We’ve all felt the pull at one stage or another in our life. After a bad day at work, or even if you’re struggling to find work you think “why don’t I just start my own business?” Whatever your dream many of us hit the barrier about investment. Whether you’re dreaming big and want to launch a major corporation, or even start just a little firm it requires one big thing – money. Money to get your idea off the ground, money to rent office space and hire staff, and money to fill the shelves of your store with stock.
The downside to starting a business is that in most cases it requires an investment of cash. Unfortunately for many people they just don’t have access to the cash needed to start in the first place, regardless of if you’re a struggling university student or a single mother with two kids living paycheck to paycheck. If you’re in either of these situations, or simply want to start earning money while you sleep you need to open your mind to the opportunity that comes with passive income. You can learn a little more about passive income in this couse.
Essentially, passive income is setting up businesses that generate money for you around the clock. The benefit for someone without an investment is that many of the techniques require very little capital to get started. The trade-off is that you need to put time into them. If you could make money without investing anything at all we’d all be sipping pina colada’s at a beach in the Caribbean. When you don’t have cash to invest you need to leverage an even more important asset. Time.
Time is what stops many people from going to the gym, and many people don’t have enough of it. Because of this fact alone, you can leverage your own time into value for other people – and create a business with zero cash investment. Let’s get started.
Becoming an Expert
For your business to be able to gain traction online you need to be recognized as having knowledge that others don’t have. Perhaps you’ve got a blog about one of your favorite hobbies that you’ve been updating every week since you were 15, or have thousands of followers on YouTube that love to see what antics you’ve been up to. If you’ve got neither it’s ok – you can create a following and turn this into a business.
The fastest way to do this is to create a website. You’re going to be marketing your knowledge so pick a topic that you’re interested in, and that you believe your customers are going to want to read about. Having your own site gives you the most control, and you can get the domain for around $10 and hosting for less than $5 a month. If this is out of the question, do a quick Google search and you’ll find many companies offering to let you create a website for free. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions and they let you advertise on their platform. If you’ve never made a website before it’s actually quite easy, here’s a quick course on how to use one of the most popular platforms to have your website up and running fast.
Once your site is online you need to write the content, so start googling and finding articles that could be interesting to your readers and writing similar pieces with a twist. Perhaps you could turn guys relationship advice pieces into ones for girls, or simply giving your comments and thoughts on what the original author has written. You should always give a referral back to your original source, and never copy and paste work from another site. Google will punish you in the search results if you do.
One fantastic content method is the one used by Andrew Warner of Mixergy. Using a strategy to interview successful entrepreneurs, he records and turns everything that is said into a useful product. He extracts the key points from each interview to make it easy for the listener to understand, and is very good at getting people onto his show because industry experts and business people do like to talk about themselves. Think about the different ways you can create unique content for your site, and when you find a successful one you’re traffic is going to skyrocket.
After a while you’re going to start seeing more and more people coming to your site, or visiting your YouTube channel. With this audience you’re going to advertise to them, because you know they’re engaged and are coming back again and again for your content – so they are also the perfect candidates for targeted advertising. If your website is about camping you’ll have much better success with advertising related to camping products than you would with other products.
The range of advertising partners is huge, whether you’re looking to include advertising in your video’s on YouTube or have a partnership with Amazon Affiliates or Google AdSense to display the advertising. To keep it running all you need to do is keep writing more content, and getting more and more traffic to your site. You’ll get income every time one of the ads is clicked, but if you want to learn about this strategy in more detail you can’t miss this course.
Selling an eBook
The second avenue ties in to the first, because once you have a loyal following online they are the perfect market to target this product to. You know there is an audience there already, and they already value you as an expert. All you need to do is create a product for them to buy, and an eBook is the simplest way to go.
Take the best points of what you’ve been telling your visitors and condense it, or offer a new point of view and bundle it into an eBook. You can then promote this on the website you’ve created already, or simply put it on marketplaces like Amazon for them to market to their own visitors. It will take time on your side to build the eBook initially, but once it’s written the revenue streams will keep coming in, month after month, forever. If you want to learn more about building a business around an eBook check out this course that walks you through the entire process.
If you’re struggling for an idea of what to write in your eBook, you can use fluency in a second language as a tricky way to get content. Contact the author of a popular eBook, and offer to translate it into Mandarin, Spanish, or whatever language you’re fluent in – for a cut of the profits selling to that market. It’s win-win for the both of you.
Creating an Online Course
Going hand in hand with creating an eBook, you could also develop the ideas and concepts further into a series of online lectures. There are plenty of free options out there that let you do simple video editing yourself, or simply recording your voice as you guide the viewer through what’s displayed on your screen.
What makes online courses a fantastic business idea is the premium you can charge over the written word. If you have customers buying your eBook for $4.99, they would have probably also been very happy to spend $20 or more for an online course that walks them through all of the information visually, while you explain it all to them.
You can sell access to your course materials on your own site, just like the eBook, or take an easier route and post the course on a site like Udemy and watch your money roll in. If you want to learn a little more, you can follow a step by step guide to creating an online course.
Selling a Service
The beauty about the internet is that you don’t just need to sell advertising, or informational products to be a success. Clients all over the world struggle with their time, and are willing to pay a premium for solutions to that problem.
If you have a certain set of skills you can create a business very easily that offers writing, website development or even search engine optimization help for businesses. Luckily, getting started is easy. First you need to decide on the service to offer, so have a think about what you’re really good at. Is it writing? Analysis? Coding?
Once you know what you’re offering, run a Google search for freelancing and have a look through the companies that come up. Freelancer.com and Elance.com are two of the largest, and all you need to do is create a profile and you can start bidding on jobs. If you get stuck in how to promote yourself in your profile have a look through some of the top ranked people in the system to get an idea of what to write, in short all you need to get started is:
- to verify your identity with either a drivers license or passport
- setup and link a bank account to the site
- show some examples of the work you can do for clients
Once you’re account is up and running you simply send off proposals for the jobs you believe you can do, as well as the price to do the work. Doing something you know is the fastest way to get started, perhaps you’ve built websites using WordPress before, so you could offer to create simple websites for businesses. If you enjoyed writing reports in your school, why not see if you can do research and article writing for a client, or if you’ve had success in SEO demonstrate what you’ve done for past businesses and outline what you can do for the client.
At the start you may need to charge a lower rate to entice clients to hire you when you don’t have any feedback. Once you’ve done three or four jobs and your profile is ranked well you’re going to be much more appealing to new clients. All you need to do is spend a little bit of time, and you can be making money in no time!
Don’t let not having any capital stop you from starting your next online business. We’ve covered a handful of ideas in the above that are proven ways you can be successful online without any cash, and you can check out many more in detail in this post. Stop putting it off and start your next venture today!