The internet offers countless ways for people to learn about, research products, buy goods and services, or start their own business. And while it's true that some of these options require a small initial investment — like buying domain names, hosting accounts, etc. — there are also plenty of others that don't. In this article we'll explain how to make money with zero dollar in your pocket (or bank account).
We're going to look at three different scenarios: making money with $0 invested, earning money with no funds left over, and starting an income-based business with absolutely nothing on hand. If you want to know which one is right for you, keep reading!
If you have absolutely no cash lying around but still need to find something to spend all day doing, why not consider working as an independent contractor? As someone who has done this myself, here's what it entails:
1) Sign up for Fiverr (or another similar site), where anyone looking to pay less than $5 will post "gigs" they'd like completed. You simply search through gigs posted by other users and see if anything sounds interesting to you. When someone posts a gig you think might be worth your time, click the link to visit its page and check out whether it looks appealing. Once you've decided you want to take on a particular project, send them a message letting them know you're interested. They should then give you more details about it so you can decide if you're willing to work on it. The payment process is simple enough and depends entirely on whatever terms were laid out when the user first asked for help. Typically, users will provide links to sites or apps that allow payments via PayPal, Google Checkout, Stripe, Amazon Payments, Bitcoin, or direct deposit into your personal checking/savings account.
2) Freelancing websites such as Upwork, People Per Hour, Freelancer, Guru, Indeed ProFolio, Toptal Pro OfferUp, Zillow Labor, Scriptlance, LinkedIn Jobs, Elance, oDesk, TaskRabbit, Gigbucks, etc., offer opportunities to freelance workers across many industries. Depending on the type of freelancing service you choose, you may get paid per hour, per task, or even retain ownership of projects once they reach completion. Many platforms use escrow to ensure both parties receive a product of good quality, whereas others rely solely on trust between customer and worker. Regardless of platform, however, most companies only charge a fee based on the value of the job. For example, customers typically won't pay 20% just because you're a member of the website. Rather, fees tend to range anywhere from 2% to 10%, depending on factors like difficulty level, scope, experience, urgency, volume, client history, professionalism, etc.
3) Sites like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji Classifieds, Craigslist Personals, Gumtree Casuals, eBay Motors, etc., let you sell items directly to buyers who contact you. Some sites feature specific categories of items, allowing you to pick and choose exactly what to sell. Others simply list everything available for sale. Most sellers set their own prices, though buyers sometimes ask to negotiate. Payment methods vary greatly between each site and often include cash, bank transfer, wire transfers, Paypal, gift cards, etc. Usually, buyers pay within 24 hours after receiving a seller’s email confirming a transaction.
4) Selling stuff on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Vine, Twitch, DTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, StumbleUpon, Etsy, Medium, etc., lets you create passive streams of revenue. Just put your content out there and watch it grow organically. With tons of video clips uploaded every minute, social media platforms become great places to showcase your talents and gain exposure. Not only does this increase brand awareness, but it could potentially attract new advertisers. Also, due to high competition among creators, monetization on social media usually involves getting sponsored deals, charging higher rates, selling advertising space, creating branded merchandise, partnering with brands, offering premium subscriptions, adding affiliate programs, etc.
5) Start blogging and writing articles for publications such as Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Mashable, CNN Money, Bloomberg News, CNBC, Fox News, TechCrunch, BBC World News, Yahoo Finance, etc. By sharing valuable information, insights, tips, tricks, advice, opinions, etc., you can build credibility and establish yourself as an expert in certain areas. This helps potential clients feel confident they made the correct decision in choosing your company over competitors. While writing blog posts requires little effort upfront, you will continue to benefit long-term regardless of whether readers subscribe to your newsletter, follow your social profiles, or purchase a single item off your shop. However, building subscribers' lists is essential since it allows you to stay connected with followers and engage with them regularly. Plus, having a steady stream of traffic keeps your store stocked with fresh inventory and makes sales orders easy to fill.
6) Build an eCommerce storefront. Even if you aren't planning to open a brick-and-mortar retail location, setting up your very own digital boutique can be beneficial. Creating a website doesn't require much financial expenditure, either. It takes hard work and dedication to run a successful online store, so expect to invest several months before seeing return on your efforts. But once you've got momentum, the possibilities are endless. You could add additional features later on such as mobile app development, SEO optimization, PPC campaigns, conversion rate improvements, etc.
7) Sell pictures, art pieces, furniture, books, cars, antiques, crafts, electronics, jewelry, clothing, pets, plants, musical instruments, real estate, sports memorabilia, tickets, etc. Online marketplaces like Ebay, Craigslist, Depop, Thredup, Glyde, Mercari, Artspiration, Auctions At Home, Letgo, Rentberry, OfferUp, BizBuySell, etc., serve as excellent resources for finding unique products to resell. On top of commission checks, you stand to score big bucks from listing your vintage sneakers for hundreds of dollars instead of paying full price. Additionally, selling used gadgets on Swappa or Gazelle can net you extra cash when paired with smart shopping practices like keeping track of reviews, ensuring devices meet manufacturer specs, avoiding shipping delays, etc.
8) Become an influencer. Social media marketing experts agree that reaching thousands of followers is key to attaining success in today's competitive landscape. Being able to secure sponsorships, partnerships, and endorsement deals gives individuals leverage when promoting themselves, their causes, or their careers. So, rather than trying to convince strangers to sign up for your newsletters, promote yourself using hashtags (#selfieSunday, #throwbackthursday, #tbt, #werkmama, #mommyinstagrammer, etc.), and share your favorite moments on social media.
9) Start your own startup. From developing innovative tech solutions to delivering pizza, there are numerous ways to turn passion into profit. One option is to launch your own consulting firm. To succeed, you must possess strong communication skills, problem solving abilities, analytical prowess, expertise in software engineering, computer programming, finance, marketing, leadership qualities, etc. Another way to go is to develop apps or games. Platforms like Kickstarter, Figma, and IndieGoGo encourage people to pitch ideas and concepts that appeal to investors. Of course, launching your own venture isn't free. Before diving headfirst into entrepreneurship, determine how much capital you'll need to sustain your business until it reaches profitability. Then, seek external funding.
10) Get involved in crowdfunding. Looking to raise money for a side hustle, project, or lifestyle change? Crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe, Indiegogo, RocketHub, SeedInvest, Patreon, FundAnything, DonateAsYouLike, WeSearchCoins, LendingClub, Citi Ventures, etc., allow ordinary folks to pool together finances and investments to fund startups, artists, events, travel destinations, charitable organizations, etc. Allowing entrepreneurs to bypass banks, credit card companies, VC firms, stock brokers, etc., crowdsourcing provides faster turnaround times and lower costs. According to VentureBeat, the average cost of raising seed capital from angel investors, VCs, and private lenders was nearly double ($93K vs. $48K) compared to crowdfunded sources.
11) Host webinars. Whether you hold regular seminars, live presentations during conferences, workshops, or webcasts, holding your own event provides numerous benefits. First of all, you get to control scheduling. Secondly, it enables you to network with dozens of prospective leads, partners, colleagues, friends, family members, vendors, etc. Thirdly, attending a virtual event saves everyone money while helping attendees save precious vacation days. Lastly, being present at a conference virtually means fewer environmental concerns. That's because you wouldn't have to print promotional materials and ship them across the country. Instead, you would merely upload recordings onto a server located nearby.
I was recently scrolling through TikTok looking at some of my favorite creators' content when I came across this video by @the12yearold, which has garnered over 1 million views since it was posted on June 4th.
In it, she teaches her viewers how they too could become "rich" little kids like herself who don't have much but still manage to find ways to be happy, despite their circumstances. It's inspiring that even though most people think being broke is depressing, these young women aren't letting anything stand between them and their dreams. They're determined to live life exactly as they want regardless of what other adults might say or try to force upon them.
If you've had your eye on one of these accounts lately, then you may already know about them because there were several new videos released last week with the tag #moneymakin4kids. From making $100 off Amazon products and selling crafts made out of plastic bottles to teaching others how to sell makeup and beauty products on Instagram and YouTube, they all seem very successful so far. In fact, many of them are making more than enough capital to quit school altogether! And if you haven't checked out these ladies yet, here's why you should start today...
The first lady behind @the12yearold is 13 years old and goes by @sophia_lee91. She started sharing her experiences on social media back in 2018 after realizing no one else would help her figure things out. Her channel now boasts nearly 300k followers on TikTok alone, where she releases new vlogs every few days.
Sophia says she wants to inspire everyone around her — especially those struggling financially — to follow their hearts and pursue whatever makes them truly happy. As an entrepreneur herself, Sophia knows firsthand just how hard it can be to survive while trying to stay true to yourself.
She began posting her personal struggles on social media two years ago, including mental health issues related to poverty, eating disorders, homelessness, and neglectful parents/caregivers. Since then, she's opened up about everything from not having a phone or computer to living off scraps from restaurants and grocery stores. But instead of dwelling on negativity, Sophia finds positive solutions to each challenge. For example, she turned her negative experience with food into a business called Little Spoon Food Co., which sells affordable recipes based on meals found in soup kitchens.
As she continues growing her following, she hopes to teach others how to create success stories like hers. To date, she's launched three books (including The First Lady Is Poor) and partnered with brands such as Nike, Dollar Shave Club, Huggies, Target, and Sephora. Not bad for someone who grew up poor and never went to college.
@jenniferlynch also known as JenniferLynn17 on Youtube, posts vlogs showing her everyday outfits and adventures in Los Angeles. Like Sophia, she also shares her thoughts on entrepreneurship and positivity. On her channel, she frequently uploads inspirational quotes and talks about self esteem. You'll definitely see her talk about how to look good, feel confident, and always put a smile on your face.
Another creator we love (@lilygracelynn), 17 years old, is another popular Youtuber with almost 8 million subscribers on her Youtube account. Lily loves fashion and beauty tutorials and often uses her platform to share tips on how to save cash during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. However, aside from offering helpful advice, Lily will also let you in on secret deals before anyone else does. Recently, she uploaded a sneak peek of her upcoming collaboration with American Eagle, and revealed that the clothing line will launch later this summer. So keep your eyes peeled next time you shop on Black Friday.
These entrepreneurs aren't afraid to take risks either. Many of them post screenshots of messages sent by investors, asking them questions about themselves or their ideas. Some ask them to show proof of income, others give them feedback on their pitches. While some may receive rejections, others end up receiving funding within weeks.
For instance, @melissajane97, 16 years old, received $10,000 to fund her company, My Sweet Summer Garden, earlier this month. This girl literally became a millionaire overnight. Another creator (@marieebeaubrunnegan), 15, got funded in April 2020 after raising only $20,000 via Kickstarter. Now, she's working fulltime creating handcrafted jewelry inspired by fairytales.
It seems like the younger the child, the better chance they have of getting investments. That said, it doesn't hurt to reach out to older mentors with similar interests. If you're interested in becoming a filmmaker, consider reaching out to established producers, directors, and film schools. Ask them for career mentorship opportunities.
You can also use platforms like AngelList to connect with potential collaborators who invest in early stage startups. Or you can join venture capitalist groups that offer seed funds.
And remember, you don't need to go straight to VCs for financial assistance. There are plenty of crowdfunding sites available, allowing individuals to raise small amounts of money for specific projects. Sites like WeFunder, Fundrise, Crowdcube, and SeedInvest allow users to pitch creative ventures directly to backers.
Many of these teens are using their skillsets to provide services online, whether it be editing photos, designing graphics, doing web development, or writing copy. Often times, customers contact them directly seeking freelance work rather than hiring agencies.
Some creators charge clients per hour, while others set hourly rates. Either way, you can count on earning extra spending money once you gain momentum. Just imagine what you'd pay for a graphic designer nowadays compared to 10 years ago. According to PayScale, the average entry level graphic design salary was roughly $34,700 in 2019. Compare that to 2009, when the same role paid somewhere around $19,400.
While you won't necessarily strike gold right away, if you stick to your passion and hone your talent, you'll eventually succeed. One thing is certain: nothing comes easy. Success requires effort, sacrifice, determination, persistence, and luck. Luckily, if you play your cards right, you can achieve great wealth without ever taking out loans or dipping into your savings.
You're probably wondering where all those people who say they made thousands of dollars overnight on YouTube or Facebook marketing scams got their money, when it takes hours (and sometimes days) for them to hit that amount in real life.
Well, there's actually an easy way out if you want to start earning more than your friends' paychecks this year: By investing less time and energy into building "passive income" streams. That's what we call creating residual incomes by leveraging other peoples' time and effort instead of yours.
Here are some ways how anyone can create passive income today using current technology. You'll be surprised at how much money these simple methods can generate after just one month!
1. Get paid to take surveys
There is no better place to begin looking for a passive income opportunity than through taking surveys. There are literally hundreds of companies willing to give away free gift cards worth hundred dollar bills just for filling out short forms about their products. All you need to do is sign up as an affiliate marketer with one of many reputable survey sites like Swagbucks, Toluna, and Global Test Market. From then on, you will receive credit every time someone clicks on one of your links and signs up for the company's product/service. The good news is that most paying surveys only require between 15-20 minutes per day, so the work isn't too hard either.
2. Sell others stuff on eBay
Selling items on eBay has become an everyday task for millions of people worldwide. And why not? It's very convenient, fast, cheap, and even profitable. If the item doesn't sell within 14 days, you can simply list it again. Or maybe find something cheaper somewhere else. As long as you follow certain rules, you can easily reach top ranking positions on search engines. Just visit eBay marketplace section to see hundreds of different categories available.
3. Rent out rooms on Airbnb
This website allows users to rent out private rooms, entire apartments, houses, etc. They have apps and websites in over 28 languages across 192 countries. To date, more than 5 million happy customers use Airbnb to explore new places around the world while helping local communities thrive. With Uber also recently entering this field, competition could heat up soon. However, due to its popularity among travelers, you may already know about Airbnb. So don't worry, here are few tips you should keep in mind before renting out your space:
a. Check the fine print - review each listing carefully and read terms & conditions thoroughly
b. Set maximum prices based on your location
c. Ensure that you provide sufficient information regarding security measures such as fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, locks, cameras, gates, fences, etc.
d. Don't forget to mention things like parking availability, pets allowed, smoking policy, guests' ages, kitchen facilities, laundry services, internet access, cleaning fee, check-in times, etc.
e. Always doublecheck everything once prior booking is complete
4. Make extra cash selling unwanted gifts on Craigslist
If you've ever shopped during holiday season, you might have found lots of unsold Christmas presents lying around boxes everywhere. Why not turn them into quick bucks? Simply post ads on craigslist and let sellers pick up their own goods. This method works particularly well for small electronics, books, toys, baby clothes etc.
5. Take advantage of social media influencers
Social networks are full of opportunities to make money quickly. Here are two examples:
a. Post sponsored advertisements along side content creators' posts. For example, Instagram offers advertisers the ability to run promotions alongside photos posted by verified accounts. Users who view the promoted image or video click through to advertiser pages. This results in increased brand awareness and exposure, which leads to higher sales.
b. Promote other brands' products on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, etc., to increase followers, likes, comments and shares. When users share your page link via social media platforms, it helps drive traffic back to your site.
6. Start an ecommerce business
In order to start making money with little to no upfront costs, you'll first need to consider starting an eCommerce store. A lot of entrepreneurs choose Amazon because of its low overhead cost compared to other popular E Commerce platform providers like Etsy. Once you establish yourself on Amazon Marketplace, you can build upon your customer base by adding third party merchants. Other great options include Shopify, BigCartel, WooCommerce, Magento, Opencart, Volusion, 1ShoppingCart, 3dcart, etc.
7. Create digital products and courses
Digital products offer several advantages over physical ones. First off, they are far easier to produce and distribute. Secondly, they allow buyers to try products risk-free since they cannot break anything. Thirdly, buying digital products often saves time and makes shopping more efficient. Lastly, they help cut down expenses. In fact, the biggest expense involved in producing physical products is printing and shipping fees. Digital products eliminate both of these charges.
8. Become a freelancer
Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. More and more workers are turning to flexible job markets rather than conventional employment. According to PayScale studies, freelance careers earned 67% more annually than employees with similar experience levels. Moreover, Forbes reports that 53 percent of American adults regularly used some kind of mobile app to book gigs last year. While it seems like everyone wants to ditch 9-to-5 jobs in favor of working for themselves, the truth is that entrepreneurship requires constant self-improvement, networking, and continuous learning. But hey, it's definitely possible to achieve financial freedom by doing nothing but offering value to others.
9. Generate revenue sharing deals with affiliates
Affiliates represent another popular source of passive earnings. Affiliate marketers promote other people's products for commission. Usually, commissions range anywhere from 10%-75%. Generally speaking, the bigger the sale, the smaller the percentage taken by the merchant. Keep in mind though, that the size of the commission does not necessarily correlate to the quality of service provided. Some high end merchants charge lower percentages than their competitors yet still manage to exceed expectations in performance and reliability. On average, affiliate programs pays faster than traditional employment, allowing you to spend more time with family and pursue other interests.
10. Leverage unused resources
Are you tired of wasting your precious time trying to figure out how to squeeze more productivity out of your daily routine? Would you prefer spending time with loved ones rather worrying about finding additional clients? Then you'll love getting started with our step-by-step guide showing you exactly how to leverage your existing resources into multiple sources of passive income. Our team understands how difficult it can be to set aside enough time to focus on growing your wealth. We believe that everyone deserves to live richly and comfortably, regardless of circumstances.
11. Offer consulting services
Some experts suggest that the future belongs to consultants rather than employers and employees. Today, more and more people are choosing to go beyond their comfort zones and learn new skills in hopes of developing valuable expertise for lucrative career prospects. Additionally, offering consultancy services can lead to passive income especially if you specialize in specific areas. For instance, if you are skilled in medical procedures, nutrition, fitness, personal training, interior design, photography, writing, teaching, coaching, etc., you can easily launch your own virtual assistant firm and enjoy steady flow of clientele.
12. Build a membership community
Building a successful business comes down to having loyal members. One proven way to retain memberships is by providing superior customer service. People tend to stay engaged with organizations with whom they feel connected. Therefore, focusing on serving your audience properly will bring consistent growth in membership numbers. Also, the longer you remain active in your business, the greater chances of attracting potential investors.
13. Write ebook guides
Ebooks have been shown to rank highly in various relevant searches on major platforms. Plus, authors with bestselling titles command huge royalty checks. What sets apart eBooks from regular publications is their interactive nature. Readers can ask questions, comment, vote, rate chapters, etc. Not only does this add appeal and usability, it also provides substantial engagement metrics. Thus, readers won't stop reading until they finish your eBook.
14. Develop software applications
As mentioned earlier, the future belongs to consultants rather than employers and employees. Many companies realize this trend and are actively recruiting developers for project teams. Whether you're familiar with Java, C++, Python, Objective-C, Swift, Ruby, Android development, iOS development, game programming, web application development, etc., you can easily position yourself as an expert in your area of interest. Furthermore, unlike many other startups, you can benefit from the extensive knowledge of experienced mentors. Ultimately, you'll gain hands-on experience in your chosen profession, which is priceless.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.