The best strategies to make money with zero investment

Do you want to know how to make money with zero investment?

Unfortunately, making money appear out of thin air is rather difficult. However, there are several online business you can start by working hard.

Imagine building a money generating machine from home in your spare time. Most online business can start with little to no investment.

Luckily for you, an online business can grow into a large income. Today, I’m going to show you several ways you can make money without initial cash.

The Best Strategies to Make Money With Zero Investment

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How can you earn money with zero investment?

Money usually comes in two different ways. You can either sell a product or provide a service.

Products can be sold over and over again. Not every product is a winner, but the basics include selling something for more than you created it for.

A product can be as simple as a 10 page pdf that provides enormous value and solves a problem. It could be an app that provides entertainment. Whatever it is, your product needs to have value to someone.

You can also create a service like mowing a lawn, providing consulting services, or advertising for companies. Creating a blog or YouTube channel serves the public when you help people solve their problems.

You need to start thinking about what your product or service is going to be. The money will come if you simply build something of value. Every business has a different monetization strategy.

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So what are the steps to making money online?

How to make money online visual

Remember, money is just an exchange for value. People pay for entertainment, solving a pain point, making more money, etc. If you want to make money online then you must provide value!

You can really break down this strategy into steps.

  1. Create something of value. This can be a product that you sell, a blog, or YouTube channel with loads of information or entertainment.
  2. Get that value in-front of people. No one knows you exist. No one can buy the best pizza in town if the business is hidden. You need eyes on your product or service.
  3. Exchange that value for cash. If you provide something people want then you’ll have no problem making money.
  4. Invest the profits. The easiest way to make money is to invest your money to make more money!

You should have no problem making money if you follow these steps. Keep in mind, making money from scratch is a lot of work so don’t expect immediate results.

Think about distribution

Distribution is key regardless of selling a product or service. You will need to be able to reach customers and deliver a product or offer.

Even an ok-ish product can be sold if you have a massive distribution list.

Think about Starbucks. Starbucks has a product, which, in my opinion, is decent at best. Where Starbucks is great is in their distribution channels.

Starbucks stores are everywhere meaning their product can be found almost anywhere. If you want coffee, chances are there’s a Starbucks right around the corner.

Corporate simply has to ensure that each store has coffee, cups, and straws and the product sells itself. This is all because of the distribution channels Starbucks has built.

When you have a distribution channel then you can sell:

  • Affiliate products – sell someone else’s product for a commission. You sell a $100 course for a 50 percent commission then you earn $50!
  • Advertising – selling ad space is one of the easiest and oldest ways to make money. Newspapers have been doing it for years and now websites.
  • Your own product– selling your own product is lucrative because you keep 100 percent of the profits.
  • Sponsorships – partner with large companies who have money to advertise their product. Usually in the form of a product review.

Building a distribution channel takes time, but can be very profitable.

YouTube channel

Gary Vee YouTube channel

A YouTube channel is one of the easiest ways to reach an audience and build a brand. You can start with as little as an iPhone, shooting videos on something you’re passionate about.

Maybe you’re really into stock trading. Start pumping out YouTube videos on your stock picks, instructions on buying stocks for beginners, and anything related to stocks.

People are going to find you and follow you when you put forth consistent effort. So how do you turn your YouTube channel into money?

At first, the easiest thing to do is start monetizing your channel with advertising. Eventually, you can branch out into making a stock trading course or partnering with large firms for sponsorships.


Blogging is very similar to owning a YouTube channel. However, now you’re writing content rather than recording yourself.

Most bloggers do end up venturing out into YouTube at some point.

Again, blogging is about building an online distribution channel. It’s going to take some time to build up but can earn some great money when done right.

Most successful bloggers earn the largest portion of income through affiliate marketing or selling their own products. Advertising is usually seen as icing on the cake but can still earn you a decent income.

Blogging is relatively inexpensive to start so it’s not completely a ‘zero investment’ strategy.

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Freelance writing

Freelance writing jobs are an easy way to make money from home. A freelance writer finds work, writes content for websites, and gets paid per hour, per word, or per job.

The best part about freelance writing is that you can make money with zero investment. All you need is your laptop and an internet connection to start.

But how much money do freelance writers make? The average beginner freelance writer charges $31.56 to $49.80 per hour. Beginners also charge anywhere from $0.01 to $0.50 per word. However, some of the more experienced writers earn by charging per job because they can write quickly.

Freelance rate per hour

You can either find clients yourself or go through a freelance network. Finding your own clients can prove challenging, but more rewarding. Freelance networks provide steady work without the hassle of finding clients.

A freelance network, such as Writers Work, is one of the fastest ways to get started. Create an account, log in, and apply for available jobs. You don’t have to seek out any clients to start making money!

Writers Work - Get Paid to Write

Create a digital product

Digital products are another good way to make money from home. Generally, you can create a digital product and start selling with little investment.

Good digital products help someone solve a problem. Examples of potential good products include:

  • Helping someone make more money
  • Showing someone how to lose 30 pounds quickly
  • Helping someone pass an exam

You need to follow four steps if you want to be successful selling a digital product.

  1. Come up with product ideas proven to sell.
  2. Create your product and/or take preorders.
  3. Understand how you will distribute your product.
  4. Get your product in front of buyers.

Each step has it’s own challenges but can be very rewarding.

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Surveys will make you some money without investing any of your own money. Generally, surveys are easy to start and do on your own time. You can usually work on surveys from an app on your phone when you’re not too busy.

Unfortunately, surveys won’t help you make a lot of money. However, surveys are a great way to kill extra time while earning cash.

Finding a legit online survey website can be difficult. Some websites just don’t pay and others don’t have enough surveys. Making matters worse, scammers often use survey websites to gather your information.

One of the best and most trusted survey website is Survey Junkie. Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes.

Online teaching

Did you know you can teach online and get paid for it? Really! You can teach any subject online and get paid actual cash for it.

Kelan Kline from The Savvy Couple quit his job to go full time into blogging. He still needed to bring in some income while building his blog and chose to teach English online.

The best part about teaching English is the complete freedom to teach on your own schedule from anywhere. Some people become digital nomads and teach English from an exotic beach!

You can even earn $20 per hour working from home teaching English. Generally, you can expect to earn anywhere from $10-25 for teaching.

Getting started is really easy. Check out these websites to find a company hiring English teachers.

Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants help businesses large and small with different administrative tasks. It’s a growing field and can be quite profitable if you know where to find work.

Virtual assistants do anything from sending emails, making phone calls, social media management, etc. Anything an office assistant would do a virtual assistant does virtually!

Bloggers in particular are hiring virtual assistants like crazy. Blogs take a surprisingly large amount of administrative tasks which distracts from profitable blogging tasks.

There are several courses for people wanting to start as a virtual assistant. These courses are generally for people who know nothing about virtual assistants and training them to be excellent and how to find work.

So yes, you can start as a virtual assistant without making an investment. However, investing in a VA course is a good one-time investment for newcomers.

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Online coaching

People are always looking for someone to show them the way. Online coaching or consulting allows you to charge someone for your guidance.

You can coach people in anything you have extensive knowledge in. Maybe you’re a weight loss expert, stock expert, life organizer, etc.

The best part about consulting is the ability to set your own rates, within reason. Let’s say you want to be a weight loss consultant.

The first thing you should do is ask yourself what your salary should be. Let’s say you want to make $100,000 per year.

Now, ask yourself how many hours per week you want to work. Lets assume 20 hours. That means you should charge about $96 for every one hour session [=$100,000/(20 hours per week * 52 per year)].

Does this make sense for the industry you’re in? For weight loss, $96 per session may not be too bad if you can deliver results.

You’ll also need to convince people you’re worth the cash too. It’s easy to sell yourself if you have a proven track record of helping people lose weight.

Finding clients can prove to be challenging. However, if you can find a way to gain clients you’ll be set if you provide value.

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Summary: How to make money with zero investment

As you can see, there are a lot of great ways to make money with zero investment.

The first thing you need to decide is if you’ll want to sell a product or provide a service. Selling a service generally generates income quickly, but is less passive than selling a product.

Either way, you’ll need to figure out your distribution strategy. The only thing that’s important is getting eyes on your product or service.

Wealth is built when you create something of value, get that value seen, exchange the value for cash, and invest the profits.

So what are some of the best strategies for making money with zero investment?

  • Build a YouTube channel around your passion
  • Start a blog. Like a YouTube channel, it will take time to build but can be very profitable.
  • Freelance writing can help you earn cash quickly if going through a freelance network. Finding your own clients is more profitable but more work.
  • Create a digital product. Find a proven idea and get it in front of buyers.
  • Surveys are super easy to do but less rewarding.
  • Online teaching is often the favorite method of worldwide travelers.
  • Virtual assistant are growing in demand. It may take time to learn the ropes but jobs are available.
  • Online coaching and consulting can be very profitable and done on your own schedule. However, you need a good knowledge of what you’re teaching.

So what methods are your favorite? Will you trade your time for money or create a product?

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.