How Tos

How To Learn The Top 5 Freelance Skills With Online Courses

best freelance skills to learn

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree or even graduate from college to become a freelancer.

But, you do need a set of skills to offer as a service to your clients.

Whether it’s coding, writing, or even data entry, you must learn how to do the job before you can offer your services.

This guide is all about helping you develop the right skill set that you can monetize as a freelancer. Here, I will show you how to learn 5 freelance skills with the highest demand by enrolling in the best online courses to get started and master each skill.

Let’s dive in.

Can You Learn Freelance Skills Online?

Let me answer this question with a story.

I’m a high school dropout. I don’t have any fancy degrees or diplomas. I didn’t even graduate from college. The only thing I had was a hunger for learning.

After getting tired of jumping from one job to another, I discovered this amazing thing called the Internet.

I’ve downloaded eBooks, read articles, and followed a ton of online courses to learn how to design websites, write like a professional, and developed a set of valuable skills.

This hunger for knowledge is what paved the way for me to become a successful freelancer earning $5k a month, launched my own web design business, and start this blog to spread my knowledge.

My story is enough to prove that you can actually become a successful freelancer without any experience or a degree. Because everything I know I learned online!

To sum up: Yes! You can learn skills online to become a freelancer. You only need to have the will and determination to learn.

Of course, you also need to know how to follow a proper course of learning to build your skills the right way. But, let me tell you one thing, the best investment I ever made is on learning new skills.

TIP: I recommend getting the Skillshare subscription for learning more at an affordable price. With the subscription, you can access over 20,000 online classes for a single price. It’s the best value for money you could get. You can also get the first month free by registering using this link.

1. Become A Copywriter


Even though I had experience working at a locally published tech magazine, I had to learn everything from scratch when I started working online as a freelance writer.

$5,000 a month is a possible target for a copywriter. There are writers who even makes around $250 per hour as well.

First I had to learn to write proper English. Get a grasp of good grammar. And then learn to write for online audiences. Because writing for magazines and online blogs are two different things.

I followed several online courses to learn the basics. But I also practiced the craft by developing my own blog. This combination helped me to get better at writing faster than ever and I’d recommend you to do the same.

Here are the courses you should follow to become a copywriter:

  1. Copywriting For Beginners: How To Write Web Copy That Sells
  2. Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales
  3. Social Media Copywriting Masterclass
  4. Simple Copywriting Secrets: How to Write Killer Sales Copy

You can also start your own blog by signing up with Medium. It’s free. Or, if you can invest a few bucks, start your own WordPress blog.

2. Become A Web Designer


When I discovered this great HTML framework called Bootstrap, I found myself in love with web design. I paused my freelance writing work to pursue a career in web design.

You can easily make more than $5k a month as an experienced web designer.

I learned to code and design beautiful websites using Bootstrap and user experience design methodologies. I quickly improved my skills to be an expert on designing websites.

Then I teamed up with a friend of mine to launch my own web design agency that targets local businesses. We worked in the business for over 2 years before shutting it down.

We were really good at crafting great websites but, unfortunately, we didn’t have the funds to market our business to reach more clients and the costs were a little difficult for us to handle. Eventually, I shut down the business and got back to what I’m truly good at: Writing.

Here are some of the courses (and new ones) that I followed to learn web design:

Learn how to design websites that function well and offer great user experiences.

  1. Responsive Web Design Essentials
  2. Learn Adobe Xd Webdesign: Design professional websites from scratch
  3. An Introduction to Responsive Web Design
  4. PSD to Bootstrap 4: Turn your web design into a web page

These courses will help you learn the basics of web design. It’s up to you to take things to the next level. Keep practicing and creating websites to improve your skills.

3. Become A Web Developer


Web design and web development are two separate fields. Most people often get these two confused.

A web designer is a person in charge of the frond-end side of a website where user interface and graphical part of a website development takes place. A web developer is someone who’s in charge of the back-end side of a website. Such as creating algorithms for website functions like checkout systems, membership areas, dashboards, etc.

Veteran web developers make over $1,000 an hour.

Web development work is more difficult than web design. And the courses you should follow will depend on the type of web developer you want to become. These are some of the basic programming languages you should learn to become a web/app developer.

  1. Learn How to Learn Coding Faster
  2. Hand-Code Your First Website: HTML + CSS Basics
  3. The JavaScript Toolkit: Write Cleaner, Faster & Better Code
  4. WordPress Academy: Learn WordPress step by step

Continue learning according to the path you’d like to follow as a web developer. You can find more courses on and Udacity.

4. Become A Graphic Designer


Graphic design is fairly easy to master. I know this because I used to work at an advertising agency. I mostly did ad and banner designs at this agency as the lead designer. It was fun and pretty easy, too easy actually. I often got bored on the job.

You could make $85 an hour as a professional graphic designer. Logo designers make even more.

However, just like with copywriting, you do need a little bit of creative juice to become a great graphic designer. These courses will only help you learn how to use the software and the tools to get started. The rest is up to you.

  1. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design
  2. Logo Design with Draplin: Secrets of Shape, Type and Color
  3. The Business of Graphic Design: Protect & Perfect Your Passion
  4. Adobe Illustrator CC – Essentials Training

Once you get your way around the apps, start practicing and perfecting your skills. Use portfolio sites like Behance and Dribbble to showcase your designs.

5. Become A Social Media Manager


A social media manager is someone who takes charge of developing the different social media channels for a brand or a company. It sounds easy, but it actually takes a lot of work. In fact, it’s one of the high-demanding and high paying freelance jobs in the market today.

There are social media managers out there who make around $70,000 per year.

In order to become a social media manager, you should learn how to work with advertising in different social networks, learn to design branded graphics using Photoshop, curate content, and more.

These online courses will help you get started:

  1. Powerful Social Media Marketing for Beginners
  2. Start Freelancing as an Instagram Manager
  3. Powerful Storytelling Today: Strategies for Crafting Great Content
  4. Social Media Marketing: Top Tips for Growing Your Followers & Going Viral

Another great way to learn quickly is to make a list of your competitors and study how they post content and grow their following on different social networks. Also, get familiar with the right tools for scheduling and delivering posts with less effort. CoSchedule is a tool worth checking out.

Over To You

You must be willing to make an investment to learn the skills. Because most of the best online courses aren’t free. Keep in mind that it’s an investment you make for your future career.

Don’t lie to yourself thinking that you can’t afford it when you spend hundreds of dollars on Starbucks and Netflix every month. Try to go a month without Netflix or postpone buying that expensive dress you’ve always wanted and invest that money in learning the skills you can use to make more money.

Stop making excuses. Go learn something new!

Note: Skillshare is a subscription based service, which means you’ll get access to all of its 20,000+ classes on the site for just $12 a month or lower depending on your region.

Image credit:

Did you find this article useful? Then you should check out my book Freelance Like A Pro. It includes 21 lessons and 5 secrets from my freelance career to help you supercharge your journey as a freelancer. Click here to learn more.

Roshan Perera
Roshan Jerad Perera is a freelance writer, blogger, and founder of His main goal is to help others get started in freelancing and guide them toward a successful career and financial freedom.
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  • Abdallah Dec 27,2022 at 12:44 AM

    Damnn mann thank you. You have increased my knowledge AND my motivation to a next level. Here is where my journey starts. I hope this site won’t shut down and that I can look back after, maybe 3 or 4 years back and see what have changed since then. Thank you.

    • Roshan Perera Jan 1,2023 at 4:40 PM

      Thank you for the kind compliment 🙂 I hope you’ll come back in a year or two and share your story with us.

  • sandra nafuna Feb 4,2022 at 12:45 PM

    Hey Roshan,am interested in joining on writing then get my reward later i need your guidance please

  • Prem Sharma Dec 2,2021 at 2:57 PM

    Where do I start? I don’t even know what happens BTWU

  • Amina Tahir Feb 27,2021 at 2:27 PM

    Please can you help me, how to create a perfect freelance profile? ☹️☹️ I haven’t any skill. How I can learn about designing (graphic or web design) ? Can you please please guide me. I search a lot but everything getting fix ..

  • Ashirob Nikur Aug 20,2020 at 10:58 AM

    If i want to learn freelancing, which course i can done in little time?

  • AYAAN Apr 15,2020 at 9:14 PM

    Hey… I loved the way you explained… its very helpful but I dont know from where to start…..which skills to take…it will be very grateful if you could help me.
    BTY TY

    • Roshan Perera Apr 18,2020 at 12:33 PM

      Hi, glad you’ve found the article helpful. Feel free to send me an email if you need help.

  • Jignesh Patel Dec 10,2019 at 3:12 PM

    Hey, it’s been 2 days i found this website and it is so motivating. You are really help a lot of people, Good job bro.
    I want to go freelancing, but I’m afraid to do so.
    Btw, did u really go through all that courses mentioned above?
    This will help me for sure right?
    I want to learn new things and make a living out of it.
    P.S : Can you connect with me in personal, that will help me a lot.

    • Roshan Perera Dec 18,2019 at 5:06 AM

      Hi Jignesh, I didn’t take all the courses. Only the ones that are relevant to my industry. Drop me an email. I’m always happy to help.

  • john Aug 27,2017 at 3:53 PM

    thanks roshan. I learned a lot. I just started on freelancing. I will be on your site often. Thanks for your passion in sharing sensible things. found tons of opposite elsewhere. keep up.

    • Roshan Perera Sep 3,2017 at 5:25 PM

      Thank you 🙂
      Good luck with your freelancing journey!

  • Viral Jun 25,2017 at 12:41 PM

    Yo man! Awesome read.
    I have book marked the info.
    But I also have question so far…

    I am actually looking for becoming a freelance BDE. My concern is that is it ok to mention in my profile summary that I have got a good team to get the clients’ project done. Or it’s a bad strategy to begin with.
    Please help me with this.

    Thank you in advance.

    Viral soni

    • Roshan Perera Jul 5,2017 at 2:16 PM

      Hi Viral,

      It depends on whether you’re applying for jobs as an agency or an individual. But, make sure you can prove the skills of your team before mentioning it to your clients.

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