Writing & Languages
#1 General Writing
General writing is one of the most popular and common forms of freelance businesses today. Writing can take a great deal of time and research, but it’s a relatively low-cost job when you consider needing only a computer and Wi-Fi connection as supplies. Of course, you should be able to write effectively and convincingly in the language of choice with correct grammar and spelling, but if writing is a strength of yours, there’s no reason to not capitalize on it.
From writing blog posts for online sites to writing reports and reviews, writing can be a lucrative freelance career. To become even more desirable, work on mastering your writing across several subjects. This will make you more desirable as your expertise and skill level expands. Take the time to write as effectively and creatively as possible to build a comprehensive, strong portfolio.
#2 Product Descriptions
Google is the main reason for the demand in product descriptions as the search engine is known for its algorithms that favor sites with updated, quality content. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2011 that online businesses without useful content lost significant traffic, which led to a major decline in sales.
Thus, more retail and online companies discontinued using generic product descriptions provided by manufacturers and transitioned to hiring product description writers who could create unique, engaging content around their products. The growth of e-commerce indicates that the demand for product description writers isn’t going to falter any time soon.
But, being a product description writer also requires a lot of research and an ability to craft creative descriptions from sometimes boring products or companies. It’s up to you to take something average and turn it into something that excites readers.
Transcription is the conversion of speech, such as an audio recording or lecture, into a written document. Demand for transcription writers has increased dramatically over the past decade, magnified primarily by the growth in digital commerce and communications. Plus, if you’re fluent in other languages, your transcription skills are magnified, especially with the business targeting of Spanish-speaking populations. The increase in use of digital boardrooms and webinars should only increase the demand for transcription freelancers.
To capitalize on your transcription services, create a personal website detailing previous work and your current skill level. Add positive references as you receive them and make sure to price yourself competitively in your local market.
As the world becomes increasingly globalized and connected, the demand for translators is growing exponentially. Translation services was one of the fastest growing industries in 2013 with revenues exceeding $3 billion.
It obviously helps if you are already fluent in another language, especially if you grew up in a two or three-language household. But, even if you’re not, it may be worth your time to learn another language that’s in high demand, such as Chinese, Spanish, or Arabic. The need for translators will only increase, especially as the Internet grows and the world becomes smaller with digital communications.
There are plenty of online resources for understanding the translator industry and which languages are currently in the highest demand. Hourly rates average at $25, but the sky is really the limit as companies become desperate for help.
#5 English Tutor
English is a global language that is in high demand in relatively every part of the globe. If you have excellent verbal and written skills, you can offer to tutor a non-English speaker and earn a respectable hourly wage in the process. Growing your customer base may be difficult initially as you seek to grow your experience to match your language skills. However, you can offer complimentary initial sessions to build your portfolio or engage connections that could lead to paid tutoring. Make sure to accurately assess what is leading to successful clients and what is being used as free labor, though, as you want your free sessions to lead to dependable clients and referrals.
Do you feel like you have a skill for finding top talent and pairing them with the right positions? Becoming a freelance recruiter might be a way to capitalize on this skill. Many businesses are looking for qualified workers and find the task too time-consuming to manage in-house. Thus, the demand for freelance recruiters has been on the rise. Freelance recruiters earn an average of $46 per hour, with hourly wages increasing depending on the size of the hiring company.
#7 Legal Work
If you’re a certified paralegal or a practicing lawyer, you can make a respectable profit on freelance legal work. Patent lawyers sometimes charge up to $112 per hour, intellectual property lawyers charge around $120 per hour, and general legal consulting can earn you $70 per hour. Often, companies and individuals need a freelance legal consultant to read over contracts and advise on simple legal matters. Even if you’re not currently practicing law in a firm, you can still make a comfortable living as a freelance legal consultant if you have the proper training and certifications.
It seems like anyone with a camera starts a freelance photography business. They get a DSLR camera for Christmas and suddenly you’re getting requests to like Jane Lui Photography, as partially-obscured, random photos of flowers and puppies make their way onto your newsfeed. But, if you’re truly skilled with a high-quality camera and have some expertise in photography, you should definitely consider freelance photography.
Professional wedding photographers can start at $2,000 and only increase depending on the market and demand of the photographer. Once you receive a few referrals, your business should only grow from there. In many cases, as your credibility increases, clients may fly you out to their location on their expense, meaning you get to travel for free and get paid to take photos.
#9 Virtual Assistant
The market for virtual assistants increased by 53% in 2015, showing a clear demand for assistants that can take care of menial tasks at a competitive price point. As the world becomes ever-reliant on digital communications for e-commerce, business leaders and entrepreneurs are relying on virtual assistants to take care of everyday scheduling and mundane tasks that would otherwise waste precious time. If you have some experience being an assistant or have the organizational skills to be one, consider creating a personal website and posting referrals as you receive them.
Accounting and bookkeeping make up the highest freelance small business in North Carolina and it’s on the rise in other states as well. If you have an accounting certificate and experience as an accountant, you may fare better economically if you work as a freelance accountant rather than an agency. All businesses need to keep records of their expenses, so there will always be a demand for your services. Accountants are notorious for making decent salaries and this is a cost many businesses can’t afford to keep in-house. Thus, your freelance abilities will offer flexibility for you and potential clients.
#11 General Tutoring
Along with English tutoring, there is a demand for tutors in other areas of study. Students of all levels often find themselves needing help, so if you are particularly skilled in certain subject areas, you should consider offering your tutoring services. Research average tutoring costs in your area and make sure to price yourself competitively. If you have any proof of your expertise, offer that on a website or on flyers you distribute. Keep records of classes you excelled in or work you’ve completed or published, as this will increase your credibility and lead to more clients. When you do start acquiring clients, make sure to treat each one individually according to their unique needs. This will help you stand out from other tutors, leading to more referrals and business.
#12 Business Project Management
Business project management can be a lucrative freelance opportunity if you partner with the right businesses and project for your skills. If you have a degree in business or previous, successful experience with project management, many companies will outsource this component to a freelancer like you. Project management requires a great deal of energy and confidence, so this isn’t a job for the faint-hearted. Companies will expect clear results and will expect you to provide them on time and with clear professionalism.
#13 Insurance Inspector
The role of an insurance inspector is to spot potential problems with a business or organization. If they do their jobs properly, insurance inspectors can save insurance companies money by reducing the number of claims and, thus, lowering payouts. If you are a certified insurance agent or have experience in the insurance field, this might be a good freelance avenue for you.
#14 Administrative Assistant
Also known as a secretary, small businesses will often hire freelance administrative assistant to help them during busy times of the year. If you have experience being an assistant or secretary, you may consider creating a personal website or online listing that includes multiple references and your qualifications. If you have specific technical skills that would be in demand for the position, such as familiarity with software or knowledge of other languages, it would be advantageous to highlight those to potential clients.
#15 Customer Service
Customer service is increasingly being outsourced to other companies and, in many cases, to other countries where English is not the first language. This makes your customer service and language skills a bonus as companies would prefer to hire an English-speaking customer service representative at a competitive price. If companies can save money on freelance professionals, why ship the jobs and money overseas? You could fill the need, offering a win-win for you and the companies you serve.
#16 Human Resources Management
“Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he’s really not a part of our family. Also, he’s divorced, so he’s really not a part of his family.” – Michael Scott, The Office
Michael Scott isn’t the only one who hated the HR person and companies find HR incredibly costly and difficult to manage in-house. If you have experience in Human Resources or a track record in Corporate America, you may be able to start a freelance business for human resources management. People might not love you, but you’ll be making good money while fulfilling a position that’s in demand.
#17 Voice Acting
Morgan Freeman is probably the most recognizable form of voice acting one can think of. When most people think of the voice of God, they think Morgan Freeman. Now, you might not have the voice of God, but voice acting is simply the art of audio performance, so if you have a strong voice for recording narration or voices for characters, this might be the perfect opportunity. Rich media, such as online videos and podcasts, are on the rise which means the demand for voice talent is also on the rise.
Creative & Digital Services
Similar to general writing, programming often only requires access to a computer and internet. Plus, programming is such a high-demand skill, there are multiple sites online to teach you how to code and program for free. You can make around $60 per hour as a freelance programmer and if you’re already familiar with complicated programming, you may be able to leverage your experience and portfolio for a higher hourly wage.
#19 Infographic/Graphic Designer
As content marketing becomes an integral part of digital marketing, businesses are seeking quality content creators such as infographic and graphic designers. Plus, if you specialize in infographics, which are incredibly popular right now, you could make around $65 per hour. Create an appealing website that showcases your abilities and previous work and reach out to postings or businesses that are seeking help. Over time, your referrals will speak for you and business will come to you.
#20 Internet Security
Yahoo recently confessed to a data breach that resulted in millions of emails being hacked and information stolen. The DNC also experienced a recent hack, so it isn’t hard to see the need and desperate demand for internet security specialists. As a freelance internet security expert, you can make around $50 per hour and it doesn’t look like the field is going to slow its growth any time soon.
#21 Mobile App Development
Mobile apps are becoming as necessary as websites now. Some clients are willing to pay thousands of dollars for freelance specialists to design one app and hundreds more to upkeep the app. Freelance mobile app development jobs rely heavily on referrals and portfolios, so make sure you have experience in the field or work on creating some materials to show to potential clients.
Have you ever seen a video where complex ideas are drawn onto a chalk or white board and then erased and redrawn as the concepts are explained by a narrator? It may seem absolutely unnecessary, but you were probably more intrigued by these videos than others on your feed. Doodling, or videos that break down complicated concepts into doodles, are used frequently by businesses now. As such, videography is on the rise and the demand for quality videographers has opened up a new freelance market.
#23 Game Development
Social game development is on the rise and experienced a 180% growth between 2008 and 2013. As social media networks grow, the demand for social game development is only increasing. Computer programming and game design skills are a must, but affordable developer bootcamps and free online programming courses are available almost everywhere.
#24 Data Entry
The last thing businesses want to worry about is punching numbers into spreadsheets when they’re trying to maintain daily operations. The digital age is complicating businesses and leading to new levels of data that must be processed and organized for logistical and legal purposes. Since this can be an expensive and unappealing position, many companies are outsourcing it to freelancers.