Freelance Speak's exclusive mega list of freelance opportunities
There's more to the freelance world than coding and designing websites. In today's digital economy, the various ways to freelance continue to push the boundaries of freelancing as we know it.
In fact, it's estimated that within 10 years, nearly half the workforce in the U.S. will be freelancers if current trends sustain.
It might seem far fetched, until you start thinking outside the box about what types of work could potentially be outsourced to freelancers.
If you're tossing around the idea of freelancing but aren't sure how to best translate your skills, this mega list of 50 ways to freelance might be all the inspiration you need:
50 Ways to Freelance: The Definitive List
Before we dive into our 50 ways to freelance, I want to mention this list isn't meant to be the end-all collection of freelance gigs. Freelancing is all about selling your best skills that others can benefit from.
So, if you have a skill that isn't on this list, a) that doesn't mean you can't build a freelance career around it, and b) we want to hear about it!
Let's get to it, in no particular order:
#1 - Content Writing
From website copy to brochure text, businesses are always in need of quality writing services. Content writers must be able to write for each client's unique brand, tone, audience, and goals.
#2 - Editing & Proofreading
Got a knack for grammar? Loathe simple spelling mistakes? Want to change the world, one well-written piece at a time? Editing and proofreading services might not make you rich, but they can help you add a little chunk of income to your freelance venture.
#3 - Business Writing
General business writing isn't quite the same as content writing. For starters, content writing is largely for marketing purposes, while general writing can cover anything from documents to HR manuals. Still, it takes a mastery of your native language, good mechanics, and well-planned organization to make it as a business writer.
#4 - Content Marketing
Adding a layer to the content writer's job, content marketing encompasses the skills of a writer with the mind of a strategist. In other words, you must know how to leverage the work of a content writer in order to get the desired results.
#5 - Resume Writing
Even though unemployment is at a record low at the time of this blog post, a stand-out resume is still an absolute must. If you have a talent for highlighting someone's best skills and creating a captivating resume design, you can monetize these skills as a resume writer.
#6 - Social Media Management
Businesses often outsource their social media management for several reasons. For one, it's time consuming for them. For another, many business owners don't always know how to leverage social channels to their fullest potential. Freelance social media managers can handle all aspects of posting, sharing, responding to comments, and keeping pages updated.
#7 - Marketing Consulting
If you've got a wealth of marketing knowledge, there are tons of business owners who will pay you for it. You'll be more successful if you focus on a specific niche or industry and know how to market those businesses well.
#8 - Small Business Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping: the necessary evil of small businesses. Many business owners will be happy to outsource this thorn in their side.
#9 - Virtual Assistance
Virtual assistants perform similar tasks as an administrative assistant. The only difference is you can do them from the comfort of your own home. Researching, scheduling appointments, organizing data, and responding to emails are typically part of the duties.
#10 - Online Tutoring
If you have a passion for teaching others, share your skills as an online tutor. It's just like tutoring in person, except you have access to a much larger market - even different countries!
#11 - Blog Writing
Blog writing overlaps with content writing and marketing, but it's a specialized niche of the field. Some freelance writers earn enough through blogging clients that they don't need to branch out into other areas of writing.
#12 - Graphic Design
From custom graphics to Photoshop services, graphic designers are in high demand. There's not a single business that doesn't need design services at some point. This one takes a high level of artistic skill, but it's never too late to start learning.
#13 - Website Design
DIY website platforms like Weebly and Squarespace have made it easier than ever to become a freelance website designer. Drag-and-drop interfaces mean you don't have to know coding to create stunning websites.
#14 - Coding and Web Development
Speaking of coding, if you have some technical knowledge in various coding languages, you should have no trouble breaking into a freelance career. There's a huge market for web developers in every discipline, and plenty of freelance platforms dedicated to coding professionals looking for freelance work.
#15 - Stock Photography
Whether you're a professional photographer or simply like snapping photos with your iPhone, you can make easy money as a stock photographer. Stock photo sites like Shutterstock will pay you for your images, giving you an easy way to make some extra money with as much effort as you want to put into it. Same goes for videos.
#16 - Product Review Writing
Product reviews are one of the most trusted forms of online marketing. Over 92% of survey respondents say they rely on reviews as much as a recommendation from a family member or friend. Companies are always seeking ways to get feedback for their products, so offer your services in exchange for a fee or free product (or both!).
#17 - Freelance Calligraphy
The handwritten font continues to dominate design trends. From writing wedding invitations to creating custom art, your calligraphy skills could be a major money maker.
#18 - Project Management
Freelance platforms like TopTal connect project managers to businesses who are actively looking for them. In some cases, you may be required to work on-site, so some travel may be required. But in other cases, you may be managing virtual teams and projects. If you have experience in PM frameworks and leading teams, this could be your step into solopreneurship.
#19 - News Writer
Online news outlets and publications hire freelance writers all the time to tackle stories in their areas, conduct phone interviews, and write timely pieces. Connect with news service providers to start getting news assignments and get published on high-authority sites.
#20 - UX Design Services
User Experience is paramount in website design, especially if businesses aren't seeing good results from their online users. They'll pay good money for an expert UX designer that can help them deliver a better experience to their customers.
#21 - Transcription Services
Even in the age of voice-to-text, transcribers are still largely used to turn notes and recordings into readable, organized documents. You don't need many skills or equipment to start a successful freelance career in transcription, either.
#22 - Data Entry
This one is similar to virtual assistants. Freelance data entry specialists work on a project-by-project basis to turn hardcopy data into digital entries.
#23 - Financial Advising
You'll need a strong financial background to pursue a freelance career in advising. But if you're good with money and know investments, you should be able to make a decent living helping others manage their money.
#24 - Voice Over Artist
Radio commercials, explainer videos, on hold messages, IVR phone messages - they all need someone to voice their scripts! A unique voice, a microphone, and editing software are all you really need to get started.
#25 - Videography
From weddings to short films to special events, there are tons of ways a freelance videographer can make money. Bonus points if you can also offer drone footage.
#26 - Photography
Freelance photographers can partner with online publications and local news sources to photograph events on a per-project basis. Or, you can start your own photography business and specialize in weddings, family photos, food photography, or other niches.
#27 - Travel Writing
Some bloggers get paid to travel the world. They get everything from free food to free lodging in exchange for writing reviews about the places they visit.
#28 - Ghostwriting
Ghostwriting can take many forms, including books, blog posts, speeches, and other journalistic works. You won't get published credit for writing it, of course, but you can get paid handsomely if you're an excellent writer.
#29 - E-book Creation
E-book writing is a specialized skill related to content marketing, but with its own set of rules and required talents. You'll need to get familiar with e-book creation techniques, how to write for e-book audiences, how to publish them, and how to monetize them to be successful in this arena.
#30 - SEO Management
Search Engine Optimization is critical for any business investing in digital marketing services. Be the expert they need by managing all SEO-related aspects to help them rank better and earn more business through search engines.
#31 - Market Research
There will always be a need for market research, especially as the number of tech startups continue to climb. This involves getting information about a specific market or industry, gauging the needs of the industry, finding competitive advantages, and other details to determine a business's or product's viability. Savvy sleuths can put their research skills to work as a full-time job or or part-time side hustle.
#32 - Link Building
Links are one of the key building blocks of SEO, and it takes a fair amount of skill, finesse, and time to make a link-building strategy pay off. Getting link building through an agency can cost thousands, but freelancers can undercut that price and still make a lucrative income.
#33 - 3D Modeling
Experience in programs like Auto CAD is a highly favorable skill. Freelancers can outsource their 3D modeling skills to architectural firms, manufacturers, and agencies to give them an easy, cost-effective way to scale their businesses.
#34 - Video Marketing
Video marketing IS the next big thing in digital media. Video continues to set new records, with Cisco projecting that video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2021. Start your video marketing freelance career now and you'll be set for years to come.
#35 - 3D Printing
For a small monetary investment and some practice, you can monetize your 3D printing skills for manufacturers, hospitals, hobbyists, architects, and other niches. Or, skip the printing and stick to designing for 3D printing.
#36 - eCommerce Store Setup & Management
Ecommerce is becoming more of a dominant force each year, especially as brick and mortar stores are shuttering at record rates. Invest in your skillset by learning how to set up and manage eCommerce stores, then turn those skills into your new freelance business.
#37 - Video Editing Services
Anyone with a little computer knowledge can edit a video, but it takes tons of time and practice to learn how to do it quickly and make it look professional. Turn your video editing skills into a paycheck.
#38 - Logo Design
Though this technically falls under Graphic Design, logo design lets you focus on a specific design discipline. You can put your graphic designs to good use in creating new logos for startups and redesigns for existing companies.
#39 - Reselling Services
If you love thrifting and bargain shopping, you can make a healthy income with an online reselling business. Platforms like eBay and Facebook marketplace put you in front of captive audiences. You can score dirt-cheap finds, give them a little TLC, and turn them around for smile-worthy profits.
#40 - Mobile App Development
Technical gurus can branch out on their own by offering mobile app development services. App development continues to be in high demand for businesses, and as long as smartphones are around, so will the need for apps.
#41 - Influencer Marketing
If you have a big following on social media, brands may be willing to hire you to market for them. And even if you don't have a mega fan base, you may still be able to earn affiliate income through sponsored posts you pay for yourself.
#42 - Email Marketing
Email marketing is a specialized niche of content marketing. It takes a strong understanding of marketing mechanics, as well as a background in email platforms, how to write compelling subject lines and calls to action, and how to track campaign results.
#43 - Foreign Language Translations
Speaking more than one language has its perks, especially if you're fluent in reading and writing, too. As the global market continues to transcend boundaries, translation services will always be in high demand.
#44 - Commercial Songwriting
From radio jingles to in-store commercials, there will always be a need for songwriters. Monetize your musical talent to help businesses create the perfect audio brand.
#45 - Audio Mixing
Audio mixing for businesses come in a variety of formats: radio commercials, on hold music and messages, voice overs on explainer videos, etc. With some specialized software, a keen ear, and some time, you can turn your audio mixing skills into a lucrative side hustle.
#46 - Legal Consulting
If you have a strong legal background, put your expertise to work as a legal consultant. Everyone from small businesses to major corporations may need legal consultations at some point, from advice to paperwork and more.
#47 - Paralegal Services
A freelance paralegal is the same as one that's employed by a law firm, except instead of being on a normal payroll, you get paid by the hour or by the project. You can work for multiple law firms as a freelancer, set your own schedule, and charge your own rates.
#48 - Public Speaking
Are you an expert in a particular field or industry? If so, you probably have a lot you could share to help and inspire others. Consider a freelance career in public speaking that allows you to put your expertise to work for others.
#49 - Data Analysis
We're living in the world of Big Data, and it's more important than ever for companies to tap into data-driven insights to make informed decisions. Freelance data analysts can help companies dig through their data collections and turn it into readable, usable information.
#50 - Brand Consulting
As the marketplace becomes more fierce, brands are more desperate than ever to differentiate themselves. Freelance branding consultants have a strong background in marketing and can help position brands in the best light to get to the top of their industry.
How Will You Start Your Freelance Career?
I hope this list inspired you and got you thinking about your own freelance venture. The potential to freelance is there - all you have to do is recognize it!
For more help on growing your freelance career, check out our free online course, How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer.