If you are a dentist and want to find passive income ideas that work and will meaningfully increase your overall income, you are in the right place.
This article will cover 7 unconventional ways to earn passive income while still working full-time as a dentist. That means I am not going to cover basic advice like put money into a high yield savings account, a CD, dividend paying stocks, etc. While those strategies are fine, they are widely-known and don't need to be rehashed here.
Here’s a preview of the passive income strategies that we’ll cover:
- 1. Blogging
- 2. Affiliate Marketing
- 3. eBooks
- 4. Online Courses
- 5. YouTube
- 6. Rental Properties
- 7. Renting Out Stuff You Already Own
Let’s get into it!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
If you have a knack for writing, you can start a blog.
Pick Your Niche
You can write about topics in dentistry, oral hygiene, etc. (there are so many niches in this area and plenty of products you can promote). Or if you want to escape from your day to day job, you can write about a completely unrelated topic that interests you. The topic you write about is often referred to as a “niche.”
One word of caution. If you are writing about dental health matters, Google will deem that a YMYL topic (which stands for your money or your life). It can be more difficult to succeed in YMYL niches because Google wants your site to have “EAT” (which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Expertise). Source
The good thing is that, as a dentist, you are already an authority on the topic, which should help with EAT. You should telegraph your expertise and credentials in your “About Us” page and in your author box, so that Google knows you are qualified to write about these topics.
Is Blogging Passive?
Now it’s important to note that setting up your blogging website is not passive. Neither is researching the right topics to write about or writing the actual articles. All of that requires work.
But once you are up and running, the payoff can be immensely gratifying.
If you have a bunch of good articles that are generating traffic, you can start monetizing your blog through two main channels: (i) display ads and (ii) affiliate links (which are customized links to products you are promoting). If you want to expand your monetization options even further, you can create informational courses or ebooks and market them on your blog too.
At that point, the business can be almost completely passive. After all, this business has no customers, no inventory, no employees, no physical location, and very few operating costs. That’s about as passive as you can get!
If you want to keep growing your blog, you can. Just continue writing articles (or improve existing ones), but even if you don’t, the blog is going to keep rolling even if you take a week off (or even a month off for that matter).
To learn more about how to start a blog (including setting up the website, selecting your niche, getting traffic to your blog, and monetizing that traffic), check out my article on Passive Income Blogging.
If you want to short-circuit the work of starting a blog, one option is to buy an existing blog that is already making money. It can be a fine source of passive income for you with some great potential returns. To learn more about this strategy, check out my article on Buying a Blog for Passive Income: What You Need to Know.
2. Affiliate Marketing
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is another popular way to make passive income. The concept is simple. You are basically a salesperson for a particular product that you want to promote. But instead of knocking on doors or calling people up, you “sell” the product online.
A common method of affiliate marketing is putting affiliate links on your website. As we talked about in the blogging section, this is one of the two primary ways you can make money as a blogger.
When someone comes to a page that has your customized affiliate link and they click on it, you will earn a commission if the person buys the product (or takes some other qualifying action, like signs up, etc.)
How Do You Find Affiliate Programs?
Amazon Associates is one of the most popular affiliate programs out there. They are perfect for beginners because they have easy qualifications, carry almost every product you can imagine and are a highly trusted source for customers wanting to purchase stuff.
Love a particular toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth guard, or water pick and want to write about its benefits? Drop an amazon affiliate link in your article to the product you are recommending and make money every time someone clicks on the link and buys it.
Of course, Amazon is not the only game in town.
There are many other affiliate programs out there. Just Google any product or company you want to promote and add the words “affiliate program” to the end. You’ll find that many of them already have an affiliate program in place. All you have to do is apply. Other great places to find affiliate programs are affiliate program networks like awin, flexoffers.com, cj.com, clickbank, and Rakuten.
There are some affiliate programs specially designed for dentist bloggers too. For example, you could join affiliate programs relating to dental insurance, such as DentalSave, DentalPlans.com, Dentalinsurance.com, Avia Dental Plan and much more.
Do I Need a Website or Blog To Do Affiliate Marketing?
Even if you don’t have a website (although you really should, especially if you have your own practice), you can still do affiliate marketing by putting your affiliate links on other places where you have access to traffic.
That could be your social media accounts (e.g. Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Or, you could generate traffic through paid ads on social media outlets (although that can get expensive and tricky).
If you want to make this as passive as possible, you should go the route of setting up a website that gets relevant traffic and then let the traffic do its thing. If you have enough traffic, you should get clicks.
If you like writing, but blogging is not for you, you can write an eBook and get royalties from selling it online. Amazon KDP (which stands for Kindle Direct Publishing) is a great place to do this. Another option is Apple Books.
As with blogging, a well-written book can continue to provide you with passive income for years. You can write about any topic, but given your experience and knowledge in dentistry and oral health, you may find success by identifying an underserved topic in that field and filling that gap.
If you don’t like writing but do like the idea of receiving royalties on eBooks, you may want to consider creating “low” or “no” content books and selling them on Amazon KDP. These can be diaries/journals, coloring books, guest books, music composition notebooks, planners, quote books, etc.
This is a actually a thing. I see them selling on flippa and empireflippers (two large online marketplaces for buying and selling websites) for big money.
4. Online Courses
Another passive income idea that you can pursue is developing an online course and getting income from the sale of that course.
Video is the prevailing medium for these types of courses, although audio courses and courses with slides and other written materials also exist.
There are a lot of tutorials on how to create online courses. A simple Google search on the topic will give you some great places to start.
Once you have created the course, you can market it through various channels, such as you own website (if you have one), social media, and online course platforms such as Kajabi, Udemy, and Teachable.
If you prefer making videos, you can start a YouTube channel and earn passive income once you get enough traffic coming to your channel.
Like blogging, once you create the content, the passive income begins, but getting there can take a lot of work. It’s not easy to create a video and it takes time. And getting traffic to your channel can be difficult. You have to create interesting content, compelling titles, great thumbnails, and really understand how YouTube’s search algorithm works.
If you want to learn from the experts and fast track your success, check out incomeschool.com. I purchased a subscription for their course to improve my blog, but they have a terrific course on successfully starting a YouTube channel too (which is included in the cost). Now I don't do YouTube, but I can say that their blogging course is outstanding and has definitely worked for me.
6. Rental Property
Owning rental properties is one of my favorite ways to make passive income.
You make make a great return without a lot of hassle. If you want to make rental property investing almost completely passive, the obvious solution is to simply hire a property manager for your rentals. They will find tenants, screen them, and sign them up for leases. They will collect rents, make repairs, and basically take care of every issue that pops up when it comes to your rentals.
I own nine rental properties and self-manage them, so it’s a little more work. But even then, it’s hardly a daily grind. I may spend on average about 5 hours a month managing these 9 properties (I do outsource all of the repairs, etc. to my team of contractors).
That’s pretty much a self-running operation in my view.
If you want to learn more about rental property investing, check out my step-by-step guide to start investing in rental properties.
If residential rental properties are not for you, another natural way to invest in real estate is by buying the building where your practice is located. There are some really attractive SBA loans available for these types of purchases, so it is something to consider.
Want a more passive way to invest in real estate with only a $500 investment? You may want to check out DiversyFund. They are a real estate crowdfunding platform that takes care of all of the work for you. Not a bad way to dip your toe into real estate investing without too much time and effort.
7. Rent Out Stuff You Already Own
There are a ton of ways to generate passive income from stuff you already own. What I like about this strategy is that you don’t need any money to get started and you can keep it as low-key as you want.
Rent out Your Extra Rooms through Airbnb
This one’s pretty obvious, right? Everyone knows you can rent out extra rooms through Airbnb and collect some cash on the side.
But you do have to be careful to make sure your activities are permitted by your local municipalities, your HOA (if you have one), your landlord (if you are renting out your place), etc.
Rent Out Your Extra Storage Space
If you’ve got a spare bedroom or closet, or some extra space in your basement or garage, you can rent it out and generate passive income each month.
Check out Neighbor, which is a leader in this space. I have used them myself – their platform is easy to use and you can get up and running in minutes. I participate in their “refer a friend” program, so if you sign up using this link, you (and I) will get a $50 Amazon gift card when you list your space.
If you want to learn more about this strategy, check out my article on the topic here.
Rent Our Your Cars Through Turo
You can also rent out your car when you are not using it on Turo. According to Turo, you can make hundreds of dollars a month doing this. Check out their Carculator to get a sense of how much you could make renting out your car through this platform.
If you want to learn more about this passive income strategy check out my article on the topic here.
So there you have it: 7 great strategies for generating passive income for dentists.
If you want more great passive income ideas, check out my ultimate beginner's guide to passive income [25+ strategies that work], where I cover tons of effective strategies that generate passive income.
If you are short on cash and time, but still want to generate passive income (I am talking really passive, like no upfront work involved, no ongoing work, etc.), check out my article on 15 ways to make truly passive income with no money.