36 freelance ideas you can start today

36 freelance ideas you can start today

 
freelance ideas
 

Freelancing is no longer a niche form of self-employment. An estimated 36% of the U.S. workforce—the highest percentage ever—now participates in the freelance market. Experts say that number could reach as high as 50% or more by 2027.

 

By finding the right freelance gig, you can effectively open the door to additional income. Do it well, and you could even transform your side hustle into a profitable full-time venture, complete with its own professional business website.

 

With so many interesting freelance ideas out there, how do you decide which one’s best for you?

 

We’re here to help. Check out this list of 36 freelance ideas that you can start right now. Discover the unique skills needed for each one, plus the average hourly rate so you can make an informed decision about the best ways to make money as a freelancer.

 
 

36 freelance ideas you can start today

 
 
 

01. Data entry

 

Nearly every business today runs on data. And when companies need to take information from paper forms or other software programs and import it into their systems, they hire data entry specialists to do the work.

 

Freelance job sites list hundreds of open data entry positions for all types of businesses, from hospitals and schools to large enterprises. If you have a strong familiarity with word processors and database software (like Microsoft Word and Excel)—plus excellent typing skills and a detail-oriented mindset—data entry could be right for you.

 
 

02. Transcriptionist

 

The growing popularity of webinars and other online events has led to a renaissance in transcription services. As such, companies hire transcribers to type up accurate notes from interviews, videos and calls.

 

In this role, you’ll need a high level of focus, sharp attention to detail and the ability to type quickly and accurately. If you have a background in medical terminology, you could find freelance work transcribing notes for a busy doctor’s office. Or, if you have legal knowledge, you could land a gig transcribing legal documents for a well-respected firm. If you speak several languages, you could even offer translation services in addition to your transcription services.

 
 

03. Virtual assistant

 

As companies of all sizes get busier, many are looking to hire virtual assistants in record numbers. Management consulting firm Gartner estimates that 50% of knowledge workers will use virtual assistants on a daily basis by 2025.

 

You can perform these jobs 100% remotely, and can work multiple virtual assistant jobs at once. An entry-level virtual assistant may schedule appointments, answer emails and handle other administrative tasks. Meanwhile, you can grow your virtual assistant business—and your income potential—if you bring other skills to the table, such as bookkeeping, website maintenance or marketing.

 
 

04. Pet sitter or dog walker

 

If you’re a pet lover with some extra time on your hands, then you can earn extra money as a pet sitter or dog walker.

 

You’ll be responsible for making sure pets are fed, walked and bathed while their owners are away. You can start by offering your services on an app like Rover that matches pet owners with pet sitters. Or, you can brush up on how to create a freelance website and advertise your services on a site of your own. Before you start this freelance business idea, check the laws in your state; some may require you to have a business license, it’s best to always start with a dog walking business plan, for example.

 
 
professional dog walker website example
 
 

05. House sitter

 

Travelers don’t just need plane tickets and a destination; they also need someone to watch their house so they can enjoy their vacation worry-free. That’s where house sitters come in handy.

 

You can set up a freelance house sitting business and take care of everything from bringing in the mail to cleaning the floors. Some clients will offer you both an hourly rate plus free accommodations so you can travel and work at the same time.

 
 

06. Graphic designer

 

Every business needs to set itself apart from the competition, and graphic designers play a vital role in helping them do just that. As a graphic designer, you can create everything from stunning trade show displays to eye-catching corporate logos and beautiful magazines. You can also use your skills to create attractive product packaging, brochures, captivating outdoor signage—almost anything that needs a specific look and feel.

 

Some of the best freelance graphic designers even help companies create and maintain a style guide that defines their brand aesthetic. To take advantage of this freelance business idea, it helps to have a background in graphic design and experience with popular graphic design programs such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.

 
 
 

07. Web designer

 

A web designer handles many of the same tasks as graphic designers, with one big difference: they use their talent specifically to create vibrant websites.

 

This unique creative niche requires a combination of both graphic design and technological skills, such as programming and coding capabilities. In addition, you should have a thorough understanding of the user experience (UX) so you can design a website that’s both beautiful and functional for your clients and their customers.

 
 

08. Image editor

 

Instagram influencers aren’t the only ones obsessed with creating the perfect image every time. So are companies, and they hire image editors to make it happen. Freelance image editors enhance the quality of photographs by color correcting, adjusting exposure and using other post-production tools.

 

You’ll need expert proficiency with photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to work in this field. Like with many freelance business ideas, the average hourly rate to be an image editor is just the starting point. The more skilled you are, the higher a rate you can demand.

 
 
 

09. Interior designer

 

If you just finished devouring home improvement shows on HGTV, then you might be ready to step into the world of interior design. You don’t need a degree, but you do need to know how to take an empty room and turn it into a beautiful and functional living space.

 

Interior designers select colors, tiles and furnishings that create warm and inviting environments. As a freelancer, you can work for homeowners, home builders or businesses. Make sure to take photos of the spaces you redesign so you can build an online portfolio that will win over new clients.

 
 

10. Illustrator

 

When businesses and ad agencies want to create memorable experiences for their customers, many look for illustrators who can turn their vision into reality.

 

As a freelance illustrator, you can turn your talent and artistic flair into a budding business. You can create hand-drawn animations for a corporate video, bring a video game scenario to life with digital art or illustrate children’s books for a publishing house. To succeed here, you should be skilled at drawing, able to translate concepts into creative works and familiar with popular design software.

 
 

11. Photographer

 

Photography offers a multitude of incredible freelancing opportunities and is one of the most popular service business ventures. You could, for example, partner with companies who’re looking for a talented photographer for a major advertising campaign. Or, you could work as an event, wedding or portrait photographer to make extra income on the weekends.

 

Another option is to shoot nature photos and sell them on stock photo sites like Shutterstock or Getty Images, though earning potential can vary significantly from a few hundred dollars a month to a few hundred dollars per year. Either way, all you need to start a photography business to get started is a high-quality digital camera, the knowledge of how to use it and an eye for good angles and lighting. Experience with photo editing is a plus.

 
 
 
young photographer's photography Instagram account
 
 
 
 
 
 

12. Content writer

 

You don’t have to be a famous author to make money as a writer. Companies hire talented writers to develop all sorts of content assets, from ebooks and white papers to press releases, blog posts and website copy.

 

The most successful freelance content writers often begin by choosing a niche, such as eCommerce, technology or finance. Having a niche can be especially valuable in a time when companies can use AI to create basic content at the click of a button. Once you have your niche, apply for gigs or pitch your services to outlets that specialize in that vertical. Sound intriguing? Take the plunge and learn how to become a freelance writer.

 
 
 

13. Copy editor

 

Do you notice every typo or error you see? Then you may have what it takes to be a successful copy editor.

 

Copy editors typically perform several services in the news, publishing and marketing spaces. Their work begins once a writer submits a draft. They then review it, make changes to ensure proper flow and grammar, and may perform fact-checking to verify resources quoted within the article. You’ll need excellent writing skills, a keen eye for detail and a solid understanding of grammar to succeed as a copy editor.

 
 
 

14. Resume writer

 

When a job seeker finds the perfect opportunity, they need their resume to stand out from the crowd. As a freelance resume writer, you can help make that happen.

 

In this role, you’ll work with job seekers one on one. You’ll get to know their strengths and accomplishments, then help them build a resume that will attract a hiring manager’s attention. Apart from excellent writing skills, some industry knowledge and analytical know-how will help you succeed here. As you develop your skills further, you can promote your success stories on your freelance website to show other potential clients that you deliver results.

 
 
 

15. Blogger

 

Blogging is a great way to make money sharing your personal passions. If you want to start your own blog, you should choose an area of expertise to write about, go about creating a website and start writing.

 

Some of the most profitable niches include health and fitness, how to make money online and food. You can also create a freelance business by ghostwriting blog posts that companies can use on their own websites. To succeed, you’ll need high-level writing skills, expertise in a given subject and familiarity with search engine optimization (SEO).

 
 

16. Online dating profile writer

 

Describe yourself in 250 words or less. Not so easy, is it? It’s even more intimidating when you’re looking for that special someone to spend the rest of your life with. That’s why some singles turn to online dating profile writers for help.

 

This role requires a good deal of empathy. You’ll need to understand your client, know what they’re seeking in a perfect match and then help them craft the words (and select the right images) that will help them find love. If you’re up to the task, this can be a rewarding freelance idea.

 
 

17. Digital marketing manager

 

Digital marketing is a science. A freelance digital marketing manager serves as a trusted consultant to business owners, helping them create, execute and supervise extensive digital marketing campaigns over an extended period of time with a marketing business.

 

Finding success in the field means being an expert in all things digital—social media management, SEO, email marketing and online advertising. You’ll have to first define what success looks like within these channels, and then put that knowledge to good use so your clients can get maximum results from their marketing campaigns.

 
 

18. Email marketer

 

Email remains one of the most successful marketing channels for companies. This creates a great opportunity for freelancers who know how to write compelling copy, send emails and newsletters, and measure the results.

 

As a freelance email marketer, you’ll use online tools to help businesses segment their audiences and write compelling subject lines that encourage readers to open their emails. The highest-paying email marketing jobs go to professionals who know how to use modern marketing automation systems like HubSpot, Adobe Marketo Engage or Wix’s integrated email marketing tool.

 
 

19. Social media manager

 

Are you ready to turn your love of social media into a bustling side hustle? As a social media manager, you can advise companies on how to build a Facebook audience, grow their Instagram following or explore whether they’re TikTok-ready.

 

You’ll construct posts, videos, images and reels that are social-media worthy. You’ll also measure key metrics and develop strategies to expand a company’s audience and encourage more engagement on each of its social media channels. Bonus points (and possibly a higher hourly rate) if you have specialty interests in social media, such as proven success running eCommerce promotions on Twitter or Pinterest.

 
 
Instagram shopping posts
 
 

20. Affiliate marketer

 

As an affiliate marketer, you promote other people’s products, services or technologies on your website. Each time someone clicks on a link from your website and completes a purchase, you earn a commission.

 

This is one freelance business where the hourly rate can be misleading. Because affiliate marketing is commission-based, the amount of revenue you generate will be determined solely by the number of referrals you make. While it sounds simple, becoming an affiliate marketer takes discipline. You’ll need to sign up for a company’s affiliate program (such as the Wix Affiliate Program) or join an affiliate network like Share a Sale or CJ Affiliate. You’ll also need strong SEO capabilities to drive traffic to your website.

 
 

21. Pay-per-click (PPC) specialist

 

The cost of online advertising keeps rising. As a result, companies need help to reach their intended audience without breaking the bank.

 

PPC specialists partner with businesses and teach them how to use their ad budgets wisely. You’ll create ad campaigns for search engines and social media channels, launch them and then make enhancements to ensure the right people get the right message at the right time.

 

As a Wix user, you can streamline your workflow, save time and access all campaigns from one convenient place with Wix’s integrated Facebook and Instagram Ads and Google Ads. From your website dashboard, you can conduct A/B testing, set budgets, track campaign performance and more.

 
 

22. SEO consultant

 

Search engines like Google and Bing change their algorithms constantly, and with the rise of AI-generated content, these changes are happening with increased frequency. In other words, the page that ranks first on the search engine results page (SERP) today might be different tomorrow.

 

As a freelance SEO consultant, you’ll partner with companies and develop plans that will enhance their search rankings and keep traffic flowing to their websites. You’ll need to keep up with algorithm changes, know how to find high-quality keywords and understand the nuances of on-page, off-page and technical SEO.

 
 

23. Specialized teacher

 

You don’t have to be in a classroom to make money as a teacher. Today, teachers are generating extra income in a variety of ways by branching out from the norm.

 

Your education degree can open the door to teaching in-demand niches, such as English as a second language (ESL). You can alternatively partner with an educational services company as it develops new textbooks and curricula for its students. There are even freelance teaching opportunities for people without an education degree. You could, for example, teach guitar, drums or piano lessons to children and adolescents – consider these business ideas for teachers.

 
 

24. Tutor

 

Tutors are different from teachers in that they focus on helping students improve their knowledge in one particular subject. You don’t need an education degree to be a freelance tutor, but you will need a high school diploma or GED.

 

As a tutor, you’ll offer one-on-one guidance, coaching and mentoring. You can tutor in math, science or literature, for example, or you can help students improve their study habits and prep for their exams with a tutoring business.

 
 

25. Online course creator

 

As online learning platforms like Udemy, Teachable and Thinkific grow in popularity, they’re in constant need of new and innovative online courses. So, if you have a deep subject matter knowledge and some digital savvy, you can monetize your own online course. If you’d rather retain total control, you can learn how to create an online course hosted on your own website.

 

In this role, you’ll combine multimedia presentations, videos, quizzes and other interactive elements into a cohesive educational experience. You’ll also use your knowledge of instructional design to keep students engaged. Rate, of course, can vary based on your custom pricing.

 
 
 
online yoga course booking platform
 
 

26. Translator

 

When it comes to growing your business as a freelancer, being a language translator creates a host of opportunities.

 

For example, you can help a business translate documents into other languages as it expands internationally. If you’re comfortable in the hospital setting, you can translate medical information to patients in their language of choice. You could even offer your services as a courtroom translator and provide accurate information to plaintiffs and defendants. All you need is fluency in several languages, and you’re ready to begin.

 
 
 

27. Content creator

 

It’s time to channel your inner MrBeast. As a freelance content creator, you can start your own YouTube channel and begin building a strong personal brand. To succeed, you’ll need to feel comfortable in front of a camera, know a few things about video editing and have an engaging personality. You’ll also want to zero in on an interesting niche or specialty for your content, such as game reviews, how-to guides or cooking.

 

Once you build up a following, you can partner with companies as an influencer and help promote their products through platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Or, you can ask businesses to hire you to produce exclusive company-sponsored content.

 
 
 

28. Video editor

 

If you don’t feel at ease when the camera is rolling, that’s okay. You can stay out of the spotlight and still make money as a freelance video or film editor.

 

You’ll be responsible for taking raw video footage and turning it into engaging content that captures a viewer’s interest. Experience with professional editing software, like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro, is a must-have. You’ll additionally need to understand the basics of pacing, sound design and color grading.

 
 

29. Podcast producer or editor

 

Forty-three percent of decision-makers rely on podcasts to get business-related content. This creates a huge opportunity for people who know how to edit and package a podcast.

 

As a freelance producer or editor, you can offer your services to companies that are launching a new podcast to attract a unique audience. Podcast producers record interviews, edit soundbites and choose background music that sets the right tone. You can add value to your services by also suggesting podcast topics and brainstorming potential guests.

 
 

30. Voiceover artist

 

When companies produce training videos, product demos, commercials and sizzle reels, they hire narrators who can deliver the right message in the right tone. So, if you have a memorable speaking voice, you can create your own freelance business as a voiceover artist.

 

You don’t have to have a deep baritone like James Earl Jones. Companies today seek a variety of voices to reflect the diversity of modern society. You will need a high-quality microphone and computer, an account on a talent platform like Voices.com and a passion for storytelling.

 
 

31. Arts and crafts seller

 

Do you love making handmade jewelry? Are you a budding artist looking to make a few extra dollars with your printmaking? Do you enjoy crocheting handmade purses? Then you can create a new income stream by selling arts and crafts online.

 

Websites like Etsy and eBay have made it easy for you to connect with your potential audience and drive new sales. While the amount you make is based on how much product you sell, the average Etsy seller makes an estimated $43,000 to $46,000 a year, according to Sale Samurai.

 
 
 

32. Ecommerce specialist

 

There are somewhere between 12 million and 24 million online stores worldwide, and most of those eCommerce business owners are looking for a strategic edge. If you have a background in retail, you can turn it into a freelance idea as an eCommerce specialist.

 

In this role, you’ll assist online store owners with everything from marketing and customer service to website design, multichannel strategies and data analysis. Your success will be based on how well your strategies increase your clients’ website traffic and boost sales.

 
 
 

33. Data analyst

 

Today, we generate nearly three times the amount of data that we did just five years ago. Somebody needs to analyze all that data and help business leaders find the information that will create the biggest impact. That’s the role of a freelance data analyst.

 

You’ll use a variety of tools, including business intelligence and data visualization systems, to identify business trends and spot hidden opportunities. There’s an emerging area of opportunity in an era of rising salaries and cost pressures: business analytics that show companies how to become more efficient.

 
 

34. Event planner

 

If you’re a people person, you’ll absolutely love starting a business in this space. Being an event planner offers lots of independence and flexibility. You can help couples create their dream wedding, or you can plan a must-see corporate conference that generates tons of buzz. You can even work with parents to plan amazing birthday parties that make other kids jealous.

 

You must be excellent with organization, communication and problem solving to be an event planner. And, when it comes to starting a party planning business, you need connections to vendors like caterers, florists, photographers and venues to round out all details of the event.

 
 
wedding planner website and Facebook post
 
 

35. Web or app developer

 

You can earn $1,000 or more a month freelancing as long as you have specialized expertise to do the job. One of the most lucrative specialized freelance ideas is being a website or app developer. Developers have intimate knowledge of operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, etc.) and the coding languages required to develop products within them.

 

As a web or app developer, you’ll handle all of a digital property’s technical needs, including speed and performance. While both types of developer jobs bring above-average pay, freelance app developers tend to command a higher rate than website developers.

 
 
 

36. Accountant or financial consultant

 

If you have a finance degree, you can generate plenty of high-revenue freelance income by marketing your abilities.

 

Freelance accountants, for example, can balance a business’ books and monitor its cash flow. Freelance financial consultants take this a step further, offering their expertise and analysis to help companies chart a profitable future. Some of the highest freelance rates go to certified public accountants (CPAs) who guide companies’ tax strategies. Of course, to become a CPA, you’ll need the proper education and licensing from the Association of International Certified Public Accountants.

 

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