How to Brainstorm Ways to Make Residual Income

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J. Paul Getty said to become rich you need to make money in your sleep.

Easy for him to say, he had oil gushing out of wells 24-7.

Unless you have an oil derrick in your backyard, a solid modern, non-gusher alternative is to earn residual income from any number of business opportunities–from blogging to real estate. Residual income is a set-it and pretty much forget-it system to earn money on a regular basis, whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

(Note: I said, “pretty much.”)

The thing is, there are a lot of ways to attain residual income strands, but not all of the methods appeal to all people. In the next few steps, you’ll learn how to brainstorm ways to make residual income.

Your first step is to ask yourself some questions:

How Much?

One of the first questions you should ask is how much do you expect from your streams of residual income. Do you want to make a little side money? Are you expecting to quit your job? Are you going for billionaire status? All are possible, but the probability changes based on what models you expect to use and what services and products you expect to offer.

What Interests You?

This may sound silly, but trust me this is a biggie. Many people believe that as long as they are making money, they could care a less what they’re actually doing to earn cash. That’s a mistake. Let’s say you start blogging as a source of your revenue streams, but you hate to write. Chances are that you’ll never establish the content necessary to run a profitable blog. Even if you do start earning money, you might not be able to sustain your blog.

Understand the types of residual income

If you know what you like and have set some type of income goal, you can look for residual income methods to fit the criteria. This is a partial list, but here are a few of the most popular and easiest and cheapest to start.

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Niche sites
  • Selling your own products
  • Search engine marketing
  • Dividend investing
  • eBook author
  • Selling apps
  • Real estate

*Notice I didn’t mention multi-level marketing (MLM). Just to be real here: I have never found one that either worked, or one that I could recommend in good conscience. Most of the ones that do work take too much of your soul to be worthwhile. Having said that, it is an example of a residual income-generating business.

What time do you want to spend setting these up?

Residual income makers are often billed as a hands-off approach to making money. That’s not exactly true. You will spend time and effort setting these systems up, but, hopefully, over time you’ll need less and less time maintaining them. Some businesses require less time than others. If you’re a developer or a writer, creating apps or eBooks might be fairly easy. Finding and acquiring real estate, on the other hand, will take considerable research and financial homework. The secret is: if you like the business, you probably won’t mind the leg work.

What types of risk will you be willing to take?

Not all residual income systems require an investment. Some cost, literally, pennies a day–an internet connection is all you need. Buying a condo complex to generate income… well, there’s some risk involved. Be sure you understand the risks and have the means to absorb any type of blow should the investment go horribly wrong.


Here are a few sources from around the web that I found that I hope are helpful. This hasn’t be easy, most residual income information that I found through search engines are nothing more than advertisements for, probably, people trying to sell stuff to create residual income streams. If you have favorites, please share in the comments below.

Residual Income Startup Guide from Residual Income Journey Blog

How to Create a Seven-Figure Residual Income — Hunter Nuttall

How to Make Residual Income Online — eHow

4 thoughts on “How to Brainstorm Ways to Make Residual Income

  1. Kirk Nathaniel

    Great list but I think the key with ANY of them is to make it systematic. Build a system that anyone can follow and then hire other people to run the system for you. And I couldn’t agree more that doing something in an area that interests you is big – without that excitement and drive you can burn out quick.

  2. Managed Investment Scheme

    I agree with Kirk on this one. Having a system is essential. But what you are saying is true, too. Working for blogs, if you hate writing isn’t really the best way to make money. You have to like what you have to do to make money.

  3. Brian

    I’m still doing my research into this. Is is possible to create leveraged income as an affiliate promoting someone else’s products or services?

  4. George

    Yes, I think it is possible. But it is definitely a different business than it was a few years ago.

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