How to Make Money with Online Freelancing | The Insight Blog

How to Make Money with Online Freelancing

Jordan Kennedy  | 

Whether you want to break free from the constraints of your job or want to earn more money during your free time, freelancing is an excellent opportunity to use your talents and abilities to become just a bit richer. However, for someone who is at the start of the road, freelancing can be an intimidating activity to get into, as they have no resources or knowledge.

Anyone who wants to get started with freelancing must figure out something they are good at or something they are willing to improve to warrant getting paid for that activity. The most common freelancing activities are coding, journalism (article writing, copywriting, editing), translating, transcribing audio, and captioning videos. Of course, many other activities cater to specific niches. It’s worth mentioning that whatever you are good at, chances are you are going to have to improve for as long as you keep freelancing, as the freelancing market is very competitive.

Once you have found a talent you can monetize, the best option is to browse online classifieds, such as state-wide Craigslist or specialized forums such as specific subreddits (/r/forhire) on Reddit to find work that will put you on a direct line with the client. This means that you will not have to pay any fees to third-party websites, but it also means that you will have to follow some deadlines, leading to more or less the same environment as you would have in a usual workplace. However, the main benefit to this approach is the fact that you get to do networking – slowly building relationships in the domain which can end up forging future partnerships and can earn you some new clients after you are done with the current one.

If you want to be your own boss and make your own schedule, you will have to start browsing for jobs on dedicated websites such as Indeed or Freelancer. These websites have you sign up, professionally complete your profile, then apply for jobs, underbidding your competition until the client chooses you for the project. While this alternative will end up costing you quite a bit, as you have to pay for tokens to apply for jobs, it may not even make you enough money to be worth the time. The reason is that during the past few years, many people with low standards entered the market, driving the prices down. Nowadays, it is common to see clients asking for projects that require many hours of work and only offering $5 as compensation. However, once you have proven your worth to several clients, you can expect them to require your services many more times.

The final alternative is getting hired by content mills. A content mill acts as a middleman between a client and freelancers, which means that clients don’t have to go looking for clients online, while freelancers can be comfy, taking up as many projects as they want whenever they want. The main downside to working for a content mill is the fact that they often take a large percent of the pay and that networking is almost impossible. Still, content mills are a great way to make money on the side whenever you have some free time or when you can’t find work in any other place. Usually, content mills require you to pass an exam to get hired, but once you’re past that, as long as you play by the rules, nothing else stands between you and a variety of projects.

In addition to making money by using your talents and abilities, you can also make small amounts of money passively, using your smartphone. The Reddit community /r/beermoney talks about apps and websites that pay you for minimal efforts, such as watching videos on your smartphone via special apps. Usually, the pay is not that good, and you also have to calculate electricity costs to see whether you make a profit, but once in a while, a great app comes up that offers a lot of money. Choosing several beermoney activities to do while working as a freelancer might be a smart decision, as small amounts add up over time.

Now that you have all the means necessary to find an online job, you also need to be wary not to make some common mistakes. Many people end up failing to adapt to the freelancing lifestyle because they can make money from home, dressed in their pajamas. They can relax for most of the day, which leads to them not working and ending up in debt, meaning that they have to return to a regular job because they were not able to manage their time effectively. The fact that you can be your own boss doesn’t mean that you have to be lenient on yourself – it means that you have to be hard on yourself, as only you are to blame for an unsatisfying paycheck.

Another rookie mistake in every freelancing domain is underpricing your work. People who aren’t able to get work often become desperate and end up accepting to work for ridiculously low amounts. Not only does this mean that they have to work more to reach their financial goals for the month, but it also makes them look like they are not confident enough in their work, which does not give a good impression to their clients.

An important thing while being a freelancer is being focused. That means that freelancers have to learn not to give in to distractions, as they will severely reduce the amount of work they can get done. To stay focused, there are apps and browser extensions that block websites and programs until deactivated, which may come in handy as they make people think twice before leaving their work unfinished.

Now you know how to get started in the freelancing business. Just remember that to succeed in the freelancing world, people need always to be looking for new clients to establish a complex work network that will continuously net them jobs.

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