College students are not traditionally the most wealthy demographic. Not only that, but many people finish college with student loans to pay off. One convenient way to make some cash while juggling the time commitment of college courses, sports, or extracurriculars is to find different streams of passive income.
What Can I Do to Earn Money as a Student?
There are multiple ways to make money, but making money with an already full schedule is a different challenge altogether. The following are two main ways that a college student could make some extra cash:
- Getting a part-time job.
- Starting some passive streams of income.
Sustaining a part-time job can be difficult if you are doing other things than just school work, like sports or other extra-curricular activities. That is why passive income ideas for students are very appealing.
What Is Passive Income?
Passive income is collecting revenue from rental property, limited partnerships, or any enterprise where a person is not actively involved.
Many passive income strategies require a larger investment up-front, making them difficult for college students to utilize. This post focuses on passive income ideas for students that are affordable, efficient, and easy to learn.
Once you have committed to starting some passive income streams, this list will help you find out which ones will be the most convenient for you to start now.
Passive Income Ideas for Students
1) Create a blog
If you have a deep passion for writing, then creating your very own blog may be a profitable choice. Creating unique and intriguing content is the best way to bring in a large audience for a blog. If applicable, use Google Trends to identify popular focus points and topics being searched that match the branding of the blog’s content strategy. Once you have done this, you can begin to monetize your blog. There are many strategic ways to monetize a blog and start growing your income, such as:
- Product Reviews: Students will need to reach out to relevant businesses within their niche and offer to review one of their products for a fee.
- Freelance Blogging: Once students gain experience, they can start to sell their services on sites like Fiverr and Freelancer.
- Advertisements: The more traffic you have, the more income your ads will generate.
Here is a particularly interesting blog post that does a deep dive into the specific step-by-step process of monetizing a blog.
2) Begin Investing
There are many choices when it comes to investing. The most convenient and low-risk way to invest for college students is through a brokerage that uses an automated investing feature. This spreads your investments out across the top-performing companies. Some well-known investment companies are Fidelity, SoFi, and ETRADE. A rule of thumb with investing is the sooner the better, so why wait?
3) Sell Courses Online
If you are knowledgeable about a very specific topic, you can be paid to sell online courses. Even if you don’t have any one thing that you feel you have a vast knowledge of, you can just learn a very specific skill. Once you have mastered this skill, you can start selling courses online. Additionally, everyone has certain subjects or skills that just come naturally to them.
For example, the YouTuber Ali Abdaal has made his career producing productivity videos. Each video has a common theme that everyone has some sort of “Unfair advantage”. He credits much of his success to the unfair advantages he has had in his life.
One place where you can start selling your online course is through Skillshare, where users can purchase your course for a predetermined price.
4) Start Doing Affiliate Marketing
This one is great for anyone who already has a large social media or Instagram following and is looking to continue growing it. Affiliate marketing is the idea of promoting a product or item in videos or on social media platforms. When people use the code you provide, you will get a percentage of the commissions based on your referral. Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and TikTok are some options for affiliate marketing.
5) Make an App
App building is a rare skill to have, but it is something that can be learned. The internet is a great source for acquiring a strong foundational knowledge of the app-building process. To start making income from your app, college students will need to do one of the following:
- Advertisements: This method is low hassle and a great way to make easy revenue.
- In-App Purchases: This requires the app to offer bonus or premium content for an additional price.
- Subscriptions: This model is one where you can give some of your content for free, but to access all of the app content, the user must upgrade to a monthly service.
App development does require a large amount of work up front, but once you have done this you can sit back and see how much cash your app will generate.
This source of passive income can be competitive and requires sufficient market research before creating the application. Once the work is put in up front to make the app, the app can start generating cash.
6) Advertise on your car
“Wrapping” your car with an advertisement is a simple but effective form of passive income. To start, you bring your car to a company like Wrapify, Carvertise, or FreeCarMedia. These companies will wrap your car with an advertisement, and start paying you to drive your car as you normally would.
7) Create a Youtube Channel
This strategy requires much less time than college students anticipate. According to multiple YouTubers, high-tech cameras and equipment are not necessary to get started. Many YouTubers state how they got started making videos on their phones. There is, however, no guarantee of income for this strategy. Many YouTubers didn’t make a profit for years after starting their channels. Another potential pitfall of this strategy is that it will take up a large amount of time to build an audience. Here is an article that is a more in-depth guide to building an audience on Youtube.
Passive income ideas for students are a great way to make some extra cash to get through your college years. No income source is completely passive, as they all require the work upfront to bring in profits down the road. If you are willing to put in the work today with one of these strategies, you can start earning additional income while in college.