Passive income for teens (Making money under 18)

How can you make passive income as a teenager?

Make passive income as a teenager by building revenue-generating assets before turning 18. When you turn 18, you can flip the monetization switch and immediately earn income. Alternatively, your parents can help you set up custodial accounts for investing.

Wouldn’t it be nice to build an asset during your teenage years that enables you to pay for college? What if this asset made you enough money that you never needed a job?

Unfortunately, making money before you become 18 isn’t the easiest. Certain laws and regulations limit what teenagers can do to earn money.

Fortunately for you, I will show you different ways you can earn money as a teenager. In most cases, you’ll be able to have an asset ready to go when you turn 18. Most people wait until they’re older to focus on money, but everyone wishes they started sooner.

Key Takeaways:

  • Making passive income for teens is possible by building an audience and monetizing when you’re 18.
  • The best passive income ideas for teens include YouTube, blogging, Twitter marketing, creating and selling digital products, affiliate marketing, dividend stock investing, and real estate crowdfunding.
  • Create multiple streams of income as a teenager by building up one passive income stream and using the profits to invest in other cash flow producing assets.

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How to make passive income online as a teenager

Make passive income as a teenager by building a digital asset in your early teens and monetizing when you turn 18. At eighteen, you’ll be able to monetize different assets which pay a consistent income. Use income generated to invest into income-producing assets to further your income potential.

As a teenager, you’ll never have more time or energy. Unfortunately, as you get older, you will have responsibilities like work or family. Working a nine-to-five and having a family is extremely draining for most adults.

You have the blessing of time. You can use your time to start and build an asset today, so you don’t have to work so hard later.

For example, at 16 years old, let’s assume you decided to start a blog. Over two years, you can turn that blog into a website generating 100,000 page views.

A website generating 100,000 page views should be able to generate $3,000 per month. That’s way more passive income than adults usually have. Even if you don’t want to continue your blog, the current selling price would be $96,000.

Can you tell me what 18-year-old has $96,000 lying around? 

Ultimately, your goal is to get money and buy passive income. You could funnel profits from any assets you make into purchasable assets like dividend stocks.

So let’s look into different passive income ideas for teenagers. Pick an idea, learn as much as possible, and progress towards building an asset!

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Passive income ideas for teenagers under the age 18

Teenagers’ best passive income ideas include starting a YouTube channel, blogging, creating and selling digital products, and affiliate marketing. Use your income from these revenue streams to invest in dividend stocks or real estate crowdfunding.

As previously mentioned, the goal is to create an income stream and use that money to buy more money.

Let’s look at different ways to make passive income as a teenager.


You can start a YouTube channel as early as age 13. However, you must be 18 years or older to show ads on your YouTube channel.

Starting a YouTube channel is relatively simple. Within a matter of minutes, you could have your very first video posted online.

The first step you need to take is determining your niche. A niche is a topic you will discuss in your YouTube videos. For example, you could talk about personal finance, weight loss, Pokemon cards, or anything people are interested in.

Next, you’ll want to start creating video content around your niche. Look at what some of the more popular YouTubers are doing in your space.

You don’t even need to go out and buy any fancy equipment. Most everyone has an iPhone these days, which is all that is required to start a YouTube channel.

You must build up as many subscribers as possible before turning 18. Once you are 18, you can sign up for a Google AdSense account and monetize with ads.


Blogging is very similar to owning a YouTube channel. The main difference is that with blogging, you primarily write to communicate with an audience. In addition, you have to pay for hosting and domain when you start a blog.

Paying for hosting and domain isn’t as expensive as some other businesses you could start. However, you still need to be able to have around $200 per year if you’re going to start a blog.

Realistically, you might want to budget more per year to include things like security plugins for your website.

However, blogging is a very powerful internet marketing tool. If done correctly, your blog could reach 100,000 page views per month in 2 years. Blogs should be able to make $1,000 for every 30000 page views. 

As a teenager, your primary goal should be determining how to grow website traffic. How can you write content that gets readers? Learn as much as you can about search engine optimization.

Building long-lasting website traffic takes time, effort, and energy. However, if you manage to rank on Google, that article will bring in long-lasting traffic without any additional effort on your part.

When you turn 18, you’ll be able to apply for different ad Networks. These ad Networks allow you to monetize your website with display ads.

Twitter Marketing 

Twitter marketing is all about building up followers around a specific niche. Stay focused on a particular topic; your followers will naturally gravitate towards fantastic content. When you turn 18, you’ll be able to sell products that align with your audience’s interests.

For example, you may be extremely interested in weight loss. You can start a Twitter account that focuses on helping people lose weight.

Start trying to build your Twitter following by networking with others to get your first 1,000 followers. Afterward, start producing unique, motivational, and generally exciting content around weight loss.

Your content doesn’t have to be anything super special. For example, you just need to help people get motivated to get going on their weight loss journey.

So let’s assume you manage to build a Twitter following of 50,000 followers by the time you turn 18. You need to scavenge the internet to find a weight loss product that offers a commission.

Suppose you found a $40 weight loss course that offers a 50% commission. For every sale, you earn $20.

This topic resonates with your audience. You send a tweet with your affiliate link, and 2% of your followers buy the product. In other words, you just made $20,000 by setting out one tweet.

Products are only one way of making money with a Twitter following. You can also send out sponsored tweets. In other words, companies will pay you to tweet about their product.

Create and sell digital products

Creating and selling digital products is another lucrative career that any teenager can do. Most of you probably think that creating and selling digital products is difficult. However, if you’ve ever done a school book report, you are already well aware of what it takes.

Your first step is to figure out where you will sell your digital products. For example, you could host your digital products on Gumroad or Teachable.

The hosting company must offer an affiliate program wherever you host your product. I’ll cover this in detail more, but you want people to be able to promote your product.

Next, you want to determine the problem you are going to solve. People are willing to pay you if you can solve a pain point in their life. For example, people might suffer from medical issues, want to make more money, or learn a new skill.

Compile all the information related to this product. Read books, watch YouTube channels, listen to podcasts, and learn about the topic.

Create your course outline and determine if you will sell it via video, ebook, or some other digital memes. You want to create the most helpful resource available online and upload it to your digital product host.

Next, start reaching out to as many bloggers as possible. Make sure the blogger’s niche is relevant to your product. Ask if they would be willing to promote your product for a generous affiliate commission. 

With enough outreach, you’ll have an army of affiliate marketers promoting your product. You have to do nothing else to generate sales because others are getting your sales. 

Affiliate marketing

You can also be an affiliate marketer for other people’s products. Track down products that are high quality and fit within the niche you want to support. Then, find a way to promote those products and earn a commission. 

You can add your affiliate link to your blog, YouTube channel, Twitter accounts, and many more places.

Dividend stock investing

Dividend stock investing is a good way to invest the money you earn so that your money earns you more money. I like dividend stocks because they pay you simply for owning them.

You are first going to need a brokerage account, like Robinhood. A brokerage account is going to let you purchase the stocks. However, if you are under 18, you may need your parents to help you set up a custodial account.

Dividend stock investing is about finding quality companies in which to invest your money. You want to find good companies that pay a good dividend.

For example, you could buy a share of AT&T for $30, and it pays a 7% dividend yield. For every $1,000 you invest in AT&T, you would earn $70 per year in passive income. 

Real estate crowdfunding

Real estate crowdfunding is similar to dividend stock Investing. However, real estate crowdfunding deals with specific companies that focus on purchasing real estate assets.

Companies like Fundrise allow you to invest your money into physical real estate. Remember, real estate investments are less liquid than purchasing a dividend stock. However, you can invest in a dividend portfolio with Fundrise to get regular cash payments.

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Summary: Passive income for teens

As you can see, there are many options to earn passive income as a teenager. The sooner you start building an asset, the easier it will be for you to start building wealth. In most cases, you can start making an asset before turning 18 and then monetize the asset when you turn 18.

Some of the best passive income sources include YouTube, blogging, Twitter marketing, digital courses, affiliate marketing, dividend and real estate investing.

Your goal should be to build an asset and earn an income. Take your income from your assets and invest in more assets that pay an income. Eventually, you should build a cash-paying snowball that can support your lifestyle. 

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.