10 Best Freelancing Skills Most in Demand in 2021

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While freelancing has been there for decades, the world experienced a surge in freelance work due to the 2020 health crisis. Consequently, the demand for the best freelancing skills also amplified.

As the workforce responded to COVID 19, businesses changed direction to hiring skilled remote workers to help accomplish specific targets. The shutdowns and shortages of work also forced many to undertake remote freelancing jobs to sustain their livelihoods.

Freelancers now make up a massive and ever-rising portion of the global workforce. More and more people are working from home or remotely.

In fact, studies show that around 59 million Americans were freelancers in 2020, meaning over a third (36%) of the total US workforce were freelancers in some capacity. This was an increase from 57 million freelancers in 2019.

Freelancing just may be the future of work. If you want to become a freelancer or are already one but considering upskilling or reskilling, it’s vital to make yourself aware of the best freelancing skills that are competitive enough. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of the 10 best and highest paying freelance skills for you.

10 Best Freelancing Skills Most in Demand in 2021

freelance app development

Finding the perfect skill with high demand is vital if you want to make money as a freelancer. However, it’s even more fulfilling if you have something you enjoy doing.

Learn the skills in a field that you have an interest in. You don’t want to end up doing something you dread doing. With something you enjoy, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. It will be like enjoying a hobby.

Some of the best freelancing skills that you can acquire to level up your career this year include:

  1. JavaScript, CSS, and HTML

Web development is one of the highest paying freelance jobs today. Learning Javascript programming, CSS, and HTML coding skills will definitely make you a hot cake in the freelancing markets.

Upwork, one of the largest and best freelance websites, ranked these skills at the top 15 of the most in-demand skills in 2020. In particular, Javascript ranked on top since more businesses and brands are experimenting with website interactive elements. Thus, it will be a beneficial course to pursue today.

There are plenty of platforms that teach these skills. Some may charge a small fee, but most have free courses. They include Udemy, Codecademy, Coursera, Freecodecamp.org, and PluralSight.

Pursuing a course in Javascript, CSS and HTML will be put you a step ahead and help you leverage the rising opportunities in the freelancing market. One thing to keep in mind is that as demand for these opportunities rises, so does competition.

Therefore, be ready to compete with hundreds or thousands of other freelancers for web development opportunities. But with skills, you’ll be a unique and exceptional freelancer and thus stand out from the rest.

  1. Web App Development

Apps are in high demand today more than ever. Since the onset of the pandemic, the need for online services went up, prompting many businesses to take their businesses online.

Businesses such as pizza shops, restaurants, and even grocery stores use apps to enable their customers to shop online and get the products delivered to their homes. This means many businesses are developing apps, and others are transforming their websites into web apps.

Web app development demand will continue to grow for a long time while people adjust to the new normal. Getting web apps development skills as soon as possible thus creates a career for you.

Some of the websites that can help you learn web app development include Lynda, Udacity, Tree House, and more. Don’t let this opportunity pass you.

  1. Mobile App Development

mobile app development

Studies reveal that at least 80% of internet users are performing their searches through their mobile phones. Smartphones let people do their daily activities quickly and conveniently while on the go. That makes the demand for mobile app developments to be on the rise.

Mobile app development is one of the best freelancing skills that also pays quite handsomely. Learning how to create apps for Android and iOS devices will make you one of the most sought-after freelancers in the market. Consider pursuing a mobile app course at Mammoth Interactive, Udacity, Coursera,  iTunesU, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Team Tree House.

  1. Animations/Video Creation

Research shows that at least 72% of consumers prefer video content to text marketing. Because of this, videos and animation clips are in high demand for marketers on major social media sites like Youtube and Tiktok.

Youtube is one of the platforms that have grown in popularity in the recent past. Businesses use it as a source of leads, and individuals are using it to make money.

Video content creators, voice-over artists, presenters, video editors, and animation experts are thus in high demand. Training yourself in one of these freelancing skills will help you make money online as an individual or as a contractor for different businesses.

Since there are different helpful software used to perform various types of jobs, learn the skills you need to maneuver them. For example, you need to have software such as Fimora or Adobe Premiere for video editing jobs.

Then again, you need software such as Adobe Animate, Blender, Adobe CharacterAnimator, Cinema 4D, Pencil2D, Autodesk Maya, and more for animation. Having knowledge of how to use such software is crucial.

  1. Digital Marketing/Social Media Marketing

social media management

In the last few decades, there has been a high demand for digital marketing services, mainly social media management. This demand has been generated by the increased usage of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.

Small businesses now want to incorporate this social media hype to grow their businesses. Thus, they are searching for social media managers and experts to help them manage their social media pages to reach more potential clients. Learning social media management will put you on top of the most in-demand skills.

  1. Project Management

According to Flexjobs report, project management ranks 4th in the list of the hottest skills to pursue in 2021. Since most businesses switched to remote work during the 2020 pandemic, a few have struggled, and some continue to struggle with the process of embracing this new normal.

This has opened up opportunities for project management freelancers who are usually put in charge of team management, assigning tasks, and making sure projects follow the right track.

Project management qualifies as one of the best freelance jobs for beginners. And it’s a perfect opportunity for anyone who considers themselves a people’s person. 

  1. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the most in-demand skill in 2021, according to Indeed.com. It has plenty of niches to explore, but you first need to understand everything about it, including Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the skills you need to become a cloud computing programmer or engineer.

Later, you may join Software as a Service (SaaS) startups and small businesses to help them develop their projects. Once you complete the course, getting clients is easy. A platform like AngelList has tons of opportunities for such professionals.

  1. Video Game Development

Most people love playing games as a way to pass the time. This means that there is high demand for captivating games to keep people entertained.

Thus, the game designers, video game developers, and programmers are high in demand. The game designers come up with game ideas, drawings, and rules. The game developers and programmers then write the game code for a wide range of formats, including web browsers, consoles, PCs, and mobile phones with relevant sound and visuals to make them playable.

If you have a computer science degree, then this is probably a great field to venture into. You only need to have creativity, passion for programming, gaming trends knowledge, analytical frame of mind, and proficiency in programming languages to succeed in this field.

Creating a game can fetch you good money as a freelancer. In addition, you may create a game that you monetize to start making passive income. With the right skills, you can develop a game that will compete with the industry’s big wigs like MistPlay, Givling, and LongGame.

  1. Creative Writing and SEO

SEO- creative writing

As businesses seek to establish an online presence to reach a broader consumer base, there is an influx in content writing opportunities. This means that creative writing is in high demand now more than ever, making it one of the best freelancing skills to possess in the current online job market.

If you love putting ideas into words, then you may consider venturing into this lucrative field. Some of the skills you need as a creative writer include strong research skills, good communication skills, the ability to meet deadlines, a good eye for detail, and a strong understanding of SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO is relevant when writing for blogs and websites since it will help drive relevant traffic to them. With SEO, the website will have a better ranking on the major search engines, including Google. The algorithm for SEO is very dynamic, so you should always be ready to learn new things every so often.

There are plenty of courses to help you become a better writer and to understand SEO. You can pursue some of the top content writing courses on Udemy, Coursera, Hubspot, Yoast Academy, Google digital skills, and more.

  1. Graphics Designing

If you are naturally creative, graphic designing is one of the best freelance jobs to pursue. This is one of the highest-paying freelance skills and is a field with plenty of opportunities.

Nearly all companies in the world need visual materials to promote their brands. From magazines, print media, social media, websites, apps, signage, labels, menus, blogs, brochures, billboards, and more, they all require creative images and graphics.

As a graphic designer, you can choose to specialize in one or a few specialties, for example, web design, app design, illustration, typography, user experience design, etc.  Having a specialization will make you a high in-demand freelancer.

Key Takeaway

While you can become a well-paid freelancer by pursuing one of these best freelancing skills, most people still grapple with the question of where and how to get freelance clients. Finding clients is not as challenging. You can join the best freelancing websites for beginners like Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, or Freelancer.com.

Alternatively, consider cold pitching companies that may have an open vacancy or apply for jobs posted on the online job boards. When applying for the job, don’t forget to attach your certificate of completion to improve your chances of getting hired.

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