8 Best Ways to Make Money While You Sleep This Year

By Todd Kunsman

Make Money

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At some point, you’ve probably come across, “Make money while you sleep.” It’s a common phrase many finance articles state when it comes to investing or working on a side hustle to earn more money. 

And it can mean a lot of things to you when you first hear it.

Like, thinking it’s a way to make extra cash for getting to sleep. That actually is a thing, but that’s not what will be covered here.

Instead, you’ll learn what making money while you sleep means and the best ways to do that in your own life. At first, it might sound like this is all a bit impossible. 

But with a bit of work and following the steps below, you’d be surprised at the income you can generate while snoozing or relaxing. 

Making Money While You Sleep 

So what does this actually mean? 

Well, I’m sure you have heard all sorts of variations, especially if you have been doing some reading into strengthening your finances.

But some other variations are putting your money to work, make your money work for you, and the classic theme of this post — making money while you sleep.

Making money while you sleep means you are finding ways to continue generating income, even when you are not actively working. And that type of income also refers to passive income, another term that represents the little effort it takes to earn and maintain some money. 

Example of Making Money While You Sleep

For example, your current day job is not earning you money while you sleep. It’s also not passive. In order for you to get paid, you have to commit working hours and once that time is done, you are not paid any longer.

Making money while you sleep is about finding ways to keep generating income, even if you are doing zero work or putting any time to it. 

It’s important to note that most passive income streams require time, work, and some initial capital to get started.

But, the goal is to reach a point where you spend less time and when you are not working, it still can generate more money. 

The Best Ways to Earn Money While You Sleep

Now that the passive income wheels are turning in your brain, you probably have some ideas about the best ways to earn money while you sleep.

There are certainly quite a few you might want to consider, but I narrowed it down to the top options to consider. 

1. Stock Market

One of the most common (and more obvious) places to make money while you sleep is via the stock market.

Although it’s true the stock market hours in the U.S. do not run at night, it is a way to make passive income without doing much. 

Whether you are investing in index funds, ETFs, or individual stocks and bonds — by simply investing in them you can earn dividends and capital gains.

There are even micro-investing apps that can make this all more manageable and can help you get started without a ton of money upfront, like:

2. High-Yield Savings

And another common and simple way is through a high yield savings account. While there is less risk than say the stock market, your earning potential is also not as large as other outlets. 

But it still should be included in this list because the interest on your money can start to add up, just by simply saving money. It’s a super-easy way to make money while you sleep and helps you build your savings. 

Typically traditional banks or credit unions won’t offer great interest (likely less than 1%). However, some are stepping it up.

Personally, the online banks that are out there are doing a much better job and can afford to apply higher interest to your savings.

A few to consider:

3. Real Estate 

Investing in real estate is one of the most talked-about ways to make money passively. It’s also one that can be intimidating for many and a bit confusing too.

And while it can make you money while you sleep, there still can be plenty of work and some risk involved.

However, there are few options under the real estate section. 


A popular choice among wealthy investors is rental properties. Buying properties that are then rented to others, which helps pay down any mortgage and starts earning money.

Once you own the property outright, the monthly cash flow starts to really add up. Plus, you now own an asset that you can sell later on for profit.

The other option is renting your place with Airbnb, which has been a great avenue for property owners to make some cash. 


I’ve written about real estate crowdfunding a few times, but it’s another option to generate passive income and diversify your investments.

There is a lot less work compared to owning properties, fixing them up, and being a landlord. It’s not to say there aren’t negatives with real estate crowdfunding either, but you want to pick the real estate option that fits your lifestyle.

A few crowdfunding platforms to consider:


A real estate investment trust is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate.

REITs own many types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping centers, hotels.

You can find these through most traditional brokerage accounts. For example, the ETF from Vanguard (VNQ). 

4. Affiliate Marketing

Many people want to sell you the dream with blogging or creating content with affiliate marketing. I’m telling you right now, affiliate marketing takes WORK and TIME.

But down the road, it can easily earn you money will you sleep. 

If you are new to it, affiliate marketing simply means you are placing a tracked link to a product or service that when someone clicks and takes some action, you get paid a particular commission.

These commissions will vary based on company, but some can be a few bucks up to a few hundred dollars! And as you build a strategy and viewership, affiliate marketing can earn you big bucks, 24 hours a day. 

Affiliate marketing is a big business too, many sites earn thousands, and even millions of dollars a year. Take a look at Empire Flippers Marketplace to see what some affiliate websites are selling for these days. 

5. Digital Products

Think of digital products as electronic files you buy for consumption. So these are any goods that are stored digitally as well as delivered and used electronically.

This means you can create something that a user buys and they’ll receive that via email or as a product download.

There are quite a few examples of digital products you could sell like:

  • eBooks
  • Music Files
  • Digital images
  • Software
  • Templates
  • Manuals
  • Videos
  • Graphics

Similar to affiliate marketing, creating digital products and marketing them can take time. You have to create value, trust, and build an audience that will be willing to buy your products.

But as this grows and more people discover it, you can start making tons of sales passively.

From time to time you might want to update the product or add new ones, but you can make money at all times of the day with digital products. 

6. Online Courses

I have a love and hate relationship with the idea of paid courses. For one, many people that create one quite frankly, don’t have a business or enough experience or results to do so.

And many times those who do make courses, you can find that info online for free.

That said, I don’t want to sound like a total hater as there are plenty of great courses that do offer a ton of value.

Plus, it’s nice to have everything organized and the info you must have in one central location. 

But guess what? Creating online courses takes work!

Just like many things on this list, if you want to make money while you sleep, you’ll put in many sleepless nights prior to that happening first. 

But later on, your course sales are a lucrative way to engage your audience, teach them, and make some good revenue. You can make courses via platforms like Teachable, Podia, Kajabi, Udemy, and more. 

7. Dropshipping

In the US alone, we’re expecting to have 300 million online shoppers in 2023. That’s 91% of the entire country’s population, according to the online shopping stats in this article. Crazy! 

But this also opened up a fairly large market of e-commerce stores, especially thanks to awesome platforms like Shopify

So what is dopshipping? The model is fairly simple.

Here’s how it works:

  • You launch an e-commerce website (you can do this through Shopify). But you can also run a dropshipping business through a place like eBay as well. 
  • Add products to your website that come from certain manufacturers.
  • You do not have any inventory. When someone buys a product, the manufacturer ships it to them directly.
  • You will pay for the products, but will make more on the sale because of the mark-up.

That’s of course simplifying it a bit, but pending what kind of products you sell, it can turn into a large business for you.

And because of the internet, you’ll make sales at all times of the day, even when you are sleeping. 

Today, dropshipping can be a bit harder to succeed in as there is a ton of competition. But even if you don’t make a full-time gig, a few hundred or thousand bucks every month for little work is a pretty sweet deal. 

8. Amazon FBA

In a way, Amazon FBA is similar to the dropshipping model but slightly different. However, this way to make money is also growing in popularity too. 

So FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon

It’s a service from Amazon where you find products you would like to sell, have those items delivered to Amazon shipping warehouse, and when someone buys that product on Amazon, it’s shipped from their warehouse. 

And what you choose to sell is up to you, but anything you find on Amazon is open for you to do as well.

Now, you want to find and research products that will have good sale value and ones you can make money on. That might be one of the hardest parts about starting to do an FBA business. But it is a process. 

Once you find your products and strategy, you can really turn this into a passive income machine. If you are looking for more, this in-depth guide to selling on Amazon FBA will be a great resource. 

Steps to Making Money While You Sleep

Now that you know some of the top options to start earning money while you sleep, here are some steps to get started. 

After all, you probably won’t start doing every option at once and you want to ensure you do have some plan in place. 

These steps do not need to be overly complicated. So, I broke this down in six simple points.

  • Understand the time you may have to put in first before you can truly make money while you sleep.
  • Besides time, write down any upfront costs and investments to make to begin working towards passive income streams.
  • See what interests you and do the research about it.
  • Layout the necessary steps needed to get started with your choice. Do you need to register a domain and create a website? Do you need to pick investment types? Do you need an LLC? Anything like that, figure out the planning.
  • Once you obtain passive income, you can run a bit on autopilot. But you will still need to do some work from time to time to maintain or grow results further. 
  • Continue the steps into other options to really diversify your income streams. So if one fails, you have more to fall back on. This doesn’t mean you need to do all the above, but find what intrigues and fits your financial goals.

Make Money While You Sleep Quotes

Hopefully that previous section all made sense to you.

But one thing I also enjoy about finances, is the epic commentary from famous figures, well-known people, or other business leaders say.

Just like the general insights, there are quite a few quotes about how to make money while you sleep. I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites. 

  • “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die” – Warren Buffett
  • “Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.” – T. Harv Eker
  • “Money has the power to buy you things. But a much bigger power of money is in generating more money for you. Those who are able to manifest the latter, are never short of it.” – Manoj Arora
  • “When people ask me what ‘American Pie’ means, I tell them it means I don’t ever have to work again if I don’t want to.” – Don McLean
  • “The key to financial freedom and great wealth is a person’s ability or skill to convert earned income into passive income and/or portfolio income.” – Robert Kiyosaki

What is the Best Way to Make Money While You Sleep?

It truly depends on your interests, work ethic, and the time you are willing to dedicate towards building passive income.

Most of the ways listed above will take work and patience to really bring home some good money. 

But, if you are willing to use your time wisely, you can have years of passive income generating for you without doing much additional work. 

Are you making money while you sleep? Which ways have resulted in passive income for you that you really like? Let me know in the comments below!