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How to make money as a freelancer in 14 ways

How to make money as a freelancer

Making money as a freelancer is a great option for those seeking to take control of their income and work schedule. Because of this more and more individuals are now considering freelancing as a viable way to make money and start a business.

Whether it's the desire for greater autonomy, the need for additional income or the pursuit of a lifelong passion, starting a freelance business can be the key to unlocking personal and financial freedom. For those who are ready to take the plunge, understanding how to monetize their skills effectively is the first step towards successfully making money as a freelancer.

What makes freelancing profitable

To make money as a freelancer, it's crucial to define what makes freelancing profitable. A profitable freelancing business is not just about earning money it's also about creating a sustainable business model that allows for growth and stability. Here are four key aspects that define a profitable freelancing business.

Specialization and expertise

A freelancer who specializes in a niche market or possesses a high level of expertise can command higher rates and attract clients looking for specific skills. Specialization leads to a better understanding of the market, more targeted marketing strategies and the ability to provide exceptional value to clients.

Efficient business management

Profitability or making money is also about how efficiently you can run your business. This includes having effective systems and processes in place for tasks such as invoicing, project management and client communication. Streamlining these operations saves time and resources, allowing you to focus more on revenue-generating activities.

Strong client relationships

Building and maintaining strong relationships with clients can lead to repeat business, referrals and a steady income stream. A profitable freelancing business often has a loyal client base that trusts the freelancer's work and is willing to pay for their expertise.


Lastly, a profitable freelancing business is one that has the potential to scale. This could mean outsourcing certain tasks, offering new services or even productizing your services to serve more clients without a proportional increase in workload. It could also mean choosing a scalable business idea from the start.

14 ways to make money as a freelancer

The freelancing landscape is diverse, offering numerous paths to monetization. Here are 15 freelancing business ideas, each with insights on how to maximize their profitability.

01. Graphic design

As a freelancer, you can make money by offering design services for logos, branding materials, or social media graphics. To increase your chance of profitability, create design packages for businesses or offer subscription services for ongoing graphic design work.

Graphic designer Kath Anderson uses her online portfolio to share her past work and her openness to new graphic design commissions.

In order to make money as a graphic designer you’ll need to create a portfolio website to showcase your work and to show your work. You should also consider building your social media presence in order to market your design work.

02. Web design and development

Make money as a freelancer by building websites for clients, or specialize in creating sites on a specific website builder, like Wix. You’ll also need to make your own freelance website to showcase the websites you’ve created and your specific skills or niche.

Check out web designer Olya Black’s website. Her freelance work focuses on Wix sites.

Websites are a huge part of many businesses' marketing and brand efforts and there’s huge demand for the creation and management of them.

03. Content writing

Making money as a freelance writer is a popular online venture and business idea. You can create and write content for company or lifestyle blogs, online publications or websites. It's a flexible way to make money from home.

Some freelancers focus on specific niches, tech for example, or lifestyle content. But you can also work across a wide spectrum of topics. Freelance writing can turn into a consistent source of income if you build good working relationships with your clients.

However, it can be a competitive field and you’ll need to be able to stand out and deliver high-quality work in order to make money as a freelance writer.

If you’re looking to make money as a freelance writer, you'll need a portfolio website but you could also consider starting a blog. It’s easy to get one set up with a blog maker, like Wix and it’s a great way to not only market your writing and content creation skills but it can also be something that, with a dedicated readership, can be monetized either through ads or sponsored content.

04. SEO consulting

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consulting is one way to make money as a freelancer. If you have SEO experience you can channel that into building up a client base and working freelance. Many companies have a need for SEO consulting, strategy and work but don’t necessarily have the budget or resources for an in-house team. This is where freelance SEO experts come in. Most SEO work, if not all, can be done online, making this a flexible way to make money that can be done from anywhere in the world.

If you’re looking to make money through freelance SEO work, it’s a good idea to build case studies of how you’ve helped websites and brands rank well. You can also build test websites to test SEO best practices and strategies, which can then be used to market your skills and experience.

If you’re looking to make money as a freelance SEO, we recommend following some of these industry giants for strategies, tips and more.

05. Social media management

There are other ways to make money as a freelancer when it comes to digital and online marketing and social media management is one of the most popular and in-demand services. It broadly involves managing the social media accounts of brands, while also creating new content and engagement strategies. You’ll need to offer tracking and reporting as well.

If you’re looking to become a freelance social media consultant, it’s worth making sure you have a strong social media presence across a wide range of platforms. The best way to prove your social media marketing skills is through your own social media success and following.

Looking for more inspiration:

06. Photography

A photography business is a well-known way to make money as a freelancer. There are many different areas to specialize in, from weddings and events to products or real estate. If you’re looking to start a photography business, you’ll need a photography website to show your work and to manage your services. Like this photography website and portfolio from El Gallo Photography.

You can also diversify and expand on the ways you make money as a photographer by selling your photos to stock image websites, by selling your images via your website or by offering photo editing services to other photographers and creatives.

Photography is a great freelance career for someone looking to retain creative control and who wants a flexible work schedule.

07. Virtual assistance

As more and more work can take place online and remotely, virtual assistance has become an increasingly popular way to make money as a freelancer. Starting a virtual assistant business involves providing administrative support to businesses. It could be answering calls for them, organizing paperwork or spreadsheets, or even bookkeeping for more specialized needs.

A great way to make money with this type of freelance work is by creating packages of your services, to ensure consistent income and to retain clients. You can also offer tiered pricing for different levels of administrative support.

08. Video production

Video is in high demand, both from marketing agencies and big brands. Because of this, creating and producing video content can be an effective way to make money as a freelancer. It can be promotional videos for product launches, educational content for brands or advertisements for small and large businesses. You can offer end-to-end services from scriptwriting to post-production, or just parts of the process - for example, just the scriptwriting, or just the filming, depending on your specific skills.

09. Voice over work

Looking for a fun way to make money as a freelancer? If so, voice-over work might be just the thing. You can lend your voice to commercials, audiobooks or video games. It’s definitely advisable to create a portfolio, use these portfolio templates to get started, showcase your past work and share with casting agents for potential new work and projects.

Voice-over work can be pursued as a freelance career or as a side hustle, alongside long-term regular employment or other freelance work, such as being an extra in film or TV or starring in commercials.

You might also want to consider how to make money as a model, as a freelancing gig.

10. Programming and software development

Making money as a freelancer specializing in programming and software development can build into a very successful career that can be fully remote. It can involve developing custom software solutions, mobile apps or online games. Some freelancers work with multiple clients, others might choose to work with one large company as a freelancer, it all depends on your niche and available opportunities. You’ll need to have some experience in programming to make this type of freelancing work.

11. Digital marketing

There are many ways to make money as a freelance digital marketer. In part because the field of digital marketing is so broad and can cover so many different services, from PPC advertising to email marketing or content marketing. You can choose to offer services in all of these different marketing branches or specialize in a particular niche. It all depends on your particular skills and experience.

Making money as a freelance digital marketer can be difficult, as the industry is highly competitive and this is a much sought-after freelance role, as it often means consistent, high-income and flexible, remote work. You’ll need to provide high-quality work and deliver results in order to retain clients and earn new ones.

12. Illustration

If you’re artistic and looking to make money as an artist and freelancer, consider creating custom illustrations for books, websites, or products.

Illustrator and graphic designer Juliette van Rhyn uses her website to showcase her award-winning work. Van Rhyn says of her portfolio: “I wanted to develop a look and feel for my website that reflected the characteristics of my work; I opted for a playful, offbeat layout, using colors found in some of my posters. My aim was to make my website feel like one of my designs in its own right, to create a cohesive identity that gives a strong sense of what I offer as a designer.”

You could also consider starting a print-on-demand business, or website, in order to sell your own illustrations on merchandise ranging from mugs to t-shirts to hats. This can be a low-investment business idea to start which allows you to balance your creative passions with making money.

13. Coaching and consulting

Starting a coaching business, or a consulting venture, can be an effective way to make money as a freelancer. Coaching could cover anything from sports to life coaching, fitness and career advice. Consulting is usually more business-focused and tends to involve providing specific support or strategies for business growth and management.

Both are great ways to make money as a freelancer for people with the necessary skills and expertise to impart to other people who need or may benefit from them. Both services can be offered to individuals, to groups you run yourself, or to corporate groups within companies.

If you’re looking to make money as a freelance coach or consultant, consider creating a website with booking capabilities or scheduling software in order to help you better manage clients and groups, while growing your business.

14. eCommerce management

If you have experience running an eCommerce website or eCommerce business, offering your services to other businesses can be a way to make money as a freelancer. This can involve helping businesses and brands set up and manage their online stores. You can choose to specialize in working with multiple platforms or specialize in one, such as Wix.

Part of this service might include helping promote the eCommerce site you’ve set up which can mean consistent work with the same client, even after the online store is up and running.

If you’re looking to make money as a freelancer this way, it’s also advisable to set up and run your own eCommerce business, not only to hone and practice your skills and experience but to be able to show future clients the impact you’re able to create and deliver. Choose from a number of best ecommerce platforms to get started.

How to get started with making money as a freelancer

Embarking on a freelance career involves several key steps. Here's how to lay the groundwork for a successful freelancing business.

  • Identify your skills and market demand: Start by taking stock of your skills and expertise. But then don’t neglect to research the market to understand where there's demand for your services and how you can differentiate yourself from competitors. You might find your specialist niche is highly competitive, in which case you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd or offer something different. For example, SEO consulting can be highly competitive but certain niches which require a higher level of expertise or experience, such as SEO for medical sites, may be unique enough for you to stand out and capture clients.

  • License and register your business: Choose a business structure and register your business if necessary. Then sort out any licenses or permits required. Consider consulting with a legal professional to ensure everything is in order as requirements for working as a freelancer can vary from state to state and country to country.

  • Create a portfolio: Build and publish a freelance website that showcases your best work and if necessary a variety of your work as well - start with a portfolio template. This online showcase of your work will serve as proof of your abilities and help potential clients visualize your services and their potential impact.

  • Determine your pricing: Pricing is an important decision to make as a freelancer. You’ll need to decide on your rates based on experience, the value you provide and market standards. It may be that clients are willing to pay a premium for high-quality services and it's important to take this into account. It’s also possible to consider offering different pricing structures, such as hourly rates or project-based fees.

  • Network and market your services: In order to market your services you’ll need to leverage social media, attend industry events and join online communities to network with potential clients and other freelancers. If you plan to make money as a freelancer you’ll need to use content marketing, email campaigns and other strategies to promote your services.

  • Establish a workflow: Invest in tools and software to manage your projects, finances and communication efficiently. Having a solid workflow will help you stay organized and professional. This could include booking tools or payment systems to streamline running a freelance venture.

How to make money as a freelancer FAQ

What services can I offer as a freelancer to make money?

You can offer any service that matches your skills and meets a market need. This includes writing, graphic design, web development, consulting and more. Assess your strengths and research market demand to find the right fit for you. If you already have a career in a particular field, consider if it can be turned into a way to make money as a freelancer.

How do I find my first clients?

Should I quit my job to start freelancing?

How do I set my rates as a freelancer?

Can I make money while freelancing and traveling?

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