Almost everyone has heard of mailbox money, but not everyone knows what it is or how to get it. So, what is mailbox money?
Mailbox money is any income you regularly receive without directly working for it. Some ways of generating mailbox money are residual income or commissions from a business or side hustle, interest from investments, or even royalties if you’ve written a book or produced a product.
It is important to remember that no income is truly passive, although some mailbox money is considered “passive income.”
To make mailbox money, you must put in the work upfront to establish income streams. But once you have those streams set up, the money comes in without you having to do anything else (hence the “passive” moniker).
If you want to make more mailbox money, some key things to remember are, first, continually reinvest your earnings to grow your business or investments. Second, beware of scams promising easy money with no work required – if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Finally, look for opportunities to leverage your time and resources to make more money with less effort.
With these guidelines in mind, let’s look at specific ways to make more mailbox money.
Rental Properties or REITs
Investing in property and renting it out can earn a steady income without having to do any active work, especially if you use a property management company.
Additionally, you can often deduct expenses related to the property, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and maintenance costs, from your taxable income.
If you don’t want the hassle of being a landlord, you can also invest in a REIT (real estate investment trust). REITs are companies that own and operate income-producing properties, such as shopping malls, office buildings, and apartments.
By investing in a REIT, you can earn a share of the income that these properties generate without having to own or manage them yourself. This hands-off approach can still provide you with a steady stream of mailbox money.
Dividend-Paying Stocks or Funds
You can earn dividends by investing in stocks, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that focus on dividend-paying companies.
Dividends are a portion of a company’s profits paid to shareholders quarterly. Some companies will pay dividends annually or monthly. However, not all companies pay dividends, but many large and well-established “blue chip” companies do.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, you must own the company’s stock before the record date to qualify for dividends. When the company declares a dividend, you will automatically receive the payment based on the number of shares you own.
In addition to individual dividend-paying stocks, there are mutual funds aimed specifically at investing in dividend-paying companies. These funds are usually called “Income Funds” and can provide a diversified way to invest in this asset class and earn passive income.
To invest in dividend-paying stocks or funds, you can open an account with a broker like Vanguard or Fidelity. Then, research companies or funds with a history of paying dividends or consult a financial advisor to get started.
With peer-to-peer lending, you lend money to individuals or businesses through an online platform. The borrower then pays back the loan with interest, providing you with a return on your investment.
Peer-to-peer lending platforms typically require a minimum investment, but they can provide you with a steady stream of passive income as borrowers repay their loans.
Some popular peer-to-peer lending platforms include Prosper, Lending Club, and Funding Circle. When you’re ready to start, you can open an account with one of these platforms and begin lending money to borrowers.
Royalties From Intellectual Property
If you’ve written a book, produced a piece of music, creating artwork, or had another type of intellectual property, you can earn royalties from it.
According to Investopedia, royalties are payments made to the owner of a copyright for the use of their work. For example, if someone buys a book you’ve written, you would receive a royalty payment.
You can also earn royalties by licensing your work to others. For instance, if you’ve written a book, you could license the rights to make a movie based on it. Then, you will receive a royalty payment every time the movie screens.
Or, if you’ve created a piece of music, you could license it to be used in a TV show, commercial, or video game. Each time the work is used, you would receive a royalty payment.
To earn royalties from your intellectual property, you can register it with the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress or a similar agency in your country. Then, when someone wants to use your work, they must get permission and pay you a royalty fee.
You can also list your intellectual property for sale on sites like Royalty Exchange, where investors can bid on the right to use your work.
As an affiliate marketer, you find a product you like and promote it to others. You earn a commission when someone clicks on your affiliate link and buys the product.
The commission depends on the affiliate program’s terms and can range from a few percent to a much higher percentage or even a flat fee.
For example, Amazon Associates, one of the largest affiliate programs, offers a 4% commission on most products. High-ticket luxury items can pay up to 40% or a flat rate commission as high as $1000.
Many affiliate marketers create a niche website where they review products and provide information about them to potential buyers. Then, they include affiliate links for the products on their site.
The affiliate marketer earns a commission when someone clicks on these links and buys the product.
YouTube channels and podcasts are also popular ways to promote affiliate products. You can earn a commission from sales made through your affiliate links by providing helpful information and product reviews.
Start a Youtube Channel
Youtube channels are a popular way to generate passive income. You can create videos on any topic you’re passionate about and earn advertising revenue through the YouTube Partner Program, promote affiliate products, or create sponsored content with brand partnerships and product sales.
To have a profitable Youtube channel, you’ll need to create engaging videos that appeal to a large audience.
For example, if your hobby is cooking, you could start a cooking channel and share recipes and cooking tips featuring the cookware or ingredients you use. If you’re passionate about beauty, you could create a beauty channel and review makeup and skincare products.
There are also YouTube creators with lifestyle vlogs, comedy channels, and channels dedicated to unboxing and reviewing products. Whatever your interests are, you can likely make a successful Youtube channel around them.
TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook Reels are other popular platforms for influencers and creators to share content and monetize their viewership.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know of some ways to make mailbox money, it’s time to plan your strategy.
Some methods require more work than others, and some can be more reliable sources of income than others. So, consider your interests, time commitment, and skill set when choosing a method.
Keep in mind that each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to do your research before you get started. Once you’ve found an approach that works for you, stick with it and focus on building your passive income stream.
The most important thing is to get started and take action. The more effort you put in, the more mailbox money you can make.
Related: How to Retire in Luxury