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Automated Business Ideas: Making Passive Income

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Almost everybody dreams of escaping the 9-to-5 daily grind and starting an online business, anything that would generate passive income for them.

Many aspire to escape the work routine. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, the allure of generating income without constant active effort is undeniable.

So, how can you venture into this realm and secure that proverbial bag? What options do you have?

Here are some automated business ideas that hold promise for those seeking passive income:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to generate passive income.

Why Affiliate Marketing?

  • Flexibility: No need to create products or handle customer service.
  • Promising Future: By 2030, the affiliate marketing market could reach USD 40 billion.
  • Low Barrier to Entry: You don’t need to create products or handle customer service.
  • Scalability: As your audience grows, so does your earning potential.
  • Passive Income: Once set up, affiliate links can generate income even while you sleep.

2. Digital Products

Design eBooks, printables, templates, or online courses once and sell them repeatedly. There are no physical constraints—just quality content meeting audience demands.

What Are Digital Products?

Digital products are intangible goods that exist in a digital format. Unlike physical items, they don’t require inventory management or shipping. Here are some popular types of digital products:

  • Ebooks: Written content packaged as downloadable PDFs or ePUBs.
  • Online Courses: Educational content delivered through video lessons, quizzes, and assignments.
  • Printables: Printable templates, planners, worksheets, or art.
  • Music and Audio: Original compositions, sound effects, or guided meditations.
  • Software and Apps: Tools, plugins, or mobile apps.
  • Digital Art and Graphics: Illustrations, logos, icons, or design assets.
  • Virtual Goods in Video Games: Skins, in-game currency, or power-ups.

3. E-Commerce Platforms

E-commerce platforms are essential for modern businesses. Consider these:


  • Renowned for its user-friendly interface and extensive app ecosystem.
  • Ideal for businesses of all sizes.
  • Automates online store creation and growth.

WooCommerce (WordPress extension):

  • Offers flexibility and customization for online retailers.
  • Create custom e-commerce services aligned with your brand.



  • Modular Architecture: Magento uses a modular architecture that enables seamless scalability.
  • Optimized Performance: Whether you choose Magento Open Source or Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento Commerce), scalability is at the core.
  • Global Reach: Adobe Commerce, an all-in-one hosted solution, supports global scalability. With a 99.99% uptime and the inclusion of the Fastly CDN, your e-commerce site can effectively handle international traffic.


  • Tailored Brand Experience: Magento offers unparalleled customizability.
  • Flexible Templating System: Magento’s flexible templating system makes it easy to design your online store.
  • Robust Product Catalog Management: Magento gives you the tools to showcase your products effectively. You can customize various product listings, manage multiple images, incorporate customer reviews, and create wishlists.

Hosted or Open-Source

  • Magento Open Source: If you prefer complete control over the code base, Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento Community Edition) is the free and open-source option.
  • Adobe Commerce: Conversely, Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento Commerce) offers enriched features and capabilities.


  • Responsive Design: Magento ensures your e-commerce site looks great and functions seamlessly across various devices.
  • Mobile Commerce: With the increasing mobile shopping trend, Magento prioritizes mobile-friendly experiences.

4. Write and Sell E-books

Begin by choosing a topic you’re passionate about or knowledgeable in. Research, organize your thoughts, and write your e-book. This initial effort requires time and dedication but is an investment in your future income.

5. Develop and Sell Online Courses

Creating and sharing online courses is a powerful way to leverage your expertise and generate passive income. Here’s how it works:

  • Expertise: Identify your area of expertise—programming, cooking, marketing, or any other skill. Your knowledge is valuable!
  • Content Creation: Develop high-quality course content. Break it down into modules, lectures, and practical exercises. Use engaging videos, quizzes, and downloadable resources.
  • Platform Selection: Choose a reliable platform to host your course. Options include Udemy, Teachable, or even self-hosting via your website.
  • Marketing: Promote your course through social media, email newsletters, and collaborations. Highlight the benefits learners will gain from your expertise.
  • Passive Income: Once your course is live, it can generate income indefinitely. Students pay for access, and you earn money while you sleep!

6. Print-on-Demand (POD)

It’s a versatile, low-risk approach that allows entrepreneurs, creators, and artists to unlock additional revenue streams while minimizing upfront costs and inventory risks. Here’s how it works:

Definition of Print-on-Demand (POD):

In a POD business, you collaborate with suppliers to sell custom products per order.

You create unique designs, and when a customer orders, the product is printed and shipped under your brand.

Unlike traditional retail, you don’t need to buy products in bulk or hold inventory. You pay only for what you sell.

Product Range:

While t-shirts are popular, POD companies offer various products beyond apparel.

Consider these options:

  • Apparel: We offer full clothing lines, including hoodies, sweatshirts, tank tops, skirts, dresses, swimwear, leggings, shoes, and hats.
  • Phone Accessories: Phone cases and phone holder clips.
  • Bags and Accessories: Totes, bags, backpacks, and more.
  • Home and Kitchen: Wall art, posters, canvas prints, magnets, pillowcases, throw pillows, blankets, cutting boards, cups, mugs, glassware, aprons, tablecloths, towels, and shower curtains.

How It Works:

  • Design: Create eye-catching designs or collaborate with artists.
  • Integration: Connect your online store (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce) to a POD platform.
  • Order Placement: When a customer orders a product, the POD platform handles printing, production, and shipping.
  • Branding: The product ships with your branding, creating a seamless customer experience.

Advantages of POD:

  • Low Risk: No inventory costs or storage hassles.
  • Scalability: Easily expand your product range.
  • Global Reach: Ship worldwide without logistical headaches.
  • Creative Freedom: Express your unique style through designs.
  • Challenges and Considerations:
  • Quality Control: Choose reliable POD partners to maintain product quality.
  • Designs Matter: Invest time in creating appealing designs.
  • Marketing: Promote your products through social media, email marketing, and collaborations.

Growth Strategies:

  • Diversify Products: Add new product categories to attract a broader audience.
  • Brand Identity: Develop a memorable brand that resonates with your target market.
  • Digital Marketing: Optimize your website, use SEO, and run targeted ads.
  • Sales Channels: Explore additional sales channels (e.g., Amazon, Etsy).
  • Collaborate Partner with influencers or other brands for cross-promotion.

Remember, success in the POD business model lies in creativity, branding, and strategic execution. With the right approach, your custom-designed products can generate passive income while delighting customers!

Business Automation Statistics (Highlights)

Here are some eye-opening statistics that underscore the power of automation in reaching the goal of passive income:

  • The workflow automation market is expected to reach more than $26 billion in 2025, up from just $4.8 billion in 2018.
  • Up to 80% of those who use marketing automation see an increase in leads, and up to 77% see an increase in conversions.
  • Customer service is the least automated (9.5%) of all business processes.
  • Business automation can reduce multitasking, which was found to cause companies a 40% loss in productivity.

Automation isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a strategic advantage that can transform your business landscape. So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or employee, consider harnessing the power of automation to achieve more in less time.

About the author


Miki Jovic