Has the entrepreneurial bug bit you yet? Being an online business owner is a dream for many. For myself, I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was a child. I wanted to be a fashion designer, start my own pet sitting business, become the CEO of some company, and the list goes on and on.
A hurdle for many are the startup costs. Starting a business can be costly and with 80% of businesses failing in the first 18 months (according to Forbes.com), those pricey startup costs may not be recouped.
So, how do you get around it? Start a business that costs little to no overhead, but quickly generates revenue. Then you can re-invest your profits and level up your business. This is exactly how many 6+-figure businesses started. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Yea right, this type of business does not exist!”. Think again.
I’ve found 8 ways that you can start your online business with no money upfront! How cool is that?
Let’s dive into exploring your options.
If you love to write, there’s a lot of money to be had on the interwebs. Freelance writers are highly in demand, earning anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 per year. Starting your own freelance writing business will allow you to market your services immediately with virtually zero overhead. All it takes is investing your time and passion, and you can quickly grow into a very lucrative business. Here are just a handful of free platforms to get started:
Once you get your feet wet with the above free platforms, I strongly recommend checking out 30 Days to Freelance Writing Success to scale your business to the next level of $4,000+/month!
Related Article: How to Earn a Living by Freelance Writing
Are you creative? Then use your talents to your advantage and make some $$’s with your own Graphic Design business! You can make a killing designing graphics. From companies to busy bloggers, businesses love to outsource when it comes to graphic design. Here are some idea’s that you can design and market:
- Printables (SUPER hot seller these days!)
- Pinterest Images for bloggers (Also very popular!)
- Marketing Materials
- And SO much more! The possibilities are endless
You don’t need to be an artist or have crazy talent to do graphic design. Pinterest images for bloggers for example, are super easy to learn and can make you a ton of money. You just need to have a creative mind and market yourself properly.
My favorite image editing tool is PicMonkey, which offers a free trial to get you started. Two of the best platforms to start marketing your services are Fiverr and 99Designs. You can sign up for free and start selling immediately and bank some serious cash.
If you love using social media, you’ll love this idea. Become your own boss as a social media influencer. I just recently started getting into Instagram for my rescue organization, and I am quickly becoming an Instagram fanatic. It’s SO much fun! My following isn’t huge yet since I just started diving into it, but it’s growing very rapidly and I have already made some money and received free products. So awesome! (P.S. If you love cats and/or pet rescue, follow me @hairballchronicles).
There is no need to invest in expensive advertising or marketing for a brand new business. Harness the power of social media for huge exposure at no cost. There are over 700 million users on Instagram every month and many of them are making thousands of dollars as an influencer. How to become Instafamous:
- Post quality photos – Edit your photos like a pro. Post bright, crisp quality photos only. People want to feel as if they were there.
- Grow your followers – Organic followers that are clicking like on your photos
- Engagement – Followers that comment and engage in conversation on your photo posts
- Collaborate with peers in your industry, join engagement pods and threads and participate. You’ll be surprised how fast your reach will grow!
Once you have a nice size engaged following, you can monetize your efforts to receive free products, sell items or be paid as an influencer. The power of Instagram is amazing, and can be your ticket out of your 9-5.
There is no need to have a blog to earn income on Instragram, but it can certainly go hand in hand with earning income. Instagram can drive major traffic to your blog, which in turn will grow your email list and increase your sales.
You might also enjoy: Foolproof Way to Start a Blog
The great thing about Instagram is, you can monetize any niche. Here are a few idea’s:
There’s a market for everyone.
Things you can earn as an Instagram influencer:
- Money – Brands will pay you to sponsor their products
- Free Products
- Free Travel
- Free Hotel Stays
- More traffic to your blog
- And so much more fun stuff!
Are you ready to become Instafamous?
Amazon offers some free Kindle books such as Instafamous to learn how to explode your Instagram. Once you start gaining some traction, I’d recommend checking out Instagram for Success when you’re ready to up level your social media influence skills. The creator of the course makes a full time living using Instagram, and has over 122,000 followers, so I’d say she knows her stuff! My followers went from 57 to over 700 in a weeks time following Helene’s strategies, along with my engagement improving, so I stand by this course being the best Instagram course out there if you want to make money with Instagram.
4.) Social Media Manager
If you love pinning, posting and tweeting – Why not use your social media skills to create your own social media manager business? It’s so easy to get lost in social media. That’s why big brands and bloggers are turning to social media managers to help them build their online presence. The most popular platforms brands often need help with are:
There are many free courses online to learn all of the above platforms to get you started. You can focus on mastering all platforms, or just focus on one platform such as starting your own Pinterest VA business.
If you’re already a social media pro and want to dive into helping business owners grow their online presence, setting up your own website to advertise your business services would be ideal, but you can also start marketing your services on free to join platforms such as Fiverr.
If you really want to hit at home run with your social media manager business, check out Social Media Manager School to learn all of the skills you need to create a very lucrative social media manager business.
5.) Take advantage of trials
I hear so many people talking down on trials but the truth is, they are pretty awesome. Try out a new software, ad, tool for free!
Here are a handful of awesome free trials you can take advantage of (just remember to cancel before they charge you if you don’t want to continue with the service):
- Google Adwords: I’ve gone through so many Adwords trials I can’t even count! You can get one by joining Shopify with a new store (trial). Check out Fiverr too for some Adwords vouchers.
- Ninja Outreach: This tool is great for influencer outreach. You can use it in a hundred other ways too, to get traffic and more. Check out their awesome blog for more ideas.
- Shopify: Create your own store for free for 14 days with Shopify’s trial. By the way, if you open an online shop, Shopify is the ish! No joke. No comparison against any other store platform (believe me, I’ve tried them).
- Growtraffic: How does an extra 10,000 visitors sound? For free! Mention Growtraffic on your blog and fill out their form to let them know then BAM..10,000 visitors sent to you over a course of a few weeks.
- Alexa: Select their Pro option and trial away. You’ll get tons of valuable insights about your competition. Backlinks, traffic numbers, keywords, and so much more.
- SEMRush: Another valuable insights tool. Great for assessing your competition, estimating top keywords and more.
If you’re operating a physical goods store selling apparel, footwear, homegoods, decor, etc., then dropshipping might be for you. You only purchase products when you have an order to fulfill.
For example, you run a socks store selling a variety of fashion socks. A customer places an order for 3 pairs for socks. You then, visit the dropshipper’s site or contact them, order the customer’s socks and the dropshipper direct ships the order on your behalf, to the customer. Easy! A great way to save money on inventory since inventory tends to be the largest expense for retailers.
You might also enjoy: How to Earn $19,000 Per Month with Your Online Store
Wanna sell designer planners, your own fashion line, stylish t-shirts (or anything else)? Raise funds through crowdsourcing. You can generate a LOT of money in a short time period using sites like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.
Some helpful articles to get your started:
- A Startup Tries to Make Money from Crowdsourced Predictions
- 11 Tips for Crowdfunding
- 15 Hacks to Raise the Most Money for your Indigogo Campaign
Preselling is pretty cool because you get to assess your audience’s interest for the product or service. You can set up a waitlist or poll and start your presale campaign from there. Preselling is simliar to dropshipping in that you will collect orders and use funds to purchase inventory. Make sense?
This is done a lot in Instagram flash sales. Online boutiques on Instagram will run presale flash sales where they introduce the product, along with features, pricing, shipping details, etc. Then, once sales are made, they will purchase inventory from the wholesaler.
Get into the handmade market! Use materials around your home or get donations and start selling products in online marketplaces, to family and friends, etc.
- Free Course: Your Handmade Business Foundation to Success and More Sales
- The 5 Knows of Having a Handmade Business
- 10 Things You Must Do to Have a Successful Online Craft Business
10.) Target these businesses
Check out these businesses that you can easily start for free:
- Making money online: This isn’t a business category perse, but you can make a living earning money online. Some examples: side hustles, surveys, panels, and focus groups. VIPKid is an awesome way to earn a full time living online by teaching English to Chinese kids. How fun does that sound?! They pay up to $22/hr (Bachelor’s degree required) . Also check out this interview from a woman who earns thousands and makes her full time living from survey taking. Top paying surveys: Vindale, Survey Savvy, and 2020Panel
- Freelance on Fiverr: A gig is purchased every 5 seconds on Fiverr, so the income potential is huge. Many sellers are making a full time living offering services on Fiverr. It’s an amazing place for anyone in the startup space. There’s over 100 categories to choose from. Sellers offer services such graphic design (printables, logos, etc), writing, music and video, animation, digital marketing, web design, programming & tech, fun and lifestyle and SO much more. There’s a market no matter what your skill, the possibilities are endless. And it’s absolutely FREE to sign up and start making money TODAY.
- Babysitting or child care: You can start a child care business from home. My hubby’s friend’s wife does this and gets $400 a head! She watches 3 or 4 kiddos regularly. And it’s super fun to teach and play with kids all day!
- Blogging: Monetize your blog! Starting a self-hosted blog is my preference but it will cost you a little bit. Under a hundred bucks and you have a self-hosted blog prepped and ready to start earning. For a completely free option, check out non-self hosted blog platforms and then monetize it! You might like: The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog
There you have it!
8 10 ways to start a business for free!
RESOURCES YOU WILL LIKE
RESOURCES: My full resource library to some of the most amazing tools, services and courses to help you become successful making money online.
BLUEHOST: Great web hosting starting at as low as $2.95/month! Streamlined set up and easy integration with WordPress. Check out How to start your own Blog. Bluehost is currently the host used for this blog, Drink Coffee & Prosper. Highly recommended.
FREE Blog Structure Blueprint: A clear blog structure is critical to a blogger’s success. Find out how to organize your blog so that your readers can always find exactly what they’re looking for & become raving fans! It’s a game changer, and right now you can get it absolutely free from Elite Blog Academy.
MAKE MONEY BLOGGING FOR BEGINNERS: Super bloggers Alex and Lauren created the perfect A-Z course for the beginner blogger to very quickly go from $0-$1,000 per month and much more. This course will teach you everything you need to know about making money with your blog. The creators of the course made over $50,000 per month within their first year, and $818k within their second year of blogging, so they know their stuff! And they will teach you all of their strategies to reach the same goals.
SIX FIGURE BLOGGER: This is an ahhh-mazing course. Lauren and Alex teach you their strategies that earned them $20,000+ per month blogging in less than 3 months. Now earning them over $100,000 per month. After following their step by step guide, my income increased substantially. Their easy to follow videos will have you monetizing your blog like a pro. LOVE this course!
MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING COURSE: Join the ranks of Michelle Schroeder and be on your way to earning $50,000+/month in affiliate income like she does! In fact, she had a record SIX FIGURE MONTH in July 2016! Learn from the very best. Read my full review of her course on my post, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Reviewed.
PINTEREST TRAFFIC AVALANCHE: Another amazing course taught by the very talented Lauren and Alex. LOVE these two! This course will teach new and seasoned bloggers how to up level your traffic to 100,000+ visitors per month on autopilot. Traffic is the key source for earning income, so this course is an absolute must if you’re struggling to get traffic to your blog.
FREE STICKY BLOGGING COURSE: In this FREE 5-day email course, you’ll get powerful science-backed strategies that will bring you more traffic with fewer posts. And they work for every niche.
FREE 5 Day Start a Money Making Blog Crash Course: This is an awesome FREE course! Travel Blogger Heather Reese will share her secret strategies on how she’s making $30,000+ per month blogging. She’ll provide a step by step email course to start making money the right way. You can easily get your own money making blog started quickly and avoid some of the big mistakes that most new bloggers make! In five days (or sooner) you can have your own blog set up with no technical experience needed! And the course is absolutely FREE! If you’re ready to become a successful blogger, click HERE to sign up.