Freelancing is can be a strange and confusing place to newcomers. With the age of the internet there are many new fields and job opportunities that did not exist in the way they do now. Freelancing can extend to a wide variety of fields including (but not limited to) writing, photography graphic design, and even voice over work. In the freelance world,work is often on a job by job basis where freelancers approach clients, or clients approach freelancers, with proposals or job offers for specific task. These tasks may include writing a blog post, editing a website, or recording a song. In this sense, freelancing has a lot of diversity.
How to Make Money As a Freelancer?
Now for some freelancing is a solo gig. They build up a portfolio of previous work in order to show off their skills and and send samples to clients. This way they can reach out to companies and clients who maybe seeking some work in their field, send them samples, and negotiate a contract. This route of freelancing leads a lot of control for the freelancer. They only take the jobs they want to take, have some control of prices, and work whatever hours they so choose. Of course, this method has some drawbacks as well. It leave the work of finding clients all up to the freelancer. They will have to seek out jobs, make proposals, and attempt to negotiate terms. However, even with all of that work there is not any guarantee that they will land a job. This ends up with many solo freelancers spending more time looking for gigs than actually doing work or getting paid. So, assuming that the solo style does not really appeal all that much to you, what are your other options?
There are some sites and companies that hire freelances specifically. Some of of them, such as Upwork, create a place where outside clients can post ads for specific jobs they require and the freelance site collects them and organizes them in an easy to search through manner. Then the freelancers, who (depending on the site) may pay a subscription free of some kind, can select which jobs they are interested in and apply directly to the client. This way, freelancers save a lot of time searching the whole world wide web for jobs and can use that extra time working. However, some sites take a portion of the earnings, or charge a fee, which can turn some freelancers off from this type of work. But having a site be able to back up your contracts and make sure you get paid for your work is a nice feature.
There also another category of sites that I like to call micro-sites. You often see these for writing but can pop in any line of work. These sites go through the trouble of scouring the internet for all sorts of smaller freelance jobs, Then create a long list of these jobs based on their niche, price range, and all sorts of identifiers. Here a writer who has been hired by the site can select a job, write the content as described, and then send it out to the client. These style of jobs do not usually pay very much, usually a few dollars per, but the idea is that with as small these jobs is that a freelance can work on many of them a day (or whatever schedule they decide) and then add those few bucks up to a substantial amount. With these sites there is usually no shortage of jobs allowing a freelance to work as much or as little as they so choose.
If none of those options are working out for your, some freelancers opt to post ads themselves. On forum sites, such as Reddit or maybe even Facebook in a pinch, some freelancers include samples of their work from their portfolio and describe their possible rates, work experience, and what jobs they are looking for or are comfortable with. This way clients can go to these sites and browse through different freelancer ads and find someone who best fits the work they’re looking to get done. On this route though it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and some clients will these as more ‘desperate’ postings and try to convince these freelancers to work for free. (Pro Tip: Working for free or for ‘exposure’ is one of the worst things you can do as a new freelancer)
Is Freelancing Viable?
One of your concerns, as it is with many new freelancers, might be ‘aren’t there so many freelancers nowadays? Is there room for me?’. The answer to that is a for sure yes! If you think there are a lot of free lancers there are even more freelance jobs. Not all of them will be great, that’s a reality anyone seeking a job will have to face, but as technology continues to advance at the rapid rate it has been, there will always be a need for more content. If you look in the right places and devote the time you will find that there is work for you. And, the more work you do, the easier it will be to find work.
All of this may seem daunting. There are many options for sites, many types of work that can be done, and overall, dozens of different way to approach freelancing for the first time. Aside from the rest of what you have been told so far, my last piece of advice is to be patient. Freelancing is hard, but what job isn’t at first? It will take some dedication, but as many successful freelancers will say, the more time you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Find something you love to do, take your time, and be sure to branch out. There are jobs out there (plenty of paying ones too) and by starting small, building up a portfolio and some solid client reviews, you can turn freelancing into viable, profitable, gig.