29 Online Business Ideas With No or Less Initial Cost

Are you looking to make money online, but you are overwhelmed by how much you need to invest in starting a business?

If so, you’re not alone.

The Internet is constantly changing and transforming, and while it may seem daunting at first, the truth is that it’s easy to get started with your own online business. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need any money to begin with when you are first getting your foot through the door.

You can get started online with little to no budget at all!

There are numerous online business ideas that can help push you into action without worrying about what’s in your wallet. If you’re interested in getting your name out there and promoting your services to earn money quickly, check out these 30 online business ideas with no or less initial cost.

1) Virtual Assistant

The concept of a personal or administrative assistant is nothing new, but now with access to technology, it is becoming easier and easier to offer assistance services to people all across the globe. You may be able to market your assistant services online, in order to find better potential clients.

There are a variety of ways that you could charge for your services. Many people start out using freelance sites such as Freelancer.com or Upwork.com, where you can charge per hour or per project. If you’re looking to establish a long-term relationship with a reliable client, you can negotiate a fair hourly rate. It’s okay to start small as you let your resume grow!

2) Affiliate Marketing Services

If you already have an established blog, website, or even a popular social media profile, you can easily become an affiliate marketer for no cost at all. Essentially, you would try to promote a product you really like, and you would earn money every time that product sells.

This avenue is especially easy if you have experience with affiliate marketing in the past. Have you ever read a blog that mentions specific products? For example, a cooking blog might make mention of Martha Stewart’s new cookbook several times. They are probably an affiliate of the Martha Stewart brand, and they will make a little bit of money every time the book sells through their promotional efforts.

3) Amazon or EbaySeller

It’s possible to become an Amazon or eBay seller with no startup costs at all; however, this avenue is much easier if you have a little bit of inventory to begin with. Becoming an Ebay or Amazon seller is a lot like affiliate marketing, only you are doing the selling yourself, rather than just advertising the product.

The best way to see a profit from selling on Amazon or Ebay is to be in contact with a distributor. If you can buy product for wholesale prices, and then turn around and sell it for retail, you’ll be able to put quite a bit of cash in your pocket.

4) Graphic Designer

Are you a Photoshop whiz? Do you know your way around Adobe Illustrator? Companies and businesses across the globe are constantly looking for quality graphic designers to help them develop their brand identity. A logo can speak volumes about a business, and if you’ve got the skills, you can advertise your graphic design services to companies far and wide.

If you like flexing your creative muscle, this is a great opportunity for you. It costs zero dollars to start advertising your graphic design services online. Of course, if you do want to invest a small amount of money, you can print some of your own business cards and build a simple website that explains a little bit about who you are.

5) Website Flipper

What in the world is a website flipper? Well, have you ever heard of a house flipper? It’s the same concept, but applied online. Essentially, if you like to be creative and you specialize in helping companies develop their brands, you can buy old websites and redesign them for a profit.

It’s a great way to make money with little to no startup cost. Sometimes you can obtain old websites outright; otherwise, you can pay a very small amount to acquire them. You can even develop contracts with existing companies to help flip their website for a higher cost.

6) IT Security Consultant

If you’re familiar with web security, you can get into the business of offering protection advice for little to no cost. The only threshold for entry into a position like this is that you must have built up some sort of reputation as an online security expert.

Big companies will pay top dollar for you to help them develop the best security measures to protect their website and their customers’ information. Think about how important it is for a financial establishment such as U.S. Bank to be able to keep their clients’ information secure. If there were a security breach, millions of identities and funds could be stolen! It’s up to you to keep them protected against all sorts of digital threats.

7) Telemarketer

An online telemarketing job is fairly easy to acquire. All you need is a computer, a headset, and a reliable Internet connection to work with. More and more companies are looking to hire virtual telemarketers, as it is a cheaper option than trying to hire hundreds of staff members.

If you are good at making cold calls, and you don’t get nervous talking on the phone, you can advertise your telemarketing services to an interested party. Even mainstream companies such as Pizza Hut and Apple like to hire virtual telemarketing agents to work from home.

8) Photograph Seller

The biggest dream of any professional photographer is to make a reliable profit from their photographs. If you are having trouble establishing a photography service in your local area, you might want to start advertising yourself on the digital front.

It’s way cheaper to start a photography business online. The way it works is a little different than traditional photo services, though. Instead of customers hiring you to take pictures of them, they will instead bid on and purchase some of your top-quality photographs. Websites such as Flickr and GettyImages are great avenues for you to sell your photos for a decent price. The photos will be watermarked until the interested party buys them.

9) Business Plan Designer

Some people have incredible business ideas, but no common sense when it comes to promoting those ideas. They need help coming up with a solid business plan that is guaranteed to make a profit.

If you have a business degree, or if you have experience writing and implementing successful business plans, you can help others who are just starting out. You can take an individual’s money-making idea and lay it down on paper in a way that will help others see the brilliance of the idea too. You can establish yourself on a freelance site for free, or you can pay a small cost to develop your own website and start building your reputation from there.

10) Blogging

Do you love to write? Is writing your ultimate passion? If so, it’s possible to make money off of your ideas. You can establish a professional blog for free and build up a reputation as a great writer in whatever niche you prefer.

What kind of content you write about is up to you. But the most important factors that will lead to your success are that you stay consistent, stay updated, and stay relevant. Put backlinks in your articles that will connect your website to other reputable blogs in the industry. Do a couple of interviews with well-established bloggers to really put yourself on top.

11) Online Tutoring

Online tutoring is really taking off as a powerful and profitable online industry. Many tutoring websites don’t require you to have a ton of certifications or experiences to begin tutoring. If you are confident in a specific subject, you can start applying online to tutor virtually.

You can even choose who you want to tutor as well. Websites like Wysant.com allow you to choose your subjects and the age range of clients you are comfortable teaching. You can do anything from teaching English to international students to tutoring older folks about how to use the computer.

12) Chatbot Developer

A chatbot is a type of program that implements an AI-based messaging system. If you’ve ever had to dispute an account error or transaction issue online, you may have used an instant messaging service to speak to a representative. Big companies like Best Buy and Audible have implemented chatbots to help make things easier and more instant for the consumer.

It is becoming more and more essential for businesses to have chatbots readily available for their customers. If you are an experienced engineer, you can start developing chatbots for different types of companies. Just remember to get your name out there, so that the clients come to you – not the other way around!

13) Social Media Consultant

It’s a safe bet to say that you probably own a social media account or two. The more time you spend on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, the more you come to understand how important these platforms are. If a business really wants to get its name out there, it must develop a social media presence.

That’s where you can come in. If you fancy yourself an expert on social media, you can start helping others establish themselves online. Of course, you’ll need to have established your own reputable presence online as well. Get your name out there, and soon business owners will come seeking your advice on how to best run a social media account.

14) Content Writer

Instead of blogging, you can become a content writer to sell your services to other companies. There are hundreds of companies and brands that are looking for articles to be written on a consistent basis. If you know your way around different technical and professional fields, you can establish yourself as a researcher-writer.

You can become a content writer for no startup costs at all. Whether you seek work through a freelancing site, or you build up your own website, you can start selling your article services for a fair profit.

15) Bookkeeper

People who have had bookkeeping experience in person are starting to transfer their experiences and services to the online world. Even if you don’t have bookkeeping experience, you can learn this trade quite easily.

Being a good bookkeeper means you’re good with numbers. Getting started doesn’t require any kind of certifications, although acquiring a Certified Public Accountant license might increase your profits some. Use websites like Due.com to promote your bookkeeping services.

16) Product Testing

Products, whether physical or digital, require several rounds of testing before they can be published to the live public. Any website, campaign email, app, video game, or hygienic product needs to be tested and thoroughly analyzed before it is good enough to be sold.

Have you ever tested a product before? You can establish a business where you get paid to test other people’s products. If you are technically-inclined, you can become an app or video game tester for a decent price.

17) App Developer

If engineering is your game, app developing can be your name. Companies are always in search of good developers to join their teams. This is an industry that will always be in high demand, and the need for experienced engineers is always growing.

You can develop all sorts of apps for all sorts of companies. If you’re struggling to get your name out there, you can design a few apps of your own in order to have something to put on your resume. That way, companies will be able to see what you’ve done for themselves, and they will be more willing to take you on as an important member of their team.

18) Patient Advocate

The title may be a little vague, but a patient advocacy job can be a great way to make money online. Essentially, what you do is this: You can help patients track down the right hospitals for their insurance, you can help healthcare companies collect bills, and you can advocate for the patient as you argue cases to insurance companies.

There are a variety of things you can do in support of patients and hospitals everywhere. If you care about people, you can get involved and establish yourself as a good support system for patients in need.

19) Online Video Producer

Famous YouTubers make a fortune off of their established channels. Those who know how to create good content, edit it in a high-quality way, and publish it on a consistent basis are on the road to financial success.

You can reach this same level of success as well. Your passion for video creation and production can reach a global audience. Not only can you make videos of your own for free and publish them on a high-ranking platform like YouTube, but you can also sell your own video editing and production services for a decent price.

20) Call Center Representative

Instead of telemarketing, you can advertise yourself as a reliable call center representative online. The process of becoming a call center rep is similar to telemarketing, but your day-to-day responsibilities will differ.

Again, if you have a reliable Internet connection, a good computer, and a headset, you can become a call center representative right away. You will act as a customer service guide, taking calls and helping to answer customers’ questions as best as possible. You can sign up with a company like Apple, Target, or American Express and go through their training program to become a certified rep.

21) Currency Trading

There are a lot of different types of currencies in the world. You can easily get into currency trading by establishing an online business for free. While the industry does require a little bit of prior knowledge, you can learn the trade by having technical and analytical skills.

As long as you’ve got a computer or a mobile device, you can get into currency trading. You can purchase currency and start selling it to other parts of the world. Real currencies, as well as virtual currencies like Bitcoin are viable.

22) Event Planning

Event planning can easily be done online. You don’t have to rely on your local area to provide you with events to plan. Instead, get your name out there and let the Internet find reliable customers.

If you have a knack for planning parties, social celebrations, or formal business events, there are a lot of groups out there that can benefit from your natural talent. This is a completely work-from-home job that requires no startup funds.

23) Life Coaching

If you have experience giving great advice and helping to turn people’s lives around, you can easily become a life coach online. All you have to do is advertise yourself in the life coaching niche.

People are looking for therapists and advice-givers online. Sometimes, a customer can’t find what they need at a local venue. Or, they don’t have the ability to safely pursue a life coach in person. That’s where you can help: By offering virtual life coaching services, people in need can find you anyplace, at any time.

24) Homemade Product Selling

Do you like to make soaps? Are you a fabulous quilt maker? If you have a bunch of stock, but no place to sell it in person, you can open your own online store. Selling on the Internet is easy, especially if you use a free site like Etsy or Ebay to sell your products.

Get to know your creative niche online. What do other quilt-sellers charge for their handmade items? Can you beat their prices? What do you have to offer that’s original and unique? You can sell all of your inventory online and make a profit doing what you love most.

25) Drop-Shipping

Drop-shipping is a lot like running an Amazon or Ebay store, but sometimes there’s even more profit in this method.

What exactly is drop-shipping, you ask?

Drop-shipping is an attractive way of selling stock online. You don’t have to worry about storing a large inventory of items at your home, and you don’t even have to ship them yourself. The process is simple: You sell a product at retail price to customers online, and as soon as they make the purchase, you buy that product from a wholesaler. They will even ship the item to your customer for you. That way, you never have to handle the product yourself, and you profit the whole way!

26) Website Developer

If you have a history of engineering, and you know your way around programming languages, you can earn a hefty profit becoming a full stack or HTML/CSS developer.

New companies are emerging daily, and they are always in need of new websites. Not only do you have to be good at the back end, but you should invest a lot of time into front-end development as well. A website needs to function properly and look good too.

You can start your own web development business for no cost at all. You can start earning money right away!

27) Digital Media Conversion Services

What do people do with all of their old CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes? It’s becoming more and more difficult to find ways to play those old tapes. You can start a digital media conversion service with the right equipment and technological experience.

The only money you’d have to spend up front is to purchase CD/DVD conversion equipment. These machines allow you to insert old forms of media and upload them virtually to your computer. That way, your clients will always have a way to access their old memories in a quick and long-lasting way.

28) Creative Art Services

You don’t just have to do graphic design to become a successful creative talent online. Lots of people are seeking custom artwork pieces or other designs that they can use in their homes and offices. You can take your fine art skills to the next level and start obtaining clients from all across the globe.

It costs no money to start selling art commissions online. Websites like Society6 and Fine Art America will let you set your own prices for prints or original pieces.

29) Bridal Concierge Services

Every bride needs a reliable planner for their wedding. You don’t necessarily have to meet with the bride in person in order to help them organize and plan the beautiful wedding of their dreams.
It can be hard for people to find everything they need for their wedding. They may not have access to the best stores, or they are just unaware of what they can get for their budget. Use your knowledge of the always-relevant industry to connect brides with places to find dresses, flowers, cakes, and more.

Bottom Line: The World is Your Oyster!

With 29 online business ideas to help you start earning money online, it’s easy to see how quickly you can get started. Whether you have a small budget, or no budget at all, you can find your niche and start making money through your hard work and experience. All you need is a good idea and the motivation to do good work online!


Image Source:Pixabay

©2017Digitaldimensions4u.com The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.


  1. Shantanu Sinha December 1, 2017
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  3. Abhishek Dharmik December 4, 2017
  4. Tejas December 8, 2017

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