“How do I make money online?” how do I earn extra money? How do I earn working from the comfort of my home? The truth is that irrespective of how this question is reframed, notice that certain key words are constant. It all boils down to making money especially at your own convenience. How amazing! There are numerous online money making ventures but the one of particular interest in this article is “freelancing”. Personally as a student I started to think up means of making extra money and then I stumbled upon the world of freelancing and so far my life has changed both financially and otherwise.
Who is a freelancer?
A freelancer is anyone who is not legally bound to work for any organization as a full time employee. Thus, a freelancer can be seen as one who is self-employed. Many freelancers are registered to host agencies that provide a platform for them to meet clients and sell their skills while some others work on their own as independent contractors.
How does it work?
I joined my first freelancing site in 2014 where I registered as an academic writer and proof reader among other skills. Initially it was very difficult for me as I was practically lost in a freelancing world that already had about 20 million users. Following my desire and commitment to learn and earn, I took my time to read through the site instructions, joined the community and made some friends who eventually took their time to explain the basics to me. Eventually, I got my first client and subsequently it was not as difficult as it seems. Now all I am saying here is that it is not going to be an easy beginning and if you are not really committed to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel you might just quit when you might just be on the verge of your breakthrough. Some sites like freelancer.com, fiverr.com, upwork do not necessarily test your skills. For example at freelancer.com, once you are ready to begin, all you have to do is send a proposal along with your bid and convince the client why the job should be yours and at the price you are requesting. On the other hand, with specific reference to some other sites like my.writerweb.org, uvocorp, writerbay, essaysharks, writerhub and many more in this category, it doesn’t end with registration. You will be subjected to series of test after which you will be notified whether or not that your status has been activated. Now this can be very demanding having had personal experience with some of these sites myself but here is what you need to do.
What you need to do
Just as the names of these freelancing sites are different, so are their criteria for hiring freelancers. Now here is what you need to do to get in:
Clearly define your area of expertise/strength: in my quest to get better freelance agencies that actually pay better, during the course of registration in one of the platforms, I chose the option that I was a technical writer (well I thought I was except that I didn’t understand their definition of technical) and I was really embarrassed at my performance after the test. I already knew I would fail because the questions were strange and not the technical I envisaged. Most freelance sites will give you the opportunity to choose between 3-7 areas which you feel you are proficient in and you must be very careful to actually choose where your strength lies. This doesn’t just determine the nature of the test you will be given but also the type of clients you will be working with subsequently and you really do want to create a very good first and lasting impression of yourself as you might not get another chance to undo any damage. Choosing a niche is as important as the entire idea of freelancing itself as this is what will define you subsequently; you tend to be focus and would definitely grow into an expert in the niche you have chosen.
- The tools you need: One very important component of freelancing is “availability”. Most freelancing agencies would ask if you would be available 24/7 and they actually mean it. I completed a clients order some days before the due date and then an emergency came and I had to travel. Eventually the client sent the order back for revision but I was nt available at the moment and it was reassigned to anther freelancer. Now this is an order that was almost complete so when I reached out to explain what happened, they reminded me that I had agreed to be available 24/7, you see! In addition to being available you will be needing a computer, internet access, accessibility via mobile, email, Skype and every other means of communication specified, availability even at odd hours among other things are very important for you to succeed as a freelancer. Personally, the time zone between my present location and that of my current freelance agency is quite different such that while I am supposed to be sleeping they are just about to start office hours. Now that way, I receive calls at very odd hours and have to deliver orders irrespective of this limitation.
- Hard work and focus: Like I said, starting as a new freelancer will not be easy but with hard work and focus, you will surely get your chance to impress. It took me quite a long time before I got my first client after spending hours placing bids and writing proposals. I remember after making my first $100 I was so excited that I had to tell a couple of friends about it and they were so interested at that moment to join so I registered them. Eventually, they couldn’t continue because they were not focused or put in the required effort. Hard work will give birth to patience and focus will help you persevere because you really have something that you are looking to achieve.
- Pricing and proposal: The truth is that most freelancers earn peanuts compared to the real price the client is actually offering for the project. In platforms like freelancer.com for example, the freelancer actually deals directly with the clients but off course the client has access to millions of professionals willing to offer the same or even better services at even lower prices so what do you do? Imagine a newbie freelancer with no client review placing a very high fee for a project? That was what I was doing initially when I joined and I never got any offer from clients. Pricing is particularly important especially if you are a newbie. Don’t get me wrong you might actually be a professional and the best at what you do but in this new world that you have found yourself you need time to prove yourself and client review go a very long way too. Always place your bid at the starting price of the clients and accompany it with a very good proposal. Now several hundreds of people will place their bids and send proposals within minutes and the client might not necessarily have the time to go through all of them so most times they screen out some bids based on price. Always keep your proposal very simple. It is also very important to actually read the requirements of the client as some of them are already aware that most freelancers have generic proposals already prepared. Some clients require their bidders to use specific keywords and then go on to write their proposal. Now your proposal should acknowledge that you have read the requirements and that you can do the job. The big question is why you? Summarize your previous experience doing similar projects, you can also back this up with your academic qualification (if you have extra degrees and professional certifications in the field). It is also pertinent to tell the client that you will deliver the project promptly and will keep him/her updated with your progress. All this put together will surely help you get clients in no time.
Going back to the questions previously asked; how do I make money online? How do I earn extra money? How do I earn working from the comfort of my home? In my opinion and from personal experience, being a freelancer is a way out. Many freelancers make more money than the conventional permanent employees of many organizations and believe me this is no joke. Some freelancers earn over $10,000 monthly just within the comfort of their apartment or wherever they chose. Now you see that that really a lot of money. I know what you are thinking but before you rush to a freelance site to register and start earning, also remember that there will be challenges.
There is no doubt that a lot of money can be made freelancing but it has its own challenges. Especially during the early stages of a freelancing career, it can be time consuming as you spend unusual number of time online trying so hard to land your first client. Some freelancing sites have over 25 million registered users which means you have to compete fervently to get a job. Also, you will have to suffer the pain of getting low pay for your services until you become an expert. Most agencies promote their freelancers after they have met certain number of requirements and this invariably also increases their cost per page (CPP) or cost per hour (CPH).
In all these, one thing is certain, the challenges are not enough to stop you from opening an account now. In no time you will start earning and be sure to thank me later. Here are some notable freelance platforms for you o check out: upwork, freelancer.com, fiverr.com, uvocorp, writerbay, writerweb,writerhub, blueservicecorp, wrotology and many more.