One of the things I hear frequently is, “I want to be self-employed, but I don’t know what to do!”
Being self-employed is an incredibly appealing way to work. You get to be your own boss, work when you want, and feel a true sense of pride as your business grows. But many people aren’t quite sure what their options are or how to get started.
Fortunately, there are so many great self-employed job ideas, and we’re going to explain the best options for 2023, including how to get started.
Earn $1,000+ per month
Make $1,000 to $5,000 per month
Make $1,000+ per month
Do you cringe when someone misuses they’re, their, or there? Can you spot a run-on sentence from a mile away? Those are exactly the kinds of mistakes proofreaders fix, and it’s why they’re an integral part of the writing process.
Proofreading is also one of the best self-employed jobs because it’s so flexible. You only need a computer or laptop and an internet connection. You can work with various clients from bloggers, authors, online entrepreneurs, and more.
There aren’t any requirements for starting a proofreading business other than having a solid grasp of grammar, punctuation, and spelling rules.
The most intensive part is starting your business, which is why investing in a course is a solid way to start. We highly recommend the FREE Proofreading Clarity e-book because it teaches essential proofreading skills and everything you need to launch your business and become a paid, self-employed proofreader.
Want to make money proofreading?
Click below to discover how to make money as a proofreader.
Freelance bookkeepers help business owners record and manage daily financial transactions. This can include paying bills, managing payroll, and collecting payments. Bookkeeping is not the same thing as accounting, and that difference is why you can start bookkeeping online without a degree or certification.
Bookkeepers need to be familiar with popular financial software like Quickbooks and know how to read and create balance sheets. Pay averages $20-$40/hour, and you can work online and get paid daily or weekly. It's a great side hustle for home if you like to nerd out with numbers.
Make up to $5,000/month bookkeeping
Learn the skills and strategies necessary to start a successful bookkeeping business from the comfort of your home.
I cannot talk about the best self-employed jobs without mentioning my favorite: blogging! Not only does blogging easily have the highest earning potential out of any of the jobs on this list, but you’re also in total control of what you blog about and how you monetize your site.
I started this blog in my spare time after coming home from my job as a high school band director, and now I run a 7-figure business from my laptop just a few years later.
Not every blogger will have the same trajectory, and it’s a long game overall, but you get out of it what you put into it.
Blogging is also super flexible when you’re getting started. You can work on your blog during your lunch hour, after work, on the weekends, etc. This is exactly what I did.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, a WordPress blog hosted through Bluehost (as low as $2.95 per month) is the way to go for new bloggers. And, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the setup and installation process, check our free blog setup service: Launch That Blog.
4. Freelance Writer
Being a strong writer is an incredibly versatile and in-demand skill, and it’s why freelance writing is one of the best self-employed jobs. Freelance writers can legitimately make a full-time living writing:
- Online articles
- Web copy
- Email marketing content
- Blog posts
- Print articles
- Email newsletters
- Product descriptions
- Grant writing
That’s just a fraction of the content freelance writers are responsible for. There’s a need for them in virtually every kind of business, so there’s a lot of room in the online world if you want to start working for yourself as a freelance writer.
You don’t need a degree in English, creative writing, or journalism to become a self-employed writer. It doesn’t hurt, but the only real requirement is writing well.
Make $1,000 to $5,000/month as a freelance writer
Go from “I don’t know what I’m doing” to “I landed my first client!”
5. Web Design and Development
With so many businesses building their online presence, there is a real need for skilled web designers and developers. The pay is good too for freelancers: web designers average $75/hour and web developers earn an average of $75,000 annually.
Surprisingly, you no longer need a degree to get started— some of the biggest companies, like Amazon and Google, have even stopped requiring degrees. Enrolling in a weeks-long boot camp has become one of the most popular ways to become self-employed because you learn practical skills and start building your portfolio.
6. Graphic Design
Graphic designers create logos, posters, invitations, layouts, magazine spreads, web images, etc. This is one of the best self-employed jobs right now because there is always someone in need of professional-looking graphics.
If you want to start making money while improving your graphic design skills, you can start designing printables to sell on Etsy. These include stickers, planner pages, budget spreadsheets, wall art, and more.
Consultants are essentially someone who’s an expert in a specific field, and they get paid to share their experience, analysis, and recommendations with other professionals. I actually have an SEO consultant (ahem, guru) on my team, and his expertise has been invaluable.
This is one of the best self-employed jobs if you have the work experience, and the top-paying fields for consultants are:
- Company growth and lead generation
- Financial advisory
- Business operations
- Financial risk management
8. Flea Market Flipper
Flipping is when you buy things for cheap and sell them for more money, and it’s one of the best self-employed jobs because you don’t need any experience to get started.
There are many places to find things to flip: garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, dumpster diving, and even your own basement!
Melissa and Rob of Flea Market Flipper have built an incredibly successful flipping business — they made $133,000 in one year alone! They teach their strategies and how to get started in this free 75-minute webinar: Learn The Art of Buying and Selling.
9. Food Delivery
Some of the best self-employed job ideas require a pretty major time investment on your end, but not this one!
- You can earn $12-$20 per hour delivering groceries for Instacart or takeout for DoorDash
- You can work pretty much whenever you want
- There are very minimal requirements, including drivers must be at least 18 years old, have a reliable vehicle, and pass a criminal background check
Food delivery makes a great side hustle, and it’s something you can easily start doing while you’re building up another freelance job. It will help you bring in some cash while you make the transition to full-time self-employment.
10. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are a huge asset to business owners because they take care of a lot of behind-the-scenes work, like:
- Data entry
- Inbox management
- Social media management
This is one of the best self-employed jobs for anyone who has previous experience in administrative support, executing assistants, project management, or customer service. Many of the VAs I know have built flexible careers working for a variety of business owners.
11. Digital Marketing
Shortly after I left my full-time teaching job to run this site, I got into digital marketing as a way to pay the bills, specifically running Facebook ads.
Self-employed Facebook marketers can earn $1,000-$1,500/month per client working just a few hours per week. After landing a few clients, I was out-earning what I made as a full-time teacher.
Running Facebook ads is just one version of digital marketing— there are marketers who specialize in email marketing, content marketing, SEO, etc.
But, the goal is the same no matter what kind of digital marketing you get into: help your clients grow their business online.
Learn how to run Facebook ads
You can make $1,000+/month running Facebook ads, and the Facebook Side Hustle Course teaches you how to run ads, fund clients, and how to get your digital agency up and running.
Most of the jobs on this list have you spending your day in front of a computer, but that’s not for everyone. If you enjoy a physical job and working with your hands, becoming a landscaper could be one of the best self-employed jobs for you.
Most people think landscaping is seasonal work, but you can add services like snow removal and cleaning gutters to continue working all year round.
This one is easy to get started too— you can hand out flyers in your neighborhood or share your services on platforms like NextDoor and Facebook.
If you have kids (or love kids) and want to work for yourself, in-home childcare can be a great way to become self-employed. You can realistically charge around $125-$215/week per child for in-home childcare.
You’ll obviously need to create a safe and engaging space in your home for kids, and it’s worth seeing what the requirements are in your state. Some states require licensing, while others don’t.
Care.com is a great platform to list your services. You can create a profile and families will reach out to you.
Check out Care.com
Care is one of the most well-known platforms for finding trusted childcare providers. The premium membership costs $20 a month for childcare providers, and it’s recommended.Get started with Care.com
14. Home Repair
This is one of the best self-employed jobs for people who are good with their hands. You can charge $40-$100 an hour to fix things around the house like patching holes in drywall, installing light fixtures, re-grouting tile, and replacing doors.
You can start working for yourself by listing your services on local social media forums and building connections with real estate agents or contractors.
The Final Word on the Best Self-Employed Jobs
There are so many great ideas on this list, but here are my top picks:
The reason I chose those are because they’re so incredibly flexible, easy to start, and have a lot of room for growth.
No matter what you choose, it takes a lot of hustle to start working for yourself. You can experience periods where your income blows up, and there are also very slow months as well. Getting your finances on track and having an emergency fund can help you make the transition.
If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out Best Side Hustle Ideas for 2022.
Real estate can be one of the highest-paid self-employed jobs, but it can also be very volatile depending on the market. Skilled trades also pay well, but they can require years of training.
Some of the best jobs to work for yourself are blogging, proofreading, social media marketing, virtual assistance, freelance writing, and web design.
Once you decide on a career path, see if there are any administrative details to take care of, like licensing and getting a tax ID number. Then, you’ll need to start networking and finding clients. Make sure you also stay on top of your self-employment taxes so you’re prepared at tax time.
I’m self-employed and make 6-figures or more a year as a blogger. Blogging is a long game overall, as it can take months before you make any money, but there’s virtually unlimited earning potential for bloggers.