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The 10 best freelance jobs in demand now (Fall 2021)

The tide of work is turning; there is no question. With all the uncertainty we’ve faced over the past couple of years, it’s no wonder people are looking to take control of their financial future. As a result, online freelance jobs are on many people’s minds.

More people than ever are launching new businesses or looking into a freelance career as it gives them the freedom to work from home (or wherever), create their own schedules, and make more money.

Perhaps the best part about it is that all you really need is a marketable skill, a computer, a good internet connection, and the ability to manage your own schedule – you can work from almost anywhere.

However, if you have a specialty of any kind, the earning potential can be quite attractive. Freelance workers are in demand, and once you establish yourself, your biggest problem will be managing multiple clients and knowing when to draw the line!

The 10 best and highest paying freelance jobs for Fall 2021

The popularity of online freelance jobs is attributable to two things.

For freelancers, it’s about living on their own terms, gaining flexibility, and the security that comes with knowing you’re 100% in control of your career path. Many companies shuttered or downsized during the pandemic—the hospitality sector is just one example—and workers had to think about other ways to work and live.

There has also been a massive movement to hire freelancers from all types and sizes of businesses. Solopreneurs and startups use freelancers to access skills they don’t have in-house.

Big companies love using freelancers to augment their teams; plus, it helps them avoid the time and resource-consuming process of recruiting, hiring, and training full-time employees.

So, if you’ve been thinking about starting up a freelance business, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 most in-demand highest paying freelance jobs right now. If you have some of these in-demand skills in your back pocket, you’re already more than halfway there.

1. Web designer or web developer

Every business needs a website, and good web designers are in high demand. Web designers work with companies and individuals to plan out, design, and code websites for all kinds of industry niches.

If you have some experience with WordPress or Joomla, there is plenty of work to be found on freelance platforms like Fiverr or UpWork. But if you have advanced skills, you should check out Toptal. To get listed on Toptal, you’ll have to undergo a fairly stringent screening process, but the pay is much higher, and the clients tend to be high-profile.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have much experience, check out Udemy’s online web design courses. There are classes for pretty much every skill level and interest, so it’s an excellent place to get your feet wet or upgrade your freelance skills.

2. Graphic designer

Graphic design is a solid marketable skill. It applies to many different business applications, including marketing, advertising, reports, catalogs, brochures, newsletters, business cards, websites, product packaging, outdoor signage, trade show booths—and the list goes on. You’ll need to be proficient in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and Illustrator) and understand basic concepts like pre-press techniques.

Many graphic designers hold degrees or certificates, but just as many learn through practical experience. That being said, if you are Adobe certified, that might make you more desirable to some clients. You’ll need a good portfolio for sure, but most prospective employers are less interested in your education than they are in the work you produce. A strong portfolio, a good repertoire of skills, and a specialty or two will take you far.

3. Teacher

There are literally thousands of online teaching jobs available—whether or not you have a teaching degree or credentials. If you do, all the better. There is a massive shortage of teachers around the world right now, so chances are you’ll have no trouble finding a position you like.

Even if you don’t have a teaching degree, there are still plenty of options. English as a second language (ESL) teachers are in high demand, and you don’t need much experience. In many cases, the only prerequisite is a good command of the English language and a level of comfort with online technology.

If you are a whiz at math, science, history, or any other school-type topic, you might also consider online tutoring. Being an online tutor usually doesn’t require specific certifications, but you might have to go through a vetting process if you’ll be working with kids. If you want to get serious about tutoring, there are various certifications you can pursue. Check out the National Tutoring Association website for resources and opportunities.

4. Virtual assistant

Are you super-organized? Able to complete tasks fast? Good with all kinds of productivity software? If so, then a freelance virtual assistant (VA) job might be right for you. Most VAs are paid hourly, and earnings range from $15 to $25 an hour or more, based on the client’s needs and specific expertise required.

Tasks can include managing email, making phone calls, data entry, bookkeeping, research, social media, content creation, making travel arrangements, or setting appointments.

Virtual assistant gigs are a great way to break into the freelancing life. The more you can do, the more your services are worth; but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have a ton of experience to begin.

You will need to be computer-savvy, responsive, accountable, and able to work quickly. Most people looking for VAs have specific projects they need to complete and don’t have time to do them. The more agile and capable you are, the more valuable you’ll be to them. The best VAs can jump in quickly and get a lot accomplished in a short space of time. 

5. Freelance writer

There are endless opportunities on the web to find freelance writing jobs. If you’re good, fast, and reliable, you’ll never want for freelance work, and that’s especially true if you have expertise in areas like technology, marketing, crypto/blockchain, or sales.

Of course, you can still make a go of it even if you don’t have specific skills. As long as you’re willing to learn and good with Google, you’ll do just fine.

Probably the best part about choosing writing as an online freelance job is that it doesn’t require a lot of equipment to get started. You can use Microsoft Word or G-Suite to create and deliver your work, and you can pretty much do it anywhere—at home, on the road, or wherever the four winds take you.

Technical or medical writing typically pays the highest, but you can also make a pretty good living writing blogs or website copy. 

6. Editor

Editing is a pretty good freelance gig. If you have an excellent command of the English language, grammar, spelling, and writing style, you’ll find plenty of work proofing and copyediting articles that other people have written. Even if your ultimate goal is to get freelance writing jobs, editing is an excellent place to start.

Of course, editing can be much more involved than just copyediting. Online publishers often need editors to coordinate things like e-books, magazines, and publications. If you have past experience or a specialized degree, look for potential clients in those niches.

Editing work can be technical, or it could be creative. It might also involve researching and fact-checking an article before publication.

Editing product manuals or technical documentation can pay very well, but you’d need to have a good grasp of the terminology and a talent for turning complex ideas into concise, easily understood language. 

7. Accountant/financial consultant

Financial expertise is always in demand. Depending on your educational and professional background, you might see jobs for anything from daily bookkeeping to tax accounting, business accounting, and even fractional CFO positions.

Financial consulting is another potential freelance niche, especially if you’ve had some success or experience working with reputable financial companies or have a specialty, like real estate, insurance, or tax planning.

Software like QuickBooks Online gives you the capability to manage accounts for several clients at a time. Because the work is virtual, growth is not limited by geography.

You can pick up extra work at tax time and work on building a regular online clientele to ensure a predictable income. With several clients on the go and some seasonal surge to bank on, you’ll quickly maximize your earning potential.

8. Social media specialist

All companies need an online presence. But keeping up with it is time-consuming—and not all organizations have an in-house marketing team to help them do it.

If you know your way around social media platforms, understand how to put together a compelling post, and enjoy seeing the fruits of your efforts come to life before your eyes, a freelance job in social media marketing might be right for you.

Additional skills in this area can include ad creation, analytics tracking, and engaging directly with the brand’s audience. You might be responsible for maintaining specific key performance indicators (KPIs), like engagement level, conversions, and audience building, or you could be more focused on the content creation aspect and work as part of a team.

If you want to land freelance social media specialist jobs, think about putting together an online portfolio with some samples—and don’t forget to list your accomplishments. Social media is all about the metrics, after all.

9. App developer

Businesses today spend a lot of money developing custom apps, both for their customers and their employees. App developers are among the highest-paid freelancers, with top earners making well into six figures.

If you have a passion for creating apps, taking it freelance might be the smartest career move ever. Demand for iOS and Android development skills is very high, and the more skilled you become, the higher your earning potential.

You’ll need a good portfolio, lots of creative ideas, and a CV that focuses on your skills and achievements. Measurable results speak volumes about what you’re capable of, so don’t be afraid to strut your stuff.

Initially, you’ll probably have to take on a lot of small gigs. Even so, every single one helps you build a repertoire, and once you’ve got a few under your belt, the next one will be that much easier.

Take a course or two to flesh out your skills gaps or sign up for a boot camp for a more intensive experience.

10.  Content creator

Content is king, especially in our media-obsessed world. Digital content comes in many forms: blogs, white papers, brochures, newsletters, magazines, videos, infographics, social media posts, email campaigns—and the list goes on. But not every company has the time or the staff to create all the content they need.

As a freelance content creator, you’ll work with brands to craft various types of content around products, services, or people that they can then use online. Not all content is about selling. Sometimes it’s about demonstrating a product or discussing a topic of interest, like food, travel, or video games.

Content creators must be skilled at photography, videography, editing, creating scripts, and producing a polished finished product. Companies looking to hire freelance content creators are seeking creative talent that can illuminate their brand and its message.

You’ll need to be able to work independently as well as be part of a team, and it certainly helps to have experience with platforms like YouTube, live streaming, and professional editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro.

Finding the best freelance job for you

If you’re ready to embrace the freelancing life, there’s no better time to start than right now. Companies are focused on reducing costs and running lean, and one of the ways they do this is by hiring freelance talent. Of course, there are plenty of other freelance jobs out there – all you need is to build an in-demand skill.

It’s easy to get started on one of the many freelance job sites, like UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer, or Toptal. Once you launch your profile, you’ll find a ready audience of potential clients and jobs at your fingertips.

It might take a while to get started, but it’s not unusual for new freelancers to get gigs right away. Be responsive, do great work, deliver on time, and your freelance business will almost certainly grow into a career you’ll love.

It’s our mission to support the success of freelancers and small businesses. What type of freelance career are you building? Join the conversation in the Creative Collective and get more valuable tips for your success.


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