I’m often asked how I make money as a freelancer. The first step is to start somewhere. It may not be where you ultimately want to end up, but each baby step leads to more experience and makes you more marketable.

It is scary to step out there into new territories and to expose yourself to criticism, but the rewards are worth it. Promote yourself and be comfortable with that. Don’t be worried that people will think you’re tooting your own horn; the ones who need your services will be grateful! The freedom to make your own schedule and work from anywhere is worth the risks.

The problem is, most people don’t know how to find jobs and start making real cash.

Here are 30 ideas to get you started:

1. Frequent the “Gigs” section on Craigslist

Everyone has checked out Craigslist at least once. Did you know there is a special “Gigs” section in the jobs category? Don’t forget to check out “Part-Time” and “Etc.” as well, but be careful – if something sounds sketchy, it probably is. There are many postings for one time jobs, so check them out and you may be surprised at the opportunities!

2. Content Writing

Content writers are high in demand as online marketing becomes critical to any company wanting to stay relevant. If you’re a writer looking to cash in, check out Upwork for a wide variety of freelance gigs.

3. Create resumes

Everyone needs a great resume, and if you have a knack for making others shine, visit ResumeEdge. They hire resume writers to create online resumes. Hey, you might just help some people land their dream job!

4. Academic writing

Essaymama.com is always on the look out for highly educated writers. You can become part of this professional pool of intellectuals by composing blog articles and essays.

5. Tutoring

Sites like Tutor.com offer experts the opportunity to tutor in subjects such as law, economics, chemistry, business and more. What a great way to get paid for the knowledge you’ve acquired! If you’re a student, show others what you’ve learned in class with Studysoup.com. Sign up to be a notetaker, and upload course materials for others to buy. A win-win for everyone!

6. Reading

YES! You can get free books of every kind from BookLookBloggers. Freelancing bibliophiles can read a variety of book genres and get free books in exchange to write reviews on them. The reward may not be monetary, but if you spend a lot of money in books every year, this could be worth your while!

7. Blogging

Write for the top blogs! Visit Problogger’s job postings board for topics on everything imaginable with great payouts.

8. Graphic Design

Create logos, ebook covers, and more with 99designs. They make it easy by acting as the middle man between customer needs and graphic designers.

9. Editing

Do ya cringe when you be hearin’ bad grammar, yo? If proofreading is your passion, try Enago to find editing jobs that will keep your little grammar grouch at bay.

10. Freelance Calligraphy

Calligraphers have a special talent that is rare to find in this day and age. Peopleperhour hires calligraphers for events, books and cards. There are thousands of other job postings on Peopleperhour as well.

11. Teaching

Teach an online class at Flexjobs. If you have credentials and/or a decent education, this site scans every listing to and guarantees the virtual teaching jobs are legitimate.

12. Launch your own class

Teachable offers a free plan and a way to create your own courses and sell them to people looking to learn. I’m loving their easy to use platform that takes you step by step through the process. Be on the lookout for my course this year on “How to Start your Own Business in 30 days”

13. The Cream of the Crop

Are you professional who is highly skilled? Good news – check out Toptal. Be part of this elite group of freelancers and land some of the top jobs out there.

14. Connect with Publishers

PichMe connects freelancers with publishers looking for a great story idea. This may be your chance to become an author and launch your freelance writing career.

15. Artisan and Craftsman Heaven

Etsy is THE platform that has launched successful careers for countless creative people. You can build your brand here with style and at just 20 cents per listing, there is no excuse to procrastinate. Don’t have a creative bone in your body? Why not peruse local garage sales, estate sales, thrift shops and flea markets? Etsy allows vintage and antique items to be sold too!

16. I.T. Professionals

Dice is a hot spot for the technologically inclined. Work with companies like Cisco, eBay, HP and Amazon. Their extensive job board listing is constantly being updated with new and exciting freelance positions.

17. WordPress

Go to the WordPress job board if you are a developer or website designer. From set ups to plug ins to design, this is a great place to show off your skills in this widely used platform.

18. Revamp your LinkedIn Profile

If you don’t already have a Linkedin account, you need to sign up for one NOW. If you do, you probably aren’t using this powerful networking site to the fullest. Did you know that there is a job listings area? Apply for freelance jobs in practically every industry out there and make sure your profile showcases your worth.

19. Freelance smorgasbord

SimplyHired is a membership free options to find freelance work of any type. You can explore MILLIONS of jobs available. Here’s a tip to avoid becoming overwhelmed: Enter “freelance”, “virtual”, “at home”, “from home” or “telecommute” as one of your keywords when searching to narrow the results.

20. Display your portfolios

Dribbble is a forum that encourages designers to show off their portfolios and connects them with potential clients.

21. Voiceovers

Do you have a great voice? Have any experience in radio or television? Even if you don’t have experience, you may want to try Envato which features freelance jobs in voiceovers, design, video animation and even app development.

22. Design websites

Guru is the go-to hub for IT freelancers and developers. With more than 1 million job postings, this is a must-frequent site for work at home positions.

23. Enlist the help of your friends

Network at HireMyFriend, where you can ask your friends to endorse your anonymous profile. Building up testimonials and endorsements is a great way to show legitimacy and build trust with potential clients.

24. Videography

Mandy is a site you can check out for gigs for tv, video, radio and one-time projects. If you have a knack for video editing this an easy to navigate, freelancing depot.

25. Photography

Photographers need to visit Freelance photo jobs which offers freelancing job opportunities based on location. Some may be virtual as well, so even if you don’t want to travel to a specified location, you can still make use of this platform.

26. Optimize and Streamline your Job Search

Yunojuno finds jobs, manages your availability and books you on your behalf. This will save time and money when looking for a job. Yes, having a manager is possible, even when freelancing! All YunoJuno freelancers in a contract are paid on 14 days of their invoices. No more chasing invoices. No more late payment. No catch.

27. Interpreting

If you speak more than one language, there are SO many opportunities for you! Protranslating hires translators and interpreters from across the globe.

28. Freelancer

Freelancer is pretty self-explanatory and is the most popular spot for freelance jobs of every type. You can have almost NO skills to being highly specialized and get paid for your work. With close to 18 MILLION people registered, you’re sure to find something!

29. Traveling

HARO is a great site for nomadic writers to check out. If you’ve got a curious mind, a passion for journalism and a serious case of wanderlust, HARO is for you.

30. Babysitting and childcare

Sites like Sittercity and Care.com offer opportunities for caregivers to connect with families who need them. You may be surprised how much money you can make playing with kids and holding babies!

31. Five bucks a pop

Fiverr isn’t likely to make you rich, but it can be a fun source of side income. People pay $5 for practically everything. From singing Happy Birthday to someone, to logo design, to coming up with a business name. Even if you do one quick Fiverr gig a day, that’s an extra $1825 bucks every year.

Hopefully, these ideas have given you some inspiration to start your freelancing career.

There is no excuse to not be able to make a great income from home, provided that is your goal.
With so many opportunities online, I’d venture to guess the job market is BETTER for virtual workers than office workers. Not only can freelancing give you flexibility, you’ll save time and money on commuting, dress clothes (yep, work in sweats!), meals out and more.

Think about your strengths, passions, and abilities and start looking today!

Sherri Stotler is the founder of MakingItPayToStay.com. She's also a virtual assistant - iAssistVirtually.com. She has several freelancing positions and also sub-contracts with other freelancers. Her passion is enabling others to obtain the freedom and flexibility that comes with freelancing.