The rise of the gig economy and remote work has opened up incredible opportunities for leveraging specialized skills and expertise to earn income outside of traditional employment. As a freelancer with in-demand abilities, you hold immense earning potential while maintaining location and schedule flexibility.
But with so many freelance skills to choose from, which abilities are most worth mastering today? This guide examines 30 of the top skills to help freelancers thrive in 2023, along with tips for getting started.
Table of Contents
Copywriting involves crafting compelling text designed to promote brands, increase conversions, amplify marketing campaigns, and effectively convey messages through mediums like:
- Blog Articles/Posts
- Social Media Captions
- Website Content
- Sales Copy/Landing Pages
- Email Marketing
- Advertising Campaigns
- Product Descriptions
This diverse applicability across industries drives immense demand for talented copywriters. Especially those able to adapt their writing style for unique brands and audiences.
2. Graphic Design
From marketing materials to product packaging to infographics and digital assets, visual design skills enable freelancers to support diverse client needs. Services like:
- Brand Identity Design
- Presentation Decks
- Print & Digital Ads
- Apparel & Merchandise
- Web & Social Graphics
- Illustrations & Cartoons
- Books & Magazine Layouts
- Packaging Design
Enable graphic designers to provide immense value through visual storytelling and branding.
List your services on sites like 99designs, Designhill, and Fiverr to connect with clients seeking custom design work from logos to mobile app UIs and everything in between. Top-tier designers charge $75-$150 per hour.
3. Web and App Development
Programming capabilities like:
- Building Websites
- Developing Mobile Apps
- Programming Complex Databases
- Integrating APIs and Automations
- Debugging Code
Enable freelance developers to deliver custom web and mobile solutions for diverse clients and industries. Especially businesses lacking these key technical abilities in-house.
4. Marketing Strategy
Leverage expertise in areas like:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Google/Facebook Ads
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Sales Funnels
- Affiliate Marketing
- Influencer Partnerships
- Marketing Analytics
To provide invaluable strategic counsel to brands and agencies needing to master digital marketing essentials in order to grow. Especially potent paired with copywriting abilities.
5. Social Media Management
Nearly every brand needs support managing far-reaching social media presences across platforms like:
Offer services helping companies improve reach, engagement, lead generation and sales through polished social content, smart ad management, influencer campaigns, contests, and analytics using Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Buzzsumo, and other leading tools.
6. Public Relations
Help personal brands and businesses shape positive brand identities and strategic messaging through core PR abilities like:
- Content Creation
- Media Relations
- Event Planning
- Crisis Management
- Reputation Management
- Industry Analyst Relations
PR experts excel at conveying narratives that resonate with target audiences and establish thought leadership.
7. Video Editing & Production
Video dominates today’s media landscape. Skills producing compelling video content like:
- Shooting Professional Footage
- Editing Clips Seamlessly
- Animating Motion Graphics
- Adding Special Effects
- Color Grading and Correction
- Closed Captioning
- Exporting For All Platforms
Enable freelance video editors and producers to deliver powerful visual media for brands and agencies.
Capture compelling photos for clients spanning:
- Real Estate Listings
- Jewelry & Fashion
- Commercial Products
Powerful photographic abilities combined with post-production editing skills enable freelance photographers to deliver stunning visual content.
Register with creative job boards like Working Not Working, Fash, Crews Control, and Production Hub to connect with clients. Photographers typically charge $50-$250 per hour or per project depending on niche and experience level.
9. Accounting and Bookkeeping
High demand exists for financial freelancers skilled at:
- Accounts Receivable/Payable
- Payroll Processing
- Tax Preparation
- Financial Reporting
- Budgeting & Forecasting
- Auditing Books
- Processing Invoices
Helping small businesses and startups implement sound financial processes provides immense value. Especially leveraging cloud accounting systems like Quickbooks Online, Xero, or Wave.
List your services on sites like Accountant Next Door, Bench Accounting, and Institute of Certified Bookkeepers to connect with clients. Expect to earn $30-$60 per hour based on your credentials and experience.
10. Translation & Transcription
Leverage skills converting speech or text between languages through services like:
- Document Translation
- Website Localization
- App Localization
- Multimedia Translation
- Conference Interpreting
- Interview Transcription
- Audio Transcription
- Legal Transcription
With globalized digital content, this expertise enables freelancers to facilitate communication across languages.
List your services on sites like One Hour Translation, TranslatorsBase, Gengo, and SpeakWrite to access clients worldwide. Freelance translators can earn $20-$60 per hour depending on language pairs and niche.
11. Voice Acting
Leverage strong vocal talents providing professional voice over services like:
- Audiobook Narration
- Podcast Intros & Ads
- Cartoon Character Voices
- Commercial Voice Overs
- Training Course Narration
- Guided Meditation
- Telephone Hold Messages
- Movie Trailers
- Automated Phone Menus
For a wide range of corporate and entertainment productions. Character voices and accents expand opportunities.
12. Resume Writing
Help job seekers by crafting:
- Targeted Resumes
- Cover Letters
- LinkedIn Profiles
- Personal Branding
- Interview Coaching
- Salary Negotiation
That help clients win more interviews and command higher salaries leveraging your expertise honing career marketing materials.
13. Business & Financial Consulting
Offer strategic counsel applying expertise in areas like:
- Financial Planning & Analysis
- Cash Flow Management
- Profit Maximization
- Tax Strategy
- Securing Funding
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Scaling Operations
- Improving Efficiency
To help businesses and leaders make smart strategic decisions and improve performance across key metrics.
Leverage specialized experience and advertise your services to local businesses or list on sites like Aquent, Business Talent Group, and Catalant to access clients. Senior consultants can charge $250+ per hour for high-level strategic advice.
14. Technical Writing
Use skills distilling complex technical information into easy-to-understand explanations through projects like:
- User Guides & Manuals
- API Documentation
- Customer Support Knowledge Bases
- Tutorials & How-tos
- Whitepapers & Case Studies
- Email Courses
- Policy Documents
That simplify vital processes and systems for end users and customers.
List your services on sites like Scripted and Tech Writer HQ to access clients with technical writing needs across industries from software to manufacturing. Technical freelance writers typically charge $60-$150 per hour.
15. Email and Newsletter Writing
Help brands and businesses connect with customers through compelling email and newsletter content covering:
- Promotional Emails
- Welcome Email Series
- Retention/Re-Engagement Emails
- Email Courses & Funnels
- Automated Emails
- Personalized Outreach
Carefully structured based on proven email marketing and copywriting best practices.
16. SEO Content Creation
Cash in on surging demand for targeted, SEO-optimized digital content that ranks highly searching engines by offering services like:
- Keyword Research & Strategy
- Long-Form Blog Articles
- Meta Title & Description Writing
- Link Earning Outreach
- Local SEO Optimization
- Site Search Optimization
- Internal Link Structure Audits
- Content Gap Analysis
SEO content skills pair especially well with technical SEO abilities.
List your services on platforms like Problogger, Cloudpeeps, and Bonsai to access SEO agencies and small businesses eager to amplify organic search performance through custom digital content. Experienced freelance SEO content creators can charge $75-$150 per project on average.
17. Pinterest Marketing
Offer highly in-demand strategic abilities guiding brands on how to maximize results on this photo-focused social platform through:
- Content Strategy
- Pin Creation
- Profile Optimization
- Ad Management
- Traffic Growth Tactics
- Analytics & Reporting
Combined with beautiful visual design abilities.
Register your services on freelancing marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and SolidGigs to access clients hungry for Pinterest expertise. Freelance Pinterest marketers and designers typically charge $50-$125 per hour.
18. Business Blogging
Help entrepreneurs and brands grow their readership and authority through compelling blog content focused on:
- Industry Trends & Analysis
- Product Features & Tutorials
- Founder Stories & Journeys
- Growth Marketing Tactics
- PR & Branding Strategies
- Customer Case Studies
- Research Data Reports
Optimized for conversions and lead generation.
List your blog writing services on sites like Blogging Pro, Zip Recruiter, and Flexjobs to connect with clients in need of quality blog content. Blogging packages and retainers can command $500-$5,000 per month for consistent content.
19. Facebook & Instagram Ads
Offer social advertising management optimizing campaigns on these key platforms through expertise in:
- Audiences Targeting
- Creative Strategy
- Ad Testing & Iteration
- Budget Allocation
- Landing Page Optimization
- Bidding Strategies
- Reporting & Analytics
Make big impacts guiding clients towards cost effectively scaling growth through strategic ad platforms.
List your social advertising optimization services on freelancing sites like GeckoHopper and Freelancermap to connect with potential clients of all sizes. Freelancers charge between $60-$125 per hour for ad management based on demonstrated results.
20. Affiliate Marketing
Help brands maximize income through affiliate promotions leveraging skills like:
- Program Management
- Influencer Partnerships
- Promotional Content
- Performance Tracking
- Recruiting Relevant Affiliates
- Commission Optimization
- Affiliate-Focused Landing Pages
Combined with data-driven analytical abilities.
Advertise your services through affiliate marketing communities like AffiliateFix and ShareASale. Experienced freelance affiliate marketers charge between $5,000-$10,000+ per month in retainer fees to manage and scale programs based on delivering strong ROI.
21. Logo & Brand Identity Design
Provide in-demand graphic design services that help brands stand out through deliverables like:
- Logo Design
- Style Guides
- Packaging Design
- Brand Guidelines
- Visual Brand Assets
- Illustrated Icons
- Typography Selection
- Color Palettes
And other elements that comprise a brand’s visual identity system. Especially powerful when paired with graphic design and UI/UX abilities.
List services on design marketplaces like Fiverr, 99Designs, and Designhill to access clients seeking branding services. Logo design packages run $200-$5,000+ depending on scope anddeliverables provided. Brand identity systems command $5,000-$15,000+ on average.
22. UI/UX Design
Leverage user experience design expertise to help clients maximize conversion rates and customer satisfaction through:
- Wireframes & Prototypes
- Usability Testing
- Journey Mapping
- Page/App Optimization
- A/B Testing Support
- Accessibility Compliance
- Style Guide Creation
- Interaction Design
And other core user experience design abilities. Especially powerful when paired with traditional graphic design skills.
23. WordPress Development
Build, customize, and optimize WordPress sites leveraging expertise in:
- Theme Development & Customization
- Plugin Configuration/Development
- Performance Optimization
- SEO Enhancements
- Security Hardening
- eCommerce Implementation
- Membership Site Creation
- API Integrations & Automation
To deliver robust solutions designed for conversions and driving business growth.
24. Sales Copywriting
Sales copywriting involves crafting persuasive text designed to promote products, capture leads, and drive conversions across mediums like:
- Product Descriptions
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Landing Pages
- Social Media Ads
- Direct Mail Pieces
- Sales Letters/Long-Form Sales Pages
- PPC/Facebook Ad Copy
- Webinar Registration Pages
- Retargeting Ad Copy
Leveraging psychological triggers and proven selling techniques through written words. This expertise enables freelance copywriters to deliver huge value helping brands increase sales.
Register for copywriting job boards like Problogger, Cloudpeeps, and SolidGigs to access clients eager for persuasive ad and web copy. Top sales copywriters charge $70-$150 per project based on experience.
25. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing websites to achieve higher rankings in Google and other search engines through technical enhancements, content creation, backlink building, and optimization best practices. Core skills include:
- Keyword Research
- Site Architecture Optimization
- Technical SEO Audits
- Link Building Outreach
- Content Optimization
- Local SEO for Geographic Queries
- Analytics Analysis
SEO freelancers provide immense value helping websites garner more qualified organic traffic through better search visibility. This amplified lead flow translates to higher conversions and sales.
List your SEO services on marketplaces like Upwork, SEO Clerks, and 10x Management to access businesses eager to improve website authority, rankings, and organic traffic through strategic SEO. Experienced consultants can charge $100-$200 per hour.
26. Social Media Management
Nearly every brand needs assistance managing far-reaching social media presences across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and more. Services include:
- Content Publishing & Community Management
- Paid Ad Management
- Analytics & Reporting
- Strategy & Goal-Setting
- Lead Generation & Conversion Campaigns
- Influencer Partnership Outreach
- Audience Growth Tactics
Freelance social media managers provide tremendous ongoing value overseeing brands’ social presence and communities.
27. Video Editing & Production
From raw footage to polished final delivery, video editors and producers provide services like:
- Filming Professional Footage
- Editing Clips & Sequences
- Color Correcting & Grading Footage
- Adding Motion Graphics & Animations
- Compositing Visual Effects & Transitions
- Closed Captioning & Subtitles
- Exporting for Different Platforms
- Ensuring Brand Consistency
Enabling agencies and companies to repurpose video content across advertising, social media, training materials, corporate communications and more.
Register on production talent sites like ProductionHub, Mandy, and Creative Circle to access video editing and production roles. Depending on complexity, freelancers charge $50-$300+ per video project on average.
28. Resume Writing
Helping job seekers land more interviews and command better salaries through:
- Targeted Resume Writing
- Cover Letter Creation
- LinkedIn Profile Optimization
- Personal Branding Guidance
- Interview Coaching & Prep
- Salary Negotiation Support
Leveraging expertise honing career marketing materials tailored specifically to client goals.
Offering essential financial services like:
- Accounts Receivable/Payable
- Payroll Processing
- Tax Filing Support
- Financial Reporting
- Budget Preparation
- Expense Tracking
- Invoice Creation & Payment
Provides immense value to entrepreneurs and small business owners needing to manage finances efficiently. Especially using cloud accounting software like Quickbooks Online, Xero, Wave or Freshbooks.
List your bookkeeping services on sites like Bench Accounting, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, and Bookkeeperlist to access small business clients. Hourly fees typically range from $30-$75 based on credentials and specialty.
The opportunities abound for turning niche freelance skills into sizable income streams by providing specialized expertise clients are seeking. With dedication and business savvy, freelancing enables tremendous location, income, and lifestyle flexibility.
30. Amazon Marketing & Optimization
Offering sought after eCommerce marketing abilities that help brands maximize sales on Amazon through services like:
- Keyword Research & Listing Optimization
- Advertising Campaign Management
- Improving Product Conversions
- Managing Promotions & Reviews
- Account Health Monitoring
- New Product Launch Strategies
- Inventory & Supply Chain Analysis
Combined with analytical abilities to deliver concrete ROI for brands invested in the Amazon platform.
31. Business Plan Writing
Offer end-to-end strategic planning services helping entrepreneurs launch and fund new ventures through deliverables like:
- Market Research & Competitive Analysis
- Financial Modeling & Forecasting
- Product Line Evaluation
- Operations Setup & Staff Planning
- Pitch Deck Development
- Investment Capital Raising
- Go-to-Market Strategy
Providing immense value guiding founders through structured planning to set their ventures up for success.
Advertise business plan writing services through freelancing platforms like Upwork, Toptal, and Catalant as well as local entrepreneurial networks. Expect to earn $2,000-$10,000+ per business plan depending on scope.
32. Grant Writing
Master the intricacies of securing public and private grant funding through core skills like:
- Identifying Relevant Grant Opportunities
- Aligning Projects to Grant Requirements
- Crafting Compelling Applications
- Gathering Required Data Points
- Managing Strict Deadlines
- Providing Ongoing Grant Administration
Enabling nonprofits, research institutions, community programs, and other organizations to access restricted funding for impactful initiatives.
List grant writing services on freelance marketplaces like Upwork, FlexJobs, and Grant Writers’ Seminars & Workshops to connect with potential clients. Typical project fees range from $40-$150 per hour.
33. Programming & Coding
Offer specialized development expertise building software solutions through skills like:
- Back-End Programming Languages (Python, PHP, Java, C#)
- iOS/Android Mobile App Development
- API Integrations & Database Development
- QA Testing & Debugging
- Cloud Infrastructure (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)
Enabling businesses to deliver powerful custom platforms and digital experiences their stakeholders value.
List your services on development talent sites like Toptal, Gun.io, Pilot, and Crossover to access quality clients. Depending on language proficiency and stack, freelance developers charge $50-$150+ per hour.
34. 3D Modeling & Animation
Offer in-demand digital design expertise delivering 3D assets like:
- Character Models
- Environment Assets
- Product Visualizations
- Architectural Renderings
- Concept Art
- Texture Maps
- Animations & Motion Graphics
- Augmented & Virtual Reality Models
For applications ranging from entertainment and gaming to marketing and engineering.
35. Coaching and Mentorship
Leverage your knowledge guiding clients to achieve goals through services like:
- Developing Customized Improvement Plans
- Providing Accountability Through Check-ins
- Sharing Advice Based on Proven Experience
- Leading Brainstorming & Strategic Thinking Exercises
- Reviewing Progress and Celebrating Milestones
- Providing Fresh Perspective on Challenges
Enabling you to monetize expertise directly helping others excel. Especially powerful paired with niche competencies.
List your services on coaching sites like CoachHub, Superprof, and Sidetrain to connect with potential coaching clients. Expect to earn $40-$250+ per hour based on your demonstrated achievements and student results.
Today’s wide range of digital freelancing opportunities enables talented professionals to earn substantial income doing work they’re skilled at and enjoy from anywhere.
But identifying which high-demand niche skills to invest time mastering is key to thriving as an independent freelancer. The abilities covered throughout this guide represent proven freelance career paths based on leveraging expertise that clients sorely need and will pay well for.
Beyond the sheer earning potential, freelancing also provides tremendous lifestyle flexibility and the rewarding experience of controlling your own professional journey.
With consistent hard work building your skills and delivering incredible value for clients, lucrative freelance careers await in 2023 and beyond. The possibilities are truly limitless!
FAQ About Freelancing
What skills are most in demand for freelancers?
Some top freelance skills in highest demand right now include:
- Content Writing – Copywriting, technical writing, SEO content, email marketing etc.
- Graphic Design – Visual branding, marketing materials, social media assets, packaging etc.
- Web/Software Development – Websites, mobile apps, database programming, API integrations etc.
- Social Media Management – Facebook/Instagram ad management, community engagement, influencer campaigns etc.
- Video Production – Filming/editing promo videos, commercials, training content etc.
- Virtual Assistance – Administrative tasks, email management, appointment scheduling, data entry etc.
Mastering niche skills that businesses rely on yet often lack sufficient internal capacity for provides immense freelancing value.
How much can you make freelancing?
Freelance income potential varies based on niche, demand level, credentials, portfolio, and ability to successfully land clients and deliver results. Typical earning ranges include:
- Beginners – $15-$25 per hour or $250-$500 per project
- Intermediate – $25-$50 per hour or $500-$2,500 per project
- Expert/Established – $50-$150+ per hour or $2,500-$10,000+ per project
with part-time freelancers earning $1,000-$3,000 per month and full-time freelancers earning $4,000-$10,000+ per month. Six figure freelance incomes are very attainable with consistency and dedication over time.
What skills should you learn to freelance?
Some foundational freelance skills newcomers should focus on initially include:
- Effective client communication and consultation – Learn how to assess needs, set clear expectations, handle feedback smoothly etc.
- Time management and productivity – Master meeting deadlines, limiting distractions, delivering consistently through self-discipline.
- Basic technology and tools – Know essential software, cloud services, project management systems etc. to collaborate efficiently.
- Contracts and finances – Understand how to set rates, when to ask for deposits, using contracts to protect yourself legally and get paid reliably.
- Portfolio development – Build a compelling portfolio demonstrating your expertise through case studies, client feedback, visuals etc.
Developing core business operations, communication, and self-management abilities complement your niche technical skills, enabling success freelancing.
How do I start freelancing with no experience?
Tips for launching a freelance career from scratch:
- Build a portfolio – Create sample projects or volunteer work demonstrating skills.
- Offer discounted rates initially – Offer lower pricing to secure first clients and reviews. Raise rates after establishing work samples.
- Leverage existing networks – Ask family/friends if they know any contacts needing your services.
- Niche down – Position yourself as specialized rather than a generalist. Become known for deep skills in a field.
- Provide exceptional customer service – Exceed expectations and communicate thoroughly to get referrals.
- Review freelancing contracts carefully – Ensure beneficial terms as you lack bargaining power initially.
- Consider a complementary side job initially if feasible – Having some steady income reduces risk as you build your reputation and client pipeline.
With persistence and delivering great work, new freelancers can build a thriving business over time. Supportive initial clients provide the foundation.
What freelance skills can I learn for free?
Some freelance skills offering quality free education include:
- Writing – Free blog articles and YouTube videos teach copywriting, content marketing, editing etc.
- Graphic design – YouTube channels like The Futur have free tutorials on tools like Illustrator and Photoshop.
- Programming – FreeCodeCamp.org provides extensive coding education grounded in real projects.
- Sales/marketing – HubSpot Academy and Google Garage offer free certifications in digital marketing foundations.
- Bookkeeping – YouTube channels like Accounting Stuff offer free tutorials on Quickbooks and Excel.
- Foreign languages – Apps like Duolingo provide free self-paced lessons in Spanish, French, Italian and more.
With robust free resources available online today, you can bootstrap skills acquisition and prove competency before investing in paid training.