10 Best Freelance Jobs (That Pay Well)

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Written By SmarterrMoney.org

The latest in personal finance to help you make smarter money choices. 

There has never been a better time to become a freelancer. 

The benefits of remote freelance work, which include increased earning potential, the opportunity to be your own boss, and the freedom to choose which clients you do and don’t work with, make ditching your 9 to 5 and getting a freelance job a compelling idea.  

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of freelance work and uncover the best jobs for freelancers, the most valuable skills you need to succeed, and the best countries in the world for freelancers to live and work in.

What are the most in-demand freelance jobs in 2023? 

Based on average hourly wages, the number of freelancers currently in the market, and the average monthly search volume for each role, our research has uncovered the best jobs for freelancers in 2023.

Here is our list:

1. Copywriter 

Copywriting is a creative role that requires you to write clear, engaging material to serve a variety of purposes and audiences, from advertisements to website sales funnels. 

This position requires the following abilities: 

  • Excellent writing skills 
  • An understanding of your target audience’s needs 
  • Creativity 

Copywriters can earn $29.75 per hour on average, making this profession one of the most profitable — albeit competitive — freelance remote jobs. 

Here are some steps you’ll need to take if you want to pursue a freelance copywriter career: 

  1. Build a portfolio 
  2. Network with professionals in your field 
  3. Pitch to clients 
  4. Create a website 
  5. Develop your skills through online courses and training 
  6. Join freelance job sites to find work opportunities 

2. Digital marketer 

Digital marketing involves promoting products or services through digital channels, such as social media platforms or Google Search. 

These days, everyone seems to be either on the hunt for a savvy digital marketer or looking to get into the business themselves. 

There’s a good reason for that. 

The average salary for a digital marketer is $64,000 a year — and the work is 100% remote. 

 You’ll need to have the following core skills to be considered for a digital marketing position: 

  • A strong understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) 
  • The ability to write engaging copy on different platforms 
  • Experience using Google Analytics 
  • An understanding of social media algorithms 

 Some ways to develop these skills include the following: 

  • Investing in an online marketing course 
  • Subscribing to a digital marketing newsletter to stay up to date on the latest trends 
  • Practicing on your own website or product 

3. Web developer 

If you’re a strong coder, a fast learner, and have an eye for design, getting a freelance job as a web developer could be an excellent option for you. 

Web developers are responsible for building and maintaining websites. On average, they make $37 per hour. 

To become a web developer, you’ll need the following: 

  • Proficiency in programming languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Experience using content management systems (CMSs) 
  • The ability to solve complex problems in a short time frame 

There are several ways you can develop your web developer skills to help you land a freelance job. These include the following: 

  • Furthering your knowledge through YouTube videos or online webinars 
  • Volunteering to help with web development projects for small businesses or nonprofits 
  • Joining the Facebook or Discord networks of other web developers 

4. SEO manager  

An SEO manager is in charge of optimizing websites to improve their clients’ rankings on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. 

Nowadays, businesses understand the importance of being recognized in search engines and are willing to pay for a professional who knows what they’re doing. In the US, SEO managers can make between an impressive $64 to $150 per hour.

The responsibilities of an SEO manager include the following: 

  • Conducting keyword research 
  • Undergoing competitor analysis
  • Monitoring search engine algorithms 
  • Analyzing website traffic and user behavior 

To develop your skills and get a high-paying freelance job as an SEO manager, you can: 

  • Get hands-on experience through intern work 
  • Price your services at a lower rate until you have proof that you can rank a website 
  • Achieve an SEO certification 

5. Online course creator 

An online course creator designs, develops, and delivers online courses on a variety of topics, such as academic subjects, professional development, and personal growth.

The average pay rate for a freelance course creator is $28 per hour. However, this amount can be significantly more, depending on the course’s topic and quality. 

Creating successful online courses requires a range of skills, including the following: 

  • The ability to synthesize complex information into simple terms 
  • Strong research skills 
  • Experience using camera, sound, and editing equipment  

Here are some tips for how to get started: 

  • Engage with potential students and find out how they enjoy being taught 
  • Create a mock course, give it to a friend, and ask for feedback 

6. Virtual event planner 

A virtual event planner helps organize and execute events that take place online or in a virtual environment. 

Just like a traditional event planner, a virtual event planner is tasked with every aspect of the online event, including communicating with attendees and vendors, organizing payment options, and managing logistics. 

On average, virtual event planners make $49,470 per year from the comfort of their own homes. Depending on how many clients they’re able to secure, this salary can be higher. 

Here are the top three skills you’ll need to stand out from the competition in this profession: 

  • Organizational and motivational abilities 
  • Strong multitasking skills 
  • The ability to cope well under stress 

To increase your chances of getting a stable virtual event planner job, try the following: 

  • Focus on building a portfolio that showcases your unique style of work 
  • Attend other virtual events, and use them to determine what you can improve  
  • Use your creativity to keep event-goers interested during the entire event

 7. Video editor 

If you have experience working as a video editor or know how to cut together short-form content, like Instagram reels, then looking for a video editor role is the way to go. 

The flexibility of this role allows you to work in a variety of industries, such as film and advertising. On average, a freelance video editor working in film receives $38.94 per hour. 

Some skills that every aspiring freelance video editor needs to have include the following: 

  • Expertise in using editing software, like Adobe Premiere and After Effects 
  • The ability to interpret written feedback and implement it visually

You can find a freelance video editing job by: 

  • Advertising your services on social media and freelance job boards 
  • Offering discounts or specials for first-time customers 
  • Connecting with industry professionals to see if they have any work available 

8. User Experience (UX) designer 

A UX designer ensures a customer’s interaction with a company’s online presence is as good as possible. They focus on creative, intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that provide a positive experience for the user. 

In 2023, it was estimated that UX designers make up to $116,654 a year. 

Here are some skills that UX designers should master before applying for a freelance job in the profession: 

  • The ability to create wireframes, prototypes, visuals, and test designs 
  • The ability to conduct user research to understand users’ needs, behaviors, and preferences

Improve your skills and secure a freelance job in UX by: 

  • Thoroughly researching your target audience in a specific niche 
  • Advancing your skills by attending UX designer lectures or classes 

9. Customer service representative

A customer service representative handles various customer inquiries and complaints via phone calls, partakes in live chats with potential customers, and ensures the onboarding process is as simple as possible. 

On average, a customer service representative makes AU$63,575 yearly in Australia, and about $17.26 per hour in the US. 

A customer service representative’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Managing communication from multiple departments and taking orders from different managers 
  • Keeping accurate records of customer transfer actions, complaints, and resolutions 

10. Social media content creator 

A social media content creator is responsible for creating engaging and informative content for social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

A typical yearly salary for a social media content creator is $61,988

If you want to get a freelance job as a social media content creator: 

  • Create and post engaging and informative images, videos, blog posts, and graphics for your own site or offer your services to a nonprofit
  • Regularly conduct research on the latest trends circling social media sites, including LinkedIn and Instagram 

Landing a freelance social media content creator job gives you the flexibility of working remotely and allows you to express yourself. 

Here’s some inspiration on how you can showcase your skills for different social media creator positions: 

  • Use eye-catching visuals (that you shot yourself) 
  • Create unique content with fresh ideas 
  • Experiment with different formats 

What is the highest-paying freelance job in 2023? 

The most lucrative freelancer jobs in the UK and US are listed in the table below from best to worst, based on our analysis of 23 jobs in the healthcare, fintech, technology, marketing & advertising, and logistics industries.

Which remote freelance jobs don’t require a degree? 

The great thing about freelance jobs is that many don’t necessarily require a degree. If you have skills and are willing to continually learn and grow, you can make a lot of money as a freelancer.

Even if you’re simply looking for an easy job you can do as a ‘side hustle’ to bring in some extra cash, you don’t have to be an expert to be qualified.  

Several remote freelance jobs don’t require a degree. These include: 

  • Virtual assistant 
  • Content marketer  
  • Data entry technician 
  • Fitness instructor
  • Graphic designer 

The more experience and natural talent you have, the easier it will be for you to work efficiently and attract new clients. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pick a job that correlates with your current skills. 

For example, if you’re a strong writer, copywriting might be the best freelance job for you. If you have design skills, you might excel as a graphic designer. And if you’re a people person with strong organizational skills, an event planner might be the perfect freelance career path for you. 

How to get hired as a freelancer  

Getting hired as a freelancer can be difficult if you don’t know how to make yourself stand out. 

Here are some tips on how to do this:  

  • Customize your pitch and cover letter 
  • Highlight your unique skills and experience 
  • Provide hard proof of results through case studies, a portfolio, or past-client references
  • Offer a quality guarantee 
  • Be responsive 

Can a beginner start freelancing? 

Many people wonder if they can start freelancing jobs without any prior experience. 

The answer is yes! 

But it may require taking a pay cut at first to build your experience and establish a reputation within your niche. 

Follow these steps to get started as a freelancer: 

  1. Determine your skills and service: Consider your past work experience, hobbies, and interests, and think about the skills you have developed in those areas. 
  2. Choose a niche audience: Choose a specific audience that you want to target with your work or a specific industry that you want to break into. 
  3. Research market trends: Conduct thorough research into what products and services are already out there in your chosen niche, and make a list of the top players. 
  4. Build a strong portfolio: Prioritize building a strong portfolio that showcases your abilities on a variety of projects that target different audiences. 
  5. Use freelance platforms: Regularly check job platforms, such as LinkedIn, to see if there are any new job openings.
  6. Start with clients you already know: Ask your friends and family if they need your services or know anyone who does. 
  7. Follow up: Send a follow-up email after meeting with a potential employer or client to help ensure their satisfaction with you and help you build a long-term relationship with them. 
  8. Communicate professionally: Always use professional grammar, full sentences, and well-thought-out paragraphs to communicate. 
  9.  Make a good first impression: Prove you’re responsive and deliver high-quality work by ensuring your first submitted piece of work is outstanding. 

What skills do you need to become a freelancer? 

After analyzing popular freelancer platforms, like Upwork, Fiverr, TaskRabbit, and PeoplePerHour, we found the following skills to be highly sought after in 2023:

  • Consulting
  • Administrating
  • Bookkeeping
  • Photography and videography
  • Web app development
  • Graphic design
  • Data analytics
  • Translating
  • Social media management

Now, more than ever, businesses are seeking to interact with their customers in new, innovative ways, and freelancers with these skill sets are helping them manage this transition.

Freelancers with data analytics skills are sought after by growth-focused businesses in every sector to help make better-informed strategic decisions, improve productivity, and achieve overarching business goals.

Translating is another valuable skill in the digital age, supporting global communication and collaboration between business partners that are culturally different and geographically separated.

Bookkeeping and administration are highly valuable skills to any employer, small or large, as they are integral elements of a business’s day-to-day operations.

Which is the best country to work in as a freelancer?

Not only is a strong, stable internet connection crucial for successful remote work, but freelancers should also consider how much they’ll be paid, the level of demand for the services they offer, and the country’s economic stability when choosing a location to work from.

Because of this, we based our ranking of the best countries for freelancers to work remotely on the average broadband speed, the average freelance salary, the competitiveness of the market, and the rate of inflation.

  1. United States

According to our analysis, the best country for freelancers to work from is the US, in part due to the fact that it has one of the average fastest broadband speeds. There are currently an estimated 73.3 million freelancers country-wide, and this number is predicted to reach 90.1 million by 2028. 

  1. Germany

In second place is Germany. In 2022, there were 1.47 million people working as freelancers in the country. On average, for positions like graphic designers, UX designers, and web developers, freelancers earn between $49,090 and $78,872 yearly. 

  1. Switzerland 

In Switzerland, the third best country for freelancers, the broadband internet speed averages 229.96 megabits per second, which is the fastest internet connection in our list. Freelancers also have the potential to earn the most money living in this destination, with the average freelancer receiving a salary of $76,171 per year.

How employers can support freelancers  

Employers should consider what they can do to provide a positive experience for self-employed people and build a healthy reputation as a freelance employer of choice so that they can access top talent in an increasingly competitive market.

Some ways a company might do this include:

  • Always paying freelance contractors a fair rate for their work on time
  • Putting processes in place to streamline communication and collaboration with your internal teams
  • Maintaining a respectful, professional working relationship
  • Offering supportive, constructive feedback to help advance their skills growth

Get one of the best freelance jobs today 

Thanks to the growing popularity of remote work policies, freelancers and self-employed people can now work from almost anywhere in the world without losing access to desirable salaries or the career opportunities that matter most to them.