Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Paul Dunstone, the founder of JobStock.com, a freelance marketplace that provides job opportunities for freelancers across 250+ different job categories. Paul is also the editor of the Job Stock blog which provides tips for freelancers and small business professionals.
The freelancing industry is definitely an evolving environment. With new fields of interest constantly gaining popularity, and employers on the lookout for top talent on a daily basis, there’s no doubt that there are emerging exciting opportunities out there for talented professionals.
Over the past year, the freelancing industry has really started to see some solid growth across a number of fields that have not been traditionally considered to be fields where freelancers might have been able to gain consistent work. Although some of these fields are branches of already existing popular areas of interest, they are well worth investigating if you have the skills, time, and are looking for a little (or a lot) of extra cash on the side.
Recommended Reading: What’s So Great (And Not) About Freelancing
1. Search Engine Marketers For Baidu
Baidu.com is China’s search engine of choice due to government restrictions concerning the use of Google in that region. Baidu is the "search giant of China”, with millions of page views each month, and an incredibly large and active user base. This of course has presented companies who trade in this region with a massive opportunity to reach consumers via search just as they did with Google.
Interestingly this is now spreading to companies outside the region who are also seeing benefits of targeting Baidu. If you’ve got experience in utilizing your SEO skills for Baidu, this is a very unique skill to have at your disposal right now.
2. Responsive Web Designers
The world of blogging is abuzz with Responsive Web Design, and for good reason. If you’re a developer who’s had experience producing device-dependent web design that either scales perfectly per device, or shows and hides content based on the screen size and device type, there are tons of companies looking to hire you right now.
Responsive Web Design negates the need to have a separate mobile-optimized and desktop-based site, so companies are seeing real cost savings by heading down the RWD path.
3. T-Shirt Designers
Everybody loves a cool t-shirt right? Sure. Well the online t-shirt design space is booming. There are countless sites and organizations looking for talented designers who can work with fabrics and make design considerations based on t-shirt sizing, and this is a really fun industry to get into.
If you’re a graphic designer, with solid print or web experience, this field may be a good option for you to add to your portfolio of works.
4. Virtual Assistants
These days, there are so many people working from home with small businesses who don’t have office space to accommodate employees. So what do they do? They hire a VA, or virtual assistant. VA’s are the go-to person who takes care of everything you don’t have the time to.
From appointment management, to copy typing, to all sorts of office-related tasks, virtual assistant positions are a great way to pick up some extra cash, and can be very profitable if you’re looking after (and can handle) more than one client.
Read Also: 5 Free Virtual Assistants For Android
5. In-Store Payment Specialists
Developers who have experience integrating in-store payment services such as PayPal Here, Square, or anything to do with Near Field Communication technologies are tough to find right now because the technologies are so new.
With literally thousands of restaurants all moving across to mobile based payment systems, developers who are capable of understanding the balance between the human interaction with the customer, and the technology that make it possible, are in a great place to do some really interesting work over the coming years.
6. Competition Specialists (Social Media)
Companies are constantly asking themselves; “how do I build more followers on my Facebook page?” One of the most successful methods in recent times has been to for social media marketing experts to implement social media competitions that capture both ‘likes’, and user data via entry forms.
Competitions such as these have a two-prong effect where you build your market base via regular email marketing to your competition entrants (with permissions of course), and also through a larger follower base. If you’ve got skills with Facebook Sweepstakes or other competition mechanisms, this is a great space for you to gain work.
Read Also: 55 Interesting Social Media Infographics
7. Infographic Designers
Countless marketing departments are getting to the point where they’re looking at doing some more creative online work now that they’re happy with their web presence and are driving some quality traffic. For many of those departments, infographics have become the golden goose they’re looking at implementing on their blogs and social media accounts.
Although infographics have been around for a while, many still believe they are expensive and difficult to produce. This is simply not the case. If you look around, you can achieve some really great outcomes for a very reasonable price.
Recommended Reading: 20+ Tools to Create Your Own Infographics
8. Amazon Web Services Specialists
AWS has grown in popularity greatly over the past few years, largely because of its backing by Amazon, it’s scalability, and by offering complex services at an affordable price point previously unseen in the marketplace.
Because Amazon has made a large push into the hosting services space, and the fact that many big-brand companies are using their services, technical professionals who can assist clients in setting up their AWS platforms, or help with transfers to AWS are in high demand.
9. Videos for Crowdsourcing
If you’ve got a flair for taking video and bringing it full circle to a production ready-state, the explosion of crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter.com has resulted in many individuals looking to hire freelancers who have had success in helping others raise funds for their cause or project.
This takes a specialist skill, often someone who can find the balance between selling the product and humor. Either way, this area of expertise can lead to work on some really fun projects.
Recommended Reading: 10 Crowdfunding Sites To Fuel Your Dream Project
10. Conversion Optimization Specialists
Companies are now looking for web specialists who excel at optimizing the user path through corporate websites. Whether it’s via advanced eye-tracking technologies, or restructuring of content on your home page, or implementation of key messages designed to guide your users through to a goal or conversion, specialists who can get the most out of a website, are currently being viewed as the next stage in marketing professionals for the web.
Brush up on your conversion optimization skills, and you’ll find you are highly valued in the freelance marketplace.