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5 Ways College Students Can Make Money Online With Zero Investment 

Written by CB Community

Technology is continually changing, and working in the digital economy is easier than ever, even for college students.

What are the best ways to make money?

You will find several opportunities to earn money online that allow the flexibility and convenience students need.

Many students may not have thought of themselves as entrepreneurs, but thanks to what’s happening on the digital scene with social media and tons of tools that make it super-simple to run an online business efficiently.

If you put in the work, your business may become a source of income and be the starting point for creating wealth.

Online businesses are different from physical companies because they take significantly less time to get up and run, particularly in an era of social media. They also require a much smaller monetary investment.

Some of them will give you an instant payout, while other options may take a little time to build momentum.

It is essential to be patient as you continue to put in the effort required to make your online business successful; this may equate to a mere two to four hours a day.

We’re going to reveal how to earn money online, even if you’re a college student with zero dollars to invest.

Professional Blogging

One of the most solvent ways to make money online is by monetizing your blog, and it’s effortless to get started.

You can get your blog started in as little as 15 minutes. Even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, it isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Best of all, you can build a blog without spending any money. Around 36% of the web is built on WordPress, and they offer support to help you make the best use of their platform.

If you choose the option, you can use their free plan to begin your blogging journey. You’ll choose from many customizable themes so you can find the right fit to help you realize your vision.

The first step in becoming a professional blogger is selecting your niche. Consider your areas of expertise or topics of interest to you and the likely disposable income of your potential audience and the market demand.

Next, you’ll need to set about getting traffic from organic searches and social media platforms.

When you start to get 10,000 visitors per month or more, you can apply to be a part of the Google AdSense program. If you’re approved, you can expect to make $3 – $7 per 1,000 views. That could translate to between $30 – $70 a month in the beginning.

As your user numbers grow, so will your Adsense revenue. Remember, you earn when someone clicks on the ads running on your website.

Some bloggers earn as much as $50,000 from ads.

For example, The College Investor, which was started when the founder was in college, has turned into a six-figure business.

Affiliate Marketing

If you aspire to become an affiliate marketer, it’s best to have a website.

After you choose three to four in-demand products, you will add your affiliate link for each product to your website, and you will earn a commission on each sale. Your affiliate link will be specific to you and will enable tracking of sales generated through your site.

The advantage of this business model is that you don’t need to spend any money to purchase products and keep stock, hoping it will sell.

You also won’t need to deal with refunds or any of the customer-related issues that may arise.

The Amazon affiliate program is one of the most popular because of the full range of products to suit any need. Portals like Clickbank and ShareASale offer products you’ll be happy to promote and have commissions that make it worthwhile.

Some affiliate programs, such as certain ones in the finance or home improvement sectors, pay per lead.

As you build up the traffic coming to your website, you may also look into creating and selling your website’s digital products.


It’s easier to set up an eCommerce website than you may think.

It would help if you were prepared to put in the effort to increase the traffic coming to your site. As long as you do that, you will earn more money as your sales grow.

To get your e-commerce store up and running quickly, you can use Amazon FBA and sell it directly through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Keep an eye out for industry-specific platforms in your niche as well. A simple Google search can help.

There’s another idea that may be perfect for any college student.

Fellow college students who are moving away often throw out some good stuff. As long as laws in your local area permit it, you can pick up discarded items and sell them online.

Teach Online

You can go from student to teacher. There is a growing demand for online courses among those who want a flexible, convenient way to learn new skills.

The platform Teachable has over 7 million registered students. Your knowledge may be valuable to others, and you can use your area of expertise to earn income.

Another platform is Thinkific. There, you can publish an online course on any subject and build a steady income stream. Similarly, Udemy is a website where you can create an online course and sell it through their platform.

YouTube is an excellent platform for spreading the word about your online course. Short videos on your selected topic will capture the attention of an audience, and you can invite viewers to visit your website.  Just make sure you place the link to your website in the YouTube description area.

Teaching English online is also accessible with VIP Kid and QKid, which allows you to teach English online in small groups. The requirement for QKid is that you have to be currently enrolled in college.

On the other hand, if you speak a foreign language, you can sign up with a website like Preply to tutor students who want to learn a new language.

Tutoring is another easy way to earn money while studying. Are you excellent at a particular subject? You can promote your tutoring services around campus, and a single closed Facebook group for the subject can allow you to charge students for your help.

On, you can find clients who search for the list of tutoring services on this website.

Do you take copious notes in your college classes? Have you ever thought about selling your notes online? It’s very do-able.

Virtual Assistant

Many businesses need the help of a virtual assistant; this is an excellent way for college students to earn money online while still studying.

Virtual assistants have the potential to make hundreds of dollars or more per month.

The tasks you would be asked to do can range from researching handling email communications, typing, or managing social media accounts.

Many people prefer to outsource this type of work so you can turn to several websites to find a virtual assistant part-time job. These websites include, oDesk, Elance, and Freelancer.

Maximize Your Earning Potential

There is money to be made in so many ways. You need to think about your strengths, skills, and interests and research the opportunities that are a good fit.

Whether you choose to earn money by sharing your expertise, becoming an affiliate marketer or virtual assistant, or selling physical or digital products online, the revenue you generate may surprise you.

The key is working out what your unique selling proposition will be so you stand out from your competition. Never underestimate the value of your skills.

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, private Facebook groups, and Facebook Live, have made it easier than ever to build a business without any investment at all.

It’s best to stay on top of trends and technology to maximize your earning potential. You have to put in some work if you want to do well.


Although it may seem relatively easy to start an online business, with zero start-up investment, you should keep an eye on the potential for the company to grow.

To achieve growth, you’ll need to re-invest a portion of the profits.

Set a target at which you will begin re-investing in things like promotions and other paid tactics to increase traffic to your website.

Take It Seriously

Assure to track your hours to complete tasks related to your business. A clear image of the time you’re putting in if you want to be sure that the return on your time is making it worth your while.

When you do this, you are in a better position to measure and compare how you’re doing from month to month. This process also helps you to set goals, driven by a desire to grow your business and earn more.

It may be an online business that you run in your spare time, but you should always be professional and treat your money-maker as seriously as if it were a full-time business.

You should also always be on the lookout for new opportunities. You’ll find there are endless possibilities.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.