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Whether you’re looking for a way to make some extra money on the side of an existing job or looking for a business idea that could lead to a full-time income, offering a service is a great option.
There are countless different services that you could offer as a freelancer, and in this article, we’ll look at 25 realistic options. We’ll also look at some of the most convincing reasons why you might want to offer a service, and how you can go about promoting your services.
When it comes to different ways to make money and side hustle ideas that you could pursue, things like blogging and starting an online business tend to get the most attention. Since I’ve been blogging full-time for more than 10 years, of course, I think these are great options. But service-related businesses also present plenty of opportunities and should not be ignored.
Reasons to Offer a Service:
Here are just a few of the most significant reasons why you may want to consider a service-related business as a freelancer:
- Start making money right away. Unlike starting a blog or an online business where it will take months until you start making anything.
- Earn a good hourly rate. The rate you are able to charge will depend on several factors like the specific service you’re providing and the amount of experience or skill that you have, but the potential is very good.
- Flexible work and schedule. As a freelancer, you can work around your existing schedule, so it’s possible even if you have a full-time job.
- Potential to grow into a full-time income. All of the services listed in this article provide the potential to grow into a full-time income, or you could offer a few different services to get to that level.
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Services That You Can Offer as a Freelancer
Now, let’s take a look at some of the specific things you could be doing as a freelancer. Of course, this list covers just some of the options. There are plenty of other things you could do, so use your creativity.
Throughout this article, I’ll link to several different courses at Skillshare that teach the skills needed to work as a freelancer in these different fields. If you’re not familiar with Skillshare, it’s a membership-based site that provides access to thousands of different courses (currently more than 28,000 courses). Members get access to all of the courses for a small monthly fee, and best of all, you can sign up for a free two-month trial. If you’re interested in learning more about the topics covered in this article, Skillshare can be a great resource.
1. Freelance Writing
In my opinion, one of the best opportunities for making money online is to work as a freelance writer. One of the great things about the opportunity to work as a freelance writer is the fact that there are opportunities in almost every industry or niche.
With millions of blogs and websites publishing new content every day, there is a great demand for content, and for quality writers. Many of the freelance writing gigs that are available for blogs and websites will involve on-going work, so if you land a few clients, you won’t need to be constantly looking for new gigs.
The pay for freelance writers can be all over the place. There are definitely low-paying gigs that are not really worth your time. But there are also some that will pay much better rates. In fact, some freelance writers earn six figures working from home with a flexible schedule.
→ To learn more, check out Freelance Writing 101: Build a Successful Writing Career on Skillshare.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is similar to freelance writing, but it usually goes a few steps further. Most freelance writers will write the article, and then their work is done. Content marketers will usually write the content (or outsource the writing) and then also provide some additional services to increase exposure for the content. Your services as a content marketer could involve promoting the content on social media, search engine optimization and building links to the content, or blogger outreach.
→ To learn more, check out Content Marketing Masterclass on Skillshare.
Copywriting typically involves writing advertising or sales copy. You could be creating sales pages for website owners, writing sales copy for emails, writing brochures and other marketing material, or any other type of text that is geared towards converting readers into customers, or leading them to some other action (like signing up for an email list).
The skills needed to be a successful copywriter are more specialized as compared to working as a freelance writer, but you can also earn more money. If you have experience with copywriting through your job, this can be a very valuable skill to offer as a freelancer.
→ To learn more, check out Copywriting for Beginners on Skillshare.
4. Blog Editing
Many bloggers hire editors to make sure that blog posts are up to a certain standard before being published. This is especially common for blogs that rely on a lot of freelance writers to create the content. Some blog editors will also write some of their own content, but others focus strictly on editing.
To work as an editor, you’ll need good skills related to spelling and grammar, as well as an attention to detail. Communicating well with writers is also an important part of the job. Most blog editors will also handle the administrative tasks related to the blog content, such as managing the publication schedule and actually publishing the articles when they are ready.
5. Web Design
I’m especially fond of this one because its how I first started making money online. There are millions of small businesses and non-profit organizations that need help with their website design. Typically, hiring an agency is too expensive to be a viable option for many small businesses and non-profits, and freelancers can fill this gap. As a freelancer, you can charge a lower rate than an agency because you have very little overhead, and you can still earn a very nice income from it.
→ To learn more, see my article How to Make Money as a Web Designer.
6. Web Development
While web designers are responsible for the look and feel of a website, web developers focus more on the coding. You’ll definitely need coding skills, although that can be learned.
Some designers and developers will handle the visual aspect as well as the coding, but developers may also handle things like coding mobile apps, more complex database-driven websites and web apps, as well as software development.
→ To learn more, see Web Development Fundamentals: HTML and CSS on Skillshare.
7. WordPress Setup
These days, many businesses and individuals use WordPress to manage their website. Some freelancers offer services related to everything from installing WordPress, to customizing themes, to providing ongoing maintenance and support.
Although anyone can use WordPress without the need to hire a professional designer or developer, some people don’t have the time or desire to handle the details themselves, and they’ll gladly pay a freelancer to handle things for them.
Some freelancers use this as an alternative to more traditional web design services. You can offer services that involve customizing a WordPress theme to meet the needs of a client. Read my interview with Peti to see how she is charging $60 per hour to set up websites without any coding.
→ To learn more, see WordPress for Beginners: The Complete Guide on Skillshare.
8. Graphic Design
If you have some design skills, there are all kinds of different services you could provide as a freelance graphic designer. You could specialize in one area, or offer a variety of different services. There is a great demand for quality designers, and with so many different possibilities, there is no shortage of opportunity.
Here are just some of the types of graphic design you could offer:
- Book/ebook covers
- Social media graphics (especially Pinterest) and blog graphics
- Packaging design
→ To learn more, see Graphic Design 101: An Overview of the Field on Skillshare.
9. Social Media Management
Many business owners and entrepreneurs recognize the importance of being active on social media, but they don’t have the time or knowledge to be able to do it themselves. Hiring a freelancer to manage their social profiles is the best way for them to have an active presence on social media.
As a freelancer, there are several different things you can do related to social media. Some freelancers will manage the profiles of their clients to be sure that new content is being shared on a regular business. Some will focus on specific social platforms. Pinterest is very popular for marketers right now, so you could get paid to manage the Pinterest profile of your clients.
This provides a great opportunity for many people, because there are a lot of people who have experience and skill related to social media. If you’ve used these platforms for yourself or for marketing your own blog or brand, you could have the skills to manage social profiles for clients.
→ To learn more, see Introduction to Social Media Strategy on Skillshare.
10. Ad Management
Another extremely popular service right now involves managing online ads for clients. If you have some experience with Facebook ad campaigns, Google AdWords, or Pinterest ads, you could offer to manage ad campaigns for clients. Some freelancers choose to specialize in a particular platform and others will work with ads on multiple platforms.
Even if you don’t have existing experience managing ads, this is a skill that can be learned, and there are plenty of courses available that will teach you. Not only is it a skill that you can learn, but you can earn a nice income (part-time or full-time) with this service.
11. Consulting / Coaching
This one is pretty broad and could cover a wide variety of possibilities. You could offer consulting or coaching services on just about any topic or in any industry. Of course, the obvious option is to use your existing skills, expertise, and experience and incorporate it into a consulting or coaching service. It could be related to marketing, personal finance, careers, fitness, relationships, or anything else.
The amount that you’re able to charge will be influenced by many factors, but there is potential to earn a very good income or hourly rate as a consultant or coach.
→ To learn more, see The Complete Masterclass on Starting a Consulting Business on Skillshare.
12. Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistant (VA) is kind of a general term that can cover any number of different services. As a virtual assistant, you could help clients by offering some of the services that have already been mentioned (like social media management, blog editing, writing, WordPress setup) or other things like administrative support.
There is a great demand for VAs, so there are plenty of opportunities available. Although some virtual assistant jobs are low paying, there are plenty of VAs who earn a very good income (in some cases, $100 per hour or more).
→ To learn more, see my article How to Become a Virtual Assistant.
If you're interested in making money from home, be sure to check out this free workshop from Kayla Sloan. She shows how to use the skills you already have to start making money as a VA.
Bookkeeping or accounting services are also ideal options for freelancers. Many small businesses need help in this area but are not large enough to justify hiring a full-time or part-time accountant. As a freelancer, you can meet your clients’ needs related to bookkeeping, save them money, and earn a good hourly rate for yourself.
This is an ideal option if you already have some experience with bookkeeping or accounting, but it’s also a skill that you can learn.
→ To learn more, see Bookkeeping Bootcamp on Skillshare.
Tutoring is a service that you can offer locally and in-person, or online. There are plenty of students in need of tutors, so if you have some knowledge in a particular subject, you can put it to good use.
→ To learn more, see Profitable Tutoring & Coaching Home Business Course on Skillshare.
If you can speak multiple languages, you may be able to get paid for translation work. You may be able to find work through companies like Appen and Lionbridge, or you can find clients on your own. Some blogs and websites are in need of translators to make their existing content or articles available in other languages.
→ To learn more, see How to Be a Successful Freelance Translator on Skillshare.
16. Music Production
If you have some musical ability, there is potential to make money by writing and producing music. There are many podcasters and online video producers who need custom music or audio. You can use a site like Fiverr or Upwork to offer your services, or earn a higher rate by creating and promoting your own website to market your services.
→ To learn more, see From Silence to Sound: Composing Music for Film, Documentaries, and Commercials on Skillshare.
17. Music Lessons
Another way to make money from your musical abilities is to offer lessons. This could be in-person lessons with students in your local area, or you could offer video lessons online through Skype or another platform. This could be for singing or any instrument that you’ve mastered.
18. Voice Acting
With the growing amount of audio and video content that is being created for online marketing, there is a great demand for voice actors. You could be reading scripts for sales videos, video ads, product demonstrations, or other types of video. You can also get paid to create intros and sound bytes for podcasts. Aside from work related to online videos and podcasts, there is also a great demand for voice actors to record audiobooks.
You can use websites like UpWork and Fiverr to promote your services, or create your own website and market your services there.
→ To learn more, see Voice Over Masterclass on Skillshare.
If you enjoy photography and you have some ability, you could make money by taking photos for clients. You could take a variety of different types of portraits like family, engagement, maternity, newborn, kids, seniors, and professional headshots.
Since a lot of people already have some photography skills, this one could be a realistic option for a lot of people. The best way to get started is to let all of your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers know that you are starting a photography business. You can probably find your first few clients just from people you know.
If you want to take it a step further and drastically increase your earning potential, you can offer wedding photography services. I recommend starting with some of the other services first, but wedding photographers can make a lot of money, and you can do the majority of the work on weekends.
→ To learn more, see How to Run a Successful Freelance Photography Business on Skillshare.
20. Photo Editing
Another photography-related service that you could offer is photo editing. Some photographers will outsource the editing of their photos to save time, and if you have some experience with Lightroom, Photoshop, or another photo editing program, you can make money with this service.
Aside from basic editing and touchups, you could also offer other related services like background removal and photo manipulation. Background removal is needed for a lot of scenarios, like ecommerce product photos that show a product on a solid white background.
→ To learn more, see Fundamentals of Photo Editing on Skillshare.
21. Podcast Editing and Production
With a quickly-growing number of podcasts online, there is an increasing demand for editing and production services. Many podcasters prefer to simply record an episode and then turn it over to someone else to create the finished product.
→ To learn more, see Adobe Audition 101 for Podcasters on Skillshare.
22. Video Editing and Production
Just like podcasts, online videos offer opportunities for freelancers to make money with editing and production services. Many video creators will outsource the editing and production of their videos, and there is plenty of demand for these services.
→ To learn more, see Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners on Skillshare.
23. Resume Assistance
Another great service that you can offer is to help job seekers with writing and preparing their resume. Many people need help in this area, and if you have a background in HR or making hiring decisions, this may be a service that you could offer. Not only will you be able to make money, but you’ll also be able to help others find jobs.
→ To learn more, see Complete Resume Writing Course on Skillshare.
24. Travel Planning
If you have a lot of experience traveling or planning for travel, you could offer freelance services as a travel planner or travel agent. Some travel bloggers offer this as a service, which makes a lot of sense since they are familiar with a lot of destinations and since they have an audience of readers who are interested in travel.
25. Tour Guide
Another travel and tourism-related service that you can offer involves guided tours. If you live in an area that attracts a lot of tourists, this can be a great option. You could use a website like Vayable to offer your services, or create your own website and marketing plan.
How to Promote Your Services:
Now that we’ve looked at some of the different services that you could offer as a freelancer, let’s take a look at how you can go about promoting your services in order to land clients and get paid.
Having your own blog is one of the best ways to promote your services. Of course, your services should be related to the type of content that you publish, or at least relevant to the target audience of your blog.
As more and more visitors come to your blog, some of them may be a good fit for the services that you offer and you’ll find yourself landing more clients this way.
Although it’s a great way to promote your services, building a blog is something that takes time and you may not get results quickly. However, it can certainly pay off long-term.
Writing for Other Blogs
Another way to use blogging to promote your services is to write for other blogs. A lot of blogs are open to guest posts and this can be a great way to get exposure, especially while you are in the process of growing your own blog.
When you write for other blogs you won’t want to aggressively promote your own services, but in your author bio you can mention the services that you provide and link back to your own website. Depending on the nature of the article, you may be able to slip in a mention of your services within the body of the article, but this won’t always be possible.
If your articles are published at blogs that reach the target audience for your services, you may have some people who click through to your site and contact you about those services.
Freelance Job Boards
There are a number of job boards that specifically focus on freelance opportunities or work from home jobs. Some of these sites specialize in certain types of work, like the ProBlogger and Blogging Pro job boards that post listings for freelance writing and blogging opportunities. Others, like FlexJobs, are more general.
Websites like Fiverr, UpWork, and Freelancer.com exist to help freelancers and services providers get matched up with clients. Honestly, using these sites to find work would not be my first recommendation because most of the jobs landed through these sites are low-paying, but of course, that’s a generalization. There are some freelancers that do very well with these sites, but most find that they spend too much time working to land a few low-paying gigs.
In my opinion, these sites could be used as a starting point to find some work and gain experience, but I would focus on other methods of landing clients if possible.
There are plenty of other websites that can also be extremely useful for finding clients. Craigslist is a great resource, especially when you are first getting started. Others may be niche specific websites that are highly relevant for the services you are providing.
I would also include Facebook groups in this category. If you are actively engaged in a Facebook group where you can interact with people who might benefit from your services, you may be able to land clients this way. For example, if you offer diet consulting services, you may want to get involved in some Facebook groups related to dieting or weight loss. Don’t aggressively promote your services within the group, but get involved in the conversations and you can mention your services when it is relevant.
If you’re looking for a way to make some money, I strongly believe that freelance services is a great route to go. I’ve personally made money with freelance writing, web design, consulting, and social media management. I know that it works and that you can make good money for your time, regardless of whether you are full-time or part-time.
Now it’s time to think about your own skills and experience and determine what you could offer, and start working to land your first client.
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