They say that the epitome of great wealth is getting to a point where you make money in your sleep. We can never talk about true wealth without the element of passive income. The sooner you start earning passive income, the nearer you are to consummate financial freedom. People at times joke about how every time you buy airtime you are contributing to someone’s passive income. The owner of the MNO can be fast asleep or doing other things but every time someone tops up airtime money flows their way. That is the essence of passive income – of which in this article I am sharing with you 5 passive income business ideas.

Digital Products

We are living in a digital age and that has brought fortune to the lives of many. The most strategic digital products for the earning of passive income are e-books, specialized reports, and online courses, amongst others. You can simply research and write up e-books or online courses on relevant and sought-after topics. For example, digital marketing is a budding area here in Zimbabwe. You can then come up with an e-book on digital marketing. You can then upload it on Amazon or your website and make it possible for people to buy it online. You will realize money passively at any time of the day.


This will basically involve developing and selling software that brings money in repeatedly. For example, you can develop software apps that use the SaaS model. SaaS refers to software as a service – for example, Pastel Accounting Software. Any business, institution, or company can buy this software. Usually given the passive income aspect, the subscription model is usually included. So in essence there can an option to buy software or to subscribe to use it. In-app purchases can also broaden passive revenue generation. Other examples of software are mobile apps, templates, models, worksheets, and so on.

YouTube Content Development

Passive income is mainly attainable with YouTube videos. Examples of videos to make are compilation videos, infomercials, how-to videos, tutorials, and the like. The great thing about YouTube videos is that when they are up they will continue to bring in income the more they are viewed. Usually, after some time, you will literally forget about actively publicising it and it will just happen automatically. Side note: a somewhat similar earning model can also be implemented on websites e.g. blogs through Google AdSense.

Affiliate Marketing

Being an affiliate simply means being a subordinate or subsidiary associate. Thus affiliate marketing entails entering a working arrangement where you are marketing another’s products or services in a subordinate or subsidiary associate capacity. So it can be for goods or services – generally, it is much easier using eCommerce. You can easily sign up for referral programs with other companies or businesses. Where is the catch you might wonder? Well, every sale realized through you being an affiliate earns you a commission.

Let me give you a relatable example: You can do Amazon affiliate marketing and here is how. You can set up a website where you develop and upload affiliate marketing blog posts. You can say, do an article titled 10 Best Outdoor Projectors for 2021. In the article, you would include links that redirect people to the Amazon website. Ultimately when someone clicks a link and ends up purchasing an outdoor projector through the Amazon website you earn a commission from that.

Affiliate marketing can also be employed for your own products. As in, you can be the “Amazon” basing on the example I just mentioned. This will lead to a scenario where people market your products and you realize income passively.

Financial Investments

Though most of them tend to be a medium and long term they are a good fit for earning passive income. Some of such investments are buying stocks (or shares), investing in your own business, high-yield savings accounts, investing in other businesses, and annuities just to mention a few. If you choose the right financial investments you can earn sustained passive income throughout your life.

I did not want to just mention specific examples in isolation as that would have limited the amount of information to share with you. That is why I decided to look at essentially 5 categories which branch off into numerous possible business ideas. Inevitably, you might always get to start off realizing income actively but as times progresses it becomes passive. Fortunately, most of the passive business ideas do not require much in terms of capital. Additionally, you can start and juggle many of these passive business ideas all at once. In fact, the more they are the greater the prospects for you.