7+ Automated Business Ideas to Start Online for Passive Income 2024

Last Updated: May 21, 2024

Have you ever dreamed of growing an online business so you can add a source of passive income and quit your 9-5 job? You’re not alone.

Many people feel trapped in their day jobs, trying to come up with the best automated business ideas to earn money to finally get the freedom they seek.

If you have ever tried to start an online business while working at your day job, you must know the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything you need to do as a business owner when you have so little time to invest in your business. 

The most effective solution to prevent the burnout of a side business and to resolve the time management challenge when you start to make money online is to start an online automated business and leverage automated systems.

What is an Automated Business?

An automated business is a business that generates income 24/7, even when you don’t work or while you sleep. These types of businesses can generate passive income detached from your time. As time is your most expensive resource, automated businesses rely on processes and systems instead of hours of work. That is what makes them so efficient and profitable.

No business can be completely automated. However, these days, many automated business ideas can be 90% (!) automated, especially with the help of AI.

What are the Best Automated Business Ideas for Passive Income in 2024?

The best automated business ideas are the ones that can be done online, from anywhere in the world, and at any time of the day. These online business ideas are not only the most flexible businesses but also very low-cost to start, and you can do them while continuing to work at your day job.

Some of the more popular and profitable automated businesses today are Print on Demand shops, selling printables on Etsy and Faceless YouTube channels using AI.

Stick around to discover 7 amazing ideas that could change your life! Let’s dive in.

Automated online business ideas

7 Top Automated Business Ideas to Start Online

Start a Faceless YouTube channel Using Automation Tools


What is a faceless YouTube Channel?

A faceless channel means that you create videos without ever showing your face—it can even run completely without you! Here are some examples of faceless videos you can create: informational videos about specific topics, showing pictures, and video clips with a voice-over and subtitles (some successful niches for informational videos can be Finance, Psychology, History, and more).

Tools – video editing software like DaVinci Resolve, CapCut, OBS Studio, iMovie, and more.

AI Voice-Over – if you don’t want to use your own voice – 11 Labs

Another example of faceless YouTube videos is animated videos – they are very engaging, and you don’t need any technical skills to create them. You can use video animator tools like VideoScribe, for example.


How to create a fully automated faceless YouTube channel

There are some AI tools that can make this process much more streamlined and easy, saving you days of work. You can quickly do keyword research, generate the video script and an engaging title, and find all the best tags using an AI tool that is designed specifically for YouTube, like TubeMagic.

To instantly generate an AI voiceover, you can use a text-to-speech tool like Play HT or Eleven Labs. Now, all you have to do is paste your script into this AI voiceover tool, select a voice that you like from this great collection of voices, or even clone your own voice!

Once you download your audio file, you can start editing your video, and again, if you use AI software, it will be a breeze! For example, Pictory allows you to upload your audio file, and the tool will create the whole video for you! You don’t need to upload any photos or video clips for your videos, as the tool already includes a library of all of those and will choose them for you.

Generate Video Scripts and Video Outlines for YouTubers with AI software

You can make income working as a freelancer but in this option, without the hustle of actually doing all the work yourself and trading your time for money.


What are Video Scripts Generated by AI?

With the help of AI tools that are designed for creating YouTube videos, you can generate engaging scripts and video titles without having any copywriting skills. A complete script from start to finish just by providing the keyword you want to target.

You can also do keyword research on YouTube with the help of these tools and create a complete content plan for a YouTube channel based on their competitors. All you will have to do is provide the URL of one of the top competitors, and the AI tool will do the rest of the work for you – do the keyword research, come up with viral video ideas, write engaging titles, and write a complete video script in the length you want!

You can sell monthly video script packages, YouTube keyword Research packages, content plans for YouTube, and more while working no more than one hour a week.

Automation Tools:

TubeMagic can complete all this work for you, including video scripts, keyword research, titles, community posts, viral video ideas, and the best tags for ranking.

VidIQ – VidIQ is a great tool for YouTube keyword research and to generate ideas for viral videos (the tool can’t write scripts/titles/ community posts).

ChatGPT4 / Claude AI can also generate video scripts or titles if you give them the right prompts (they can’t do YouTube keyword research). However, as they are more general AI tools, the result would not be as high-quality as working with AI tools specifically designed for YouTube.


How to Fully Automate the Video Scripts Creation

As you can see, if you choose an AI tool with all the features you need, it takes very little time to generate all this content. This makes this business 90% automated, as the AI tool does everything for you.

Start a Dropshipping Business


What is Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an e-commerce business that can be one of the best examples of an online automated business. The manufacturer manufactures and fulfills the product. As a business owner, you set up an online store to present the products and take orders. 

When a purchase is completed on your website, the shipping of the product is automatically made from the wholesaler or manufacturer warehouse. In this case, you don’t buy any stock upfront and eliminate the risk of buying products that won’t sell at the end. 

The disadvantage of a dropshipping business model is that you rely on a third party for the quality of the product and the shipping time. 

Some of the most profitable products sold in this model are fashion and Jewelry products, home decor, and tech gadgets.


How do You Automate a Dropshipping Business?

Everything can be done online with automated tools. 
You will need to decide on your e-commerce platform. You can sell on your website or leverage Etsy or eBay marketplaces to leverage their traffic.


Best Dropshipping tools to use – 

Shopify – to build an e-commerce store
Oberlo is a very popular Shopify app for dropshipping that allows you to find products to sell from various suppliers. Once you set up your Oberlo account, you can link it to your website to streamline the process. 

Start a dropshipping business

Sell e-Books Online


What is selling e-books online?

An e-book is just a digital book format that your customers can download instantly on their computers. The costs to produce an ebook are zero! All you need to do is write a guide on how to solve a specific problem that your customers are facing, for example, how to train your dog, how to lose belly fat in 3 months, or how to build a WordPress website with no technical skills.

Once the book is written, you need to save it as a PDF before selling it.

Tools – Canva (to design your guide),

Payment method – you can use an automation tool like Stripe/ Paypal (if you sell the e-book on your website), or use another platform to sell, like Amazon KDP.


How to Earn Passive Income by Fully Automating Selling E-Books Online?

You can easily automate the book’s writing as well. If you give ChatGPT the right prompts, such as the book’s title, the subheadings, and even your writing style guide, you can create a complete e-book in no time. 

Once the e-book is done, people can download it automatically using a link you provided in an email. That’s called email 0; it’s the email that is sent from your autoresponder automatically once people have completed the purchase online. Now, whenever another person purchases the book, there is no extra cost to you.

The selling and marketing strategies can be automated as well. Here are some examples –

Selling on Amazon KDP—This method uses Amazon traffic. Of course, there is initial work to promote your e-book so people can find it and publish reviews. However, when reviews start to accumulate, and you might even add more e-books on that topic, the selling process becomes increasingly automated.

Use an Online Platform to Sell digital courses


What is a digital course

A digital course is recorded and uploaded to an online course platform. Students worldwide can sign up for the course and watch the lessons repeatedly at any time.

Selling online courses (instead of face-to-face workshops) allows you to maximize your profits, keep your costs extremely low, reach many more customers, and—the best part—you only need to record the course once!


How to Sell Online Courses Automatically?

You might wonder if there is a way to promote your course automatically.

Using automated webinar software is today the most effective way to promote online courses and sell them automatically. 

You record your free webinar once, and people can sign up for it on your landing page. When they sign up, they can choose a time that suits their schedule and time zone. This is the perfect automated marketing strategy.

You can share this landing page on your social media posts, on your website, or add the link in the description of your YouTube videos.


Don’t want to post regularly on your social media?

You can do a sponsored post like a Facebook ad or Pinterest ad and advertise your webinar, and that’s it. People will sign up for the free webinar, a percentage of which will sign up for the paid course, and they will receive an automated email with their login info and a receipt. All you need to do is set this up once.

Automation Tools – platforms for online courses like Skool or Teachable.
Automated webinar software like WebinarNinja or WebinrGeek.

Sell printables on Etsy


What are printables on Etsy?

Printables are digital products that can be printed by the customer and are sold on the Etsy marketplace. Most popular digital products on Etsy include digital planners, wall art, wedding invitations, and more.

The seller creates the digital product once and lists it in their shop. When the customer completes the purchase on Etsy, they can download it instantly and print it at home (no physical product is being sent to the customer).

Tools – Depending on the types of printables you want to create, you can use Canva, Word, Excel, Google Sheets, and more advanced graphic design tools like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.


How can you fully automate selling Printables on Etsy?

Selling digital products on Etsy is the easiest business to automate. You create the product once, list it on Etsy, and let Etsy take care of the traffic to your listings. If this digital product is very competitive on the Etsy platform, you will need to bring more traffic from other sources, like your social media profile or using Etsy Ads.

Start a POD Business

What is a POD Business?

The POD (Print on Demand) business model allows you to sell physical products printed and shipped automatically only when a customer orders. You don’t need to invest in inventory upkeep or store any inventory at your house (this is a simplified e-commerce business). The product is created and shipped straight from the Print on Demand supplier, saving you a lot of hassle and time and making it a profitable business.

Popular examples of POD products are t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, phone cases, and pillows.

Automation software:
The most important tool you’ll need to streamline this process is a POD service provider. The most popular are Printful and Printify. You pay a monthly fee to use their services, and you can connect your POD provider to your shop so that every customer purchase is automatically processed by your POD service.

Selling platform—You can use Etsy to sell your POD products or Shopify to sell them on your online store.

Graphic design tools – Canva


How to automate a POD Business?

The big part of ordering, manufacturing, and shipping the product is already sorted when you start a POD shop. The only thing that needs to be automated is the traffic to your shop. If you choose to sell your products on the Etsy marketplace, then most of your traffic can come from customers who are already searching on Etsy for products like yours and looking to buy. With this option, you need to remember that there are Etsy costs involved for selling on their platforms.

If you choose to set up an online store and sell your products on your website, your selling costs would be your monthly payment to Shopify, which is really low compared to what you pay in Etsy fees. On the other hand, this process will be more complicated to automate as you will need to bring the traffic yourself (using Google organic traffic or social media, for example).

Sell WordPress themes on Etsy


What is selling WordPress Templates on Etsy?

Selling WordPress templates has become one of the most lucrative online businesses these days. The reason is that WordPress templates are created once (can be updated over the years) and can be sold from $100 to a few hundred dollars, making a huge profit for the creator. WordPress templates are usually created by WordPress developers or graphic designers with some coding knowledge.


How can you fully automate the sale of WordPress templates on Etsy?

More aspects of your business that you can easily automate are marketing (bringing traffic) and customer service.

How do we automate the traffic source? When you sell WordPress themes on Etsy, most of the time is invested in creating the theme. You can easily leverage Etsy traffic if you decide to sell these themes on Etsy. WordPress themes are one of the low-competition digital products sold on Etsy, and once you get 5-star reviews and gain momentum, the sales will be generated automatically.

Customer support sorted! You can almost eliminate answering many technical customer questions by recording a step-by-step tutorial showing how to install the theme and customize it and answer all the questions your customers will have.


This post covered the best automated business ideas to start today and the benefits of automation.

Starting an online automated business and selling a product or service is a practical solution to managing time and avoiding burnout. This is especially true when you have a 9-5 and need to take care of your family at the same time.

Plenty of automated tools, from POD services to various AI software, can help you streamline the business process, earn passive income, and save a lot of time.

 The best recommendation for starting a successful automated business is to stop over-analyzing, find the right business for you, and start today! 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through one of my links at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting the Busy Mom Side Hustle blog. For more information, visit my disclaimer page.

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