Best Freelance Jobs for Beginners: ULTIMATE Guide (2021)

drawing of guy thinking about the best freelance jobs for beginners

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The time has come.

You’re finally ready to venture out, spread your wings, and dive into the wonky world of freelancing. You just have one doubt…

What are the best freelancing jobs for beginners?

Turns out, freelancing can be the gateway to freedom, but it’s also competitive AF.

Nobody is looking out for you except YOU. It’s sink or swim.

That’s an intimidating pill to swallow when you’re brand new with zero experience.

I feel your pain. I started freelancing from scratch with zero skills, and it took a shocking amount of stubborn resilience to get to where I am today.

When you’re a newbie, the first step is getting your foot in the door. Look for the easiest freelance jobs possible, and use them as your launchpad. 

But easy freelance jobs for beginners normally aren’t the BEST freelance jobs. So in today’s guide, we’ll cover both — easy AND best. (Plus where to find them!)

Before we get into the best freelance jobs online for beginners, let’s set realistic expectations for your journey, including pros, cons, and income potential.

Grab a notebook. 🙂

What is freelancing?

guy reading dictionary thinking what is freelancing

Freelancing is contract-based work for a client — either online or in-person — ranging from one-off gigs to retainer agreements and ongoing relationships.

Companies hire freelancers when:

  • They need help with a temporary service
  • They need ongoing help, but don’t want to commit (or have the budget) to add a traditional employee to their payroll.

Unlike traditional employees, freelancers are not entitled to benefits like sick pay, vacation pay, retirement plans, insurance benefits, office space, or office equipment.

As a freelancer, you cover these expenses (and more) out of your own pocket. That means you should be earning more per hour than a traditional employee. 

table that compares employee vs freelancer jobs

Freelancing pros and cons

Freelancing is NOT for everyone. (Write that down!). Before diving in headfirst, make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Pros

Complete freedom. You choose who you work with, when you work, and where you work (making it one of the best travel jobs). Whether your goal is to make $50 per day or you want to completely replace your income, freelancing can get you there.

Crazy income growth potential. Traditional companies might offer employees a 3% raise per year. As a freelancer, you can skyrocket up the income ladder by regularly raising your rates and hunting down better clients. (I once doubled my annual income in a day by raising my rates). If you charge per project, you can also boost your income as you learn to work faster and more efficiently.

Easy to change paths. If something isn’t working or you get bored, you can easily switch directions and try something new — whether that be a different niche or an entirely different type of freelance job.

Cons

Some clients suck. Some clients take forever to pay. Some clients have boring projects. And some clients are just plain jerks. The good news is, if you keep searching, you’ll eventually find awesome clients who pay well and are a pleasure to work with.

Requires self-discipline. No boss is looking over your shoulder making sure you clock in and stay on task. You have to hold yourself accountable.

Finding clients is a pain. There’s no boss to hand you work every day and tell you what to do. Unless you land good long-term clients, you have to spend your time (unpaid) proactively searching for work. This involves regular rejection and requires tough skin.

If it’s not a good fit, that’s perfectly ok. You just saved yourself loads of time and headaches. Now you can continue searching for the right path.

If it does sound right for you, buckle up. The adventure is about to start.

How much money can a freelancer make?

Freelancers earn a wide range of incomes depending on:

  • Type of freelance job
  • Self-marketing skills
  • Experience level
  • Client’s budget
  • Hours worked

Most importantly, your freelance income is tied to the value you provide to clients — and how well you can sell that value.

Interestingly, freelance earnings do not always coincide with skill level. 

Talented freelancers who don’t know their value or how to market themselves often get stuck earning pennies with bottom-of-the-barrel clients. 

Little do they know that other equally talented freelancers earn 20x as much doing the exact same work. The only difference is the successful freelancers take time to find clients who value their skills.

graphic comparing freelancer who knows their value to one who does not

Since earnings vary so much, I’ve included income data from Indeed.com for each job below. Please note that these are average BASE salaries. As you build experience, you should raise your rates.

Best freelance jobs for beginners

1. Content writer

The internet is jam-packed with written content. Everywhere you look, there are words. Someone needs to write these words. That someone could be you.

Content writing is kind of a catch-all term. But in many cases, it refers to freelance writers who write blog posts and article content for websites (like the blog post you’re reading right now). 

drawing of a freelance content writer working at a desk

Clients use this type of content to:

  • Rank in Google and drive traffic to their website
  • Share on social media
  • Promote to their email list
  • Build their credibility

Apart from articles, a content strategist might write eBooks, emails, social media posts, podcast notes, technical manuals, and more. 

The best part is, it’s beginner-friendly. There are TONS of entry-level writing jobs online you can use to earn extra money. 

Who it’s for: Anyone who can string together coherent sentences. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to make a good living as a content writer. Writing for the internet is much different than academic writing. So even if you flunked 10th grade English, there is still hope.

Potential earnings: The average base salary for freelance writers in the US is $54,124, according to Indeed, but I’ve met many who make over six-figure salaries. I am an average writer, work part-time, and usually pull in $3,000 to $4,000 per month from freelancing. 

How to start: Look for jobs on the freelance writing sites listed below. Or better yet, take this awesome free course I made for you! ↓😎

FREE 5-DAY COURSE

Learn the simple step-by-step process I used to easily land my first freelance clients and build a business I can run while traveling the world.

By signing up, you'll also be added to my legendary email list and receive exclusive travel lifesyle tips I don't share anywhere else. 

2. Copywriter

Copywriting (not to be confused with copyrighting) is often viewed as a step up from content writing. 

Instead of writing purely informational content, your writing compels the reader to action — usually to buy something.

This comes in many forms:

  • Sales emails and autoresponders
  • Sales letters
  • Video sales letters
  • Advertorials
  • Social media ads
  • White papers
  • Case studies

And much more.

Since the results of your writing are easily measurable in terms of company growth, you can earn more as a copywriter (theoretically). 

drawing of a copywriter asking for 1% of sales from his copy

But as a brand new copywriter, don’t expect to earn the big bucks until you have proven yourself. 

After working as a copywriter, you automatically learn many of the skills to become a digital marketer as well. 

Copywriting is a skill everyone should learn, regardless of the freelancing job they choose. Knowing how to make persuasive arguments makes everything in life easier. 

Who it’s for: Anyone who likes writing, psychology, persuasion, and sales. Copywriting is more involved than basic content writing, requiring more strategy, planning, and creativity. But if you can help grow a company that you believe in, it’s also more rewarding. 

Potential earnings: The average base salary for copywriters in the US is $64,232 per year. Many freelance copywriters earn six figures. Top copywriters in the industry can haul in over $1 million. As a beginner, it’s important to set realistic expectations despite what get-rich-quick copywriting programs tell you. 

How to start: Read famous copywriting books like The Boron Letters (free), Influence, and The Adweek Copywriting Handbook. To speed up the process, consider taking a trustworthy copywriting course. (See my Copyhour Review for my #1 pick). 

3. Virtual Assistant (VA)

Do you know those important business people in movies who have assistants that handle all the grunt work? A virtual assistant is like that, but completely virtual.

drawing of virtual assistant working with client

They come in many shapes and sizes.

Some specialize in certain tasks like Pinterest, social media management, SEO, editing, etc.

But if you’re looking for easy freelance jobs that don’t require experience, you can also start as a basic jack-of-all-trades VA. 

This requires taking on any simple yet time-consuming tasks that your clients pass off to you. That could be…

  • Doing online research
  • Managing email inboxes
  • Sending outreach emails
  • Formatting blog posts
  • A variety of other simple tasks. 

As you can imagine, the simpler the tasks, the less you can expect to earn. But remember, it’s all about getting your foot in the door. That’s the hardest step. From there, build your experience and look for opportunities to grow.

Every VA position is unique. Some full-time, some part-time. Some require work at certain hours, others are extremely flexible. 

Who it’s for: Simple VA positions are for anyone with basic technology skills, but no specialized skills (yet). VA positions are usually ongoing, so if you hate constantly hunting for new clients, this could be right up your alley.

Potential earnings: The average base salary for virtual assistants in the US is $59,352. The more irreplaceable you are, the more you can charge. You can make yourself more irreplaceable by learning more skills, being reliable, and being fun to work with.

How to start: Check out my guide on how to become a virtual assistant digital nomad to learn what life as a VA is like. Choose the type of VA services you want to offer (here’s a list of 50 service ideas). Start scoping out job boards, or for more hand-holding, check out this free training on how to land your first client

4. Transcriptionist

A transcriptionist’s job is to convert video and audio content into written content. This requires speedy typing fingers, keen ears, and extreme attention to detail. 

To maximize efficiency, most transcriptionists use special transcription software and a foot pedal to control audio playback. 

In the past, medical transcription was a popular field, but that is no longer the case. Nowadays, general and legal transcription are the two most promising avenues. 

girl working as a legal transcriptionist from home

Despite advances in AI transcription technology, there are several reasons why computers can’t replace human transcription.

The cool thing about transcription is, if you find clients who need to transcribe interesting topics (like murder mysteries), you constantly learn new things and stay entertained as you work. 

Who it’s for: Anyone willing to train their listening and typing skills. Legal transcription is for anyone who loves listening to court cases and is willing to learn legal terminology. 

Potential earnings: The average base salary for transcriptionists in the US is $38,736. You won’t get rich with this job, but it can be a fun, easy, and flexible way to earn income from anywhere.

How to start: Choose which type of transcription looks most interesting to you. If legal, read my ultimate guide on how to become a legal transcriptionist. Practice your typing speed (see free typing resources at the end of this guide). Check out this free mini-course on how to jumpstart your transcription career. If you decide to invest in an official certification course, check out my Transcribe Anywhere review.

5. Scopist

This is one of the more obscure freelance jobs from home. Not many people know about it. It’s kinda similar to legal transcription, but different. 

See, normally during court proceedings, a court reporter uses a special stenography machine to type out every word that is said, at the moment it is said. These machines use a special type of shorthand language.

Unlike a transcriptionist who can rewind the audio recording while working, court reporters have to do everything live. That means their work is full of stenography shorthand and typos. 

That’s where scopists come in. Court reporters hire freelance scopists to clean up their transcriptions, matching them to the audio recording. 

So it’s essentially a mix between a legal transcriptionist and an editor.

And as you can imagine, listening to court cases all day could be quite entertaining.

graphic showing a woman doing a scopist job about an interesting case

Who it’s for: Scoping is great for beginner freelancers who don’t mind a slightly higher bar to entry. Since this job is little-known and requires some training, you can expect less competition. And if you connect with a court reporter and show them you’re thorough and reliable, they’ll send you ongoing projects.

Potential earnings: Scoping is so obscure that Indeed doesn’t even have income information for it. That said, the top scoping training program says that brand new scopists earn $30,000 per year, while experienced scopists can earn $60,000 or more. Not bad for a freelance job that doesn’t require a degree.

How to start: Start by reading my beginner’s guide to scoping jobs. Then take this free intro to scoping mini-course. From there, you can decide if it’s a freelance career path that suits you.   

6. Proofreader

Some people don’t enjoy writing, but they DO enjoy correcting other people’s writing.

If you’re a sucker for good grammar, becoming a freelance proofreader is right up your alley. 

graphic that has spelling errors and marked up corrections

But don’t confuse proofreading with editing. Proofreaders are strictly grammar police. Editors, on the other hand, correct the structure, flow, style, and content accuracy (in addition to grammar).

Because of this, proofreading isn’t as lucrative as editing. But it is more beginner-friendly. And once you get the hang of proofreading, you can always transition into higher-paying editing roles. 

Who it’s for: Proofreading is for grammar police with keen attention to detail. If you know how to correctly use the words “who” and “whom”, you’re probably a good fit. 

Potential earnings: The average base salary for proofreaders in the US is $52,078. Proofreaders either charge by the page, by word, or by the hour. If you charge by the word or by page, you can earn more by working faster.

How to start: If you’re already a grammar whiz, the job itself is pretty easy (if not, study up!). The tricky part is finding good freelance clients that pay you what you’re worth. This free workshop teaches how to attract the right kinds of proofreading clients. 

7. English teacher

stick man showing how to teach English online to Mexican students

If you’re a native English speaker, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Sure, some teaching platforms require a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification or bachelor’s degree. But not all of them. 

For example, you can start freelancing on Cambly or Palfish today, with no experience whatsoever (at least for their FreeTalk program). See my full Palfish review for more info.

That said, investing in a TEFL program opens up higher-paying job opportunities, such as VIPKID. VIPKID used to be the go-to platform for online English teachers, but in our VIPKID review, we cover why this may no longer be the case. 

Most English teaching platforms for freelancers focus on children. But if kids aren’t your forte, it’s also possible to teach English online to adults

Who it’s for: Since many positions are location independent with a low bar to entry, this is one of the best non-tech digital nomad jobs for beginners. Teaching young kids requires a certain amount of energy, and if you don’t consider yourself a “fun” person, you might wanna stick to adults. 

Potential earnings: Most platforms pay between $10 to $23, depending on your qualifications and bonuses earned. Your total income comes down to how many classes you take on. And as a beginner, it might be more challenging to fill your schedule. Once you build experience, you can charge much higher rates by finding private students off of these platforms. 

How to start: Before investing in a TEFL program, test the waters by getting paid to have casual conversations in English. If you enjoy it, enroll in a TEFL course to take things to the next level. Not all TEFL courses are created equal, and you usually get what you pay for. Here is a good budget option. And here is a more comprehensive course (this is the one I took and loved).  

8. Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers keep track of the finances (or the “books”) for different companies. 

drawing of a freelance bookkeeper working on the computer

Larger companies usually have full-time in-house bookkeepers. But small companies and solopreneurs hire freelancers to keep their finances organized.

Best of all, in today’s day and age, bookkeeping can be completely virtual. 

Who it’s for: Many jobs on this list are for creatives (writing, graphic design, photography, etc.). Bookkeeping is one of the best freelancing opportunities for number nerds. The people who love math class and geek out over spreadsheets and analytics. It requires training, and it’s not something you can start earning today. But it has long-term freelance career potential. 

Potential earnings: Indeed pegs the average base salary at $38,259, while ZipRecruiter reports an average of $55,094. So quite a big range. Bookkeepers aren’t the highest-paid freelancers in the world. But in the end, it’s all about doing what you love. 

How to start: Learn basic bookkeeping skills, choose a bookkeeping software to master, then start searching for your first potential client. This free workshop shows how to start your own digital bookkeeping business. 

9. Social media manager

If you spend hours a day on social media, mind as well get paid for it. 

Solopreneurs and small business owners wear a lot of hats. They have a lot on their plate, they know social media is important, but they don’t have time to constantly try to crack the algorithm. 

animation of busy business owner outsourcing his social media

Social media managers write social posts, create graphics, engage with followers, and keep accounts active and growing for different companies. 

And since this is an ongoing service, you only need to find a few loyal clients to make a decent income.

Who it’s for: Anyone who loves social media and has experience growing accounts (even if it’s your own). Since you’re the social contact for the company, you must be able to master their brand and voice. 

Potential earnings: The average base salary for a social media manager in the US is $46,940. After landing an entry-level position, you can gradually learn how to use paid ads to drive traffic and sales. If you master paid ads, you can start charging the big bucks. 

How to start: Start by choosing a social media platform to master and growing your own channels. When you don’t have past client experience, this is the easiest way to show prospective clients you know what you’re doing. 

10. Graphic designer

Graphic design is a HUGE category of freelancing. It includes things like:

  • Logo design
  • Social media graphic design
  • Website design
  • Package design
  • Ad design
  • Animations
  • And about a hundred other types of design

You can choose to specialize in one type of freelance work or be a jack-of-all-trades.

You do NOT need a special degree or advanced graphic design skills to start earning as a freelancer. 

graphic of traveling graphic designer

Many companies just need basic graphics that you can easily make with Canva, a free and super-easy-to-use website.

An example of this would be companies that use Pinterest and constantly need new Pin designs. If you create a handful of templates on Canva, you can bust out new designs lickety-split. 

Who it’s for: Any creatives who enjoy art, colors, and design. 

Potential earnings: The average base salary for freelance designers in the US is $50,407. As a freelancer, your earnings will depend on the workload you take on and the types of companies you work for. 

How to start: Start tinkering around with Canva to see how it works. You should be able to master it within an hour. This may be all you need to land basic graphic design work, but eventually, you’ll want to build more advanced skills. You can access a bunch of free graphic design courses here. 

11. Photographer / Videographer

You don’t have to be a master photographer or videographer to earn money as a freelancer.

You just have to be good enough to impress your clients.

This is an in-person freelancing job, and there are loads of paths you could take. You could take photos and videos for:

  • Products
  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Family events
  • Baby milestones
  • Company events
  • Real estate properties
  • Restaurants, hotels, or other service businesses

If you have a nice camera, video camera, or drone, keep practicing until you’re able to take professional-looking shots. When you can do that, you’re ready to start earning money.

(Interesting side note: Apparently nowadays you can also make a legit living selling pictures of your feet. Oh, what an interesting world we live in!)

stick person taking and selling feet pics

Who it’s for: Do you love photography? Are you the go-to picture-taker on group outings? If so, this could be a good path for you.

Potential earnings: The average base salary for a freelance photographer in the US is $35.61 per hour. Freelance photographers are rarely on assignment all day, every day. It’s often a side hobby. Because of this, the average annual base salary is only $20,215.

How to start: Learn the basics of photography, then go out and practice, slowly building a freelance portfolio to show potential clients. You can take all sorts of photography courses with this free trial. Or this bestselling course on Udemy has over 53,000 reviews (and is pretty cheap!). 

12. Video editor

If you publish videos on TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube, you may have taught yourself skills you can charge for.

Video has blown up over the past few years. Businesses realize this and want a piece of the pie.

But editing regularly is a timesuck. Many companies want to quickly shoot the footage, then pass it on to a freelancer to work their editing magic. 

That freelancer could be you.

drawing of freelance video editor on his laptop

If you don’t have any experience editing videos, it’s pretty easy to teach yourself (see below). Practice makes perfect!

Who it’s for: Creatives who love tinkering with video to make them pretty. 

Potential earnings: The average base salary for new video editors in the US is $43,916. Experienced freelancers working with big brands earn significantly more.

How to start: Choose a video editing program to start learning on (iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc.). Teach yourself for free by watching Youtube videos and tinkering around with practice projects. You can also access tons of awesome video editing courses here.

13. Basic website developer

The keyword here is “basic”.

It takes years to become an expert programmer, but you don’t need to be an expert to start earning money.

Many small companies just want a basic, no-frills website. They don’t need custom coding or advanced features. They just want to have an online presence.

computer programmer coding on the beach

You can teach yourself how to build basic websites on WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace in a day (or less).

With today’s technology, you can build a decent-looking website without writing a line of code.

Who it’s for: Anyone interested in computer programming. These basic setups are a foot-in-the-door service. If you enjoy it, you can continue learning more advanced skills.

Potential earnings: The average base salary for web developers in the US is $69,190. That said, you certainly won’t earn this much with basic WordPress setups. A better income estimate would be to multiply how much you’d charge per website (this popular Fiverr seller charges $395/basic WordPress site) by how many websites you expect to finish per month.

How to start: Fire up Youtube and search for “How to set up a website with [platform you want to learn]”. Squarespace and Wix are more beginner-friendly, but you’ll give yourself more room for growth if you take the time to learn WordPress. (If I can do it, you can do it!). For more step-by-step hand-holding, here are more courses you can take for free. 

14. Data entry clerk

Data entry is about as easy as it gets. 

These freelance gigs come in many shapes and sizes. From basic online form-filling jobs to more tedious data transfers.

In most cases, you’re responsible for taking information from one source (PDF, survey, etc.) and entering it into a spreadsheet, database, or software.

arrow pointing from pdf icon to excel icon

It’s not rocket science, but it does require extreme attention to detail. 

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for easy freelancing jobs that don’t mind repetitive work. This is not for people who need a creative outlet. It’s mindless grunt work, but someone’s gotta do it. And if you don’t want to learn any new skills, it’s a legit way to earn extra money.

Potential earnings: The average base salary for data entry clerks in the US is $33,970 per year. To earn as much as possible, look for clients who need long-term help. If you have to constantly spend time searching for new one-off clients, you’ll waste loads of time (and earnings).

How to start: Search for remote data entry jobs on as many job boards as possible. Set up email alerts to get notified whenever new data entry jobs are posted. FlexJobs is the go-to job board for remote jobs. Popular job sites like Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter are good places to start. Lastly, you can bid on projects on any of the freelance job sites for beginners mentioned below. 

Easy freelance jobs for beginners to start TODAY

As mentioned, “best” isn’t always the same as “easiest”. 

This may sound obvious, but it’s often forgotten: 

The easiest freelance business is the one you already know how to do. 

Everyone has unique skills, interests, and experiences, so easy freelance jobs for me may not be the easiest freelance jobs for you.

For me, content writing was the easiest type of freelancing to start. But if you suck at (or hate) writing, it probably won’t be easy for you.

On the other hand, if you love drawing, design, and animation, for example, then graphic design might be the easiest for you. My blog is full of stick drawings, and I think we can all agree this would not be a promising path for me.

guy with megaphone saying choose what you already know how to do

That said, I’m not gonna leave you hanging. There are certain jobs that require fewer specialized skills than others — freelance jobs without experience that most of the population could do.

For example, if you speak English natively, you have a skill millions of people would pay to learn. Now, obviously speaking a language is different from teaching a language. But if you’re willing to take a TEFL course, it’d be a pretty easy freelancing job to start. (You can also get paid to chat in English without a TEFL, which is even easier). 

Data entry is another easy freelance job for beginners. In many cases, you’re just moving information from one medium to another. All you need is barebones computer skills.

Finally, transcription also has a low bar to entry. Fast typing doesn’t require any special knowledge or creativity. It just requires practice, which you can do for free online

How can I start freelancing with no experience?

It’s tricky getting off the ground as a freelancer without experience. Many clients want to see experience before they hire you. 

But if nobody will hire you, how are you supposed to build experience?

It’s the chicken-and-egg freelancer conundrum.

chicken and egg with experience and first job written on top of each one

But if you zoom in on the issue, the solution is simple.

Why do clients want to see experience?

Well, they want proof you know what the heck you’re doing. They don’t want to hire someone who’s going to turn in crap work.

Showing experience with real clients is ideal. But to land entry-level freelance jobs, simply create a small portfolio of sample projects to give potential client’s a taste of what they’re looking for.

For best results, your samples should be similar to the types of projects the client needs help with.

This “practice” portfolio is only necessary to land your first couple of clients (or to break into a new niche). From there, you can swap in those made-up samples with real experience.

Best freelance websites for beginners

There are TONS of freelance websites for beginners. So much so, it’s overwhelming. Here are some of the best places to start.

Guru. Guru is a giant freelance marketplace with over 800,000 employers worldwide and a million paid invoices. You can find any type of freelancing gig here — programming, design, writing, administrative…you name it.

FlexJobs. FlexJobs is a curated paid job board specifically for freelancers and remote workers. All jobs are vetted by their team, so you won’t have to sift through any scammy job postings. Best of all, if you’re not satisfied (i.e., you don’t find a job within 30 days), you can request a full refund.

Upwork. Upwork is probably the most well-known freelance marketplace. You can find loads of Upwork jobs for beginners, but if you build up your freelance profile with good reviews, you can compete for the high-paying gems.

Fiverr. Fiverr is another go-to place where companies look for entry-level freelancers. You can sell any freelance service your heart desires on Fiverr. Literally. It’s insane how some people are making money there. 

Freelancer.com. Freelancer.com is another all-purpose freelancing platform where you can find all types of beginner freelance jobs. It’s very similar to Upwork. 

People Per Hour. People Per Hour is another one of the best freelance sites for beginners. There are currently over 3 million freelancers on the platform, and the top talent earns over $7,000 per month. Newbie freelancers shouldn’t expect these earnings, but it shows there are some decent-paying jobs on the platform. 

SolidGigs. SolidGigs scours the web for the best 1% of freelance job listings, then sends them to your inbox each day. Most of these gigs are for freelancers who know what they’re doing, so while it’s not necessarily the best freelance site for beginners, it’s something to work towards. When you’re ready, you can test out a full month for $2.

Growth Machine. This is a content marketing agency that sends out email alerts for various freelance writing positions. I landed a high-paying freelance writing job here, and it’s one of the freelance writing sites I recommend all writers sign up for. Normally you have to show samples of past work, so this wouldn’t be the place for your very first job. 

If you’re struggling to compete on freelance platforms, agencies can be a powerful alternative strategy for finding freelance jobs for beginners. 

Make a list of all the agencies offering your service in your hometown (or the closest big city). Then reach out one by one asking if they need any help. Include a few samples, and don’t forget to follow up. 

Should you sign up for multiple freelance sites?

The more freelance sites you sign up for, the more freelance fishing lines you have in the water. If you start seeing success with any of the sites, double down. The goal is to use freelancing platforms to build experience quickly. 

Once you’ve beefed up your portfolio, it’s time for the big leagues. Normally the best-paying clients don’t go to Upwork or Fiverr to find freelancers. You have to reach out to them directly. 

Which freelance jobs online for beginners are legit?

Freelance job platforms are one of the easiest places to find entry-level freelance gigs. But they’re also full of scumbag clients. You need to watch out for red flags.

graphic with red flag and text overlay let's do a free trial project

To avoid getting taken advantage of, do not work with anyone who:

  • Wants a free “test run”.
  • Is not willing to pay you 50% upfront (unless you are working through a trusted platform or with a huge, well-known company).
  • Is vague and doesn’t seem to know what they want.
  • Gives you a sketchy vibe.

Keep in mind, there is a difference between a scammy client and a cheap client. There are plenty of legit freelance jobs online with horrible pay. That’s not a scam. 

In fact, if you have zero experience and want to build your portfolio, you really have nothing to lose with these low-paying gigs.

But as soon as you have a decent-looking portfolio, don’t settle for less than you’re worth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest freelance job?

The easiest freelance job for you is the job that requires skills you already have. That might be freelance writing, photography, graphic design, social media management, transcription, data entry, or teaching English as a foreign language. Since everyone has different skills, personal experience, and interests, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Can you freelance as a beginner?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an expert to start freelancing. You just have to be a relative expert, or a few steps ahead of the client hiring you. As a beginner freelancer, you can’t expect anyone to pay you expert prices. But you have to start somewhere

What are some easy freelance jobs for students?

Easy freelance jobs for students are similar to non-students. If you’re a good writer, try freelance writing. If you like correcting other people’s writing, try editing or proofreading. If you are fluent in multiple languages, try translating. If you’re into video, try videography or video editing.

Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).

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