11 online career options that can be started with very little money

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Earn money online with these low-cost careers

As financial coaches with the goal of helping you maximize your money, we don’t only want to focus on spending and saving – because the “other half of the equation”, your income, can also have a huge impact on achieving financial fitness.

MSN recently published an article titled 10 online careers you can start with basically no money. It’s one of those annoying “paged” articles where they drip a small amount of information and make you click Next over and over to get through the post. Those make me crazy and I rarely share the information just because they can be so annoying.

The content in this post was interesting though so I figured I’d share their list, but all in a single page post, and with some personal thoughts on each. Part of the reason this is an interesting topic is that each of the jobs can be started with really low overhead so you don’t need very much money to get going. Another reason is that these are all “online” jobs, or work-from-anywhere types of jobs. This gives a ton of flexibility to work around other jobs if you are looking for some extra income, or even to work around a school schedule if you are still a student who wants to bring in some extra cash.

Quick note: Their title mentioned ten jobs but I’m calling it eleven – because their 10th actually listed two different jobs together. I’m not sure why because they are very different skill sets, so I decided to split them out.

Note #2: Because it isn’t an “online” job, driving with Uber isn’t mentioned, but I’ve experimented with this myself and have seen some decent results.

1. Virtual Assistant

Anyone can get started as a virtual assistant (VA) pretty easily. The types of tasks that VAs perform are all across the board – from basic secretary type of work, to research (think lots of Googling), to creating content, and more. If you decide to do VA work make sure you understand both your current skills and also your passions, and focus on those when describing your services. I can’t imagine much worse than getting stuck in something that you absolutely hate – so be truthful with yourself and your clients.

Understand that there is a lot of competition in this field from non-Americans, and they often do a great job. The challenge is that many other countries have lower costs of living so the fees in this field can be extremely competitive. If it’s easy for you to start, it’s also easy for others, so know what you’re up against competing for business and think of a way to differentiate yourself.

2. Business Coach

If you really have some business success under your belt, this can be a great area for you to add value to others and get fairly compensated for your experience and skills. Whatever your business background, it is probably best to market your services around that specific niche. That allows you to be most effective when helping others in this same field, and it helps with your marketing because you can clearly and honestly speak to the needs of this group.

Only do this if you really have experience though. I see far too many “business coaches” who have never started or run a business before. They consider this coaching venture to be their business experience, which I feel is a bit shady. If they are really good at marketing themselves and want to do a “coach the coach” type of thing, that is fine, but to sell yourself as a coach to help small businesses when you haven’t been in their shoes isn’t ideal (or quite honest in my opinion).

3. Freelance Content Creator

Do you like to write? It doesn’t even matter what topic – finance, food, entertainment – just about anything really. There are tons of blogs, magazines, and even corporate entities that hire people to help them write content. This can be articles, blog posts, marketing materials, reviews, etc and you can almost certainly find people who focus on an area in which you are informed and excited about. The better you are at writing, and more experienced, the better the pay. But this is a very reasonable field to get into if you do enjoy writing.

By the way, if you really like writing, why not start your own blog? You can freelance write for others at the same time, so there is no concern there. Writing for yourself lets you fine-tune your skills but also, if you can build a decent readership, you can monetize the blogging in the future for even more income opportunities.

4. eBay store owner

There are a lot of people who buy used stuff and then sell it on eBay. I’ve sold some personal items that I felt wouldn’t bring in much money in a yard sale, but there are plenty of people who specifically do this as a business. They might buy from yard sales, or from thrift shops, or even from other sellers on eBay. If you can identify some really good deals this can be a fairly easy way to make some money.

You do need a little bit of cash to get started so you can acquire the goods you are going to sell, but if you focus on really great deals, this doesn’t need to take much money. When you sell to someone else on eBay you can add in shipping costs so that doesn’t eat into any of your profits.

5. T-Shirt e-commerce store

I’m not creative enough to do this one, but I’ve certainly heard a lot of stories of people who have created online t-shirt shops. Many of them have their own original designs – though not all do. You can partner with a t-shirt printer and really all you do is the marketing. If someone purchases a shirt from you, the order gets sent to the printer who makes it and ships it out to the buyer. It’s a fairly simple process and there are a number of online print shops that are set up specifically to make this really easy for new shop creators.

6. Consultant

You can consult on just about anything nowadays. There are nutrition consultants, financial consultants, marketing consultants – really just about anything. Decide whether you want to be called a consultant or a coach because while there can be a lot of overlap different markets may perceive the two uniquely. It’s not often you see a “marketing coach” or a “athletic consultant” but in the background of the work done, they might follow very similar processes.

7. Affiliate Marketer

As I mentioned above, writing your own content for a personal (or personal business) blog has some money earning potential. One of those ways is through affiliate marketing. If there are products that you’ve used and are passionate about – why not get paid to link people over to their sites?

Also, this doesn’t have to be through blogging – there are affiliate marketers who market via email, social media, other people’s sites, and more. There is a lot of flexibility in how this type of venture is structured.

Understand though that most affiliate marketing per-item revenues are very small. It can be pennies (especially through Amazon) or a couple dollars each. To make a lot of money in affiliate marketing can sometimes require reaching a large volume of people interested in the niche in which you will market your products.

If you are interested in this income option, the Step-by-step Affiliate Marketing Strategy course shows you how to start (or increase) your affiliate income and make money blogging.

8. Social Media Influencer

If you already have a huge social media following – hundreds of thousands, not just thousands – then there are opportunities to monetize that follower base through things like ads, sponsored tweets/posts, and more. I’m nowhere near the level needed here so I don’t have personal experience in it, but I know that there are a lot of people out there who are very successful in growing social followers, and are making money doing what they already love (engaging socially online).

While on the topic, how about joining over 4,000 others who follow us on Twitter? We share our own posts but also lots of related posts from other sources. Our goal is to help educate and coach you into financial fitness.

9. VLogger

Either through YouTube video channels, or often through Podcasts, videos are becoming more and more popular lately. This is really easy to set up and just about anyone who has a camera in their computer, or even a smartphone with video potential (don’t they all now?), can get started basically for free.

Similar to social media influencing (because it really is almost the same thing) you need to gain a lot of followers. But if this is interesting to you, pick a topic that you are passionate about and start doing video clips on the topic. They can be just a couple of minutes long, or they can be much longer, like 45 minutes or more. With recent attention spans I’d probably recommend staying toward the shorter end of lengths unless your specific topic really does need more time to clearly communicate your message.

10. Graphic Designer

Do you have creative abilities? Like to draw? Maybe digital images? Or photo-touch-ups? There are a lot of ways for someone with decent creative skills to make some money. We used 99designs for the logo of this site, which is one of many sites that creative people can join and submit bids on projects to monetize their skills.

I don’t have creative skills, so I’ve only been on the buyer side of this equation, but I have been a buyer multiple times so I can tell you for sure that people do pay for these services regularly. It can be very lucrative for a good designer.

11. Web Developer

If you already have development skills, this is a great way to make some extra money. Good developers command some really high fees. That’s good for developers but makes it hard for some smaller businesses. Because of inflated rates there are a lot of companies who don’t need full-time developers but need one or two people to just handle a single project. It’s certainly worth looking into.

What if you don’t have development skills already? Well, if you are passionate about it, and a logical thinker, you can actually teach yourself how to code fairly easily. There are plenty of free online training options or there are some paid (yet affordable) options like Udemy (who I’ve used before). Now, if you are fairly new then you are also going to want to ask for lower rates while you are gaining experience and building up your skills, but you can find plenty of basic/beginner projects online to help you get started – and to make money while further learning.

In closing

Are there other good online income opportunities that you’d like to share? If so, feel free to mention them in the comments.

As part of helping people maximize their money, we not only coach on ways to save money, budget, and invest, but also ways to help increase the income side of the equation. Some of the ventures mentioned in this post can be done very easily and are great ways to make some extra money – or could even be turned into a full-time job!

If any of the above appeal to you, why not consider it? Do something you love, work at your own schedule, from your own location, and make decent money doing in. Win, win, win, win!

Are you ready for some personal coaching to help you achieve financial fitness and maximize your money? Reach out to us today and let’s talk about how we can help you succeed!

 

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