Top 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for Retirement

Top 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for Retirement

Use my top 3 passive income business ideas for retirement to supplement your savings once you retire. You can implement any of these ideas online from the comfort of your home.

I’ve been semi-retired for about 5 years and I’m only 59. My passive income allows me to have complete freedom to travel and enjoy life. I work when I feel like it, and can take time off at the drop of a hat.

When things are quiet, I love having my work to keep my mind occupied and give me a sense of achievement. It’s the best of all worlds.

Not to mention the fact that with inflation and historically low interest rates on our savings, our retirement funds don’t go far these days. Having an extra, independent income can give you a real feeling of security. You can also save up for a rainy day, or that dream trip.

So here are my top 3 passive income ideas that I hope will help you create a good life after retirement.

Passive Income Business Ideas #1: eBooks

Why not write a book? Or even a series of books like my friends Gerhild Fulson and Mike Miller have done.

Gerhild has an entire series of German cookbooks based on her home country’s cuisine, while Mike has profited from his experience traveling around his home state of Florida by publishing a whole series of Florida travel guides.

In the age of the internet, we no longer need to rely on publishers to accept our work. Self-publishing is a straightforward process via companies such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or Smashwords.

They give you all the instructions to format your book, then do the rest for you. You can even offer your book as a print on demand paperback as well as an eBook.

Mike has become a self-publishing champion, with over 20 books published as Kindle books and soft covers. He talks about his experiences in the video interview below.


Tips for Publishing eBooks:

  1. Check out Amazon to see how much competition there is in your niche. Try to find a topic where there are not already hundreds of eBooks available. If there’s a lot of competition, find a new angle or add something new to the subject.
  2. The more competition, the more traffic you’ll need to generate yourself, or your titles will get lost in the crowd. But that’s not an insurmountable problem, as you’ll see below.
  3. Don’t rely on Amazon to do all the work for you. It’s not as simple as just putting a book online and hoping it will sell. You’ll need to generate your own traffic to direct to your books. I’ll give you some ideas on how to do that at the end of this article.
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Passive Income Business Ideas #2: eCourses

During the pandemic many of us took advantage of the internet to carry on doing our classes and activities online. This is a trend that will continue.

The convenience of learning online from the comfort of our own homes is something we won’t easily give up now that we’ve experienced it. With Zoom, we can even enjoy some of the connection that we’ve lost by not attending in person.

For example, I recently moved to a different state 3,000 km away, and I have continued doing online pilates classes with my physiotherapist and sessions with my yoga teacher.

Teachers have had to adapt and create lessons that can be done online too. In addition to giving Zoom classes, many teachers have realized that recording their classes and creating online courses is of great value to their students.

My yoga teacher now has classes on Vimeo and the Insight Timer app. I can do them any hour of the day or night.

In the last two years I’ve done online courses in drawing, watercolors and meditation as well as yoga and pilates. It has given me access to so many rich learning experiences that I would not have otherwise had.

Tips for Creating Online Courses

  1. Think about what skills you have that you can offer others. People have created online courses on everything from organizing your home to learning about cryptocurrencies.
  2. Find somewhere to host your course. There are many specialty platforms today that do a fantastic job. Examples are Kajabi and Udemy, Domestika for art courses, Craftsy for baking, knitting, sewing and other crafts, as well as the video platforms Wistia or Vimeo.
  3. There’s a range of price points, so you can choose what you can afford to pay for hosting depending on where you are on your journey and what tools you need.
  4. Start building an email list from the beginning. You need clients to direct to your online offerings. More information on how to do that below.

Passive Income Business Ideas #3: Selling Art or Photography Online

My friend Carol Leather is an expert on how to earn a passive income from her creative pursuits of nature photography and drawing. She has taken her passion for photographing birds and animals and turned it into a successful business that she loves to do.

Gray squirrel chilling - Photography passive income in retirement

Gray squirrel chilling on a log, captured by Carol Leather, NatureWalksWithCarol.com

There are many ways to make an income from your photos or artwork. You can sell photos to nature magazines, or sell them on stock photo sites. You can create all kinds of products featuring your artwork on sites such as Zazzle, which will sell them for you.

Publish books of your photos and artworks. Sell prints too.

Hand drawn owl - Selling prints for retirement income

Drawing by Carol Leather sold as prints on her site. So lifelike, it could be a photo!

If you’re really ahead of the times, you can sell digital versions of your art in the form of NFTs!

Another way to make a passive income from your photos or artwork is to put them on a website and then recommend photographic or art materials as an affiliate partner.

For even more possibilities, read our article “Six Photography Business Ideas That Will Click With You.”

How to Get Sales of Your Online Products

Everyone online is clamoring for attention in order to sell their digital products. Sadly, it’s not enough to have a fabulous product if no one knows about it. Marketing your product is an essential part of the process if you want to be successful.

The best way to attract loyal clients is to give them something they want. With all of the passive online business examples I suggested above, a great way to reach potential students of your work is to provide them with free information.

Your future clients are interested in learning more about cooking, drawing, yoga, photography, whatever your niche may be.

How many times have you been drawn in with an offer of a free video or lesson and then been tempted to buy the followup course because you enjoyed the taster?

Giving away a free sample lesson or product in return for an email address is a good way to build up your client list.

There are several ways to communicate those free offerings, and they don’t have to cost you a fortune in advertising. Building up a social media following is one way, but the best method, in my opinion, is to have your own “content-based” website.

This is a website full of keyword-optimized, evergreen content that people will find when they search on Google. Your content could be “how to” articles or videos, samples of your courses or recipes, interesting podcasts, or visual examples of your art or photography.

If you’re a yoga or meditation teacher, your website could be full of articles about the health benefits of your practice, sample exercises and short lessons.

This way you can attract visitors to your site who are looking for exactly what you can provide. Because you’ve shown them who you are and your expertise through your website content, they will trust you when you ask for the sale.

Top 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for Retirement

There’s More Ways to Earn Passive Income

As well as the products I’ve mentioned in this article, there are many other ways of monetizing your website to make even more passive income.

You can sell advertising. Or create an affiliate marketing website where you recommend related products that are not yours, and receive commissions when your site visitors buy.

If you want to reach your financial goals in retirement, generating a passive income is one of the best ways to do it, and these top 3 ideas will help you get started.

Download our passive income ideas resources list as a handy reminder of all the possibilities we talked about.

Top 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for RetirementTop 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for RetirementTop 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for RetirementTop 3 Passive Income Business Ideas for Retirement
Lesley Postle

Lesley Postle

Lesley Postle is a Sitesell Pro specializing in eBook formatting and publishing. Her journey with Solo Build It! started in 2009 with her first site Decolish.com which was based around her passion for the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s. Later, in 2012, working with her mother, a health professional with over 45 years experience, GriefandSympathy.com was born. This site helps those coping with any form of grief and loss and has become one of the foremost sites about grief on the internet. "Our grief website has made my mother so proud and given her a purpose in her retirement. The fact that my sites will also pay for my retirement is an added bonus." is how Lesley now speaks of her online journey.
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