It’s never been easier to make money online. Anyone who says otherwise is just a slacker. Anyways, it’s time to stop f****** around, and get serious with your freelancing. Because if not now, when? Plus, we did the hard work for you by actually researching all this and handing it to you in a nicely edited blog.
Let’s go through 21 ideas for your new freelance business in 2021 so you can finally start things off on the right foot.
We have to kick things off these two major freelancing industries. It wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t (given that this is a blog and all)... Being completely honest here, going through alllllllll freelance writing & editing jobs would take a lifetime.
So, we cut the 💩 and just cover some of the most common positions. Here they are:
If that wasn’t enough, here’s a list of 50 business ideas for writing entrepreneurs. Slim pickings this is not. Also, if you niche up, you’ll make even more. Here are 17 high-paying freelance writing niches for 2021.
There was a time when designers kept their noses down and worked in specific industries. Nowadays, they’re kind of “one-size-fits-all.” What does this mean for you as a freelance graphic designer? You could be in charge of a hodgepodge of tasks, like creating infographics, making e-book covers, Photoshopping company pics, designing product labels, etc. Basically, whatever the company needs you for.
*Cue juggling skills*
But, if you don’t want to be a catch-all, no worries. Here are some areas you could specialize in:
All graphic designers have some strong marketable skills, like nothing-to-sneeze-at drawing capabilities, design software mastery, and intensive knowledge of design theory, to name a few. Whether you plan on going the more traditional route and get a degree or self-teach, follow these steps to become a graphic designer and set yourself up for success.
Even the rookiest of rookies dove into video production and editing in 2020. Previous excuses like lack of equipment and filming knowledge were hit right out. HubSpot insiders only expect this trend to continue into 2021, claiming that more “lo-fi videos” are bumping brands up to a human level.
You don’t need to be a pro or have fancy equipment to monetize this freelance idea. Just put your thinking cap on. Grab your smartphone, and get creative! Vimeo posted a good article for how to get started making videos on your phone. Check it out for inspo.
Virtual assistants, or VAs, aren’t just glorified secretaries who work online - answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, managing emails, the like. VAs handle a ton of other responsibilities, which makes them superheroes in disguise. Truth is, there are over 50 VA services you can offer clients, but here’s a high-level overview of some common ones:
If you’re smart (we know you are 😉), you’ll specialize in one (or a few) of these areas in order to offer more robust VA services. Smartypants will also notice that many services in the bulleted list overlap with the freelance ideas we cover throughout this blog. If this floats your boat, here’s a guide on everything you need to know to become a virtual assistant.
If social media is your thang, maybe getting paid to manage clients’ social accounts is your next new side hustle. This is especially true if you crush the nine skills needed by every social media manager:
We shouldn’t have to tell you, but if you tackle these skills, you’ll be well on your way to managing social like a boss.
Basically, consultants are individuals who provide expert opinions, knowledge, and recommendations based on their prior experience. Read between the lines here and you’ll see lots of cash money. You can become a consultant in pretty much anything. Here are some ideas for you:
To get started, think of what you’re an expert in. Then, you can focus those efforts on helping people get to your level.
Back in the good ole days, marketing occurred through print, via phone, or even in person. Nowadays, things have changed in favor of digital marketing. Here’s a quick summary of what our friends at HubSpot had to say about the who, what, why, & how of digital marketing. Essentially, digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that leverage digital channels to get customers. Those channels include social media, email, websites, mobile apps, and search engines, to name a few.
The most common types of digital marketing are as follows:
If you want more on this topic, check out the HubSpot article linked at the beginning of this section.
A hot-off-the-press survey from McKinsey found that COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of digital technologies by several years. And guess what? Those changes are sticking around for the time being. What does this mean for you? Well, as a freelance website developer, it means that your clientele base has just gotten bigger without you even having to do anything!
Think of all the innocent, clueless people out there who are forced to move online after having been in brick-and-mortar for over 20 years.
… Looks and sounds like they could really use your help. If you don’t already have the skills, CareerFoundry did (some of) the hard work for you, putting together a comprehensive blog on everything you need to know to become a web developer. Once you’re ready for this jelly, check out sites for freelance developers, like Toptal, Stack Overflow, Hired, Dice, and X-Team.
If you can get difficult subjects to crack a smile on their worst days, your lighting is on point with every shot, and your finished photos could make Mario Testino double take, your freelancing photography future is looking bright. New smartphones’ cameras are nothing to sneeze at. And actually, some pros do use smartphones in their workflow.
However, if you’re going to make photography more than just a side hustle, we suggest you do your research about what’s needed to become a professional freelance photographer. Also, keep in mind that photoshoots aren’t your only source of income. You can also sell stock photos on sites like Shutterstock, Alamy, iStock Photo, and Can Stock Photo. You can even sell digital downloads on your own portfolio site.
In a nutshell, influencers work with brands to promote their products and services on their own accounts. Traditionally on IG and YouTube, influencers are also appearing in Twitch, TikTok, and other emerging social accounts these days. So, if you have a solid following, some legit photography skills, killer creativity, and a passion to promote, you can make serious money. Don’t believe us? These 7 influencers spilled the beans to Huff Post about how much they really make. Spoiler alert: It’s anywhere between hundreds to thousands of dollars per post, depending on followers, engagement, and other little factors. Did we need to give you more reason to get LIT on your IG account in 2021?
In simple terms, big data is data that contains a bunch of info, and it arrives in increasing volumes at extreme speed. (Oracle says it better.) To help you put it into context, some examples include Google searches, the New York Stock Exchange, and data stored in an XML file. The data keeps growing over time, and as it grows, it’s easy to drown in it all.
That is, if you don’t know how to analyze it. This is where you can step in as a freelance data analyst. Data analysts have the technical knowhow to find useful insights in company data, helping them adjust business strategies and generate more revenue. While having a background in mathematics, computer science, stats, or business can give you a leg up when starting, this is a field you can totally self-learn. For starters, here is a list of 10 data analytics courses.
En fin, if cleaning up messy data sets, entering info into spreadsheets, and delivering it all as reports or creative visualizations makes you giddy, maybe you should consider becoming a freelance data analyst. And no, we didn’t just make this up to take up space on our list of ideas for your new freelance business. Here are 5 real-world examples of how brands are using big data analytics to up their game.
The students have spoken, and online education is here to stay (for the time being). Back in 2019, Learning House conducted their Online College Students survey with 1,500 registered online students. The stats back then showed growth and huge potential in the online education industry.
A whopping 63% enrolled in an online program because it was the best fit for their life, and 34% said it was their preferred method of learning. Whereas, only 3% said it was because they could only find their program online - basically, they had no other choice.
What does this mean for you as a private tutor nowadays? Well, with ‘rona fully upon us, there’s talk that enrollees in online education will continue to climb, and universities will expand their programs to meet the high demand. In case you haven’t connected the dots yet, here’s a simple equation for you:
More online classes = More students struggling with curriculum = higher demand for tutors
This is where you slide into their DMs as their preferred tutor in XYZ subject (XYZ subject that you actually have stellar experience in, mind you). To scoop up these students and others, offer your services on sites like Tutor.com, Tutor Around, and Superprof. Or, start your own freelance tutoring business once you have a steady clientele base and are ready to scale.
Do you have mad programming skills and some experience building apps for yourself? Even if you don’t, taking the leap into freelancing isn’t as hard as one may think. (At least that’s what Android Ninja Rob Joseph said about becoming a freelance app developer. We’ll take his word for it). Developing and launching your own apps are the most tedious parts, especially if you’re new to the scene. Afterwards, getting your name out follows the pretty standard steps: polish up your CV, update your online presence, and network like a BOSS.
Rob covers it all in the article we linked above 👆🏽
Plus, demand for mobile app development is skyrocketing, meaning it’s the perfect time for you to hop on board. AND, as a freelance app developer, you can save your clients bucko bucks, like tens of thousands of dollars in the entire development process (for real… freelancers cost 1/100th of the price of an agency).
OK, so this isn’t quite like the previous 13 ideas for your new freelance business in 2021. But you’ll still wanna hear us out on this one… Are dogs naturally attracted to you? Like, are you a dog magnet? Maybe you should consider walking and training dogs. Depending on how big you grow, it could soon become your main hustle.
Here’s why: Busy pooch owners not only want to know their love bugs get good exercise. They also want to know how to quickly and easily train their doggos to do tricks and behave better.
If you can develop a personal brand for yourself as THE dog expert that does this for them - while promoting the s*** outta your business online - you’ll have more clients than you know what to do with.
You convinced that this is a solid idea?
If gaming is #lyfe for you, make it a business. Duh. A couple popular ways to make money as a gamer are:
If your excuse is you can’t make money gaming, you must not want it bad enough. Show us what you got, and get out there and become a gamer.
Yes, we could have technically put live streaming under video production & editing. However, because live streaming is taking OFF in 2021 🚀, we felt like doing so would be an injustice. Just how much will it grow? 🤔 You might ask. Well, what was a $30 billion industry in 2016 is now expected to grow to $70.5 billion in 2021. It’s more than doubled in less than five years.
If that doesn’t get you excited, maybe these stats will:
👉🏽 Almost half of consumers would pay for live, exclusive video from their favs.
👉🏽 Consumers watch live video up to 20 times longer than on-demand content.
👉🏽 80% of consumers would rather watch a live stream than read a blog.
To help you get started, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to live stream like a pro.
When you get an established following, you can make some serious dough on affiliate links, sponsorships, and partnerships.
Similar to live streaming, podcast production and revenue is also expected to grow tremendously in 2021. In 2018, the industry reached $479 million in advertising revenue, but in 2021, advertising revenue is expected to surpass $1 billion. Again, what does this mean for you as a freelancer? Monetizing your podcast now has never looked better 🎙
Here are 8 ways you can make money from your podcast in 2021. And if you have no idea how to begin, we’ve also got your back. Here’s a nifty step-by-step guide on how to start a podcast.
More than anything, 2020 has shown us we’re not living sustainably. Fashion is picking up on this, too, with COVID-19 only strengthening the demand for sustainable products. On the same note, the fashion industry is leaning toward more inclusive pieces, according to our friends at McKinsey. As 2021 rolls out, authentic, unisex, edgy pieces will take the fashion world by storm, where status symbols and mass trends that have reigned previously.
Learn how to tie all of this into your own brand, and you literally have the chance to be the next Teni Adeola or Isabella Rose Taylor.
If you’re ready, check out these secrets from a Project Runway designer on how to start a clothing line.
Let’s be real. Food is always on our minds ––Millenials and Gen Z have combined spending power of close to $3 trillion in 2020. That’s trillion, with a t. Their top expenditures? You guessed it! Dining out, takeout, fast food, and groceries.
Yes, we believe you when you say that baking makes you happy ☺ But from a financial standpoint, know that opening a baking business will make your wallet happy, too. You’ve got the recipes. You’ve got the clients. Your social is thriving.
If you’re bilingual, trilingual, multilingual, whatever, don’t just try and play it off like it’s nothing. CASH OUT on those languages! Our economy is global af, meaning people need to communicate effectively and efficiently with those who can’t speak their language. So global that even our homeboys over in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project that employment of interpreters and translators will grow 20% from 2019 to 2029.
(That’s a big deal, considering that average is 4%.) While Spanish and French are popular languages with incredibly high demand, languages that are in high demand with low competition - such as Arabic, Mandarin, or Japanese - will reap you more fruitt
Lucky for you, the barrier to entry as an interpreter or translator is low. Having a native-level proficiency in the languages you’ll be working is usually the main requirement, especially for less advanced positions. Also, once you successfully nail the work for some clients, the rest should follow. This is especially true on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or FlexJobs, where everyone is welcome to freelance.
And last but not least, we have…
Are people like, always crushing on your bod on IG? Do you get so many likes #healthylifestyle posts that you stop paying attention to them after a couple hours? Does staying fit kind of just feel like second nature to you? Yo, make 👏🏽 it 👏🏽 a 👏🏽 business 👏🏽
Instead of just racking up double taps from thirsty mofos on IG, become a personal trainer or health coach! (Yes, there’s a difference between personal trainers and health coaches. Health coaches help clients change their behaviors and nutrition, too, not just fitness.) Also, cuz of social distancing and COVID, working from home in this field has never been easier.
Click the following link to read steps to become a personal trainer online.
Well well well, whaddya know? We’ve reached the end.
Thanks for hanging in here. We know it was a long one, but for those of you who went through it all, you’ll be rewarded greatly.
We recommend you bookmark this blog and come back to it as many times as needed. Also, if you found value in this, share it with your friends! Sharing is caring. What goes around, comes around. The more the merrier… All that jazz.
So without further adieu, let us leave you with some parting advice.
Capitalize on these ideas. Yes, it’s scary and empowering. But also yes, it’s possible.