You've probably heard the popular phrase, “It takes money to make money,” all too often. In fact, I'm willing to bet that when I tell you I will show you how to start a business online with no money, you are a little skeptical.

Am I right?

But, hey, that's completely fine. I get it. You may think you need a huge bankroll before you can even think about starting any kind of business. I'm here to prove you wrong, my friend.

Here are 9 different ways to either get the money you need or start a business for almost nothing… 2016 is going to be YOUR year.



1. Offer Services

This is probably the easiest way to go ahead and get started as an entrepreneur. Offering services doesn't require a website, products to build, affiliate links to manage, etc.

All you have to do is offer your skills in a certain area in exchange for an hourly or project-based fee. Another perk to offering services is that it usually doesn't cost anything to start.

Here are a few services you could potentially offer:

  • Freelance writing
  • Web Design
  • Image Creation
  • Transcription
  • Consulting

Just about anything you are good at can be turned into a business this way. But, you probably don't want to start your own website or worry about finding your first clients the hard way, do you?

If this is the case, here are a few websites you can use to start offering your services to others while building an income:

Of course their are a lot more website where you can offer up your services and get paid, but these three cover a wide range of skills you can offer and have some of the most customers.


2. Affiliate Marketing

The only problem I have with providing direct services to clients is how similar it can be to a job. Your time won't be as flexible, there will be deadlines, and you may have to constantly negotiate deals with people who may not be good at expressing exactly what they want.

If services aren't for you and you still want to start a low-cost business online pretty quickly, affiliate marketing may be your best bet.

Affiliate marketing is a booming industry and has helped create thousands of new entrepreneurs every year since its origin. It is one of the cheapest and straight-forward ways to start a business.

All you do is get traffic to an affiliate link and earn commissions on sales. When people click on your affiliate link, they go to a sales page and can buy the product you are promoting.

What's so great about this is you get commissions for sales without having to spend the time and money creating the products themselves. Not to mention, you also get to avoid the headaches of customer support, refunds, sales funnel management, etc.

If you get good at getting targeted traffic to these affiliate links, you could make a lot of money without just a computer and a little know-how.

If this sounds interesting to you, here are a few affiliate marketing sites to look at:

You can also try individual brand affiliate programs that are specific to a website or companies offers. For example, eBay, iTunes, Amazon, Bluehost, Etsy and other big brands have affiliate programs.


Related: 100 Ways To Make Money Online Legitimately


3. Make And Sell Digital Products

If you have a lot of expertise in a certain area, but don't want to deal with deadlines or individual clients, you might try making your own digital products.

Digital products are becoming more and more popular every year as people switch from shopping in stores to shopping online. This is especially true for How-To or Info Products.

Here's a few types of digital products that are very popular now:

  • ebooks
  • courses
  • membership sites

Instead of finding a publisher, getting your book reviewed, and trying to get it published, as well as stocked at a Barnes And Noble books store, you can self-publish the book on Amazon digitally for Kindle readers.

People don't read physical books as much as they used to. Now, everyone has smartphones, laptops, Kindle Fires or Tablets that can store dozens of books.

It takes up less space, it's more mobile, you can just download a new one when you finish a book, you can see reviews, etc. It's just a lot easier than the alternative.

Lots of people now make a great living publishing books online. The same goes for online courses.

You can go to Udemy and create an in-depth course on how to do just about anything and then sell it to people online like you would an ebook.

With courses you might use video tutorials, PDF notes, step-by-step images etc. to teach people something. Or, there are always membership sites if you want to use your own platform.

You can create a website where you get paid monthly for information or tutorials that cover a certain subject you are an expert in. The possibilities are endless with digital products.

My advice, if you're a beginner, is to try out these platforms first:

This way you get customers easier and a proven structure to start out on before going off on your own with a custom website.


4. Crowdfunding

If you want to start a business that is going to take more capital, you may want to look at crowdfunding.

If you want to do something really big that has never been done before, you probably will need to raise the necessary money for the venture.

Crowdfunding allows you to go online and make your pitch to the world for investing in your business or project. If the people want you to succeed they will donate money to the cause.

Think of it kind of like how presidential candidates take donations from people to their campaigns.

You may not get a lot of huge donations, but if the people really believe in what you're doing, you might get a million donations of $5 or $10. It can really add up!

So, if you have a business venture that could impact millions of people, but requires a lot of capital to build, try these sites for raising the money:

Just make sure you have a business that can impact at least a million people and a detailed plan for how you will build it with the funds you need before starting.



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5. Get A Loan From Friends Or Family

If you need some money to start a business, but aren't sure that it is going to be big enough for crowdfunding, there is shame in turning to friends or family for help.

Don't believe me? Here are a few successful entrepreneurs that got loans from friends and family to get started:

  • Donald Trump got a loan from his father and turned it into $10 billion.
  • Alex Genadinik got a loan from his mother to start Problemio.
  • Moziah Bridges started Mo's Bows with help from his mother (appeared on Shark Tank where he partnered with Daymond John.
  • Carlo Cisco got loans from relatives to start Select.
  • Andrew Angus got a loan from his mother to start Switch Video.

Give your loved ones a reason to believe in your vision and make sure you plan on paying them back and I'm sure you will get a few loans that can help you get up and running in no time.

6. Make Something From Scratch

Are you good at making art, crafts, or anything unique that can't be found in a digital file? Maybe you should try selling your own physical products online.

There are plenty of great websites that can help you sell them. Here's just a few of them:

Just because your business is internet-based doesn't mean you have to sell internet-based items. If you can create something artistic or unique, take advantage of that.


Related: The World's 10 Youngest Billionaires And How They Made It


7. Flip Or Resell Stuff

Some people just have an eye for finding diamonds in the rough.

Whether it is stuff at thrift stores that could be resold at a high price or something at a garage sale that could be a hidden gem, a lot of times people don't even know the value of what they're getting rid of.

If you have an eye for this kind of stuff, whether it is designer clothes, vintage toys, old music records, etc., you could make a viable business just flipping these.

In fact, Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and author of #GirlBoss is a prime example of someone who has done this.

She started out flipping vintage clothing on eBay and has now turned it into a very profitable business.

If this sounds like your kind of venture, here are a few places you could try to start building up some inventory to resell:

Of course, it might not do you much good if you try to be a jack of all trades with this stuff, so I recommend that, like Sophia Amoruso, you create a niche for yourself of certain things you specialize in.


8. Barter

A while back, a teenager used Craigslist's free stuff category to trade up from an old cell phone until he ended up with a Porsche. Another guy actually documented his successful mission of trading one red paperclip for a house.

Now, this is bartering. No money is involved, just one thing being traded for another, like our ancestors used to do before currency. Now, if you try to trade a paperclip for a house or an old phone for a Porsche today, you probably won't have much luck.

That is because these trades were the result of multiple transactions. For instance, the teenager who got the Porsche, Steven Ortiz, had to trade up 14 times over two years to get from an old cell phone to that Porsche.

It takes some wheeling and dealing to get these things done, but if you're good, you might could make a pretty fun side business out of it. Imagine how much that house or Porsche sold would sell for.

If you don't have much money to work with and love trading stuff, try your luck bartering on some of these sites:

Of course, you can always trade with relatives, friends, neighbors, people on your own website, etc. as well. It may be hard to make this a full time living, but who knows, it might work for you.

9. Advertising

If you like creating content like Youtube videos, blog posts, or niche websites, advertising could be a great way for you to make a business out of it.

In fact, advertising is quite a popular way for internet entrepreneurs to make an income. This is one of the ways you see news sites and Youtubers make 6 or even 7 figures a year without selling anything.

All you do is create content on a website, blog, video channel, etc. and monetize it with ad services that pay you a portion of their ad revenue every time someone clicks an ad.

Here are a few advertising services to try:

Unlike affiliate marketing, no one needs to even buy anything when they click on your ads. The click itself gets you paid.

Although, you won't get paid nearly as much per ad click as you get paid per affiliate commission, you will get a lot more clicks and it can really add up over time if you get a lot of traffic.



When it comes to starting a business, take advantage of the countless opportunities on the internet. Whether you need to raise money for a business or find one to start that fits your needs, the possibilities are endless these days.

The startup strategies I outlined in this post are just a fraction of the countless ways you can go from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur using the resources available to you online.

What do you think is the best way to go to start a business using the internet these days?


"How To Make $10,000 Per Month Online"

We'll go over exactly how you can copy our simple, online business model that has made $10,000+ per month for countless people.

Access Your Video Course Here

Justin Bryant
Justin Bryant

I'm an entrepreneur, fitness freak, artist, car enthusiast, sports fan and self improvement addict. My goal is to help people be their best and create incredible businesses that change the world.

    2 replies to "How To Start A Business Online With No Money In 2016"

    • Zheng

      A lot of them on the list is not for total beginners and wil require a lot of start up capital. For example, affiliate marketing, u need traffic, autoresponder, landing pages, hosting and domain. Kindle publishing, if u really want to build a kindle business, u need ghostwriters, VAs, reviews swaps and all of them cost money. If u try to make money from your blog, first u need to traffic, well it comes back to square one, if u r a total beginner, and u are not good at writing, u are going to hiring copy writers to create the content, even if you write your own blogs, you still need a lot of traffic to make money from ads. And that’s gonna take a lot of times and hard work.

      • Justin Bryant

        You’re right to an extent, Zheng. Of course I did not mention in this post that all of these strategies are for beginners, but there are different ways to do different things. If you have the know-how, you can cut a lot of costs and time that it takes to get results. The strategies you mentioned that you say cost a lot of money are only going to cost a lot if you decide to go the certain routes you outlined. There are other ways, of course, that are inexpensive. Traffic for instance is expensive through paid ads, but can be accumulated through social media and content marketing for almost no cost. Usually low-cost strategies cost more of your time, but you can cut down on the time it takes to use free strategies by learning from others that already are good at it. And no matter what strategy is used, hard work will be required until outsourcing or software can take your place. That is a given in most cases.

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