The internet is a pretty cool thing, right? It’s made it so anyone with a computer can start their own business. And the best part? You don’t need to be a tech genius to do it. There are tons of tools available that make building an online biz a breeze.
Plus, you can work from anywhere, set your own schedule, and work as much or as little as you want. It’s a total game changer for entrepreneurship. And the best part? You don’t need a ton of cash to get started. There are so many free services available that you can start a business with next to no money.
Take WordPress for example, you can create a website or blog for free. Or you can use a third-party website like Amazon or eBay to sell goods without any inventory fees. They’ll just take a cut of your sales.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to free options for starting an e-commerce biz. Let’s take a look at 12 ways you can start an internet business and make money online with little or no money down.
Table of Contents
1. Start a blog
Want to start a blog? It’s easy and it won’t break the bank! As long as you have internet access, you can start a blog for free. Even if you decide to spend some cash on a fancy website, domain name, or photos, it’s nothing compared to the dough you could potentially make from your content.
Don’t believe the hype that blogging is dead or on its way out. In fact, there are more bloggers today than ever before. Sure, it may take a bit more effort and commitment to make your blog profitable these days, but don’t let that stop you from giving it a shot.
You don’t have to be a famous person or social media star to start a blog. Some of the most successful bloggers out there, like Joy Cho, Carly Riordan, and Blair Eadie, were unknown before they started blogging.
And while it’s true that you can make money from blogging, don’t expect to get rich quick. Before you can start making money, you need to build an audience that’s willing to buy from you.
If you have no experience in blogging, you can check out these resources to help you get started:
- How To Start A WordPress Blog
- How To Write A Blog Post
- 65 Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will Love
2. Do affiliate marketing
So you want to make some extra cash by recommending products to people? Well, affiliate marketing is a great way to do that.
Some people share products on their social media or YouTube channels, but the most popular (and effective) way to do it is through your own website. This way, you can create awesome content that’ll attract visitors and make them want to check out the products you’re promoting.
The key to success is to make sure your content is both informative and promotional. If all you do is pitch one product after another, people probably won’t take you seriously and you’ll miss out on Google traffic, which is crucial for long-term success.
Instead, focus on providing value to your audience. This way, you can build trust and a relationship with them over time. Plus, it’s a great way to establish yourself as an industry expert.
As your reputation grows, more and more people will visit your site when they have questions or need help on topics you cover. So don’t just pitch products, give your audience something they can actually use.
Ready to become an affiliate marketer? We’ve put together some articles to help you get started:
- How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing: 4 Simple Steps
- Top 20 Affiliate Marketing Website Examples
3. Offer SEO services
Website owners are always looking for ways to attract new customers and clients. A great way to achieve this is to increase website traffic.
It can be tough to get those visitors just by writing a few blog posts. That’s where SEO comes in – and it’s a big market. In fact, it’s estimated to be worth over $80 billion!
If you’re feeling savvy and have had success with your own website or personal projects, you could even offer SEO services to other businesses. But, running an SEO company can be a lot of work, and maintaining client relationships can take up a lot of time.
If the idea of starting a full-fledged SEO company sounds like too much effort, no worries. You can still get in on the action by freelancing. If you’ve discovered a specific aspect of SEO that you’re good at, like fixing broken backlinks, you can offer your skills to an agency or webmaster or even bid on jobs on platforms like Upwork.
The best part? You can do it on a part-time basis. Just offer your skills when you have the time and bid on job boards or accept overflow work from agencies. It’s a great way to get started in the SEO world without committing to a full-time gig.
Ready to become a provider of SEO services? Check out these articles to help you get started:
Being a social media manager is pretty cool. You get to help create cool content, write catchy captions, and grow your client’s followers. Plus, you get to manage multiple social media accounts, which keeps things interesting.
Some social media managers focus on a specific industry, like travel or sports. Others, like me, are a bit more general and work with a variety of clients. And then there are those who focus on just one platform, like Instagram or Pinterest.
As a social media manager, you might also have to help curate material for your client’s accounts. For me, that’s meant creating videos, images, and graphics for a few of my clients.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need a college degree to be a social media manager. I have a bachelor’s in media arts and graphic design, but I’ve never been asked about it by a client.
The best part? You can learn everything you need to know online. Platforms like Skillshare or YouTube have tons of tutorials and courses that can teach you the ropes.
5. Start a dropshipping business
Dropshipping is a pretty sweet deal for small biz owners. You don’t have to worry about stocking up on a ton of inventory or dealing with shipping out orders. All you gotta focus on is getting customers and making sales. And the best part? You don’t even have to make or store any products.
Once you make a sale, you just work with a company specializing in dropshipping to handle the rest. You sell items on your website or on a marketplace like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.
Then, when someone buys something, you buy it at a lower price from a third-party company (the dropshipper, which is usually a manufacturer or wholesaler).
This whole process can even be fully automated. And the best part? You don’t have to take any risk, because the sale is already done.
The dropshipper then sends the product directly to the customer. Easy peasy. And the low overhead costs mean you can offer a wide range of products without breaking the bank.
Ready to make money from dropshipping? Here’re some articles to help you on your way to the top:
6. Create Youtube videos
You can start making money on YouTube with very little to no money. You don’t have to make a viral video, but if it happens, that’s just a bonus. The real trick is to create useful content that people will want to watch, and then increase the number of views on your videos. It’s a technique that works in a variety of situations, and the possibilities are endless.
Whether it’s an instructional video or a talking-head film on a topic that interests people in your area, you can earn money with advertising revenue.
First things first, create a YouTube account and upload videos, then allow monetization in your YouTube settings. This gives Google permission to include small AdSense ads in your videos, which is how you get paid when viewers click on them.
Another way to make money with your YouTube channel is through paid sponsorships. If you have a decent-sized following, companies may pay you to advertise or review their products and services in your videos. The more views and engagement you have, the more likely you are to attract sponsors. So keep creating great content, and the money will follow!
Are you ready to make a buck on YouTube? Get started with these resources:
7. Sell information products
So, you wanna start an internet business but don’t wanna deal with tangible products? No problem! Selling digital info products is a super easy and quick way to make some dough.
There are a ton of ways to create info products, but the most popular formats include audio (think recorded conference calls, interviews, courses, etc.), video (like recorded webinars or how-to videos), and text (like ebooks or guidebooks).
And the best part is, you can get super creative with the type and format of content you create as long as it’s engaging and helpful for your audience.
But here’s the real kicker – it’s passive income. That means you can make money while you sleep because customers can buy and download your products from your website at any time.
All you gotta do is keep an eye on sales to figure out which themes or product types are selling best, so you can make more of them.
Podcasting has become super popular in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a fresh way to connect with your audience and make them feel like they’re talking to a real person.
A podcast is just a digital audio recording that you can post online. You can make a podcast about anything you want – business, personal finance, anything! And you can share it on all sorts of platforms like your website and social media channels.
The great thing about podcasts is that people can listen to them whenever and wherever they want. Plus, a lot of folks prefer listening to podcasts over reading blogs because it saves them time.
Making money from your podcast is totally possible, as long as you know who your audience is. If you’ve got a big following, you can include ads in your podcast. Companies will pay you to have their ads heard by your listeners.
But if you’re just starting out and don’t have a huge following yet, don’t worry. You can still make money from your podcast by growing your listenership and working on your personal brand. When you have more listeners, companies will be more willing to pay you for advertising.
Another way to make money from your podcast is through sponsorships and advertising partnerships. These can be super profitable and don’t take up a lot of time once you’ve secured the deal. The more listeners you have, the more money you can make.
Here’s our guide to help you get started with podcasting:
9. Web design
Building a website these days is a breeze thanks to all the user-friendly tools out there. But, if you want something that stands out and has all the bells and whistles, it’s best to go with a pro. That’s where dedicated designers come in to give your website that extra edge.
If you are one of the professionals, you can tap into this market and earn some money with your web design skills.
For example, you can sell website templates and themes which is a great way to earn passive income while you sleep. There are designers and developers who have made a fortune just from selling templates and themes.
If you’re handy with PHP and WordPress, you can create your own WordPress themes and sell them on places like ThemeForest. And if HTML is more your thing, check out marketplaces like Creative Market, ThemeForest, or Envato Elements to sell your templates.
Freelancing as a web designer can be a bit of a juggling act with client expectations and budgets, but it can be a great way to make extra cash if you manage it well.
10. Provide online coaching
Over the past few years, coaching has become increasingly popular. In many cases, coaching is a strong consulting business that helps organizations and small businesses achieve their goals.
Social media is a great way to find new clients who need your help. Whether you’re a life coach, business coach, or fitness coach, platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok can help you grow your client base in ways you never thought possible.
When you’re first starting out, one-on-one coaching is a great way to get your feet wet and make some money while keeping expenses low. Plus, it’s a great way to build deeper relationships with your clients. Most one-on-one coaches schedule 25 or more clients per week for weekly or bi-weekly appointments.
Another option for coaches is group coaching sessions. This is a great way to serve more people in less time, resulting in higher income per hour. So, whether you’re a one-on-one coach or a group coach, social media is a great way to help more people and make more money.
11. Sell handmade items
For someone creative, there are plenty of ways to get your handmade products out there without breaking the bank.
One option is to create your own online store using platforms like Shopify. They’re easy to use and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. And, you can also sell your creations on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, as well as niche sites like Etsy and Big Cartel.
Don’t forget about social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, either. By using social media marketing, you can reach out to potential customers. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sell your items wholesale to other businesses.
Some popular products include sewing and crafting, home decor, painting, crochet, and paper and card making. Just remember, a well-designed website increases your chances of reaching a larger customer base. And if you’re just starting out, Shopify is a great option because it’s user-friendly and affordable. You can create a Shopify store in a few minutes.
When it comes to pricing your handmade products, make sure to factor in all the costs associated with creating and marketing your item. Then, set a profit margin on top of those costs.
And remember, you can always adjust your prices over time to increase sales or profit margin.
12. Start a virtual assistant business
Starting a virtual assistant (VA) business can be a great way to work from home and help clients with all sorts of tasks. Plus, it doesn’t require a huge investment to get started. With the rise of remote work, more and more companies are looking to hire VAs to help them with all sorts of things.
To start your own VA biz, here’s what you need to do:
- Figure out what services you want to offer. Do you want to help with admin tasks, creative projects, or technical stuff? Take a look at your skills and interests to come up with a list of services you’re excited to offer.
- Set up a website for your business. This is where potential clients will go to learn more about you and your services.
- Start looking for clients. Use online platforms like LinkedIn or Upwork to find potential customers.
- Create a business plan and a marketing plan. This will help you stay organized and make sure you’re on track to reach your goals.
When figuring out your niche, think about what kind of VA you want to be and what kind of industry you want to work in.
Once you have a good idea of what services you want to offer and who you want to work with, pricing becomes a bit easier. You can charge by the hour or create packages of services. Just remember that you can always adjust your prices and services as you go along.