Want to create passive income through a side hustle, but don't have the money to start one. The internet has revolutionized the way we live. Technological advancements have made it possible for anyone to start making money anytime from anywhere. Creating your own online business is more easily achieved in advanced economies like the USA, Europe, and Australia. However, don’t let that stop you from starting up! The following is a list of 7 side-hustle ideas that anyone can start with little or no investment.
1 - Dropshipping
It is a business model that has gained immense popularity in recent years. It is that you have an online store through your website or a third-party platform like Shopify. You receive the order of the items on your online store. The item is then purchased from a wholesaler or manufacturer and is sent to the customer directly.
It involves some work that has to be fulfilled before, e.g., you need to have a reliable dealer network that can fulfil your product availability and delivery requirements on time. Establishing your website and scaling it to the level of becoming successful where you start earning money takes time and investment.
Various stores opt to use established platforms like Shopify that charge nominally and help you establish your customer base. However, this is a very effective business model that startups are using to develop their business.
2 - Gig Economy
Displacement is in human nature. People travel from one city to another and from one country to another for various purposes. Many of them who move to the new place need to earn their living. You need to develop a website and network with companies that need short-term or part-time employees.
You can post their ads on your website, and people who need jobs can use your network to contact those companies, and you can earn commission through such companies. As your business grows, it can develop into a full-fledged job board.
Understandably, it will require some serious hard work initially; however, once it is all set up, it will become a regular passive income stream for you. Those who have an IT background will not incur any cost on developing their website.
3 - Earn online through your skills
The internet has proven to be a blessing for those who possess any skill. For example, people having office work experience can have their website or work through a third-party freelance network like Fiverr and become virtual assistants to earn their living sitting at home.
Similarly, real estate agents can grab their deals through their websites or third-party websites or networks. Professional photographers can get hired for a photoshoot of their local event by similar means. The list goes on: writers, graphic designers, cleaning service providers, SEO specialists, and various other professionals who have credible expertise in their craft and can sell their services.
If you want to start your side-hustle without any investment, you can easily use the established platforms relevant to your niche or general freelancing networks. The platforms will charge a commission from the purchase, but it is worth it. It will only require an internet connection and a laptop or desktop.
4 - Writing E-books
In the digital age, the business of writing e-books has become a profitable idea. If you have reasonable writing skills and creativity, pick up a popular niche and write an e-book. There is a vast array of genres you can choose from, and every genre has its sub-genres.
It depends upon your aptitude and creative instinct and what inspires you to write. You can do professional editing through software available online at a nominal price. Whether it is a physical book or an e-book, you may use platforms like Blurb or Lulu xPress to create, order, and distribute your books. There are third-party marketplaces also available to sell e-books, e.g., Powell and Amazon.
5 - Selling T-Shirts online
It is a dropshipping idea based on focusing on a customizable product. T-shirts. Your online advertising should be eye-catching to establish yourself as a niche T-shirt brand. You may also add a few other closely related articles along with T-Shirts, e.g., hoodies and caps, etc.
You can find designers from freelance hubs like Fiverr, 99Desings, and Upwork to create your designs. Find on-demand printing facilities on the internet and be sure to shop around. Although the printing cost for a single item would be higher than a larger order, you will still be profitable because your customer is paying you for your specialty services.
The advantage of this kind of service is that you don’t have to pay for the extra or left-over items that get stacked up in your warehouse or store after order completion. It implies that you only pay for the item you required as per your customer’s order. The ideal thing about the dropshipping model is that you don’t have to keep any inventory or bear the cost of the warehousing.
If you can accomplish your first few orders according to customer satisfaction and your online store gets more orders, you can establish a steady business relationship with such printing services and negotiate more competitive rates with them. It is therefore always advisable to get the sample approved by the customer before finalizing the order.
6 - Buying and selling online
Purchasing and selling products online on sites like eBay, Etsy, Amazon or OLX is a profitable business requiring no investment (apart from a small upfront fee). Besides the sites listed above, there are numerous platforms for every niche. For example, carsales.com.au is for selling and buying cars in Australia.
Buying used cars, mobile phones, laptops, electronics, or various other products, etc., through online platforms and selling them to new customers can yield a reasonable profit. With more experience in buying and selling regularly, your profitability can increase.
There are individual websites of buyers/sellers who have established their name and buy and sell through their website. Specialty item marketplaces are a further diversification in this field, i.e., website or mobile apps dedicated to buying and selling antiques, collectibles (stamps, coins, etc.).
7 - Tutoring and Online courses
Online tutoring has become popular in recent years as a side hustle you can start with no investment, especially with all the available online education software. Resourceful experts in specific fields have created websites that act as their hub for teaching. And they are providing online tuition in a borderless world.
Those who don’t have the funds for a website can use the tutoring platforms like Thinkfic, Teachable and Kajabi, to name a few. If you are well qualified and have loads of experience in a discipline, you can develop your course through the platforms mentioned above and earn money by teaching hundreds of students worldwide.
If you are confident of your skills, you can also find online clients through networking, referrals, and acquaintances and reach them through Skype or Zoom, etc. Tutoring can earn you a handsome amount of money because you get paid per hour. And through course building websites, your earning potential becomes even higher as you get paid per course, per student.
Bonus - Become an influencer
Brands need their products promoted. They need reviewers, influencers, and brand ambassadors. There may be different ways to explore this niche and convert your venture into a profitable one. Building up a sizeable following on most platforms can be difficult. But once you do have a sizable following, you can directly contact brands and offer them to review their products or services.
You can use your website to write and endorse their products; or create original content through podcasts, YouTube videos, social media posts, etc. Of course, you must remember that it has to make sense for them to do it. There is no point reaching out to a gym wear brand if your brand is all about pokemon card collecting.
Start with smaller companies with small revenue targets. Scaling up from there can be challenging to become a known influencer. Once you are successful with a few campaigns, you can create a portfolio of recent work and use that to provide the results of your recent marketing success.
There are multiple ways of earning money online, and with more people using the internet than ever before, the best time to start up a side hustle with little to no (cash) investment is now. You will have to invest with your time and effort, and once the ball is rolling so will the money.
Enjoy the process and remember to have fun
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on through, I will receive a small payment of any purchases made through them if you chose to do so.