“How well do freelance jobs pay?”
Though the freelance economy is still emerging and developing, this particular question is always lurking in the mind of every freelancer and aspiring freelancers. Often, we tend to think that one must only consider freelance profiles when in-between jobs or looking to earn a few extra bucks.
The truth is, the freelance economy is way bigger than we think. In the US, nearly 57 million Americans are enthusiastic contributors to the country’s freelance economy, of which 51% state that nothing (no amount of money or financial security) can make them accept traditional job roles.
In fact, the US’s freelance economy accounts for 5% of its GDP, thereby outpacing industries like the information sector, construction, and transportation. Following closely behind is India that ranks as the “2nd largest freelance workforce after the US with over 15 million people working independently in various sectors,” including IT, design, animation, finance, sales, marketing, and content writing, to name a few. Another interesting fact about the Indian freelance sectors is that one in every five Indian freelancers is a woman!
Freelancers hail from different educational and professional backgrounds. The best thing about choosing a freelance career is that you get to determine your professional value according to your skillset and experience, your clients, and your working hours.
Not just that, you also decide from where you work – while many freelancers work from home (especially now as the pandemic rages on), many others work from coffee houses, libraries, and coworking spaces.
As for the pay, freelancers can make good money. According to a ZipRecruiter report, the average yearly salary for freelance writers stood at US$ 63,488 in 2019 in the US. In another study conducted by PayPal, including 500 respondents, it was found that nearly 37% of the respondents said they earned more than ₹20 lakhs annually!
The bottom line is – freelance jobs offer exceptional flexibility, independence, and income opportunities. You can earn hefty annual compensation, provided you have the right skills, qualifications, and experience. The secret to increasing your professional value is always to stay updated with the latest industry trends and never give up on upskilling.
If you’re thinking of choosing freelancing as your next career move, we’ve compiled a list of the five highest paying freelance jobs in India!
5 Highest Paying Freelance Jobs in India
1. Content Writing
Being a digital age resident, the modern consumer always performs thorough research before they put in their hard-earned money on a product/service. According to a study by The ROBO Economy, 82% of smartphone users rely on their phones for information, and almost 45% read customer reviews before making in-store purchases.
The Internet is replete with information on a wide range of issues. Be it is product review or information on a particular disease – you can find anything on the Web. And all forms of content that you read or view on the Internet are designed and prepared by talented professionals, Content Writers.
Content Writers create content for websites, blog posts, articles, white papers, newsletters, eBooks, webinar scripts, email copies, product descriptions, and social media posts. Their primary aim to write such content that can grab the attention of the right audience base.
- Excellent writing and editing skills.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Good time management and organizational skills
- Proficient in working with content platforms like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, etc.
According to PayScale, freelance writers in India earn an average hourly pay of ₹487.22, and as per Indeed, freelance writers can earn ₹16,343 per month.
2. Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is a broad umbrella encompassing SEO, SMM, SEM, content marketing, email marketing, PPC advertising, lead generation, etc. Naturally, Digital Marketing offers plenty of freelancing options such as content strategist, SEO & SEM specialist, UX designer, email marketing specialist, and social media marketer. Since these are niche skills, they promise high compensation packages to qualified talent.
Professionals in the Digital Marketing domain have to perform a host of marketing-oriented activities, including planning marketing campaigns, creating engaging social media posts and emails, writing educational and informative content using SEO and technical SEO strategies, analyzing KPIs like traffic volume, bounce rate, loading time, etc.
Whatever be your Digital Marketing job profile, the goal is to improve SEO ranking, capture the right audience, generate leads, and convert them into loyal customers using a combination of Digital Marketing concepts.
The ideal pathway to gaining Digital Marketing skills is to enroll in a certification program like PG Certification in Digital Marketing and Communication. This course covers relevant topics like Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Marketing Analytics, and Public Relations, etc., to help you master the domain of Digital Marketing. Read more on digital marketing salary in India.
- Excellent grasp on SEO and SEM.
- Outstanding copywriting and editing skills.
- In-depth knowledge of video production and video marketing.
- Experience in working with analytics tools like Google Analytics, Moz Pro, KissMetrics, etc.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for freelance Digital Marketing specialists in India ranges anywhere between ₹574,152-959,353 LPA. As for specialized job profiles like UX Designers, can make around ₹7-10 LPA either at full-time or freelance jobs. On platforms like Upwork, talented professionals can charge between $10 – $60 per hour for lending their Digital Marketing skills.
3. Web Development
Web Developers may choose to work under IT corporations, or they may work independently as freelancers. Typically, the everyday job responsibility of Web Developers involves designing and building websites and maintaining them.
Web Developers may specialize in front-end development that focuses on developing the interface the users interact with or back-end development that focuses on creating the code that powers a website’s functionalities. Web Developers also roll out timely updates, provide user support, and perform troubleshooting actions as and when required.
upGrad has numerous short-term courses on Web Development like PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in Full Stack Development), PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in DevOps), PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in Cyber Security), PG Certification in Full Stack Development. Each course is designed to train candidates relevant skills like developing back-end APIs, incorporating agile methodology, data structures & algorithms, application security, cryptography, etc.
- Good interpersonal skills.
- Testing and debugging skills.
- In-depth knowledge of back-end development basics.
- Excellent design and UI /UX skills.
According to Indeed, freelance Web Developers in India can earn a monthly salary ranging between ₹16,000-23,500. LinkedIn stats state that the salary of freelance Web Developers is in India is ₹37,500 per month. Learn more on web developer salary in India.
4. Graphic Design
As a profession, Graphic Design refers to the art of visual communication that combines the power of words, images, and carefully portrayed ideas to express specific information to a target audience.
Thus, Graphic Designers are experts in designing and developing visual solutions for brand promotion and marketing. A career in Graphic Design offers you the choice of specializing in media & advertising, publishing, public relations, industrial design, etc.
Graphic Designers are often referred to as Graphic Artists or Communication Designers. Their primary responsibility is to create eye-catching visual concepts and designs by mixing art and technology.
The goal is to communicate the product or brand goals to the target customer to capture their attention and drive sales. Graphic Designers design the layout and production design for websites, advertisements, brochures, magazines, and reports. They work in close collaboration with advertising, marketing, and public relations teams.
- Creative flair with a passion for design.
- Organizational skills with attention to detail.
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
- Excellent networking and people skills.
- Proficiency in working with design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, etc.
Glassdoor maintains that the average annual salary for freelance Graphic Designers in India is ₹5,21,505 LPA, whereas according to PayScale, the average hourly pay for freelance Graphic Designers is ₹295.90 in India.
5. Blockchain Development
In the past decade, Blockchain technology has sprung from the confines of the BFSI sector to the foreground. It is now a next-generation and advanced solution for multiple industries, including healthcare, education, retail, supply chain & logistics, transportation, etc. The rapid inclusion of Blockchain tech across different industrial sectors is raising the demand for Blockchain expertise, especially Blockchain Development.
Since Blockchain is a relatively new domain, there’s a prominent demand-supply gap for Blockchain skills. Naturally, companies using Blockchain technology are ready to pay hefty compensation to skilled and certified Blockchain professionals.
Blockchain Developers are experts having a healthy mix of specialized skills like software development, computer networking, cryptography, and data structures & algorithms. They perform a host of Blockchain-centric functions such as developing smart contracts, develop Decentralized Applications (DApps), design interactive front-end designs for DApps, and supervise the research and analysis operations for innovating new tools.
Blockchain certification courses like Executive Program in Blockchain Technology Management, PG Certificate in Blockchain Technology, and PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in Blockchain) are an excellent choice for Blockchain aspirants.
- Strong background in software development.
- In-depth knowledge of data structures and algorithms.
- Well-versed in the fundamentals of cryptography.
- Experience in working with open-source projects and large codebases.
Since Blockchain expertise is highly valued in the Indian market, freelance Blockchain Developers can earn around ₹475,620–793,039 LPA. The hourly salaries of freelance Blockchain Developers can range anywhere from $10 to $25 and more. Read more on blockchain developer salary in India.
The key to landing a well-paying freelance job is to acquire the in-demand industry skills and, of course, actively apply for freelancing gigs. Platforms like Upwork and TapChief are excellent sources for hunting promising freelance job opportunities.
Furthermore, there’s always the option to expand your freelance career opportunities by attending offline events to connect with industry mentors and potential business partners.
We hope this helps!