How To Start An Online Business As A Teenager

If you are wondering how to start an online business as a teenager, you have come to the right place. As a teenager, you do have an amazing gift called TIME, however, the odds are you do not have enough capital, knowledge, experience, or contacts. But no need to worry, this article provides an in-depth guide on how to start an online business as a teenager and also gives you 23 online business ideas you can start today with little to no money.

How much money do I need to start an online business as a teenager?

Prior to starting an online business as a teenager, you need to understand the finances and startup costs. You can really start an online business for as little as $11. For example, a domain flipping business can be started with just $11, while to start something more concrete like Blogging, you will need at least around $100.

16 Online Business Ideas For Teenagers

I have compiled 16 online business ideas for teenagers which requires little to no startup capital. I have done an in-depth analysis of each business idea and will present you with the estimated startup costs, pros, cons, and how-tos for each of them listed below.

1. Blogging

Blogging can be one of the best way to start an online business as a teenager. You can realistically start a blog for just $35. Prior to starting a blog, you will have to decide a niche. For example, this blog is in the business and finance niche. There are a variety of niches available to blog and some of the evergreen ones are :

  1. Travel
  2. Education
  3. Finance
  4. Food
  5. Adventure
  6. Fashion
  7. Health & Beauty

I would highly recommend you to start a blog on a niche that you are passionate about. This way you will not burn yourself out quickly and will enjoy your blogging journey while making money passively.

All you need to start your blogging journey is a domain name, hosting, and WordPress. Bluehost offers one of the best services when it comes to blogging. They offer shared hosting starting at just $2.95/mo which includes a free domain for the first year, free SSL certificate, free 1-click WordPress Install, and excellent 24/7 customer support. That means for just $35 you will have your blog up and running for one full year. What more could you ask for?

ProsConsStartup Costs
Easy to setup, low startup costs, high passive returns, success guaranteed if you show hard work and patience. Needs constant content posting, takes time to see results, needs a lot of patience and persistence.Domain and Hosting bundled at just $35 for first year.

Talking about returns, it really depends on the niche and industry you are blogging on. Generally speaking, you can easily build a $1000 per month blog within 12 months. Once your blog starts to get traffic, you can apply for Google Adsense which lets you run ads on your website. I, personally, make anywhere from $5-$25 per 1000 visitors on my website.

2. Instagram Theme Pages

Instagram theme page can be a great online business as a teenager. The best thing about this is, it does not require any startup capital. All you need is a mobile device, an internet connection, and Canva.

Prior to starting an Instagram theme page, make sure you identify the niche you want to get into. Niches in Instagram can be similar to blogging. Some of the most popular niches for an Instagram page are :

  1. Pets
  2. Motivational Quotes
  3. Memes
  4. News
  5. Finance
  6. Travelling and Nature
ProsConsStartup Costs
Easy to Maintain, no startup costs. Needs constant content posting, No guarantees, slow growth.$0

You will need a lot of patience and persistence to make Instagram theme page as a successful business model. Once you get high number of followers and audience for your page you can monetize them with sponsored posts and affiliate marketing. You can make anywhere from $300 to $1000+ per month from a single Instagram theme page, if you monetize it the right way.

3. TikTok Theme Pages

TikTok theme page is similar to Instagram theme page in many ways. The big difference is TikTok’s algorithm makes it easy to get your content in front of people who do not even follow your account. There is also a high chance of your content going viral in TikTok rather than Instagram.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Easy to Maintain, no startup costs, content can go viral quickly. Needs constant content posting, No guarantees.$0

You can monetize your TikTok theme page similar to an Instagram page. The major source of revenue from TikTok is it’s live feature. You can get donations from your viewers in the form of TikTok gifts. And these gifts will pay you anywhere from few cents to hundreds of dollars. Bear in mind, to be eligible for TikTok Live feature, you will need to have at least 1000 followers.

4. Instagram Account Flipping

Buying and selling Instagram accounts for profit is not a new thing. People buy Instagram accounts for either the premium usernames or for the followers the page holds. There are two way you can start an Instagram account flipping business. One of them is by creating new accounts, getting it to a healthy number of followers and selling it. And the other way is buying an account at a low price and selling it at a higher price.

In order to buy or sell Instagram accounts, you can visit SocialTradia.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Easy to operate, low startup costs, low barrier to entry. No guarantees.$0-$500

5. TikTok Account Flipping

Starting a TikTok account flipping business is similar to that of Instagram account flipping. You can visit FameSwap to buy or sell TikTok accounts.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Easy to Operate, low startup costs, low barrier to entry. No guarantees, Need to perform your own due diligence while purchasing TikTok accounts.$0-$500

6. Selling Digital Products Online

If you are thinking about selling digital products online as a teenager, you are in luck. All you need for this business is a computer, an internet connection, a domain name(11/yr) and a Shopify subscription($29/mo). If you want to sell your digital products through free channels like social media networks, you wouldn’t even need a domain or Shopify plan.

Generally speaking, there are four types of digital products you can sell online.

  1. Educational Digital Products (Books, Notes, Courses, etc.)
  2. Digital Tools and Templates (CV, Resume, Inforgraphics, Logo, etc)
  3. Licensed Digital Products (Themes, Plugins, Softwares, etc)
  4. Memberships (Fitness Plans, Coaching, etc)
ProsConsStartup Costs
Highly Scalable, Automation possible, high profit margins. High competition, piracy.$0-$500

If you do not posses the skills to design and develop a digital product, contact us today. We will provide you with digital products which you can advertise and start selling right away.

Try Shopify’s 14 day free trial for you digital product store today!

7. Dropshipping

If you want to start an online business as a teenager, dropshipping is a perfect idea to pursue. Dropshipping is an order fulfillment strategy that does not require you, as a business owner, hold any inventory. Whenever an order comes through your online store, you direct that order to your supplier, who, in return, ships the product to your customer. You can read my guide on starting a dropshipping business from scratch for detailed information.

You will need a computer, an internet connection, a Shopify plan and a domain name to run this business. The good news is Shopify’s free 14 day trial (no credit card required) lets teenagers get started on this business quickly without even spending a dime. Moreover, domain names are really cheap and costs only around $11/year if you register through Namecheap.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Highly scalable, high returns, highly automated, low startup costs.Highly competitive, no guarantees, business model depends on the reliability of the supplier.Shopify -> $29/month
Marketing -> $300
Domain Name -> $11/year

8. Drop Servicing

Dropservicing is pretty similar to dropshipping. Here, you sell services instead of physical products. Once you, as a business owner, get an order for the service, you contact freelancers to do it for you and keep the profit. For example, if you are running an online web design agency and get an order of $600 to design a basic website for a small business. You can forward the task to a freelancer who does it for $350. This means you can keep the profit of $250 by just being the middle man. If you want to start a dropservicing business, I would highly recommend you to read my step by step guide on starting a dropservicing business from scratch.

All you need to start a dropservicing business from scratch is some marketing budget, a domain and a hosting package. As I already mentioned, Bluehost offers one of the best services when it comes to hosting and domain. They offer shared hosting starting at just $2.95/mo which includes a free domain for the first year, free SSL certificate, free 1-click WordPress Installation, and an excellent customer support.

If you want to start your own dropservicing business, contact us today. We are giving away free mentoring and consultations for any business owners who want to get into dropservicing business. We will help you design your website and find clients for you. We will also help you find a perfect freelancer for your dropservicing business.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Highly scalable, huge returns.High competition, needs a basic knowledge on the service being offered.Domain and Hosting Package -> $35/yr
Marketing -> $300

9. Freelance Writing

If you like to write and are good at it, this can be a lucrative business idea to start an online business as a teenager. Freelance writers mostly write content for newsletters, advertisers, and blogs. Bloggers and Marketers are constantly looking for writers on different niches. Sometimes you may need to write about certain topics you are not familiar with, but if are willing to research and learn along the way, sky is your limit. Some of the most popular websites to search for writing gigs are below.

  1. Fiverr
  2. Freelancer
  3. Upwork
  4. Flexjobs
ProsConsStartup Costs
Lots of opportunities, zero startup costs, always new things to learn. Not well-compensated, it can get lonely.$0

10. Domain Flipping

Domain flipping is the business where you purchase a domain with the intent of offloading it quickly at a higher cost. It is similar to Instagram and TikTok accounts flipping. Depending on the desirability of the domain name, the profit margin can actually range from couple of dollars to hundred of thousand dollars.

You can buy and sell your domains through Flippa’s platform.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Low barrier to entry, Low Startup CostsNo guarantees, need to invest a lot of time$0-$1000

11. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves a business process where you earn a commission by promoting products and/or services made by other retailers or advertisers. Businesses usually provide a unique link to their affiliates and a software identifies if the sale was directed through the link. These businesses pay anywhere from 3% to 200% commission on the cost of product/service sold.

Bear in mind, you will need your own marketing channels in order to get approved for big affiliate networks. As a teenager, you can share your affiliate links through a blog, social media or newsletters.

Some of the most popular affiliate networks are listed below:

  1. ClickBank
  2. CJ Affiliates
  3. ShareASale
  4. Amazon Associates
ProsConsStartup Costs
Low startup costs, can join multiple affiliate networks. Needs audience to share your affiliate links, low conversions.$0-$35

12. Print on Demand

Print on demand industry is booming due to the influx of teenagers in this business. It is similar to dropshipping business except the supplier will print the apparel with your custom design and ship it to your customer.

In order to start a POD (print on demand) business as a teenager, you will need a Shopify plan and a domain name. Shopify’s 14 day free trial(no credit card needed) is perfect for testing this business model. For the domain name, you can go for Namecheap.

Some of the most popular POD companies to sell custom products online are :

  1. Printify
  2. Printful
  3. Custom Cat
  4. Tee Launch

The best thing about these POD companies is that their services can be seamlessly integrated to Shopify’s Dashboard through an Shopify App. This will make your business completely automated and make you money passively.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Low startup costs, Highly scalable. Returns are tricky, lack of control over product quality.Domain -> $11
Shopify -> $29
Marketing -> $300

13. eBay

Buy Low, Sell High – That’s the formula you need to follow in order to start an online business on eBay as a teenager. You can buy anything from guitars, hats, sports memorabilia, sneakers, furniture, etc. and sell at a higher price. You can either sell on the same platform, that is eBay, or sell the products online through Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace.

Bear in mind, if you want to set up an eBay store for a small monthly fee (staring at $4.95 per month), you can get lots of benefits like free listings, branding options, and dedicated customer service. I would say it is 100% worth it, if you want to pursue this idea.

ProsConsStartup Costs
No experience required, Really low startup costs. Always need to be on lookout, No guarantees.$0-$100

14. Virtual Thrift Shop

If you love visiting thrift shops and finding great deals, virtual thrift shop business is perfect for you as a teenager. In order to start this online business, you need to regularly visit thrift stores around your town and find those second-hand treasures. Once you find the golden nuggets, head over to your social media pages or website and list them for a higher price. It is a great way to save some extra cash to start an online business with more potential in future.

ProsConsStartup Costs
High margin, easy to setup, no expertise or experience needed. Need to visit thrift shops regularly, hard to scale.$0-$100

15. Online Surveys

Online surveys are a great option to make money online as a teenager. Although it doesn’t pay much, but if you have zero starting capital, you can start saving money earned from the survey networks and fund it towards your new online venture. You can refer to this list of online survey networks, where you can register and start making cash right away.

  1. Pureprofile
  2. Swagbucks
  3. Survey Junkie
ProsConsStartup Costs
Free money to start better businesses, can sign up with multiple survey networks. Tedious task, Payouts require minimum account balance, payouts are low.$0

16. Freebies Hunt

If you visit Craiglist or Gumtree (if you are outside US), and scroll down to the For Sale section, you will find a section called Free or Freebies. These sections are literally filled with people who are giving free stuffs away. You can find anywhere from a Sofa set to a working LED TV. Some people just don’t need the extra money and would be grateful if someone could haul their stuff away so they could get a new one.

If you have the means to pick up those freebies and store in your garage or your home, you can clean the products, take better photos and upload them to eBay, Facebook Marketplace or even Craiglist itself. This online business does not require any startup costs other than the logistics charges to pick up the freebies from sellers.

Few years back when I was in Australia, I was doing this full-time and making upwards $400 every week. I was able to do this business in a large volume since I had a pickup truck.

ProsConsStartup Costs
Low barrier to enter, no startup costs, high marginsTime consuming, may need a private pickup truck to scale$0