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8 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep A well-structured business runs even while you rest.

By R.L. Adams

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If you're like every other red-blooded human being on this planet, then the thought of making money while you sleep has definitely crossed your mind. However, as cliché; as it might sound or as unattainable as it might seem, actually making money, literally while you're sleeping, is not only possible, it's most certainly doable.

Yet, we've all been through what David Sharpe has coined as the guru gauntlet. Everyone thinks that making money online, while you're in a restful slumber, is just a dream that can never actually be realized. However, it's clearly not. In fact, not only are people doing it all around the world, but the scale of those doing so is increasing rapidly.

However, to most who set out to achieve this goal, getting there isn't simple nor is it straightforward. The truth? Most people give up. They throw in the proverbial towel. And call it quits. Why? Because it's hard. No. Scratch that. It's a monumental undertaking, one that delays the payoffs for months or sometimes even years.

Now, I don't say that to scare you in the slightest. I say that to set the expectations. But, if you're willing to dig in your heels and grind, the world truly can be your oyster. Not only will you start earning some side hustle income, but it could also one day replace your full-time income entirely.

To me, that's the true definition of financial freedom. While an active income will pay your bills, it won't afford you the luxury of time. Liz Benny, the self-professed Queen of Kappow, who's built a proverbial cash money machine using three automated webinars, who not long ago struggled to come to grips with online marketing, is a firm believer in income automation.

Today, Benny is the definition of success, so much so that she's been able to launch her own mastermind group. I talked to Benny at length to garner some insight into the what some would call the often-seedy world of internet marketing. My biggest question? Not only how can you make money while you sleep, but how can you keep it real and stay authentic while you do so.

At the end of the day, making money while you sleep is just another term for passive income. It simply pertains to money that comes in every month automatically, without very much maintenance required. Most people think about real estate rental income as passive income. But, there are so many other forms.

The reason why passive income is so important is because time is greater than money. It's far more valuable than any amount of money because it can never be re-created. Once it's spent, it's gone. And there's virtually no way to exit the rat race when you're an employee who directly exchanges your time for money. Sure, unless you're a top executive at a company like Apple or Amazon or Facebook, you're all set. But, for others, the struggle is most certainly real.

Related: 7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

What is passive income?

Passive income automates your earnings so that it requires little to no maintenance on a monthly basis for that income to continue to pour in. It's a departure from one-on-one services toward products and businesses that can operate almost automatically. The point? Free up your time so that you can focus on building multiple streams of income rather than being a slave to the 9-to-5 hustle.

Now, that doesn't mean you have to completely avoid side hustle businesses where you're providing a high-value service. If you're in a monthly struggle where you're reliant on that paycheck just to survive, extricating yourself from that situation first and foremost would be the most important goal to achieve.

In my conversation with Benny, my goal was to really understand the mindset and the principles at play that would allow a person to fully automate their income. Literally, to make money while you sleep. My biggest concern and question was, could anyone do this or was this only something that only "gurus" could achieve.

Now, Benny's story quite literally saw her go from living without a home and living at a friend's house, to building a seven-figure-per-year income. Her first webinar called Social Monkey Business was literally filmed from coffee shops and while staying at a friend's house. So how does a person go from one extreme to the other? How do you get rich or make money fast without spending years entrenched in online marketing?

That's not to say that anyone can do this. Not just anyone can earn seven figures online. There's a mindset at play here. But, nearly anyone can make a bit of money passively, while they sleep or travel or just spend time with their family or loved ones or doing anything else for that matter. For most, even a few extra hundred dollars per month would make a significant difference.

Related: How to Become a Millionaire by Age 30

Mindset and principles

Speaking about passive or automated income without first addressing mindset or principles won't do the subject justice. The truth is that most people have a mental block. They think that certain things aren't possible or attainable when in fact they are once you shift your mindset.

Oliver Talamayan focuses very much on mindset shifts and principles. Like Benny, Talamayan is focused on the underlying nature of your thoughts and how they propel you in one direction or another. Harbor positive thoughts and you'll reap positive results. But, allow those negative thoughts to fester and you'll quickly find yourself in a steep and steady decline.

How do you ultimately make the shift from a negative mindset to a positive one? How do you go from scarcity thinking to a purely abundant mindset? The truth? Talamayan teaches that most of us are programmed to believe that success is arduous, painful and takes years. We're taught that growing up by parents, schools and society so it becomes part of our belief system, when in fact that's not the case.

Oftentimes, when you can shift your mindset, success is much closer than you think. It's following the 80/20 Rule and identifying the right things that need to be done to move you quickest toward your goals. Too often, we don't spend time on those. We don't focus on the things that are going to make us money right now. We do busy work and waste precious time that we can't afford to waste.

  • Add lots of value
  • If you think you can, you will
  • Be authentic in your approach
  • Give more than you receive
  • Integrity above all else
  • It's okay to be vulnerable

Related: 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

How to make money while you sleep.

While there are likely hundreds of ways you can make money while you sleep, there are eight core strategies that will get you where you want to be.

1. Webinars

Webinars are a great way to make money while you sleep. Not live ones of course. But, automated webinars. Automated webinars run day and night. To create one, you need something to offer. Webinars are great for high-ticket digital product sales. They also work well for selling things like coaching and consulting services. But, to fully automate your income, it's best to sell a digital product.

How much can you sell items for on a webinar? Benny tells me that the sweet spot is the $997 price point, but that $1997 works as well. Jason Fladlien says that this depends on how "warmed up" the audience is. If they know you already and they've been warmed up to you or your offer, then you'll have an easier time selling at $1997 and even higher, all the way up to $10,000 and beyond.

Related: I Started Saying 'No' to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better.

2. Ebooks

Find a niche market and write a great ebook. The sweetspot here is 60 to 80 pages long of gold-nugget-filled content. While you could easily sell this on a platform like Amazon's Kindle, you'll fare better by selling it through your own channels like on a blog or as an offer after a lead magnet. Ultimately, you'll make more money that way.

However, if you're not a seasoned online marketer, going the Kindle route is a far simpler approach to selling your ebook. The threshold is low and you won't have to do all the marketing of the book on your own. Amazon will simply pay you out monthly for the sales.

Related: 9 Steps to Increase the Value of Your Business

3. Drop-shipping

Ecommerce is exploding. It's not just Amazon that's taking the entire pie here. People are snatching up product offers all over the place. The best part? Most of this is being done as a drop-shipping arrangement. That means that as the store owner you never actually have to touch the products. It's warehoused, labeled and shipped in your name. You incur none of the overhead. You simply push the order through when it arrives, pay the fee and it's shipped.

Drop-shipping, when automated the right way, gives you the freedoms that you wouldn't normally experience while running a physical product store or having a brick-and-mortar location. You can build your own ecommerce store with Shopify or you can buy products from AliExpress and sell them as an Amazon FBA store. Or, find another drop-shipping company willing to handle the work.

Related: 6 Steps to Building a Successful Online Drop Shipping Business

4. Online courses

Online courses are a great way to earn income, day or night, and require little to no maintenance once they're launched aside from updating content that might get stale or become no longer relevant. There are tons of places you can build online courses such as Kajabi, Udemy or Teachable. You could also build your own membership based courses on sites like ClickFunnels.

What type of course can you launch? You can teach just about anything. But, you should stick to what you know. If you know photography, teach it. Coding? Teach it. SEO? Teach it. Social media marketing, like Benny? Then dive right in. If you absolutely don't know what you're talking about, it's going to come across and your sales will suffer because of it.

Related: How to Sell Your Online Course

5. Blogging

Why not start a blog? It's probably one of the most reliable sources for making money on autopilot. While creating a popular blog is arduous work, the benefits are long-lasting, along with the potential for passive income. When you run a popular blog, you can make money in a variety of ways, most of which are passive. You could sell virtually anything in your niche on autopilot.

Find something that fits your blog's audience and sell it. Or, if you're really looking to reap the benefits, build content or digital products that fits the same audience and sell it directly through your own systems or sales funnels. Grow the blog over time by consistently creating valuable content that really helps your audience with a problem or fills a need.

Related: 4 Ways Guest Blogging Grows Your Blog Audience Quickly

6. Traditional real estate rentals

While traditional real estate is more cost prohibitive to enter into than digital products, real estate rentals are always going to be a great producer of passive income. People will always need a place to live and to work. With long-term rentals, you can secure the tenant, then sit back and collect the cash every single month.

While there might be a small amount of maintenance due to repairs, the income will largely be passive. You can make it fully passive by hiring a property manager as long as there's enough positive cash flow. You could also opt for purchasing a duplex and renting out the second unit of your home if money is tight.

Related: 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Rental Real Estate

7. Peer-to-peer lending

There are loads of peer-to-peer lending networks that will help you achieve your dreams of automating some of your income. Depending on the amount you have to invest, you could reap a sizable return. Websites like Prosper, Zopa and Lending Club will help you invest your money while minimizing your risk with baked-in algorithms that help you identify the best investments.

Clearly, the more risk, the more potential for reward. These lending platforms offer a great way to put either a little bit of money, or a lot of it, at play and earn while you sleep.

Related: Why Peer-to-Peer Lending Could Be a Good Investment Choice

8. Affiliate marketing

In the world of online marketing, affiliate marketing offers one of the fastest and most profitable forms of income with very little investment of time. Of course, you can't really become an affiliate marketer without reach or an audience to promote to. If you already have an email list, then this works great. If you don't, you could opt to do Facebook Live trainings or use YouTube as a platform to reach people.

Affiliate marketing is about delivering value. You have to find a way you can educate and inform while helping those out there with their goals or to solve a problem. If you can do that effectively, you can build multiple passive income streams as an affiliate marketer. Check out platforms like ClickBank and to find affiliate offers you can promote.

R.L. Adams

Entrepreneur, software engineer, author, blogger and founder of

Robert Adams is a writer, blogger, serial entrepreneur, software engineer and best-selling author of dozens of technology, SEO, online marketing and self-development books, audiobooks and courses.

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