5 Freelancing Ideas for Dummies

Here are my freelancing ideas for everyone. I have deliberately left out the more specialized skills. I’ll include a more detailed post for the more professional among my readers. Here, I discuss freelancing ideas that everyone can use – without the need of specialized skill set. For this reason, you shouldn’t expect to earn a very high income from these ideas. Instead, use them as a good passive income stream that you can tap into when you need more money or want to supplement your income. In due course of time, you can earn a full-time wage with these methods.

Freelancing Idea – 1: Simple Data Entry

Data entry is one of the least specialized skills on the internet that sure still is in demand. You don’t need any special skills, except the very basic ones. However, it helps a lot to have a good work ethic. The downside should be obvious – since a lot of people can do the job, it drives the wages down. Data entry is well suited for people in countries where the cost of living isn’t as high as the Western world. Otherwise, you would have to spend a ton of hours to make livable wages with data entry.

The good thing of course is that there are plenty of data entry jobs. And yes, please don’t go for the scam advertisements that promise you $40/hour for data entry. Read more about internet scams.

Freelancing Idea – 2: Content Writing

The real problem with writing is everyone who has studied English in high-school (or not) thinks he is a writer. Not so. Words are the backbone of the internet and most companies are looking for quality content in the end, no matter how much they spend on social media or PPC advertising. The real problem is, the range of skills and prices that a writer demands is mind-bogglingly huge.

If you are a really high quality writer, you can write for magazines or perhaps even publish a book. You will be paid by the word. However, for those without a writing background, a good way to start is by writing content. It always helps to learn more about SEO. With this knowledge, an average writer can provide a unique value to the employer that otherwise good writers (aka creative writing majors) cannot.

Freelancing Idea – 3: Create Sales Pitches

Again, creating sales pitches isn’t as hard as it sounds. The opportunity, however, exists everywhere. If you are a top-notch online copywriter, you need to belong to an elite group. However, everyone of us can get started. Just look around, you see ample ideas for sales pitches that you can create.

Think of a Adwords ad that is horribly written. It is not hard to find and you don’t even need to go out of your way to spot them. Offer the company your services as a creative sales pitch writer and do a better job. You would be surprised how many companies don’t bother to make their online advertisements better.

Freelancing Idea – 4: Sell Your Skills

People tend to think of freelancing as requiring specialized skills. Not so. You can just be a casual freelancer. All you need to do is to promote yourself. There are plenty of places where you can sell your skills, from specialized freelancing sites like oDesk to very broad and general job boards like craigslist.

In addition to getting online, you can always consider looking around your neighborhood and placing flyers which sell your skills. Ideas are plenty – always look for an opportunity.

Freelancing Idea – 5: Learn a Professional Skill

Yes, the easiest way to get started is simply to learn! The internet today has rendered traditional degrees almost moot – you can get the best and highest quality education online on any topic that you want. MIT’s OpenCourseWare is an excellent example of this. You don’t need to go back to school and earn a degree. You can simply learn a skill online, practice by taking on some real assignments with small projects, learn and perfect this skill and you can start earning your livelihood online!

What skills should you learn? This of course depends on you and your interests. You should look for skills that are in demand and for which people are ready to pay a good amount of money, like web-designing or programming. These are not for everyone but if you can pick these up, you can get a great head-start in your freelancing career.

If you are completely new to freelancing, don’t go out and quit your job yet! Learn the skills, learn the ups and downs of the process and then decide if you can live off what you make freelancing. There are many factors to consider, so make an informed decision.

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16 Comments

  1. Sheila says:

    Thank you very much for this list, especially the link to MIT’s OpenCourseWare. Been looking online for this type of learning opportunity.
    Sheila recently posted…CNA CertificationMy Profile

    • Sid says:

      Shiela,
      Glad you liked the post. MIT’s opencourseware is an excellent learning tool and best of all, it is completely free. I should perhaps write a post about all these different online learning tools sometime!

  2. Alex says:

    Great post, dude. I’ve started freelancing not 2 weeks ago as a writer. Luckily got my first hire on my 2nd day for 150-word articles, 25c a pop. It ain’t much, but it got me started, got me my first real salary (I’m 18 and in college) and 5 star feedback. I’m working around 3-4 jobs atm, and total I’ve earned is about 141$. Not bad for a teenage freshman. :)

    Thanks for the MIT link! I’ve been looking up more skills to sell. Writing takes a whole lot out of you.

    • Sid says:

      Alex, that is good to know. There is a lot more scope to freelance writing and hopefully you will realize it soon. This is a good start, but don’t stop at this. Things can always be better :)

  3. This is some solid info and I like the list format. I have friends from Europe that have minimal educational backgrounds. How much do you think they could make doing the data entry jobs? Can you recommend any particular sites?

    I tried the “getting paid to write articles” route. I signed up with Yahoo Associated Content and submitted one article which promptly got rejected because it was not “original enough” per yahoo.

    I would be interested in hearing and seeing more about sites you recommend that pay you to submit artilces. FYI, yahoo offers around $35 per article plus commissions per 1000 views.

    Nice info, keep it up!!

  4. Wow all of these ideas have inspired me about you dude the way you write them is awesome you are increasing too the number of freelancers by your awesome blog posts that will lead new people into right direction =)

  5. Very nice ideas but i would totally go for the freelance writing!The truth is that there is an increasing demand for freelance writers, ghost writers and for content creation in general. So if you have the talent to create unique content and articles then i would advise you to start building your profile as a freelance writer.

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