Freelancing means working in the field you are skilled in without being employed by a company with a set salary. It is working for yourself whenever you want. Many freelancers have a daily job, but in long term, it has the potential to become a full-time profession.
Let’s be honest. Right now, there is an ongoing recession and companies will begin to lay off some employees due to budget cuts. Also, don’t forget the job crisis during the pandemic. Learning specific skills can help you establish a passive income by becoming a freelancer and be prepared for any difficulty that life throws at you.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the best freelance skills that have high demand in 2023. By learning one or a couple of them, you can find good opportunities on the internet and make money online.
Best Skills for Freelancing
There are hundreds of skills you can learn to become a freelancer. That’s besides the skills you need for succeeding in the gig economy. But not all of them have the potential to earn you some money on the internet, not without some “out of the box” thinking, of course.
For example, a plumber can’t fix pipes over the internet. It has to be in person. However, if he/she creates an online course teaching his profession, there are ways to make money online off that.
The following list includes the best freelancing skills in 2023 that are highly demanded and can be done remotely from the comfort of the home. All you need is a laptop & an internet connection.
1. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a popular field in the advertising industry. Companies use digital marketing to advertise their brand, products, and services on the internet by using various online media & social networks. Since the early 1990s, digital marketing became one of the important forms of marketing for companies & businesses, and the demands have only gone up each year.
Getting into digital marketing isn’t actually hard. The requirements are above-average knowledge of the internet, social media, trending topics, research, A/B testing, and customer behavior. What makes you the master of this skill is learning more and more about the industry. I’m certain there are many free learning materials, YouTube videos, and blog posts that can help you.
2. Content Writing
Content writing refers to providing written articles for websites. It is the foundation of content marketing, and without it, there would be no websites. Every blog post that you read is a piece of content that was written for various purposes. This blog post you are reading is also content.
If you have a knack for writing and can write good engaging blog posts, then content writing is the right skill for you. The demand for written content will never decrease, even with the rise of AI content generators. All you need are online research skills, blog post structures, and SEO (the next item on the list).
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is a form of content marketing and one of the most demanding skills since the rise of search engines. SEO (usually referred to as SEO marketing) is the practice of optimizing a website and its content to rank higher for a target keyword on Google search results after.
SEO marketing is a long-term, low-cost marketing strategy that is favored by everyone. The better a website’s SEO, the higher it will rank on Google. SEO helps websites drive organic traffic directly from the Google search result page. Organic traffic refers to people who searched for something and may eventually turn into the website’s customers by purchasing a product or service.
Learning SEO involves learning skills like content writing, topic research, A/B testing, and keyword research as well as knowing about search intent and Google ranking factors. There are lots of online videos and blog posts that can teach you SEO for free.
Read More: Best Free Keyword Research Tools
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on online advertisement (free or paid) on different social media platforms. This skill is especially suitable for those who are always active on social media because this job is going to be a piece of cake for them.
All you need to know about social media marketing as a freelancer is a complete knowledge of using popular social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.) plus some graphic design skills to edit photos, add texts, and upload posts. Also, you have to monitor competitors, discover trends, and manage & grow followers/subscribers.
I like to say that there are online materials to learn social media marketing, but since there are a lot of platforms out there, the best way is to follow big brands and companies on social media and see what they are doing. This way, you can learn the tricks in the process while you are working as a social media marketer.
5. Website Development
Website development is the other name for designing a website. Many avoid becoming website developers because they believe it involves learning coding and programming. But with software & services like WordPress, Wix, and Shopify, anyone can create a website without any coding.
A good website developer who designs websites, eCommerce stores, and blogs often knows little about coding. I designed WordPress websites since 2009 without knowing any coding except some CSS & HTML syntax that you can learn in an hour!
By learning popular site builder software, you can easily land many freelance gigs. Many clients out there are looking for someone to make a simple business website for them. Some are looking to create an online store and only need someone to create a Shopify website for them. All of these are free of coding.
6. Machine Learning & AI
With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is safe to assume that many tasks that were done by humans will now be handed to AI. There are a lot of technological advances in this field to the point that AI can now create artwork, write content, prevent disasters, and help humans in general.
It’s never too late to start learning about machine learning. This field is fairly new and all that we hear now is just the efforts of the past few years. The demand for programmers in the machine learning & AI field is already high, and there will be even more demand in the coming years. You can start today and learn popular programming languages like Python and C++ to get things going, but the key in this rather difficult niche is the learn as much as you can.
7. Data Science & Analysis
Data science & analysis is the field of studying large sets of data and finding meaningful connections among them. This is not new, but since businesses and companies are relying on data to provide better products and make more money, the demand for this skill is increasing without stopping.
Even the introduction of AI & machine learning in more facets of ordinary life increased the demand for data analysts. Those designing the AI want to optimize its behavior and increase its performance. To do this, they have to go through large amounts of data and tweak the algorithm based on what the data suggests.
Learning data science & data analysis requires one to think outside the box and spot the connections, anomalies, and relations in big data sets. If you are a fast learner and critical thinker who loves crunching numbers & mathematical formulas, I think you should give this skill a try and make lots of money doing it for clients.
8. App Development
These days, it is really hard to spot people not looking at their smartphones. Everyone has a smartphone with some apps and games installed and frequently used for various reasons. New businesses are constantly emerging to take a share and existing companies are trying to keep up in this specific market. What they need are app developers to create & publish applications for smartphones.
Most clients and small companies are looking for simple apps, like an online store or a game. This is where you can start if you learn app development. This skill consists of programming &coding knowledge, graphic design, user interface design, and how to publish apps on Google Play or Apple App Store. If you think you can do it, the demand is high and always will be.
9. Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
It’s impossible to ignore the impact of technologies like the blockchain and cryptocurrencies on our lives and their potential for the future. I’m sure you are familiar with the blockchain especially since it exploded in the early months of the pandemic. You might even have invested in crypto during the past few years and made some money.
With all of its good & bad impacts, we can’t ignore the demand for blockchain programmers. The technology is in its infancy and it will be even bigger in the near future. So if you are interested in this rather huge market, It’s time to start learning more about blockchain technology, because, in the near future, the demand will go to the moon!
The process of mastering blockchain programming skills isn’t as complicated as learning a powerful script-heavy programming language, so you should be fine. However, the thing with emerging technologies is that they are rapidly developing and new things will be added almost every day.
10. Graphic Design
Graphic design is a broad term that points to almost any sort of computer graphic skill one might have. It ranges from 2D simple image editing & creating art masterpieces to 3D modeling & animations. The perfect graphic design skill for freelancers is something more than simple image editing but still a lot easier than painting a digital Monalisa.
let me give you some examples so you can clearly understand what skills you need as a freelance graphic designer. The highest demand for graphic designers in online job markets narrows down to designing company logos, marketing materials, banners, brochures, business cards, office sets, posters, and website graphics with the hardest being logo designing.
The majority of graphic designers at this level master software like Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW, and Adobe Illustrator. With enough practice and learning by working on small projects, one can learn everything necessary within a few months.
11. Video Editing
Like the previous item in the list, video editing is also a broad term. In professional terms, we have pre-production (lighting, creating sets, sound recording, camera position), production (filming), and post-production (putting pieces together, special effects, color correction). What you have to learn as a freelance video editor is a portion of post-production.
These days, many people & businesses decide to create their YouTube channel and constantly upload videos either to join YouTube Partner Program and make money or to advertise their business and increase their brand awareness. What they need, and there is actually a high demand for it, is video editors to take care of the post-production phase.
What you have to do is to put short clips & audio files together to create a lengthy video, color correction, add some text & graphics, and maybe music. Rarely you may have to remove the greenscreen from the video (which is just a click of a button) or add some pre-made special effects.
It’s really nothing special or difficult TBH. Most videos from YouTube are made as simple as that. There are a number of famous software available to edit videos. Adobe Premiere is the best I know and use, but there is also iMovie (Mac OS only) as well as Camtasia Studio.
Find Work as a Freelancer
Now that you know the best skills for a freelancer, it’s time to talk about how to find clients and land some projects, so the money can roll in. This is where you have to search for different freelancer platforms. The best ones out there, in my opinion, are Fiverr and Upwork. But there are many more.
Also, you can find clients yourself outside of these websites. Search among local companies to see if anyone requires your skills. Linkedin is also a good place to find business owners and send them a message telling them you are ready to collaborate on their projects. If you want to learn more about becoming a freelancer and finding projects, make sure to read my article How to Become a Freelancer. I explained everything in detail over there.
To conclude, let me summarize everything we’ve read here. We learned the best freelance skill to learn in 2023. These skills are selected among hundreds of skills only because of their high demand and the fact that they can be done online and remotely from home.
The good thing about freelancing is that you don’t need to quit your job to learn the skills and become a freelancer. You can have your daily 9 to 5 and do freelance gigs in your free time. You can ease yourself into freelancing, and when it pays well enough, you can look at it as a full-time job.
All you need is to dedicate yourself to learning some skills and being patient with the difficulties you may experience during the freelancing journey like finding clients and delivering projects. In the end, it is a great experience to become a freelancer if you don’t rush into it, don’t lose hope, and don’t be discouraged after not seeing growth. Just try and keep trying harder.