If you are looking to be a freelancer, but don't have a lot of formal training, education or experience, you are in the right place. I know that freelancing can be intimidating, especially if you are a beginner and have held a job your entire life. But we've got you covered.
In this article, we are going to discuss 12 types of freelance jobs that are perfect for beginners and don't require any schooling or prior experience to start. For each of them, I am going to provide links to platforms that list these types of freelance jobs, so you can get started right away.
These freelance jobs span across different areas, including personal services, manual labor, transportation, IT, and much more. Of course, you will need to have (or develop over time) some degree of skill to be successful, but there are no formal barriers to entry for these types of jobs.
What that means is that if you are determined, hard-working, and committed to improving your skills, you can absolutely thrive as a freelancer and make great money in the process.
On that note, let's get into it.
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What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is working for yourself, either through a company that you set up, or in an individual capacity. You are not an employee of anyone. Rather, you are an independent contractor that accepts work from people or businesses that need your services.
The great thing about freelancing is its flexibility.
No one can hire or fire you and you have full control over what type of work you will do, how you will perform that work, and how many hours you will commit to your freelancing activities. What's more, the world of freelancing has become increasingly bigger and more popular due to the emergence of the gig economy. According to Statista, there were 59 million freelance workers in the US in 2020 (up from 54 million in 2014).
That's an astonishingly high number!
The good news is that the growing popularity of freelancing has spawned some really great online platforms where you can search for freelancing gigs and offer up your services to customers (we'll get into all of that later).
How Much Money Can I Make Freelancing?
Freelancing can be lucrative.
According to Upwork, freelancers in the US earn an average hourly rate of $20. Of course, that is just an average and it is impossible to say exactly how much you will earn freelancing. Much will depend on how much you work, what type of work you do, and how quickly you can grow your reputation (and your rates).
That being said, Upwork has stated that, according to their industry research, 60% of freelancers who left a full time job to do freelancing made more money than they did in their prior jobs!
So freelancing can be a great way to make some supplemental income (at a minimum) and may even wind up allowing you to make more money than you do at your regular job.
Ok, now that we've got the introductory stuff out of the way, let's get into the 12 easiest freelancing jobs for beginners.
Easiest Freelancing Jobs For Beginners
If you are organized, have strong attention to detail, and have a knack for getting things done quickly and efficiently, then being a virtual assistant can be the perfect freelance job for you.
Virtual assistants (VAs for short) handle many personal tasks for their clients, including scheduling meetings, arranging travel plans, and handling all manner of miscellaneous administrative tasks. VAs can also act as customer services reps and perform data entry functions, depending on the job.
Similar to VAs, errand runners perform key day-to-day functions for people who are too busy or otherwise can't perform these functions for themselves. These tasks can include grocery shopping, picking up and dropping off items (or people, like kids), as well as light housekeeping.
The senior citizen market is a big one for errand runners. They are able to help the elderly by taking care of various errands for them (and of course collecting fair compensation for their efforts).
If you have a phone and a reliable way to get around, you can offer your services as an errand runner through a number of platforms, including care.com and taskrabbit.com.
If you can read, have a clear and pleasant voice, and can do different types of voices and accents, you might have a great future as a freelance voice-over artist. With the emergence of audio books, there is a growing need for voice over artists who can convert existing books into audio books.
One of the best sites to offer up your voice-over skills is ACX. You can look for jobs listed there and audition to read for books that will become available on audible, amazon and iTunes. You just need to sign-up, create a profile, and submit some samples. What's cool is that you can get paid in two ways (i) a straight up fee; or (ii) a cut of the book's royalties. So, if you believe in the book, you can actually become a co-producer of the audiobook and share in the profits.
If you prefer a job that you can do sitting down at a desk, then freelance writing may be right for you. You can write books, articles, marketing copy, or even offer editorial services – there are vibrant marketplaces for all of these type of writing assignments.
You can offer your writing services directly on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. If you like writing blog post articles, then Problogger can be a great place to offer your services to bloggers who want quality articles written for them. Or you can choose to work for any of the large content mills like textbroker, iwriter, contentfly, etc.
If you have a knack for teaching, you can become an online tutor. With the emergence of large online tutoring platforms like tutor.com, learner.com, and skooli.com, there are plenty of ways to get freelance tutoring jobs.
Note: Some platforms will require that you have a teaching certification, but not all of them will.
If you a native English speaker and want a really low-key way to make some extra money, then you can sign up to chat with someone who wants to improve their English. You can offer to be a tutor while you are at it, but there are ways to do this without offering formal tutoring services – all you need to do is be willing to chat with someone.
As you can imagine, there are many people in the world who want to become fluent English speakers. They may want to improve pronunciation, expand their vocabulary, or get rid of undesired accents from their speech. Many recognize that simply having real conversations with native speakers can dramatically help with all of these things and they are willing to pay native English speakers who offer this service.
If you want to learn more about this low-key approach to making money, check out my full article on the topic here.
Software Developer and IT Service Provider
If you know how to program (or are willing to learn), there are plenty of opportunities for you to help those who are less technically inclined. In many cases, you don't need a formal education – there are plenty of freelancers who are self-taught and successful. It's a popular space, though, so competition will be high.
Social Media Manager
If you are a whiz at social media and understand how popular platforms like Facebook (now Meta), Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and other social media channels operate, you can make decent money freelancing as a social media manager. As with the other options on this list, there are no set requirements to break into this space.
You'll be asked to represent your client's business on the desired social channels. Tasks may include responding to comments, creating campaigns and developing content for upload to the social channels. You may also be asked to monitor performance and provide reports to assess how things are going.
To get started, jump onto sites like Fiverr and Upwork, sign up, and begin offering your services.
If you have an artistic bent, you can become a designer. You can help people with web design, create logos for companies, or even offer t-shirt and other custom design services. How well you do will depend in very large part on how appealing your designs are – in many ways, it's a level playing field (which I like).
You can absolutely compete with designers that went to fancy design schools and spent thousands on their education and training. Clients aren't really going to care where you went to school – they are going to want amazing designs that match their business needs. As long as your work product is better, you will win.
If you are fluent in two or more languages, you can offer freelance translation services. Again, Fiverr and Upwork both have categories for this type of service, but there are custom platforms for translators as well. Check out Gengo and Textmaster.
A very popular freelance gig that doesn't require any significant qualifications is being an Uber or Lyft driver.
If you prefer to deliver food instead of people, you can also drive for platforms like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Instacart. You can even deliver packages or other cargo (if your vehicle is big enough) through sites like GoShare and AmazonFlex.
The nice thing about having so many options is that you can pick and choose what works best for you and your lifestyle. Remember – you are not an employee of any of these platforms, so you generally don't have hard commitments to any of them.
One drawback to this option is that you will need a car. If you don't have a car, don't give up hope. I have compiled 17 creative strategies you can use to make money without a car. Check out the full article here.
If you are able-bodied, have access to some basic painting supplies (brushes, rollers, pans, ladders, etc.) and have some means of getting around with your painting equipment and supplies, you can become a painter. Again, no special requirements or experience are needed for this type of work.
There are plenty of people who are willing to pay someone to paint a room (or even their whole house) because they don't want (or can't) do the job themselves. Plus it's an area that is evergreen (i.e., people will always need this service performed). You can find plenty of painting jobs on sites like Houzz, Thumbtack, and Taskrabbit.
Bear in mind that certain state and local municipalities may have licensing and other requirements if you want to perform certain handyman services.
So there you have it – 12 easy freelancing jobs that you can start right away.
If you are interested in making passive income (i.e., income that doesn't require your constant effort and attention), then check out my ultimate guide to passive income. I think you'll find some unconventional tips for generating passive income that will fit your situation and lifestyle (including some strategies that require no money and very little effort).