Freelance work is a booming aspect of the modern economy. Nearly 60 million Americans did some form of full- or part-time freelancing in 2019 and this number has increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pretty much anyone from any background can start a freelance career. There’s a wide range of freelance jobs that each require their own time commitments and talents. Top freelance skills can include anything from computer programming to survey taking.
No matter what type of freelancing career you choose, there are many universal benefits to freelancing. In most cases, you’ll have a highly flexible schedule and the ability to choose your assignments. Read on to learn more about the most in-demand freelance skills to make money online.
Mobile App Development
Since nearly everyone owns a cell phone, it shouldn’t be a surprise that mobile app developers are some of the most in-demand freelancers today. To do this job, you need to use coding and programming skills to create apps for all kinds of mobile devices.
Why Should You Learn Mobile App Development?
The demand for freelance app developers continues to grow with each passing year, particularly for people who specialize in Android and iOS devices. It’s a great way to make money while growing your skillset. You can start with smaller projects and quickly work your way up to larger and more complicated apps. This means that you’ll be able to make more money as you improve at the job.
How Much Do Mobile App Developers Make?
Mobile app developers make a national average of $61 to $81 an hour. This can equal more than $107,000 a year, making this one of the top high-paying freelance skills.
Where Can You Learn Mobile App Development?
Colleges near you may offer courses on coding. But there are also free (and paid) Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that focus specifically on app development. Some of the sites that host these MOOCs include edX, Justinmind and Udacity, which offers free courses from Stanford University.
Where Can You Find Mobile App Development Jobs?
Once you’ve learned the basics of app development, you can start looking for jobs by networking on sites like LinkedIn, or looking for posts on AngelList. There are many places to look for remote app development gigs including WeWorkRemotely, YunoJuno, Jobspresso and Airtasker.
Freelance virtual assistants are people that can make a career out of their strong organizational and communication skills. This is the career for you if you enjoy helping other professionals balance their work and personal lives.
Why Should You Learn to Be a Virtual Assistant?
Experts say that the demand for virtual assistants is likely to rise over the next few years. It’s a field that’s seen remarkable growth since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. The main reason for this growth is that businesses are becoming more aware of the existence of this career option, especially when they begin to expand their online presence. Plus, with enough experience, you could eventually turn this career into your own business.
How Much Do Mobile Virtual Assistants Make?
The pay range for freelance virtual assistants varies widely depending on the number of clients and the exact nature of the work. According to Ziprecruiter, yearly income can be as low as $13,500 or as high as $107,000.
Where Can You Learn to Be a Virtual Assistant?
Another great aspect of being a freelance virtual assistant is that it isn’t necessarily an education-focused career path. Rather, it’s your individual competence and attention to detail that are the most important skills for this position. There are also some virtual courses available on sites like Udemy, that can help you learn the necessary skills.
Where Can You Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?
Taking online surveys for money is one of the most flexible options for a freelancer. All you really have to do is take paid surveys. It involves answering questions for any number of clients on a computer or mobile device.
Why Should You Learn to Take Surveys?
One of the best aspects of taking surveys is that you can share your opinions in a powerful way with various brands. You’ll answer questions that companies care about and provide feedback that could actually make a difference. You can also incorporate taking surveys into practically any lifestyle: fit it into a busy schedule as a student or a stay-at-home parent.
How Much Do Survey Takers Make?
The price you make per survey will vary greatly, but a consistent survey taker can make an average of $2-$8 an hour.
Where Can You Learn to Take Surveys?
A great thing about taking surveys is that pretty much anyone can do it. There’s no advanced degree to earn or coding language to learn. All you need is a device to begin.
Where Can You Find Jobs Taking Surveys ?
The best place to find consistent but highly flexible work taking surveys is at Survey Junkie. With this site, you can make cash with paid surveys and generate a consistent income. Other sites like this exist, as well as in-person surveys at research institutions.
Around 21% of all graphic designers are freelancers. This job entails creating visual art and media to increase the visibility of particular brands. It was traditionally focused on print media, like newspapers and magazines. But recent trends are shifting toward online work, making freelance positions more plentiful.
Why Should You Learn Graphic Design?
Graphic design is a fun and creative way to engage with a large variety of media. No two projects will be exactly the same. It’s a skill you can improve while doing projects. Plus, the wide variety of projects means that you can choose what skills and content you want to focus on.
How Much Do Graphic Designers Make?
Freelance graphic designers make an average of $52,000 a year, which is a little more than $25 an hour. This rate will vary depending on your skill level and the particular assignments you choose.
Where Can You Learn Graphic Design?
Many universities offer bachelor’s degrees in graphic design or similar fields. But it’s also a skill you can teach yourself with MOOCs and other online resources. Local art classes can help as well. The main computer software to focus on are Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and other design software.
Where Can You Find Graphic Design Jobs?
There are many online platforms that hire graphic designers or connect designers to clients. Some of these include Dribble and Behance, which both have a design-specific focus. There are also sites like 99Designs and DesignHill, where clients crowdsource design solutions for their projects.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization specialists know the best ways to draw traffic to a given website. You do this by modifying the site itself or its content in order to make it more accessible to a search engine like Google, Youtube and Amazon.
Why Should You Learn SEO?
The number of clients in need of SEO optimization is growing. It also allows you to choose between different specializations to find the ones that best suit your skills. For example, you could specialize in SEO-focused website design, social media management, or even reputation management.
How Much Do SEO Specialists Make?
SEO specialists can make anywhere from $20 an hour to $119 an hour, depending on your expertise and the size of the client. The average annual salary ranges from around $50,000 to over $80,000 a year.
Where Can You Learn SEO?
One of the best ways to learn SEO is by monitoring traffic on your own websites. Online MOOCs and local colleges have classes on website development and the coding that underlies the platforms that you seek to optimize.
Where Can You Find SEO Specialist Jobs?
Everyone with an online presence can benefit from the work of SEO specialists, so you should reach out to local businesses and organizations. Online job boards such as Indeed and Glassdoor are also helpful resources for finding SEO specialist jobs.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Programming
Blockchain and cryptocurrency programmers are a specialized and high-paying section of the freelance job market. These freelancers are programmers who know how to work with code for blockchain. Blockchain is an electronic ledger that ensures financial transactions between clients. It’s a foundation that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin depend upon.
Why Should You Learn Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Programming?
The best reason to learn blockchain and cryptocurrency programming is that it’s one of the top 20 fastest-growing job skills today. This career does require some expertise, but you can learn the skills on your own if you approach the task with enough determination and enthusiasm.
How Much Do Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Programmers Make?
Blockchain programmers are some of the highest-paid freelance workers. The average rate that you could charge is from $81 to $100 per hour. This can be more than $180,000 a year with full-time work hours.
Where Can You Learn Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Programming?
Where Can You Find Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Programming Jobs?
Common online job boards that hire blockchain and cryptocurrency programmers include UpWork and Toptal. There are also skill-specific sites, such as LaborX where you can earn cryptocurrency for coding work.
Freelance Writing (Copywriting)
If you want to start a career in freelance writing, you first need to choose between content and copywriting. Content writers can write about any topic for any purpose. Copywriters are focused on selling products. All of their pieces are geared toward persuading or influencing their audience. If you enjoy working with words, then either of these jobs could be a great fit for you.
Why Should You Learn Freelance Writing?
There’s plenty of consistent work for writers in the freelance world since so many businesses need it. Also, with freelance writing, you’ll rarely feel bored. With this job, you can learn and write about new topics every single day.
How Much Do Freelance Writers/Copywriters Make?
Freelance copywriters can make more money on average than freelance content writers. Initial rates for both jobs average around $25 per hour or $50,000 a year with full-time hours. Highly skilled copywriters, with a track record of increased product sales, can make up to $300 per hour.
Where Can You Learn Freelance Writing?
The first step to learning more about freelance writing is accurately assessing your current skills. Be honest with yourself about your writing abilities and go from there. Online MOOCs on edX and local colleges teach a variety of writing courses. For copywriting work, other skills will come in handy like an understanding of sales and consumer psychology.
Where Can You Find Freelance Writing Jobs?
Online job boards are a great place to find clients looking for freelance writers. UpWork and Fiverr are generic platforms that offer freelance gigs, but there are also more specialized places such as Reddit’s /r/hireawriter. Plus, there are platforms you can join like Compose.ly, that are designed to connect clients with available writers. It also never hurts to pitch your skills to local businesses that could be in need of new copy.
Bookkeeping can take on many different forms in the freelance world, from a one-time look at someone’s taxes to monitoring a company’s every transaction.
Why Should You Learn Bookkeeping?
Since freelance bookkeeping jobs come in a variety of project lengths and types, you can really make this job work for you. This means you can fit your freelancing work in with another bookkeeping job or take on multiple freelance clients at one time to make it a full-time position. It also has decent job security since every business needs some form of bookkeeping.
How Much Do Bookkeepers Make?
Freelance bookkeepers typically charge around $26 an hour, with a full-time average rate of $55,094 a year. But, according to Ziprecruiter, there can be a great range of incomes from the low end of $20,000 a year to the high of $97,000. The exact rate will depend on the project, your location, and your experience.
Where Can You Learn Bookkeeping?
It’s not a bad idea to have a bachelor’s or associate degree in accounting, statistics, or math before starting your career as a bookkeeper. Companies may require this as a qualification. Coursework is available at many virtual and physical colleges around the country. The main skills to learn are Quickbooks and other types of payroll software so look for online MOOCs or tutorials on these topics.
Where Can You Find Bookkeeping Jobs?
The best places to look for freelance bookkeeping jobs are online job boards like UpWork, Freelancer and Indeed. You could also try directly offering your services to local businesses at busy times of the year, like tax season.
Social Media Marketing (Management)
A career as a freelance social media marketer or manager is focused on getting more views and followers for particular accounts. This means if you already enjoy social media for its own sake, you can turn your passion into a career.
Why Should You Learn Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a growing field that shows no sign of slowing down. It’s a career you can slowly get better at by taking on single projects at first then expanding to the launch of entire campaigns. Plus, you can boost your own brand of marketing skills while helping your clients.
How Much Do Social Media Managers Make?
As a freelance social media manager, you can charge an average of $21 an hour for your services. The average annual income for this position is $42,705 a year. But keep in mind that you may have to charge low prices at first until you’ve had time to establish a good track record. Some Social Media Managers only make around $9 an hour.
Where Can You Learn Social Media Marketing?
You don’t need a degree to get into social media marketing. But classes in communications and marketing can help. These can be found on sites like edX or at a local college. What’s more important is for you to learn the skills you need through experience with your own social media accounts. The main first step is to find your niche or target audience and get as many followers as you can on your platform(s) of choice.
Where Can You Find Social Media Marketing Jobs?
One of the best ways to find a job is by advertising your services through your own website or social media. It’s okay if your website is made with a template on a platform like WordPress because you’re not trying to show off your web design skills. Sometimes job boards like Indeed could be helpful but your best bet is word-of-mouth.
As a freelance video editor, your job is to bring your clients’ visions to life from their unedited footage. It requires both software knowledge and an eye for visual design. So, if you have these skills, this is a fun and creative way to make money.
Why Should You Learn Video Editing?
Experts expect job growth in the field of video editing until at least 2028, which means you’ll have a consistent client base. It’s the sort of job that allows you to specialize in content you care about, and grow into video production. It’s also a great way to get a start in a competitive industry. You can improve your skills while bringing in some cash.
How Much Do Video Editors Make?
The average freelance video editor makes around $26 an hour. According to Zippia, the median annual salary for this job is about $53,000 a year.
Where Can You Learn Video Editing?
Around 76% of freelance video editors have bachelor’s degrees and 5.4% have master’s degrees. This means you might want to pursue a degree in order to pursue this position. But you can also learn while you work on projects. The best thing you can do in the beginning is edit your own videos and create a portfolio. This is a great way to show off your skills to potential clients.
Where Can You Find Video Editing Jobs?
YouTube is a massive marketplace featuring video content that needs to be edited. Try contacting the company itself or individual clients who clearly create a lot of content. Also, don’t be afraid to try local places. For example, sports teams always need footage edited.
Proofreaders comb through most published and mass-distributed media for mistakes in grammar, spelling and sentence structure. If you’re highly detail-oriented and have a solid grasp of grammar, then freelance proofreading could be the job for you.
Why Should You Learn Proofreading?
Freelance proofreading is consistent work that doesn’t require a formal degree. It’s a very flexible job that can be squeezed in around another career or while your baby takes a nap. You can limit yourself to small assignments or find ways to take on larger projects, depending on your needs and availability.
How Much Do Proofreaders Make?
The average freelance proofreader makes around $25 an hour, so about $50,000 a year with full-time assignments.
Where Can You Learn Proofreading?
There are plenty of online guides to help you brush up on proper grammar. Fantastic free sources also exist for current Associated Press (AP) or MLA (Modern Language Association) styling and sourcing standards. Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is a fantastic resource for all of these proofreading needs.
Where Can You Find Proofreading Jobs?
The online job board UpWork has a specific subsection for proofreaders. Duolingo and American Journal Experts hire large numbers of freelance proofreaders. Duolingo provides educational materials for learning new languages, and American Journal Experts is a company that’s focused on academic writing.
Freelance web design is a fun way to turn your eye for aesthetics into a decent profit. You do need to know some basic computer programming. But, once you’ve got a handle on this, you’ll find that your skills are in high demand since every business benefits from a solid online presence.
Why Should You Learn Web Design?
Besides a consistent demand, freelance web design is the sort of job where you can develop a niche based on your own passions and hobbies. Although you may need to take on smaller, low-paying projects at first, you can grow your skills while you make money. Eventually, this can become a career where your creativity is able to shine.
How Much Do Web Designers Make?
As a freelance web designer, you can charge an average of $35 an hour, depending on the size and scope of the project, your skill level and your location. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual income is $72,280 a year. But this also has a wide range, from a low of around $24,000 to a high of $128,500 a year. In general, web design is one of the most high-paying freelance skills.
Where Can You Learn Web Design?
Many courses and boot camps exist at local colleges and online MOOCs. For example, give edX or Udacity a try. Luckily, it’s not always necessary for you to pay for this kind of education. With enough practice and determination, web design is a skill you can learn all by yourself.
Where Can You Find Web Design Jobs?
A great way to practice web design while looking for work is to build your own website. This is an easy way to show off your skills and advertise your services to potential clients. Online job boards like Freelancer and UpWork are another way to find freelance web design jobs. LinkedIn can also be a great place to advertise your own website and portfolio.
A freelance data analysis job can encompass a wide range of skills from machine learning to data mining, management and visualization. To do this job you’ll need to have some level of expertise. Once you have the freelancing skills, you’ll be able to easily make money online with data analysis.
Why Should You Learn Data Analysis?
The demand for freelance data analysts is incredibly high and unlikely to decrease at any time soon. In fact, the amount of data that companies and organizations generate increases on a daily basis. It’s also a great way for you to learn new skills and improve old ones while growing your portfolio. This is either a great supplement to an existing job or the springboard to a promising future in data analysis.
How Much Do Data Analyzers Make?
As a freelance data analyst, you can charge an average of $36 per hour. The average annual salary is around $75,000 a year. But this falls in the middle of a broad range, from $22,000 at the lower end to $159,000 dollars a year at the top.
Where Can You Learn Data Analysis?
For data analysis, it doesn’t matter where you learn your skills as long as you can actually perform. Find tutorials, online classes, or local education courses that focus on scraping data and other ways of manipulating data for companies. Udacity and edX can be great sources for this kind of information.
Where Can You Find Data Analysis Jobs?
There are some online job boards that specifically hire freelance data analysts, such as Coding Ninjas. Other good freelance job boards include AngelList, Toptal, UpWork and even LinkedIn in the contract section.
What it Really Means to Be a Freelancer:
Working freelance jobs means you’re accountable for all of your project’s details and deadlines. Your client will depend on you, and you alone, to complete the work to their satisfaction.
You Must be Self-Motivated & Self-Disciplined.
In order to accomplish most freelancing tasks, you need to be highly self-motivated and able to avoid distractions. This might mean finding particular places to work or setting strict schedules for yourself. You’ll need to find your own techniques to keep yourself focused and motivated throughout your workdays. If not, you may fall behind, develop a bad reputation, or fail to find enough clients to pay your bills.
Freelance Jobs Don’t Offer Work Benefits.
Healthcare, sick days and other work benefits aren’t built into freelance positions. Instead, you need to manage your own schedule when you’re sick or want a vacation. And you’ll need to look elsewhere to find other benefits.
Freelancing Doesn’t Guarantee a Stable Stream of Cash.
Freelance work can come and go. You may need to put a lot of work into finding clients at certain times or look for an online platform to help you consistently connect with clients. Regardless, you aren’t always guaranteed a steady income and will need to budget appropriately. For these reasons, you’ll want to focus on high-demand freelance skills with the highest pay.
There is Little Social Interaction Involved.
Freelancing can be lonely work because it rarely requires any kind of face-to-face interaction. You can deal with this by working in public spaces like cafes and scheduling time with your friends or family.
In general, these disadvantages can easily be outweighed by the enormous advantages of setting your own schedule, choosing your projects and controlling your future. They’re simply something to keep in mind as you begin your freelancing career.