Online Businesses with Low Startup Costs and Risk

There are many online businesses out there, from vacation rentals to network marketing to online coaching to freelance writing. What are the risks and startup costs for each — and which ones have the lowest risks and startup costs so you can profit more from day one with less on the line?

Let’s discuss in today’s video!

Prefer to read? I’ve broken it down for you below, sharing popular online businesses plus my personal favorite option for anyone desiring to get started without a massive upfront investment, so everything you make from day one can be profit.

Choosing a Low-Risk, Low-Cost Online Business

When starting an online business, it’s crucial to assess the risks and costs involved. Let’s take a closer look at a few popular options and then explore why copywriting can be profitable from day one.

Network Marketing

Network marketing involves selling products on behalf of a parent company and building a team of sellers. While this can be a great option for those skilled in sales and relationship building, it comes with some risks. According to the Federal Trade Commission, only 1% of top network marketers make a profit. That means, unless you’re in that elusive 1%, you’re actually losing money in network marketing. Additionally, there can be substantial upfront costs associated with buying products to sell, making it a less favorable choice for those wanting to get started without buying a ton of products upfront.

Vacation Rentals

Many individuals are venturing into vacation rentals through platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. While this can be profitable, it requires significant financial commitments, such as purchasing (and furnishing!) a property. That means couches, dishes, sheets, you name it.

You also have to rely on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, which in a moment’s notice could completely change their business model and leave you with a huge mortgage and no marketplace to sell it on. Additionally, the more people that people jump on the vacation-rental bandwagon, the more supply floods the market, driving down demand and prices for YOUR property. The reliance on such platforms and market conditions can introduce uncertainty and risk, making it less suitable for those seeking a lower-risk option.


Coaching can be a fulfilling way to help others and build relationships. However, it often involves substantial costs and a lengthy runway before attracting clients. Building a social media presence, creating a website, and developing product offerings can consume time and money before seeing a return on investment. That’s not to say it isn’t worth it, and I certainly began my entrepreneurial journey with a private coaching model, but learned the hard way how expensive and lengthy the runway can be.

The Advantages of Copywriting

Copywriting presents a low-cost, low-risk business model that often goes overlooked. Here’s why freelance writing is a compelling choice for anyone looking to build an online business without taking on a ton of risk from the start.

Minimal Startup Costs

Unlike other online businesses, copywriting requires minimal investment. You don’t even need a website to get started. A simple portfolio created using free tools like Google Slides or PowerPoint, or even a PDF, can showcase your writing samples. If you prefer a website, platforms like Squarespace offer affordable options starting at $15 per month, but they’re certainly not essential. (And I booked full in my copywriting business before ever upgrading to a full online website.)

No Need for a Social Media Following

Unlike some online business models that heavily rely on social media, freelance writing can thrive without a substantial following. You can build a successful copywriting business without spending hours each day on social media platforms, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a more flexible approach. In fact, I grew my business to multiple 6-figures without a single clients from Instagram or LinkedIn. I always teach my students that social media is an OPTION if you enjoy it, but it’s certainly NOT the fastest way to book clients. (And I teach a variety of other ways to get copywriting clients that don’t rely on social media in my programs.)

Make Money from Day One

With freelance writing, every dollar you earn is profit. As long as you have a computer or laptop, you have the essential tools to begin your copywriting journey. By securing clients and delivering quality content, you can generate income right from the start. Imagine seeing your first paychecks roll in only weeks or months from now, depending on how quickly you want to get started. Copywriting offers the ability to do work you love from anywhere, on your own schedule, as your own boss. No office politics, stressful 9 to 5, or back-to-back Zoom meetings required.

If you’re searching for a low-risk, low-cost side hustle or online business opportunity, copywriting could be right for you. Unlike other options that require significant upfront investments and uncertainties, freelance writing allows you to start earning profits immediately. With minimal startup costs and the ability to work without a large social media following, freelance writing provides the freedom, fulfillment, and flexibility many desire. Consider embarking on this rewarding journey and discover the possibilities of building your own copywriting business as your own boss!

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