After you’ve been freelancing for a few months, you should have some good samples, testimonials, and experience that will give you the leverage to start going after better-paying clients. Remember to set up your digital footprint from the beginning; the majority of social media sites are free to join, as well as a basic blog from WordPress or Blogger.
There are a couple different options to start a business if you have no money. The best option is to offer services that don’t require any additional costs for you to provide. What skills, software, or tools do you already have that allow you to offer a service for free? For example, if you already own a dog, maybe you can start an at-home pet sitting business. Or if you already possess design-related skills, maybe you can make graphics for a small business’ social media posts.
Basically, you pick a profitable niche for your online business, and then you find an affiliate partner who has products available in that niche. Some of the most popular affiliate sites are Clickbank.com, Amazon.com, and CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction). Between them, they offer just about any digital information product (like ebooks, audio files, video files) or physical product you can think of. Many big name companies and brands like Wal-Mart and Home Depot run their own affiliate programs.
Always remember to personally connect with neighbors, friends, and family and let them know about your services. You can also check out third-party platforms like Care.com, SitterCity, Bambino, and Task Rabbit, where they connect caretakers with caregivers. If you are connected with a job on one of these platforms, they'll take a small percentage of the total transaction fee.
If you don’t already have an idea, the first step to coming up with an idea can be the hardest step. Many entrepreneurs know exactly what type of at-home business they’re going to open. For example, someone who has worked in an industry for several decades can leverage their knowledge and network to do consulting. Other entrepreneurs may know they want to create jewelry and sell it on Etsy.