The Top Freelance Side Hustle Jobs for 2023
By Jena Kroeker
Sometimes a freelance side hustle is more than just a job on the side. It’s a key that opens the door to a world of new opportunities. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term side hustle as “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job,” but we know it often means more than that.
Maybe you’re employed in a full-time job but have dreams of learning new skills and pursuing a passion project. Maybe you enjoy your current employment so much, you’d like to apply your expertise to a similar job you can do from home with more flexible hours. Or maybe you want to start a side hustle that will eventually turn into a full-time freelance or virtual assistant business.
In any case, the time is right to pursue this additional career path. In an article titled “20 Lucrative Side Hustles You Can Start Doing Today,” Alex Brown discusses current trends in the gig economy:
“In our connected digital world, there are many opportunities for side hustles. Gigs are becoming a permanent solution for many people. 41% of gig workers depend on income from their side hustles to cover their monthly expenses.”
In uncertain times, it’s comforting to know the freelance industry holds promise and possibility.
Skills are the Currency That Power Your Success
In a recent podcast episode, “The Side Hustle to Self-Employed Class with Shannon Mattern,” we heard Shannon’s inspiring story of turning her WordPress skills into a side hustle that became a successful full-time freelance business.
As Freelance University co-founder Craig Cannings says, “Skills are the currency that power your success.” Indeed, both Shannon and Craig are proof that you can develop streams of income around a unique, in-demand skill set. For example, Shannon says her freelance business model is built on the back of WordPress skills she developed while working as an employee in a full-time job. While teaching web designers to create web design businesses, she earns multiple streams of income derived from her original WordPress expertise.
Similarly, Craig began freelancing by learning to design courses, but over the years, he honed his craft and in the process found consulting opportunities. Ultimately, the online learning niche has produced diverse income streams.
So, the future is bright, and the possibilities are endless. In his article, “How to Make Extra Money While Being Happy in 2023,” Bryan Lindenberger shares this encouragement:
“Part time gig work can gratify us by tapping into the skills and passions that we left behind as our careers evolved. They can challenge us in new and exciting ways. In some cases, side gigs lead to full-time careers and even opportunities to thrive as a solopreneur. And it can all start with just a few spare hours a day.”
Keep that thought in mind as we explore some freelance side hustles you may be interested in.
Top Freelance Side Hustle Jobs for 2023
1. Design Jobs
If you like creative work with a healthy dash of tech skills, you may enjoy web design or graphic design. Freelance design jobs are in high demand as entrepreneurs and online business owners need help creating websites and graphics.
As Shannon Mattern mentioned above, her WordPress skills led to a lucrative side hustle where she teaches other web designers. But you can also build a freelance side hustle around web design itself. In this case, you could use WordPress and other platforms like Wix and Squarespace to create websites for clients.
As the article above says,
“Roughly 252,000 new websites are published every day. That’s a lot of new sites and a steady stream of potential clients for your new website design side hustle.”
And if graphic design is your preference, you can use tools like Canva to create a number of valuable projects:
• Social media graphics
• Book covers
• Business cards
• And more
The key is to be aware of potential clients’ needs and seek training for any additional design skills that will help you meet those needs and pursue opportunities.
2. Administrative Jobs
Since the early days of the internet, administrative jobs have been a go-to freelance side hustle for those wanting to earn extra income from home. And today the virtual assistant industry continues to grow.
Clients desperately need help managing the back end of their businesses. And if you currently work a nine-to-five job as an administrator, your transferable skills could be invaluable.
As an example, in the FreeU training center, we offer courses that cover these in-demand Virtual Assistant (VA) tasks:
• Document preparation and management
• Email and calendar management
• Virtual project management
• Virtual customer support
• Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and support
• Virtual bookkeeping
• Digital research
In an article titled “22 Easy Ways To Make Money Online In 2023,” Alexandra Marinaki advises, “To succeed in these side gigs, you need time management, organizational skills, and attention to detail.” And as a further example, she suggests “micro-jobs” like transcription and data entry that can also be done virtually.
3. Content Creation/Development Jobs
Content creation is one of those jobs that some people do naturally, often as a hobby, while others struggle to find the time. Many business owners fit into the latter category. Even if they enjoy content creation and/or development, they’re swamped with so many business responsibilities, content often falls by the wayside. And yet, content marketing is such an integral part of building credibility, it deserves adequate time and attention.
As Natasha Gabrielle says in her article, “8 of the Best Side Hustles for 2023,”
“Think about the amount of written content you consume every day. Written content is everywhere, and someone has to write it. If you are interested in writing, you could earn extra money as a freelance writer. There are many opportunities for work including writing online articles and blog posts, books, and social media content.”
In addition to freelance writing, many business owners are in desperate need of content management and development assistance. If you enjoy polishing content and making it shine, consider freelance side hustles like these:
• Video editing (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo videos)
• Podcast editing (using tools like Audacity)
• Proofreading (providing a final check on the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting of a piece of content)
In her article, “The 5 Best Online Side Hustles That Will Generate You 6 Figures In 2023,” Desiree Peralta sums up the value of receiving help from freelancers:
“One thing that prevents me from growing my YouTube channel is the time I have to dedicate to video editing. A video of 10 to 15 minutes only takes me 1h-2h to edit, but since I already have too many things in the day, I can’t get that time weekly.”
So, in many ways, your freelance side hustle will prove invaluable to clients and the success of their businesses.
4. Online Training/Consulting Jobs
At some point in your career, whether corporate or freelance, you’ll gain wisdom. You may not realize it right away. But one day someone asks a question, and you have an answer that impresses both them and yourself. And as you gain further experience, you discover you enjoy equipping and empowering the next generation of professionals.
That’s a sign you’re ready to launch an online training or consulting freelance side hustle. For instance, as the article above suggests, you could “become a guru and create online courses and books” that you’ll sell to your own audience or to learning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare. If you enjoy the online training industry, you could also use platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, or Kajabi to create and manage courses for clients with online training businesses.
In addition, like Craig Cannings, you may find consulting opportunities open up as you develop expertise. So, document the skills you’ve acquired over the years and note any advice you’ve been asked to provide. See if there’s a particular consulting niche you could create a freelance side hustle around. Then, decide how you’ll deliver those services, whether by Zoom video conferencing or other means.
5. Digital Marketing Jobs
When researching top freelance side hustle jobs, two types of digital marketing stand out: social media marketing and affiliate marketing.
Social media marketing and management is a great option if you enjoy posting content and interacting with an audience through comments. It’s another task that business owners struggle to maintain in the midst of running a business. And, like content creation, it’s integral to the growth, visibility, and credibility of their brand.
To become a social media manager, you may want to specialize in a particular platform, like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Assess your skills, and see if you need any additional training to gain confidence and mastery.
Affiliate marketing can be a source of passive income, or it can develop into an affiliate management role you offer clients. First of all, if you have your own blog and social media profiles, you can promote a business’s services or products and receive a commission for every referral that comes from your website or social media posts.
Next, as you start to gain experience, you can think about offering affiliate management services. Many businesses need someone who can help create the content for affiliate emails, social media posts, and graphics.
Final Thoughts and Encouragement
So, as you can see, a freelance side hustle is more than just a bit of extra income on the side. It opens the door to a wide variety of opportunities. Notably, it gives you a chance to carve out a new niche and create a new work schedule on your terms. You can either continue your full-time employment along with the side hustle, or turn the side hustle into a full-time business. The choice is yours.
Also, if you are looking to level up your skills so you can start any of the above side hustles, then definitely join the wait list for our next intake at Freelance University. We offer 80+ courses designed to teach you the skills to create new freelance income streams this year and beyond
And now we’d like to hear your thoughts. Which of these freelance side hustle jobs are you most interested in? And would you add any others to the list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!