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How to Make Money Online Without Investing a Penny – Asked Mostly by Indians

I get this question quite often in my email about how can I make money online without any sort of investment because <ANY REASON>.

To be honest, you don’t need an investment at all to get started online. To get started blogging with WordPress using BlueHost it hardly costs 4.95 USD per month. At current elevated Forex Rate is just 300 INR per month or rather 10 Rs per day which I am sure is less than the cost of internet connection which they are using to email me those question.

I am sure anybody who has a computer and an internet connection in India can afford 10 Rs per day expense but being an Indian I can understand that people are more than happy to invest online when they know for sure that it will work rather than experimenting to see if it works or not. So let me share with you how you can make money online without any sort of investment i.e. not even investing a single penny before you make money out of it.

1. Make Money Online Doing Freelancing

Freelancing is something anybody can start without investing a single penny. You can create account in sites like to get started with Freelancing you need to Elance, vWorker or oDesk and get started bidding on Work you are comfortable doing.

I personally use Elance and you can see my profile at Elance to satisfy yourself before you get started. Though Elance is not completely free, you can get started as a free user. Free users will have limited connects per month to bid on projects and if you want to bid for more projects, you may need to either wait for next month to get more free connects or upgrade your membership. To learn more about bidding process on projects read – Top 5 Ways to Turbo Charge Your Freelancing Career

Apart from Elance I have also used vWorker in the past but now I mainly use vWorker as Employer.

See also:

2. Product Reviews on Free Blogs

Online freelancing is more or less confined to Programming, Web Design or may be to an extent Admin Support but they are very technology oriented and there are very few freelancing tasks available for other areas of interest like Physics or may be economics or any other subject as such and so online freelancing in sites like Elance, vWorker or oDesk may not work well. Does it mean you cannot get started online without investing money?

You can.

I am sure you read books for the subject of your interest and you can write views and reviews about those books on free websites by WordPress.com or hubpages. They offer free site on a subdomain like shabbirbhimani.wordpress.com or shabbirbhimani.hubpages.com.

Now you may have a question on how you can make money out of those views and reviews.

In your review you can drop links to buying those book from Amazon.com or Flipkart.com and you can make money from sales generated from your affiliate links. You can see a working example of my review of Jago Investor Book. It has Flipkart’s affiliate links embedded into it.

3. Drop Ship Method of Selling on eBay

You may argue that both the above options are for people who are more into techy things and not for someone who is not very technical at doing things online or rather you may not be very fond of writing. You can still make money online. Let me share with you how.

All you need is have an option to click pictures. Take a picture of a product that is available in shop next-door or market nearby. I live in an area where there is a very big market of shoes. I just need to visit a good shop in the market, click picture of shoes using my mobile phone or camera and then list that product for sale on eBay with the clicked picture.

Once I have made the sale on eBay, I collect the money from the buyer into my account, buy the shoe from my next-door shop or market and ship it. I didn’t even need to invest money buying shoes before making a sale 😀

The above method was recommended by Marc Ostrofsky in his book GetRichClick (Flipkart). 😛

Share your views in comments and finally I have to ask – Can you find any other reason for not getting started making money online? Sound off in comments.

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  • Salm

    Hello Shabir,
    I have a question about PAYPAL exchange rate:

    I have few dollars in Paypal to withdraw via my HDFC bank.
    Today’s USD-INR exchange rate is 53 plus but paypal shows 51. something (This is the rate it shows when I proceed with my withdrawal process) Almost 2 rupees difference. Why am I not getting current exchange rate in PAYPAL?

    Will I not get the exchange rate that is prevailing at the time of withdrawal? If do not withdraw my fund from PAYPAL for a while, will I get better rate when Indian rupee depreciates afterwards or PAYPAL keep the same rate once it is fixed?

    Please confirm. Thanks in advance…


    • You will always get lesser exchange rate in PayPal. See http://imtips.co/crap-paypal-exchange-rates.html

      It varies based on how exchange rate changes but lesser than what you would see on other places.

      • Salm

        But which exchange rate they consider?
        Say today is Feb 09. if I make a request today, which day’s exchange rate they would consider?

        • Expect 4 to 5% lesser than what you see anywhere else.

  • Dhanu

    Sir, I started at freelancer.com. But I was unable to get any job there. It was adviced that I should qualify for jobs, for that I was asked to buy exams… Is it the only way?

    • No Dhanu, that is not the only way. At freelancer.com you have to be make sure you bid for projects which you prove before hand that you can get the job done because you lag the profile to show off.

      • Dhanu

        Thank you sir

  • What happens when you put something up for sale on eBay from your neighbors store and someone buys it from you, but someone already bought it from the store by the time you go to buy it and ship it?

    • You are not selling one of kind thing and it is very unlikely that the item is out of stock from the market completely.

      • If its anything like the shops I go to in the city mall, what happens when they’re out of stock with a shoe or product? Places that carry more items than just a couple tend to become out of stock at times. So pretending here, that someone buys it from you and you go next door to the shop and buy it, only to find out its out of stock. What do you do?

        • You are trying out a hypothetical situation buddy and if you are so concerned about it getting out of stock, go for item that is not that scarce.

          • Why are you being so defensive over a simple question? Unless this is the factory of the product and they have an endless supply of it, then at some point and time they will probably become out of stock and have to order another shipment.

            If its a product that’s not that scarce, then how are you capable of making money online by selling it? Why would people choose you to buy it from, instead of any of these other places since it’s a common product?

            • People buy products because they want it and not because they find it nowhere else. I am not being defensive but the situation you are trying is more of an hypothetical one and the best is to just buy it before hand if you think it would be out of stock in few days time.

              • Your the person writing about it. I as a reader am asking the person who seems experienced with this stuff (since your writing about it) on a what do you do situation if a product becomes out of stock.

                I do not think buying the product ahead of time would help. Buy a product and then someone never buys it online from you. So you’d be out that money. Of course, you’d have that product in case someone ever did buy it from you, but then you’d be stuck with it if no one ever buys it from you.

                I’m just asking questions that matter. Its a hypothetical question that has a very good chance of happening at some point during your business operation.

                • Agreed that it is not impossible for item to be out of stock but such occurrence is highly improbable. Still I think there are chances for situation like that happen but that does not mean you can’t try it out to see how it pans out.

  • Karthick

    Hi Shabbir,

    I am running a company for data entry projects and I do article writting .I am also a networking expert. How do I create my Elance profile?

    • Just visit the website and signup as service provider and you can have a profile like I have it here

      • Karthick

        Hi Shabbir

        Thanks for your reply. I already have an account. I want to know How to create my profile that attracts employers to provide me the job? What is the headline I have to add… You have added C Programming and SEO expert.. Can you suggest a title that combines Networking, Article Writting and Data Entry…

        • My tag line is vBulletin, WordPress, AWeber and SEO Expert and not C Programming and SEO expert and I think you have to make that yourself based on your expertise.

          Can you tell me where do you see C Programming and SEO expert?

          • Karthick

            I am sorry I have provided the wrong information and I see vBulletin, WordPress, AWeber and SEO Expert

            One question if i send a link of my website to a person, and if he clicks on it…It will consider as a page view… Also I if send as an hyperlink and if the person click on it, it is consider as a valid page view..

            • I am not able to understand your question but if you send a link or hyperlink it is one and the same thing as far as page view to your site is concerned.

              • Karthick

                Hi Shabbir,

                I want to know whether it will be considered as a valid page view…If I get views from Facebook for my website will it consider as a valid page view…I am designing my site and I will send the model ONCE IT IS READY PLEASE LOOK INTO IT

                • Yes every visit that you get from any site including facebook is a valid page view.

        • vijay

          hi mr. Karthick

          i am a working college student and i am looking for a decent job as freelancer
          if you have any kind of offline-online data entry projects
          please inform me vijaykant_uikey@yahoo.in

  • harish kumar

    dear shabbir,

    thanks for guide me, i hv start selling on http://www.estore18.com/
    after one month i hv earn some good money….thanks you again….

    harish kumar

    • What kind of product are you selling because that site does not appeal to me at all.

  • Salm


    VWorker has been taken over by freelancer.com
    How about people have account with both cos?

    • They will be merged and now I had some $$ in both my accounts and now I see them merged.

  • Ummer

    Hello Shabir,

    Wishing you and your family a very happy EID!!. We celebrate EID here in Kerala today.

    Well I am here to share some information about some more freelance opportunities which I came across couple of months back. I thought I would share the same with you and your readers here.

    It is called: Lifebushido ( http://www.lifebushido.com). It is a network for people who want to work from home and seek opportunities.

    Do you have any idea about this network Shabir?

    Request you to go through it if you have time and seeking your valuable opinion about it.

    I applied for it and they replied me after a month asking me to be part of their Triangle at http://lifebushido-triangle.wikispaces.com/. to improve my chances of getting hired by them. (I can forward the mail I received in case you want more details)

    I saw many fellow Indians became member in this site but I unable to contact any of them due to lack of details available online. I yet to get clear idea about this program though I got to read the mail I received from them.

    Awaiting for your response. i feel you can show some light on it.Khuda Hafiz


    • Ummer, Eid Mubarak to you as well and they don’t have a site that attracts me to join and test and if they took one month to reply to you that shows how good they are.

      • Ummer

        Yes Shabir your point is valid.

        May be they have more applicants so got delayed. I think if it is good one, then you, as a freelancer and blogger,, have something to do research on write about.

        Who knows this may be another good opportunity for freelancers!!

  • drop ship method of selling on ebay
    can you pls expalin in details ?
    the whole process
    i think i can make a lots of bucks in tis format

    • Let me know what more details you wnt Pragnesh.

      • i have a very unique gifts which are made by my friends and we want to sell them online so how can i start with ebay ???

      • DHANU

        Sir, Isn’t shipping the product will cost us if the person is away.. like out of India, there we are loosing money,right??

        • DHANU

          or explain me the whole process.. plz…

          • The economics of PTC site is such that you will hardly make any money and even if you try, you will end up not making that minimum balance needed for withdraw.

  • Come on. Unless you inherit money, nothing comes from nothing.

    • It can come if you apply your brain and dedicate some time.

  • This is really a thing to consider, thank you very much regarding writing about this subject. . !

  • Unnikrishnan

    hi sir,
    I have signed up in a website called Clixsense. It makes me money by clicking ads.
    Is it a good job that I am doing
    Is it a trustful site or a scam

    • There are tons of PTC sites and I am yet to see anybody making a fortune out of them. All I can sat is you are wasting your time.

      • Unnikrishnan

        Thanks for your information

        • The pleasure is all mine. 😀

          • DHANU

            Sir, Isn’t this PTC paying… because I have started with them in this month… Will I be earning any money from them…?

  • Prithwiraj Saha

    100% true and this avenues if explored properly can be real big earners.
    @Shabbir bhai I did start a bit late on the freelancing stuff but from last month I have been working in Elance (http://prithwi1983.elance.com) and from the look of the first month (3 out of 3 milestone completed all short niche jobs) this is going to get better.

    Also I would like to add one more channel people who are into photography and posses a decent Camera which gives decent resolution photo’s [No need for a DSLR or sorts] can submit selected portfolio of 12 images in Flickr Getty Image “Call for Artists” group and if selected by the jury their photo’s would be on sale in Getty Image. I don’t have premium DSLR but have 16 of my images on sale in Getty Images pricing of which you can see in the link http://www.gettyimages.in/Search/Search.aspx?assettype=image&artist=Prithwiraj+Saha+Photography

    On each sale of images the contributor would get a percentage as royalty free and there are different kind of licenses with different percentages in royalties.

    I remember an advice from Shabbir bhai, “You should pursue and work on the things which you have interest in. Even if you blog/ make a site on something that should be of your interest else you will not be able to sustain it.”

    Till date I follow his this advice and think I am fortunate that I had the opportunity to work and learn with him in person.

    • Prithwiraj, great to see your comment and it really feels great to see things are working for you in the right direction.

      Selling images on gettyimages or even iStockPhoto is a good option for those who love to click pictures.

    • vijay

      hi prithwi can you tell me it is free to use or not
      i have a degital camera.but not DSLR and i love to click photographs
      can i join this..

      • I think so because if you have good pictures, you should be able to sale them.

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