Photo by David Biagini / Shutterstock.com

For most people, our jobs are our main source of income, if not only. But some smart people are figuring out how to continue making money without constant effort.

These people have passive income streams. What is residual income? It is a cash flow that is either self-sustaining or maintained with less work than a job.

For example, dividend stocks, rental properties, CDs and annuities are examples of how passive income is generated. All of these things, once they are set up, are about occasional maintenance rather than work. And you probably see a topic here: many of the most valuable ways to make residual income sound like a retirement investment.

All the things that are usually considered the best passive income require money that you may not have. If you want to generate automatic income by investing your time or property instead of money, here are seven passive income ideas that make the most of your creativity, skills, and assets.

1. Write an e-book

Everyone has a story to tell or something they know very well, even if they don't immediately realize what it is. This makes writing an e-book one of the most accessible ideas for passive income – because nowadays everyone can publish.

The ease of publishing is of course a double-edged sword: that means a lot of competition. So you want to spend as much time figuring out where and how to market your book as you spend writing and editing it. We already wrote about self-publishing in "How to Make Money by Writing and Publishing Books".

If you don't want to edit the cover and layout, you can pay someone to do it through websites like Fiverr.

2. Create a course

If you're thinking about how to create residual income, but choose a better presenter than a word smith, you have options. Perhaps you would rather offer advice through video lectures and other online learning rather than writing it in a book.

Or try both: the material from one can form the basis for the other or can be used partially for this, so that you have twice as many passive income opportunities for the same work. When it comes to making money online, recycle wherever it makes sense.

Platforms like Udemy offer an enormous audience of people who may be interested in what you say, and they offer many of the tools for creating and presenting the content of your course.

If you've ever taught or trained someone on a particular subject, you have a head start. But if not, there are certainly crash courses for people who want to take crash courses. We have already explained how you can develop your own course in "Getting Started with an Online Teaching Business in 9 Steps".

3. Sell photos

Maybe words in whatever form are not your bag. That's fine – they say pictures are worth a thousand. Next for passive income ideas: selling your photography.

Businesses – including self-publishing and educational companies – need photos to market their activities, and few hire photographers directly. Instead, they simply buy the images they want from stock photography websites like Shutterstock or Foap.

You can sell your own pictures to these websites. If they're popular enough, you can still make money years later.

If you already have a professional camera and equipment, great; If not, read our story "How to take pictures like a pro with your mobile phone camera" as a starting point.

4. License your music

If you're still wondering how you can generate passive income with your creative talents, here's another idea: music. Similar to how people and companies license photos, they license music for personal videos, shows, films, and advertising.

AudioJungle and Pond5 are two marketplaces for selling your music.

5. Create an app

What if you are more logical than creative? There are passive income opportunities for you too. Create your own app for Apple or Android devices.

It can be an information app, a game, or some kind of utility. You can charge a price for your app, sell a subscription service or premium version, or place ads.

There are even services that allow you to build an app without the need for programming skills. These are usually apps created by people who also find out how to make money online. In other words: not free.

6. Rent your car

If you're not ready to invest time or money, you can still earn residual income from something you already own. How about your car

With services like Turo, you can rent your car to strangers when you're not using it. They provide photos, prices and restrictions such as mileage limits. In return, people book your car and coordinate a meeting. You can play car rental, give them the keys and collect the money.

You can find more information in our story "How to earn additional money when renting your car".

7. Rent additional rooms

Instead of renting a vehicle, you can also rent space through websites like Airbnb or Vrbo. The process is similar: you have to provide photos, prices and rules and list the availability. Then people will contact you and book your accommodation and you will play hotelier to earn extra money.

You can find cheaper car insurance in just a few minutes

It doesn't have to be difficult to get a better deal on car insurance. With The Zebra, an insurance comparison website, you can compare offers and find the best prices in just a few minutes. Consumers save an average of $ 368 a year, according to the website. So when you're ready to secure your new tariff, you're ready to go.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation if you click on links in our stories.

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