Which Skill Is Best For Freelancing? (15 That Make Money)

Freelancing is an increasingly popular way to make a living. It can be attractive for many reasons: the flexibility, the ability to work from anywhere, and the potential to make more money than many traditional jobs. While there are advantages to freelancing, it’s important to choose a skill that will be profitable for you in the long-term.

15 freelancing skills worth trying are:

  1. Web design & development
  2. Graphic design & illustration
  3. Copywriting & content creation
  4. Video editing & production
  5. App & software development
  6. SEO & digital marketing
  7. Transcription & translation
  8. Accounting & bookkeeping
  9. Virtual assistance
  10. Coaching & consulting
  11. Legal services
  12. Photography & videography
  13. Voice over & audio editing
  14. Writing & research
  15. Social media management

You will need experience with these skills if you want to make money with them of course, but they’re some of the best options to consider as a freelancer. I go through each one in more detail below, but first let’s consider which ones make the most money.

What Freelancing Skills Earn The Most?

1. Web Development

From creating websites to coding, web development is a highly sought-after skill that pays well for experienced professionals. You can earn thousands of dollars per project at the high end, but even beginners can expect a decent hourly rate with this skill.

Examples of web developers on Upwork.
Here are some examples of the hourly rates of web developers on Upwork

2. Graphic Design

Graphic design can be used for everything from creating logos and advertisements to designing website interfaces. With so many uses, it’s no wonder why this skill is in high demand from employers. Logos can cost as little as $5, but other projects might net you hundreds of dollars or even thousands.

3. Content Writing

Content writing is the process of crafting compelling stories, blog posts, articles, and other forms of written pieces for digital publications or print media outlets. It’s usually an in-demand job with competitive wages, and you’re often paid per word. Beginners might expect a few cents per word, but the ones at the top might make $1/word or more.

4. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing website content to rank higher in search engine results and attract more traffic. With the right skills, you can become a specialist in this field and charge a premium for your services. It’s often an hourly wage you’ll earn, or a retainer fee per project.

5. Video Editing

Video editing is the process of manipulating video clips and images to create an engaging story or message. Experienced editors can command high rates for their work, making it a desirable freelancing skill set. Rates can be anywhere from $20 per hour to $100+.

Examples of video editors and their hourly rates on Upwork.
Video editor hourly rates vary a lot on platforms like Upwork

The 15 Best Freelancing Skills

1. Web Design & Development

This is one of the most lucrative skills for freelancers, as demand for web designers and developers is high and likely to only get higher over time. The complexity of websites and the need for custom solutions makes this an area that can command very high fees.

2. Graphic Design & Illustration

Whether you are creating logos, illustrations, or a brand identity, graphic design and illustration skills are in high demand from businesses wanting to stand out from their competition.

3. Copywriting & Content Creation

Businesses need words to effectively communicate and persuade customers – whether it’s website copy, blog posts or social media content. Solid writing skills can make you a lot of money as a freelancer, and it’s applicable to pretty much every industry you can imagine.

4. Video Editing & Production

With video becoming increasingly popular on social media and the internet, there is a need for skilled video editors and producers to create engaging content. It does take quite a lot of learning to master of course.

5. App & Software Development

If you have programming skills, becoming a freelance app or software developer can be highly profitable. Not only can you help clients with their projects, but you can learn the skills required to create your own apps as well.

6. SEO & Digital Marketing

Businesses are always looking to improve their search engine rankings and increase their online visibility, so if you have expertise in SEO and digital marketing, freelancing can provide you with plenty of work.

7. Transcription & Translation

If you’re multilingual and able to type quickly, transcription and translation services are in demand by businesses that need to communicate with customers in multiple languages. But even if you only speak one language, transcription is still a lucrative option, especially in the age of podcasting.

8. Accounting & Bookkeeping

While not as glamorous as some of the other skills on this list, if you have accounting knowledge and experience, there are plenty of businesses that need help with their finances. This one will take quite specific expertise though.

9. Virtual Assistance

Businesses are increasingly using virtual assistants to handle administrative tasks such as data entry, email management, and customer service. It’s quite an easy skill to pick up in many respects, making it a beginner friendly choice.

10. Coaching & Consulting

If you’re an expert in your field or industry, coaching and consulting services can be extremely lucrative for freelancers. You can charge quite a lot if you have niche knowledge, and there are opportunities to work with some pretty big clients once you have a solid reputation.

11. Legal Services

Law firms and corporations often outsource legal tasks such as contract reviews or patent research to freelance professionals. Like accounting, this will require expert knowledge and perhaps specific qualifications.

12. Photography & Videography

With everyone carrying a camera in their pocket these days, it is no surprise that the demand for skilled photographers and videographers is at an all-time high. It’s a tough one to learn, but this skill can open up lots of freelancing opportunities.

13. Voice Over & Audio Editing

If you have a good voice, audio editing skills, or an ear for sound design, there is plenty of work available in voice over and other audio editing roles.

Examples of voice over artists and their hourly rates on Upwork.
Voice over artists can charge varying rates on freelance marketplaces

14. Writing & Research

Businesses often need content writers, researchers, and editors to help with their communication materials or research projects. There is no limit to the kinds of opportunities available with this skill.

15. Social Media Management

Many businesses are now outsourcing their social media management needs to freelancers who can help create engaging posts, grow followers, and monitor their presence online.

Freelancing Skills Earning Potentials Compared

Freelancing SkillEarning PotentialSkill Level RequiredLevel of Demand
Web Design & DevelopmentHighIntermediate to AdvancedHigh
Graphic Design & IllustrationMedium to HighIntermediateHigh
Copywriting & Content CreationMedium to HighIntermediateHigh
Video Editing & ProductionMedium to HighIntermediate to AdvancedHigh
App & Software DevelopmentHighAdvancedHigh
SEO & Digital MarketingMedium to HighIntermediateHigh
Transcription & TranslationLow to MediumBeginnerMedium
Accounting & BookkeepingMedium to HighAdvancedMedium
Virtual AssistanceLow to MediumBeginnerHigh
Coaching & ConsultingHighAdvancedMedium
Legal ServicesHighAdvancedMedium
Photography & VideographyMedium to HighIntermediateMedium to High
Voice Over & Audio EditingLow to MediumBeginnerMedium
Writing & ResearchMedium to HighIntermediateHigh
Social Media ManagementLow to MediumIntermediateHigh

How To Choose The Right Freelancing Skill For You

Consider Your Strengths & Interests

Before choosing a freelancing skill, take a moment to reflect on your strengths and interests. Consider the things you enjoy doing and the skills you excel at. Choosing a skill that you’re passionate about will not only make your work more enjoyable but will also help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

For example, if you enjoy writing, consider offering copywriting or content creation services. If you have a keen eye for creative detail, graphic design could be the ideal route for you.

Determine Market Demand

While it’s essential to choose a skill that you’re passionate about, it’s also important to consider market demand. Research the demand for freelancers in your chosen field and determine how you can stand out in a competitive market.

For example, while web design and development is a highly lucrative area, it’s also highly competitive. Consider how you can differentiate your services to stand out from your competitors.

Analyze Your Competition

When selecting a freelancing skill, it’s vital to analyze your competition. Identify successful freelancers in your chosen field and evaluate their skills, pricing strategy, and branding. Use this information to determine how you can differentiate your services and offer something unique.

For example, if your competition is charging high rates for web design services, consider offering more affordable, yet still high-quality services. If most SEOs in your niche only offer technical SEO help, consider offering local SEO services as well.

Invest In Training & Development

Freelancing skills are continuously evolving, which means that you need to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in your field. Invest in training and development opportunities to build your skills, expand your knowledge, and remain competitive.

Consider Your Lifestyle & Work Preferences

Freelancing allows you to have more control over your work schedule and work-life balance. Consider your lifestyle and work preferences when picking a freelancing skill. For example, if you prefer flexible working hours, consider offering virtual assistance or social media management services that you can easily manage from anywhere.

Final Thoughts

You can offer almost any skill as a freelancer, but some are more lucrative and in-demand than others. Use the list above as a guide for inspiration for the kinds of services you could offer as a freelancer!