Guest article provided by Joe Garecht of

With online tools and a good Internet connection, nearly every entrepreneur can run a business from a laptop on a sandy beach.  Location-independent businesspeople are successfully running e-commerce, SaaS, consulting, coaching, and every other type of businesses from locations all around the globe.

That being said, in my experience the easiest way for digital nomads to build location-independent businesses is by creating passive income streams.  A passive income stream is a revenue stream that comes in day after day, even if you’re not working.  When you build passive income streams, you put in the work once, then reap the rewards for many years to come.  What could be better for a digital nomad?

Some people build their entire businesses around one or more passive income streams, while other entrepreneurs simply add a passive income stream to their other business endeavors (for example, many consultants offer classes and webinars on the side).  Either way, passive income is the “holy grail” for digital nomads and can make a huge difference for your location-independent business.

Here are the top 5 location-independent passive income streams that you can build today (presented in no particular order): 

#1: E-Books

Writing and selling e-books is one of the most common passive income streams for location-independent entrepreneurs.  “How to” type e-books are always popular, particularly in the business, fitness, and self-help niches.  That being said, there are websites selling e-books in almost every niche, so no matter what type of business you are running, chances are you can successfully add an e-book as a revenue stream.

Writing an e-book may seem hard, but it’s not.   Most “how to” e-books are 20,000-50,000 words in length (though some e-books are much longer).  By writing 1,000 words per day (a very achievable goal) you can have your e-book done and listed for sale on your website in under one month.

#2: Webinars

Webinars are an extremely popular type of passive income product – they are relatively easy to create, and the average webinar sells for more than the average e-book.  While many people think of webinars as live online events that people attend, the most successful entrepreneurs sell recorded webinars – meaning that they simply sit down and record a 60-90 minute webinar on an interesting “how to” topic, and then sell the recording over and over again.

For maximum success with creating and selling webinars, be sure to make your webinar topic “evergreen.”  This means that you should record a webinar about a topic that will be just as important for your audience next year as it is this year.  Topics like “How to Sell More Over Social Media,” “How to Get Bigger Biceps,” and “How to Write a Bestselling E-Book” are examples of evergreen topics that people will always be interested in.  Creating a webinar around an evergreen topic ensures that you can do the work once and then sell your recorded webinar for many years to come.

#3: Online Courses

If you want to make serious revenue from a passive income stream (without needing to sell tens of thousands of items), online courses are a great choice.  Thousands of entrepreneurs are currently selling online classes, usually consisting of a number of recorded video or webinar modules with a few workbooks or other supporting materials.

Ten years ago, creating and maintaining an online course was hard… but today, with modern course management platforms and cheap screen recording software… creating an online course is relatively painless.

Just as with webinars, the best online class topics are evergreen and are “how to” type topics that teach your participants how to reach one of their goals or avoid one of their pain points.  Because creating an online class is usually more time consuming than creating a webinar, consider testing your topic by offering a webinar on the topic first, and then only creating a full class if you get lots of sales for the webinar on the same subject.  

#4: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of passive income on the Internet.  Affiliate marketing is when you post links to another company’s product (or pitch that product to your readers) and earn a commission when one of the people you refer goes on to purchase the product.  Nearly every business can use affiliate marketing to add an easy revenue stream to their online presence.  

The good thing about affiliate marketing is it is easy to set up.  You don’t need to create any products or services.  Instead, you simply find companies that offer products and services that your readers would be interested in and also offer an affiliate program.  Once you join the affiliate program, you can post links on your site and start promoting the company’s products.

The downside of affiliate marketing is that you have to drive traffic to your offer.  This means you either need to have significant traffic already coming to your website, or you need to have a decent-sized e-mail list, or you need to pay for advertising to drive traffic.  That being said, affiliate marketing is a great way to build location-independent passive income streams for your business.

#5: Advertising

While affiliate marketing has been around for a long time, advertising has been around forever, and is probably the single oldest form of passive income on the Internet.  If you have traffic to your website or at least 1,000 people on your opt-in e-mail newsletter list, chances are you can sell advertising to companies that want to reach your audience.

There are lots of different types of advertising you can offer, from display ads on your website to blast e-mails to your newsletter list.  You can either join an advertising platform like Google Adsense or Ezoic or sell advertising spots directly to your advertisers.  No matter how you choose to do it, once you reach a certain size in terms of traffic and readership, you can make significant passive income by selling advertising to companies in your niche.

If you’re living the digital nomad lifestyle, chances are that a new source of recurring passive income would be a gamechanger for your business.  The 5 passive income streams described above are relatively quick and easy to set up and have the potential to provide you with an income stream that lasts for many years to come.

About the Author 

Joe Garecht is the Founder of Go Beyond Clients, where he shows consultants and freelancers how to grow their businesses and develop brand new passive income streams.  He is a serial entrepreneur who has previously started 3 successful companies.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kemper via Unsplash

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