What Are the Different Types of Residual Income Opportunities?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

An individual can consider many different types of residual income opportunities. Among the most popular are creating and monetizing a blog and writing for content sites that pay based on advertisement income. A person might also find some opportunities for residual income as an independent sales representative. Additionally, an individual could create his own product, such as an ebook, through which he can earn residual income.

Renting a property is one way to earn residual income.
Renting a property is one way to earn residual income.

One of the types of residual income opportunities a person might consider involves the creation of a blog. An individual can create a blog and then add clickable advertisements to it. Then, each time someone visits his blog and clicks on one of these links, the blog creator earns a small amount of money. Likewise, he can place advertisements for companies that will pay a commission for every sale of a product that is initiated through the blog. Often, a person who chooses this option for creating residual income is able to earn money from a blog post months or even years after he originally created it.

An individual can create a blog and then add clickable advertisements to it.
An individual can create a blog and then add clickable advertisements to it.

Another possibility involves signing up to be a writer with a content site. Often, these sites pay writers residual income based on the advertisement payments the content helps generate. The per-page payment for this type of arrangement is often small, but some people are able to earn a significant amount of money by writing many pages of content and placing them on these sites. Their written content has the potential to earn residual income for as long as the content remains posted.

Creating an ebook is an example of a residual income opportunity because the book can be sold repeatedly with no further work after the initial creation.
Creating an ebook is an example of a residual income opportunity because the book can be sold repeatedly with no further work after the initial creation.

An individual can also earn money as an independent representative of a company that offers residual income opportunities. In such a case, he might earn a commission on each sale and then continue receiving income for as long as the buyer keeps the service or continues to buy products from the company. For instance, an independent sales representative could contract to sell Internet service. He may earn a commission on the initial account signup and then earn additional money each time one of his customers pays his Internet bill.

When a person is looking for residual income opportunities, he might also consider creating a product he can sell over and over again. For example, an individual may write an ebook and sell downloads of it to multiple customers. He only has to put effort into creating the ebook once, yet he has the chance to earn unlimited money from it.

There are a multitude of online opportunities for writers to earn a residual income.
There are a multitude of online opportunities for writers to earn a residual income.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


It seems like any time I have been involved with any home business opportunities I end up spending way more than any amount of money I might bring in.

This isn't usually a problem if I really like the product that is being sold, but there comes a time when you need to take a realistic look at what you are doing.

I learned a long time ago that I am not good at selling something or trying to convince people to try a certain product. My current involvement in any kind of these opportunities is to be a customer only.

I do know a few people who have been quite successful with MLM residual income opportunities. Those that I know who have been successful continue to work just as hard after they have "made it to the top".

Not only do they seem to have the right personality for it, but they also really enjoy what they are doing and think they truly are making a difference for people.

While making a residual income sounds like a really good idea, I have never found anything that works well for me.


There are many ways to make residual income, but most of them do require hard work in the beginning. Many people are also not in position to quit their full time job and devote as much time as needed to be successful at generating residual income.

There are many residual income business opportunities with multi-level marketing companies. There are a lot of health and nutrition companies that are set up this way.

Once people sign up under your name and continue to buy products, you get paid a percentage of what they purchase.

I have been involved with a couple of them over the years, but have never made much money with them. I do know of people who are very successful at it, but it has taken years of hard work. Many people get discouraged and give up after a period of time.


@sunnySkys - The Internet is very accessible. However, not everyone has writing skills.

Also though, I don't know that many people who know about monetizing a blog and ad revenue and stuff like that. I feel like these things aren't common knowledge at this point. Whether or not they will be, that remains to be seen.

Personally, I don't think so. Most people can't wrap their heads around the idea of making legitimate money online. Or, once they realize it actually takes work they won't follow through.


I believe authors of books published by publishing houses also enjoy residual income opportunities. Of course, not everyone can do that. It does seem like it's a great deal for authors that publish a lot of books though. You get the advance for your new book and residuals from all the other ones you've had published!

I think the great thing about residual income opportunities on the Internet is that it's so accessible. If someone has the drive and the right skills, they can start generating residual income.


@Sunny27 - Real estate investing is really for someone that does not mind dealing with tenants. There is a huge hassle factor which not everyone is cut out for. For me the best residual income streams come from my dividend stocks and municipal bonds.

I own several blue chip stocks that offer a nice dividend yield. I normally reinvest the yield but I could easily cash it out if I wanted to. I also receive passive income from my municipal bond investments.

With municipal bonds I receive a check twice a year and the income that I earn is tax free. I realize that some people might be hesitant to loan state and local governments money but I usually only invest in general obligation funds which are the safest municipal bonds to invest in. I never invest in revenue bonds. Those are just too risky for me.


I think that there are a lot of areas in which you could earn passive income. Owning investment real estate over time is a great way to develop passive income opportunities. While real estate does have expenses, if you buy the property at the right price you can earn passive income from the rentals alone.

Periodically you would have to make some maintenance repairs but your tenet offers you income to not only pay off the property but enjoy some positive cash flow as well. For example, if you buy a four unit building for about $400,000 and offer the customary $100,000 down payment the mortgage would be about $1,500 a month and if you add taxes and insurance you might have to pay $2,500.

If you consider that each of the rentals would rent for about $1,250 that gives you a gross income of $5,000 which will yield you $2,500 a month in passive income after all expenses. Sometimes the figures are a little less, but there are a lot of opportunities out there that are worth it. I personally own investment real estate and can say that it is one of the best ways to earn passive income.


@hamje32 - I have a story to tell which is not related to affiliate marketing or ebooks or anything like that.

When my kids were younger, I had them do some modeling. I also got them booked with a talent agency and my daughter landed a role in a small film. It was quite by chance, actually, and the production house that was doing the shooting was located a few miles from us.

Anyway, she got upfront payment, but ever since then she has been getting residual income checks. Sometimes they are small amounts like $100 or so, but they add up, and from what I can tell she will keep getting those checks as long as the movie makes money.

That’s the kind of business model I like! It’s too bad I can’t act.


@MrMoody - I think ebooks represent some of the best residual income opportunities. I haven’t written an ebook personally, but I know they are very popular.

I’ve done some ghostwriting for clients who needed ebooks written on a wide variety of subjects. I get upfront payment, and they get all the money from the direct sales and of course the passive revenue generation that comes afterwards.

What I’ve learned about ebooks however is that they have a certain lifespan, or expiration date if you will. An ebook on herbal medicine might be hot for a season, for example, and then all of the sudden the information in the ebook becomes public knowledge and the ebook is obsolete.

So in other words, you have to keep writing more ebooks. The point is that no matter which residual income opportunity you choose, it will still take a lot of work to keep it going.


@David09 - I’ve looked into affiliate commissions for residual income streams. It’s not hard to become an affiliate actually, and there are some merchants who are quite generous with their commissions.

The problem is website traffic. If your website or blog is not generating enough traffic, you won’t get much in the way of sales conversions. I think decent conversion rates are between 1-2%.

Actually, my research revealed that the vast majority of affiliates don’t make much money for this very reason. So in my opinion getting traffic to your site should be job one.


I love the idea of passive income opportunities, but I have to admit my involvement with them has been rather limited.

One year I did set myself up to write for a content site that paid in residual income based on page views and affiliate commissions. It was tough cranking out those articles and not getting any upfront payment. I finally gave up after about 25 articles.

A year later I checked with the site and those 25 articles had garnered me $8.11. That certainly wasn’t a lot of money. Someone may say, what if you had written 250 articles or 2,500 articles?

That would have been a decent chunk of change, but I don’t know if I could have turned out that many articles without doing it full time. I have heard of stories like that, however.

In my opinion, sites that offer some upfront payment with residuals are the best opportunities.

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