Since our earlier post about how just about anyone can make money freelancing, we have been hearing from a lot of you who are still unsure about how they can make their mark as a freelancer. I get it, the thought can be daunting. Getting out there and making money on your own terms is a big leap outside the comfort zone for sure, and if you feel you need more support in building your company from scratch check out this our Upwork.com Starter Kit
We’ve decided to share some real life stories of people who left their comfort zones far behind and are crushing the freelance life, to show you that it really can be done. Scouring the net, we found some great examples of freelancers who are making money in the most unusual ways. So welcome to 9 of the weirdest ways to make money freelancing. Some of these are unbelievably bizarre – you have been warned. 😉
Our goal here is to take away the excuse that you can’t find a niche. After reading through the case studies below, we have no doubt that you will feel inspired. It is a simple formula really – find a need, connect with your target audience, fulfill their desire….make a profit from it!
Okay, let’s dive in.
You will probably remember the Funny Guys from the last post? They are raking in the bucks by singing happy birthday to people, from a river, dressed as jungle boys. Bizarre, yes. Unique? Well not exactly. If you take a moment to log into Fiverr’s fun and bizarre section, you will find a whole host of freelancers offering services of all descriptions.
You can offer anything within in the categories:
- Just for Fun
- Your Message On…
- Extremely Bizarre
- Celebrity Impersonators
- Daredevils & Stunts
- and of course, Other, if yours is simply uncategorizable.
One seller, Badbeehavior will dress as a pirate and say anything you want for $5!
AHOY ye Scallywags! So you wanna hire a Pirate??
Well TODAY be YE Lucky day because this Pirate will record and say ANYTHING you want for just 5 DOLLARS!
Pirate not exactly what you’re looking for? Be sure and scroll down and check out my other gigs as I’m sure I offer a character that will fit your project!
He upsells, offering music, extra fast delivery and more for an additional fee. What’s not to love?
Of course Fiverr is also used for the non-bizarre. People offer other mainstream services, including writing, web design and accountancy through this platfrom too. For more ideas in this realm, check out our Upwork.com Starter Kit we put together below:
Many of you will sympathise with the need that the next freelancers service. They profit from the pain of ‘the morning after’. Who hasn’t woken up with a pounding head and rumbling tummy, dreading the thought of opening your eyes to the sight of a trashed house, a tonne of empty bottles, junk food on the carpet and an ominous smell in the bathroom?
Many have been in this situation following a party at home, and most would have hidden back under the duvet given half the chance. This is one pain point that really hurts!
Helping Hangovers has come up with a nifty solution to help the afflicted in his hour of need. This is their package…The Hangover Helpers Experience.
For $20 per roommate you receive:
Gatorade. When we arrive we give every roommate a cold, revitalizing Gatorade to cure their dehydration.
Breakfast Burrito. We bring a panini maker and cook you a delicious, homemade breakfast burrito in your kitchen.
The Clean up. We sweep, mop and vacuum every room where the party happened. Next we take care of all your dirty dishes, pots, pans and trash. Your house will look cleaner than it has all semester.
The only thing I can think, is where were they when I was a student?
I know you won’t believe this one until you see it with your own eyes, so off you go and check the link.
What did you think of Park Seo-Yeon?
Yes, she really does get paid to eat, and she’s not the only one profiting from the growing meok-bang, or ‘broadcast eating’ fad.
Park (also known as ‘The Diva’) is a South Korean food blogger, who makes somewhere in the region of $9,000 per month from her videos. The secret is in the virtual community who tune in almost every day to watch her prepare enormous meals and eat them. Park interacts with her fans, who send recipes, ask questions and encourage her habits.
According to TIME magazine, As a sign of appreciation, they [the fans] send “balloons,” a digital currency that can be converted to cash.
So what need is Park fulfilling? In her own words, “A lot of my fans are on a diet, Watching me eat gives them a vicarious thrill.”
4. Video Games
Maybe you shouldn’t have listened to your parents when they told you to stop playing computer games, to go and get a job. Take a look at Pewdiepie.
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, a Swedish gamer made playing games his job….and rakes in around $4 million a year doing it. He describes himself as just a guy who likes to laugh and make others laugh – and that philosophy has earned him an enormous fan base who enjoy watching the live stream of him playing games every day.
Unbelievably he recently hit 10 billion views on his YouTube channel. He also has an online shop which enables him to sell gaming merchandise, so he can earn while he takes a break from playing games.
5. Selling Dirt
If you have ever watched one of those gold-rush shows, you would have heard all about ‘pay dirt’. Well apparently that isn’t the only way to make money with the brown stuff.
Alan Jenkins, from County Cork, Ireland realised that there was an unmet desire of elderly Irish ex-pats abroad after meeting 71-year-old Rev. Colm Campbell who resided in the States.
Father Campbell lamented “It’s an Irish tradition to sprinkle a little of the auld sod on the casket.”
Jenkins fulfilled his wish and packaged a piece of the Emerald Isle for him, and has been inundated with enquiries ever since. He sells a 12-ounce bags of Irish soil for around $15.
“We’ve had an absolutely amazing response. Within fifteen minutes of launching, our website crashed from all the orders.”
Jenkins has been astonished by the change in his fortune, and gives 80% of his profits to charity.
6. Professional Hugging
Have you ever really needed a hug? Sometimes there is nothing else that can compensate for the closeness of a good cuddle. Today’s society can be extremely isolating and rising numbers of those suffering from depression is a real concern, and some studies have suggested that a lack of human touch could be a contributing factor.
Hugging has been found to be beneficial on many levels, soothing the body and mind, reducing blood pressure, stress and anxiety, and promoting a feeling of wellness.
But what can be done if you don’t have anyone around to grab onto? Hugging a random on the street is certainly not an option….. Why not call The Snuggle Buddies!
Yes, it is a real thing. Here is their claim:
Here at The Snuggle Buddies we strive to provide you with the most relaxing and enjoyable professional snuggling experience possible.
As a professional cuddling service, we are masters of platonic touch that offer a personalized experience, which strives for your absolute happiness. Whether you want to cuddle for friendship, relaxation, or therapeutic reasons, we would be happy to be your snuggle partner.
The going rate is $80 per hour, and you can even organiser an all-night platonic snuggle session. One freelancer listed on the site is 21 year old Kay from Haverford, who lists her hugging credentials here, and sounds like a true expert without a doubt.
I’m senior psychology major/gender & sexuality studies minor at Haverford College. I am known for my sass, kind spirit, and amazing cuddles!
My goal is to get more people to understand the benefits of cuddling, as well as impact their lives with my humble presence. I am a great listener, passionate lover, and free spirited female who loves to help lost ones find their way through compassion and understanding.
When I’m not cuddling, you can catch me exploring the exquisites of wine, writing in my dream diary, and binge watching Netflix movies. Let’s grab a blanket and some popcorn!
7. Checking For Porn
Yes, you read that right, but it is not exactly what you think. Crowdsifter, one of the services provided by CrowdFlower.com pays freelancers to search for porn on user-generated content sites, such as YouTube and Facebook. It is very difficult for sites such as these to be policed, and therefore independent workers are enlisted to be their eyes on the street. The problems here is that the hourly rate tends to be quite low, in the region of $8-12 and the work can either get pretty boring after a while, or else thoroughly disturbing on occasion.
8. Show People Around Your Town
If you are someone who prefers to get out and about, you could follow in the footsteps of Sheila G from San Francisco and become a Vayable tour guide. Freelancers can sign up to become an ‘insider’, and show tourists around their local town. This provides an opportunity to make money while you meet new people, share your knowledge and even gain 15 minutes of fame.
At the heart of every movement is a group of individuals who embody the change they want to see in the world. For Vayable, these people are our Insiders. They are empowering themselves to make a living doing what they know and love. They are making the world a better place by inviting the rest of us to enjoy new experiences and develop new ways of seeing the world.
Sheila certainly has no regrets about becoming an insider, saying:
Vayable has been a great way for me to not only do what I love, but also meet wonderful people! It’s a true joy to be a part of the creative and fun community Vayable is fostering for the adventurous spirit.
9. Be A Heartbreaker
So, have these been weird enough for you yet?
Maybe this one will up the ante. There is a growing team of freelancers specialising in ending relationships, take a look at The Break Up Shop.
This site offers customers a whole menu of dumping options, including texts, snapchats, letters and phonecalls. This is where freelancers can step in. There is a constant need for heartbreakers to:
- Perform breakups through texts, emails, letters, or phone calls on behalf of customers to their future exes.
- Receive feedback from the customer to generate a rating of <3s. The more <3s, the more customers like your breakups!
- Upsell breakup recipients to send them to our gift shop – where you earn a % of the profits!
So, go on, tell me again how you have no ideas on how to make money freelancing. The truth is, there are many many unmet needs out there, frustrated desires, itches that need to be scratched. Take the time to dig below the surface and discover pain points that are screaming for a new solution which you could provide through freelancing.
Feel ready to take the next step in making your freelance dreams a reality? Start here!