5 Tips to Help You Start an Online Freelance Business with Almost Nothing

Starting an online business can seem like a grand, daunting task. But it’s not as hard as you might think.

In this post, I’m going to show you how anyone reading this can start an online business where they can make hundreds to thousands of dollars a month or more right away.

You don’t need an investor, you don’t need a team, you just need you and a few hours of your time. Everyone can do it.

Step 1: Free up 1-2 hours per day for your new freelance business

If your excuse is that you don’t have any time, make time. Instead of watching trashy reality TV shows, focus on your new online business instead.

If you spend hours a day browsing Facebook, Instagram – cut your social media addiction in half and spend that found time in your new business.

The point is, you can always find time. We all have the same amount of time, 24 hours in a day. There’s more than likely something you are doing that you could instead invest that time into an online business.

Step 2: Pick a category to freelance in

Here are a few ideas:

  • Writing articles/content
  • Graphic design
  • Coding/programming
  • Virtual assisting
  • Copywriting
  • Social media posting/marketing
  • Online marketing
  • Search engine optimization/link building
  • Entry level accounting/book-keeping
  • Data entry/spreadsheet work
  • …and countless others

Keep in mind that you don’t need to be an expert, yet. You will charge entry level prices for entry level work. You can start from the bottom and charge just a minimal price. Then as you get more skills you can raise the price. Just about anyone reading this can do basic tasks in all of the above.

Don’t be one of those people that says they can’t sell article writing services because they aren’t an expert. If you had an English class ever in your life you have the skills to at least charge $5 an article. Nobody is expecting gold for $5. They are expecting bronze at best. And in time you will be able to deliver gold and charge gold prices.

To get more of an idea of what kind of services you can market online easily, check out these  freelance sites:


Step 3: Register on freelance sites

Registering on freelance sites above will allow you to attract clients that will pay money for these services. If you are somewhat new in that field, you can charge as little as $5 to complete a job for someone on Fiverr.

Take a look at what other freelancers are doing and how they get jobs. Post as someone looking for a freelancer to see what the responses look like. Hire a fellow freelancer to get some tips on what works for them. Freelancers are the type that tend to bond tend and help each other, so don’t be afraid to ask.

As you enhance your skills more and more you can start to raise the price. I would recommend being perfectly honest with people on what your skills are at the time. Don’t try to start charging hundreds of dollars if you have never done it before. Raise the price as you gain experience and your reviews will help you demand those prices.

Step 4: Focus on doing a good job and getting quality reviews

As you complete more jobs make sure to ask your clients to leave you a review. As you gain more reviews you can raise the price. And as you gain more quality reviews you will also attract more clients. It’s a win/win.

Make sure that you under promise and over deliver. A lot of people make the mistake of over-promising and under delivering and this results in bad reviews. Do more than what you promised, not less. This results in exceeded expectations and great reviews.

If the customer doesn’t leave a review, simply ask. Another way to both help you sales and get good reviews is to explain to the client that you are new but dedicated and you will work your tail off for cheap to get a great review. Do this several times and build up quality reviews.

Step 5: Expanding your business from freelance platforms

People often ask what the next step is after freelance platforms. Well, there are several options:

  • Setup your own website and sell the same services there without having to pay the freelance sites a cut. You can get started on that by getting your own web hosting and domain name so you can build a site with a free tool such as WordPress.
  • Expand out into a new business for yourself. Instead of taking clients, do the skill you learned for yourself in your own project.
  • You can scale freelancing gigs pretty high by raising the price. Instead of having 100 clients paying $5, you can have 5 clients paying $100. That way you can handle more jobs and get paid more.

Freelancing is a great way to get started with an online business. After you have an initial client base and skill base the possibilities are endless. The money is also endless. Many people have scaled freelancing into full on agencies and massive companies.

You can also do freelancing while you have a full-time job. If you have an hour or two before or after work (which everyone should be able to find) you can invest that time into your freelance business. Before you know it you may have a great extra income stream or something that you can totally replace your 9-5 with.

The next step is to go from business operator to business owner.


Written by Brian D. Evans

Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world's top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.


Leave a Reply
  1. Can you please tell me which freelancing site is reliable and legit as the site is not up to the mark. I am looking for the work site with which we can work and get the amount paid after the work done. Please help.

  2. is it good if I starting with a department store and make a e-commerce website and start to sell the products of own store then after the reviews then i will go for next step with more experience.. how is this !! please say me more on my plan..

  3. I have tried to do freelancing on website but when I get selected for a project, and when I try to accept than there is a demand for 10℅money that I will earn after completing project. This demand is before starting project. So please suggest me a website that give a real freelancing job in free and after completing job they would take their own value.

  4. Brian,

    Great article. I did not have much success with but I just checked and looks an awesome website.

    There is only “ONE THING” freelancer should promote for the skill which they are best at. If they target too many skills or services simultaneously, they mind end up losing client and fail.

  5. I started working as a freelancer 5 or 6 years back and now I am running my own company. Freelancing initially was not easy but gradually things got easier. Couple of things to remember here, always stick to professionalism, business ethics, regularity and always focus on the quality product delivery on time. Contacts are very important in freelancing or any type of businesses, so from the very beginning try to build good relationships.

  6. Entry level(aspirants) entrepreneurs always look for genuine and practical advice and I hope this platform will surely help people like us with effective approach.

  7. Hi Brian. I love influencive’s posts and as a fledgling freelance writer this article was a cool little piece to read. Thanks mate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Art of Getting More Work Done by Not Working

The 3 Must Have Tools of Successful Freelancers and Online Professionals