Many people love the idea of passive income, but most of them simply give up without even trying. Some try to learn more about it, but quickly get overwhelmed by the different types of passive income streams or, worse, they are discouraged by the time or money (or both) that they would need to invest upfront.

I remember being both overwhelmed and discouraged when I first started. However, I knew I needed to push through those feelings if I wanted to be on a path to financial freedom.

I learned that not all passive income streams are created equal. There are streams that require little work and money upfront while others require a significant amount of work and money. Some streams just need a little maintenance to keep it going while others require much more time and attention. And, of course, there are streams with higher returns than others.

To help you get started, here is a list of a few simple passive income ideas that you can start today.

1.  Earn Higher Interest on Your Savings

If you have a savings account with one of the traditional brick-and-mortar banks, then it is likely that you have a savings account with a low interest rate.

Simply move your money to an online savings account and you can immediately start to earn more with your existing money. Rest assured that your money is safe as online savings account are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

2.  Open a Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A CD is similar to a savings account, except you agree to keep your money in the account for an agreed upon term – typically ranging between 3 months to 10 years. As a result, the bank will offer you a higher APY for your commitment.

CDs are great for passive income by using money that you don’t need immediately. Plus, all deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

3.  Invest in High Dividend Stocks

Investing in and building a portfolio of high dividend stocks can help you create a nice passive income stream.

However, be sure to do your research before investing in any stocks and make sure that you are picking the right online brokerage that best suits your needs.

4.  Maximize Cash Back Rewards From Your Credit Cards

If you are already using credit for some or most of your purchases, then it is a good idea to make sure you are earning money back on your transactions.

With most top cash back credit cards, you can earn anywhere from 1% to 5% on purchases that you were planning to make already.

The idea is to be mindful of which credit card can earn you the most cash back in which stores and purchase categories, then making sure you use the right credit card towards those purchases.

However, be careful how you approach this one as you do not want to lower your credit score by applying for several new credit cards or get in financial trouble by making purchases you cannot afford for the sake of maximizing your cash back rewards.

5.  Earn Cash Back Rewards While You Shop Online

Just as you can earn cash back rewards from your credit cards, you can also earn cash back rewards on online purchases through the use of cashback websites.

The best case scenario is when you can earn cash back rewards from both your credit card and a cashback website and get the highest return possible.

I personally use and recommend Ebates as they have partnerships with many online retailers and you can earn up to 40% cash back on almost everything you buy online.

An added bonus with using Ebates is their referral program. In addition to earning cash back rewards for shopping online, you can also earn a referral fee for referring your family and friends to Ebates.

So with Ebates, you can potentially earn passive income from two sources – cash back and referral fee.

6.  Write an Ebook

Do you enjoy writing? Or are you an expert or passionate about a certain topic? If so, you may want to consider writing an ebook.

Once written, you can sell the ebook on your own website or even on Amazon.

The beauty with ebooks is that once an ebook is written, it can provide you with a passive income stream for years to come.

It is important to note, however, that writing an ebook will require quite a bit of work upfront.

7.  Start a Blog

Are you extremely passionate about a certain topic and have much to write about it? If so, then you may want to start a blog instead of writing an ebook. Or perhaps you can do both and sell your ebook on your blog!

There are several ways you can make money and generate passive income from a blog. The most common ways are selling a product or service, advertisements, sponsorship, and affiliate marketing.

Starting a blog will require a lot of work upfront, but it also has the potential to create a significant passive income stream – significant enough for you to live off and perhaps even support your family. Reaching that potential, however, depends on you and how much time and effort you are willing to put in.

(Update: Here is a guide on how to start a blog.)

While there are many more passive income ideas, I purposely left this list short and simple as to not overwhelm anyone and only included the ones that you can start on today.

Do you have any experience in any of these or are you thinking about trying one of these ideas? Leave a comment and let me know!