The claim that you can make money while sleeping is far too common among scam sites and is often extremely unrealistic. Yet, at the same time, the concept isn’t completely impossible either.
In most cases, methods for doing this tend to be online. After all, the internet makes the time of day much less relevant for earning money, especially as users come from many different time zones.
However, you could really apply this concept to any business big enough to do business across states or countries. Do you think CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, is awake 24/7? Nope. So he's making money in China while he's sleeping.
The website you're looking at right now is online all day and night, but I get 8 hours of sleep every day. How do I make money?
Though I can't tell you how to become CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, I can tell you a lot about how making money online works. Let's take a look.
Buying And Selling Products Online
When you sell products from a physical business, you typically have to be present to make a sale. Even if you had employees, your income would still be directly related to individual sales. Because most customers shop during the day, you probably wouldn’t be making money while you sleep.
Now, there are exceptions, like Apple, which I already mentioned. But, when people think about making money while they sleep, they probably aren’t planning to develop and run an international business.
Instead, they are thinking about how to earn passive income, i.e. earning while you are doing something fun or relaxing.
Now, this idea does still involve physical work. In particular, you need to source your books. You might be able to do some of this online but many people rely on physical stores, especially as many places don’t know the value of the items that they’re selling.
Even with the physical aspects, the actual money making component of this method is online.You set up listings on Amazon and people then buy whenever is convenient. In many cases, this will mean that you get some sales while you are asleep. If you use Amazon FBA, Amazon even ships the products out for you, so you don’t have to worry about additional steps to get the product to your customer.
The whole process becomes even simpler if you’re selling digital products rather than physical ones. For example, some people create and sell information products. Likewise, others may write and sell eBooks, using services like Amazon Kindle.
With digital products, there isn’t any shipping to worry about. Likewise, you can set it up so that people receive their items automatically, without any work on your part. This is especially true if you’re using a service like Amazon Kindle, as individual sales truly don’t require any work on your end. I wrote a book in Jan 2016, and it makes me money every month now, without me needing to ship or print anything else. True passive income!
So, regardless of what you’re selling, being online does make it possible to earn money while you’re sleeping. In many cases, this can even mean you make some money without even being aware of it until later.
You could also go the ecommerce route! I don't know as much about this method of earning money, but I know that it does work. In this case, you'd need to keep inventory at your home or in a storage facility. Alternatively, you could “drop ship”, leveraging a supplier while you just take care of the marketing and sales.
If you store the products, you could be making money while you sleep, but would need to ship those things out the next day. Drop shipping would involve much less work, and be more of a passive income, but sourcing the products and setting up an effective business system can be a challenge.
Other Ways To Make Money 24/7
Buying and selling products might be the most straightforward way to make money while you sleep but it certainly isn’t the only option. Instead, this idea really applies to any method that is somewhat passive.
I don't like overusing the word “passive income” because it sounds like you do nothing to earn money. In my experiences, yes, you can earn money while doing nothing. HOWEVER (this is a big caveat), that benefit usually only comes after a long period of working hard with little income, or at least working hard to set up the proper systems.
Investing for Growth & Dividends
Investing is one common option that is viewed as a passive way to make money. With investing, it’s basically your money that is making income, rather than your work. The approach does mean that you can make money at any point during the day or night.
There can be no doubt that investing works. Indeed, some people do make money this way, especially if they are good at reading markets or picking stocks.
Nevertheless, the idea is also a risky endeavor. Your money is at risk – that's why you're getting paid. Investing in a stock means your money could grow or fall at any point.
Also, don't forget, to earn any kind of decent income, you need a significant chunk of money invested. A chunk of $800,000 earning 4% dividends would get you $30k per year. As a bonus to your paycheck, that's great. As a single source of income, it would not work well. Plus, you have to keep that 800k invested to earn!
Unfortunately, there are many sites that prey on the appeal of investing. In some cases, they will promote a ‘sure fire’ strategy or product that is supposed to guarantee your success like binary options trading.
A fairly new option for passive income is peer-to-peer lending. The basic idea is that you’re lending money to other people and earning interest on that money.
There are various marketplaces that facilitate this process and match borrowers and lenders with one another, such as Lending Club.
The idea works, in theory. However, as with investing, there is a degree of risk. After all, you can’t be certain whether the person you lend to will actually pay the money back. Many times this means you are responsible for developing a system of investing in some high-risk loans, as well as low-risk ones. Some loans don't get paid back, so keep that in mind. And yes, it means you need capital to start off with.
It can easily into a business venture instead of passive sleepy-time income. You need to be active in order to actually earn.
Literally Making Money While Sleeping
On a side note, it is sometimes possible to literally make money from the process of sleeping. The most significant example of this is sleep studies.
Now, this approach isn’t online and it is very different than the other options that I’ve talked about in this post. Still, the idea is a literal answer to the challenge of making money while you sleep.
At any given time, there is a large number of scientific studies being conducted in the United States, including some that may be in your local area. In many cases, these studies rely on volunteers from the community and you will often get reimbursed for your time.
The amount you earn can vary dramatically but sleep studies are often especially good for earning money, simply because they involve a fairly high investment of your time. In particular, you will typically have to spend some nights at a sleep center, where your sleeping patterns will be monitored.
This type of study does come with a range of requirements and the application process can be time-consuming. As a result, sleep studies are never going to be a reliable source of income. Still, they are a good choice for some people, especially if you do happen to have a local sleep center.
It’s also worth noting that the studies can be fairly intense and may have unusual requirements. For example, some many involve multiple days straight and could involve aspects like having to be in low light or sitting at a 45-degree angle. Likewise, the use of electrodes and IVs aren’t uncommon.
These issues can make the process much more challenging but they are a key reason why sleep studies can pay so well. For example, one person earned $12,000 for two different studies.
So, if you can get into sleep studies and are prepared for the discomfort, the income may be worth it. Still, you certainly couldn’t rely on this type of study for consistent income.
And keep in mind that not all studies pay this well. I was invited to apply to a study at one point. It seemed like a sweet deal because I could do the requirements at home, then check into the study center once per week. But I was only earning a few hundred dollars for 4 weeks, so it wasn't worth my time. I'd rather spend the time working on my website and building my business than earning a side-hustle income.
Build A Website For World-Wide Income Potential
Building a website to start an online business is less risky than the other approaches that I’ve mentioned. You mostly end up investing time rather than money, which means more people are able to do it. Who has $800k to invest for dividends? Almost no one. Who has $15 for a domain name? Almost everyone.
There are many reasons why I like websites but I particularly love the way you can grow them at your own pace. For example, you can have the same website for many years and continue to increase the content and your online reputation. With that growth, will come authority, and as a result, income growth too. In just a few years, you can dominate just about any space online, as long as you are consistent and passionate about what you do.
Websites also come with a lot of flexibility.
For example, there are many different ways to make money from a website. Likewise, you can choose which topics your site focuses on and what content you write.
One interesting option is the idea of selling ads on your site. Many people take this approach because it's easy to understand. You have traffic. A company wants relevant consumer eyeballs. In many ways, ads are the ultimate in passive income and you can basically just set them up and let them run all day and night.
You can also use an even more passive approach, Google Adsense. Just place some code on your website, and ads will appear that Google chooses. They are automatically relevant to your website and to the individual user on your website.
The main issue with these is that they don't pay much, so you need high traffic to earn good income. but it's a super easy way to start and all you need is a website. Let's take a look at a method that requires less traffic, but a little more brain power.
Affiliate Marketing 101
With affiliate marketing, it means that you are promoting products from other companies. You are an “affiliate”.
The business model means that you don’t have to buy products yourself, nor do you have to ship anything or manage customer service. As a result, the sales process becomes very hands off, which increases the potential to make money while sleeping.
Your sole job as a website owner is to drive traffic to the vendors sales page. They take care of the rest, and you get paid per sale.
One thing I really like about affiliate marketing is that the growth potential for this method of making money is extremely high, but you can set your own pace. You can grow your traffic over time and this can increase your income dramatically, but there's no rush.
Your web pages do not “disappear”. One page I make today will be online for the next decade. 3 hours of work I do today, could make me $300 per month for the next ten years.
There is also the potential to decrease your work further as time goes on. For example, some site owners will sometimes outsource time-consuming work, such as creating content or managing social media.
The end result is that affiliate marketing can work exceptionally well as a passive form of income. Very often, while I'm sleeping, I'll have someone in Belarus creating an infographic for me, or someone in the Philippines taking photos. Someone from the UK can be writing articles for me, all in different time zones.
Of course, I need to be an editor and manager while I'm awake, but I never said this was free money. We're just talking about making money while sleeping. You gotta put in the work sometime!
To learn how to do what I do, i.e. affiliate marketing, I recommend the online training center Wealthy Affiliate to get you on your feet. This is one of the few training sites that offers community support along with training that is updated constantly. It is also specifically designed for beginners, so it truly does teach you everything you need to know.
It's designed for beginners, and it's free to make your first website (plus 10 free lessons!). The advanced training is not free, but at least you get a good picture of how this business model works before getting out your credit card!