5 Online Business Ideas Even Your Grandma Could Start Today (With No Money)

Once upon a time, in a country far far away, there was a young boy. It had a heart of pure gold, but in its pockets, it had thin air.

As it was hungry, it went to the local grocery store to buy something to eat. But it had no coins, no nothing, only its eagerness to work.

The boy very soon realized that if he wanted to eat he would have to find a job, so he took his a$$ and went to work on a farm.

Day in and day out he was slaving for pennies. He was pulling carriages around, and he was shoveling horse shit all day long.

Until one day a golden angel with wings made of dollars flew down from the sky and said: “My poor kid, we ain’t living in 1658 anymore. This is 2016. People have gone to the moon, they are now able to chase Pokemon all day long, and they have invented the Internet. There’s a ton of opportunity out there to make money with many different ways and with zero capital. Shoveling horse’s shit isn’t necessary anymore.”

The boy was mesmerized. It looked the angle and said: “Wow, thanks a lot my sweet angel, but although I work hard, no good ideas come to my mind. Could you be more specific about these ideas you talked about? I’d really like to learn more about it.”

“My poor child, of course, I can. That’s why I’m here after all. Sit down. I have some neat ways to make money online but remember, all they require is your time and effort. What you’ll learn today is better than money, so use it wisely and take action. Fast” the angel said.

So here we go.

Idea #1: Online (re)selling

I bet you’ve heard that before, but you still don’t know what the heck is that. Well, selling online is a smart way to re-sell some products at a premium. Although technically it’s not exactly a zero capital business, you can keep the initial investment very low if you choose so.

Among the most common methods of selling a product online is to buy it cheaply either from China or a local store of yours and then resell it on Ebay, Amazon, etc.

Although I haven’t tried it myself extensively, I’ve managed to sell a few things in the past. 

There’s a ton of opportunities to look around like going to your local flea market and get some old and rusty (antique looking items) clean them, make look perfect and then sell them at a premium online. Just make sure they are not heavy or easy to break because accidents of that kind could trim your margins down.

After selling your first item, use this profit to buy your next one and so forth. The more goods you sell, the more profit you make and the more your business is growing.

The reason I’ve put a parenthesis on the (re)selling is that apart from selling other people’s stuff you can also make and sell your own.

According to my experience, many people create little pieces of art like jewelry, handcrafted bottles, pottery, etc. They can very well sell them online.

All you have to do is set up a hot e-shop with Shopify for $29 a month, or as an alternative the WordPress + Bluehost + WooComerce that will cost you…well…nothing and then sell your imagination and talent away!


  • Lots of hustling with finding products and then sell them.
  • Tough to scale since you’ll need to sell large quantities of products.
  • The risk to break or lose some of your physical products.


  • Very easy to start, a few dollars will do as working capital.
  • Among the best businesses to begin in the online entrepreneurship world.
  • If things go well, you could hire people to do the heavy work, and you can have the general overview of things.

Idea #2: Affiliate Marketing

There’s a ton of successful affiliate marketer’s out there like Pat Flynn. This means two things. First of all, affiliate marketing is a cool way to make money online. On the other hand, where there’s a lot of money, there’s a lot of competition. To stand out, you will need hard and consistent work and a unique value proposition (UVP).

All you have to do is to follow these simple steps:

  1. Find a problem to solve or try to entertain other people. You can do this if you either have the knowledge or learn about it. For example, you’ve already solved your acne problem, and now you can help other people how to do it for themselves.
  2. Build a WordPress website by buying your own domain name for about $10 per year and buy your own web hosting from Bluehost for about $5 a month.
  3. Start producing the format of content you feel most comfortable with (articles, video, podcasts, etc.) with topics that will benefit your audience.
  4. After some time and after your blog starts to get some traffic include affiliate links for products that you genuinely like and use or you have reviewed.

Depending on the traffic you get and the quality of your content you’ll get enough clicks and commissions to kickstart your new online business.

It won’t happen overnight, it won’t be a walk in the park, but if you put the effort, the time and the brains, it will finally pay off.

My dear friend Ilias has already proven this business model quite remarkably.


  • Will take some time before the traffic kicks in but this is a plus as well because it makes the barrier of entry so much higher.
  • You will have to be super determined, committed and focused on making this work.


  • Depending on the niche, this can scale immensely as more traffic means more dollarzzz.
  • If you correctly set up the system it can become pretty passive in the end, you could literally be on the beach while you make money.
  • The monetary investment is virtually $0. Anybody can start a blog.

Idea #3: Freelancing

Every guy or gal has a skill, this may be programming, art and design, voice acting, copywriting, etc.

What would you say if I told you that you can make a lot of money by selling your skill online?

Ever heard of Fiverr or Upwork?

Well, these are fantastic websites where you can sell your skill, by staying home during the cold winter nights.

Almost every gig imaginable can be found there. From proofreaders to ghostwriters and from graphic designers to freelancers that will pretend to be your Facebook girlfriend for $5.


  • Because you’re putting yourself in there, it’s actually trading time for money.
  • Since you cannot clone yourself as of yet, its scalability is limited.


  • It requires absolutely $0 as working capital; all you put in is your time.
  • All you need is a transferable skill. Honestly, don’t you tell me you cannot pretend to be someone’s Facebook girlfriend for $5?

Idea #4: Kindle Publishing

For obvious reasons, Kindle publishing is my favorite one. (Okay I’m a bit biased, I admit). But nonetheless, there’s a ton of opportunity for making money with Kindle.

All you have to do, is:

  1. Perform a keyword research on Amazon.
  2. Buy a cover for your book from Fiverr for as low as $5.
  3. Write your own book or outsource it for a few dollars.
  4. Bind everything together and upload on Amazon.
  5. Collect your royalties each month.

It really is that simple. Of course like in every business, Kindle publishing has it’s quirks as well. It’s not exactly a piece of cake to make money. There’s competition in Amazon as well you know.

But compared to all other businesses mentioned in this article (and trust me, I’ve tried them all), I’ve found Kindle publishing to be the fastest and easiest method to make money online today.

In this last month I made more than $4.500 from Kindle Publishing alone.


  • Although easy to publish your first book there are a lot of tricks that you should know to save precious time and money and grow your business fast.
  • You need to know how to overcome the competition.
  • Low barrier of entry means that everyone can do it. But not everyone can do it right 😉


  • It has the fastest return on investment (ROI) compared to any other online business I’ve tried myself.
  • You can start with almost zero money.
  • Almost the entire process (more than 90%) can eventually be outsourced which means scalability.

Idea #5: Teach an online course

Another favorite of mine. Although creating and teaching an online course sounds like hard work, it really isn’t. The only solid requirement is that you need to be a kind of expert at something.

The more authority/knowledge you have on a topic, the easier it is to create a course and sell it.

The easiest way is to do it through Udemy and create your own course. Every time Udemy sells your course, you will make a hefty commission.

An alternative way to do so is by building your own website and then use a membership plugin like s2Member and Thrive Content Builder to create your own online course.

You can take a look of the online course I’ve created with the second way right here.


  • If you really wanna sell some courses, you’ll need to know your stuff very well. That means a significant initial time investment on your side.
  • Driving traffic to your course can be tricky. Even with the Udemy option, the more traffic you can send to your course the more you will sell.
  • The whole course building thing is a bit trickier than a simple WordPress site.


  • This is one of the most passive income streams you can build. After you set up the course, selling it is almost 100% passive.
  • Can scale enormously depending on the quality of your work and the traffic you’ll be able to drive to it.
  • It’s an excellent option especially if you combine it with affiliate marketing. Having your own blog is a real business asset.

“Do you see why you don’t have to shovel shit all day long nowadays? There are lots of easier ways to become financially independent. Now please move your butt and go make some money” the dollar angel said!