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Starting an Online Store With No Money: Is It Possible?

June 15, 2022

You’ve probably heard the adage, “You have to spend money to make money.”

But is it true?

Starting an online store with no money can be a viable alternative to the overhead expenses that brick-and-mortar shop owners face. But what does it take to start a business with no money?

Before you dive into building an ecommerce website, check out all the ways you can make money online. Here’s what you need to know before you start.

Is Starting an Online Store With No Money Possible?

If you’re interested in how to start a business with no money, there are some tried and true methods to make it happen. Not every option will work for all online entrepreneurs, so finding what works for your particular skill set is crucial.

Blogging

If you enjoy writing and understand search engine optimization, blogging can be a great way to earn some money online. Pick a blogging niche you have some knowledge about, find an online platform (like WordPress) to manage your content, and start writing posts. You can earn money through affiliate marketing, which is when you get a commission when you link to products that your readers purchase. You can write sponsored posts for companies on your blog or use ads in your content. You can even sell digital services or products related to your niche.

Web Design

Freelance web design can be a fun and lucrative business if you enjoy creating websites. While web design takes a significant time investment to learn how to create the layout, theme, and color palette that correctly conveys a brand’s tone, it’s also a skill that can pay off. Most web designers need subscriptions to the Adobe Suite of products, which aren’t cheap. But it’s a business you can start at no additional cost if you own those programs.

Podcasting

Much like blogging, podcasting requires you to pick a niche and create content for it. But, rather than writing content, you record it. You can start a podcast if you have access to a microphone, computer, and sound editing software.

To monetize your podcast, make a website for your podcast with a membership program where your audience pays to listen. You can join an advertising network to quickly and easily put ads on your podcast. You can also sell advertisements or allow sponsors to pay to be mentioned in the podcast.

If you find your podcast does well for free, you can create a premium version. You keep offering the regular podcast for free but put additional content behind a paywall.

Consultant

If you have experience in a particular industry, you could offer your guidance as a consultant. You can help those starting in your industry, or you could offer more in-depth help. Your skills and expertise are invaluable to those who don’t have them, so why not sell them? Your industry and experience determine your prices and who you work with, but the good news is there are no startup fees with consulting. All you need to do is share about your new venture on a social media platform and have an email where potential clients can contact you.

Online Retail

Online shopping is practically the norm now, so if you want to create a website to sell products online, there’s already a customer base. Selling print-on-demand products is a great way to make money without investing in a large stock of products that you pay for upfront and store in your home. To set up your online store, you’ll need a website and a store manager on the backend, like BigCommerce, WooCommerce, or StoreBuilder.

Virtual Assistant Services

If you’re an organized person who likes to multitask, virtual assisting may be a great career. There are tons of business owners and professionals who need your skills. Virtual assistants do many things, from helping with the backend of ecommerce sites to managing email inboxes to scheduling social media to even answering online chat questions. Your particular skills will determine what kind of virtual assisting you do. Picking a specific niche of people you work with is an excellent way to build even more expertise.

Steps to Open Your Own Store

Once you’ve figured out what kind of business you want to start, it’s time to determine how to start an online business with no money. Every industry is different, but some general guidelines apply to every online business.

  • Do Your Research. See who is already running a business like the one you want to start and how they do it. Do some networking and meet with business owners to get their insider information and learn about the struggles they faced.
  • Identify Your Skills. Brush up on any skills you’ll need to run your business, especially if you plan to work with clients. You won’t be able to keep clients long if you can’t properly serve them.
  • Keep It Lean. Until you’re making money, use all the free tools at your disposal. Google has a great suite of office products for free, and Canva’s free tier will allow you to create graphics. Use PayPal to take money, and network with customers using free social media. Many email marketing platforms like MailChimp and MailerLite offer a free tier to use while you’re getting started.
  • Don’t Over Stock. Purchase as little stock as possible while building up your audience and customer base. Until you develop your audience, you won’t know exactly what your customers want. Use the profits from initial sales to reinvest in more stock.
  • Make Your Platform User Friendly. Your website should be clear and easy to understand. Your customers should be able to navigate it. Don’t overdesign. That can lead to confusion in your customers, leading to a lack of sales.
  • Do It Yourself. There are tons of plugins and tools at your disposal. Learn as much as you can at the beginning until you have time to invest in someone to do the work for you.

StoreBuilder Can Help

You know how to start an online business with no money, so it’s time to take the leap. StoreBuilder can help you take your business idea and make it real. It’s the best ecommerce website builder for building your business in WordPress. You can sell products online easily and worry-free without learning code or web design.

Try StoreBuilder and see how easy it can be to build your online store.

Lindsey Miller
Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller knows WordPress inside and out. She has been working with WordPress since 2010 when she started her first WordPress blog. Since then she has attended WordCamps all over the world and had the honor of speaking at many WordCamps and other WordPress events such as WooSesh and WordFest. She is currently the owner of Content Journey, a content marketing agency that focuses on increasing organic website traffic for their clients through SEO and blogging.