Online Business Ideas You Can Start With No Money

Online Business Ideas You Can Start With No Money

Starting an online business is affordable and can be done from home. You only need a home office, a good internet connection, and entrepreneurial follow through.

If you’re unsure about being an entrepreneur, take our quiz or keep reading. Hopefully, one of the ideas below will excite you enough to download our startup checklist—a point of reference as you begin your entrepreneurial journey.

Freelance writer

Freelance writing is in high demand with the rise of content marketing.

To kickstart your career, set up a profile on freelance websites like Upwork and Freelancer. Build a portfolio website to showcase your writing style, topics you cover, and personality.

Being an excellent writer and editor is important. To learn more, read this article on becoming a freelance writer by the Freelancer’s Union.

Social media consultant

If you’re a strong writer, creative, and love staying on top of social media trends, this opportunity is for you.

Many business owners don’t understand social media or how to use it effectively. Offer your skills as a social media consultant to help businesses develop a social media strategy or manage their social accounts.

To learn more, check out this list of resources compiled by Alexis Grant, and this in-depth guide by Ian Anderson Gray.

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Web designer

If you know how to design websites, you have a broad client base.

If you have an eye for design but no formal web design training, learn informally and create a strong portfolio. Showcase your best work.

To learn more, check out Roberto Blake’s YouTube channel.

Graphic designer

If you have the skills to design logos and other materials, this is a business you may love.

In the early days, build your portfolio on sites like Fiverr and Etsy.

SEO consultant

Optimize web content for search engines to increase visibility.

If you are data-driven and internet savvy, this is a good opportunity. Have a good handle on Google Analytics.

To learn more, check out Moz, Lynda (access available via your local library), and Search Engine Land.

Business coach

If you have a knack for helping people achieve success, this line of work may interest you.

Instead of being a consultant, focus on personal development to help people find success. Master time management, decision making, and getting clients to take action.

To learn more, check out this Udemy course and this article on becoming a successful business coach.

App developer

Create your own apps to earn money or offer your services to others.

To learn more, check out this Udacity course or sign up for Google’s Android Developer Nanodegree.

Online retailer

Setting up an online shop is an increasingly popular profession.

Learn how to set up a home-based business, have a space to store inventory, and set up an online account with the post office. Consider cross-selling on sites like eBay.

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Look into platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, and Weebly to make selling online easy. Keep in mind that startup capital may be required.

Virtual assistant

Become a virtual assistant to help with tasks like project management, writing, running errands, and research.

Use platforms like TaskRabbit, Zirtual, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour to find clients.


If you can create handmade goods, turn your hobby into a business.

Sell your products on sites like Etsy for a modest fee.

Patron-backed creator

Get donations from patrons through sites like Patreon to support your creative work.

To learn more, read our guide on How to Use Patreon to Start a Business and check out our favorite Patreon profiles.

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