4 In-Demand Services to Start a Business Around

  •    Michelle is a web developer and freelance writer. She covers enterprise technology, big data, security, and website development.

Earning additional income online can be both challenging and fun. Consider embracing the gig economy and build a web-based business around your talents. You have many options outside of dog walker or pet sitter (of course, you can do these if you really love them). Most importantly, you can sell services from your own website instead of selling through a third-party gig platform. With a bit of inspiration, you can use your website to brand your services and connect with potential customers while controlling all aspects of your business. Below are four in-demand services to get you started:

1. Custom or Semi-custom Artwork/Crafty Gifts

Do you have a way with oil pastels on paper? Perhaps you do well with a brush and canvas. Maybe you're good with paper crafts and glue. You can develop a product line and workflow to make money from your talents. Consider custom or semi-custom artwork and crafty gifts for special occasions. Create a stylized rendition of a personal photo (sketch, paint, cartoon). Handmade or created with photo editing software, these can be great gifts. Sell the digital file, original artwork, or a print of the final product.

The Calligraphy Bar sells custom products and offers hand lettering services. Custom lettering is available on a variety of existing products through their online shop. They also offer hand lettering for wedding invitations, place cards, signs and more. By providing a mix of semi-custom and custom products/services, The Calligraphy Bar is able to meet a variety of customer needs.

2. Business Services

Digital project management and communication tools make it easier than ever to provide a variety of in-demand business services. Use your polished communication and organization skills to offer services to a small business or solo-entrepreneur. You could provide research, bookkeeping, email management, travel planning assistance, writing/editorial services, and more.

Maven Solutions Group offers clients a range of solutions to meet immediate and ongoing business needs. They provide a business services across three categories: Business Management, Technology Solutions and Branding/Marketing Solutions.

3. Teach Something

Provide personalized instruction for a skill you enjoy teaching. Give students the opportunity to learn something new and take home a finished piece of artwork. A short painting or ceramics course may be perfect for your area.

The Honeycomb Artista offers studio art classes six days a week. Classes are filled through online reservations (pre-paid). Students can take home an acrylic painting completed in one sitting.

4. Travel Writer/Blogger

Turn your love of travel into a lifestyle blog. You can provide high quality photos and exclusive content on your website. General travel advice is easy to find, but you can give a new perspective on some of your favorite spots. You could even use your experiences to write original articles for travel publications.

Beyond Voyage is a travel blog dedicated to challenging readers to "Dream. Travel. Repeat." The site's author provides in-depth reviews of destination attractions and amenities. She even offers detailed itineraries of some excursions. Photo galleries are filled with images of world travels and favorite local favorites.

​Selling from your own, easy-to-use website beats paying steep seller fees on a gig site. Connect to clients and customers on your own terms and provide high quality services without a middleman.