A Brief History of Passive Income

Table of Contents

Before we move further and discuss some of the best passive income streams, let’s talk about the phases of passive income history.

The Early Days

The Early Days

As far as history goes, people could only dream of passive income. Imagine sitting in your cave and having food delivered there, and that too without ever going outside in the scorching summer or freezing winter.

That’s what passive income can do. It is a dream come true for people who want to earn money while not being active. Although passive income became mainstream with the advent of the internet, if we go back in history, we can see that people were able to make money while doing nothing. For example, they used to rent out their property, vehicles, equipment, and whatnot (they still do). Well, that was just a start.



While some people may disagree with this point, royalty is the second-best thing after passive income. After all, passive income and royalty are somewhat similar. For example, if you have written a book, you will have its patent as an author or composer. For each copy that sells, the patentee gets paid, which is also called royalty.

It would become your passive income once you go through all the laws to patent a book, invention, etc.

America’s Frontier

America’s Frontier

Fast forward a few hundred years and imagine yourself in the early 20th century. By then, everyone knew what passive income was. It meant having your own oil wells cranking massive profits for you day after day, without you having to do anything.

In current times, it still is very profitable to have an oil well or two generating passive income for you, but today, there are several more ventures you can look into without investing too much.

Periods of Passive Income

Periods of Passive Income

Here are some of the highlights of passive income explosions online:

Periods of Passive Income

1. Automated Sales Process

With the advancement of the internet and computers in the mid-90s, markets could create a sales page and download page. They knew that their customers could get the product they desired even if they were on vacation. With this amazing business model, the revenue just kept coming in – all that without having any active part in the venture.

Automated sales was probably the first modern phase of the passive income stream.

2. Associates and Affiliates Programs

In 1996, Amazon became the first-ever company/party to announce a way for regular people to get paid by referring customers to them online. Today, this mode of revenue has expanded to a multi-billion-dollar industry. And if you want to create an excellent passive income stream, the Amazon Affiliates Program is the best option (more details later in this eBook).

3. Autoresponders

With the invention of email-based autoresponders in the late 90s, marketers could now send automated sales messages to their old or potential customers. Autoresponders allowed people to schedule a sales message and send them, even if they were not in their office.

4. AdSense

The passive income industry saw another evolution when AdSense was introduced in 2003 by Google. People already had their websites on the internet, but now they could put ads on their blogs/sites and earn passive income when someone clicked on them.

The idea of making passive income through AdSense skyrocketed with the advent of site-building tools, such as WordPress, Joomla, etc. People would now create multiple sites for one single purpose – passive income!

Even with all the methods of passive income released in the modern era, there is always room for improvement. Read on as we discuss much more about passive income.