How To Make Passive Income With $0 in 2019

15 min read


Creating passive income is traditionally something people associate with  property investment or owning a portfolio of shares.

Making it happen online though is a different story altogether.

It’s possible to create passive income online with zero dollars, nothing, nada, no money whatsoever.



Instead of financially costing you  as is the case with investment properties, and share portfolios were you actually buy your way into the market, TIME is the real cost in the arena of online business.

All you really need is access to a computer, phone and internet to make it happen, along with a considerably large time commitment.

I’ll be covering ideas to possibly make this reality for you, but I won’t be telling you the watered down version as that doesn’t do you any service at all.

Instead I’ll be as transparent as possible giving you my honest take on how to go about creating these kinds of income in an ethical and viable strategy.

In addition to those basic items  you need a willingness to learn, hopefully this post gives you some incentive and points you in the right direction in getting started.


Time Investment vs Financial Investment

Zero financial investment doesn’t mean you get a free ride altogether.

Time is the commodity you will need for creating online passive income, a lot of it.

In addition to time you need to stay disciplined, stay true to the goal and risk not making ANYTHING in pursuit of trying to make SOMETHING.

This post will be about investing your time to build something from the ground up, it’s important to understand that when it comes to creating passive income if it were

easy then EVERYONE would be out there doing it from day dot.



Staying disciplined means not giving up, when things aren’t working out as you expected you can’t afford to get discouraged and quit when you don’t see immediate results.

Unfortunately this is probably most people.

In order to do well you need the ability to do your own research and understand that not one single person is going to do all the work for you.

If you can’t problem solve on the fly, you’re going to struggle.



One of the main takeaways from this post should be that you have to take on all the work right now to have the opportunity and the means to set up a business to run by itself later down the track.

The second takeaway is that you will divert from the traditional thinking of trading your time for money to set up a sustainable long term passive income to bring in money while you sleep.

The reason we are covering this now is I don’t want to mislead you into thinking it’s going to be an easy ride.



It especially won’t be another one of those clickbait titles claiming to make you money with almost no effort or making you false promises from the get go.

There is a much needed dose of reality for anyone who gets sucked in to those kind of hyped up sales pitches.

The reality is that theres a LOT of behind the scenes work that makes those businesses succeed.

Even get to a point where they start to become profitable, it’s important to know this.



Creating passive income from $0 means that you need to provide value to someone or in this case many people in order to be paid at the end of it all.

How much value and service you can offer should always be your number 1 priority.

The amount you will be paid is directly proportionate to how much value you can provide that other person.



You can create the best product in the world but if you can’t get eyes on it, it won’t succeed.

Learning how to do this successfully is high up on your priorities scale when related to creating online passive income.

Start out with knowing what your value proposition is and make it clearly known from the absolute beginning, if you’re not clear on this you won’t be getting paid.



Working a 9-5 job has it’s drawbacks, the main one being that your income is capped for the hours that you work.

Passive income businesses  can not be capped on the number of hours you work, nor can the amount of money be determined by the amount of hours you put in.

Theres a strong argument that using an online business to generate passive income can make you more than you ever could working a 9-5.

Therefore it’s crucial you understand this and mentally prepare yourself for the work thats yet to come.



I think you get the idea of how much work is required, so with that out of the way it’s time to explore some business ideas, strategies and concepts that you could work towards potentially earning a side income or

even make it your main source of income like many have before.

It’s important to have your guard up when you are exploring these kinds of online businesses.



One saying that resonates true when you see a lot of these kinds of opportunities is:

“the best way to make $100 is to charge someone else $100 to teach them how to make $100”

Many of you will be familiar with this, and know that peoples intentions sometimes are not in your best interest.

Just be skeptical about what and who you listen to, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.



The following are ideas for you to pursue and grow on your own, don’t take this as set in stone advice on the kind of businesses are the absolute best to pursue.

Everyone has their different qualities and skillset, so it’s solely up to you to make things happen and know which will best suit your own personality and interests.

If you feel any of these ideas resonating with you, go for it. Keep in the forefront of your mind that value/service proposition as you read on.

What value can you offer to someone else  or what service can you provide that you would be paid for?



1. Start A Youtube Channel

One of the most lucrative ways to create passive income online is to start your own Youtube channel.

You create videos about something that interests you or a hobby you’re passionate about and upload it to Youtube.

Do this consistently enough and you will begin to build a following.



A subscriber base that can turn into real income once you monetize your channel and start running ads.

To give you an idea of the kind of income you can earn by doing this, there have been some Youtubers who have openly shown their subscribers how much their videos have earned.

Including what the different factors are that determine how much an individual video will make in terms of revenue.

Shelby Church is an example of a veteran Youtuber who has been on the platform for 10 years and shows just how much her videos are making in the following video:



Another popular figure that is fairly new in comparison (2 years) is Graham Stephan.

Known as a realestate Guru and Youtuber who is pretty transparent when it comes to showing his viewers his Youtube earnings:



To get started with Youtube is very low cost, you just need some free editing software (iMovie for mac users) a phone to film with and the willingness to put yourself out there

and you’re well on your way.

Graham Stephan was a realestate agent when he started his channel and would share with his Youtube audience ways to earn money through investing in

realestate as well as other means.



If you want to pursue starting out on Youtube there a free ways to learn more about creating videos.

Reddit has a thread called NewTubers where you can learn Youtube SEO and how to optimize your videos for search engines.

Other helpful advice includes how to create great thumbnails (image of your video in search result) and  other tips for new creators.

If you’re starting to think of the excuses like “I don’t have the personality to create Youtube videos” thinking no-one will listen to what you have to say…

…TRUST me there is someone out there who will watch you content and find your personality relatable and interesting to them.



Youtube creators get a lot of enjoyment out of filming  their videos regularly which is what drawers them to creating this kind of “job” except it’s not your average job.

If you think you have some value to share with an audience it would be a great opportunity to build yourself an online passive income.

To be clear, the way you will get paid is through advertising on your videos.

Youtube will give you the option to monetize your videos by placing adds incrementally on your videos and when a viewer clicks those ads you will get a percentage of the add revenue generated

from showing those adds on your Youtube Channel.



Youtube also pays you even if a user skips those ads, due to the advertisers just paying for ads to appear in the first place.

The longer you videos are, the more ads can be placed within them.

This can be a careful balance though, too many ads will lead to your audience being turned away.



2. Create An Online Course

Information products are one of the most popular ways to create a passive income from $0.

They can take you up to 2 – 3 months to put together but  have the possibility of paying you for years to come if your content is a high calibre.

Graham Stephan the Youtuber previously mentioned has made 2 online courses using the platform

Generating over $200,000 by just adding the links to his courses within the description of his Youtube videos.



One of the courses  teaches people the realestate business in the US. The other is how to create a Youtube channel and grow it to over 100,000 subscribers.

Theres no reason for you to come across as a scummy salesy type person once you have put in those months of hard work creating a course.

If you took decided to go ahead and start a Youtube channel you can just link to your course within the video description just like many Youtubers before you.



Having a willingness to learn and improve places you miles ahead of anyone else.

Applying these traits to building a following for the next couple of years will reward you indefinitely.

You don’t need to have any sort of natural born talent or be amazing at social media.

Economies of scale is a major factor in play when it comes to information products, they won’t make you any money if you’re just trying to teach one single person at a time.



The same time it takes me to teach one person about how to start their own affiliate marketing website, I can write a blog post on how to do it or film the steps on how to do it for the same time I would spend teaching one individual.

That video or blog post though, has the benefit of reaching thousands of people instead of just that one person.

This is what makes an online course so beneficial, and WHY so many people opt to create courses for their audiences.



Online courses do incredibly well and are profitable, the only thing they take to create is your time and theres very little overheads.

You can reach anyone in the world with your course, ensure you offer people more information than they paid for, make it a high quality product, and I think you can do very well.

Providing people with an information tutorial based course offers a great service to them, as they are interested in the topic to begin with.

Do these things well, and your newly created income source will pay you for years to come.

Does 2-3 months work that pays you for years to come sound like a great investment of your time ?



3. Create Amazon Store: Affiliate Links


Another strategy to make passive income with zero dollars is to create an Amazon store and link to it within your Youtube Video description.

Simply spend 20 minutes adding the camera equipment you use to the store and any unique items that appear regularly within your videos such as house plants, signs, mugs, t-shirts anything that is sold on the Amazon marketplace.

Link to your Amazon store within the description of your video and every video that you upload will be an opportunity for people to buy off Amazon and in turn you will  be earning a commission on every purchase.

The standard commission rate varies for different items on Amazon as seen below :



1.0% for video games and game consoles

2.0% for televisions and digital download games

2.5% for computers, computer components, DVD and Blu-Ray

3.0% for toys

Amazon tablets and Kindle devices: 4.00%

4.5% for paper books, healthcare, personal care, sports, kitctchen, car and baby products: 4.50%

5.0% for digital music and video downloads; grocery items, handmade items or musical instruments

6.0% for headphones, beauty products, musical instruments, business and industrial supplies

7.0% for clothes and accessories, Amazon TVs, Amazon Echo products and jewelry

8.0% for furniture, lawn and garden, home improvement, pantry and pet products

10.0% for Amazon fashion items and Amazon Coins


These may seem fairly low but as you audience grows the more people buying through your link will lead to an increase in revenue.

Graham Stephan is earning around $500 – $800 per month from his store link with just a few camera items with an audience of just over 700,000 followers which took him just over 2 years to build.

Some months he has seen upward of $1200 in a single month for simply having 1 link in the description of his Youtube videos.



You also get paid any time someone buys something through your link even if it was for an item completely unrelated to what was on your store.

They might have for example looked at the fake plant you had listed on your store but then decided they wanted a mac book pro instead.

This means that instead of earning a measly 30cents commission on that plant they where going to buy you are getting 2.5% on a product that costs thousands of dollars.



For this reason I’m a big fan of the Amazon affiliate network, even if you buy a product you wanted anyway and do a product review either a blog post or a Youtube video.

You can easily start making commissions from this. Due to the competitiveness of blogs, Youtube videos will have the advantage.

Many people consume more video content as its quick and easy, it also makes it more personable if people can watch a real person reviewing a real product.



4. Build A Social Media Following

If you have a hobby or theres a topic you’re interested, I can guarantee that there is 10 to 100 thousand other people that are into the EXACT same thing that you are.

Use Facebook and Instagram to target those people who have the same interest as you and build an organic following around that. Stay away from paid promotion and spammy content, grow it organically.

A group of individuals that are genuinely sharing the same interests without being sold to all the time is an incredibly valuable audience in the event that you ever want to monetise it in the future.

Creating an online course tailored for this audience will be one of the most profitable ventures you can make.



Just as long as you stay true to your self and don’t over sell to you audience like a lot of online marketers are doing. People have a short tolerance for that kind of thing.

There are influencers making between 5 and 7 thousand dollars a month simply posting affiliate offers from companies to their audience. If you feel comfortable doing this, it’s completely up to you.

Just keep in mind that people can become disinterested quickly if they feel like they aren’t getting the value they expected when they first began following you.

The other side of this opportunity is brand deals with larger companies. If the brands are in line with your value proposition and you see it to be a good fit for your audience whilst offering  them genuine value

these are the kinds of deals that can be incredibly profitable.



5. AIRBNB Business

This has become very popular in recent times and some well known Youtube personalities have actually been investing money in running adds to teach people how to do this kind of business.

The way it works is you find a property that’s for sale or lease on the market and start by approaching the owner to offer your services in managing the property as an AIRBNB.

This management is in exchange for a percentage of the profit received for each AIRBNB stay by guests. This strategy helps the home owner by generating money for an investment that is

dormant and not producing income and is almost always generating more income than if it was rented on a long term lease or was vacant while it’s on the market to be sold.



The best part of the situation for the owners is that you take care of the management and they still receive an income, a very hands off approach that a lot of investment home

owners actually pay realtors to do anyway for less return on their investment. If people are offered a better deal, they will take it every time.

It does take some time to grow this business to a point where your team can manage and handle most of the work for you, but if it’s something your interested in and are willing to make yourself

familiar with AIRBNB regulations this is a good opportunity to pursue.



I hope these ideas have helped you in some way and have shown just some of the more interesting options to create passive income for $0!

Let me know in the comments what your favourite one is or which one you think you might pursue.









  1. Sara Poyner

    Hi, I came here looking for ideas of how I could make extra money and you didn’t disappoint. I have been considering starting a Youtube channel and a blog, and this post has really given me the information, and motivation to do this.

    I have often watch those videos on Youtube about how much people earn, and It would be great to have a piece of that pie. I started a blog some years ago, but didn’t have the training or support I needed to actually get anyone to visit it. So I will look into the things your suggest much further.

    What I loved most is your quote ‘the best way to make $100 is to charge $100 to teach someone else to make $100’ Genius. I would love to get to a point where I can do that! Thanks for making believe this is actually possible.

    1. Will

      Hi Sara, thanks for your comment! glad you got some motivation from this.
      Look forward to supporting you if you start a Youtube channel. Send me a message when you do.

  2. Katy

    Thank you for all these passive income ideas. They are creative and different from other ideas I’ve seen out there. I will be trying to add affiliate links and create an Amazon store. I really appreciate your help! Thank you!!

  3. Stefan

    Hi Will, this post is eye-opening!

    4 years ago I decided to create an affiliate site, which now generates almost the same of 2 rental properties in the country.

    Although there is constant publishing schedule I conseder it as almost passive because it keeps making money even if I stop working for months!

    In the same 4 years, I would never have the money to buy a property to generate the same income. That’s why I highly recommend investing time first so then you can make yourmoney work for you.

    1. Will

      Hi Stefan, thats really cool,
      Thanks for sharing your experience with affiliate marketing and running a website to make semi-passive income.
      Look forward to checking it out.

  4. Kendra

    I had no idea that people could help advertise for AirBnB’s like that, or that there was a reddit thread for NewTubers! I’m going to go check it out, thank you for the help, Kendra

    1. Will

      Hi Kendra,
      Yeah it’s a decent opportunity for people interested in the AIRBNB market. NewTubers is great! Happy to help.

  5. Sandy

    Hi Will,
    thanks for sharing the recourses about create a video channel on YouTube!
    It’s definitely great to earn passive income online!
    I just create one video recently but don’t know how to do the SEO for it.
    NewTubers is really helpful for offering a bunch of information and tutorial on that!
    I can’t wait to learn and improve my channel :)))


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