Eight High-Income Skills You Can Learn for Freelancing in 2022

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Skilled freelancers are in demand now more than ever before. According to an Upwork survey, freelancers offering professional services such as marketing, development, legal consultancy, writing, designing, and others, are making an average of $28/hour higher than 70% of all workers in the United States.

While these stats are enticing, the money you’re getting paid as a freelancer also depends on your portfolio and quality of work.

Still, certain skills are in higher demand in the freelancing market. Learning these high-income skills and gaining experience can guarantee more earning opportunities.

1.  Graphic Design

Graphic design is the backbone of every business’s identity. From brand logos to product labels and packaging, graphic designers are always in demand. Publications also need graphic artists for posters, books, merchandise, covers, and much more.

Graphic designers are expected to create masterful art pieces to represent a client’s brand and need to actively pitch ideas and bring concepts to life. If you’re passionate about graphic design, illustrations, 3D rendering, and so on, then you should join an online academy or register for Adobe Creative Cloud or iPad Procreate courses online.

How Much Do They Make?

Graphic designers with a one-to-two-year portfolio can make an average of $27/hr and up to $200/hr.

2.  Web Design and Front-End Development

Web design is interactive graphic design. You create mockups for web applications at your client’s request, usually in Photoshop, while taking the color schemes, typography, and so on, into account.

Front-end development starts where web design ends – you take the design and make it functional, giving it the behavior of a webpage. Developers need to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or C+ and their practical application.

How Much Do They Make?

Web design is a highly competitive field but can be very rewarding for skilled freelancers. Designers who have development skills are more likely to get hired. You can earn between $55 and $110k a year with these skills.

3.  Programming and Development

Possibly the highest paying freelance skill, programming, and software development is hard to master. You can start learning the basics with CodeAcademy or Udemy, but you’ll need to practice coding daily to master this goldmine skill. It can take you two to three years to become a good coder with a strong portfolio.

How Much Do They Make?

Programmers with solid WebGL and iOS can earn upwards of $150/hr. Another growing field in software engineering is blockchain development, where developers are responsible for devising security protocols, blockchain architecture, and decentralized apps. Junior blockchain developers earn an average of $110k/year.

4.  Social Media Management

A social media manager is behind every successful online brand, personality, and influencer. On the surface level, as a freelance social media manager, your main goal is to market your clients well and make sure their online presence sees growth.

On a deeper level, you need many passive skills, including social media strategy, content creation, content writing, analytics and reporting, scheduling and publishing posts, and engaging with followers and DMs. Social media managers also need to provide a certain level of customer support for businesses, as most customers reach out through social media today.

As a social media manager, you’ll also need a good knowledge of the latest online trends, memes, and pop culture happenings. Even if a business has nothing to do with music, movies, or online trends, writing witty captions with references can generate more leads and potentially help you go viral. An excellent example of this is Wendy’s fast-food chain Twitter account.

How Much Do They Make?

The average salary for freelance social media managers is $50k/year.

5.  SEO Writing

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is crucial for a company’s online presence. After all, if a customer can’t find a brand anywhere on Google, how will the company generate revenue?

SEO experts need to learn many technical skills such as HTML, link building, making Google Analytics dashboards and reports, and so on. They also need to research essential keywords and search algorithms while staying on top of changes.

But, most of all, they need to have impeccable research and writing skills, so their white hat SEO knowledge can be implemented seamlessly.

SEO writing skills are easy to master compared to programming and marketing. An excellent free course to learn SEO is available on Ahrefs.

How Much Do They Make?

The average pay for SEO writers with these skills is about $43k/year.

6.  Video Editing

Capturing a halfway decent video using a GoPro, iPhone, or DSLR isn’t a challenging skill for anyone. However, taking hours of video footage, crafting an exciting video from it, and correcting technical errors is not everyone’s cup of tea.

That’s when professional video editors come in. Video editors can take low-quality footage and make it YouTube-ready by trimming videos, adding graphics, fixing audio issues, enhancing color, combining clips, and ensuring the story flows in videos.

Ad agencies, YouTubers, music labels, and production studios regularly hire editors for editing trailers. Brands also create ads to generate leads that need some editing magic.

How Much Do They Make?

Video editors make an average of $20/hr.

7.  Translation

Even though new translation apps are developed and updated every day, the demand for language translation skills is not dwindling. A translator can convey the context, nuances, and intentions better than machines.

Human translators are needed in many industries and see opportunities in various industries. Complex scientific, legal, and medical texts often need translation and interpretation. Publishers, ad agencies, marketing firms, retailers, and global companies often hire freelance translators to reach a wider audience.

This is an excellent opportunity if you’re bilingual or multilingual. You can also polish your skills in other languages to be fluent while working as a translator.

How Much Do They Make?

While you can be expected to translate both audio and text as a translator, translating technical writing can bag more profit, anywhere from $35 to $60 an hour.

8.  Bookkeeping

Every business has sales to record, bills to pay, and investments to register, no matter the size. Yet no business owner starts their venture because they love QuickBooks Pro – enter bookkeepers.

Smaller businesses often hire freelancers on a contract basis for bookkeeping as it’s far more cost-effective. As a freelance bookkeeper/accountant, you will prepare and file taxes, generate cash flow statements, track receivables, and do payrolls. You’ll also need to be efficient with QuickBooks and its alternatives such as Xero.

Although it’s not a prerequisite, it’s smart to register for a bookkeeping certification, so you get an idea of the daily tasks. You also need errors and omissions insurance since you’re responsible for managing someone’s finances. A slight mistake can be a huge liability.

How Much Do They Make?

Typically, bookkeepers make about $18 to $25/hr. Whether you plan to learn a new skill to start your freelancing career or want to polish your existing talents, it’s important to note that the gig economy demands a lot of attention and focus.

You can learn high-income skills yet not make half as much as the top earners in your field. It all has to do with how committed you are, what makes you unique, and the quality of your finished work.


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