RichardBy Richard
| 12 min read

Coming up with passive income streams ideas gets whoooooole lot easier once you start reading the best blogs…but what blogs are must reads?

2438492622_d932004134_bI’ve spent years reading all kinds of blogs on passive income. And I’ve taken away so many good ideas I’ve lost count.
But not all blogs are so useful. In fact, some are downright dirrrty.

So to save you 100s of hours of mindless research I’ve compiled my list of the best blogs for inspiring passive income ideas.

The biggest piece of advice I have for you when reading them is to look out for the case studies, since these provide real lessons and working examples of ideas that were successful.

If you focus like that, then you won’t get lost down the rabbit hole reading endless articles on things that have nothing to do with coming up with your idea (which is your only goal at this point no doubt).  Enjoy!

1. Think Traffic, now Sparkline

This site kicks ass!  It’s founder, Corbett Barr (pictured above) tells it like it is.

Despite the name, this site is all about building an online business.  From a blog with an info product, to a content driven site with affiliate income, Corbett and Caleb cover it all.

It’s the case studies they share that are the best at inspiring ideas.

For example, say you watch the interview they did with The Minimalists a while back, you straight away start getting all these thoughts about whether minimalism is a good subject to create an info product around, or whether it could work as an affiliate site that links out to all the products on minimalism (and trust me there are literally 100+ minimalism ebooks out there that you could affiliate sell).

Or when Think Traffic did an interview with the guys from Endurance Nation who started an ironman training academy…boom, you start thinking about membership sites with tonnes of content, autoresponders to reel in the crowd and whatnot.

Go explore!

Try this: 81 Topic Ideas for Starting a Blog that Matters

2. Smart Passive Income

An obvious choice for sure.  Pat’s site is as the name suggest super focused on how to generate passive income online.  In terms of inspiring ideas few blogs come close.

For example, the most popular part of his site to date has been the niche site duel he did a year or two ago.  With this challenge he was up against other bloggers in a “Who can launch a website and start earning the most passive income?” kind of battle to the death.

He explores all the topics he thought about before selecting security guard training, and in this discussion you get an insight into what kinds of ideas rock and what suck.  Much like Real Passive Income Ideas itself.

Studying the niches picked by his competitors and their subsequent results is also insanely helpful.  Inspiration by the truck load.  Must read!

Try this: The Smart Passive Income Monthly Income Report for November 2012

3. Four Hour Work Week Blog

Well duh!!  How could I not include this puppy?!

This was the first place most of us turned when we went in search of our first passive income idea.  If you read the 4HWW book then you’re first thoughts were probably drop shipping supplements!

Haha, but it’s not really Ferriss that is our inspiration with the blog.

Sure he’s got great checklists on what you should look for in a good passive income opportunity, but he is not bursting at the seems with ideas.

But he makes up for it by presenting case study after case study of successful online entrepreneurs who have launched a product, site or whatever, and are making money on an ongoing basis without working much more than say 10 hours a week on it.

I personally got inspired for one of my passive income sites when I read – I mean watched – the user submitted case study of a guy who started a video course for students wanting to pass the GMAT test.  A 20 hour course he made that now nets over a million a year.

That inspiration led to a site that now nets me a muuuuuuch more modest $20k+ a year and requires less than 1 hour a week.

So get into the case studies on 4HWW blog, as well as Think Traffic and Smart Passive Income.

Try this: All the Four Hour Case Studies On One Page

4. I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Once again, a great resource for inspiration.

Ramit Sethi started his site to teach people about personal finances, but soon realised the audience also wanted to know how to make money, not just how to handle it.

So he’s gone nuts over the last few years on how to make money online, much of which revolves around passive income opportunities.

He even created a program to go with it called something like “How to make 1k extra  a month“.

Once again, the value of this site in terms of identify the a smart passive income opportunity for you comes from the case studies he presents – and oh yeah, as with the other sites above, through the comments sections, where you get to see people debate what ideas work and what are BS.

5. The Life Design Project

Finally a non-celebrity blogger on the list!

Rob’s site is flat out f**king brilliant for anyone starting out on the passive income trail, because Rob is trying to play the game himself.  He’s a student of the game himself, not a teacher.

The value of this is clear…he faces the same problems you’ll run into, asks the same questions you’re probably asking right now and well, is generally easy to relate to.  What makes him then stand out is that he goes away and spends what I can only imagine is 20+ hours a week researching answers to these problems…and wait for it, then shares them.

He’s seemingly read every blog on this very list 20 times, not to mention all the associated courses and books.  Hells yeah!

I’ve ideated hard on the great passive income ideas he then shares post-research for hours.  Just reading his musings about what he’s thought about, what he’s found working (for him and others), and also what’s not working is priceless.

Get into it!

Try this: Life Designed | 537 Days In, What Has Worked

6. Escaping the 9 to 5

Started listening to Maren’s Podcast a few years ago and loved the angle Maren goes for, which is pretty much ‘What are successful people doing online to earn passive income and what can we learn from them?’.

With so many interviews – and also blog posts – you’ll find more than enough to get inspired from here.

A lot of info product ideas I have on this site were inspired by listening to her interviews and so it’s definitely a site worth exploring more if you’ve got time.

Try this: 7 Profitable Business Ideas | Start Your Own Small Business this year!

7. Live Uncomfortably

This site is a pretty informal blog by Derek and it doesn’t always focus on making passive income, but when it does it’s great!

Lots of cool tips to find in here and also it’s super easy to get inspired by looking at the info products Derek himself has created.

For example, he created a course on copywriting and co-created a six-pack abs style product, and when he talks about the products, the creation process etc, you can pick up a tonne of cool takeaways.

Always be thinking what’s the equivalent topic for me…ie what do I know a lot about and enjoy, or who do I know that can do the product and I’ll do the marketing etc.

8. Jet Set Citizen

I stumbled upon this blog a little while back and liked the tone and immediate usefulness of the content, because it got me thinking big time about some passive income ideas I could launch later this year.

John really knocked me over with the first article I read by him, which basically profiled 14 of the biggest travel bloggers and analyzed how they make money and why.

From this bite sized analysis you could quickly gain ideas about what topics were good and what methods for monetizing them were best.  And he’s freaking up front about it all too, which I love.

Try this:  How to Really Make Money from a Travel Blog – An Overview of 14 of the Biggest Names in the Industry

9. Nerdy Nomad

Very interesting site to get the ideas flowing!

It’s kind of like Smart Passive Income, and the behind the scenes look you get at how NN makes money is very useful.  When you jump over there you’ll see it’s mainly through a dozen or more niche travel sites.  And advertising is the main method.

I’ve said before that advertising sucks…well, not so much when you’ve put in the amount of work NN has with her content and you get the corresponding visitors.  So a nice site to get inspired by – what micro niche sites could you setup?

Try this: Nerdy Nomad’s December 2012 Earnings & Spending Report

10. Steve Pavlina

A lot of Steve’s writing is about personal development and to me at least, other worldly stuff.  But he has enough cool articles and advice on all things passive income related, including some great 2000+ word posts on how to come up with your topic and how to come up with passive income streams to make that topic super rewarding for you.

I don’t want you to get lost down the Pavlina rabbit hole, so I’m linking to what I think is one of his best articles on the topic of passive income…and guess what, it is about coming up with ideas!

A mini guide of sorts.

Try this: Generating Ideas

11. Adsense Flippers

Two guys living in Philippines who are doing crazy cool experiments with making passive income, means there is a lot to learn here.  Best of all, it’s all completely free.

I think the best way to learn from them is to read their income reports, because they go beyond saying how much they’re earning and actually dig deep to talk about what’s working, what’s not and what they plan to do.

For example, you can see how they’ve done a lot of work building tons of small niche sites and turning them into mini adsense machines, buuuuuuuut then how they’ve decided to start moving more to the bigger authority style sites (kind of).

So from that and the associated explanation you can start to deduce that maybe the micro niche sites, although good, could be inferior to authority sites.

Try this: Adsense Flippers December 2012 Earning Report

12. Entrepreneur’s Journey

A cool site about a guy who started making money online through a university essay editing business, and then started making serious coin by teaching other people how to build an online business.

The real value of this site is reading about all the ideas Yaro considered for earning passive income and the end verdict, ie what succeeded and what didn’t.

Plus with a ton of case studies of other online entrepreneurs on there, you’ll find yourself with plenty of ideas to get inspired from.  Hello derivative ideas!!

Try this: How I Started Making Money From The Internet

13. Moolanomy

I like the succinct nature of many of the articles on this site.  ie when you don’t want to read much in the way of details (what, why, how to), then this site can be a refreshing change.

Although about personal finances in general, Moolanomy spends a lot of time looking at how you can earn more money.

From the many lists on the site you should be able to discover a few cool new ideas.

Be warned that many of the ideas are for earning extra income by doing ongoing work (ie your money is tied to your time), but there are enough passive focused ideas there to quench even the most Pina Colada sipping of thirsts.

Try this: 40+ Passive Income and Money Making Ideas

14. Murlu

Run by Murray, this site details all the lessons M’s learnt from starting up a bunch of cool passive income oriented sites.  Although he stopped doing monthly income reports, he still has a ton of content to inspire you into your first online business.

I particularly like this one article he wrote, which looks at different sources of inspiration for ideating on your next passive income idea.  ie what sources can you draw ideas from?

He mentions the usual suspects like Google Keyword Tool, ebay etc, but there are a few other ones here you have to check out.

Try this: Eight Ingenious (and Profitable) Niche Site Ideas

15. My Four Hour Work Week

A very interesting site and done in the same style as the Life Design Project (above), ie someone who has an existing job, trying to make passive income on the side.

My 4HWW is full of lessons on what has worked and what hasn’t, and definitely contains gold on the pitfalls of certain passive income opportunities.  You can takeaway a lot of ideas just through seeing what he’s tried.

You’ll find it interesting to note that the majority of his money comes from actually writing about how to make passive income.  But this is not too dissimilar to others like Pat Flynn.

What we care most about is finding our idea.  So get into this site when you have a chance and enjoy the personable and honest tone it’s written in.

Try: My 4HWW’s December 2012 Income Report

16. Make Money On The Internet

Chris Guthrie is a bit of an Internet rockstar, since he brought in over a million in Amazon sales in one year (about $100k profit to him).  His site is very cool for inspiring ideas for you to get started earning passive income in the next week or two.

There are some epic how to articles in there and lots of tips on what worked for him.

Get into this site right now, especially since I’ve linked to one of his best articles…warning: it may get you setting up a physical product niche site with Amazon in just minutes!

Try this: 20 Tips I Used To Make $90,336.65 With Amazon

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Want passive income ideas that actually work?


If you’re struggling to think of an idea or you’ve tried out a few ideas, but can’t seem to eek out more than a couple hundred dollars a month, STOP.

I’ve already spent 1000s of hours researching and testing all kinds of ideas. I know what works and importantly, what doesn’t. Here’s 3 of my favorite ideas that actually work...