25 Online Business Ideas for Beginners (without Investment)

Online businesses are “Easy to Start” and “Less Risky” than offline businesses. You can virtually work from anywhere, reach potential customers globally, and make money without investing your dollars.

So, pursuing an online career is a perfect option for people who do not have investment but they want to work hard to be rich.

There are hundreds of online business ideas but I’ll focus on some of the best ones that you can start with no or little money.

Know this before jumping into any of these internet based business ideas:

  • Most online businesses are home-based.
  • Some of them can be started on a part-time basis but not all.
  • They require you to learn and implement new and right strategies.
  • Making an online business successful can take time depending on your approach, knowlegde, skill and experience.
  • They require hard work out of your comfort zone, especially in the initial stages.

Online Business Ideas for Beginners

Even if you have no money, there are still plenty of things you can start doing to make a profit. For example, you can start your own blog or website, which will allow you to provide content for free. The content that you create is what will make your blog or website successful. Once people visit your blog or website, they will want to purchase whatever it is that you’re selling.

These are the most suitable online business ideas for beginners to start:

1. Start a Blog

If you’re passionate about writing or have expertise in the field, blogging is the best online business you can think of. It’s a lot easier to start a blog today. You do not need any technical or computer related skills to get started.

The platforms like WordPress helps you create and build a website in hours. Blogger is a platform where you can create a blog completely free. (WordPress is recommended. You can have your site set up in less than $50 for a year).

In order to be a successful blogger, you’ll need to create content that engages the audience. It may be in the form of blog posts, videos, images, audios or infographics.

You can have topic ideas from your competitor’s blog but you must create original and better content to make money.

Online Business Ideas

How do you make money?

Google AdSense: You have seen ads on different websites, right? Most of these ads are run through Google AdSense. You’ll make money when visitors click on the ads that appear on your site.

Blog Ad Networks: You can use Ad networks other than Google. They are the same as Google ads, however, they may not be advanced enough. Moreover, they won’t make you enough money as Google AdSense. So, only consider them if you can’t use Google AdSense.

Affiliate Marketing: When you promote or mention a product in your content, you’ll earn a commission every time someone buys it because of you.

You can run Google Ads while still doing affiliate marketing. So, start with these two.


  • Blogging requires no or very little investment.
  • You can run your site part-time.
  • You can work whenever and wherever you want.


  • It may take a good time before you start making money.
  • Creating and posting great content can be time-consuming.

How to get started?

Here are the major steps you’ll have to take once you decide to start a blog.

  • Choose a niche for your blog.
  • Create a user-friendly site structure.
  • Write great content.
  • Publish and promote your content.
  • Monetize your blog once you have enough visitors.

2. Become a Freelance Writer

Freelance writers write content for others. If you do not wish to start a blog of your own, you can also consider creating content for others.

Depending on how awesome you’re at writing, you’ll charge money. Beginners charge less and they just prefer to learn and master writing first. So, should you.

This will help you in the long run and of course, you can consider related online businesses as well including, proofreading, guest post writing, academic writing, and more.

Freelance writing is one of the suitable online business ideas for students.


  • You don’t need a penny to start freelance writing.
  • You start earning money as soon as you start writing.
  • It consumes less time than blogging.


  • You won’t make money if you stop working.
  • You may face tough time deadlines.
  • Many clients will not prefer beginners for their projects.

How can you start freelance writing?

You can start writing today by joining popular freelance sites. UpWork is among the most popular sites you would want to join. Here is how it works:

  • Clients post jobs and want freelancers to bid on them.
  • You’ll read the job post thoroughly. If you can do the job, you’ll bid on it. Otherwise, just leave it.
  • You can’t bid on every job and if you bid on irrelevant jobs, you could suspend your upwork account.
  • As a beginner, you should focus on making your profile better. So, getting small jobs and positive feedback on your profile is one of your primary goals.
  • Once you get some experience, choose big and high paying projects only.

Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and freelancer are other popular freelance platforms you can join.

3. Start Graphic Designing

Graphic designers are making a million dollars in less than a year. You could do it too. First, ask yourself if you have a passion for it? Secondly, are you a creative and artistic type of person who would easily develop visual merchandise?

Usually, the clients have the following requirements from the graphic designers:

  • Logo designing
  • Illustrations
  • Presentation templates
  • Social media designs
  • Brochures
  • Flyers and Banners designing
  • creative ads designing

There are hundreds of free tools and software available today that can help you design graphics easily. You can learn how and when to use them by watching tutorials on YouTube.

Adobe Photoshop: Designers use Photoshop to edit images, image-based layouts, and make logos.

Adobe Indesign makes layouts and multipage documents, such as flyers, banners, magazines, and posters, etc.

Adobe Illustrator creates vector graphics, logos, and illustrations.

Canva helps you create amazing designs for free.


  • Graphic designing is a highly coveted skill in many
  • It is one of the most lucrative online business ideas.
  • Graphics catch attention and it’s easy for people to appreciate your work.


  • Graphic designing is a competitive market.
  • You will begin to develop
    mental exhaustion if you work consistently.

How to join the world of graphics creators?

Patreon and Behance are the most popular website where you can try your skills.

If you’re starting graphic designing, you must have long-term plans and goals. In order to reach them, you’ll need to avoid the common pitfalls. Here are do’s and don’ts when starting your career as a graphic designer.


  • Be original and authentic.
  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Remember your work has some value.
  • Specialize in a specific niche.
  • Familiarize yourself with related fields.
  • Find a mentor if you need one.


  • Don’t underestimate the power of a strong portfolio.
  • Don’t think of instant success and money.
  • Do not say yes to every graphic designing project.
  • Never work for free.
  • Don’t dis-satisfy your clients.

4. Make a Course

Do you know something that you can teach others by making a course? It can be anything from yoga to mobile repair to SEO. This is a great online business idea to monetize your expertise in a particular field.

Being a beginner in the online field, you won’t have an audience already and therefore, it is better to self-publish the book (if it’s in the form of a book) on Amazon first. Later, you could go further and make your own website, your own subscriber list, and increase your social media followers.

In addition to this, you’ll need compelling sale pages that will convince people to buy from you.

You may prefer to make a video training course where people can enroll in a particular time period! If that so, you could take help from online courses and training platforms.

Below are the most popular online courses and teaching platforms.

  • Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with over 1 lakh courses and 25 million students.
  • Teachable is a platform similar to Udemy. Many online entrepreneurs are using it to sell their online courses.
  • Skillshare is an educational online community where the main focus is interaction rather than lecturing.
  • Coursera offers online courses, specialization, and degrees.

Once you have made your course, you’ll need to promote it so to bring more and more people to buy it. Consider the following marketing tactics:

  • Create a small and to the point advertisement video and promote it on social media.
  • Make the enrollment 100% free for a fixed period of time initially. (For a week, two or a month)
  • Quora, Facebook, and YouTube can give you free traffic if you put some content on them.
  • Make the promoters of your course happy by giving their audience a discount.


  • Online courses offer huge profits and you keep it all.
  • You can add more feature and value to your course with time.
  • Your own your course and the customers are your own.
  • You’ll have full access to the audience matrix.


  • You have to set-up everything by yourself.
  • You’re responsible for brand and marketing.
  • Content creation may take a lot of time and efforts.
  • Content is difficult to protect these days.
  • After hardwork for a good time, you won’t be sure if you’ll make sufficient money.

So, are you ready to create your first online course? Here are the major steps on the way you’ll need to take:

  • Pick a topic for your course.
  • Check out if your topic has enough market demand.
  • Select and gather the course outlines.
  • Create engaging content.
  • Come back to edit and remove mistakes.
  • Put it on your website or any popular online platform mentioned above.
  • Price your course.
  • Use free and paid promotion strategies.

 5. Earn Money from Facebook Pages & Groups

Do you admin a popular group or page on Facebook? If yes, there is a chance for you to make money from them. Many people are working on this online business idea.

When I started blogging back in 2017, I used to promote my posts in Facebook groups. One day, I received a message from the admin of a group where I considered posting.

The message said, “Hello, We saw your post in our (Name) group, which has over a hundred thousand members of the same interest. It could drive good traffic to your site. We charge $10 per post. Let us know if you’re interested.”

So, you’ll make money for publishing a post in your group. And of course, you’ll have many posts request if the group is big and have active members.

This is not all. You can do affiliate marketing with it also. You find niche related products on Amazon and write a small post in which you’d suggest them those products.

This tactic would work better if you post actively in the group and interact with the audience. In order to give more exposure to your post, you could consider pinning it at the top.

When it comes to Facebook pages, the owners make money through ads, affiliate programs, and sponsor. Some owners sell their own products too.

Here is how you can get started:

  • Create a FB page or group.
  • Work hard and increase your audience.
  • Try to be active more often and interact with your fans.
  • Monetize your page/group.
  • Find out sponsors.


  • It is easy to form a community on Facebook.
  • It won’t be difficult for you to find customers.
  • You’ll be able to use Facebook insights.
  • The group members and page likes grow without any hard work, after a certain level.


  • You don’t own the platform.
  • Groups are not easy to manage.
  • You’ll make sure that the group rules (you make) are followed.

 6. Build an E-Commerce Store

Starting an E-commerce store is among the most popular and profitable online business ideas. According to an estimate, the global sale reached $2.4 Trillion and the revenue is expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.

An e-commerce store is not 100% free to set up. But it is very cheap and certainly, you won’t have to put money again and again as one does in a physical store.

There are many platforms that help you set up your site. It’s way easier than before. The most popular platform include Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.

The competition is very high and you’ll need to work very hard and for long to succeed. The right product selection makes things easier for you.

And as you’ll target the global customers, you must learn E-Commerce SEO to rank your products pages at the top of the Google or any other search engine. It will increase the sales and hence, the revenue.

Along with this, you can also look out for other ways to increase your sales. For example, highly targeted social traffic can make sales. Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram can be useful in this regard.


  • A small amount of investment is needed.
  • You’ll earn money 24/7.
  • You’ll be selling internationally.
  • It is easy to process a huge number of orders.
  • You can grow your e-commerce business with content.


  • e-Commerce is highly competitive.
  • It takes time to establish and build trust.
  • Customers won’t be able to try products before they buy.
  • Due to technical issues, your site may get down until fixed.

Ready to jump in? Let’s have a look at the major steps you’ll need to take when you start an e-commerce store:

  • Get a domain and hosting
  • Pick the e-commerce platform
  • Install the platform.
  • Setup and design as per your choice.
  • Add products.
  • Install Add-ons.

7. Become an Instagram Influencer

It’s the age of social media. Anyone can have a voice and that’s why more and more people are getting the opportunity to empower themselves. Some have even become able to monetize their online presence.

Who won’t like that? We usually use social media. Won’t it better if you have a goal in our mind for it? It won’t be an addition to your wasted time.

Instagram is a popular social media platform. By spending a good time and doing the hard work, you could achieve millions of follower. Definitely, it is not easy. But it is not impossible.

Popular Instagram influencer, Rachel Brathen, charges $25,000 per Instagram post! Wow! Who knows how much post she does per month?

There are thousands of other people making money from Instagram in the same range. You could get in the race too. The great thing about this online business idea is that you can do it part-time with any other business or job.

Instagram influencer helps business owners make brand identity and increase the product sale. According to Influence Central, Instagram is ranked at 6th in influencing purchases.

SO, what would you actually need to do? Find a niche and post awesome pics frequently. Interact with your audience. People will respect your opinions and recommendations if you post genuine, honest and valuable things. “This is the only hack to find followers and grow”

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of becoming an Instagram influencer so that you can easily decide whether to prefer this online business idea over the others in the list or not.


  • The flexibility of being an influencer is appealing.
  • You can sell your own products easily.
  • The money you’ll make is worth the hard work.
  • You’ll be famous and that’s what some people would love.


  • Consistent work is a must.
  • You’ll need to Research, Research, and Research.
  • Results can be slow.

If you’re looking forward to becoming an Instagram influencer, you’ll have to go through these steps:

  • Find a niche.
  • Create a good and relatable bio.
  • Offer a unique presence.
  • Learn the right use of hashtags.
  • Be consistent.
  • Engage your followers.
  • Consider using a business account.
  • Do not buy irrelevant followers.

8. Start Drop Shipping

It is another business idea for beginners to kick start their online venture. The dropshipping is about selling products you don’t have or you don’t own. When customers order a product, you’ll buy it for lower price from a third party company, distributer or wholesaler.

The easy way to start dropshipping is to start with popular online platforms. They will take care of the product delivery. Shopify gives you an easy simple way to jump into dropshipping business.

So, what will you need to focus on exactly? Mostly marketing to find customers and make sales. With your own website and social media pages, it would relatively easy to advertise and grab new customers.

You can also write content on your website and turn some potential customers into your customers through the power of persuasive content.


  • It requires very small startup capital.
  • You won’t need an inventory.
  • You can join established marketplaces having enough a good customer base already.


  • The competition is quite stiff.
  • Drop shippers can be late and you would be blamed for it.
  • The profit margin is low. So, to generate substantial income, you must make enough sales.

Steps to start a dropshipping business

  • Research and find a profitable niche.
  • Find a supplier.
  • Choose a suitable platform such as Shopify.
  • Install and Set up things.
  • Promote your store.

9. Become a You Tuber

People nowadays prefer videos, instead of plan written text. In the last few years, the rich media sites including YouTube and Snapchat are among the fastest growing platforms.

That’s why many people turned to becoming YouTubers and Vloggers. It’s an opportunity to make a million dollars online, who won’t consider it?

A good camera and a PC is all you need to get started. Getting into this business is not difficult at all. But becoming successful can be, depending on your dedication and work quality.

Come up with a content plan with audience in your mind. This will help you get subscribers. The good part is that you can start making videos on any niche that you’re interested in.

For example, if you love travelling and travel every second day, you can become a travel Vlogger. Similarly, if you’re a teacher, you can start teaching your subject.

It is advised to pick a topic of your interest. You’ll easily brainstorm content topics. Furthermore, the content creation will be a lot easier.

Make sure you do not forget to join popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. This will help you build an audience and promote your videos.


  • You work hard once and make money for years.
  • You can show your creativity to the outer world.
  • For many, it is fun.
  • It boosts your public speaking skills.


  • You would need to consistent.
  • The field is competitive, so you’ll need real work to stand out.
  • You’ll do everything by yourself: Make videos, edit, and finally publish them.

10. Become an SEO Specialist

SEO is the key for most of the online business ideas. It is the art of optimizing the content to rank it better in search engines. Once you’ve learned, you can earn yourself money by helping others.

You can provide one on one consultation, monthly and quarterly SEO services, and also help individuals who require one time consultation.

This work would need you to earn some reputation first. Many people believe on online recommendations and reviews and hence, they would be enough to help you earn enough cash.

Before you jump in, you’ll have to decide if you want to start a general SEO services company that take on every client that needs services or be niche specific and pick clients from a few niches only.


  • You’ll make good money.
  • The chances to retain your clients is high.
  • Small investment is needed.
  • You won’t be waiting for work, you’ll have a lot of pending orders.


  • You’ll become a busy bee.
  • Competition is high.
  • You’ll need to build reputation in the industry first.

More online business ideas you can consider this year include:

  1. App Development
  2. Publish a Book on Amazon
  3. Become a Copywriter
  4. Web Development & Designing Business Idea
  5. Start Online Marketing Agency
  6. Making themes and plugins
  7. Flipping Domain
  8. Voice Over artist
  9. Start a web host company
  10. Selling creative products online
  11. Write E-Books
  12. Remote tech support business
  13. Online small business consultant
  14. Become a Translator
  15. Start online teaching
About Faheem Rafique

The author is an entrepreneur and business writer with over ten years of experience in the field of small business ideas, marketing and branding. Let's connect if you have anything to discuss!