Five Ways to Create Extra Income With Little or No Money

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. From a young age, I began reading every book I could get my hands on about wealth, personal finance, and entrepreneurship. Most of these books were heavy on concepts, but light on specifics. With this in mind, I went to seminars and started mingling with people who were already doing it to find out how they started. Here are five suggestions from what I’ve learned.

1) Start a bulk-candy vending business

Pros: extremely low maintenance
Cons: difficult to secure locations, requires some startup funds

Everyone has seen a gumball or candy machine in the lobby of a restaurant. Have you ever wondered who owns those machines? Most bulk candy businesses are owned by small, independent operators who have negotiated their way into another’s place of business. The vending operator either gives the owner a percentage of the revenue or promises to give a percentage to charity.

A quarter vending machine that offers three different types of candy can be bought for about $200 and the candy to fill it costs around $50. In a good location the machine can easily bring in around $25 per month. That means that you can pay off the entire asset in about six months or roll your profit into a second machine. After another six months, you can buy two more machines.

This may not seem like big money, but it is planting the seed for big money in the future. If you don’t have the money or credit for real estate, this is one way to turn a couple hundred dollars into a couple thousand.

The hard part is finding locations. You will have to learn some sales skills and utilize the power of persistence as you knock on doors. You might approach 20 different businesses before you get your first location. However, once you get a few locations, finding more will get easier.

Click here for a more detailed article on bulk candy vending.

2) Help Local Businesses Market Online

Pros: in extreme demand
Cons: requires acquiring a skillset, knocking on some doors

If you know anything about the internet, you probably know more than 50% of the small businesses in your community. Just think of the last time you Googled a dry cleaner or a doggie daycare… How bad was the web presence of the results?

To take it one step further: If you can do something special like create internet video for local clients, you can demand even more money for your services.

To learn more, check out Local Video Guru, a project I recently worked on with Local Internet Marketing Superstar Jack Mize.

3) Network Marketing

Pros: low initial startup funds needed, huge potential
Cons: must overcome negative stigmas, many scams out there

Network marketing is an industry that allows individual entrepreneurs to team up with a company to market their products or services. The idea behind network marketing is for the company to eliminate the costs of marketing, advertising, sales, and distribution, allowing the consumer to take on these responsibilities if they choose.

Many highly respected companies such as AT&T, Direct TV, Gap,, Google, Apple Computer, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Travelocity, and tons more have started to borrow from the concepts of network marketing. These companies have realized that the impact of their multi-million dollar advertising budget pales in comparison to the power of word-of-mouth advertising. When I noticed this trend towards the network marketing method, I dropped my “no way” attitude and decided to investigate the traditional network marketing model.

Most people have very negative feelings about network marketing because there have been a lot of bad apples in the industry, especially early on. What these people don’t realize is how far the industry has evolved. A few of these companies have learned from past mistakes and rid themselves of many of the negative aspects of old-paradigm network marketing. If you can find the right network marketing company today, it is possible to build extra income without a lot of money and still keep your friends.

Have you ever recommended a great restaurant or movie to someone? Have you ever told someone where you found a really great buy? Did the restaurant, theatre, or store ever pay you for your referral? That is precisely what the new generation of network marketing companies is doing.

The good apples offer a wide variety of great products or services at a great price, meaning that you don’t have to refer people to make it worthwhile. Selling something that is expensive and unnecessary is hard, but recommending a product or service that is better and less expensive is easy.

The way to minimize your costs with network marketing is to find a company that has products that are already on your shopping list. Then, replace the products you are already buying and you have just started a business for nothing. You might even find a way to save money.

The new generation of companies handles all the inventory, paperwork, and sales for you; all you have to do is refer people and the company does the rest. It is truly amazing how simple the process really is. What’s that you say? You don’t want to bug all of your friends and family? Not a problem, smart networkers use the internet, or other forms of creative advertising to bring prospects to them.

The big money in network marketing is made when a referral decides to make a business out of it. Most companies pay referral fees not only on your referrals, but on secondary referrals and beyond. Your efforts will be multiplied by the efforts of those you refer. Your business will soon be leveraged into a money making machine when some of their referrals decide to do it as a business, and so on.

Click here for a more detailed article on network marketing.

4) Create Interesting Internet Content

Pros: extremely low cost, extremely low maintenance.
Cons: some computer skills required, must have interesting content

The internet is entering an exciting new phase where otherwise average people are being rewarded for creating and sharing interesting content. There have been a group of internet pioneers such as Google,,,, and others, who have decided to share their revenue with content creators. This means that if you can come up with an interesting blog, movie clip, photo collection, flash design, podcast, or other form of easily distributable electronic content, you might be able to make extra income from it.

People who spend the time to come up with a clever video that lends itself to a lot of peer-to-peer sharing make a lot more money. Take this next video for example. At the time of this posting, it had been watched over 3.5 million times.

Amateur film-makers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the internet revolution. allows photographers to sell use of their photographs on their site. Just upload your photos and sit back and collect a check.

If you can generate traffic to your blog, you can make money with advertising or affiliate programs. This site is an example, but the king of monetizing blogs is Steve Pavlina. He has posted that his blog generates over $1000 per day. He is successful because he has great content and is unselfish. He will tell you on his site exactly how he did it and how you can also.

Be sure to check out my Blog Income Reports to see how much I’m making on Genius Types.

Read How to Blog :: The Manual for more details.

I love the fact that average people can be rewarded for good ideas and creative content in the internet. Creative people have a new chance to pursue the Amercan Dream.

5) Set up an Automated eBay Business

Pros: relatively easy, system already in place
Cons: time spent acquiring & shipping, must find unique product sourcing

eBay is to product markets what the Nasdaq is to the stock market! If you can find a reliable, wholesale source for a product, there are over 50 million people on eBay waiting to buy it from you at retail.

It is easy to fall into the trap of turning an eBay business into a full time job, so to keep it as low-maintenance as possible you need to automate. Find a product that you can get over and over from a reliable source at wholesale. Then automate your eBay auctions with one of the hundreds of auction software programs available to you on the internet.

The software will start new auctions when the old ones end and basically do everything for you except ship the products. Eventually, one could even hire out the shipping to his kids for allowance money.

The key to a profitable eBay business is a good product source. Even though eBay is known for rock-bottom prices, it still works on market principles. For example, you could shop eBay’s “Wholesale Lots” section to find products in bulk at a discount. Then, you would turn around and sell them one by one for a profit.

I have used all five of these techniques to produce extra income. In doing so, I have been able to quit my job and work from home. You can read my income reports for a complete breakdown. I hope that my experience has provided you with some insight on how to do the same.

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  1. Darin April 15, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    free tips would be best

  2. Ben April 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    For those of you looking to create passive income, here is an awesome opportunity you HAVE to look at. They got named the FASTEST growing company in America this past year by INC magazine. It’s about residential gas and electric – EVERYBODY uses it! I liked the gumball idea, but one question? How many people bought a pack of gum or a gumball today, yesterday, this week? Now I ask, how many people used their electricity and natural gas today, yesterday, this week, and will continue to do so? Also, how much more is your energy bill than a gumball? They offer energy at wholesale prices, with no sign up fee or contract and pay consultants thousands of dollars for helping people save money. I get free electric through this and a residual income after 8 months with this company. Folks, it’s worth 20 mins of your time to see if this business is right for you.


  3. Morten April 26, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Informative text. Thanks for the good read.

  4. R Ruffner April 30, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    I am surprised that you allow commentors to drop links to other businesses/mlm’s into your blog. I, personally find this ethically disambiguous, especially since the poster is a “member” of the mlm, and obviously using your site as an advertising medium. Especially in light of the fact that there are only about 12 (?) states that use the ‘service’ company as mentioned. To my personal view of business ethics, this borders on fraud – using the site you pay for and maintain – without providing a cut of the ROI to you.

  5. R Ruffner April 30, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    … and, I thought your overall article was informative. Thanks!

  6. Rachel Bourne June 2, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Thank you for the information! I’m compiling ideas on my website for my quest for financial independence $100 at a time.

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  8. epilare definitiva July 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

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  9. Bill August 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I too have been at this IM thing for one year plus, and am putting in significant hours with sporadic paydays. But, I am pursuing my dream and am still confident that dream will be a reality very soon. Many people quit right before they reach the top of the mountain and never realize they were inches from getting over the top and letting that momentum carry them down that hill to success and happiness. I have found a common thread of successful people to emulate in a specific type of business model that I believe to be one of the most effective and lasting ways to become successful as your own boss. Best of luck to all who read this. Bill

  10. Mike August 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Interesting thoughts if a little dated in todays climates. Things are oh so different now with social media marketing etc.

  11. Darren August 20, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    Hi, great blog, love the content, there are so many ways you can now make income. I am doing a similar thing at

    I wish I had more time, to try everything that is out there.

    take care

  12. Riz August 20, 2011 at 7:48 am #


    we can also go for autoblogging and monetize those blogs to make some money from online advertising platforms like Adsense, Adbrite etc. It will not make you rich but then every penny earned without any efforts is actually an earning :-)

  13. homebaseincome September 4, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    I enjoyed reading this article because I am one of those people who now earns passive income. I write articles, blogs, create websites and videos and they all bring me residual income NOW.

  14. RB September 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    To follow suggestion #3 a good network marketing company is Young Living Essential oils. I’ve been working with them for several years with good results… email me at if you’re interested….

  15. Maria Casperson September 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Thanks so much for this, really has helped!

    For the last 3yrs I have been in financial difficulty, and the job I was working at did not earn enough to help me get by…I was desperate to get a passive income which would help contribute towards my income… so i searched and checked out many internet sites to try and learn how to do this, but did not come across anything that helped me the way I wanted it to.

    Recently I attended a seminar on how to create a passive income, and I was amazed at the options open and available to normal everyday people like me and you!

    The money making business is no longer in investing in shops, businesses, properties and stuff, but the internet is the place to be! Believe it or not, but people can make a HUGE turn over through ‘Internet Marketing’!

    I recently got this thing online (out of desperation to make money quick), and its helped me soooo much!! I’ve only used it for 8 days and already I have made £192 in profit! Now I know its not much, but i made that whilst doing nothing! Just simply followed the instructions and thats what I made! I’m going to take the next step and try and do it on a slightly bigger scale, so hopefully fingers crossed i can generate more of an income passively! =D

    If anyone’s interested its on;

    Check it out, if you like it then get it! Its amazing! But if you don’t then no problem!

    Just thought I’d share and let people in my situation know not to give up because there are fantastic ways of having a passive income!

  16. PublishersVault September 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    I prefer the network marketing approach as I have always had better luck with affiliate sales than with pay-per-click advertising.

  17. Wilton Melser September 26, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    There are some attention-grabbing closing dates on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There’s some validity however I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  18. iphone unlocken October 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Hahah, Our laptop died while I was reading this blog last time I was here. And for the previous two days I have been searching for this specific web site, so thankful I located it again! :D

  19. David Houman October 5, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Thanks for another excellent article. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  20. Maria (Work at Home Mom) October 11, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    I’ve created passive income online through my websites, niche articles, and an ebook.
    Offline, my two rental houses provide a positive monthly cash flow with nearly no work.

  21. Rick October 24, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Truly passive income requires creativity, and initially (at least) not-so-passive amount of work. But then the money can start flowing and you’ll realize how much more time and energy you have because of not worrying about the daily bills so much. Truly a gift.

  22. Fauzyah October 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm #


  23. Daniel A-D November 3, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Wow! Tanx a million for the tips. I’ll put them to use right away n hit u back with my success story soon…stay blessed!

  24. Stephen December 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi. I could not agree more with you about the scams with internet marketing. It is hard work but as you say, you have to watch out for the scams out there. I tend to look for those that require small investments, thereby reducing the risk of losing your money. I have learned the hard way to stay away from the “free ones”. The work that you put into these are just not worth the money you get out. I started some of mine eight months ago and I am only starting to show I profit now. The beauty of these systems is that I will continue to get payment for the work completed. The other part is the more you work the more your income grows.

    Thanks for the great article.



  25. laurence December 31, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    hi there i love your site good content too id love to get a backlink from you and inreturn ill write an article on your website.
    thank you larry

  26. Claim Whiplash January 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Some good ideas here, also I think selling mobile phone contracts, mortgages or life insurance can create residual yearly income that builds up the more clients you have monthly.

  27. financial news January 5, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this put up and if I may I wish to suggest you few fascinating issues or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to learn even more things about it!

  28. char January 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Thanks for the tips ebay and internet is going to be my new focus area.

  29. Alicia Keys January 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Great tips and ideas, thanks for sharing! I used to earn passive income through the web a few years ago. However, it’s not just one of those “set it and forget it” kind of things.

  30. Chad January 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I actually run a vending business as one of my ventures, and I can tell you it IS a great and cheap biz to get into. Profit is around 50% after all expenses including overhead. It’s also a great motivatore to see the money actually in your hands at every stop. Somehow it feels more like “real” success.

  31. Pamela January 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Affiliate marketing and starting a blog can also be a great way to create passive income. With affiliate marketing you dont need cash to start and you an create a free blog with blogger or wordpress and monetize it by advertising affiliate products on it and with adsense. This way you will create at an online real estate and for years to come it can make you an income.

  32. Dave January 25, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I will be working on my investment property soon. Would like to own an investment property within the next 5 years. Looking at a cash flow of $10,000 in 6 years time!!

  33. Niaui February 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Hi Brian,

    Thank you so much for your selflessness in sharing this wonderful piece of information. I’ve read Kiyosaki’s book, but never really found the specifics on how I can apply the concepts. Thanks to your blog, these big concepts were made available to living human beings. :-) Keep up the good work!!! :-)

  34. Josue February 5, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Excellent resource!

  35. Stephen February 19, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Thanks for the great post. Some very interesting ideas here. I have two passive incomes that are working for me which I advertise on my website. None of them are get rich schemes. The one is forex auto trading and the other one is a MLM. The MLM is only starting to pay after 8 months of work, but it is working. I am starting with a third one which should be launching soon. The trouble with MLM is that it is difficult to recruit customers as people have been scammed so many times. I am also planning to look at in the near future as an alternative to automated forex trading. I am keen to find out if anyone has had any experience with them?

  36. Lester March 12, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Wow! This is quite the in depth article! I appreciate all the hard work you put in. I cannot believe how much money there is out there on this kind of stuff but things have changed greatly in the past decade. I will pass this article along to a few of my friends who can make MUCH better use of it. I did enjoy the read though.


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