The Best Freelance Jobs for Beginners

The Best Freelance Jobs for Beginners

One of the great things about working as a freelancer is that there’s something for nearly everyone. Many types of freelance jobs don’t even require a degree.

But what if you’re a beginner? We’ve got you covered there too.

We’ll review some of the best freelance jobs for beginners in different categories. If social media is your thing, skip right to that section. If you’re interested in admin support and graphic design, why not try both? Freelancing is about doing work that works for you. So experiment, explore, and get your freelance career started.

In this guide:

Top 10 freelance jobs for beginners

These top freelance jobs, in no particular order, are good for beginners—even if you have no experience. They’re also freelance jobs that you can work from home and around your schedule.

The flexibility enables you to earn money while managing other responsibilities such as being a caregiver, holding a full-time job, or being a full-time student.

  1. Content writer
  2. Social media manager
  3. Graphic designer
  4. Virtual assistant
  5. Web developer
  6. SEO specialist
  7. Data entry specialist
  8. Translator
  9. Web designer
  10. Video editor

This is a short list. Be sure to see what’s trending by checking out the most in-demand skills in 2024.

What makes a good beginner freelance job?

What makes a good beginner freelance job depends on what you enjoy doing, your skills, and the time you have to work on projects. You may want to start with less complex projects to give yourself a chance to fine-tune your processes, practice collaborating with clients, and decide on the types of projects you like best.

Whether you want an occasional side project or you plan to make a living as a freelancer, here’s what successful freelancers on Upwork say makes a good beginner freelance job.

You’ve got everything you need to start

This isn’t the time to take on work that you’ve never done before. Overpromising and underdelivering may damage your reputation, which could take a while to rebuild. So do work that you have the skills and tools to do well now.

In fact, some veteran freelancers suggest starting off a freelance career with projects that are below your skill level. Editorial designer Mateja Miladinović explains:

Especially at first, you may need to accept projects that seem too simple for your capabilities. Take them anyway and do a great job. Do it to establish a positive work history on Upwork so clients want to work with you. And then work your way up to the type of projects and rates that are more in line with your skills and experience.”

The work balances passion with practicality

Executive admin, Catherine Marsden, says she loves being a freelancer because she can choose projects that make her happy. Catherine also reminds freelancers to:

Make sure you take jobs that fit your lifestyle. If you're a night owl, maybe you want to work with someone on the other side of the world. If you have children, you may want to work a couple of hours at night while they're asleep. Compare the client's time needs with your desired schedule."

The deadlines are manageable

This one may seem basic, but many people want the money so much that they take on too much work or say yes to deadlines that are too tight. Digital nomad coach Javiera Alfaro warns:

"If you don't master the art of prioritizing and planning, then it's going to be pretty difficult for you to handle the scope of work, especially if you have several clients, right? So for me, learning project management skills was really key, and then getting support from project management tools and learning how to create workflows. I don't want to do something repetitive; I prefer to create workflows to save me time."

There are no red flags

Don’t just look at work you qualify for; also look at the client to ensure they’re a good fit. “Data whisperer” Corinna Zennig recommends watching for red flags in job descriptions and reading feedback about the client. She says:

You only want to accept jobs that you know you can complete successfully so you can maintain positive feedback. Some clients actually say in the project description, 'We need this urgently, like yesterday.' In my mind, you're already out because urgent clients are usually misaligned against expectations. In my experience, anytime something is 'urgent,' there's another problem going on, and the project will likely be stressful."

OK, so you know to start your freelance career off strong by taking on work that you know you can do well and choosing clients that are a good fit for you. With that in mind, let’s start looking at a sample of freelance jobs that are great for beginners.

Writing and content jobs

There are as many types of writing jobs as there are types of content. You could specialize in emails, blogs, or focus on a topic that you enjoy. Writing jobs also include proofreaders and editors if that’s your strength. Here are a few types of freelance writing jobs for beginners:

  • Content writer: Create various forms of informative online content, such as blogs and articles
  • SEO writer: Optimize content to earn better search engine rankings and increase organic traffic
  • Proofreader: Review content for readability, grammar, spelling, and clarity
  • Grant writer: Research, prepare, and write grant proposals to submit to potential funders
  • Copywriter: Create sales-oriented content like landing pages, sales scripts, and ads

On average, copywriters on Upwork can earn $19 to $45 per hour.

Copywriter fee Upwork

Digital marketing and social media jobs

Digital marketers help organizations engage their audiences and sell them products online and via mobile. Digital marketing jobs encompass a wide range of jobs that range from hosting LinkedIn events to creating social media marketing strategies. Here are a few freelance digital marketing and social media jobs for beginners:

  • SEO specialist: Research keywords, build links, optimize web pages, analyze SEO metrics
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) specialist: Conduct keyword research, write ad copy, and analyze ROI on campaigns
  • Affiliate marketer: Find and collaborate with affiliates on social media and manage and track performance of campaigns
  • Event planner: Manage the entire logistics of online events from planning to ensuring a seamless experience for attendees
  • Social media manager: Manage online communities, write posts, and analyze performance data

On average, social media managers on Upwork can earn $14 to $35 per hour.

Social media fee Upwork

Design and multimedia jobs

Design and multimedia professionals create digital content. Projects could range from designing an infographic and mixing audio tracks to creating an animated video series. Design and multimedia jobs support nearly every stage of creating content that’s seen and heard, so there are lots of freelance job options for beginners:

  • Video editor: Create a video from raw footage, add music and text to videos
  • Storyboard artist: Illustrate scenes for film, television, and advertising
  • 3D modeler: Prepare digital 3D models for use in film, video games, and product design
  • Voiceover artist: Provide character voices and other dialogue for video games, corporate videos, and radio
  • Graphic designer: Create visual content like logos, social media images, and ebooks

On average, graphic designers on Upwork can earn $15 to $35 per hour.

Graphic designer fee Upwork

Web and tech development jobs

Many web and tech development jobs do not require prior experience or a college degree. For example, if you’re skilled at working on a certain platform, like Shopify, you could help clients design and add products to their Shopify store. Here are a few freelance web and tech jobs for beginners:

On average, software developers on Upwork can earn $15 to $30 per hour.

Software development

Administrative and customer support

Administrative and customer support professionals handle a wide range of clerical and operational tasks that keep an organization running smoothly and customers happy. Here are a few freelance administrative and customer support jobs for beginners:

On average, virtual assistants on Upwork can earn $10 to $20 per hour.

Virtual assistant development

Language and translation jobs

Language and translation jobs use your linguistic skills to help individuals and businesses communicate with a wider audience. Companies may need a specific accent or dialect of a certain language, or someone with a specific background like medicine and law. Freelance language and translation jobs for beginners include:

On average, translators on Upwork can earn $15 to $25 per hour.

Translators fee upwork

HR and training jobs

HR and training jobs encompass a range of tasks from conducting specialized HR training programs to offering online math tutoring to individuals. Not all training jobs require a special certification. You can be a trainer of just about anything you’re good at, or have a lot of knowledge in, and can teach online. Here are a few freelance HR and training jobs for beginners:

  • Online tutor: Teach academic, personal, and professional skills like conversational skills or how to use a specific software program
  • Training and learning specialist: Design and conduct online training and workshops for organizations
  • Personal trainer: Offer online coaching, create workout plans, and make videos for apps
  • Nutrition coach: Provide custom meal plans, design eating programs, and write nutrition articles
  • Curriculum developer: Develop instructional materials and learning programs to achieve personal, academic, and professional goals

On average, curriculum developers on Upwork can earn $35 to $65 hour.

Curriculum fee

Creative and artistic jobs

You can have a successful freelance career doing creative and artistic jobs like designing clothing and mixing sound for videos. Since creative jobs are usually collaborative, it helps to be skilled at working with clients and teams to understand their needs and vision. A few freelance creative and artistic jobs include:

On average, Adobe Illustrator specialists on Upwork can earn $15 to $30 per hour.

Adobe Illustrator

Start your freelance career

Upwork is here to help you launch your freelance career from showing you how to write winning proposals to negotiating your rates. For your convenience, we put together the best tips in a guide called Getting Started as a Freelancer, which you can access at any time.

If you’re ready to land your first client, join Upwork today for free and start looking through all of the easy freelance jobs you can do from home.

Prices and fees are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.


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Author Spotlight

The Best Freelance Jobs for Beginners
Brenda Do

Brenda Do is a direct-response copywriter who loves to create content that helps businesses engage their target audience—whether that’s through enticing packaging copy to a painstakingly researched thought leadership piece. Brenda is the author of "It's Okay Not to Know"—a book helping kids grow up confident and compassionate.

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