Many businesses cost a bunch up front in order to succeed. I’ve been told several times that a business owner needs at least a year’s worth of expenses set aside in cold, hard cash because it can take that long or longer to start turning a profit. And with brick-and-mortar stores, that can be very true. But online, you really do not need to take a fast loan before launching an income stream.
I make the majority of my money through blogging via blog advertising for my sites and all of my clients’ sites. I started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff for free on Blogger.com, but then saw the error of my ways and moved over to WordPress and self-hosting. Altogether, my startup costs were about $150 and were only that high because I paid to have my site transferred over. The domain name was about $10 for the year and hosting was another $75 for the year thanks to a Black Friday sale at Host Gator. You can start a great blog for less than $100 a year and start making money from it within 6 months if you have the time to grow it quickly via guest posting, commenting, writing your own posts, and networking.
If you rather not jump all in on the blogging bandwagon, you also have a veriety of online freelancing options that don’t cost you anything up front. I personally comment for hire for other bloggers. That is when you read other blogs, make useful comments, and your name would link to the site of the person that hired you. It isn’t the best pay ever, but it is a pretty easy way of making $100 or more a month depending on how much time you have.
I’ve also made money by being a staff writer for other blogs. By writing solid, 400-600 word posts for others, you can bring in $15-$25 per post even when you are just starting out. If you can get word of mouth going, this is a pretty easy way of bringing in $400 or more a month – again, sort of up to you.
Then there are online jobs that pay by the hour or based on what you negotiate. I was a social media manager for a few months at $20 an hour. If you enjoy Facebook, Twitter, etc., this sort of position is meant for you. Many bloggers, like me, do not much care for all of the extra time that social media platforms need from us, so we outsource.
Overall, there are ways of starting a business or making extra money on the side that do not require money up front. So if you are in the market, think about what you enjoy doing and start seeing if anyone else would like to outsource that specific chore.