What is freelancing? How much money can I really make as a freelancer? Is freelancing good for beginners? Which types of work are available in freelancing for beginners? How much time will it take to earn my first few dollars from freelancing? How much time and effort do I need to put to make a decent amount consistently? Can I make a living doing this only?
Do you often find yourself mull in these kind of questions? Maybe yes, if you are willing to make money online but you are a beginner and have no idea!
I face these kind of questions frequently on my blog, social media, Quora account most of the time, from my colleagues and surprisingly from most of the people around me who are quite interested in making money online. Guess the reason? Because making money online and work from home are the next big things! Probably, the trend has already got the boost during this lock-down. No boss! No fixed schedule! And most importantly, you can make a decent amount sitting at your home.
I am gonna share complete details you need to get started as a freelancer and earn your first money as freelancer.
What Is Freelancing?
Freelancing is not a new term for those who are using the internet to make money. It is one of the traditional ways to make money online from the comfort of your home. It’s been in trend for quite a long time. You don’t need to have an office or workplace. You just need a PC/smartphone(depends upon the task to be done) and a good active internet connection. Apart from this, you should have at least one specific skill you are good at (I’ll come to this part later in this article).
Pros Of Freelancing
- Flexible Schedule – You are free to decide on which time you want to work. There is no fixed schedule.
- Good Work-Life Balance – This is you who decide how much time you are willing to work and how much time you want to spend with friends and family.
- Control Over Your Workload – You don’t want to work today because you are not feeling good! Cool, you can. No boss, No pressure.
- International Clients – You will get opportunities to interact with the clients all over the world directly. You can establish relation with them and work with them forever sitting at your home.
- Unlimited Earning Potential – It’s you who decide which work to do and which not.You are not satisfied with the pay, you can negotiate. Still not happy, you can simply reject that one. You are highly skilled, earn a huge amount sitting at your home.
Cons Of Freelancing
- Unstable income – It’s possible that sometimes you have good number of projects and you made s good income but sometimes you might get out of projects and remain with zero income for quite a few days.
- Distractions at home – Although you are free to decide your working hours, you need to handle with distractions at your home. Better you make a separate place for work and keep others away while working.
- Huge Competition – Competition in freelancing is way more now than earlier. A good number of people make bid for the same project. You need to work hard and smart to make yourself stand out.
How Does Freelancing System Work?
This system is based on three pillars:
- You as a freelancer (the one who is willing to work)
- Your client (the one who offers job)
- A platform which acts as bridge between you and your client (Eg- Fiverr, UpWork etc.)
Which Types Of Work Are Available In Freelancing For Beginners?
Almost Everything! From simple data entry work to die hard coding projects, you can find almost every work that can be done on a PC/Smartphone on freelancing portals. If you are good at any specific skill, you can get started as a freelancer.
Here Is The List Of Most Popular Tasks Available In Freelancing For Beginners
My Journey As A Freelancer
I started freelancing way back in 2016 while I was pursuing my graduation. At that time, I had no idea about freelancing. I just started hustling about freelancing on the internet and got some idea. However, I was good at writing content since my childhood so I thought to start freelancing as a content writer.
I used to put 3-4 hours daily learning about how freelancing work and how do I get my first job? As because I used to send proposals but didn’t even get a response.
Luckily, I got my 1st project after 3-4 months because I learnt from my mistakes and made improvement continuously. The most important thing that I have learnt at that time was to submit a proposal. If your proposal is not good, you won’t even get noticed. I am not saying, other things don’t matter. They do, obviously. Your skills, your profile strength and of course reviews given by your clients, all of them matter.
I earned as little as $10 from my first project but it was a motivation booster for me. After that I worked on a number of projects for various individuals and brands. A few of them are my regular client as well.
How Can You Start Freelancing?
As I said earlier, your skill is the most powerful weapon on the way to become a successful freelancer. If you think of becoming a successful freelancer, find out a skill you are truly good at. If you haven’t, start learning one now.
Here is the 2 easy steps to start freelancing for beginners.
#1. Find A Niche You Want To Work On
If you are good at editing videos, you can’t do coding; right?
Like in my case, I really hate mathematics, so I can’t think of getting accounts related tasks. I work as a freelance Content Writer, Web Developer & started working as a Digital Marketer as well since 2019.
Now, you can understand that these 3 are my niches I am good at. But remember, when I started, I was working as a Content Writer only. Later on I learnt other skills and started working on them as well.
Now is the your turn. Find out what do you want to do and proceed further. If you are a beginner, I suggest starting with one specific niche only which suits you the best.
In case you don’t have any idea about any of them and don’t even know your passion, I suggest you go and gather some knowledge about most popular niches like SEO, Content Writing etc. and then you will be able to take a decision.
The best way to gather information about any topic or niche is “Google.” Just search on Google whatever you want to learn and everything will be available for you.
#2. Develop Freelancing Skills
Now you know, which niche you want to work on. It’s time to develop the skills required and practice them as much as possible to master whatever you are learning.
This is a vital step in your journey to freelancing for beginners. As I always say, skill is the most precious asset as a freelancer so make sure you learn them properly.
If you are thinking, how to build a skill and master them, there are a number of ways to do so. If you want to invest something, you can buy a course on that topic and learn with ease. If you don’t have enough amount to invest, still you can learn most of the skills for free via internet. But in this case, you need to put a little more time and effort because you won’t get everything in an arranged and sequential manner as in paid courses.
Now you already have an skill you can use to start freelancing for beginners. The next step is to create a profile on some most popular freelance marketplaces where you can start your journey to freelancing for beginners
Here is the list of best Freelance marketplaces where you can find freelance jobs.
Best Websites For Getting Freelance Jobs
You can find a number of freelance marketplaces on the internet however a few are more popular and trustworthy among people. I am gonna list recommended freelance websites below.
Upwork came to existence in 2014 when two popular freelance marketplaces Elance and oDesk got merged into one.
It is one of the largest freelance marketplace with millions of active freelancers and clients.
You can find almost every kind of freelance jobs on Upwork which makes it one of the best website for both freelancers and clients.
The user experience of the website as well as app is quite good and smooth. You can easily navigate into different sections of the website because of its design.
Reasons to consider Upwork: The main advantage of using Upwork is their payments system. You are guaranteed to get paid for every task you do. As because they collect the payment in advance from clients and keep it safe with them until your work is accepted by the client. Once the task is finished and approved, the amount gets deposited to your account.
Drawbacks: The service charge of Upwork is probably not that good as expected. They charge upto 20% service charge on your earnings.
Also they send a snapshot of freelancers’ screens every 10 minutes to the clients if you are working on hourly paid task to make sure freelancers are working working for their money. It might be awkward for many of you.
PeoplePerHour is another name in the list of most popular freelancing marketplaces. It is user friendly and offers good perks to the freelancers as well as as clients seeking services. The pay is also not that bad and quite satisfactory.
Reasons to consider PeoplePerHour: If you are getting paid higher amount, the service charge is quite low and varries between 3.5%-7%.
Drawbacks: For low payments, service charge is high @20%.
It’s also very popular freelance marketplace and popular among users. You might want to give it a try as well.
Reasons to consider: Huge scope on variety of freelancing niche.
Drawbacks: High service charge @20%.
Freelancer is a website to use if you like simplicity. It’s easy to sign up and use. After signup, you can add up to 20 skills.
Reasons to consider: Comparatively low service charge @10%. Another is you can get to know how many people are bidding to work on a project.
Drawbacks: They run contests where clients receive multiple submissions for a project, and only pay for the one they like. So basically freelancers risk doing a lot of work for no reward.
How Much Money Can You Make As A Freelancer?
To be straight forward, unlimited. There is no limit on the earnings and tasks. It totally depends upon you.
There are 2 ways to get paid; some task are on the basis of per hour rate while some offers a lump sum amount for a complete project. It depends upon the client as well as the nature of work.
As per a survey done by Freelancermap, 56% of the freelancers earn more than their colleagues working full-time.
[Pic Credit: Freelancermap]
Sometimes, your competitor is ready to do the same task in lesser amount which is definitely not a good deed for you. But it never means that the jobs are underpaying. If you are highly skilled, show them to your clients. In most of the cases, they will value your skills.
Tips For Creating Advanced Freelance Profile
Complete your profile 100%
Get your profile verified
Optimize your Profile with your top skills keywords
Put your personal profile picture with smiling face
Write engaging and unique profile bio describing skills and experiences
Pro Tip: Create your personal branding via a personal blog.