8 Online Business Ideas You Can Start with Zero Investment


Last updated: June 27, 2024

woman_is_working_at_laptopThey say it takes money to make money, but that’s not always the case anymore. Thanks to the internet, you can launch a business without a dime. If you’ve got a computer and an internet connection, you’re good to go.

This could even be your side hustle while keeping your day job.

Online commerce has exploded, bringing with it a wave of financial gurus like Ramit Sethi, author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.” Sethi shares countless ways to earn online, and here are eight of his top recommendations.

1. SEO Specialist

Courses from Hubspot and Udemy can kickstart your SEO career. Stay updated with the latest algorithm changes and network to find clients. A website or an online profile showcasing your projects can help you get started quickly.

2. Creative Sales and Services

Got a knack for creativity? Sell art, write web content, or offer other creative services online. Platforms like Etsy and Shopify are great for artists, while freelancers can find gigs on sites like Upwork.

3. Virtual Assistant

If you’re great at organizing, being a virtual assistant could be your gig. This freelance role can be done remotely, and hourly rates can add up fast.

4. Content Strategist

With a marketing background, you can become a content strategist. This high-demand job involves working with writers and SEO specialists to create content plans for clients. Plus, it’s fully remote.

5. E-Commerce Personal Shopper: Curate items for clients based on their preferences and needs. Knowledge of e-commerce platforms is key. Start with a website and some marketing, and you could earn through commissions or retainers.

6. Dropshipper: No need for capital or warehousing with dropshipping. You take customer orders, pass them to suppliers who ship directly to the customers, and you pocket the profits. Just set up a website, find suppliers, and list your products.

7. Online Coach: If you can help others improve their skills, whether in career, finance, or health, online coaching is a great option. Package your expertise into courses or one-on-one sessions.

8. Influencer: Influencer marketing is booming, with a market worth $21 billion. You don’t need to be a celebrity to make money. Micro-influencers with smaller followings can still earn well.

Starting an online business without money is more feasible than ever. With a bit of effort and ingenuity, you can turn these ideas into a profitable venture.

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About The Author

Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Jon Morgan, MBA, LLM, has over ten years of experience growing startups and currently serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter. Educated at UC Davis and Harvard, he offers deeply informed guidance. Beyond work, he enjoys spending time with family, his poodle Sophie, and learning Spanish.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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