21 Ideas For Your New Freelance Business
It’s never been easier to make money online. Anyone who says otherwise is just a slacker.
(⚠ Warning ⚠ We tell it how it is. Don’t like it? Well, we’re not asking you to stay 😏)
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.
So, you’re welcome 🤗
Let’s go through 21 ideas for your new freelance business in 2021 so you can finally start things off on the right foot.
1. Writing & Editing
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:
✍🏽 Content writing. Content writing is an ☂ term for all online content, including blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, etc.
🖊 Blogging. Start your own blog (follow this guy’s advice to reach 6 figures in a year) or be a freelance blogger for other brands. You choose 😉
💲 Copywriting. Copywriters are the heads behind ad copy (sales pages, TV commercials, radio ads, etc.), helping companies sell their stuff quicker.
📸 Press release writing. The debate is hot on if press releases are still relevant. No matter the verdict, they’re still a way to get you money.
👻 Ghost writing. Ghost writers create content to be published under someone else’s name, usually a time-deprived industry expert.
🎙 Speechwriting. If you’ve been told you have a way with words, maybe this is the gig for you? Really, becoming a speechwriter isn’t as hard as it sounds.
🏢 Business plan writing. Yupp, this is exactly what we told you NOT to outsource in our Comprehensive Guide to the First Year of Your New Small Business (Part 1). But if you want to do it for others, more power to you.
🍫 Product description writing. Ever daydream about what it would be like to see your writing on the next Snickers wrapper? 🤔 No? Just us? 😅 #awkward🐢 Anywho, e-commerce is booming. To get your slice of the 🥧 before it’s gone, check out how to write epic product descriptions that sell.
📃 Grant writing. Do-good organizations need people skilled in grant writing to convince funders to donate to their projects. With some legit training, you can make up to $100/ hour. Here’s how to break into grant writing.
📄 Resume & cover letter writing. If you can read recruiters’ minds (obvs not literally), you can help people get their feet in the door to land their dream jobs.
🎓 College essay writing. No, we’re not saying college students should have others write their papers for them. Yes, we are just saying it’s a valid freelance business for you.
📝 Proofreading. Are you grammatically inclined and enjoy sprinkling some orthographic love on everything you come across? People need you! Check out freelancing sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer for endless gigs.
🤓 Copy editing. Copy editing is like proofreading on steroids. Not only do you check for grammatical and formatting errors, but you also fact check, fill in info gaps, and make other serious revisions. It’s a copy makeover 💋💄
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.
2. Graphic Design
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:
🌐 Logo designers. Logos form the backbone of a company’s brand. So, they’re kind of important. As a logo designer, you should know your way around shapes, colors, and designs to deliver a top-notch product.
🎁 Brand identity designers. Brand identity designers are in charge of creating the entire image of a company. We’re talking all designs needed for business cards, advertising, promotions… everything.
📷 PhotoShop artists. These graphic designers can cut out that photo bomber behind you at your cousin’s wedding, or they can touch up that breakout you had at your sister’s bday brunch. No touch-up is too big for them.
🤔 Brochure designers. Remember that array of trifold pieces of paper sitting around the waiting room of your old dentist’s office that you never really paid attention to? People specialize in designing those.
👕 T-shirt designers. Do ya’ll remember the days of tie dye shirts? Or are we aging ourselves here? 😅 Anyways, while we don’t know much about this, our friends at Shopify have some solid tips on how to start an online t-shirt business.
🏨 CAD designers. Computer-aided design (CAD) designers use their knowhow in math, IT, and engineering to create 2D or 3D images of buildings, machinery, products, and other complex projects. If this tickles your fancy, feel free to dig more into becoming a freelance CAD designer.
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.
3. Video Production & Editing
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.
Think about it: Do you always believe the story behind pristine, booshy videos? Not really. I mean, actors get pimples, too. How can their #nofilter #nomakeup faces be so perfect?!
Anyways, let’s spell out what this means for you.
(We just said it two seconds ago, but we’ll say it again for those who didn’t catch it the first time around because it’s that important.)
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!
What’s the worst that could happen? People see that you can connect with them where they’re at - on a human level? Gaining you (or your client) customers and eventual brand advocates?
Vimeo posted a good article for how to get started making videos on your phone. Check it out for inspo.
4. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants, or VAs, aren’t just glorified secretaries who work online - answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, managing emails, the like.
(Well, they can be if they want. More power to them.)
Aside from administrative tasks, 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:
📱 Social media management. Clients may have you handle all or some of their platforms while they do what they do best.
🖊 Editing and proofreading. VAs who are beasts at organizing and have their A-game on grammar kill two birds with one stone.
🔍 Content research. Oh yeah, VAs can be lowkey content marketers as well, or vice versa. For starters, here are some content research tips that will make you more influential.
👩🏽💻 Keyword research. If you know how to get your clients on page 1 of Google, you’ll win the Best VA Award yearly, guaranteed
🏆 Here’s a beginner’s guide to doing keyword research. You’re welcome.
🤝🏽 Lead generation. Lead generation - identifying and cultivating relationships with potential customers - is the gift that keeps on giving. This article on outsourcing LinkedIn lead generation to a virtual assistant touches on strategies that you can apply across social platforms as a VA.
💻 Website design. Have an eye for website design and structure? Pitch your client your ideas. Here are 27 research-backed web design tips that will get them raving.
📹 Editing videos. If you couldn’t tell already, video is a must for 2021 and beyond. After your clients shoot their footage, they would probs adore you if you could edit it. Here are some great tips for beginners on how to edit video.
🌎 Travel arrangements. You’re your client’s right hand person, which means knowing their gustos. So, if they say Cancun, you should say done 😎
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.
Coincidence? We think not 🤓
If this floats your boat, here’s a guide on everything you need to know to become a virtual assistant.
5. Social Media Management
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:
🗣 Communication. Effectively switch between social, client, and team objectives. If you can do so effortlessly, it was a match made in heaven.
✒ Writing. You probs already know this, but everything you write should be tailored to different audiences and platforms, varying tones and styles as needed.
✨ Creativity. You’ll be in charge of launching innovative campaigns, developing intriguing multimedia, making sure images/ videos are A1, and more.
📃 Efficiency and organization. Get your clients’ ducks in a row by leading and executing campaigns from 0 to finish.
💻 Traditional and digital marketing. Combine the best of all worlds: email, lead gen, PR. Only the strongest survive.
🧔🏽 Customer care. Almost half of consumers have reached out to companies on social. So, you’re not only a social media manager, but also a customer service representative. Are you ready for this jelly?
🤝🏽 Making connections. Just like networking irl, you also have to network and create digital relationships online. Two thirds of users want brands to connect with them. So, get cozy with making the first move 😏
🏃🏽♀️ Agility. You have to be on your toes. When you have someone threatening to cut you because you didn’t refund them on time, will you cuss them out and send them back to where they came from? It’s tempting… but no 😂 Professionalism at ALL times, ladies and gents.
📄 Data analysis. It’s more than just doing more of what performed well. Data analysis involves pinpointing trends, developing recommendations, and delivering an action plan to all stakeholders.
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 💰
Who’s with us? 🙋🏽♀️
You can become a consultant in pretty much anything. Here are some ideas for you:
🔎 SEO. Google is just getting more and more cutthroat each year, meaning companies keep up with algorithms or get left behind in the dust 🚙💨 Get started with this definitive guide to become an SEO expert in 2021.
🚩 Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc. Just like with SEO, brands are also recognizing the importance of launching effective ad campaigns, on social media and search engines alike.
🛠 WordPress development. Who is Hosting This? says that over a third of the internet is powered by WordPress. That’s a HUGE market share for you to dig your fingers into.
💄 Beauty. If you feel like your makeup game is 🔥💯🔝, better than the beauty consultants’ at Ulta and Sephora, get consulting! There are people out there who need a bit of hand holding when it comes to cosmetics and skin care products.
🗺 Travel. Vacays are ramping up again in 2021. Put your skills to the test working for actual clients as a travel consultant (a.k.a. travel agent). Sounds interesting? Check out how to become a home-based travel agent.
📱 Social media. Do you know all the tips and tricks to increase followers on all the main platforms - IG, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.? Do you constantly get asked how you do it? Make it a profession! Duh.
To get started, think of what you’re an expert in. Then, you can focus those efforts on helping people get to your level.
7. Digital Marketing
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:
🔎 SEO. Uhmm, we just touched on this in the previous section (where we also included a link to a good resource). But taking things a bit deeper, you can delve into on-page, off-page, or technical SEO.
📖 Content marketing. Content marketing is all about creating assets that will increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and make dinero. It can include writing blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, and more.
📱 Social media marketing. Again, we gave you the goods about top skills for social media management in #5 up above 👆🏽 This type of digital marketing has the same goals as content marketing.
🖱 Pay Per Click (PPC). Sponsored messages, paid ads, and ad campaigns all fall into this category. It’s a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked.
🧴 Affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you receive commissions for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. (Yeah! You don’t even have to create your own!) If this interests you, check out affiliate marketing trends and changes in 2021.
➕ Native advertising. Native advertising consists of ads that are mainly content. They’re often shown alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed’s sponsored posts are a good example.
🔁 Marketing automation. By automating marketing operations, you don’t have to do repetitive tasks on a daily basis 🥱 We mean scheduling emails and social media posts as well as tracking campaigns.
📧 Email marketing. As part of campaigns, emails can send lead magnets, welcome new customers, encourage holiday promotions, and oh so much more. No, email is not dead. It’s just you ☠ (Pro tip: Always provide value in email. Don’t just try and sell. When you do sell, lead with results and testimonials.)
🎙 Online PR. Online PR is when you get coverage from other online publications, blogs, websites, and social. You can do direct outreach to reporters and key influencers on social media, post engaging comments on poppin’ competition sites, and engage with reviews of your company.
📩 Inbound marketing. This is where you drive leads to your website instead of outwardly advertising. (So, publishing a blog instead of doing pop-up ads, for instance.) It’s an approach that leads to a more pleasurable customer experience. Here are nine examples of inbound marketing that get customers.
🥰 Sponsored content. This is when brands pay other brands to promote their products/ services in good light. When you see your favorite IG influencer promoting a new skin care lotion, just know they’re being paid to do sponsored content.
If you want more on this topic, check out the HubSpot article linked at the beginning of this section.
We’re getting long-winded, and your attention span is surely waning.
So, it’s time we move on.
8. Website Developer
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.
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.
10. Influencer Services
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?
11. Data Analyst
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.
12. Private Tutor
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 👀)
Or, start your own freelance tutoring business once you have a steady clientele base and are ready to scale.
(Oh, whaddaya know? 😁 We linked to our ultimate guide to the first year of your new small business under #1.)
13. App Developer
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).
You’ll also get some solid experience. What more could you ask for? 🤷🏽♀️
14. Dog Walker & Trainer
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.
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.
Then, you can start scaling. This means outsourcing the work, developing online courses, and diving into brand partnerships and affiliate marketing, among other stuff 🚀
You convinced that this is a solid idea?
Great! Unfortunately, we’re a bit of a tease cuz we’re stopping here on this one.
We don’t want to do alllllll the hard work for you 😂
Just know this: If you’re willing to put the work in, the fruits reaped will be oh so delicious😋
If gaming is #lyfe for you, make it a business. Duh.
A couple popular ways to make money as a gamer are:
How-to videos. Yo, these are blowing UP on YouTube and Twitch because 1. Stay-at-home orders with COVID, and 2. It’s soups easy to screen record your games and show your viewers how it’s done. Here’s an article about how to create gaming YouTube videos like a pro.
Game reviews. Can’t get enough of Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, or Rocket League these days? Their creators LOVE when people like you write game reviews because you’re their hardest working salesperson. Monetize that ish.
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.
16. Live Streaming
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.
That’s right. 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.
17. Podcast Production
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 🎙
Come on. I mean, if this guy can do it 👇🏽
You can, too 🤣🤭
As a matter of fact, 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.
18. Fashion and Accessories
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.
The question is… Will you rise up to the challenge?
If you’re ready, check out these secrets from a Project Runway designer on how to start a clothing line.
We tell you this because we want to help set up your empire.
Got it? Cool.
Let’s be real. Food is always on our minds
Stats say the same for millennials and Gen Z.
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. It’s time to go big or go home.
20. Interpretation or Translation Services
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 fruits.🤑🤑🤑
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…
21. Personal Trainer or Health Coach
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 the ‘rona, 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 gave a 💩 and went through it all, you’ll be rewarded greatly 😇
Also, in case you didn’t know, we’re already SO proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished.
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.
As you know, the opportunities are endless come 2021 and beyond, and no one other than YOU is in charge of YOUR story.
Capitalize on these ideas. (We really don’t know how we could make it any easier for you to do so.)
Yes, it’s scary and empowering. But also yes, it’s possible.
👉🏽 Next steps? 🔽
Head on over to our Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Freelancer so you can put some legs on your idea and turn it into a business.
Here’s to 2021 🥂