Creative Ways to Start Making Money Online with Just $100

Written by Zac Johnson
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Every day I get a ton of emails asking me how to make money online. Thanks to the power of the internet, anyone anywhere can start making money if they are willing to just put in the time, work, and effort. In addition to the generic question of how to make money online, another common question is how much money you need to get started with.

The truth is, there are plenty of ways to make money online — especially when you have some money to start with, but don’t expect to get rich overnight in any scenario. Building an online empire takes time, and this is something I’ve been doing for over 20 years now.

With all of that being said, here are some ideas for responsible ways to invest or make money online when starting with just $100.

Start a Blog and Build a Business Online

I can’t stress the importance of this one enough. Blogging is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to make money online — when you put in the work.

With $100, you can get three years of web hosting and a free domain name through Bluehost. This comes out to less than .10 per day.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, many of these methods will take time — and blogging is definitely one of them. Creating content, ranking in the search results and running a site using the WordPress platform are all free things, but you should also figure out a business model for your site as well.

Also, if you don’t think blogging can make you money or change your life for the better, just take a look at this list. I can completely relate, as starting my blog back in 2007 was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made.

However, when it comes to blogging, not many people know where or how to get started. The good news is that I created a free blogging course that anyone can sign up to, which will provide them with all of the training and guidance they need to start a blog and find success online.

Get Active in the Stock Market or Penny Stocks

For investors who don’t mind taking on some risk, the stock market is open to investors with low capital volumes. Technically speaking, you can buy stocks for as cheap as less than a penny per share — these are often referred to ask “Over the Counter” (OTC), or penny stocks. You usually won’t hear about these stocks on CNBC or in the news, as they are often more volatile and not super huge companies with thriving businesses. It’s not typically recommended to buy such stock unless you are willing to accept above-average risk for a very unlikely award.

However, there are promising opportunities, like medical marijuana stocks, which budget investors can partake in. As with any type of investing, it’s often best to buy stocks with the intention to hold on to them for some time, but there are many investors and day-traders who have done very well with jumping in and out of stocks for quick gains.

Thanks to online trading platforms like Etrade, Ameritrade, and others, it’s easy for anyone to get started with online trading — whether you are looking to invest for the longer or simply jump in out and for quick gains/loss. This is something Tim Sykes and I talked about in our interview on Rise of the Entrepreneur.

This is something we continually see whenever something new comes into the industry, or new regulations come into play like GDPR and sports betting. Both of these examples are completely different, but new businesses and services will be applied to each — while generating a lot of money in the process.

Affiliate Marketing Earnings Can Scale Quickly

Affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to make money online — especially when you are focusing on media buying and have some money to work with.

Blogging and affiliate marketing is a powerful combination, but without the necessary money aspect, it can definitely take time to build out an active website or blog that has enough traffic to make decent money. When jumping into affiliate marketing with a nice budget, you can start setting up new ad campaigns and focusing your efforts on media buying, Facebook Ads, pay per click marketing, popup ads and much more.

Granted… $100 isn’t much to work with when it comes to affiliate marketing — but it’s a great place to start if you are looking to make money online. If you decide to go this route and have only a small budget to work with, start with email/zip submit offers and media buying. This will allow you to limit your daily budget, understand your audience, improve conversions and not blow your budget without seeing any leads or activity to learn from.

Either way, make sure you put in the time and effort to learn the basics of affiliate marketing before getting started.

Selling with Amazon/eBay

When it comes to buying or selling anything online, most people will end up on Amazon or eBay. The great thing about both sites is that anyone can start selling anything. This is super easy to set up through eBay, but also possible with Amazon if you are going to join their selling program. In both cases, eBay and Amazon will take a percentage of the sale, but the traffic and branding power associated with selling on their sites is huge.

With this in mind, the business model of buying low and selling high still works extremely well. This can actually be done in two different ways:

  • Buying locally and individually reselling online
    (think clearance items, stores going out of business)
  • Creating your own products and selling in bulk
    (think Alibaba, white-label products)
  • Getting creative and selling something you personally make
    (think crafts, drawing, art, personalized gifts)

Having only a $100 budget, it’s most likely that you would get started with eBay to maximize your profits and not lock up too much money all at once. Fulfillment by Amazon and dropshipping is great, but this will often require a much larger initial purchase than $100 — however, if this is something you get into, you should definitely consider your options with this method.

What if you don’t even have a dollar to start with?

Beleive it or not, I still get numerous emails per day stating that they have NO money and want to make money online. More often then not, you can tell right away that the people sending these emails are just looking to get rich quick and would never have the work ethic to build something real or profitable online… however, it is definitely possible, even if you don’t have any money to get started with.

I actually started my online business with nothing and built it into what it is today through the use of free online resources, then re-investing back into the business. This was mainly through free web hosting back in the on AOL and Geocities pages, using affiliate marketing and AOL chat rooms to connect with new audiences and site owners. Since I was a teenager back at the time, I actually used these methods for a couple of years before registering my first domain name and really having a budget to work with.

For this to happen, you need to better educate yourself, and find a way to start making money online. In addition to taking advantage of online blogs, communities, and resources, you can also find a great amount of free online courses through sites like Udemy and Skillshare. While the majority of courses on these sites costs money, there are many that are free as well.

Next, you will also need to consider your options for making your first few dollars online. Here are some free methods that work very well.

  • Sell your stuff on eBay that you simply aren’t using
  • Get paid for freelance writing on sites like Textbroker
  • Start a Fiverr gig and see what services you can offer
  • Complete online surveys and get paid for your time
  • Promote affiliate offers through free traffic sources

These are all completely legitimate and effective ways to make money online, with ZERO startup costs. But again, if you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort… don’t expect to make any money or get anywhere with an online business.

The best investment is one in yourself

As you can see, investing with $100 isn’t impossible or even that difficult — especially when trying to start an online business or brand of your own. If you have more than $100 to work with, even better!

No matter what option or path you choose, don’t throw all of your money into right away. Make sure you have a good understanding of what you are getting into, have a legitimate business model or expectations, and also scale your budget so it lasts over time.

When you are more familiar with any of the practices mentioned above, you can start investing larger amounts and earn significantly more in returns.

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