Rest assured, “How to make money online without upfront investment” is not a question without answer. However, you will not find many job listings like that online or offline. You can’t become just an employee with a steady paycheck. At best, you will be paid by the item. You will be self-employed; an independent contractor or a freelancer, as more and more people nowadays. You will be an entrepreneur working for yourself in your own business. That means you will be responsible for all the ingredients you will need to complete a task or entire project. How to make money online without cash upfront may seems like a distant dream, but in reality it is not.
Let us take a look at some of the challenges. These challenges will be different depending on your geographic location, equipment and skills.
Nowadays to get online is relatively easy in the developed countries where free wi-fi is available at libraries, bookstores, cafes, hotels, restaurants, airports etc.. Most people have a smartphone and can get online anywhere by using data packages. Internet access is generally speaking ubiquitous and inexpensive. In some locations, it is pretty much a necessity of life.
In some countries, access is limited not that much by physical availability but by financial capability. Common people simply cannot afford it, so a whole Internet sharing industry has sprung up. It still costs money.
To make money online you need some kind of computer, learn how to use it and pay for the Internet connection. So, you will have to make at least some investment.
Two Kinds of Online Income
Generally speaking, there are basically two ways to make money online:
You get paid by the item. Once you stop working the payment will also stop.
- Data entry
- Buying and selling
- Micro jobs
- Content creation
- Mystery shopper
You invest some time up-front and wait for your effort to pay off later.
- Affiliate marketing
If you concentrate on the second group, you should see your efforts as asset building. This is the best strategy if you are young and have time to build a portfolio and if plan to get a steady income. Create content will continue to provide income even after you stop working.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these options for making money online.
Data entry is the closest to a regular job task you can perform online. If you can can enter data quickly and accurately and the client has a continuous need for your service, you could be getting at a regular paycheck on a regular basis.
Data entry typically involves harvesting information from websites for statistics or marketing purposes. It can be very time consuming. You have to decide based on your skills and circumstances if it is worth it or not.
Buying and Selling Online
Buying and selling is also a proven strategy, because it is infinitely scalable. You would begin by selecting a product to sell that you either already own or can easily get or make. That might work, but why not begin with asking yourself this question: What do people want to buy and where are they? Then go out and find that product and sell it to them. You may not even need to take physical possession of the product, but can have it shipped directly from the manufacturer. You may not even have to pay for it until you have sold it. You might even be able to hire people to do the work for you. You just provide the plan and the leadership.
Micro Jobs and Freelancing
Not surprisingly micro jobs are simple, routine tasks. Unlike data entry, micro jobs also typically have a more creative aspect such as commenting on blogs, sharing articles, etc. They are quick to do and you get paid quickly. Like data entry, it could turn into an ongoing relationship and therefore a steady income
Freelancing implies a higher skill level and longer durations, but perhaps not at the level of a consultant. Freelancers typically get paid when the job is finished. Consultants, who may work on projects for several months at a time, may get paid at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the project.
This could be as simple as writing a short article or it could be as elaborate as producing infographics and video as well. Typically, you get paid at the end of each project and if you are any good at it, it could lead to an ongoing relationship.
There are a few of ways to do this.
First, you can write content for other people’s blogs and get paid right away, but you typically will not participate in the revenue the blog generates.
The second way is to start your own blog. It can be done without investment on free services, but you would give up some control. You will be responsible for signing up with affiliate and advertising networks yourself, but you get to keep all revenue generated by the blog.
- Read more: How to set up a blog
The difficult part is to figure out what to blog about. Again, it is best to look at what people want to read about than what you want to write about. If you have no passion for the things people want to read, perhaps this is not for you unless you can hire someone to write content for you.
- Read more: Why Bloggers Should Be Paid More
Affiliate marketing is the simplest way to sell stuff on the Internet. And for the reason outlined above, the potential is limitless. The beauty is that you never have to store anything, never have to ship anything or even buy anything. You simply find a way to get buyers to click on a web page link and you get a small percentage of the sale amount. Of course the tricky part is to attract those buyers and you need to develop a site with a large amount of traffic. It will take some learning and experimentation to do that. Lots of people have already figured this out and competition for consumer’s attention is fierce. Luckily, some people have figured it out and are willing to share what they have learned.
- Find a sponsor for your web site. Get paid for your great content.
eBooks, Photography, Music, Film
Creative content like photographs, music and video either takes extraordinary talent or extraordinary skills most of us do not have. It can be very lucrative and royalties may continue to arrive for years, but you should have a talent and skills to achieve reasonable income.
Film production for YouTube can also generate revenue from advertising
To do this in a professional way, usually also requires some professional equipment, but simplicity might also work. Unless you have an unique plan and strategy how to develop it, do not take time to try to make money online from it as the results could be devastating.
How to make money online without an upfront investment is not a rocket science and you can tweak it to work for yourself.