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“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” – Warren Buffett
Sometimes, trading in your time for money barely seems worth it. Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn how to make money while you sleep? As it turns out, you can.
In some situations, you can literally get paid to sleep, while others require upfront work creating a passive income, and still other methods get the money you already have to increase itself.
If you have interest in learning about the art of making money in your sleep, continue reading below for the top 16 proven ways people have invested in income-producing assets or activities used to date.
1. Invest in the Stock Market
You’ve likely heard the phrase, “it takes money to make money.” Indeed, having some money makes it easier to get more. A wonderful way to passively make money long-term is to invest.
When people think of investments, they often think of the stock market. When you start investing money in stocks that are considered safe (no stock is 100% guaranteed to make you money), you typically end up with a profit for doing nothing but letting the asset increase in value.
That’s why the stock market is one of the best investment for young adults.
You can buy stocks with a no-cost brokerage like M1 Finance. The services allows you to create a diversified portfolio, referred to as “pies” by the app, with no costs for making trades, no account minimums, nor on-going costs for having an account.
Once you create an account and deposit money, you can use the app as an automated investing tool, allowing you to add money and have the app handle how it gets invested.
This service, commonly referred to as a robo-advisor, allows you to preset how you want your money invested and then watch it grow over time. A diversified, low-cost portfolio held across long periods of time can easily result in making money while you sleep.
As an honorable mention for those looking to be a bit more active, you might also consider opening an account with Webull. This free stock trading app has rapidly risen to become recognized as one of the best stock research apps and allows you to trade with no cost.
Additionally, the service offers free stocks to users who sign up, providing an added incentive to open an account and make an initial deposit.
2. Invest in Alternative Investments
The stock market isn’t the only way to invest. Given the recent market volatility we’ve seen in the stock market related to a global health scare, sometimes having a non-correlated asset allocation in your investment portfolio is a wise choice.
Alternative investments might provide added diversification for you to continue building wealth.
Many options exist for investing your money in alternative investments as fintech companies have unlocked access to markets once only available to wealthy investors.
Have a look at some well-regarded alternative investments available below.
3. Invest in Secured P2P Loans
Another income-generating investment option which offers above-market yields is MyConstant, a secured P2P lending platform. The service offers the ability to fund crypto-backed loans which secure the loans against loss.
You may have heard of P2P lenders like LendingClub or Prosper, both of which offer unsecured loan investments. These unsecured loans do not provide any recourse for recouping losses should the borrowers default.
When loans go sour on MyConstant, the platform instantly sells the cryptocurrency and repays the investor.
Likewise, if the collateral pledged to secure the loan (a cryptocurrency placed on deposit with MyConstant) drops below a certain threshold (110% of the loan’s value), MyConstant instantly liquidates the collateral and repays you.
4. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Some people consider Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to be the mutual funds of real estate. REITs are a collection of properties operated by a company that uses money investors give them to buy and develop real estate.
You can choose to invest in trusts that build condos, apartment buildings, business complexes, or other facilities.
REITs pay you dividends. These are a fitting income-producing asset for people who want an easy way to get involved with real estate investing without having to purchase property themselves.
One avenue to explore for investing in REITs is by investing through Streitwise.
Streitwise is a new era of real estate investing. With capital raised by qualified investors, the company leverages the best-performing property investments into professionally designed portfolios.
The returns then get distributed and serviced through an online REIT- with your income as their mission.
If you’re looking to generate passive income while conserving cash on hand, Streitwise provides the perfect opportunity for both accredited and non-accredited investors and offers one of the lowest fee structures around.
The company has provided an 8.4% annualized return due to its superior property selection and low fee structure, far outpacing comparable Public REITs or bonds.
Qualified investments include properties stretching largely across America from the Midwest to the West Coast and leveraged based on Streitwise’s analysis.
By placing $5 million of their own money in these investments Streitwise places a good deal of skin-in-the game for all sponsors and 100% incentive alignment between sponsor and investor interests at all times.
The service has a minimum investment of $5,000 to begin investing in commercial real estate properties. The company provides REIT offerings federally-registered with the SEC and offers them to both accredited and non-accredited investors.
Investing through an investment vehicle like Streitwise’s REIT offers a great source of passive income, recurring cash flow, higher returns, portfolio diversification and inflation protection.
With an 8.4% annualized return and a low fee structure, Streitwise provides one of the best opportunities for passive income in real estate investing. It outpaces comparable REITs and has delivered an annualized dividend return of at least 8% for the last 17 quarters, with an average annual rate of 9.44%.
Despite Covid’s effect on the general real estate market, Streitwise met return targets through employing strong credit tenancy (100% contractual rent obligations met in 2020), conservative underwriting (51% loan to value, LTV), and a low / transparent fee structure.
All dividends quoted are net of fees, with fees already taken out. Consider exploring Streitwise for your real estate investing needs today.
5. Create a Blog or eBook
Self Publishing has become more the norm than going through a traditional publisher today. Check out Amazon for evidence or visit any blog offering a free e-book for signing up to their newsletter.
In fact, when you buy an e-book off of sites like Amazon, the odds are you’ll be paying for a self-published book.
Opportunity: Self-publishing is ridiculously easy. Can you write? Do you have a computer? Then you can self-publish a book. The barriers to entry for becoming a (self) published author are nil these days.
In fact, I’m using a new tool called Jarvis to improve the quality and quantity of content pieces I write for this site. The tool leverages AI to scan topics and natural language from roughly 10% of the internet.
What once took me 6 hours to write, now takes me 1.5-2 hours.
The result? Incredible time savings with blistering copy and engaging content. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself with a free trial that includes up to 10,000 credits (each word generated by Jarvis costs 1 credit).
Be sure to watch the training video on how best to use the tool. The learning curve at first can seem steep but once you see how to leverage the tool, you’ll be an e-book writing machine.
You can even join the Jarvis Facebook group and participate in their 7-day book writing sprints.
You gather (digitally) with fellow writers and use Jarvis to write a book hundreds of pages in length.
Together, you encourage each other and share ideas, wins, best practices and get the most out of the tool and your book.
Risk: Fortunately, there’s very little risk in self-publishing an e-book.
You can easily put your e-book up for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any other major retailer.
Amazon is the most competitive so if you want to rank higher in their search results, be sure to use best practices like having a professional cover design (you don’t have to hire someone expensive) and including lots of customer reviews.
If you are really ambitious, you can create a series of e-books or write an in-depth how to guide about something that’s not too broad and try marketing your book on sites like Twitter ads (promoting through their ad network), Facebook ads (targeting groups) or Google advertising.
There will need to be a lot of upfront marketing before you can turn this into a passive income stream. But if you can get it to work, you’re well on your way to maximizing this income generating asset.
Consider leveraging a powerful content creation tool like Jarvis to expedite and upgrade the content you publish.
6. Start a YouTube Channel
If you would rather create videos that aren’t live and not of you sleeping, consider starting a YouTube channel. This method doesn’t earn money on day one and it takes a lot of initial work to get started. Plus, the amount of money people make varies widely.
However, if you create quality content, you can earn money through ad revenue, sponsorships, and by creating your own products (such as swag or courses).
When you have enough subscribers and people consistently watching your videos, you can take breaks and still earn money. You might be sleeping, but others are watching your videos and sending ad revenue your way.
7. Turn Yourself into a Product
Perhaps you’ve found personal success—or you are firmly on the road to it—and have seen many promising opportunities to promote yourself as a brand.
When you position yourself as the authority in your target market, you can develop products and services to leverage this trust while simultaneously helping those people with problems you can uniquely solve.
If you have an inspiring story or successful secrets to share, you could turn your experience into a video series, a blog, or write a book to make money while you sleep.
In any of these examples, you put the hard work in upfront, develop a marketing mix with the 4 Ps and then you simply collect proceeds while you move on to your next project.
In addition to generating income directly from one of these products, you’ll also discover these products can dramatically improve the visibility of your personal brand, thereby boosting sales for your company.
In the end, you will not only yield a profit for yourself through creating a new revenue stream, but you will also have improved an existing stream through any business ventures you currently have.
8. Live-Stream Yourself Sleeping (Seriously)
A new TikTok trend has users stream themselves sleeping (or even just their room as they sleep). One 18-year-old made about $10 as people watched him sleep. A 24-year-old man live-streamed his Tesla “sleeping” overnight and made $50.
On Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, 18.5 million viewers tuned in to watch a man sleep. He earned over $4,000 while he slept. Viewers don’t just enjoy watching people sleep, but chatting with other people watching as well. Want to generate money while you sleep? Stream it.
9. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing doesn’t just have to be done on a blog. If you have an email, this is a great option. Instagram is also a popular platform for affiliate marketing.
People who have high followings, with engaged followers, can put affiliate links in their profile and call attention to the links. Whenever somebody clicks that link and buys a product, the influencer gets a kickback.
10. Online Courses and Webinars
Webinars are often live, which won’t make you money in your sleep, but you can create automated webinars people can watch at any time.
While a webinar typically stands alone, online courses provide more in-depth knowledge and might have several sections. You can create online courses on platforms such as Udemy or Teachable. It takes time to create your course, but once it’s up, very little maintenance is required.
11. Sell Stock Content
Do you enjoy photography, taking short video clips, creating music, or designing? Your creative hobby can become a passive income. Go through your old photoshoots, unused music clips, and extra film footage.
Find a stock content site to sell it on. Just make sure to ask permission from anyone in your photos or videos. For photography, some of the most popular stock sites are Shutterstock, Getty Images, and Pixabay. Upload your content, choose a price, and let it sell as you sleep.
12. Build an App to Make Money While You Sleep
If you have any coding knowledge, you can create a basic app to sell on app stores. It might even be considered one of the best financial apps or best productivity apps!
Alternatively, you can find a coder and designer to hire to do the work for you. Some people will work in return for a profit share, but others will require payment upfront.
If your app does well, you’ll be making sales at all times of the day and anything past what it costs to get started is profit. Remember that apps have different payment models.
Sometimes you can make more money with a “freemium” model where parts of the app are free than by charging for initial access to the app. You can also learn how to choose the right finance app to make by considering what opportunities exist in the market.
13. Sell on Amazon FBA
Much like Shopify, you can sell your products and services on other ecommerce platforms as well. A popular alternative is Amazon FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon.
This service lets individual sellers find products they want to sell and then have Amazon handle the business and logistics part of the equation. Amazon will host the product on their site, facilitate the transaction with the customer, and deliver the product.
Some of the more popular options people sell through Amazon FBA include:
- Investing Books for Kids, Teens and Young Adults
- Retail arbitrage
- Wholesale items
When you consider that Amazon handles listing, selling, shipping, collecting and sending payment, and any customer service needs, you can see how it’s pretty passive income. It certainly qualifies as an avenue for making money while you sleep once you find what you want to sell.
14. Rent a Room in Your House or Apartment
By renting out space in your home (or your entire home), you can make money both while you sleep and while others sleep. Airbnb is one of the most popular ways to rent out space to visitors.
On average, Airbnb hosts make around $924 a month. This number can vary drastically depending on what city you live in, if you’re renting a room or entire home, and how often your space is available to rent.
You need to arrange cleaners after guests and be available to answer visitor’s questions (consider creating a guide book), but you can still be raking in cash while you sleep.
Alternatively, rather than hosting guests, you could also just rent out a room as a storage unit instead. It’s an extremely hands-off way to make money off of any extra space you might have around your house, condo or apartment.
15. Sell Print-on-Demand Products
You can easily sell physical objects as well. Have a cool graphic design or photo that would look good on a t-shirt, backpack, hat, or anything else? You don’t need to print it on those items and then try to sell it. You can wait until you have orders ready to fill.
A popular marketplace for this is CafePress, which sells almost anything a design could be printed on. You can even list other people’s products for a referral fee.
With dropshipping, you also never physically touch the products. You don’t even have to design them -you just pick them out. The items you want are in a warehouse, labeled, and shipped with your name, so you don’t incur overhead feels.
You just put in an order (after people order from you), pay a fee, and then ship it where appropriate.
However, you should note that most dropshipping involves ordering goods from other countries, particularly China. Since you never physically interact with the items, there may be quality control issues and you don’t know the conditions your items were made under.
If you choose to dropship, make sure to find a reputable company.
17. Open a High-Yield Savings Account
Another way to make money you already have work for you is by putting it in a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit (CD). A standard savings account offers an interest rate of around 0.01%.
Meanwhile, high-yield checking and savings accounts can have interest rates exceeding 1% (meaning they’re about 100 times better at building interest than a typical savings account).
However, recent economic developments have pushed many of these accounts below the 1% threshold for the time being. With time, these accounts will likely index back to have superior rates to most standard savings accounts found at megabanks.
In exchange for these higher rates, some accounts can have you lock in your money for a set amount of time. Before creating an account not easily accessible at any time, make sure you have an emergency savings account you can always access.
Alternatively, as mentioned above, you could use a secured P2P lending app like MyConstant to achieve above-market yields.
This alternative investment platform allows you to fund loans secured by cryptocurrencies and earn superior cash flows compared to other options available in the market.
How to Make Money While You Sleep
Working around the clock isn’t feasible long-term, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be earning money around the clock. With a combination of passive income streams and making your current saved money work for you, you can see firsthand how to build wealth significantly.
Despite the laundry list of ways to make money while you sleep above, I won’t pretend that it’s easy to wake up richer than you were the day before. There is no denying that business startup costs – both financial and emotional – can be grueling to bear.
What I will highlight, however, is the silver lining to the storm cloud. Once you’ve seen your business grow to a certain point and find it to have become successful and thriving, you can branch out to find ways to make money while you sleep.
While it takes time to create passive income sources or set up financial plans with an advisor, the time investment pays off later when you’re not working, but still making money. Invest in yourself now to make money while you sleep later.
About the Site Author and Blog
In 2018, I was winding down a stint in investor relations and found myself newly equipped with a CPA, added insight on how investors behave in markets, and a load of free time. My job routinely required extended work hours, complex assignments, and tight deadlines. Seeking to maintain my momentum, I wanted to chase something ambitious.
I chose to start this financial independence blog as my next step, recognizing both the challenge and opportunity. I launched the site with encouragement from my wife as a means to lay out our financial independence journey and connect with and help others who share the same goal.
I have not been compensated by any of the companies listed in this post at the time of this writing. Any recommendations made by me are my own. Should you choose to act on them, please see the disclaimer on my About Young and the Invested page.