10 Online Careers You Can Start Today With Basically No Money
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.