscribers, you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program to begin monetizing your channel through ads!

The key is building your following first. Be consistent, focus on high-quality content, and stick to a niche. It takes time, but the returns can be well worth it.

3. Enter sweepstakes

Here’s an almost effortless way to potentially earn extra cash—enter online sweepstakes and contests for a chance to win prizes!

Sweepstakes are contests where winners are drawn randomly from the pool of entrants. Many require nothing more than providing your email and agreeing to the rules—no purchase necessary.

Of course your odds of winning any given sweepstakes are low, often hundreds or thousands to one. But entering takes just a few minutes. You can do it while waiting in line or during commercial breaks, and eventually you might get lucky.

Some tips:

  • Stick to legitimate sweepstakes from reputable brands or websites to avoid scams.
  • Read the rules carefully before entering. Pay attention to eligibility restrictions and deadlines.
  • Keep track of what you enter and any relevant dates so you don't miss announcements if you win.
  • Only provide the minimum required personal details to enter. Avoid sharing sensitive information.
  • Enter frequently to improve your chances. Make it a habit to spend a few minutes a day entering contests.

Although it involves some luck, sweepstakes require no money upfront and have the potential for big rewards. Why not give it a shot during your free time?

4. Create an online course

If you have expertise to share that others would find valuable, creating an online course may be worthwhile. Popular course topics include cooking, photography, marketing, software programs, and more.

The beauty of a course is you only have to create the content once, but can sell it over and over! Although it requires an upfront time investment, courses provide great passive income potential.

Here are some options for hosting and selling your course:

  • Teachable
  • Udemy
  • Skillshare
  • Podia
  • Thinkific

The specific platform you use will depend on your course topic, target audience, and monetization strategy. Do thorough research to select the best fit.

5. Invest in real estate

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) provide a way to earn rental income from real estate without owning physical property yourself.

A REIT operates by pooling investor money to purchase assets like apartments, hotels, shopping malls, and more. The properties generate rental income which gets paid out to investors as dividends.

Here are some benefits of investing in REITs:

  • Dividend payouts of 5-12% per year on average
  • REITs are professionally managed by real estate experts
  • Diversification across property types and locations
  • Liquidity – REITs trade on major stock exchanges

You can get started in REITs with as little as the price of a single share of stock, making the barrier to entry fairly low. As your real estate investments become more profitable, you can consider purchasing physical properties like rental homes. 

6. Try peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending connects individual borrowers with individual lenders while cutting out traditional banks.

As a P2P lender, you fund portions of loan requests listed on a P2P platform. You then receive principal and interest payments each month from the borrower over the loan term—typically 1-5 years.

Benefits of P2P lending include:

  • Earn attractive returns from 6-10% per year
  • P2P loans diversify your investment portfolio
  • It’s possible to fund loans that align with your values (e.g. small business financing)
  • Flexible investment amounts starting as low as $25 per loan

Top P2P lending platforms like LendingClub and Prosper provide easy online investing. You can get started with just a little spare cash you already have.

It’s important to do your due diligence to understand expected returns and risks before investing. Default rates vary across platforms. However, returns from P2P lending can ultimately far outpace savings accounts.

And, as you earn profits, you can choose to reinvest your returns and grow your larger investment portfolio over time.

7. Become a blogger

Launching a blog allows you to earn passive income from a website you own with little ongoing work required. But first you need the traffic!

Here are some tips for successfully starting a blog: 

  • Pick a niche. Choose a specific topic you're passionate about and knowledgeable in. Common successful niches include cooking, travel, fitness, personal finance, and parenting, but the options are truly endless.
  • Have a unique angle. Provide a fresh perspective or approach within your niche to stand out.
  • Create valuable content. Write posts that provide helpful information or solve people's problems within your niche. Aim for long-form, in-depth articles.
  • Promote your content. Leverage social media and SEO to drive website traffic. Guest post on authority sites in your niche.

There are several options for monetizing a blog:

  • Display ads. Join an ad network like Google AdSense to show paid ads on your site. This requires little effort beyond embedding the code.
  • Affiliate marketing. Recommend relevant products within your posts and earn commissions on sales.
  • Sponsored posts. Get paid by brands related to your niche to create branded content and reviews.
  • Digital products. Sell your own ebooks, courses, or templates related to your blog's topic.

Building a profitable blog takes significant time and effort at first. But it can pay off with multiple streams of passive income down the road.

8. Rent out your spare room

Apps like Airbnb and VRBO make it easy to rent out extra living space to earn passive income. You set your own nightly rate, availability calendar, and house rules.

Benefits of renting your spare room include:

  • Earning extra cash each month without a long-term tenant commitment
  • Meeting interesting travelers from around the world
  • Becoming a more active member of your community

To maximize your rental income, first you need to create an inviting space. Make sure the room is clean, comfortable, and decorated nicely. Stock it with amenities guests may want like WiFi, TV, and toiletries.

Next, write an informative listing. Include plenty of photos and outline all amenities, house rules, and local attractions. Once your listing is up and running, it’s crucial to be responsive to booking inquiries and guest questions.

Before getting started, you’ll want to research and follow local regulations surrounding short-term rentals, taxes, etc. With some effort and hospitality upfront, this is an easy way to earn hundreds or even thousands per year sharing your extra living space.

9. Become a social media influencer

Social media influencers leverage their engaged online followings to influence buying decisions (or not—check out deinfluencing). 

Although becoming an influencer requires building an audience first, it ultimately sets you up for multiple passive income streams including sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, merchandise, and paid content. 

Here are some best practices to maximize your success as an influencer: 

  • Pick a defined niche and stick with it consistently. Become a thought leader in your field.
  • Engage with your audience regularly through content and conversations.
  • Partner selectively with brands that align with your image, values, and niche.
  • Track your metrics to demonstrate your value to brands. Document follower demographics, engagement rates, etc.

While growing your following takes significant time and effort, it’s possible to build a personal brand that provides recurring passive income!

10. Rent out your car

Apps like Turo and Getaround allow you to rent out your car when you aren't using it. You earn passive income while you’re sitting at home watching TV.

Pricing is customizable based on your car's market value and availability calendar. Earnings often cover the cost of your monthly car loan or lease payment.

Here are some benefits of renting your car:

  • Earn $500-800+ extra per month for a typical sedan
  • Apps like Turo have built-in insurance policies
  • Set your own availability so you still have access when needed

This passive income stream does require keeping your car well-maintained, clean, and smoke-free. Take time to photograph it and create an appealing listing.

But then it’s mostly hands-off, allowing your car to make money for you instead of sitting unused 90% of the time. Plus the apps handle all rental transactions and customer support.

Start building passive income with WRKOUT today

Generating consistent passive income requires some creativity and effort initially. But as outlined in this post, it’s possible to get started without big upfront investments.

Begin with one stream that fits your lifestyle, and reinvest your profits to grow and diversify over time.

For instance, health and fitness pros can leverage their influence to earn cash rewards by recommending products through WRKOUT!

  • It only takes a few minutes to set up your free account. You can start sharing your favorite brands and earning cash rewards on sales right away.

Passive income provides the freedom to spend time how you choose. So what are you waiting for? Pick one idea from this post and start building your first stream today!


Earn cash rewards doing what you love.

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