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5 brilliant ways to make money online starting with nothing

how to make money online

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We live in a digital world and I fully believe that because of this, there has never been an easier time to make money online, even when starting with little to no money at all. This won’t necessarily be passive income and it will require a bit of graft. But if you’re ok with that (and you should be), let’s get started.

I do appreciate though, that if you’ve never worked for yourself or started a business, then the decision to make money online can be incredibly daunting. In this article, I am going to use my experience of helping thousands of business owners years start their own businesses to help you start yours and make your first pound online.

5 ways to make money online

There are millions of ways to make money online. You can provide services or you can create products. You can even take your clothes off…if you wish. The type of online business you start will depend on your own skills, experience and where your passion lies.

Below I look at 5 of the easiest ways I’ve seen to start an online business. Ways that you can start right now, with a phone or a computer and an internet connection.

Don’t just stop here though. Some of the most wealthy people have many sources of income. How can you create multiple sources of income to really strengthen your finances?

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is promoting other people’s products in return for a small commission for each sale. If you write content or create videos, adding links to this content is incredibly easy. Each time someone clicks on your link and buys from the retailer, you make a commission. This can either be a percentage of the sale or a fixed price per purchase.

Online Surveys

Many companies are willing to pay you for your opinion and some people can make a hefty sum by taking online surveys, but that isn’t the norm. If you sign up for an online survey website, they will pay you for completing surveys. Usually, these will be relevant to your age, sex or general demographic and the longer the survey, often the more you are paid.

I’ve spoken to a couple who make hundreds each month by filling in surveys while watching TV in the evening.

Online Tutoring / Online Coaching

You don’t need to be an expert in your field to be an online tutor or coach. You do however need to have a good level of understanding of the topic and be able to explain this in an easy-to-understand manner. You can offer online tutoring or coaching sessions through dedicated teaching platforms, or you can do this via your own website.

If you want to maximise your income, how about creating an online course that you can sell to people around the world?

Freelance Writing / Ghostwriting

Many people find writing difficult. If you are not one of those people, then I promise you there is a huge market in writing for others. Ghostwriting for other people or writing articles for websites and magazines is a huge business. Personally, I have hired dozens of freelance writers for clients in my previous business and requests for this type of service are increasing all the time.

I also know copywriters who make 6-figures providing website content. Writing is like any skill. The more you do it, the better you will become. If you’re unsure if your writing is good enough, why not start a blog and let the internet decide?


This is a business model where you create an online store and sell products without holding any product inventory. You purchase products from a supplier, and they ship the products directly to your customers. Commonly people buy low-cost items from sites such as, however, there is absolutely no reason why this cannot happen locally.

Very recently a connection of mine on LinkedIn built his e-commerce store over a single weekend and by the next one, he had his first online sale. He had zero previous experience, but he took action. Inspiring!

Challenges of making money online

I will stand by the statement that it has never been easier to make money online. However, that doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park. Starting any business, whether online or offline takes dedication, focus and most importantly effort. You will face many challenges and hurdles.

There will be many times when you want to give up. I promise you though, that if you persevere and work through these challenges, it is the most rewarding thing you can do.

Below I’ve listed some of the challenges you might need to overcome. Knowing them will help you to work to better them.

Where to begin when starting a business

The most common question I am asked when people want to make money online is what business can I start or what services can I sell the answer I gave always starts with your personal circumstances.

What does your employer pay you to do now? While I’m not suggesting that you go out and compete against your current employer, they are paying you for your current skill set. Think about how you can translate your day-to-day working skills into a product or a service that you can sell can make money online. For example, are you a marketer and work daily as a social media manager?

Can you provide the services for family and friends in the evening or weekend? Can you freelance for a few hours? Give it a shot, but make sure it doesn’t interfere with your 9-5 and get you fired.

Are you a graphic designer? Can you create designs once and sell them many times via Amazon Merch, or Kindle Desktop Publishing? There are many ways to monetise your current skills very easily without A huge learning curve.

Learning new skills

Many other skills are needed to start a business or to make money online or not the skills that we have in our current state of jobs. With us in mind, you are probably going to have to learn some new skills to run your business, this may be accounting or marketing. You may even need to learn how to sell. All of the skills can be learned if you are willing to put in an effort.

Legal and tax responsibilities

It’s important to note that if someone is self-employed or earning income online, you will be legally responsible for the decisions and the products or services supplied. You must spend time and effort understanding your legal responsibility. Don’t let the scare you, however, as for the majority of products and services, you still will have very minimal legal implications. 

Always keep records for tax and put enough away from your online income to pay for it when you submit your self-assessment tax return.

Businesses don’t always work out

I started my business in the middle of a recession. If I had listened to everyone else, it was doomed for failure. Thankfully it didn’t and the rest is history. However many businesses do fail and this can cause great stress to the owner. Both emotionally and financially. It is always prudent to work out what would happen if the business failed. Working back from that, ensure you have a plan for all eventualities.

Opportunities when making money online

Profit – Make more money for yourself

The primary reason to make money online is to make more profit for a greater income. When you work for an employer you may get a 2% or 3% increase per year in your salary. But if you’re working for yourself and making money online, this could result in the largest pay increase you ever receive.

For example, If you earn £20,000 per year, getting a 10% increase in your salary would equate to £2000. It is very unlikely that this will happen year-on-year and certainly not always at 10% per annum.

Working for yourself, generating an extra £2000 per year. We only mean earning an income online of only £40 per week. For most people that is achievable in a single evening or weekend morning. Depending on the product or service you sell, it could be made in an hour or less.

As your business grows online, when you start to make more money, this increase in income could easily grow to replace your current salary. I say easy, but this will obviously take hard work and a lot of effort of course. If you want to start a profitable online business check out the linked article.

Personal development

When you start a business or try to make money online, you don’t just provide a product or service and take payment. The business side of things takes effort and often, requires you to learn new things. The person I am today is worlds apart from the person I was before starting a business. I’d say for the better!

Final thoughts

There are no guarantees that you will make money online. In fact, there is a risk that you could lose money. However, with careful planning and a focus on working towards the goal, it can be the most rewarding thing you can do. The upside is limitless and the downside can be protected against with a little bit of care.

If you’re looking for a sign to start a business or to make money online. This is it!

Want to connect with me elsewhere? Hit up my Twitter where I share up to the minute news and information on starting a business

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