Click Here To Download John Chow's Newest eBook - The Ultimate Online Profit Model
 

How To Start Your Online Business with No Money

written by Guest Blogger on May 23, 2011

uopm

We all have the dream – to start making money online! After all, that’s why you’re reading this blog right?

The most common problem holding people back is that they don’t know how or where to start. Unfortunately most of the strategies require spending money to make money, or investing a lot of time upfront and waiting months to see results. These are huge deterrents that hold people back from realizing their dreams of making money online. Today that’s going to change.

There is a way you can start earning money today without spending a penny.

I started working online full-time 2 months ago, I made $500 in my first month, and I am on track to make over $1,000 in my second month. I had no existing contacts, no website and I didn’t have to spend a single dollar to get started.

So, what did I do to start making money so quickly without spending any money?

Make Money Offering Webmaster Services

I started making money from my first days working online by simply offering services other webmasters. Instead of spending hours reading forums and blogs, I spend hours working for other people. I have no special skills, I simply have time that I am trading for money. And you can do it too.

Read the marketplace sections of the major webmaster forums and you will see and endless number of ideas of services you can offer, a majority of them not requiring any special tools nor skills to get started.

The money is not great, but doing this provides me with immediate cash flow that I can use to invest into my own websites and grow my business. With the money I have earned I have already developed 20 niche websites, which in turn have started generating their own income. I will keep investing and building my own sites until the generate sufficient income that will allow me to stop offering services to others and focus 100% of my time and energy on developing my own properties.

Do you see it? I can build my entire online business without spending a single dollar to get started!

Don’t rush off just yet to go start offering your own service, let me share with you a few tips to ensure your success.

The secret – Quality!

Ground breaking isn’t it? Well as obvious as it may seem, if you take a look at the major webmaster marketplaces, quality is not a word I would use to describe a majority of the services being offered. It’s the nature of the industry and there will always be a short supply of cheap quality service providers.

Why? Because the good ones stand out and quickly run out of availability as webmasters fill up their time with orders. These service providers must choose to either keep their prices cheap, and never have availability (making room for you!), OR they raise their prices taking them out of the “cheap” service provider category (making room for you!). Either way, there is always room for new quality service providers on the webmaster forums.

Offering quality is the easiest way for you to break into and succeed in the service provider marketplace. Before starting my own service I read over 100 sales threads of various service providers (both for ideas and to see what other service providers were missing that I could offer). The common trend I noticed across the majority of sales threads was that they fail to offer the service they promise, they have terrible customer service, or worse, they disappear with client’s money.

If you can simply do a good job offering a quality service you have an opportunity to stand out from your competition!

What if I don’t have any special skills?

If you are still doubting that you can do this – just take a look at the marketplace sections on all the major webmaster forums. You will see a majority of the services are not complicated and can be performed by almost anyone with a computer and an internet connection. After two quick minutes of browsing here are some ideas to start you off:

  • Content writers (simlple articles, re-writes, reviews, spinning. etc.)
  • Link builders (web2.0 properties, link directories, article directories, social bookmarking, etc.)
  • Website setup (WordPress installation, theme and plugin installations, etc.)
  • Account creation (too many to list!)
  • Designs (sites, landing pages and banners)
  • Programming (sites, scripts, apps, etc.)

Most of the above jobs don’t require any special knowledge (except design and programming), rather only require your time. Find something that you can do, put a twist on it, combine it with other services and deliver a quality service that provides a solution to webmasters problems. You do this and you will start seeing Paypal payments to your account today.

Tips for starting your first service provider business

I have only been providing services full-time for the past 2 months, but the quick success I have found was based on these basic principals:

  • Practice the service first! Contact senior forum members and explain to them that you would like to offer them a free review of your new service, in return for their feedback. This will allow you to practice your service AND start your sales thread with some social proof when seniors members leave you a glowing review.
  • Put some effort into your sales thread! Nothing is a bigger turn-off than seeing grammatical and spelling errors in the sales pitch for a content writer! If you can’t put effort into your own business, why would other webmasters trust you with theirs?
  • Offer quality customer service! As I said above, just doing this will help stand out from the crowd.
  • Be accessible and respond to customer questions quickly. When webmasters are looking for cheap service providers, they will often send out multiple PM’s asking for more information. If you aren’t the first to respond, you may lose the sale!
  • Don’t take on more work then you can handle. If you do run into time troubles, make sure to let your clients know.
  • Under promise and over deliver!

The Benefits

Besides making money right away, you also get some other valuable benefits by offering webmaster services:

“Free” financing for your business – It’s not really “free” money (as you have to trade your time for it), but this is a great option for people who do not have capital saved up, are not eligible for loans, or simply those whom are risk adverse and want to start their business without investing any capital. I have been able to take funds from my service offerings and re-invest them into my business to start 20 of my own money making sites. Next month I plan to add another 30!

Network of contacts – I have developed a strong relationship with every client contact I have made so far. It can be difficult to develop relationships when working online, and this is a perfect opportunity for me to grow my network of contacts. Oh, and I’m getting paid to do it!

Getting paid to learn – Everyone here knows that you learn the most when you take action. Well I’m taking action, learning AND getting paid for it! I am seeing lots of different niches, different monetization strategies and SEO strategies from other webmasters through my service offering that I can use on my own sites. This is information I should be paying for, but instead clients are paying me to learn!

I haven’t written anything revolutionary here, but the concept of working your way into the industry is an option often overlooked when trying to break into the world of making money online.

This blog post was written by an ExSuit who recently quit his corporate job to start working online full-time. If you are interested in following his progress and seeing his business plan unfold, check out http://www.takingoffthesuit.com. He posts daily blog updates of his actions, his income and strategies like this that will help him grow a successful online business.

Did you enjoy this post? Get John Chow Dot Com updates via email...

Stay up to date with all of John Chow’s tips for making money online and blog posts by subscribing via email. Your email will be kept private and never shared with anyone.

{ 49 comments }

Nick Throlson May 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

Great Story and tips for anyone who wants to be successful online.

PPC Ian May 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I agree! I’m a huge fan of making money actively and then investing it into passive vehicles.

exsuit May 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm

That’s the plan!

fazal mayar May 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

good post, there are definitely ways to make money online without spending.

Zk @ Web Marketing Tips May 24, 2011 at 1:10 am

Yeah and providing service is one of the best way …

Designer, writer, link builder are few of them …

TreatFeed May 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

Awesome tips to start making money online.

Jon May 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Wow, so far these two comments seem pretty lame, so I thought I would actually provide value with mine. Excellent post on making money online without having to spend any. This is how I got started with article marketing with affiliate products and services. I’m glad you mentioned that you don’t have to have any special talents to make money because you are just trading time for money. I talk to a lot of people that let this stop them
from making a living online because they think they can’t DO anything. But if you are willing to work hard you can make money on the internet. I am living proof of that.

exsuit May 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I think the fear of failing is what paralyzes most people (without knowing it), so they look for reasons for why they shouldn’t even try! Haven’t seen your blog before, subscribing to it now!!

Kevin Kimes May 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

One of the drawbacks of using the Top Commentators widget is you get some “filler” comments.

It seems a lot of folks “trying” to make it in this industry are excuse-machines. It’s all about fear of failure. If they make excuses to not take action, they don’t have to face failure. And yes, it’s mostly subconscious. We all need to learn that it is fear, and that failure is what success is built on.

Anyways, all we can do is continue to provide more useful information, also known as counter-excuses, and hopefully we can help people defeat the fear.

Justin | Mazzastick May 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I like what you have written here. It sounds like a great way to earn full-time income and also to be able to put some money into your blog. I will check out your site as well.

Tom May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Everyone has skillz they can offer to others. Recommend brainstorming all of the things they’re good at and then narrow it down to a few. Which one of these can they market?

Adarsh May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I would advice everyone to work as a virtual assistant for someone experienced. This will allow you to learn many things as well as get paid. You wont have to spend time finding clients.

And finding clients is not as easy as the OP makes it to be. It’s very difficult. Also, when a job posting goes up, you need to act fast to get the job.

Whenever I post a requirement, I get 100′s or even more pitches. Mostly after I have hired someone.

It’s great that you can make some cash offering service, but you have to let it go as soon as you can. That is not the business model you should purse to make decent money online

Zk @ Web Marketing Tips May 24, 2011 at 1:08 am

Yeah quite agree with you that first few steps will be tough one but once you establish yourself and have good contacts than everything will be smooth.

Saw many people who are making quite a good money by offering small link building services such as directory submission.

Kevin Kimes May 24, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Some people are comfortable and skilled enough to make their living providing services to other entrepreneurs. Writing is a common example. Many writers love to write, and are good enough at it to do that as their full time online business.

You’re right though, it definitely takes work to get started, no matter which side of the industry we enter from. There’s no magic formula to make millions of dollars automagically while we relax on the beach.

Sure, we can eventually get to a point where it’s possible to have the money coming in while we relax on the beach, but it takes a LOT of WORK to get there.

Louie Sison May 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Awesome tips sir. I agree, quality bags everything up.

Mike May 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

great post! it inspire me a lot. I have been doing this also in a little way but this give me a kick to work more to have passive income ultimately…

Michael May 23, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Thanks for the tips ExSuit.

I agree that if you don’t think you have the qualities yourself you can always go out there yourself and find the resources you need. Most of them you can get for pretty cheap too. Just do a quick search online and you’ll find what you are looking for!

Thanks again.

Stocks on Wall Street May 24, 2011 at 12:01 am

It’s a lot tougher said than done.

exsuit May 24, 2011 at 7:37 am

That’s the attitude that hold’s people back from success.

It’s actually not that tough – you just have to change your mentality to KNOW you will succeed.

fazal mayar May 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

definitely, its a lot tougher. When you try to find money making opportunities, you will find that there is a lot of hype but you always know that hardwork is what that will pay off

Donald May 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

great tips, i think you have show what internet marketing newbie need to so here.

Zk @ Web Marketing Tips May 24, 2011 at 1:06 am

In service industry one thing is quite essential and that is after sales service and great customer support.

If you can handle these two things perfectly than you are half battle won.

Always keep the quality of your work upto date.

WozGman May 24, 2011 at 2:14 am

The most important point I think that’s made here is ‘Under promise and over deliver!’ This is key not only when you are starting out, but right the way through your career be it working for yourself or as an employee. Expect more from yourself than anyone else ever could and you are on the right track

Kevin Kimes May 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

This is a lesson that took me years at my “day job” to figure out. Promise less than par, but strive to deliver even more than would be normally expected.

However, this may not be a good way to “obtain” the first few clients. Unless you want to give away a few jobs for “resume” building. You don’t have to promise very much for a price of zero. :)

ProsperwithTess May 24, 2011 at 4:39 am

EXACTLY. You hit the nail right on the head with this one! I began 3 years ago writing content for other people so that I wouldn’t have to spend my existing money on starting an online business. Little did I know that ghostwriting would become a huge source of income for me. Today I write articles, web pages and other content for clients AND make money with my other businesses.

Thanks for a great post, and letting those just getting started know that they CAN do this.

exsuit May 24, 2011 at 8:13 am

Congrats on finding your own success! Just checked out your blog I like it! You have another subscriber!

ScorpionGodLair May 24, 2011 at 4:50 am

Really amazing rocking post with a new great Idea.. Hey it’s nice to offer services for webmasters. can I know what kind of services you offer….?

exsuit May 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

I have started out with basic link building services (blog postings, directory submissions, etc.). I have already been contacted by a marketing company to take on their SEO operations (not a done deal yet!), and now working with a local contact that would likely be a monthly retainer!

Following the tips in my post I have been getting amazing customer reviews which has helped me get even more clients.

Mr.Ven May 24, 2011 at 5:31 am

Good luck for your online businesses…i am not sure when do i work full time online ;)

fas May 24, 2011 at 9:04 am

Excellent tips, very valuable indeed. I respect the honesty in this review.

Nicholas James May 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I started online with $0 so, no-one can say that its impossible to start with $0 and get to a level where you can make a large amount of money online.

This post shows many ways of how it is possible!

exsuit May 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Exactly my point! What did you do to start earning money when you had nothing in the beginning??

Nicholas James May 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

It’s probably something I’m going to write about eventually but it was through “freelancing”

Nicholas James May 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Update: This post actually inspired me to publish a post I half wrote as to how I did it which can be seen: http://www.profitbaron.com/i-started-my-online-empire-with-0-yes-it-is-possible/

Kevin Kimes May 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Hi Nicholas. I went to have a look, and found there seems to be a problem with your site. I tried to send you an email but it seems the contact form won’t send. Hopefully you already know about it.

http://kevinkimes.com/stuff/problem.jpg
Screenshot link just in case it’s not doing this for you. Notice the red arrows showing the scroll bar position. FF3.6 & IE9, same result.

exsuit May 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Yes – I am also getting a blank white screen when I try and load your site.

Favourite Hobbies May 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Great tips for earning through online

Je like May 25, 2011 at 2:54 am

great tips thx

Flyer Templates May 25, 2011 at 3:13 am

awesome tips and helpful post for earning through online.i am really interested to earn money,its my dream….

exsuit May 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

If it’s your dream, take action!!

Flyer Templates May 25, 2011 at 3:17 am

I am inspired from your first day when you started,,,thanks for this your personal sharing with us,,,there are some really interesting things….

flash game May 27, 2011 at 6:21 am

offering webmaster services i think it is a great idea.

Favourite Hobbies June 2, 2011 at 2:31 am

ya i agree with you

Richard June 3, 2011 at 4:49 am

I like this post. One of my many projects is creating blogger.com blogs and filling up these blogs with articles & reviews with affiliate links all over the page. The links will direct a potential subscriber to my blog where a squeeze page is waiting.

Yes! blogger.com is free. Gurus like Rob Benwell have tried this free strategy and made easy money.

20 and Engaged June 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm

How awesome that you’ve had so much success so far. I’m still in transition to doing my online business 100% full time, but I’m hoping for similar success!

Favourite Hobbies June 19, 2011 at 7:14 am

Thanks for the great tips about making money

Sumit June 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

your post are always good. But this time it is a great and inspiring information. thanks man I am working hard to achieve what you have achieved.

Venita July 2, 2011 at 5:13 am

Thank ExSuit
I like your idea but reading through this post also showed that it is not so easy finding an opportunity that aligns with a persons skills base.

My question is then, as you have already made a lot of contacts, why do you not start a site where you collate these job requirements for internet newbies to apply for. The webmasters could rate the newbies so the better you work – the more likely webmasters will be to take you on board.

Something like an internet marketing recruitment site.
Just my 2 cents.
Venita

Forex News July 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

great post! it inspire me a lot. I have been doing this also in a little way but this give me a kick to work more to have passive income ultimately…