Online businesses are a fantastic way to make an income or money on the side for many people, but some people get scared off by the idea of having to invest a lot of money. In reality, starting an online business can be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. There are much fewer start-up costs associated with an online business compared to a physical one and you don’t need as much experience either.
Freelancing is probably the most obvious choice for an online business that doesn’t have any cost. With freelancing, you don’t really need to own or run a site. There are a large number of websites that support freelancers, giving people who freelance the ability to pick up work from a range of different employers. There are even websites that dole out work to freelancers directly, and pay based on the number of words in an article. These sites can be useful, but give you less freedom over what you write, and tend to pay less also.
For people who want to pick and choose their own clients, using advertising is another approach to use. For example, I have seen a lot of freelancers advertise using Craigslist.
Regardless of the approach used, there is no substantial startup costs associated with freelancing, and really the only costs involved are your time. If you are careful about the clients you pick up and the work you do, it’s entirely possible to freelance without any real costs involved.
Surveys for Profit
Probably the most advertised form of making money online, doing surveys to earn income is not recommended. In fact, sites that promote this concept are little more than scam artists. It is entirely possible to make money doing surveys, but it is a lot of work for little money, and anything you do earn tends to be credit for a specific site rather than actual money.
For example, a site might give you the equivalent of 50 cents for a survey, but only let you cash out once you have done $20 worth of surveys. Also, it can take quite some time to do a survey, as the site often sends you all over the place to earn your credit.
Theoretically, once you got in the grove, you could probably do surveys reasonably fast, but that is the other catch. There are never very many surveys available at a time, and many of the ones on a given site you will be ineligible to do.
Overall, doing surveys is not a good way of making money and takes far more effort than it is worth.
This form of online business has been growing in popularity, and is highly effective. Unlike the other forms of online business that I have briefly discussed here, internet marketing does involve you developing and maintaining a website. The good thing is that some websites are completely free to set up, while others require as little as $10 for a year of hosting.
You can find some very good beginners advice about starting internet marketing at the 5 Day Getting Started course here, which is completely free and very easy to use.