How do you make money online without paying anything?
To make money online without an investment or get a business going with zero capital requires 3 steps.
- Determine an audience that has a problem you can help them with
- Determine your preferred internet platform to connect with that audience
- Don't add anything else until you are proficient with the first online platform.
Making money online is simple, the difficulty is consistently showing up and putting in the work needed to succeed each week.
It’s something I have a ton of experience with coming from a zero budget online business to a multi-million dollar business that’s giving me and my wife a lifestyle design we’ve always wanted.
And I’m telling you, YOU can totally get this whole thing nailed down, too. It’s all about knowing and applying the different steps in the process to get your business to take off and support all your needs and wants.
Today you start your business.
There are many avenues that lead to success online, DO NOT choose two.
Simply pick from one of the online business options in this post and get better and better at it each week.
That is the one secret to success that no one shares. Any internet marketing method will work when you commit to it.
Learn how to make big money online and turn this year into your year of the hustle, that is your ticket to a genuine lifestyle design in years to come.
Can You Make Money Online for Free?
We did it, and we literally had zero money in our pocket when we started our business.
Backstory, my previous businesses tanked, had to give up our last house, lost $60,000, had to give up the clothing company I was building because of bad decisions on items I purchased…
So what did I do?
I did three different things - one after another - that helped me make money online without an investment.
And the coolest part about all of these is that you don’t even have to be a ninja digital marketer to get into these three pathways. You can have zero tech knowledge and still get on any of these paths to making money.
If you’ve been wanting to make this your breakaway year, here is how I went from side hustle to a million dollar business and you can too.
This video explains all...
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If you would prefer to listen to this content, check out my podcast episode on the topic here:
What you Need to Make Big Money Online
I’ve had to go through this process three separate times when businesses that I was starting up fell through.
There’s two things you need to start making money online.
The first thing is a source of income to pay the bills. It doesn’t matter if your starting up or starting over, you need to keep the power on.
Whatever business you start will need to start with you in the employee position of the cashflow quadrant so before you quit your job to become an internet marketer keep in mind you have to be able to pay the bills.
From here, it’s about having a clear understanding about the work you need to put in. You’re going to work weekends, you’re going to work nights, whatever it takes, it’s not completely free since time is money but it’s the closest thing to it as far as the dollar amount goes.
Business success doesn’t fall in people’s lap, this is part of the secret to success the gurus don’t want you to know, you won’t gain it overnight, it just doesn’t work that way.
Commit yourself to the hustle, to choosing to work towards your goals.
Say no to mindless activities, say no to being places you don’t need to be, there’s power in saying no to what’s not going to benefit your life and now is when you need to prioritize.
This self-control and commitment separate the rookies that just want to make quick fleeting money overnight and those who want to build a sustainable business for themselves.
You have to do the work. So where do you begin? Let’s look at the three ways you can earn money online for free going from zero revenue to money you can invest.
Gain Experience and Make Money Online for Free
First off, when you’re looking at making money online, there are some skills you’re going to need to learn and this is all part of your side hustle that you work on during your off time from your J.O.B.
Start dipping your toes into earning money online by selling anything that isn’t bolted down.
Get acquainted with eBay, craigslist or any online marketplace you can sell on and start sorting through the junk.
Do you have antiques or collectibles? Do you really need everything you have? Not only can you earn a few hundred dollars online, you can declutter at the same time. Nice.
If you don’t personally have anything you can sell, try working out a deal with someone in your family, a neighbor, or a friend so you can clear out the garage or attic and get those items listed, splitting the profits 50/50.
Not only can you make money online for free, earning you some extra cash, but you’ll get the experience of selling items online.
You learn market research, you learn how to take better pictures, copywriting (words that get people to buy) AND when you sell an item on ebay you just realized you can make money from a transaction online.
Flip Items and Collect Profits
Once you’ve sold a few things at no cost to you… You can scale this model by reinvesting what you made for free to buy more items you can sell.
This is flipping and is one of the most common ways people make money online.
Finding niche items locally that are underpriced or free (Craigslist has a ‘free stuff’ section!) and re-selling on national/international platforms (like etsy or ebay)
If you’ve hustled up a bit of cash and want to reinvest it… Take a trip down the dollar store, a garage sale or a local thrift store. Look for things that you can flip on eBay and sell at a higher price.
Do a price comparison, if someone is selling something for cheap at a garage sell because they just want to get rid of their “junk” you can potentially flip these items and earn a decent profit.
Focus on items you’re familiar with.
Use the Ebay app to see exactly what the items you are looking at are selling for commonly on Ebay! (And remember, there are some ebay fees, so make sure you have GOOD margins!)
The goal isn’t to collect a bunch of stuff that might be valuable or will be later, stick to what you know. So if you know a lot about classic video games, that’s something you can keep an eye out for. Baseball cards, pop culture items, specialty items?
If you scan something at the dollar store that goes for $2.50 and it’s selling all day long on eBay for $12.50, Boom. Buy it and make profits out of that thing straight away once you sell it.
Keep flipping on the side and get some cash flow going.
There are so many things considered junk that end up having a lot of value to them so go with what you know and make some money online by selling it for what it’s worth through the online market.
Make Money Online for Beginners With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the way to start an online business when you are a beginner.
There are many different ways to get into affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is simply a business in which you recommend products, courses, services and other items to people through your YouTube channel, blog, or podcast.
If they click on the link and buy the product due to your recommendation, you receive a commission!
There is an art to creating a compelling affiliate offer, though many people see it as too difficult of a business to get into.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
Think of affiliate marketing this way… have you ever recommended a movie to a friend? Have you ever told someone to try a restaurant, join a gym, or read a good book?
This is how affiliate marketing works!
With a piece of content somewhere on the web, you make a recommendation of a product or service, when someone clicks your affiliate link and buys that product, you get referral commissions.The only real difference is that you can’t just say “here, read this book.”
You have to tell them why they need the book. Typically, you recommend a specific book to a friend because of the conversation you were having caused the book to come up as a good way to solve a problem, etc.
So really, it is learning the secret to presenting affiliate offers.
This is the beginning to making 6 figures a year online.
Affiliate Marketing Websites
Did you know Zappos started for $ 60?
Check out the story starting at minute 35 in this video.
The best way to make money online is with a website.
You can actually start with a free website if you have zero dollars… though I would recommend one of the lower-cost alternatives below if you can swing the cash.
If you have about $60, you can change your life over the next year by starting a blog with a .com. If you own the website and the domain, you can start making money online!
You own the assets. You will own the email addresses you collect, you will own all of the pages you build on your website, etc.
Plus, in addition to being the longest-lasting bang for your bucks and time, a website will empower you more than social media, because people will find you when they are searching in Google for something specific.
People find relevant content when they are looking for a solution to their problem!
All you need is a WordPress site and then are growing your most valuable longest-lasting traffic stream with an affiliate marketing website.
What I like about setting up an affiliate marketing website is, number one, it’ll help you make money as an affiliate marketer. And number two, you’ll learn SEO and some skills in working with WordPress.
Make Money on YouTube! It is 100% Free
Got a passion for creating videos?
If being in front of the camera and communicating your message this way is in your DNA, then you could - and should - absolutely turn this passion into a money-making career!
There are different ways to make money on YouTube. But for the most part, getting more free views on YouTube helps everything.
One method is to use your videos to promote your own products. Create content based around how your product can help to solve your audience’s problem, and help them to understand how they can achieve their deepest desires through it.
If you have a physical or digital product, you can talk about these things in your video. But try to keep things more educational and helpful rather than sounding like a salesman at a party.
Affiliate Marketing on YouTube
Another way to earn money on YouTube is to talk about your affiliate products in your video. Maybe you don’t have your own product YET… but if you are an affiliate for a service, a course, or whatever… you can go ahead and sell it by focusing more on your audience than on what you’re trying to sell.
Empathize with your audience. Let them know that you’re there for them. This is how you can build a following who will know, trust, and like you… Which are all prerequisites to converting them from just an audience to a loyal tribe of buying customers!
Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest - Search Meets Social
Okay, so Pinterest. What’s great about it and how can you actually do affiliate marketing on this platform?
In terms of its TOS, it works for affiliate marketers because pinners can add their affiliate links directly to the pins… just like that! There is no need to have it pass through your blog, website, etc.
By simply inserting your affiliate links into your board, you can quickly market to Pinterest users in seconds.
And don’t forget; we’re talking about a social media site with more than 200 million active users, here’s a free course to learn Pinterest marketing.
And it’s free!!!
Each time someone clicks on that link you’ve added to your pin, they are sent straight to the merchant’s site. And when they buy, boom! You get a commission for every sale you make!
How about Amazon links? Yay or Nay?
I prefer to stay on the safe side and not risk it. There are mixed opinions about whether it’s OK or not to add Amazon links on your pins, but it’s best to use Amazon links only at your own risk.
Better safe than sorry, right?
So go ahead and use Pinterest for your affiliate links. Promote eBooks, courses, physical products, etc. And then, collect your commission for every sale made.
Best part. Woot!!!!
How to Do Affiliate Marketing on Instagram - Become a Hashtag Master
Use your hashtag ninja skills and make money as an affiliate marketer on Instagram.
How can you do this??!!
If you’re a newb on Instagram, check out my deep dive on how to use Instagram for marketing.
Basically, you want to plump up your stats and get as many real followers as possible.
Real followers are real people you find or who find you on Instagram from your hashtagged, optimized posts.
The secret to finding accounts that are interested in your affiliate offers is to focus on your niche.
Say you’re in the yoga niche. Follow big yoga accounts that have great engagement on their posts!
Leave lots of comments, likes, and hearts on each post. Follow the people that engage with their posts, and engage with their followers to grow your niche tribe.
How do you do affiliate marketing on Instagram?
Set up posts that give value. Teach and help your followers. Then, add your affiliate link to your bio.
Some click the link, some click the link and buy!
You made money on Instagram for free!
Start a Blog for Free
Is writing your number one content creation system?
If you’re the type of person who does better with communicating your message in the written word than the spoken word, blogging is probably the best bet for you!
You should be able to start a blog that’s absolutely free, or maybe pay a few bucks for hosting.
Go get yourself a WordPress website - www.wordpress.org… and customize it to make it a killer blog.
If you’re serious about blogging long-term, a WordPress website is for you. There are so many features, free plugins, themes for customization, and the works to elevate your blogging to the next level.
As far as hosting is concerned, you can either go pay a moderate amount by choosing the standard WordPress hosting, or go cheap with a hosting company outside of the Godaddy empire.
How to Choose a Free Blogging Platform
There are plenty of options, regardless of whether you have a slim budget, no budget, or a steeper budget.
Blogger.com or one of these other 9 free blogging platforms are decent personal blogging platforms, but definitely not the one for professional or business use.
You can find themes and skins, not too shabby but nothing fancy, either.
I’m really all about starting a blog on WordPress because it’s great for the long-term, great for SEO, and much more practical for monetizing your blog somewhere down the line.
Minimalist bloggers, this one may be the one for you!
Medium is a no-frills, no-nonsense platform for bloggers or readers in search of good quality content in their field of interest.
How do you make money on Medium?
There are a couple of ways to do it.
One, you make money from the number of claps you get. Say someone has read your content, really liked it, and clapped after reading.
Each time a member claps, a portion of the $5 monthly subscription they pay goes to you.
But it’s not as straightforward as you might think.
Frequent clappers tend to have a lower paying value than those who don’t clap too often.
Bottom line: You can make about anywhere from $0.01 to a couple of bucks on each clap, depending on the clapper.
Another way to make money on Medium is through bonuses. It only applies to Medium Partners who contributed high-quality work, but don’t count on it too much…
Only a few dozen pieces of content or stories a week will get rewarding bonuses, so that’s just a handful of the tens of thousands of authors on Medium. Still, it’s pretty awesome if it ends up being you!
As for the stats, Medium claims to have paid as much as $7,924.22 to one author, and $2,400.40 to the highest-paid publication.
And get ready for this…
A single story on Medium has made a whopping $1,744.21! Those are crazy numbers… It’s mind-blowing that one story can make THAT much money!
With Medium ranking at 272nd in terms of website popularity globally and top 137 in the US, that’s pretty cool.
It’s also got 60 million readers per month. So if you just want to get your word out to the world, maybe help people with your inspirational stories or content, Medium is an option for you.
Make Money Online For Free With Digital Marketing Arbitrage
Ready for a fast track to 6 figures a year?
As you build up your skills and experience working and selling online the next thing to do is start selling digital marketing services.
You’ve got a real website built, you are learning SEO, you are an internet marketer.
Who needs internet marketing that you can easily cut through the noise and sell services to?
Local businesses Need Online Services
Go out, meet up with local business owners, build relationships, and start a work from home digital agency.
Not only are you gaining experience and starting to make that shift to working online but you’ll build up your reputation, fast.
Local business owners get crap emails every day from people all over the world saying things like
“Hi my team fix SEO. We help make money.”
When you are helpful and attentive, someone worth talking about you win!
You don't even to have a Physical Office
You can even outsource these website builds to a cheap virtual assistant!
However, don’t start outsourcing until you know about what it is that you’re outsourcing.
Learn one WordPress theme, I recommend Thrive Theme’s agency license.
It is the only theme I use on all of my websites, super clean and simple and it has an agency license, giving you the legal permission to use it on other people’s websites.
If something falls through the cracks or one of your VAs don’t show up, you want to make sure you yourself are able to get the job done.
Stick with one website theme and know it inside and out, get a freelancer online that knows Thrive and works for $5-$10 dollars an hour, bid your website project at $30-$45 an hour, super cheap for the U.S and you pocket the difference.
Go even cheaper and get a few wins under your belt when you are first starting, I did my first few for free!
Client Work Through Digital Marketing
Selling websites is just the tip of the iceberg…
You can Add on Many Services!
Logo design, website builds, flyers, business cards, and more!
You concentrate on project management (making sure the stuff gets done) and handle the sales and service.
You basically become a well-paid quality control inspector.
You scale up another level and offer content marketing, social media marketing services, paid ad campaigns.
Once the website’s up and running, with all the pages in place, your client would want to make sure traffic is coming to their website right?
A local marketing strategy is simple and straightforward, you can sell it!
Determine a price to do a new blog post each week for SEO and take care of the social media marketing side of things to really leverage the systems in place and get maximum reach.
Talented people are everywhere, you can find cheap virtual assistants that do everything from graphic design, web development, installing WordPress, configuring WordPress and much more, even writers!
They do the task you need to be done and you sell those services for $25 to $50 per hour when you’re paying $10 to $12, Marketing Arbitrage!
There are so many routes for you to take when you get into digital marketing.
Sacrifices to Be Made to Make Big Money Online
If you want to know how to make money online without investment, I’ve got one word for you:
You got to hustle.
Do the work, grind it out.
It’s working jobs, doing client work, selling, flipping, building websites on the side, building up your skills to earn big money online.
Focus on your business and give it your time and energy.
Mornings, evenings, late nights, and weekends, you have to hustle.
To earn big money online, you got to do the hard work. Keep getting better at what you’re doing and grind it out, hustle day in and day out.
It’s not the easiest route but it’s sustainable, something you can grow over time and well worth it in the end.
I’m rooting for your success! If you have any questions, comments, feedback or insight, let me know.
Throw stuff my way in the comments below and let’s connect!
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