Investing a large sum of money upfront in a startup can be overwhelming. Now when you imagine that 45% of new businesses fail during the first five years, many wannabe entrepreneurs aren’t ready to risk their money.
Fortunately, the internet has leveled the playing ground. Whether you are a student, a stay-at-home mom, or just want to be your own boss, you can start a successful online business without spending a dime.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best online businesses you can start without money. But first…
What You Should Know Before Launching an Online Business Without Money
Every business requires investment, even if it is not money. There is no such thing as something for nothing.
Online business needs your time and skillset and clients are ready to pay you if you can use these assets to solve their problems. So build trust and expand your network to grow your customer base.
And if your current skills don’t attract high-paying clients, invest in online courses or startup coaching and mentoring program to learn the latest trends and industry techniques.
With relevant training, you become valuable to the marketplace to venture into riskier and more rewarding online business models.
Online Businesses That Will Cost You no Money to Start
Nowadays, there are so many businesses you can start in the comfort of your own home. After researching, here are the proven online businesses that will cost you no money to start.
If you already have a computer or a laptop, you can create an online store in one of the major e-commerce platforms and sell products using the dropshipping model.
You can start this online business model without any inventory or upfront investment. Your store bridges the supplier and the customer.
As a dropshipper, you only need to do the following:
- Create an e-commerce dropshipping store.
- Post-quality product images and descriptions.
- Market your store on social media and other free platforms.
Once a customer places an order and makes the payment, you forward it to the supplier, who will do the rest.
You use the money from the buyer to pay the supplier and take your profit.
However, dropshipping is competitive, meaning you will need high-volume goods to profit substantially.
And one way to outperform the competition is to private label your products. Putting your brand on the product helps to limit competition because you’re selling unique products.
2- Start a Blog
Blogging is another lucrative online business you can start without significant investment. Most people already have an internet connection and a computer- the online tools you need to create a blog.
And if you don’t have a computer, you can still blog using your phone. Interesting aha! The only thing you could invest in is the domain name and web hosting service, which are relatively cheap.
WordPress is an excellent blogging platform you can explore with various monetization options. You can create quality content with a blog site that attracts different readers.
Create and build an email list for your blog and sell products to subscribers. High-quality content will also improve your blog traffic, allowing you to sell direct advertising spaces to other brands.
3- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing resembles dropshipping in several ways, but it doesn’t involve maintaining your own inventory or shipping products to customers.
You can learn the difference between these e-commerce models in the article Dropshipping vs. Affiliate marketing.
So, what does Affiliate marketing involve?
- Pick a profitable niche for your blog or social media content.
- Find an affiliate partner from sites like Amazon.com or Clickbank.com.
- Register with these affiliate sites.
- Embed the affiliate link on your blog or social media post.
Once a prospect clicks the links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission ranging from 5% to 50%, depending on the product category.
Affiliate marketing has zero risk and no investment. You only need a sizeable following on social media or traffic on your e-commerce or blog site.
4- YouTube Channel
If you love cameras and videos, you can talk about topics you’re passionate about on your YouTube channel. Creating a YouTube channel is free-no hosting fees, and you can shoot your videos with a smartphone and edit with Canva free-version.
However, you need loyal and active subscribers before you make money with a YouTube channel.
How do you get these subscribers?
Consistently create and post quality content. YouTube often rewards consistency. You could also promote your channel using various marketing platforms.
As your YouTube audience grows, you will make money from the following:
- Sponsored content
- Direct advertisement
- Affiliate marketing
You can focus on profitable YouTube niches like
- Weight loss, Fitness, and Lifestyle
- Product reviews
- How-to tutorials
- Life hack and DIY videos
5- Offer SEO Services
According to GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of online shoppers do research before purchasing products. Startups and established companies want their target customers to read about their products online. And that is where search engine optimization expertise comes in handy.
Most business owners have zero to little SEO knowledge. They will hire you to handle their online marketing if you have optimization skills. If you combine your SEO services with content strategy, you can also offer blog and copywriting services.
You can invest in SEO tools like SemRush, Arhef, or SurferSEO. But if you don’t have money for these tools, you can convince your client to invest in them.
6- Sell Handmade Products And Old Stuff on eBay
If you make exceptional handmade crafts, you can create and sell them on eBay. This business may not require any money unless you buy the raw materials.
Check out our guide on profitable eBay selling tips to learn how to sell on the platform. Take quality photos of your products and post them on your eBay store. When people buy, you earn your profits.
And since eBay is an online auction platform, you can also sell your old stuff, such as clothing, toys, gym equipment, phones, etc. You won’t invest any money selling the old property.
Not convinced of this online business idea? Read about the pros and cons of eBay.
Another online business you can start without money is freelancing. Do you have an on-demand skill or expertise? You can sell services to millions of buyers online.
Freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, etc., allow you to build an online business.
For instance, you can sell services such as:
- Writing services
- Graphic Designing
- Web development
- Social media management
With internet connections and a computer, you only need to create an account with freelancing sites and start bidding for work. If you do a good job and get excellent reviews, work will come through referrals and other ways.
I know fully booked freelancers from Upwork and Fiverr.
8- Online Tutoring
Now more than ever, homeschooling is on the rise. One study shows that homeschooling several children in the United States has more than doubled since early 2020.
Parents aren’t taking their children to traditional schools because they want to provide practical skills to their children. They’ve realized that the job market requires skills rather than academic papers.
And since they don’t have time to teach, most parents hire online tutors. So, are you skilled in technical subjects like math, science, and English, or practical skills like electrical and wiring? Are you good with children and can you teach these subjects?
You can build an online business and make good money. But where can you get students to teach? You can talk to neighbors and relatives to pay you for their kids’ educations.
Alternatively, you can build your business online on platforms such as
However, if you don’t want to work on any platform, you can create a website, advertise your services, and pitch to clients.
Besides teaching children, you can also coach adults, especially if you are a certified coach.
Business coaches, life coaches, and fitness coaches can find work on sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok. With the right marketing strategy, you can grow your client base fast and make money.
9- Offer Therapy Sessions
With mental health issues on the rise among teenagers and adults, therapy is a hot cake. If you are a certified therapist or a psychologist, you can offer your services to those who need them.
You can use your social media account to set up the business or a website. The beauty is that you can conduct therapy sessions virtually, allowing you to have clients across the globe.
With good reviews from clients, you can attract well-paying clients.
Many people suffer from depression and other mental issues, and you could start a business in that niche.
If you lack expertise, you can register for various courses to qualify.
What Business Can I Start With no Money?
You can start the following businesses with no money:
- Affiliate marketing
- YouTube Channel
- Dog training
- Resume building
Is It Possible to Start an Online Business Without Any Money?
Yes, it is possible to start an online business without any money. You can begin several online companies with little or no upfront cost, such as blogging, affiliate marketing, social media management, and freelancing.
What Are Some Other Online Businesses You Can Start With no Money?
Other online businesses you can start with little or no money include creating and selling digital products, online tutoring, and dropshipping.
What Are Some Tips For Starting an Online Business With no Money?
Some tips for starting an online business with no money include:
- Choosing a business model that requires a minimal upfront investment
- Building a solid online presence through social media and networking
- Focusing on creating valuable content and building relationships with potential customers
- Leveraging free tools and resources to save money.
What Sells Easiest Online?
- Print-on-demand products
- Natural Cosmetics.
- Personalized Gifts.