22 Ways To Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

Want to learn how to make money online without paying anything? Here are ways to earn money online for free. Making money online without putting in money up front is doable for many people. Thanks to the growth of online jobs and businesses, you can make extra money or create a full-time job from home….

Want to learn how to make money online without paying anything? Here are ways to earn money online for free.

Making money online without putting in money up front is doable for many people. Thanks to the growth of online jobs and businesses, you can make extra money or create a full-time job from home.

It doesn’t matter if you’re skilled or just getting started – there are ways to make money without paying anything at the beginning. You can use your creativity and skills in things like making content, providing digital services, and selling stuff online to make a steady income.

I personally have made money online in many different ways without paying anything to get started, so I know that this truly does exist.

Best Ways To Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

Here’s a quick summary of my favorite ways to make money without investment:

  • Best way to make money online freelancingProofreading
  • My favorite way to make money online for freeBlogging
  • Best way to make money online for passive income Selling printables
  • Best way to make money online for those who like numbersBookkeeping

Below are the best ways to make money online without paying anything.

1. Blogging

Blogging is exactly what I started years ago, and I didn’t pay any money in the beginning to get started.

If you want to make money with a laptop, then this is what I recommend.

I began Making Sense of Cents in 2011, and it has helped me earn over $5,000,000 since then. I started my blog on a whim to share my own money journey, not even knowing that people could make money from blogs or how to make a successful one.

Now, it’s my full-time job!

Eventually, you will have costs with a blog, just like with most of the businesses listed below, if you want to grow and make more money. But, the expenses are low compared to how much money you may be able to make.

So, what’s a blog? A blog is like this content you’re reading now – it’s writing on a website. You can blog about something you’re passionate about, something you know a lot about, or even something you want to learn more about (people enjoy following firsthand journeys!).

There are many different niches (topics) that you can write about too, such as travel, personal finance, home, lifestyle, family, food, and more.

You can learn how to start a blog with my free How To Start a Blog Course (sign up by clicking here).

How To Start A Blog FREE Course


Want to see how I built a $5,000,000 blog?

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog, from the technical side to earning your first income and attracting readers.

2. Printables

Selling printables is a way to make passive income from home without upfront costs.

This is because printables are digital files that you can download and print at home. You only need to make one digital file for each product, and then you can sell it multiple times.

They can be things like grocery shopping lists, invites, thank you cards, digital art, or gift tags.

I have bought many printables myself, and many others do too. Recently, I purchased a printable to help teach my daughter the alphabet. It was a useful tool, and I could easily print it at home.

You can learn more about this at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.

Free Training: Earn Money Selling Printables

Do you want to make money selling printables online? This free training will give you great ideas on what you can sell, how to get started, the costs, and how to make sales.

3. Proofreading

If you like finding mistakes in written content and want to start a business without spending a lot of money, then proofreading might be a good choice for you. This can be a part-time job or a full-time career working from home.

Many proofreaders earn around $40,000 a year or even more.

Proofreaders look for errors in articles, ads, books, student papers, emails, transcripts, and more.

To become a proofreader, all you need is a laptop or tablet, an internet connection, and the ability to spot mistakes and errors. So, you probably already have everything you need to get started.

I recommend signing up for a free 76-minute workshop, where you can learn more about becoming a proofreader. You can sign up for the free How To Become a Proofreader workshop here.

Recommended reading: How To Become A Proofreader And Work From Anywhere

Proofread Anywhere


This free 76-minute workshop answers all of the most common questions about how to become a proofreader, and even talks about the 5 signs that proofreading could be a perfect fit for you.

4. Freelance writing

Freelance writing is a great way to make money online without any upfront costs, as you don’t need any expensive equipment to get started.

A freelance writer is someone who writes for different places like websites, blogs, magazines, ads, books, and other things.

I have been a freelance writer for many years now, all from my laptop. I really enjoy being a freelance writer, and I have many friends who do this as well. I started this job because I wanted to make money from home and not spend money trying to figure it out. And, it worked!

This job can earn you more than $50,000 a year. Some of my friends who are freelance writers make over $200,000 a year.

Recommended reading: 14 Places To Find Freelance Writing Jobs

5. Opening an online store

Starting an online store is a way to make money without upfront costs, and sites like Etsy and Shopify make this possible.

On Etsy, you can sell things like handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. This online marketplace is great if you’re creative and want to sell unique, one-of-a-kind products. Shopify, on the other hand, has more flexibility in what you can sell and allows you to build your personal storefront.

There are many different types of things you can sell, such as digital products like ebooks or web design templates, which don’t require inventory and can be sold repeatedly without additional cost. Physical products, on the other hand, can also be sold but keep in mind that you’ll need a plan for shipping, and you may have to spend money in order to have them as inventory to list on your store.

Another idea is dropshipping. This is a business model where you don’t need to keep inventory or ship products yourself. Instead, you work with suppliers who take care of inventory and shipping for you.

Below are some ideas for things you could sell through an online dropshipping store:

  1. Travel items such as portable luggage scales, neck pillows, or travel cubes
  2. Fitness equipment like yoga mats, weights, or resistance bands
  3. Sustainable products such as reusable utensils, bamboo toothbrushes, tote bags, or eco-friendly cleaning supplies
  4. Camping-related items like hammocks, lanterns, cookware sets, and survival kits
  5. Jewelry such as stackable rings, layered bracelets, anklets, and statement earrings
how to make money online without paying anything

6. Print-on-demand

Similar to the above, print-on-demand (POD) is a business model where you sell your custom designs on products like T-shirts, mugs, and books, but only print them once an order is placed.

It’s a popular way to start an online business with minimal upfront costs because you don’t have to worry about inventory. Your job is to create the designs and set up your online store.

Once a customer buys a product, the order goes straight to your POD supplier who prints and ships it under your brand name.

7. Stock photography

Stock photography is a way to make money online without any cash up front. If you already have a camera or even just a cell phone, you can get started selling stock photographs.

You are simply taking photos, putting them on a stock photo website, and selling them to people and companies.

People buy stock images from websites like Shutterstock, Getty Images, or Adobe Stock for many reasons, such as adding them to their websites, articles, blog posts, advertisements, and social media.

You can sell many types of pictures, including travel, business, people, food, animals, health, fashion, sports, and more.

For example, if I write a blog post about making money with a laptop, I might buy a stock photo of a laptop. Or, if I need a picture related to making money while traveling, I’d find a picture of a vacation to include in my blog post. Stock images can make a blog post more enjoyable to read.

Recommended reading: 18 Ways You Can Get Paid To Take Pictures

How can I make money online for free without paying

8. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way for you to earn money by promoting products or services online, and you don’t need anything special to get started.

With affiliate marketing, if your friend or follower buys a product through a referral link you share, you get paid a commission – it’s as simple as that.

First, pick products you love and are sure others will benefit from. Then, sign up for their affiliate program. Each program gives you an affiliate link. This link tracks who clicks and buys from your recommendation.

Your job is to share your affiliate link with as many interested people as possible. You could write about it on your blog, make videos, or even just share it on social media.

I recommend signing up for Affiliate Marketing Tips For Bloggers – Free eBook to learn more.

9. Playing games and watching videos for money

There are lots of money-making apps that let you earn cash by playing games or watching videos on your phone.

These apps pay you real money because they make money from ads and in-app purchases. To get you to keep playing, they give you a share of their earnings. For watching videos, the sites reward you with points for watching sponsored videos, and these videos can range from ads to short clips.

Now, these won’t make you rich, but it is a way to make money from your phone without upfront costs.

Here’s a quick list of the top video and game apps that pay real cash:

  1. KashKick
  2. Swagbucks
  3. InboxDollars

Recommended reading: 15 Ways To Make Money From Your Phone

10. Market research and focus groups

If you love sharing your opinions, market research and focus groups are great ways for you to earn cash online without paying anything. This kind of work connects you with companies seeking feedback on their products or services. It’s all about understanding what you think as a consumer.

Lots of companies want to hear from people like you and me, and you can share your opinions with them using just a laptop or phone, some free time, and a good internet connection.

When I was paying off my student loans, I took online surveys almost every day. I did them before work, during lunch, or after work. Even though they didn’t make me a lot of money, they were flexible because I could do them whenever I had time. Plus, they were really easy and didn’t require much thinking!

Here are some survey companies I suggest:

  1. American Consumer Opinion
  2. Survey Junkie
  3. Swagbucks
  4. InboxDollars
  5. Branded Surveys
  6. PrizeRebel
  7. User Interviews – This one pays on average around $60 per assignment (much higher than the rest, but it is a little more work for participants as these are usually video calls or on the phone)

Signing up for these survey sites is free, and typically, they pay about $1 to $3 for each survey you finish.

11. Online tutoring

As an online tutor, you get to teach students from the comfort of your home. Your job is to share your knowledge and help in a subject you know well. You don’t have to worry about traveling or a strict schedule; you can choose when to do your online tutoring gig.

You can make between $30 and $60 per hour or more, depending on the subject’s difficulty and your expertise. And you don’t need to spend any money up front, so it’s a way to earn online without extra costs.

As a tutor, you might spend 30 minutes to an hour giving a lesson, answering questions online, or working one-on-one with a student in a video lesson.

real ways to make money from home for free

12. Virtual assistant job

You can make money from home as a virtual assistant by doing administrative tasks for clients online. You don’t need anything to get started other than a computer or laptop.

Virtual assistants, or VAs, do tasks similar to administrative assistants, but they work from home or anywhere with internet.

Virtual assistants do things like:

  1. Email management – Answering and organizing emails
  2. Calendar management – Scheduling appointments, meetings, and events
  3. Administrative support – Preparing reports, presentations, and documents
  4. Travel arrangements – Booking flights, hotels, and transportation for business trips
  5. Internet research – Doing online research on topics to write about, competitors, products, etc.
  6. Website maintenance – Updating content, monitoring performance, and managing website-related tasks
  7. Personal tasks – Booking appointments or making dinner reservations

I’ve been a virtual assistant before (it was actually one of my first online jobs, and I liked how I didn’t have to spend money to become a VA), and I also have one who works for me, so I know how useful they can be! Plus, you don’t need anything expensive to get started.

13. Social media influencer

Being a social media influencer is a real way to make money online without any initial cost, and plenty of people have started their social media accounts by spending absolutely $0. In fact, I think most people start as just a hobby!

You can start with just your phone, by taking pictures and sharing your thoughts on social media accounts like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

You can earn money as a social media influencer through sponsored posts, where brands pay you to promote their products or services in your posts. You can also make money through affiliate marketing, where you earn commissions from sales made through your referral links. Plus, you can sell digital products like ebooks or online courses.

I’ve been a social media influencer for years, monetizing my Instagram and Facebook accounts. It’s allowed me to collaborate with brands I love and promote products I already use.

14. Transcriptionist

Becoming a transcriptionist can be a good choice to make money online without upfront costs. This is something that you can learn to do, and transcriptionists usually make around $15 per hour.

As a transcriptionist, you can earn money from home by turning audio files or video files into written documents. Clients can include marketers, authors, filmmakers, academics, speakers, and conferences.

To find transcription jobs, some places to start include:

  1. Rev – Transcribers on Rev earn an average of $245 per month, with top earners making up to $1,495.
  2. CrowdSurf – CrowdSurf pays for short transcription tasks, which are great for those looking for quick, manageable projects.
  3. TranscribeMe – This platform is good for beginners as they give training and only require a reliable internet connection and computer.

Recommended reading: 18 Top Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners

FREE Workshop: Is a Career in Transcription Right for You?


In this free training, you will learn what transcription is, why it’s a highly in-demand skill, who hires transcriptionists, how to become a transcriptionist, and more.

15. Video gaming livestreams

Yes, you can make money online with no upfront costs by live streaming (such as a video game that you like to play). Eventually, you may want to upgrade to higher-quality equipment, but you can start right away with what you already have – your computer and phone.

Twitch is a website where you can make money by playing video games, talking with viewers in real time through live streams, and more.

As your viewer count grows, you can start making money. Streamers can earn through ways such as:

  • Subscriptions – Your fans can pay a monthly fee to support you as subscribers.
  • Donations – Viewers can send you tips if they enjoy your stream.
  • Advertisements – You can get paid from ads that run on your live stream.
  • Sponsorships – Companies may pay you to promote their products.

Recommended reading: How Much Do Twitch Streamers Make?

16. YouTube

Starting a YouTube channel is a popular way to make money online without any initial investment. You can record videos from your phone or camera, and you don’t really need anything else to get started in the beginning.

You can start a YouTube channel about many different topics like finance, home, travel, toys, pets, and more. There’s a YouTube channel for almost anything nowadays, and there’s still space for more!

In your YouTube videos, you can include links to products you recommend, earn money from ads that play during your videos, get paid by brands to feature their products, and even sell your own stuff.

17. Freelance graphic design

As a graphic designer, you can earn money online without investing any money up front. You can create designs such as logos, social media graphics, and branding materials for clients.

To start, you will most likely want to create a simple but impactful portfolio to display your work. This is your opportunity to show your abilities to potential clients, so you will want to include your favorite projects and what reflects your design style.

You can also sign up on freelance sites like Fiverr where businesses look for designers like you.

How to make money online without paying anything for free

18. Virtual bookkeeping

Bookkeepers manage financial records, track expenses, and generate financial reports; it requires attention to detail and strong organizational skills.

This job typically pays more than $40,000 a year. Plus, many types of businesses require bookkeepers, making it a great career choice with opportunities for growth.

Even better, you can do this job from home using your computer and the internet.

Yes, you don’t need a degree to be a bookkeeper. You can start by learning basic bookkeeping and the software most businesses use.

If you want to become a bookkeeper, there is a free workshop all about finding a virtual bookkeeping job, and you can sign up for free here.

Bookkeeper Launch Course


This free training will teach you what you need to know to become a virtual bookkeeper and make money from home.

19. Write an ebook

Writing an ebook can be a way to make money without needing upfront investment, other than your time and effort. This is something you can do yourself too, such as through the self-publishing route on Amazon.

Ebooks are digital books that you can download and read on devices like tablets, phones, e-readers, or laptops. They’ve become very popular because they’re affordable and easy to access.

I’ve purchased many ebooks myself, ranging from nonfiction to fiction, and many, many other people have as well.

Recommended reading: How this person is making $200 a day in book sales passively.

20. Online travel agent

A travel agent is a professional who helps people plan and book trips, vacations, and other travel arrangements. They give their expertise and support in finding the best deals on transportation, accommodations, and activities, considering their clients’ preferences, budgets, and needs.

Travel agents also give helpful advice on destinations, suggest itineraries, arrange tours and excursions, and handle logistics such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and travel insurance.

There are many different kinds of niches you can sell vacations and trips in, such as luxury travel, cruises, Disney, budget travel, and adventure holidays.

21. Write book reviews

If you enjoy reading and talking about books, you can make money by writing reviews at home. Authors and publishers want to hear your honest opinions because they help other readers choose their next book. Readers also like these reviews, so it benefits everyone involved.

You don’t need anything other than your computer (or even just your cell phone) to write the reviews. Many times, the book is given to you to review, so you don’t even have to pay for that.

This is typically more of a side gig for spare cash and free books.

Here are some websites where you can make money online by writing book reviews:

  1. – They give free books for your first book review (and no other payment). After your first review, you can earn cash for each review, usually between $5 and $60.
  2. Kirkus Media – They look for reviewers for both English and Spanish books, particularly in the Kirkus indie section. Reviews involve around 350-word summaries due two weeks after receiving the book. They cover all genres, with over 10,000 books reviewed annually.
  3. Upwork – Create a profile as a book reviewer on this freelance platform. You can choose projects that interest you and set your own rates.
  4. The US Review of Books – They hire freelance writers for 250- to 300-word reviews that go beyond summarizing to provide insights into the book. To join, submit a resume, writing samples, and a couple of references.
  5. Reedsy Discovery – Review books before they are published and get paid through tips from readers, ranging from $1 to $5. It’s an exciting way to influence which books become popular.

Learn more at 16 Best Ways To Get Paid To Read Books.

22. Online job opportunities

There are many more ways to make money online that won’t cost you money to get started, and these include:

  • Finding remote part-time or full-time jobs – If you want a full-time income or are interested in part-time work, popular job search platforms like Indeed can help. They help you find jobs that fit your schedule where you work for someone else as an employee, such as software engineer, developer, human resources manager, IT manager, and more.
  • Customer service and support jobs – As an at-home customer service rep, you would work for companies, answering customer questions and issues that they may be having.
  • Data entry and administrative jobs – Data entry jobs are ideal for you if you have a good eye for detail and can work independently.

These are all jobs where you would be working for someone else, but online from home. The company would normally provide you everything you need to get started, such as any software and possibly even the laptop as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions about how to make money online without paying anything.

How can I make money online completely for free?

There are many ways to make money online completely for free. You can start a blog, freelance write, bookkeep, write book reviews, sell stock photography, or become a virtual assistant.

How can students earn money online without any investment?

Students can make money online without any investment by answering online surveys, tutoring online, freelance writing, proofreading, blogging, and more. Whether you want to make extra cash or a full-time income, there are many options for students.

How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything – Summary

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to make money online without paying anything.

Getting started with making money online might feel overwhelming and impossible, but it’s not impossible if you do it right.

The internet has many places where you can show off your skills as a writer, artist, or tutor. You can also sell items online, or even play games and give your opinion in surveys.

What other ways are there to make money online for free without investment?

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