Whether you are tired of your 9 to 5 grind, or you are looking to make additional income on the side of your full time job, freelance jobs are your best bet to get the hours and income you are looking for.
For a lot of people, freelance jobs might seem like an unrealistic dream.
The promise of working from home, having flexible work hours, and fair compensation may sound too good to be true, but the freelance job market is seeing a boom in the demand for its services and an increase in income earning possibilities, meaning that these jobs are entirely realistic if a person has the right skills and is willing to commit their time to becoming successful.
If you are curious about making the switch to freelance jobs online and “work from home” jobs, you are not alone.
There are 53 million freelance workers in America today, doing either full time or part time gigs. Better yet, according to a study by MBO Partners, of the people working full time as freelancers, 1 in 5 are earning more than $100,000 a year.
Tempting, right? Now, before you hit “send” on that resignation letter to your current boss, stick around here to learn a lot more about the rewards and potential risks of pursuing freelance jobs, to help you make the most informed decision for your future career.
First And Foremost, What Exactly Are Freelance Jobs?
It is the question we are all thinking, but are too scared to ask, right?
Oftentimes when we think of work from home jobs, we picture millennials typing away on their laptop from the comfort of their home office (and no business attire to be found).
While this may be a totally accurate image, folks who are older or younger than the millennial age bracket are also able to succeed in these types of jobs.
In their most simplified definition, freelance jobs require skilled individuals to take on contract jobs. This makes them contractors who work for themselves and take on work for a variety of other organizations, rather than a full time employee working for just one business.
In this way, freelancers are not committed to one role. This allows them to determine their own work schedule, saying yes to more gigs when they have the time, and trimming down on their commitments when they need to focus on other things (like family, or a vacation, or just their original full time job if freelancing is a side job).
Therefore, the benefit of working in a freelance job is really the freedom it gives you to be your own boss. You have more control over your working hours and working location (freelance jobs online are excellent choices for people who enjoy travel) than you would in a regular full time employment situation.
As well, if your work is in high demand, you can also increase your working hours to make more income when you need the money.
It is for these advantages that more and more people are exploring freelance jobs, and living the self structured working day they have always aspired to.
I Want To Work A Freelance Job: What Are My Options?
Now that you have a firm understanding of what exactly freelance jobs entail, it is time to learn if the skills you possess translate into freelance work.
It goes without saying that not all jobs can be performed as freelance jobs online. However, we are seeing an increase in companies outsourcing specific jobs and work moving into virtual settings, so this sector continues to expand.
Here is my list of the best freelance jobs to help you earn extra income, or undo a career change altogether:
1. Information Technology (IT) Freelance Jobs
This is a very popular (and growing) sector of freelance work. Web developers take on gigs that require them to build and maintain websites for different companies.
Front end developers take care of the layout and design of the website, including how easily users can interact with it.
In comparison, back end web developers focus on the website’s server and how data is contained. Depending on your skill set, you can work either of these gigs, or take on both roles for the company.
Income range: You can charge clients anywhere from $25 to $150 per hour, depending on the kinds of web development you specialize in and your level of experience.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, the main focus of an SEO specialist.
These freelancers work with companies to ensure they are getting high traffic of users on their website.
SEO Specialists do this by making these company web pages rank high on search engine results and problem solve using different online marketing strategies.
Skills required to be a successful SEO specialist: You will want to have a degree and experience in web development, as well as a skilled knowledge of coding language and blogging, link building, and Google algorithms.
Income range: The average SEO Specialist charges $119 an hour.
2. Administration And Human Resources Freelance Jobs
This role includes performing administrative tasks for clients, including scheduling, making phone calls, making travel arrangements, and monitoring email accounts.
Some virtual assistants extend their role into managing blogs, social media pages, or even performing bookkeeping for their clients.
Really, the work will vary depending on what the client desires, but will require you to have strong organization skills and a wide range of computer skills.
Skills required: Post secondary degree or diploma is a plus but not required. A strong ability to navigate commonly used programs and business software will be expected by clients who hire virtual assistants.
Income range: $15 to $65 hourly rate (ranges greatly depending on your client needs and agreed responsibilities)
If you can brag about your typing skills, this might just be the kind of freelance work best suited for you.
A transcriptionist listens to audio types and types them into online documents.
This can be tedious work, so it requires a person who has keen attention to detail and is a fast typer.
Skills required: Strong listening and typing skills is essential to become a skilled transcriptionist, as clients will want your work to be error free.
Background knowledge in the medical and legal field can help (as those are the topics of most audio files that need to be transcribed), but is not required.
Income range: Beginners can expect $15 an audio hour (meaning you have transcribed 1 hour of audio). More advanced or specialized transcriptionists make up to $5 per audio minute.
3. Media And Marketing Freelance Jobs
Graphic Designer & Video Editor
The freelance role requires a creative mind and a person who is highly skilled in using online design and editing tools.
You will create the visuals and media design for company platforms, web pages, logos, advertising, and more.
Skills required: A degree and experience in graphic design and video editing is essential if you are looking to make top dollar in this industry.
You will also want to have a portfolio developed to demonstrate your skills to potential clients, so prior experience and time to build your brand is a must.
Income range: Average of $85 per hour
One of the most popular jobs in the freelance industry, content writers write articles, blog posts, reviews, and product guides for their clients.
Top content writers are able to write creative, well-crafted content on a wide range of products and topics.
This job also requires strong research and reading skills to familiarize yourself with the product or service you are showcased.
Skills required: Strong reading, writing, and editing skills, although a post-secondary degree is not required.
Income range: $50 to $700 per article, depending on your expertise and experience level.
As a brand strategist, you will work with a company’s marketing team to grow their brand and make their brand message strong and effective.
You will make recommendations to the company based on your research and market research analysis, understanding of customer behavior, and your knowledge of the industry.
The overall goal is to create a brand strategy that increases the company’s revenue.
Skills required: A bachelor’s degree and experience in the advertising and marketing industry. Strong digital marketing, strategic planning, collaboration, and industry forecasting skills are necessary for this freelance job.
Income range: Experienced consultants charge their clients $100 to $150 an hour for brand strategy work.
Social Media Manager
This is a dream job for anyone who considers themself to be savvy social media users, but it does require much more than making an attractive Instagram post if you want to be successful in the field.
Social Media managers manage social media pages for their clients.
They work across a variety of platforms to communicate a consistent message and curate timely posts that follow top trends. They also analyze user’s interaction with the pages to increase traffic.
Skills required: Social media managers need to be highly competent in using the most popular social media pages and need to have a sharp sense of current social media trends. Background experience in marketing and branding roles is helpful as well. Copywriting and data analysis skills are advanced skills that successful social media managers are equipped with.
Income range: Social media managers bring in $46,000 to $72,000 on average per year.
4. Accounting Freelance Jobs
A tax specialist is hired by a company to oversee their tax-related tasks.
This may include ensuring that the company is tax compliant, assisting in an audit, preparing their federal or state income tax, or informing the company about tax law and best practices for their individual needs.
Skills required: A degree in finance or accounting is an asset if you want companies to take you seriously as their tax specialist.
To charge top dollar for your services, you will also want to be able to provide proof of your prior experience in the field, perhaps as a tax accountant or tax analyst.
You must be able to use accounting software and have a strong working knowledge of tax and accounting law.
Income range: On average, tax specialists earn more than $5,000 per month or between $60,000 to $70,000 yearly.
The Bottom Line
Freelance jobs are seeked out by individuals because of the flexibility they offer. However, it is important to understand that the income range of these roles is also flexible, and highly dependent on what you bring to the table.
While anyone can call themselves a freelancer, individuals who are willing to put time and effort into building their reputation and developing their craft are far more likely to see success in their line of work.
Be careful that you are not mistaking ”work from home” jobs as “easy” jobs, because although you have more flexible hours, you still have to be willing to put in the work to see results and a growing income.
There is an element of risk involved in freelance jobs as well. You are working for yourself instead of being a full time employee for one company, and this can result in times where your workflow dips and earnings go down. Freelance jobs can provide consistent work, but it is not a guarantee in the industry.
Overall, freelance jobs are a growing source of income for a lot of Americans, and the benefits of working for yourself are clear. If you have the skill set and prior work experience to excel at one of these freelance jobs online, you might just be able to reap the benefits of working online and being your own boss, as a side job and perhaps, eventually, a career.