Passive income business ideas - Make money while you sleep

You see this guy in this picture? He’s making passive income. He could sit in that chair all day, sipping that drink, enjoying life and his money would keep pouring in.

There are many people like this guy; they make money without working for it. It is called passive income.

Passive income means your money keeps coming without you having to actively work for it. In this post, I will share with you top 10 passive income business ideas you can start today to generate residual income for life.

Passive income is one the major differences between the rich and the poor. Wealthy people set up many residual income streams and watch all of them generate money at the same time. The poor person is happy to have one income stream.

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These passive income business ideas will make money for you while you sleep but it does not mean you just start a business and go to sleep, no. You will need to spend some time, effort and resources building your business. You will build your business to a state where you can comfortably take your eyes off of it.

The beautiful part is that once your money starts rolling in, you don’t need to commit any more capital or direct effort to the business. This is the beauty of passive income.

So how would you like to make money while you sleep? Start building one of these passive income business ideas today. Here goes…

Read 25 side hustle business ideas for full-time employees

Top 10 passive income business ideas to generate residual income

1. Rental business

Rental business is one of those businesses that work very well in Nigeria; it is a great source of passive income. You can start a rental business.

Rental business is most suited for workers and employees, people who have little time to commit to their business. It is very easy to keep track of your income without worrying about anyone stealing from you, plus you have enough time to do other stuff while your business grows. Read this full article on how to start rental business in Nigeria.

2. Network marketing

Going by the very definition of passive income, network marketing is a classic example. This is because you build your network once and that network works for you, generating money for you even when you do practically nothing.

The major problem with network marketing in Nigeria is the way many people go about implementing it. Most people focus on introducing more people to a network without properly training their downlines or providing them any support. The result is that only the experienced people at the top of the network make money while the others feel their way in the dark, wondering which step to take.

The other problem is the explosion of half-baked ‘network marketing companies’ and Ponzi schemes everywhere these days. They leave many people with so much negative experience that nobody wants to hear about network marketing anymore.

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But there are good ones around; I urge people to give it a shot. Just make sure you receive proper training about how to sponsor and train your own downlines. This is the only way you can build a resilient, sustainable network which will work to generate more passive income for you.

3. Treasury bills

Not everybody can stomach investment risks. Treasury bills are excellent investment options for the risk averse individual. With treasury bills, you can relax and watch your money work for you. How do treasury bills work?

If you buy T-bills worth of N500,000 at 10 per cent discount rate, CBN will debit your account with N450,000, leaving a balance of N50,000. This means that your interest of N50,000 has been paid to you upfront. When your investment matures, you are still paid your N500,000.This shows that you were actually paid N550,000 for your investment of N500,000. (Source)

The good thing about investing in treasury bills is, it makes more sense to have your money yield more money for you than to let it sit in your bank doing nothing. Currently, the least amount you can invest in Nigerian treasury bills is N100,000.

4. Build an event center

Many people would prefer to hold their events in a nice hall than to risk disruption of events by rainfall or bear the scorching heat of the sun. For this reason, people who build event centers always make money on auto-pilot.

So long as people events, owners of event centers will always make money. If building an event center is something you can afford, the opportunity to generate passive income is limitless.

5. Write a book

The days when you had to wait on publishers to print and distribute your book are long gone. Many people still prefer to produce their book through publishers for many good reasons. But if you want to, you can self-publish your own books right now without hassles.

The reason I prefer e-books is, with e-books you write the book once and make money forever without worrying about print or inventory. At the moment, I have 3 e-books selling on this blog and the process to get any of them is simply automated. Once anyone makes a purchase, they get delivery within minutes. So I could sleep or spend the whole day at the beach and I would still be making money. Passive income!

6. Create an online course

You can also create an online course on anything you are knowledgeable about. You simply need to choose a good platform to sell your course. You can sell your online course on your platforms – blog, social media, etc – or you can publish your course on sites like Udemy.

Once you have good content, you just relax and watch your passive income roll in.

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7. E-commerce

These days, it is easier than ever to start e-commerce business. If you are not selling online, you are losing out on a lot of money.

You don’t need to have a large website like amazon or Konga to start e-commerce. I wrote a post about the different ways you can start selling online without spending large sums of startup money. For some of the methods, you won’t even need to spend anything.

The beautiful part is, once you automate the process, the business runs itself.

8. Invest in startups

You may not have brilliant, creative ideas to solve world problems but you can invest in people who do. There are countless people who have startup ideas but lack the capital to bring their ideas to light. So you team up with them and own part of the company.

The business could go bust, of course, and you would lose your money, which is why you need to learn a lot about investing in startups before you start this. Thankfully, the internet is a rich repository of information so make friends with Google and start learning. The world awaits!

9. Transportation

You can buy a vehicle and let other people run the transportation business and remit regular, predetermined returns to you. First, you would be helping reduce unemployment among young people

10. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the next easiest and best way to make money online after freelancing. Best of all, once you properly set up your affiliate marketing business, it runs itself. So once you start making money, you don’t stop even if you travel to Mars.

An affiliate marketer is an online salesperson who promotes products in exchange for a commission. For most of the affiliate programs, you only need to place their banners and links on your site and the system does the rest. However, you will do better if you master sales skill. It’s a vital skill in affiliate marketing. The more you are able to convince people to buy a product that will be of benefit to them, the more you will make money.


Yes, you can make money while you sleep. These passive income business ideas are all very effective and lucrative. You would need to spend some time, effort and resources creating your residual income streams, however. Once you have your system set up, you’d be amazed at how your finances would change.

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  1. This is indeed a concrete info on money making. Am so convinced that dedication to either of these will make life out of nothing.

    Looking forward into rental and transport.
    Thanks alot

  2. Edu, your article is very interesting. Am actually interested in two . (1). Tomatoes processing and how to contact a genuine angel investors for our start up

  3. Thank you so much sir for your interest to develop young entrepreneurs especially young netpreneurs. pls sir, how do l automate my advert on any product online.

  4. Thanks for touching some sensitive areas i do have need. I pray for God to bless and increase you, so that you would do more for us again. Thanks again

  5. My capital is very low and I want a simple business like having a shop but don’t know what to start with it and I’m a student

    • I think you need to identify a need in your environment and key into it. For example a friend started processing and packaging chicken and now he is known all over his area. Most frozen stores now come to buy from him. Read through this author article again and choose one that best fit. And pray for leading


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