20 profitable and easy to start online businesses with no money
If you are looking to learn what are the best online businesses to start and the most profitable and easy to do, these top 20 ideas will certainly help you get started immediately with no money or huge investments.
Don’t mock a home business. Do you forget that the trillion-dollar market cap Apple was not even a home business but a garage business! So many top consultancies have started from the kitchen table, including Amazon.
What are some big ideas about small business? Let us look at a few that need little capital but can earn you a handsome income with some effort.
20 Easy Online Businesses
Choose your niche – from health foods to skateboarding tricks and start writing. Several free online tools such as Grammarly and Scribens would check your work for basic proofreading errors.
2. Virtual Assistant
You would work for a busy businessman or doctor setting up appointments, scheduling their meeting, and arranging their trips out of town. All of the work is online through collaborative software such as Zoho.
If you have been a secretary before, it is definitely an advantage, and you could find such work from Monster and Craigslist. If you’re a good communicator and organiser, this is for you.
3. Social Media Management
All businesses that have a serious presence on social media need someone to act as a publisher on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Your task would be to plan and maintain a social media content calendar and engage on behalf of the business on social media. No special qualification is needed, and a working knowledge of the leading five platforms is enough. Free social media calendar templates are available online, or you could create one using Excel in one afternoon. However, most employers will ask for experience with social media management systems like Hootsuite and paid ads so make sure you familiarise yourself with these aspects first.
4. Social Media Consultant
This is the other side of the coin. You advise a business about how to create a social media marketing campaign. It will be your task to set up social media accounts, the number of posts, types of posts, nature of the content, keywords, and other details.
You also have to investigate how much it will cost and plan the budget for the exercise. It is an exciting and dynamic field and is evolving rapidly.
5. Content Writer
All of those websites with pages after pages of text started from a blank screen. Someone had to create compelling copy. This is what a content writer or copywriter does. From taglines and captions to five thousand word buying guides – it is all in a day’s work for a content writer. With experience, you can quickly graduate to freelancing in report writing and other corporate gigs that pay better. Or you can build your own copywriting business, serving many clients.
6. e-Book writer
Amazon’s Kindle platform has made it easy to publish your book at near-zero cost. From horror to how-to guides and everything else under the sun – if you know a subject matter, and have a good story to tell, you can write and self-publish an ebook and monetize it.
e-Books can earn you rich dividends if they top Amazon bestseller lists. Of course, with your first one, you would be struggling a bit, but by the time the third or fourth one rolls around, you would be a pro at this game.
7. Online Course Instructor
MOOCs or massive open online courses have become extremely popular. The best general courses are offered by Coursera, EdX, Udemy and for more specific courses in different niches you can find e-Learning platforms like SeekaHost University.
You need to be an expert in a subject to publish a course made of 10-16 lectures and coursework. Alternatively, you could set up a website and provide your own class, as does Neil Patel, the guru of digital marketing.
The downside is that you need to be an expert in a subject matter and carve out a niche for yourself.
8. SEO Consultant
SEO or search engine optimization is a field where there is no dearth of work. As an SEO consultant, your key role is to get a client’s websites to rank higher in a search result. There is also a market for specialized forms of SEO, such as for Amazon product pages.
A course in the basics of SEO to get you acquainted with the subject could start you right off. The use of SEO tools such as Yoast helps SEO consultants automate manual and repetitive aspects of their work.
This is a particular type of blogging and vlogging where you nurture a loyal audience base by creating valuable content around a niche. The upside is – you can earn handsomely by landing promotional deals from brands. Of course, the prerequisite is that you be popular on social media and have a devoted fan base. Many people underestimate how hard you have to work to build that following and you will have to develop marketing skills too. Becoming and remaining an influencer is a full-time job as you have to be regularly present on many different online channels.
10. Affiliate Marketer
Online stores such as Amazon, pay handsomely for links leading to products on their site placed strategically in the content section of your website, if the it gets a significant amount of daily traffic.
If your opinion could sway a buyer to buy from the store, you get 4-8% as commission, but learn more about how to monetize as an affiliate on Amazon here.
YouTube videos are a popular source of information and entertainment. Blogs are better, but require a lot of attention from readers whereas Vlogs are easy to take in. You could hold forth about anything from lifestyle to yoga to calculus, and if you have a charismatic voice, your audience will grow. The sole investment is a camera or smartphone that can be bought for as little as $200. Learn more about how to make money online here.
12. eBay Reseller
You could sell anything on eBay. From a rare vinyl to N-95 masks, it is all lapped up. Choose your niche and jump in. Logistics is easy with eBay’s own delivery system, and you can get paid by card or Paypal.
It is very profitable if you have an eye for rare objects and pick them up at a discount from auctions, car boot sales or through contacts. You just have to convince people to pay the price you’re asking for.
13. Web Designer
A web designer has a multitude of responsibilities, from setting up and designing web pages to basic SEO and creating a backend database. You could be a front end or backend developer.
Teach yourself how to build web pages from a MOOC or just browse through CodeAcademy free tutorials.
Your only investment would be about $1,000 to buy and maintain sites on Wix, Weebly, and a WordPress host like SeekaHost to experiment and learn for three months.
14. Life Coaching
The business of personal coaching or life coaching is booming. Most of your client interaction will happen through Skype or Zoom, rarely is a face to face consultation needed. With a certification in NLP or neuro-linguistic programming, you can become a life coach in a few short months.
15. Fitness Trainer
Believe it or not, it is possible to be a fitness coach online. If you have a certification in fitness coaching, you can create exercise schedules and provide demonstrations over Skype or social media like Instagram with live feeds. It is also possible to design diets and, in general, act as a guide on someone’s weight loss journey.
This is not only a lucrative but deeply satisfying profession. You could work by yourself using a generic whiteboard like Cisco Webex or work with a company like Tutor.com, which has its own whiteboard and tutor management system. Demand for e-tutoring of Maths, English, coding, and science subjects is growing around the world and once you’re established you can even set up your own online tutoring business.
17. Proofreader / Editor
Writers benefit a lot from proofreading and editorial services. Whatever creative output they have is polished by an editor and proofreader into a more readable composition.
Editors earn more, but the job requires a solid grasp of language skills. The work is enjoyable, and the hours are quite flexible to suit your daily household work schedule, but you have to be an ace in grammar and spelling and show experience of writing world-class content.
18. Stock Trader / Forex Trader
If you have a laptop and a $1,000, why not start trading in stocks? It is best to take a 90-day certification course to understand the ropes. You also need a good head for numbers. But many traders take home a few hundred thousand a year if they are good at what they do.
You would have to buy stocks cheaply and sell them at a profit. You may choose to work daily or a few months of the year.
Forex traders buy and sell foreign exchange. It is similar in concept, but you need more capital of about $50,000 to start. Most stock traders become forex traders later.
19. Software Developer
The original online job! If you know C+, PHP, Java, HTML, Ruby, why not become a software consultant? You would have to plan and execute projects in a time-bound manner. There are at any time at least a thousand projects open on Upwork. After six months, when you have acquired an excellent reputation, you could start your own company and hire talent.
20. Video Editor
Many have a YouTube channel, but little or no understanding of editing. Editing makes or breaks an audiovisual presentation. It is the same for small advertising firms. A video editor works using software such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut to fine-tune the film.
A talented editor could take home at least $70,000 every year by working part-time. Full tiers often earn ten times that amount. But it would require you to hold a certification in a film or animation course.
To be a freelancer in this field, you may need to be an apprentice for a while.
Are you ready to get online?
The internet has made it possible for you to earn well from your home. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more such as remote accountants that we have not explored.
If you are really entrepreneurial and want to succeed beyond your wildest dreams, it is possible to open an e-shop of your own and become a retailer.
Some others, like dropshipping, require exceptional skills at prediction and have been left out of our list. However, do not forget to explore those possibilities in this in-depth home business guide.