Finding the best skills to learn for freelancing can often be overwhelming, especially as a beginner.
There are so many different types of freelance work to choose from. It can be hard to know which skill set will help you earn money as a freelancer and will be in high demand to future-proof your career from any recessions and a changing world.
Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular way to work for a good reason. It allows you to be your own boss, set your own hours, and make your own income.
But to be successful as a freelancer, you need to have a suitable skill set.
Whether you’re starting out and want to earn some extra money as a side hustle, grow your income, or you’re looking to switch careers, we’ve got you covered.
Depending on the type of freelance jobs you are interested in, you will need to learn either technical skills, creative skills, or both.
Here are the 10 best skills to learn for freelancing in 2022 – keep reading to find out!
Jump straight to the top 10 best skills for freelancers
Skyler’s Freelance Experience
I have been working as a freelance writer for over 5 years now, and mostly write blog posts, articles, and website content.
I believe that freelance writing is one of the best freelancing skills you can learn.
As well as working for clients, you can also create your own blog on the side and start to build a passive income stream – which is what I have started doing now.
Freelance writing requires no initial investment cost to get started. Also, as long as you have a laptop and wifi, you can become a freelance writer and work from anywhere.
I’ve traveled the world while working online from many cafes, co-working spaces, and Airbnbs. Nothing beats a two-meter commute from your bed to a desk!
I’ve also developed many freelance skills that allow me to take on various types of freelance work.
Many clients often ask me if I can do additional work for their business. These tasks include digital marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and graphic design.
I’ve also written everything from resumes to job applications for a prison warden to transcriptions for podcasts with reality TV influencers and interviews with sports stars for journalists.
The more skills you learn, the more options you will have for freelancing work or starting a side hustle.
The possibilities are endless, and you don’t have to specialize in just one type of freelancing work. The more skills you have, the more likely you can provide add-on services to clients to make extra money.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for some products I am recommending. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
What Are The Best Skills To Learn For Freelancing?
Here are my top picks for the best skills to learn for freelancing in 2022:The future belongs to learners. Udemy online courses now up to 30% off.
1. Freelance Writing – Copywriting & Content Writing
Both copywriting and content writing are essential skills for any freelancer in 2022. However, if you want to be a successful freelance writer, you need to know how to write copy that sells.
Copywriting is the art of writing persuasive and compelling copy that persuades people to take action.
Content writing is also a valuable skill to have as a freelancer. This involves creating high-quality and informative content for blogs, websites, and social media.
If you’re not confident in your writing skills, now is the time to brush up on them. Many courses online can teach you how to become a writer and take your writing skills to the next level.
To find higher-paying clients, you should choose a niche to specialize in, rather than just being a general freelance writer.
Blogging and article writing can be incredibly lucrative and lead to ongoing work.
Types of freelance writing: content writing, copywriting, blogging, technical writing, ghostwriting, resume writing, fiction writing, journalism, social media content creation, and editing
2. Video Editing
With the rise of social media, video has become one of the most popular forms of content. And as a result, businesses and brands are willing to pay good money for high-quality video content that boosts engagement.
Video editing involves manipulating and rearranging video footage to create a new video, sometimes called post-production. It consists of adding, rearranging, and deleting parts of longer video clips.
Learning to edit videos is now one of the most in-demand freelance skills if you’re looking to boost your freelancing income.
While there is a steep learning curve at first, it is not as difficult as you may think. There are plenty of online courses and tutorials that can teach you the basics of video editing. It is possible to learn the basics over a weekend or a week, and you can then practice using your own videos or those of friends and family.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can start offering your services to clients and have recurring work from content creators and businesses.
Software To Learn: Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Da Vinci Resolve, Adobe After Effects
3. Web Design & Web Development
Web design and development skills demand has increased as the world becomes increasingly digitized.
If you’re looking to increase your freelancing income, learning to code is a great skill. Development is one of the most high-paying freelance skills. Businesses are willing to pay good money for someone who can build them a custom website or web application.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can start offering your services to businesses that need help with their website or online presence. For example, you can find clients for recurring work who need someone to maintain their website or build new features.
4. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create concepts to inspire, inform and captivate clients using images, graphics, or words.
Even with the emergence of drag-and-drop graphic design apps that anyone can use, the demand for professional and skilled graphic designers has never been higher.
Many companies, such as startups, content creators, and personal brand influencers are looking to develop unique brands and stand out from the noise.
If you can help bring people’s vision in their heads to life, you will always be able to find high-paying freelance work.
As a graphic designer, you will be responsible for logo design, brand identity, web and mobile design, layout and print design, packaging design, etc.
Gone are the days when you need to have a degree to be a graphic designer. Instead, companies now care more about your portfolio and design work quality than your qualifications.
You’ll need to be efficient in the Adobe Creative Suite, as most clients will request files in these formats.
Software To Learn: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Affinity Photo, Affinity, Designer, Sketch
5. Podcast Editing
Podcasting is a growing industry, and businesses are willing to pay good money for high-quality audio content.
If you’re looking to boost your freelancing income, learning how to edit podcasts is a great skill to learn.
Podcast editing involves:
- condensing audio recordings
- removing any pauses or mistakes
- rearranging content into the best narrative
- removing any background noise
- fixing sound levels
- improving audio quality
There are plenty of online courses and tutorials that can teach you the basics of audio editing.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can start offering your services to content creators and businesses who need help with their podcast production. This can lead to ongoing work for each podcast they record.
Software To Learn: Adobe Audition, Hindenburg Journalist Pro, Apple Logic Pro X
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, businesses are willing to pay good money for someone who can help them with digital marketing.
It’s estimated that Google has 63,000 searches every second and 5.6 billion per day.
Having a business ranking on the first page of the Google Search Results (SERPS) can lead to a massive increase in business and sales. That’s where SEO comes in.
You’ll need to have good technical skills and be good at analyzing data.
If you’re new to digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization most likely seems super intimidating. I understand! It was for me too until I took some courses to learn it.
SEO has many components, including keyword research, analytics and reporting, technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO
Many people see it as ‘black magic.’ They think that you do things to magically make their website and blog appear higher in the results of search engines such as Google.
However, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. There are many resources out there that can teach you everything about SEO.
I’d recommend doing a specialized SEO course that has been recently updated rather than relying on free tutorials, which may be several years old.
Google is constantly updating the way the search results are calculated. But unfortunately, many people are still using outdated methods that are no longer successful and may even lead to websites being penalized.
Once you’ve got a good grasp of SEO, you can start offering your services to clients and have recurring work from businesses that need help with their online presence.
Software To Learn: Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Search Console, Yoast, Moz Pro
7. Social Media Management
In 2022, almost every business has an online presence these days or wants to get started.
According to ICTSD, 71% of small-to-medium-sized companies use social media, and 52% post daily.
This means that more businesses need help managing their accounts and creating content. As a freelancer, you can offer your services as a social media manager.
To be successful in this role, you’ll need to be up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. You should also have experience with popular social media platforms, like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter.
Suppose you’re not already familiar with social media marketing and management. In that case, there are plenty of free online resources that can teach you the basics.
Once you’ve got a good grasp of social media management, you can start offering your services to clients and have recurring work from businesses that need help with their online presence.
Software To Learn: HootSuite Insights, Facebook Ads Manager, Buffer, CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, BuzzSumo
8. Data Analysis
In today’s business world, data is everything. Companies rely on data to decide everything from product development to marketing. If you understand how to analyze data, you will always be able to find freelance work.
To be successful in this role, you’ll need to be good with numbers and have strong analytical skills. In addition, you should have advanced knowledge of Excel, Google Sheets, and other data analysis software.
Many quality online resources can teach you data analysis from beginner to pro.
Once you understand how it works, you can start offering your services to clients, especially startups looking to scale fast and earn a high income as a freelancer.
Software To Learn: Excel, VBA, Matlab, Google Analytics, Tableau Public, Mode Analytics, Microsoft Power BI
9. Photo Editing
As businesses continue to become more active on social media, the need for high-quality photos is only increasing.
If you have a good eye for detail and know your way around Photoshop, you can offer your services as a photo editor and make a nice income.
To be successful in this role, you’ll need to be familiar with the latest editing software and trends. You should also have a strong portfolio of work that you can show potential clients.
If you’re not already familiar with photo editing, it is easy to start learning.
There are plenty of free online resources that can teach you the basics, especially on YouTube. Then, once you have developed a portfolio of your best work, you can start offering your services to clients.
You can also work with professional photographers, especially wedding photographers. They are always in need of quality photo editors as they grow and expand their business and no longer have time to do the editing themselves.
Software To Learn: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Affinity Photo, Canva
10. Virtual Assistant
A Virtual Assistant, or VA, is a freelance professional who provides administrative support to clients remotely. As a virtual assistant, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals. Typical tasks include helping with scheduling appointments, managing email inboxes, handling social media accounts, etc.
To be successful in this role, you’ll need to be organized, detail-oriented, and good with time management. You should also be familiar with a variety of online tools and software.
There are plenty of online courses that can teach you the basics and YouTube tutorials. Once you have learned how to use the most common software, you can start offering your services to clients.
Working as a VA is a great way to start your freelancing career and find online work. It is one of the easiest ways to become a freelancer, even if you help build someone else’s business rather than your own.
But, over time, as your skills and experience grow, you can then start your own freelancing business.
Software To Learn: Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Asana, HootSuite, SocialBee, Buffer, Basecamp
This is just the tip of the iceberg for skills that you can learn to boost your freelancing income.
There will always be demand for freelancers with these skills in 2022 and beyond. Even during a recession or pandemic, they will still be in high demand so that you can future-proof your career.
Freelance Platforms – Where To Learn Freelancing Skills
So now that you know what the best skills to learn for freelancing are, let’s look at different online learning platforms where you can learn in-demand freelance skills online at your own pace.
Many courses are broken down into bite-sized 3-10 minute videos. So even if you only have a few minutes per day free, you can start making progress and working towards your goal right away.
You can also watch tutorials while commuting, on your lunch break, or even while waiting in line at the supermarket!
Here are the best platforms to learn freelancing skills online:The future belongs to learners. Udemy online courses now up to 30% off.
Udemy is one of the best online course platforms to learn future-ready skills, with over 185,000 courses. It is trusted by over 10.5K+ companies and 49 million students worldwide.
Udemy has a massive range of courses on everything from web development, entrepreneurship, design, marketing, and photography & video. It is a perfect place to learn high-paying freelance skills at affordable prices.
LinkedIn Learning (Formerly Lynda.com)
LinkedIn Learning is an online training platform owned by LinkedIn, so you know it has high-quality content and courses.
They have over 5,000 courses on a vast range of topics. They also have ‘Learning Paths’ to take you from beginner to expert – covering business, creative, and technology fields.
After you complete courses, you receive a certificate that you can display on your LinkedIn profile to verify your skills to potential clients and stand out from other freelancers.
Skillshare is an online learning platform with over 27,000 courses on everything from graphic design to business.
What’s great about Skillshare is that most of its courses are taught by industry experts, so you’re learning from the best.
They have a fantastic selection of creative courses, perfect for freelancers in design, video editing, and other creative fields.
The way it works is that for Udemy, you purchase individual courses. For LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare, you pay for either a monthly or yearly subscription and receive access to the entire course library.
Final Thoughts – Best Skills To Learn For Freelancing
In my opinion, these are just some of the best skills to learn for freelancing in 2022.
If you’re looking to boost your income and secure long-term work, these are the skills you should focus on learning.
If you’re unsure what type of freelance work you are interested in, you can always do a few different courses to build up your skill set and see what you enjoy the most.
Also, before you begin learning new skills, it is a good idea to look at freelance websites advertising freelance jobs. Doing so will help you understand what type of work is in demand, how much they pay per hour, and what skill set is required.
You can achieve your goals and build a successful freelance career with hard work and dedication. Good luck!
FAQs – Best Skills To Learn For Freelancing
Which skill is best for freelancing?
There is no one best skill for freelancing. It depends on your interests and what you are good at. However, many freelance skills are in demand, such as web development, video editing, writing, and digital marketing.
What is the easiest skill to learn for freelancing?
There is no one easy skill to learn for freelancing. It depends on your interests and what you are good at. However, some skills that may be easier to learn than others include virtual assistant, content writing, and social media management.
How much can I earn from freelancing?
How much you can earn from freelancing depends on several factors, such as the skills you have, the quality of your work, the clients you can find, and their location. Some freelancers can make a full-time income, while others may only be able to earn money for a part-time income. It is important to remember that there is no one right way to freelance, and you can be successful no matter what approach you take.
Skyler Benson is a full-time blogger. Join Skyler on SkylerBenson.com and learn how to start an online business and create a life of freedom. Before starting this blog, Skyler worked online as a freelance content writer. He worked with digital marketing agencies and B2B companies for four years. Skyler reviews the best software for your online business and teaches you how to write better and start your freelancing career.