May 31, 2010 Jason

How to Become a Freelancer

OK, so you’re tired of your 9-5 job, but you’re not quite ready to retire yet.  You’ve heard that there’s some huge opportunities in the freelance world, and you think now is the time to make the switch.  Congrats!

Welcome to the life of the freelancer; where you can sleep in, wear pajamas until noon, knock off whenever you want to, and the only exercise you have to do is the walk to the mailbox to pick up the piles of cheques.

I’ve got good news and bad news.

First, the good news: the part about the pajamas was true.  Probably.

The bad news – you’ve got to work harder than you ever did before.  Remember when you were in the office, thinking “it’s all pensionable time”?  Well, now pretty much every hour that you’re earning money took two hours to get the job.

That being said – it’s a pretty good gig if you’re able to motivate yourself to git ‘r done.

I wrote this post to give you a few links that I’ve found useful to find new freelance jobs.  What I’d like in return?  Your questions about freelancing, your thoughts on it, what you like about hiring freelancers, and what you do to cope financially as a freelancer.

So, if you want to give freelancing a try, I suggest you check out these links.  When you’ve landed a few jobs, managed to get paid for them, and with any luck, received positive feedback, then maybe start thinking about doing this full time.

  • Elance.com – Good site, with new jobs opening all the time.  You’re competing on the global level, so sometimes the pay is a tad low.  Tad being a massive understatement.  The free account lets you bid on up to 10 projects  each month, and like most of these sites, you can get regular emails about new jobs.
  • Odesk.com – Similar to elance, but not quite as busy.  Good tools to use, and has a free trial.
  • Getafreelancer.com – free to sign up and bid on projects, layout isn’t as intuitive as elance or odesk, but it’s not bad
  • Freelanceswitch.com – pay service with a monthly fee, but the jobs here tend to be a bit more professional.
  • Guru.com – very similar to elance and odesk.  Lots of work, lots of competition; not a lot of $$
  • Constant-content.com – for writers only, but a decent way to build a portfolio.  The ability to sell all the rights, or just some of them, to your market.  Low price point, but as you write more, and sell more, you should be able to adjust your rate.  Be warned – if you submit 3 articles and they don’t accept them, they won’t accept anymore work from you.  They also have a good affiliate setup – so if you sign up, please use the link I’ve provided.

Now that you have a few places to find work, give it a try.  For the most part, it won’t cost you much.  The sad part about that – you likely won’t earn that much.  But, if it gets you writing/designing/consulting, isn’t that a step in the right direction?

Good luck – I’ll try to add more on this topic if you’re interested.

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Comments (5)

  1. I’ve always wanted to try freelancing but have always thought my skills aren’t able to meet up with standards expected of clients. I suppose I’ll never know unless I try.
    Thanks for the list of links, definitely helps take the first step 😉

    • admin

      Hope they helped D3so – good luck, and stop back later for some more tips

      Brandscaping

  2. I previously worked as a full time web designer for a reputed company in my country. I worked there around 1 and half years. I always thought that Freelancing will make me happier rather than working there.
    So i thought of moving to full time freelance instead of part time. Its little over 3 months and i really enjoyed what i have done so far. Really. Working at home, taking leaves whenever i want, etc.
    The main point which makes me strong to take this decision was, Steve Jobs said 3 valuable points which made his life changed. One was “Do things that you like”. So that point really helped me to stay strong with my decision.

    Thanks for your post.
    Enjoyed reading.
    Cheers!

    • admin

      excellent advice – thanks for sharing. I’m just in my second month of freelancing – and it’s great!
      shoot me an email if you want to chat about freelancing. I’m finding that the folks with a regular job have a hard time relating to what we do.
      If you knock off at 2 – it’s pretty unlikely that you are done for the day. More often than not – you’ll be back at your desk that evening

      Jason

  3. 🙂 i havnet still tried to find out some jobs YET. The projects that came few weeks back are still going on and they will be over in one week or so. After that i need to find some stuff. Most freelancers do find hard to work at start. Thats what something that i havent came up with.

    Still there are 3,4 pending projects. But the thing is without client’s word of “confirm” its not making mind so free sometimes. But its always enjoying doing freelancing.

    Cheers!

    P.S. Will drop you an email. I am bit hurry to finalize a project. Take care

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