8 High Paying Freelance Jobs for Digital Creatives

Probably one of the earliest industries to emerge for freelance work was in the creative space. Even before the internet, many creative individuals were finding ways to do freelance or contract work to have the greatest creative freedom.

Now, things aren’t much different. The internet is a valuable resource for connecting creatives with unique job opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned freelance pro or new to the industry, this article covers what you can expect from each job and where to go for the best continuing education or job postings.

Graphic Design

Every business needs graphic design. Businesses need logos, product packaging, labels, and much more. A company might roll out new products, rebrand themselves, or want to update their marketing collateral.

Many businesses hire out to get the work done when these needs arise. As a freelance graphic designer, you will visually bring ideas and concepts to life. You’ll use industry-standard tools like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

The best way to become a graphic designer is to go to school for it, earn a degree, and then learn on the job. That path isn’t available or suited to everyone. It’s also not required.

If you’re passionate and self-taught, create a website to showcase your talent. You can use a site builder like Wix or Weebly to display your work. Build a portfolio, starting with low-paying quick wins on sites like Fiverr and freelance marketplaces like Upwork.

How much do freelance graphic designers make?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for freelance graphic designers is $27 per hour. With steady work, that would be over $50,000 per year.

Your experienced freelance graphic designers on UpWork charge between $35 and $200 per hour. Many jobs posted on freelance job sites will offer a fixed payment. For something like a logo, you might see flat-rate jobs posted in the $100 to $500 range.

Learn graphic design

If you want to learn graphic design, check out these highly-rated beginner courses on Udemy:

  • Graphic Design Masterclass – Learn GREAT Design
  • Graphic Design Bootcamp

Where to find freelance graphic design jobs

You’ll find freelance graphic design jobs on freelancer platforms, general job sites, and niche job boards for creatives. The website 99designs.com is unique in that some gigs are contests where you submit your design and get paid only if you win.

Behance is a social media platform where you can showcase your work in the hope of getting discovered by future clients. They have a pretty solid job listings section.

  • UpWork
  • Behance
  • Dribble
  • FlexJobs
  • 99designs
  • Hubstaff Talent

Web Design

Web design is a much sought-after service. Based on my experience running a web design side hustle for several years, I can tell you it’s not easy money.

First, web design is highly competitive. Second, some clients come in with unrealistic expectations or too many requirements for their budget. That said, if you know how to build a website, you have a skill that can earn you money either on the side or as a full-time business.

How much do freelance web designers make?

Glassdoor reports that freelance web designers make around $79,000 annually, ranging from $58,000 to $110,000 annually.
Web designers charge between $25 and $100 an hour on freelance platforms. Many charge $50 per hour or more.

Learn web design

If you’re interested in learning how to build websites to do it for a living, start with the free 300-hour Responsive Web Design Certification course from freeCodeCamp. You’ll get a solid foundation in HTML, CSS, and visual design.

You’ll also want to learn WordPress since WP powers over 38% of all websites. Learn how to design a site with WordPress via this course: Web Design with WordPress: Design and Build Great Websites.

Where to find freelance web design jobs

You can find freelance web design jobs on general job boards, freelance marketplaces, and job boards for creatives.

  • Upwork
  • ZipRecruiter
  • 99designs
  • Freelancer.com
  • Hubstaff Talent

Photography

If you have passion and talent for photography, your skills are in high demand. While you can break into freelance photography doing weddings, yearbook photos, and LinkedIn profile pics, other opportunities are available.

Businesses hire photographers to capture events, take employee headshots, and shoot product photos. With visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook becoming important channels for reaching customers and fans, freelance photographers can find work doing food photography, candid lifestyle pictures, or action photos.

Decide what kind of photography you want to focus on, whether it’s portraits, product photography, wedding photography, or a combination of things before you start. That will help with your marketing strategy and provide direction for setting up your website.

Besides having photography skills, you’ll need photo editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop. Many online tutorials and courses exist if you’re unfamiliar with these applications.

How much do freelance photographers make?

$33,482 to $47,609 is the typical annual salary range for a freelance photographer, according to Salary.com.

Learn photography

  • KelbyOne – Offers online video-based photography lessons and Photoshop training delivered by professional photographers.
  • Start Your Photography Business – The Complete Course – This course focuses entirely on the business side of being a photographer. There are no tips for taking better pictures, but you’ll learn everything you need to start your freelance photography business.

Where to find freelance photography gigs online

You can find freelance job listings on photography, industry-specific, general job boards, and freelance platforms.

GoDaddy started a photography network to connect their business customers with local photographers. You can take product shots, headshots, or location photos for businesses in your area you connect with through the network.

Real estate and related companies like Airbnb and Truplace hire freelance photographers. It’s worth checking their websites to see if photography jobs are available.

  • Get Photography Jobs
  • Creative Jobs Central
  • People Per Hour
  • Guru
  • GoDaddy
  • Airbnb
  • TruPlace

Video Editing

Most people can capture a halfway decent video with their phone, GoPro, DSLR, or video camera. Correcting technical issues and crafting video footage into an exciting story is challenging.

Freelance video editors:

  • Trim footage
  • Resolve technical problems
  • Combine multiple clips
  • Add graphics and transitions
  • Fix bad audio
  • Enhance color
  • Ensure that the story flows

Many companies use video to tell their story, build their brand identity, and generate leads. As such, skilled video editors are in high demand.

How much do freelance video editors make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, film and video editors’ mean hourly pay is $41.97.
Freelance video editors on Upwork charge anywhere from $25 to $150 per hour. Most list their services at $40 an hour or higher.

Learn video editing

To become a freelance video editor, learn the tools of the trade and master video production concepts. These courses will give you a solid foundation:

  • Premiere Pro CC for Beginners: Video Editing in Premiere
  • Video Editing in Final Cut Pro X: Learn the Basics in 1 Hour
  • Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Corporate Video
  • Final Cut Pro X – Beginner To Advanced (FCP MASTERY 2020)
  • The Complete Video Production Bootcamp

Where to find freelance video editing jobs online

Besides freelance websites, job boards are only dedicated to creative work and video production. You’ll find freelance video editor jobs here:

  • Upwork
  • Behance
  • Mandy
  • ProductionHUB
  • Assemble
  • Stage32

Video Marketing

Producing a high-quality video is only half the battle. Getting that video in front of the right audience and then getting them to watch it till the end takes a unique skill set.

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are putting more emphasis on video content. As a result, more and more businesses are trying to reach prospects through video.

Your clients will primarily look to you for help to get more views on their existing videos across various channels. Video editing skills help but aren’t as important as your ability to deliver opinions.

How much does freelance video marketing pay?

Most freelance video marketers on Upwork charge between $50 and $100 an hour.

Learn video marketing skills online

. Aside from solid video editing skills, you must know how online video-sharing platforms and social media sites work. You need to create engaging videos and build buzz for them.

  • How To Start a Profitable Video Marketing Agency
  • Video Marketing Made (Ridiculously) Easy
  • Advanced Video Marketing for Beginners
  • YouTube Marketing Pro: Create a Local Video Marketing Agency

Where to find freelance video marketing work

The best opportunity for this work might be in your backyard. Try hitting up businesses in your area who want to show off their products and build their social following. Real estate agents, car dealers, hotels, and nightclubs are excellent targets. Here are some places to look online:

  • Upwork
  • People Per Hour
  • Guru

Voice Talent

If you have a clear, unique voice, you could be in high demand for voice-over, voice acting, and narration jobs. Audiobook narration, animated explainer videos, games, and online courses are just some jobs requiring vocal talent.

You don’t need much experience or years of formal vocal training to get started. You will need some sample recordings related to the jobs you bid on. You need a computer, microphone, and recording software to create your audio samples.

How much do narrators and voice actors make?

The average hourly pay rate for voice talent is $29.75, according to PayScale.com. That’s going to vary depending on the work you do and who you do it for. Freelancers charge anywhere from $25 to $125 per hour, depending on experience and demand.

If you provide audiobook narration through Amazon’s platform, you can opt for a one-time fee or royalties on sales. With the right project, your royalty income could exceed your flat fee.

Online voice-over, audiobook narration, and voice-acting training

Voice acting and narration are skills you can learn. If you’re interested, here are some inexpensive, highly-rated courses to get you started:

  • Voice-Over Training: Record And Edit Voice Overs Like A Pro
  • Be a Voice Actor: Making a Living with Your Voice
  • Voice Acting Masterclass for Audiobooks, Games & Animations
  • Voice-Over Marketing: Get More Voice-Over Jobs in Less Time!

Where to find voice acting, voice-over, and narrator gigs online

Finding voice work online will be your best bet unless you live in Hollywood. Check these sites regularly to find voice acting and narration jobs:

  • Voices.com
  • Amazon Audiobook Creation Exchange
  • Filmless
  • Voice123
  • Bunny Studio
  • Fiverr

Check out How to Get Paid to Read Books Aloud for more resources.

Programming and Development

Programming has been one of the most in-demand freelance skills for a long time. Demand for coders shows no signs of slowing down either. These days, just about every business encounters a need for a skilled coder at some point.

Freelance programmers tend to specialize depending on their skill set and experience. For example, developers might specialize in video games, web apps, or desktop programs. Web programmers could specialize in front-end or back-end development.

It’s an innovative field undergoing constant change. What’s groundbreaking today could be a distant memory tomorrow. Keeping your skills current and learning new skills, languages, and technologies is a must.

In-demand programming languages include Java, Python, Ruby, Swift, and others. You’ll need deep HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge as a front-end developer.

How much do freelance programmers make?

ZipRecruiter lists that the average annual pay for freelance programmers is $70,714 as of November 2020, which works out to about $34 an hour. Freelance software developers on Upwork charge anywhere from $30 to over $200 per hour. Web and front-end developers span a similar, equally wide range on Upwork.

Learn to code

If your formal education didn’t include extensive programming coursework, you can still get freelance work as a programmer.

You can learn to code and earn certifications from home for free via freeCodeCamp.org. For affordable training focused on front-end development, I like Scrimba. Their monthly fee is low, and they do an excellent job recreating the in-person online experience.

If you have (a lot) more money to spend on your education, look into coding boot camps. A coding boot camp is a shorter, intense training program where you learn real-world tech skills through project-based learning. The average cost hovers around $13,000.

Completing a boot camp doesn’t guarantee a job or freelance work. You gain practical, in-demand skills, so you’ll be qualified to bid on freelance gigs or pursue job opportunities if you want to start a career or change careers. Here are a few coding boot camps to check out:

  • Hack Reactor
  • Flatiron School
  • Actualize

Where to find freelance programming work online

Because competition is so fierce for programming gigs, some sites vet freelancers before allowing them to create profiles. On others, it’s a race to the bottom with coders undercutting each other. That said, there are plenty of opportunities for developers on all the major job boards and freelance sites. Places to look include:

  • Gun.io
  • Upwork
  • Remote. co
  • Guru
  • Toptal

Mobile App Development

Americans check their phones 96 times daily or every 10 minutes on average.

You could call mobile phone use an essential part of daily life or an addiction. Either way, there’s an enormous market for apps that run on smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. If you want to capitalize on cutting-edge technology and a hungry market, there’s a lot of money to be made as a freelance mobile app developer.

How much do freelance mobile app developers make?

A quick search for mobile app developers on Upwork shows experienced app developers charging between $30 and $135 per hour. Indeed.com pegs the average freelance mobile application developer salary at $122,359 annually.

Learn how to create smartphone apps

.To learn how to develop mobile apps, here are some online courses to give you a solid foundation:

  • Flutter & Dart – The Complete Guide – Build Flutter iOS and Android apps with a single codebase. Learn Google’s Flutter mobile development framework.
  • iOS 13 & Swift 5 – The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp – From beginner to iOS app developer with just one course.
  • The Complete Android 10 & Kotlin Development Masterclass – Learn Android 10 app development. It starts with the basics and then moves into more advanced topics.

Where to find mobile app developer gigs

To score mobile app development work, you’ll want to have a presence on the major freelancing sites. You should watch job boards and LinkedIn for one-off freelance or contract positions.

  • Freelancer.com
  • Toptal
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Dice

The advent of the internet has not only expanded the horizons for freelancers but has also become the cornerstone for connecting talents with diverse and unique job prospects. Whether you’re a seasoned professional navigating the freelance realm or a newcomer eager to embark on this journey, the insights provided in this article will help you get started and find your next opportunity more quickly.