8 Online Business Ideas You Can Start Without Any Money

Tatiana Buzmakova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tatiana Buzmakova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The old adage that it “takes money to make money” doesn’t resonate as it used to, thanks to online business ideas that don’t require startup costs. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can get a business up and running without money and minimal training. In many cases, your business can serve as a side gig for your full-time job.

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The rise in online commerce has led to a similar rise in the number of financial experts offering tips on how to get started with an online business – including Ramit Sethi, author of the bestselling book “I Will Teach You to be Rich.”

Sethi laid out more than a dozen ways you can earn money online on his website (also called I Will Teach You to Be Rich). Here’s a look at eight online business ideas you can start without money, based on Sethi’s recommendations and others.

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist

Hubspot and Udemy offer “neat courses” for those looking to get into SEO, according to Sethi. You’ll need to keep up with the latest algorithm updates and use your networking skills to find clients. But you can set this business up quickly with either a website or an online profile with a portfolio of projects.

Creative Sales and Services

Creators have numerous ways to earn money online with no money required, ranging from selling art online to writing web content. The main requirement is that you have the talent and training to produce work that people want to buy. Visual artists can promote their work on social media sites as well as e-commerce platforms like Etsy and Shopify. If you want to write web content, Shopify recommends using freelancing marketplaces such as Upwork.

Virtual Assistant

As Sethi noted, a virtual assistant is a good job if you are “an ace at arranging family vacations and organizing your spouse’s calendar. The role is mostly freelance and you can do it remotely. Rates are typically charged by the hour, which means that you’ll “build your earnings relatively quickly.”

Content Strategist

Sethi calls this a “new role” that works well for those with a marketing background. The job involves working with content writers, copywriters and SEO specialists to develop content plans for clients. The job is in “high demand,” according to Sethi, and you can do it completely remotely.

E-Commerce Personal Shopper

As Forbes noted, this business involves curating items based on clients’ preferences and needs. The primary requirement is that you have knowledge of different e-commerce platforms. You can get started with just a website and some marketing/networking. Earnings are usually commission-based or on a retainer.


This is another high-demand service that requires no capital, office space or warehousing. Dropshippers accept orders from customers and send those orders to suppliers for fulfillment. All you need to do is set up a website, find suppliers and list the goods for dropshipping. Suppliers ship from their own warehouses and you earn profits.

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Online Coach

This is a good option if you have the skills and expertise to help clients improve in a number of different areas, from employability and finances to mental and physical health. Sethi recommends packaging your services into online courses or sessions.


Influencer marketing is a $21 billion industry, according to Statista data cited by Shopify, and you’ll find no shortage of business opportunities. Although celebrity influencers get the most attention, there is also a “robust market” for micro-influencers who can earn money without having to build up millions of followers, Shopify reported.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Ramit Sethi: 8 Online Business Ideas You Can Start Without Any Money


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