Need a passive income stream? Here are 10 ways to make money online – CBS News

Make some extra money by turning one of your passions or hobbies into passive income.

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There are many different reasons why you may be looking for new ways to make money online, and the good news is that there are more opportunities than ever to do this in today’s economy. With inflation high and interest rates climbing, your money isn’t stretching as far as it once did. But there are ways to use the internet to gain new income streams and help boost your finances. 

And, that’s true whether you’re looking for ways to supplement your cash flow or want to find a completely new career path. In most cases, you can even use your existing skills to create a passive income stream

But given the wide range of options you have to earn money online, it may be difficult to figure out which opportunities are legitimate, won’t require a ton of money upfront — and are right for you. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to start making passive income right now.

10 passive income ideas to help you make extra cash

Passive income is essentially money you’re making from a source or business other than your direct employer. This type of income is often earned via a task or action performed on the side of your regular job that doesn’t require a lot of effort to do (which is why many of these income sources are found online). 

Still, despite its name, even passive income can take some work, both upfront and ongoing.

“Passive activities include trade or business activities in which you don’t materially participate. You materially participate in an activity if you’re involved in the operation of the activity on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis,” the IRS explains on its website.

Here are 10 ways you can use a passive income stream to make some extra cash.

1. Take online surveys

Giving your opinion and taking part in market research can be an easy way to make money online. Some of the more popular survey sites include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, OneOpinion, Opinion Outpost and Ipsos iSay. 

Find out how you can make a few extra bucks from home by taking online surveys now!

Keep in mind: This type of passive income won’t bring in huge earnings, but it can put some extra cash in your pocket. Swagbucks says its members earn about $1 to $5 per day on average. Just make sure you do some research before you get started or commit to participating in any online surveys. 

2. Sign up for a gig-working platform

There are several platforms designed for online gig work. For example, Amazon Mechanical Turk is a site you can use to take on small tasks for businesses across the globe. They might include moderating content, taking a survey or transcribing audio. 

Clickworker is a similar platform, or if you have a specific skill — like copywriting, editing or graphic design — you can use freelancing platforms like Fiverr, and Upwork to connect with potential clients.

3. Start a blog

Blogs aren’t just for fun these days. They can be quite the moneymaker when done right. The key to creating a successful blog is to pick your niche, build your audience and then monetize. Building a following can take some time though, so be patient.

You can do this through affiliate marketing, which earns you a commission when someone clicks a monetized link or buys a product that’s promoted on your blog. You could also try selling and displaying ads on your site using a tool like Google Adsense. 

4. Start an online store

If you’re the creative type, you might consider selling your wares online through a site like Etsy. Sellers on Etsy offer everything from jewelry and clothing to artwork, invitations, yard signs, templates and more. 

You might even choose to start a drop-shipping store, which is essentially a storefront. When a customer makes an order, you order that product from a third party (a manufacturer, vendor, or wholesaler) and ship it directly to the customer. 

5. Start a YouTube channel

YouTube creators can make a lot of money, and getting started doesn’t necessarily require much expertise. You can create how-to or explainer videos on virtually any subject, or go more personal and put yourself in the videos. Consider different formats that are successful on the platform, like interviewing subject matter experts, providing tips and tricks, or even just showing yourself playing various video, mobile or board games. 

Like blogging, the important thing is to find a niche and build a following. You can then integrate Google Ads, become a YouTube Partner, and even make money off memberships, live chats and subscriptions.

6. Make money from photography

If you’re known as the photographer in the family, you can make some extra money by selling your photos online. There are websites like Fine Art America in which you can upload your images and have them featured on merchandise that’s sold on the site. 

7. Become a transcriptionist

If you’re a fast typer, you might consider doing some online transcription for cash. You’ll simply need to listen to audio files and then accurately type out what you hear. You get paid per piece, so the faster you can type, the better when it comes to making money., GoTranscript and TranscribeMe are just a few of the sites where you can find online transcription work.

8. Become a virtual assistant

More work than ever is being done online following the recent rise in remote work. It makes sense, then, that remote help is more common, too. By becoming a virtual assistant via websites like Indeed (just search for “Remote Virtual Assistant”) you can work for a business in need from the comfort of your home office.

The work needed varies — you might find gigs ranging from writing to social media management to traditional bookkeeping — so look around for something that fits your skills and background.

9. Test websites and apps

Fancy yourself the tech-savvy type? If so, you can get paid to test out new websites and mobile apps and hunt down any glitches. At, for example, you get the opportunity to test new sites and products from popular brands today. 

You just need to have a reliable WiFi connection, a microphone, a computer or mobile device and you can get to work., UserZoom and Userlytics are other similar platforms.

10. Buy and sell domain names

Those with similarly web-savvy skills might consider passive income via purchasing and then selling domain names. Sites like can even help complete the sale via an online auction. Or just simply buy names you think may be interesting in the future (think entertainment, sports and political events) then put your contact information on those URLs and offer to sell them to anyone looking to buy. 

The bottom line

There’s a side gig for everyone; you just need to figure out your perfect fit. Start with an idea above, then considering branching out even if your first try doesn’t work out. Like any type of income, generating a solid source of passive income can take some upfront time and effort. In the meantime, you can start small and begin making money by taking surveys now. Surveys are one quick and easy way to earn a little extra cash in your downtime.