Passive Income: How to Make Hands-Off Cash

For the digital nomad who moves around a lot, creating a hands-off cash stream of passive income so you make money in your sleep is a really useful endeavor.

After all, one of the big benefits of not being tied down to a static office or company payroll is being able to generate a good living wherever you find yourself.

There are a number of ways to create passive income streams using the Internet and I'll look at some of the more popular and doable of them here.

What is Passive Income?

passive incomeAt its most simple, passive income is a steady stream of money flowing into your bank account or online payment processor consistently without you needing to tend to it every day.

It is income that keeps coming to you regardless of where you are or how many hours you work in a day (or not, as the case may be). Passively generating cash is a great way to free your time so that you can enjoy whatever it is that you are doing wherever you happen to be.

It's a form of income generation that operates on its own after you have set it up and can literally make money for you while you sleep. The mechanics of this type of cash flow can actually be fairly simple.

By far the simplest for the travelling Internet marketer is to operate a money making website or blog with advertisements that companies pay you for on a monthly basis. This is about as hands-off as you can get.

Earning Advertising Revenue

There are a number of advertising platforms that will pay you for showing their ads on your website on a pay per click (PPC) basis.

The way it works is you place a section of code on your website that displays ads provided by the ad platform. Each time a visitor clicks an ad, you get paid.

As long as you have a certain level of traffic (human visitors) landing on your site each day, you can make decent cash each time someone clicks one of the ads your website displays. The amount will depend on the advertiser and how much they have agreed to pay per click.

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Mediavine etc all have PPC systems that you can sign up for. Your website will be accepted as long as it meets certain criteria declared by the ad company.

The criteria usually involves the site attracting a set level of traffic in the case of Mediavine, or that it conforms to advertiser guidelines in the case of Google and Microsoft. Possibly the easiest for being accepted into the program is Google Adsense, but you'll need to check with the advertiser for details as these may change periodically.

Affiliate Marketing

More lucrative than PPC if your website has sufficient qualified traffic is affiliate marketing, especially for digital nomads.

By far the most popular affiliate platform is Amazon Associates and most newcomers to the business like to try their hand at promoting products sold by this company. It's fairly easy to sign up and be accepted and they provide easy and user-friendly links that you can place on a website.

For promoting digital products, a company called Clickbank is a good one for newbies to sign up with because most of the product sellers accept affiliate without having to qualify them first. for more experienced affiliates, there are JVZoo and Warrior+ that can make you a lot of cash as long as you can demonstrate to sellers that you can sell their products.

Affiliate marketing can be completely passive as long as your website attracts a steady stream of traffic all searching for the type of products that you are promoting. This means you should generally narrow the focus of the products you will promote, or the niche they occupy.

This means creating a website that is all about a certain topic, be it finance, health, hobbies or whatever. You need to be able to create expert content to attract visitors and convince them they should buy whichever product an article is reviewing.

Mostly Hands-Off Income

There are other ways to make partially passive income from anywhere in the world working online as long as you have an Internet connection, a computing device (laptop, tablet) and a phone.

These are methods that require a lot of initial set-up and periodic maintenance to keep the money flowing. Some would argue that any kind of Internet marketing is not completely passive, as things change and traffic can drop off if you're not on top of things.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a poignant example of what can be mostly passive but still needs some intervention. That's because Google's search engine keeps changing its algorithm to fight unwanted content showing up in its index and (in my opinion) to keep marketers on their toes.

Other ways of making income passively is to find people or companies that need some work done that they will pay for (of course) and advertise their requests via one of the online hiring marketplace like Upwork. Jobs requested can include software creation, building apps, content generation, content editing and/or proofreading, transcribing, video creation etc.

The clever thing about offering to fulfil one or more of these jobs is you don't even need to know how to do it. There are some digital nomads that have made a good living out of outsourcing this type of work. I'll give you an example:

Say a company requests a software project to be undertaken and will pay say $10,000 for the finished product. You accept the job and then find a programmer that will do the work for half the fee (they don't need to know the full fee). They do the work, you hand over the product to the company who pay you the full fee. You pay the programmer their fee and everyone is happy.

That's almost passive income, because all you needed to do was find the work and find someone to do it for less. You don't actually do any more work. You get paid and so does the outsourcer, the company gets its product and its a win-win!


The bottom line with making passive income is that you need to have a vehicle for getting offers in front of prospects.

That usually means a website or social media profile that you can promote to attract visitors. If you can do that, you can make a decent level of income from the Internet passively and spend more of your time enjoying your travelling and the places you visit.

Of course, the main downside of this is that you have to be able to attract that traffic. It is not as easy as it seems and some training is usually needed to learn how to get it.

That's because without that traffic visiting your website or online space, you will not sell anything no matter how incredible your content is!

Posted: January 31, 2024