How Much Can Freelancers Make — and How Do I Get Started?

Whether you need a little extra cash or are considering a career change, the freelancing world is full of opportunities

4 min read

The demand for freelancers is booming, from copywriters and coders to marketers and web designers. In the past few years, freelancing has become a viable long-term career path for skilled professionals. Many people freelance on the side for extra income. More than 1 in 4 Americans have worked as a freelancer, with younger generations leading the charge. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the trend, as companies look to hire flexible, remote contract workers instead of expensive, on-site employees.  

Whether you need a little extra cash or are considering a career change, the freelancing world is full of opportunities. Whatever you choose, N26 is here to show you the possibilities so that you can make the best decisions for your finances and your future.

What is freelancing?

Freelancing is a type of employment where you provide services to clients or organizations but are not committed beyond a mutually agreed-upon contract. Freelance work may be full-time, part-time, or a side-hustle alongside your regular job. You might have a home office, work from coffee shops, at coworking spaces, or bounce around from place to place. Freelancers are considered “self-employed” and may also be called gig workers or contract workers.

Freelancers enjoy a great deal of freedom, flexibility, and control, but they also have to deal with inconsistent income and often have to step up their money management game. Freelance income is rarely taxed, which means that freelancers have to keep track of the amount that they owe the IRS and pay taxes on their own. They must also pay an additional self-employment tax and pay for their own benefits, including health insurance. 

N26 Spaces can help freelancers stay organized, allowing you to create separate sub-accounts for setting aside money for taxes, insurance, or even new equipment.

Freelancing might be right for you if:

  • You’re self-motivated.

  • You’re good at time management.

  • You’re organized and have basic accounting skills.

  • You can handle uncertainty.

  • You value freedom highly.

How much do freelancers make?

 Average salaries for freelancers in the U.S. depend on several factors, including your geographic location, skillset, and experience. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for all types of freelancers is $32 per hour. Specific freelance jobs may pay more or less, depending on the area of focus.

  • Developers: $35 per hour

  • Designers: $27 per hour

  • Writers: $30 per hour

  • Marketing professionals: $23 per hour

  • Translators: $30 per hour

  • Photographers: $24 per hour

  • Videographers: $45 per hour

  • SEO professionals: $28 per hour

  • PR professionals: $26 per hour

 Learn more about high-demand freelance jobs that you can land tomorrow.

How can I make money as a freelancer?

 Earning money as a freelancer requires a go-getter mindset, discipline, and a little bit of patience. You can learn everything else you need to know — and you can start here:

  • Define your services. What skills do you have to offer that other people will pay for? Clarify your business plans by writing down exactly what you do.

  • Choose your niche. Narrow down your area of interest to make marketing easier. If you’re a photographer, will you shoot weddings, portraits, or consumer products? Resist the urge to try and be all things to all people.

  • Talk to other freelancers in your industry. Understand how they handle business, how much they charge, and what they’ve learned from their own trajectories. 

  • Manage your expectations. It usually takes a while for freelance work to pick up. You won’t be flush with cash the first week, or even the first few months when you begin. But if you’re willing to work hard and be persistent, it will be worth it in the long run.

  • Treat it like a job — because it is one. Give yourself a set work schedule, including breaks, and stick to it. Maintaining boundaries between work and downtime is essential for preventing burnout.

  • Learn how to manage your money. Exploring finance tips for freelancers will help launch your freelance career successfully. You’re running a business now, and handling your finances is a crucial part of the operation. 

Experience freedom with N26

Freelancing can be a fantastic way to make money while you enjoy flexibility and control. But you’ll still need some support, like personalized mobile banking that is fast and flexible. Open an N26 account so you can stay in control of your money. Sign up in less than 5 minutes right from your phone, and get the tools that you need to create a better financial future for yourself.

N26 does not manage external links, and is not responsible for the content, links, products or services of these websites. Further, N26's privacy and security policies do not apply to external linked websites. Please consult the disclosures of any external linked websites for further information.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

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