Teaching is one of the most noble professions but teachers do not earn as well as most other professionals. For example, in the US, teachers only earn $39,000/year at a starting salary and about $67,000/year near the end of their careers (source). Therefore, having a passive income source as a teacher can be very beneficial to supplement income and prepare for retirement.
How can teachers earn passive income? There are numerous passive income ideas for teachers. Some passive income ideas for teachers include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, chatbots, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing among others.
In this post, we look at 8 Passive Income Streams for Teachers that are fairly easy for any beginner and can be highly lucrative with time. They should not interfere with your regular schedule if you manage to build them during your free time. For more details about each idea, please hit the orange button or image in each section to read a comprehensive guide on every idea on our site. As a teacher, you have the advantage of knowing how to share knowledge, which can be a huge asset in building these passive income streams. The more passive income streams you have, the more income you make. Let’s get started.
If you are passionate about a hobby, or a specific topic, you can share your knowledge with others through a blog, monetize it, and earn a decent passive income from it. Currently, blogging is a popular way of sharing knowledge and some bloggers make well over $1,000/month of passive income from their blogs (source).
For example, let’s say you are a physics teacher. You can share your knowledge in physics using a blog by answering questions that people search for in Google. This will attract traffic to your website that you can monetize in a variety of ways to start earning a passive income. This goes for other topics you are interested in. Whether it is geography, mathematics, sciences, history, languages etc., you can share your knowledge and earn money passively from it. Since you are used to being in front of an audience, YouTube can also be a great way to illustrate your blog and supplement your income.
Building a successful blog is not easy at first. You need to provide high-quality content that answers questions people are actually searching for (learn how to find those topics in this article). You will then have to generate traffic and grow your audience, monetize your blog content, and then you can start earning money from it. Some ways of monetizing your blog include pacing ads and ad posts, affiliate marketing, selling physical and digital products etc. With the right strategies (like the ones shared by successful entrepreneurs Rick and Jim from Income School’s Project 24), you can turn your blog into a passive income source that earns thousands of dollars every month without doing much. With the knowledge gained from your first blog, you can create other blogs, monetize them and earn more passive income. For more details about blogging as an ideal passive income stream for teachers, check out our full blogging guide.
Like blogging, sharing your knowledge through podcasts is a lucrative way of earning a passive income. Instead of sharing knowledge through written content (like blogging), you record audio files (podcasts) and post them for your audience to listen to. A successful podcasting business can help you rake over $6,000/month (source). These are not typical results, but some successful podcasters like Joe Rogan make between $20M and $50M per year from their podcasts (source). For example, if you are a history teacher, you can record and post numerous podcasts about various topics related to history. Once you start generating traffic to your podcasts and grow your audience, you can monetize your content and earn a passive income from it. Of course, you can use a blog to generate traffic to your podcast and vice versa.
Like blogging, the quality of your content is key because it helps you generate traffic and grow your audience. Building a successful podcast business is therefore not easy. You need to take time off your busy schedule to record, edit and post content, promote your podcast, and monetize your content before you can start earning a passive income. However, once you have created the content, you can monetize your podcast in many ways like placing ads, affiliate marketing, selling products etc. You can also earn income through membership fees and donations. With the right content, monetization strategies, and a few awesome tips you can learn from Project 24, you can earn well over $1.000/episode – this translates to over $6,000/month (source). For more details about podcasting and how to earn a passive income from it as a teacher, feel free to read more in our guide.
As a teacher you are not afraid of standing in front of an audience to share information in a fun and engaging way. Replace the audience with a camera and you will be ready to share knowledge with the world instead of a small class. YouTube provides a huge passive income opportunity. Many people find videos as a credible source of information and YouTube is currently the world’s main source of video content. With the right content and following a simple strategy, you can monetize your YouTube channel and earn well over $1,000/month (source).
For example, let’s say you are a mathematics teacher and you have some tips for solving difficult mathematical problems. You can start a YouTube channel, post videos in your niche, generate traffic to your content, and monetize it once you meet the requirements. Currently, you must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the last year for your channel to considered for monetization. Building a successful channel is not easy. You have to provide high-quality content and grow your subscriber base. However, you can learn these and other tips of turning your channel into a passive income cash source from the Project 24 Course. Check out our YouTube guide for more details about YouTube as a passive income stream. It’s an awesome passive income idea for teachers!
4. Creating Niche Sites
A niche site is a blog designed to serve or resonate with a specific audience. The audience shares common interests and a niche site is a resourceful source of specific/detailed information. If you can grow your audience to 30k views on your site every month and monetize that audience well enough, you can earn $1,000/month from your niche site (source). According to Project 24, a successful niche site can actually earn over $7000/month after 24 months following their methodology (source).
For instance, let’s say you are a history teacher. Instead of blogging about history as a broad topic, you can narrow down your niche to American History, and more specifically answer questions people are actually searching for in Google. That way, anyone who wants to learn about American history can end up on your site. A niche site helps you stand out from millions of other pages that people search online, which can be essential when generating traffic and growing your audience.
Your content is key. Remember your audience visits your site to research information about a specific topic so it is important that you offer the best quality content, carry out research, and break-down your content to make it easily understandable. With a sound audience, you can monetize your site (through ads, affiliate marketing, selling products, email marketing, eBooks, etc.) and start earning passive income. For more details about niche sites and how to build one that earns passive income, please check out our detailed niche site guide.
5. Affiliate Marketing
As a teacher, you can earn a passive income by choosing a product you love or use frequently, promoting it through a niche site, blog or YouTube channel, and earning a commission on sales made through your link. With the right product and marketing strategies, you can earn $1,000 every month or more as an affiliate marketer (source). For example, let’s say you use specific items in class that you believe other teachers should use. You can sign up for an affiliate program, promote and sell the products, and earn a commission on sales. Popular affiliate marketing sites include Amazon Affiliates, Commission Junction (CJ), Affiliate.com, PeerFly etc.
Although it sounds easy and lucrative, affiliate marketing takes a lot of work. You have to identify a viable product, promote it to your audience (that you have to build), and create content about it. As an affiliate marketer, your audience trusts on your views so it’s important for you to promote products you are well knowledgeable about or use frequently. For more details about affiliate marketing as a viable passive income stream for teachers, check out our extensive affiliate marketing guide.
As a teacher, making passive income from selling eBooks is both easy and highly passive. You can earn a passive income by creating and selling eBooks to online customers. With compelling content and an active audience, you can actually earn over $500/month with eBooks (source). Combine this idea with a blog or YouTube channel to generate traffic. It’s not hard at all to create an eBook, you can actually do it for free and we show you how to in our eBooks for passive income guide.
So long as you identify a niche topic, write about something people are willing to pay for, and deliver it to your audience using automated tools (like Ecwid eCommerce), you can start selling your eBook online. Selling eBooks can be even more passive if you outsource the work to ghostwriter who can write, edit and publish it for you. Platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (or KDP) allow you to upload and sell your eBooks on Amazon easily. This takes a couple days work to a couple months so it is not at all passive in the beginning. But once your work is completed and uploaded, you can start to enjoy passive income if you are reaching your audience. Check out this guide for more information about how you can make passive income from eBooks.
7. 3D Printing
3D printing might sound like an income stream exclusively meant for developers or designers, but that is not the case. You can actually earn a passive income from it as a beginner as long as you are willing to learn more about 3D printing. The industry has witnessed increased growth and popularity in recent years making it a viable passive income stream. With the right designs and strategies, you can make excellent passive income from 3D printing (source). 3D printing takes up a little space and it is a very suitable idea for people looking to make passive income.
Some ways you can earn passive income from 3D printing include designing and selling 3D printed objects, leasing your 3D equipment (e.g. printer), teaching others about 3D printing, offering printing services etc. Different 3D printing software is available online including some readily made prints. Sites like Thingiverse, iMaterialize, and Sculpteo allow you to create and download prints and send them directly to your printer. However, some forms of 3D printing might require a hefty capital investment such as buying a printer, and the level of passiveness will mostly depend on your niche decision. For details about 3D printing as a passive income stream for teachers, read more in our guide.
Chatbots have become very popular communication tools and people are making good amounts of passive income from them (by creating and selling Chatbots online, monetizing Chatbots and more). Bots are becoming more popular and 80% of businesses want to use them notably because they can save a lot of time and money (source). A successful chatbots can help you earn excellent passive income when paired with other ideas like affiliate marketing, selling digital products and blogging. As a teacher, you can imagine the common questions that are asked by students and have a bot reply to them on your blog for example. If you have a blog or niche site about clay sculpting, you can use your bot to answer common questions, send people to affiliate products and more.
However, like a blog, you have to monetize your bot to earn passive income from it. Monetizing your bot requires hard work but the results can be worthwhile. Some ways you can monetize it is through advertising. You can also earn money from a chatbot by using it to generate leads, conduct surveys, for landing page conversions, eCommerce and more. It is also a great idea that requires little capital to start. For more details on how you can leverage bots and earn passive income from chatbots, check out our passive income with Chatbots guide.
How much passive income can I make as a teacher? How much passive income you can make as a teacher depends on the type of passive income stream you create. Choose a passive income stream based on your interests, skills, time and capital. You will need to be motivated and work hard to build some passive income streams so be sure to choose something that interests you.
How long would it take before I start earning income passively? Every passive income stream is different, but no matter which you choose, you will need to invest time and effort. Generally, the amount of time it takes before you break even depends on your individual effort, choice of niche and location of your business. You should make sure that you have good management skills to prevent losing your money.
Can I earn passive income during retirement? You can earn passive income during retirement. There are many ways that can help you earn passive income once you retire. Some online ideas like blogging, creating niche sites, and running a monetized YouTube channel, can earn passive income into retirement. It all depends on what you are willing and able to do.