Low Cost Online Business Ideas

With the internet, it’s easier than ever to start a business. You can sell virtually any product or service, reach any audience, and you also have access to some of the best online software and services to help you reach your goal.

And the types of people running these businesses are as varied as the businesses themselves. There are huge, multi-network offices that focus exclusively on marketing or customer support, as well as a single mom operating out of her second bedroom running a seven-figure e-commerce store. The opportunities are vast; the resources are virtually unlimited.

However, it can be hard to take that first step, primarily when you don’t know how much it’s going to cost. Contrary to most brick-and-mortar businesses though, the cost of an online business is far less, and sometimes even free. Here are some great business ideas you can start online today for cheap.


It may sound out-of-date in internet years, but blogging is still one of the best and cheapest ways to make money online. It is by no means a “get-rich-quick” scheme – often, people put in several months or even over a year of solid, consistent work with no pay – but the rewards can be well worth it.

It’s not unheard of for a blog to generate thousands of dollars in “passive income” (called that due to the fact that is mostly hands off), simply by starting a blog and selling advertising or becoming an affiliate for other products. Neil Patel, one of the most successful online entrepreneurs today, even has an article on his website about this, bluntly titled “How to Start a Blog That Generates $3817 a month.”

E-Book Writer

Another business that takes almost zero cash to start up is writing books, especially for Kindle. There are millions of books on the Amazon store to date, all of them jockeying for eyeballs, but if you can write a book that stands out, you could be looking at hundreds or even thousands of dollars of passive income monthly. Stack a couple of those books together, and you could retire early.

If you’re interested in getting started, Mark Dawson of Self-Publishing Formula is one of the most prominent voices in this space. With several best sellers under his belt and a mailing list of subscribers that is approaching 100,000, he certainly knows what he’s talking about.


If writing isn’t your forte, there are still several more options available to you, one of which is becoming a dropshipper. Dropshipping may sound foreign, but all it is is acting as an intermediary between a manufacturer and a customer. You set up a website, find a manufacturer that sells quality products, and sell those items to a customer base. They do the packing and shipping, but the customer service is your responsibility.

One of the hardest things to find in this space is quality manufacturers. Make sure to read reviews and guides on what dropshipping suppliers are credible.  Once you have found a couple you are interested in, go ahead and contact them and test their items until you are fully confident in one.

Social Media Manager

Do you spend all day online checking Facebook, Instagram, and every other social media channel on the planet? If so, then starting up a social media managing service may be right in your wheelhouse.

Brands seeking a strong online presence will always seek to have a home on social media where they can communicate their message with their customers, as well as interact with them for giveaways, sales, and other promotions. To do that, many companies are stepping outside of the traditional print media and into social networks.

Unfortunately, managing a social media presence across several platforms and optimizing the times that promotions and posts are shared can be tricky, so many companies outsource these practices to professionals. These can be staff members that they have in-house, or sometimes they employ entire agencies to work on their behalf. Regardless, this can be a lucrative option for the right person, with salaries ranging anywhere from $4,000 a month to over $10,000. Not bad for sitting around and tweeting all day.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.