10 Online Careers You Can Start Today With Basically No Money

It doesn't require much capital to become a business consultant, virtual assistant or freelance content creator.

learn more about Jonathan Long

By Jonathan Long • Mar 3, 2019 Originally published Mar 3, 2019


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Imagine working from home or any remote location of your choice, while dictating your schedule and having complete control over your career.

If that sounds up your alley, you should consider starting an online career. It can be a lot easier -- and require much less startup capital -- than you might think, thanks to the internet.

With a combination of drive, determination and skill, your online career can start almost immediately. Here are ten options to consider starting today.


Virtual assistant

Many companies operate these days without a physical office location, which has opened up a wide array of remote opportunities for virtual assistants to handle a range of tasks. These include customer service duties, answering phones, setting appointments and screening emails.

You can start small with a single client. Then, once you identify your specialty or an area you want to focus on -- social media customer service, for example -- you can take on more clients and increase your earning potential.


Business coach

If you are an expert in a particular field, leverage your knowledge and become a coach, teaching students form all over the world. The internet allows you to reach anyone that is interested, regardless of their geographical location.

Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55



Freelance content creator

Virtually every business is doing some form of content marketing these days -- it’s been a buzzword for the past several years, and that's because it usually works. There's a lot of competing content out there, so the demand for excellent writers is at an all-time high.

After all, anyone can publish content, but very few businesses are creating compelling content that commands attention and converts their audience figures into revenue. If you're a skilled writer, there could be plenty of lucrative opportunities waiting for you.


eBay store owner

Gary Vaynerchuk is a huge fan of garage sales, and he once said, “The garage sale eBay conversion has some of the biggest margins in the world.” The concept is simple: Buy low and sell high.

This is also a viable option if you’re looking to raise startup funds. It’s a great bridge for those looking to start an online career but who don't want to abandon the security and paycheck of a 9-to-5 job. You could hit garage sales on the weekend and handle your auction listings in the evening.


T-shirt ecommerce store

Nowadays, there are a significant number of on-demand printing companies. That makes starting a T-shirt company more affordable than in years past, when you'd have needed to order large quantities of shirts in multiple colors and sizes, forcing you to guess what would sell.

Creative designs and the power of social media can get a T-shirt brand up and running -- and generating revenue -- almost overnight. Chummy Tees is a great example of how you can turn catchy tag-lines and creative designs into a profitable online business.

Related: Getting Fired Was Step 1 to Increasing My Pay 1,000% in 3 Months



If you're qualified, consulting can prove to be a very lucrative business. But there are so many consultants these days that you don't only need to be able to deliver concrete results and provide real value -- you also need a way to stand out and separate yourself from the mediocrity.

I transitioned my company from a service provider to a consulting firm, and it took over five years of brand-building to get to where we are now.

Affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing can generate a significant amount of revenue. You receive a special link to promote -- for example, Amazon's affiliate program is available here -- as well as a cut of every lead or sale you're responsible for generating. You can promote these offers to an email list that you build, via a blog that you operate or across social media.

This will require more startup capital than the other suggestions on this list because to find real success, you'll need to do a lot of split-testing across multiple paid channels. The most successful affiliates aren’t afraid to spend money on testing and optimization.


scyther5 / Shutterstock.com

Social media influencer

If you have a large and loyal following on social media, you could be earning a significant amount of money promoting products and partnerships. Some social media influencers with high engagement earn thousands of dollars per post, but for good reason: Influencer marketing seems to work. Brands wouldn’t be shelling out that kind of money if they weren’t seeing a return.

Related: 5 Steps to Creating a Killer Marketing Strategy




The most popular YouTubers can make millions of dollars a year in advertising revenue. Even if that seems unattainable, a great deal of creators make a comfortable living vlogging.

You'll need an interesting concept or story, since people subscribe to channels that they can aspire to or relate to. Similar to how a company often needs a unique selling point to push a product, it's important to own a unique angle if you want to gain traction and attract a following.


Web developer

Coding is a high-demand skill that you could leverage into a career as a freelance web developer. That means, in theory, you'd control your hours, set your price, pick your projects (and who you work for) and end up doing something you enjoy while earning a comfortable living.

As in every industry, freelancers tend to vary in terms of the quality of work they produce. Take a look at these tips on hiring a freelancer to see what people are looking for when they hire.

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This Co-Founder Was Kicked Out of Retailers for Pitching a 'Taboo' Beauty Product. Now, Her Multi-Million-Dollar Company Sells It for More Than $20 an Ounce.
Have You Ever Obsessed Over 'What If'? According to Scientists, You Don't Actually Know What Would Have Fixed Everything.
Most People Don't Know These 2 Things Are Resume Red Flags. A Career Expert Reveals How to Work Around Them.
Business News

Survey: A Majority of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Sixty-four percent of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck — even those who earn more than $100,000 a year.

Business News

Massive Fire At Top Egg Farm Leaves Estimated 100,000 Hens Dead. What Does This Mean For Egg Prices?

Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut went up in flames on Saturday in an incident that is still under investigation.

Business Solutions

5 Procurement Trends To Keep on Your Radar for 2023

Procurement professionals must adapt to inflation and a shortage of skilled labor in the face of an economic recession. Investing in a workforce paired with retraining and development strategies will put your company on top amid economic uncertainty.

Business News

'This Just Can't Be for Real': Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland is Now Hiring For His New Tech Company -- And He's Already Selling Merch

McFarland was released from house arrest last September and is currently being ordered to pay $26 million in restitution to fraud victims.

Business News

Out With the Kibble and In With the Steak. The World's Richest Dog Has a Net Worth of $400 Million – And a New Netflix Docuseries Too

'Gunther's Millions' is set to unpack the pooch's mysterious fortune and what those around him have done with his inheritance.