Passive income is the dream and ultimate goal of every digital nomad. It means that you get paid over and over again for work that you did once. I myself have 4 income streams (affiliate marketing, ebooks, online courses, and my own clothing line) that generate income every month although I’m not investing time in them anymore. Let’s have a closer look at them:

1) Affiliates

You have probably noticed that some of my links on Barbaralicious are accompanied by an asterisk (*) and at the end of the blog post it’s saying „All links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links!“. So what are affiliate links? It is best described as the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. For example, I promote Airbnb*, Trusted Housesitters* or TripAdvisor*.

Some of the companies have their own affiliate or partner program (like Amazon*) while others work with bigger platforms like CJ Affiliate (former Commission Junction) or AWIN. The advantage for you of those big networks is that you register once and can participate in several affiliate programs.

The disadvantage of affiliate marketing, in general, is that you need a website or blog to be accepted at the programs or platforms. If you have one, it will take you minutes to apply and after being accepted to create affiliate links.

2) Ebooks

One of the biggest disrupted industries and one of those that provides a great path to a solid passive income venture for an individual entrepreneur is in ebook publishing. And it’s one of my favorite „jobs“! Don’t forget to check out my books and the series City Guides for Digital Nomads.

You can write your books yourself, or hire ghostwriters to create your ebook. The beauty of self-publishing ebooks is that you’re in total control from start to finish, and you won’t have to rely on publishers whether your book will be published or not. On top of that, you’re going to be in charge of everything, from marketing to selling which means you keep all the profits yourself.

One of the easiest ways to sell ebooks is to work through a third-party site like Amazon. You may have ordered products, even books, from Amazon in the past. But this is a whole different side to this massive e-commerce site.

The big benefit of working through Amazon’s self-publishing platform called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is their established audience. Around 89 million Americans are said to be active ebook readers. And Amazon works almost everywhere in the world. That’s your potential audience, all those people visiting this site and browsing for a new book. It could be your book they find when doing a search on a related keyword.

Additionally, KDP lets you publish your book also as a paperback. It’s a bit more complicated but worth the effort. It will be print on demand, which means that Amazon is printing the book as soon as it is ordered. This ensures that you have zero costs in advance.

3) Stock Photography

So what is stock photography? When companies or agencies need photos they don’t send photographers around the world to take them. Instead, they use stock photos.

Anyone who is interested in a stock photo can make a purchase through one of the websites, and the photographer will get a small sales commission. Technically speaking, this is a win-win situation where companies pay less, and photographers potentially earn more with their photos having their photos purchased by many people.

To get started with stock photography, choose some of your best photos and sign up at one of the biggest stock photography platforms:

4) Online Courses

People go online for a couple of reasons, including for entertainment and socializing. But the Internet is also used to find information and learn new things. Not sure how to use a new piece of software? There is probably a video tutorial on YouTube already. Want to know what you can make for dinner with the five ingredients you have in your fridge? Check Pinterest for a recipe. This need for information and instruction has created a great opportunity for you to get paid for your knowledge.

Creating and selling online courses can be quite lucrative if you’re able to provide a great course and reach your target marketing. Plus, with easier to use and more affordable resources to host your course, there’s no reason avoid becoming an online instructor. While it can take time to create all the lessons in your course, once uploaded, it can become a profitable source of passive income to your existing business or as a business all on its own.

Personally, I created two online courses in the past. They are both in German only. I started using Teachable, which has different plans ( I paid 29 USD) and switch to the free service of Udemy at the moment.

5) Shirts

Do you have a special design created or is design one of your passions? Or you simply know some cool slogans or saying that you could print on shirts? Then do what I did and create your own clothing line. I started PROUD NOMAD in 2016 when I was playing around with a design tool and loved the style and the statement. I’m not doing a lot of marketing for it, so I don’t have many sales. But I heard of people earning several hundred Euros a month with their shirts.And don’t forget the fun of running around with a shirt saying that this is your own brand!


6) Amazon FBA

I also want to introduce you to Amazon FBA, creating passive income through Fulfillment By Amazon. The Amazon marketplace is very often overlooked and provides plenty of opportunity for a lucrative passive income stream. FBA is a great way to sell your own products without having to deal with the sales, the shipping, or the customers. All you have to do is source a product, list it, and send the products over to Amazon to stock your inventory. Amazon takes care of the rest. Your product is placed in view of Amazon’s astronomical marketplace. The items that you send to Amazon are stored in their warehouses. When a sale is made, they deliver your item and even take care of customer service. The initial amount that you invest is entirely your choice. You can simply stock a product in your price range, and an amount of products that you can afford. If you do your research and buy and sell the right products at the right prices, you will be ready to make sales and profits in no time at all. Friends who have done that recommend calculating 2,000 USD to start with. But be aware that you have to pay Amazon for storing and listing your products even if you don’t make any sales at all! So this one is definitely the riskiest of all passive income streams that I presented.


5) Mining

Crypto is the hype of the decade. Online currencies are supposed to be the money of the future. No wonder the topic is well received by digital nomads. Personally, I used my freelancing business to be part of this and launched a new website: The Crypto Translator. One way to generate passive income is mining. You use computer power to create new tokens – also called coins. For this, you will be paid in tokens. You can either build a mining farm yourself or join groups and then add power to that pool. To start you should calculate an investment of USD 3,500.


My Final Thoughts:

Clearly, there are a variety of ways to make passive income a reality. Hopefully, this list has helped you narrow down which one would fit you the best. So if you’re tired of exchanging time for money all the time, implement today a few of the passive income strategies above so you can make more money while you sleep tomorrow.

Yours Barbara
PS: The links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.