Best Ideas for Earning Passive Income as a Student 2021

Passive income has become a popular term over the last few years. It sounds very good; earning money without doing anything for it. However, this sounds better than it actually is. In most of the cases, you will have to work hard and be very patient to build something from which you can earn (a good amount of) passive income. There are many ways to earn passive income, which are interesting for everyone. In this article, I will focus on ways to make passive income as a student, but also for other people it can be a very good way to make (some extra) money!

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been an upcoming trend within digital marketing over the last few years. It is a very accessible way of making some money for everyone who wants. You promote a product, for example on your website, Instagram or YouTube, and if someone buys the product using your link, you get a small commission (which I do in for example this article on productivity books). There are various platforms who provide an affiliate program, from which Amazon Affiliate Associates is the most popular. It does take (lots of) time and effort and you have to be patient, but eventually on the long term if you have found your public, you can actually make a lot of money from it. 

Selling an eBook

If you are skilled in writing you could write and sell an eBook about a topic you are interested in, on which not much has been written yet. This connects to the previous tip of starting a website, on which you can promote the eBook. Of course, writing an eBook takes lots of time, but eventually you can make money from it without doing much for it, besides promoting it. 

Starting a YouTube channel

YouTube is also a way of making money that will usually require (lots of) patience of you to actually earn some money from it. Lots of people are nowadays on YouTube every day, so the demand is large, but so is the number of YouTubers and videos. So you have to be entertaining, creative and also lucky to actually get lots of viewers and subscribers. But when you have your audience, you could become quite (or very, looking at some YouTubers) rich by the advertisements and sponsorships.

Start a website

For starting a website you need to have some patience to earn a (good) amount of money from it. Find a niche subject, preferably a topic on which not many websites exist yet (which can be quite difficult) and start writing articles. You can eventually make money from a website in different ways. You can put some advertisements on it (Google Adsense) and start affiliate marketing, in which you promote a certain product, and when the consumer buys the product, you get a small commission. If your website has a lot of visitors after a while, you could even do some sponsorships with companies.

Selling an Online Course

This connects well to the previous tip of starting a website. When you have a lot of knowledge about a certain topic, which could literally be anything, you could sell an online course about this. For this, you need some audience to make it profitable, because it obviously takes lots of time to make an online course. However, when it is finished, you do not need to spend much time on it, apart from promoting it. Nowadays, some people nowadays are willing to pay quite some money to take courses online, so it could really be a good source of passive income. 


Investing in stocks and shares can be seen as the easiest way to earn passive income. You invest money, and you can only wait (on the long-term!) that hopefully it will increase in value. Nowadays, there are many different platforms and ways to invest, and you have to be careful, as there are quite some scam platforms, for example related to crypto etc. However, there are many good ways to start with investing in an accessible way. Start reading books and articles about it, get informed, watch videos and get started.

Build an app

Building an app is an advanced way of earning passive income, as you need to know how to code, have a good, original idea and actually build the app. However, everything can be learned on the internet, university and with books, so it is possible if you are dedicated and have lots of patience. Getting people to pay for your app can also be quite a challenge, but if you provide them with a good idea and app, everything is possible!

Start a podcast

Starting a podcast has been very popular for the last few years. It is very easy to start a podcast, you can use your phone and then upload it with various websites. Unfortunately, a podcast does not work like YouTube Adsense, so you do not earn money based on the number of views. So, you need sponsorships, but then you could make good passive income from it if you have your audience.

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