Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities That Work For Everyone

Most of my friends work an “old-fashioned”, but reliable and risk-free (as they say), 9-to-5-job. However, whenever I talk to them about how I have created the online businesses that pay my bills today, many of them ask me the same questions:

“That sounds interesting! If I would want to build my own online business, where would I start? Is there something like ‘guaranteed passive income opportunities’, that I should look out for?”

Today’s blog post is the first part of a three-part series, answering the questions my friends happen to ask me all the time. Especially

  • if there is really something like “guaranteed passive income opportunities”,
  • what they are,
  • how they work,
  • who they are for,
  • and what their individual pros and cons are.

Let’s get started…

What Is Passive Income?

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - Trading Time For Money
Building a passive income stream allows you to quit the trade-time-for-money-mentality

Before we get into the nitty-gritty stuff, let’s take a quick look at what passive income actually is, after all? I won’t go into this too deep, as you can find a separate article on this blog where I answered that exact question in great detail here (when it is published). But let’s take a brief look here just to get us started and into the right mood, shall we?

Generating passive income is the idea of building a reliable asset (like a website, a mailing list, a product, a brand for example) that keeps paying of for itself in the future. Think of it as an investment: You put in the work (and, depending on the business model, also some money) NOW to profit from it in the FUTURE.

“Passive Income” vs. “Active Income”

The biggest difference compared to “active incoming” is, that to earn passive income, you are NOT trading time for money. What do I mean by that?

When you work a regular 9-to-5-job, you earn a set amount of money. You can break your salary down into an hourly rate, right? Simply put, you offer your time to your employer to basically get his work done. In exchange, he pays you money for the time you spend at his office. At the end of the day that’s nothing but a simple trade, right?

What Makes Passive Income So Great

Passive Income is different in that you do NOT invest your time into growing someone else’s business, but rather invest time in building your very OWN business that you can profit from in the longterm. Work you invest TODAY can (and most likely will) pay off over and over again in the future. On its own! Without you moving a finger. That’s why it is called “passive”.

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - How Passive Income Works
Passive income is awesome, because the (online) assets you build earn money for you – even when you’re sleeping!

Here’s what it feels like: Think of going into bed in the evening. You sleep tight. When you get up in the morning and check out your emails, you notice that your website has sold product’s worth hundreds of dollars to people all around the world. And as a result, you’ve earned a good amount of money – while you were sleeping! That’s because your blog, that you have built 10 years ago and that you haven’t visited yourself for months, has attracted a good amount of traffic overnight and sent them to a product that you have reviewed some time in the past and recommended to your audience (that’s called affiliate marketing, by the way, and if you want to learn more about it, make sure to read this article, too).

Earning money while sleeping, being on vacation or sitting at the pool sounds to good to be true, right? But in the age of the internet, it is a real thing. And it is something you do not need a degree as a rocket scientist for to achieve. Literally anyone with the right mindset and some dedication can do it.

Is Generating Passive Income Hard?

These business models aren’t rocket science. They can be used by ANYONE who is willing to learn the ins and outs and do the work required. It is important, though, and I can’t stress this enough, that none of them are good to make a quick buck! They are no get-rich-quick-schemes (at least none that I know of) that allow you to build a reliable, long-term stream of passive income.

What I have learned over 10 years of experience in the industry is this: Every business that is worth to be built takes some time (that you as the owner have to invest), some knowledge (that you as the owner can learn) and some experience (that you as the owner will gain over time).

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - It is NOT hard
I never solved a Rubik’s Cube, but I have built several successful online businesses: Building a passive income business is not about being super smart or knowing some top secret “golden bullet to success”! It does require dedication, though. But it is not “hard”!

Hence, the following business models are NOT guaranteed to earn you the “quick buck” overnight. They are guaranteed in the way that they are solid business models that people around the world employ to generate a good passive income to feed their families and live a life of independence and freedom.

A Shortcut To Making Money NOW

However, if you are looking for a solid, but rather short-term oriented business model that will earn you money much faster, but less passive, you may want to take a look at my freelancing guide here (when published).

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - Earn Money NOW as a Freelancer
Working as a freelancer isn’t passive income, but it’s a solid first step if you need money NOW!

Working as a freelancer, at least to some degree, combines the trading-time-for-money-mentality (i.e. working for somebody else on the one hand, but also getting paid right away on the other) with the freedom of being self-employed and being able to work when and wherever you deem fit.

Hence, getting started as a freelancer is a nice compromise, especially if you are short on money and need some income in the very foreseeable future. I would consider freelancing rather “Active Income”, as you work on a “per order salary” or get paid on an hourly basis, but you still work on your own terms, without having to answer to any boss, which is something that I really enjoy.

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities

But now, let’s take a look at HOW to build a passive income, shall we? Over the years in the online marketing and e-commerce industry, basically living in the “Make Money Online” world, I have tried many different business models. And I have decided to write deep-dive-blogs about them, explaining what they are, how they work, what my experience was running such a business and if I would recommend it to you.

What follows is a brief overview. If you want to dive deeper into each one, consider yourself invited to click the “learn more” link.

Let’s go…

Affiliate Marketing

I want to kick this list off with my all-time favorite passive income business model. It has grown near and dear to my heart over the years, it is the most reliable source of passive income I have, and it is literally a business model that EVERYONE can implement. All it takes is some dedication, the willingness to put in the work required, some patience, and trust that it works.

==> Click HERE to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate <==

I am talking about Affiliate Marketing. Pretty much the only business that I am aware of that you can build with no to very little upfront cost, and earn while you build it. Affiliate marketing mainly focuses on the idea of making money by helping other people solve their problems. Sounds pretty kind, huh? It is indeed, and that’s one of the many things that make it so great.

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - Affiliate Marketing Is About Helping People
Affiliate Marketing is all about HELPING people!

The idea, at its very core, is that you research topics that people are looking for information about, and problems that they are trying to solve. Now your job is to create content (most likely a blog post, but it could also be a YouTube video or a podcast) that gives them information about how to solve this problem.

==> Click HERE to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate <==

By being kind and helpful you earn trust and become a respected authority in your chosen niche. And people who trust you will ultimately follow your recommendation when you introduce them to products or services that would eventually solve their problems. If those people then decide to purchase these very products, you get paid a commission. And as long as you don’t abuse the system, but rather help people to make educated decisions, you are running an ethical business that you can be proud of for years and years to come.

Consider yourself invited to read my guide on the “theory” of affiliate marketing (the core idea behind it) here if you would like to learn more.

  1. Upfront investment (more stars = less investment required)
  2. Time until “First Dollar Earned” (more stars = less time until first dollar earned)
  3. Tollerance for making critical and expensive mistakes (more stars = better for beginners)
  4. Competition (more stars = less competition or less impact of said competition)
  5. Satisfaction and ethical qualities (more stars = higher satisfaction and more honesty)
  6. Overall Rating (more stars = better)

Affiliate Marketing is the literal definition of a guaranteed passive income opportunity. And I can promise you from my own experience, that it will generate a decent amount of passive income, that can only grow over time.

Please make sure to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate, the FREE community platform that thought me everything I know about affiliate marketing to this very day, as well as my breakdown of the Affiliate marketing business as a whole here (when published).

If you want to get started right away and start building your website TODAY, you can also read this guide on how to get started with affiliate marketing for free.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a business type that you can either run on itself or as an “extension” to your existing online business. It doesn’t matter if you’re running an affiliate marketing blog, a dropshipping business or if you’re growing your own Amazon FBA brand.

Email Marketing Allows You To Actively Reach Out To Your Readers
Email marketing allows you to proactively reach out to your readers…

Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your audience and customers and to reach out to them whenever YOU have something to inform them about. That also makes it a very proactive form of passive income generation, and can even be used to generate a more “active income” by, well, actively reaching out.

  1. Upfront investment (more stars = less investment required)
  2. Time until “First Dollar Earned” (more stars = less time until first dollar earned)
  3. Tollerance for making critical and expensive mistakes (more stars = better for beginners)
  4. Competition (more stars = less competition or less impact of said competition)
  5. Satisfaction and ethical qualities (more stars = higher satisfaction and more honesty)
  6. Overall Rating (more stars = better)

If that sounds like your cup of tea, make sure to read my full breakdown make sure to read my breakdown on email marketing here.

Fulfillment by Amazon (or Amazon FBA)

At its very core, Fulfillment by Amazon, or in short Amazon FBA, is a business model built around the idea of researching established, but not oversaturated products and niches on Amazon and then creating your own version of that product, ideally improving it or adding value in some way (we’ll get into that in the detailed breakdown), having it manufactured oversees and then shipped to an Amazon warehouse. FBA sellers sell their products to customers via the Amazon marketplace and Amazon will then handle the entire fulfillment (i.e. packaging, handling and shipping).

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - Fulfillment by Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon means exactly that: You sell a product online, and amazon will handle the entire fulfillment of the order to your customers doorstep.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the qualities and weaknesses that I have experienced with running my own Amazon FBA business (which is still alive and keeps making me money day in and day out).

  1. Upfront investment (more stars = less investment required)
  2. Time until “First Dollar Earned” (more stars = less time until first dollar earned)
  3. Tollerance for making critical and expensive mistakes (more stars = better for beginners)
  4. Competition (more stars = less competition or less impact of said competition)
  5. Satisfaction and ethical qualities (more stars = higher satisfaction and more honesty)
  6. Overall Rating (more stars = better)

If you are interested and want to learn more, please make sure to read my detailed breakdown of the entire Amazon FBA business model here.


Dropshipping focuses more on the marketing side of business and less on product development. It’s also a much more short-term-focused business, in that you can literally launch and/or shut down a dropshipping store within a given niche within just a few days. That’s what allows dropshippers to quickly react to trends and other developments.

Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - Building Apps
Dropshipping is all about ads, ads, ads…

However, having built two dropshipping stores in the past, I have to say that dropshipping is just not my cup of tea. The fact that stores can be launched and killed so quickly made it hard for me to really get attached to my business and to build a brand around it that was near and dear to my heart. It was also something I never was that proud of building and launching, as I never felt quite sure that I was running an ethically responsible business there (we’ll get into that in the deep-dive post).

So let’s take a look at how I would rate drop shipping from my very own experience:

  1. Upfront investment (more stars = less investment required)
  2. Time until “First Dollar Earned” (more stars = less time until first dollar earned)
  3. Tollerance for making critical and expensive mistakes (more stars = better for beginners)
  4. Competition (more stars = less competition or less impact of said competition)
  5. Satisfaction and ethical qualities (more stars = higher satisfaction and more honesty)
  6. Overall Rating (more stars = better)

If dropshipping caught your attention, you can learn more about it in my detailed guide on dropshipping here.


Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities - Earning Money Online Is Something That Everybody Can DoAs you can imagine, there are many more business models that can create a steady, reliable flow of passive income for you. And that’s great, as it means that there are guaranteed passive income opportunities for everyone. This post, obviously, is far from being exhaustive. But it will grow over time.

If one of the business models presented above has caught your attention, then please make sure to take a look at the detailed breakdown of said business model.

If you are like me 10 years ago, when I was looking for an online business model that would make me happy and proud, I highly encourage you to take a closer look at my breakdown of the affiliate marketing business model (when published) and also make sure to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate, as that is what really boosted my business efforts, and showed me for the first time how Affiliate Marketing is done right.

Rock It From Home - Wealthy Affiliate Review
Make sure to check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate

Trust me: There are passive income opportunities for everyone who is dedicated and willing to put in the work required.

If I can do it, you can, too!

All the best,


P.S. I would love to hear your stories about passive income and your journey so far. And I am also eager to answer your questions! If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below!

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8 thoughts on “Guaranteed Passive Income Opportunities That Work For Everyone

  1. Matthew/Deloris says:

    This is a great overview of how to make passive online income for those who want to ditch their 9 to 5 jobs.
    We are just starting out in the affiliate marketing business as well, and have not made any money. But we keep creating content and hope one day we will earn money. We have been on this journey of wealthy affiliate and want to tell you to stick with it we are.


    1. Chris says:

      Hi Mat, hi Deloris,

      how great you made it here! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      From my experience, I can tell you this: Affiliate marketing works. It’s a great business model and in my opinion, probably the most solid, less risky, and most long-term oriented ones from those outlined above – and hence my personal number one 🙂

      I promise you: If you work the plan and stick with it, it will work out. Just don’t give up! And create thoughtful, valuable content. Always put your readers first and before any commissions. Be honest and act ethically and you will succeed!


  2. Jean says:

    Hi Chris

    I looked at doing Amazon FBA for some time but decided against it as the investment was going to be too much to lose if it didn’t work. (Can you tell I am risk averse lol!)

    I went for affiliate marketing in the end which I am loving but like you say, it’s not a good way to make money quickly! I will get there, though!

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts (especially the one about freelancing).



    1. Chris says:

      Hi Jean!

      Thanks for being here and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate that!

      I can feel you and I totally agree: The stakes are high, especially if you are just at the beginning of your journey as an online entrepreneur and have “nothing to lose”. Also, competition can be quite tough on Amazon. However, in my opinion, as someone who still runs an Amazon FBA business to this day, the least exciting thing about running an Amazon FBA business is how much you and your entire business efforts depend on Amazon as a company. Sometimes it feels like they are your landlord, and you have to answer to them whenever they feel like it. It can be quite exhausting, and the internet is full of stories from people who had their business shutdown without notice. I experienced that, luckily for just a couple of days. And until this very day, they never said sorry and they never explained themselves for what went wrong. That’s a terrible position to be in as a business owner, I can tell you.

      Jean, I wish you all the best for your affiliate marketing business. Go for it! You can do it!


  3. Andy says:

    Hi and thanks for sharing this straightforward guide to three main passive income business models. I have not tried dropshipping or FBA but I am still at the stage of building content on my site following an affiliate marketing model. I expect it will take at least a year before I start seeing any income but that is fine with me. I think your description of active income being selling your time to an employer for money is accurate for many jobs but less so for professional and managerial positions. In the same way that an online business requires at least maintenance and in affiliate marketing if you are not regularly producing fresh new relevant content I would think that over time your income will start to dwindle. I don’t know these things from experience, I am only going by what others have told me. Thanks again and best regards, Andy

    1. Chris says:

      Hi Andy!

      Thank you so much for spending your time here on my website. I really appreciate it!

      I agree and you are right in that passive income also needs some maintenance, but I’d say that one of the major differences probably is the way passive income scales: Maintaining a passive income business that makes $100,000 a month does not really require more work than maintaining one that makes $10 a month. Also, the fact that you get better and more efficient at maintaining that business with every day you’re invested in it, can even reduce the workload required. That is what I mean by “not trading time for money”. And that’s huge, once you get the hang of it 🙂

      Hence, I personally would always prefer “passive income” over “active income”.


  4. Satz says:

    Passive income is highly sought after and often misunderstood. Passive income streams require an upfront “time” investment and a lot of nurturing in the beginning. After some time and hard work these income streams start to build and are able to maintain themselves, bringing you consistent revenue without much effort on your part.

    You need time and the ability to focus to really a grow a passive income stream. Master one thing before moving on to the other.

    1. Chris says:

      Hey Satz,

      thanks a bunch for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I agree! Very well-spoken, and right on point. Especially that last part: It is incredibly easy to fall prone to SOS (Shiny Object Syndrom) and get distracted by all those opportunities out there. Focus on one thing and make it work. One thing I learned over those past 10 years of building online businesses is that there is no golden bullet and no “single route to success”.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and all the best to you,


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