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10 Freelance Jobs You Can Start Today

The person who says that there’s a business that can be started in a day without any real work or planning involved is simply lying, and the person who says freelancing is not a real business but just someone living day to day finding whatever work happens to come along is plain wrong.

Growing any business takes time and effort, and freelancing takes dedicated determination — sometimes even working a regular 40 hour job on top of the freelancing until the freelance work begins to bring into the household a regular, steady paycheck.

That all said, here are 10 freelance jobs that can be started up in a single day without requiring a large upfront investment or causing you to ring up charges like crazy on your business credit card and go into debt:

  1. Catering
  2. Consultant
  3. Delivery Driver
  4. Desktop Publishing
  5. Event Planning and Promotion
  6. Freelance Writing
  7. Home Cleaning
  8. Telemarketing
  9. Tutoring
  10. Web Page Design

Each of these freelance positions require little to no equipment, have very low start-up costs and do not necessarily require any special kind of education (additionally, most do not even require any special business licenses or certification as does many types of sales oriented careers like selling auto insurance as an insurance agent or selling real estate as a realtor).


A lot of people believe catering is all about setting up fancy dinner parties inside hotels or entertainment halls. For the most part, they would be correct; however, there is much more to catering than big wedding parties or corporate sponsored events. Plus, one can start up right out of his or her own kitchen.

Some caterers specifically work for restaurants, providing specialty dishes and desserts. Other caterers work on a smaller level, coming into someone’s personal kitchen, preparing several weeks worth of meals, then freezing the rest for the client to use at a later date.

To work on a larger scale, such as a wedding or graduation party or other event, a caterer can contract with a company that provides catering equipment and supply rentals. Most larger cities have such a service, and the caterer can rent anything from salad forks and tablecloths to candle globes. The caterer does not have to store or maintain any of these supplies, only pass the cost onto the client, set-up and tear down.


In today’s tough economic environment where the displaced worker seems to be more of the norm than full-time, regular employment, consulting can become not only a viable option, but a lucrative option. Anyone that has acquired enough experience in one specific field can become a consultant. Flip to the back of any industry trade magazine, and there is a list of consultants for hire.

Of course, advertising in a trade magazine can be an expensive up-front investment, especially for someone just starting out or for someone who has just lost his or her job. Job, Interview, and image specialists (which are consultants themselves) offer the following advice: put aside bad feelings, and approach the company that fired you. More than likely, the company did not want to do the firing or the laying off in the first place, but the budget had to be cut somewhere, and now they are left short-handed.

Delivery Driver

Small companies are popping up all over the country’s metropolitan areas offering delivery services. These delivery services handle everything from medical supplies to hospitals and nursing homes to hamburgers and milkshakes to local households.

Interestingly though, these delivery companies normally do not have employees; instead, they contract out with people to do the deliveries. All one requires to get involved in such a freelance job is a vehicle and a clean driving record, and depending upon how the delivery service is set-up, the driver can contract with various companies.

Desktop Publishing

Desktop Publishing does require at least the availability of a computer. Software requirements include software applications such as:

  • Adobe’s InDesign
  • Microsoft’s Publisher
  • Quark Express
  • PageMaker

However, these commercial-grade desktop publishing software solutions can cost a hefty penny—Adobe’s InDesign, for example, costs nine hundred dollars. Freeware is not a bad option to get started with. Several excellent programs are available for desktop publishing experts. Here are a few:

  • Scribus
  • Serif PagePlus Starter Edition
  • OpenOffice
  • Avery DesignPro
  • GIMP
  • Inkscape

Some of the different products a desktop publisher can put together and design are:

  • Newsletters
  • Flyers
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Business cards
  • Invoice and purchase order designs
  • Print media kits and news briefs
  • Professional letterhead

Event Planning and Promotion

Event planning and promotion is sometimes confused with catering, but the majority of event planners actually contract with caterers to provide the food needs of their clients.

An event planner and promoter coordinates and advertises an event. An event planner can provide theses services to many different and varied clients. The most common clientele is the up and coming music band.

A band schedules a gig at a local bar, but they want to turn this into more of a party or public relations effort as opposed to just a gig at a local bar. The band then hires the event planner and promoter to turn a simple gig into the must attend event of the season.

The second most common event a planner and promoter will coordinate is a wedding. Other possibilities include:

  • Corporate team building events
  • Anniversary parties
  • Class reunions
  • Gala openings
  • New Business Opening Celebrations

Freelance Writing

For the general public not involved in freelance work, the most common or well known freelance job would be that of a writer. People tend to picture a brooking author hunched over a desk or sipping coffee at the local coffee shop, alone and enjoying the solitude.

This is far from the truth.

The freelance writer is heavily involved with people – editors, clients, newspaper and magazine publishers, just to name a few.

Some of the possible jobs for a freelance writer include:

  • Newspaper sports stringer
  • Magazine author
  • Short story author
  • Creating online content
  • Brochure content
  • Greeting card content

One does not need a degree, experience or a computer to get started freelance writing. He or she just needs to be a good writer. For Internet work, a library computer can easily be utilized.

Of course, experience is a plus, but this can be easily aquired through online based writing sites such as or Demand Media Studios.

Home Cleaning

Home cleaning can be an interesting line of freelance work. People who don’t want to clean or don’t have the time to clean will hire the cleaner to come into the house either while they are present or sometimes when they are not present.

A home cleaning freelancer will do everything from the laundry and dishes to dusting and sweeping. The home cleaner may also branch out to office cleaning as well.


In the past, telemarketing jobs involved going to a call center office to make the phone calls. A lot of companies still operate in this traditional method of telemarketing. However, with today’s advanced technology, the possibility of telemarketing from home is a real and valid way of making money (and usually means that you do not even need to purchase business insurance as your home insurance policy may cover you already).

A lot of home-based telemarketing companies are a scam though (not all), asking for a considerable upfront investment of money and/or equipment.


For the most part, a tutor does need at minimum a bachelor’s degree in the field of study he or she will be teaching. Some cases may not require the degree — such as a parent looking to tutor his or her child in math may opt for a current college student majoring in math.

Or a college student can contract with the university he or she is attending to tutor other college students. Normally, in this situation, the tutor must have passed with high grades in the specific class he or she is tutoring for.

Tutoring is a business one can start pretty much immediately if one does possess the degree.

Web Page Design

Web page design is completely different from web programming. One does need to have a basic understanding of HTML, which is pretty easy to grasp, but the designer does not need to understand CSS sheets, java, C++ or PHP scripts.

The web page designer does need to have an excellent working knowledge of a graphics program such as PhotoShop (the industry standard) or its freeware equivalent Paint.NET.

The designer puts together the web site’s artwork design concept, then forwards this information off to the programmer who tears apart the artwork and design and turns it into functional programming for the Web.

Finding Clients

Though no entrepreneurially spirited venture can be totally and successfully started in a single day, this list of 10 freelance jobs that you can start today, come pretty close.

One still needs clients though.

Clients can be found through services such as Craigslist,, posting your own website, or approaching your friends and family.

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28 Comments to “10 Freelance Jobs You Can Start Today”

Great post man! You’ve said it well. These jobs are nice jobs that needs lil or no money to startup. Thanks for sharing and keep the good work up.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar


Thanks! Glad you liked this post.


Great post Alan, thinking out of the box, like this post is the best way to make it in this economy.
.-= JR @ Internet Marketing´s last blog ..Google Instant Search is Live – Features and Effects on Marketers =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@JR @ Internet Marketing,

Glad you liked it, JR!


A good list indeed.

But, uh, well…no real investment necessary? Really? I guess that would depend on ones opinion on “large”.

I could come back and lay it out some if you wish…
.-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..The Upcoming Newsletter =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing,

Well… I guess it depends on what area you get into. Joel would be the person to direct this towards, though. ;)


Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales MarketingNo Gravatar

@Alan Mater, Sorry i didn’t @name, but it was directed at Joel. ;)

I feel a little silly. I recently finished a post waiting for publishing regarding always using the @name when replying. LOL
.-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..FREE Copy of a 50-page Jimmy D Brown Course download now =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing,

LOL… no problem. :)


I agree with the writer. The biggest investment you need in going freelance is your time and dedication but man once your settled and has earned the trust of your clients, they’ll keep referring you to others and you will keep getting lots of work. It’s all about winning the trust of your clients when it comes to Freelancing because there are very few workers who are trustworthy and once they find them…they don’t like losing them.

I would also like to add more sites where you can find clients for Web Designing jobs, programming & coding, etc. and Elance – both are very good sites for freelancers.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@Dylan@top penny stocks,

Well said, Dylan. Word of mouth can travel quickly and help grow your freelance business. oDesk and Elance are good options as well… thanks for adding them. Thanks for the input and hope to see you around.


This is a great post, Joel.

I think the Internet has made it so much more feasible for people to use their own skills to freelance. Sites like and have opportunities for pretty much any skill-set at all.

Some great opportunities to be had!
.-= Stacey Cavanagh@Social Media Blog´s last blog ..If Facebook Had Been Around in the Dinosaur Era… =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@Stacey Cavanagh@Social Media Blog,

I totally agree, Stacey! Glad you liked Joel’s post, and thanks for commenting. Hope to see you around. :)


Good article Joel! I didn’t know about catering as a freelancing option.I had some idea about other nine options you mentioned. Having said that finding consistent work will be a challenge if somebody with less experience on their side.
.-= Linda@Eczema Treatment´s last blog ..Causes of Eczema – What Causes Eczema =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@Linda@Eczema Treatment,

Yes, it can be tough to get work when first starting. Make good use of local connections offline if possible. Glad you liked Joel’s post, and thanks for commenting. :)


Excellent explanation on freelance writing. When I decided to do freelance writing, I got a laptop and with the right skills, I manage to land several freelance writing jobs on the internet and since then I have never looked back.
.-= Sarah Lam@Writing Consultation´s last blog ..Quit Unemployment and Start Freelancing =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@Sarah Lam@Writing Consultation,

That’s great to hear, Sarah. Thanks for sharing your success with us. What type of writing jobs do you do?


Can I ask you something? Do you know any website for tutoring? It’s been a while since my last research for tutoring. My forte is Math so most probably that I will have so many opportunities with tutoring because most students hated the subject ever since! LOL I hope you can help me on this one. Thanks! I’m already a freelancer though, I must say that I’m earning with different freelancing activities that my clients give to me.
.-= MikeRamsey@excessive sweating´s last blog ..Tips On How To Stop Excessive Sweating =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@MikeRamsey@excessive sweating,

Hi Mike, I honestly don’t know of any tutoring sites. However, I’m sure a quick Google search might yield you some results. Great to hear you’re having success as a freelancer!


MikeRamsey@excessive sweatingNo Gravatar

@Alan Mater, I actually tried searching for it before, but seems that no success with any emails I sent before. Hopefully I could find a reliable site soon. Yup, I’m a proud freelancer even if sometimes my monthly earnings differ from time to time.
.-= MikeRamsey@excessive sweating´s last blog ..Tips On How To Stop Excessive Sweating =-.


Alan MaterNo Gravatar

@MikeRamsey@excessive sweating,

Sorry I can’t be much help there.

There’s nothing more rewarding than doing what you love, so kudos to you!


Excellent post! Especially useful in today’s economy. A great place to start is to think about what you’re passionate about or a skill that you have that can be turned into a money maker. Thanks for the post!


Exactly! Freelancing is a real business. People who say that it isn’t are those people who never knew the secrets of making money online. Freelance writing is really an in demand job right now. If you’re fond of writing, this job definitely fits you.


Event planning is a best part time job for the talented home makers. They can use there ideas of making home in some innovative ways. But to start with we need to make some investments.


Thanks for sharing; this is a really well-written, informative article. I know a little bit about freelancing in desktop publishing and web page design. While it isn’t necessary, having a degree in graphic design will significantly improve the quality of work and clients you get.


If you think about it, these freelance jobs are pretty easy to learn or to do. Once you get the hang of their backgrounds and the how to do’s, there’s pretty much nothing else to worry about.


These freelance jobs are promising to anyone out of work. The only problem I see here are the jobs that might require a previous work history. The jobs that would require, in my opinion, prior work knowledge would be an event planner, caterer and consulant. The other freelance jobs could easily be learned through trial and error. These last jobs could also be shadowed by someone you know or someone willing to work with you until the job is mastered.


The listed available freelance jobs are all easy to learn if you’re new on the field. With a little bit of guidance it’ll be only soon when you’re ready to go off on your own. These available jobs are making it big on the job hunts online since these are quite the common and yet easiest way out to reap some efforts out.


Very informative guest post by Joel Ohman, and thank you Alan Mater for publishing such a great post. I am a freelancing marketing professional and also looking for different types of skills with which I can earn more money. Your post is bookmarked and I believe it will help me a lot.