Our stories might be different but many of us have probably (day)dreamed about making money online. You may have even come across a few tips but you believe in lifelong learning, so you ended up here. Well, welcome! In this blog post, we try to give you a comprehensive description of how you can start making money online as a freelancer. Either your goal is to work full-time, do a few online gigs, or just find out whether freelancing is really for you, you will certainly find some help and answers below.
Image by Daniel Friesenecker from Pixabay. It’s time to get things done!!
How to Start Making Money on an Online Platform
Digital technologies have created an environment in which newbies to the world of freelancing find themselves in a huge pool of individuals with similar goals. Fortunately, you can use plenty of resources to learn (new) skills, and many online platforms can help you find clients and work in general. Let’s discuss now what you should do to increase YOUR chances on online platforms dedicated to freelancers to get hired for the first time in your life and/or start making money online!
1. What are you great at?
Growing up you had an interest in a lot of subjects. As time went by, you must have decided to focus on only a few. Has your teacher or someone else told you you’re great at writing, programming languages, promoting and selling stuff or drawing? Those might lead you to a particular career path in a preferred field. Not to mention that copywriting, graphic design, marketing automation, programming, content creation, content promotion are considered evergreen skills.
2. How to get better?
Some say elite professionals are more likely to get hired for gigs and/or be able to build a business online. If you feel your skills must be improved, take online courses. You could learn from the best of the best. Thousands of teachers and tutors are willing to share their knowledge with the world. Whatever skills you want to gain or better, you’ll find courses online for sure.
3. How to find your first client?
So you’re on the top of the game and ready to finally start making money online. What you need to do is to convince someone to pay you instead of a bunch of other professionals creating awesome stuff.
3.1. Work on your profile
Without a doubt, you must build an attractive profile on your chosen platform by adding your portfolio – whether it is Freelancer.com, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. According to Azharul, your title should show what your field of expertise. When discussing Upwork, he recommends that you take the Upwork Readiness Test and the English test. Since many of the clients using online platforms are based in an English-speaking country, your chances of getting hired will increase by investing in completing those tests. And, of course, speaking another language is always an asset, so master your English. Azharul also offers an online course in case you want to dive more into the process of building a kick-ass profile. All in all, you must provide information about yourself and your work in a professional and honest way.
3.2. Start writing proposals
So, your profile looks amazing and now you’re on a quest to find a project/client. On all online portals, the advanced search function can accelerate the process. Use filters, and focus more on jobs for beginners posted by clients with a verified payment method – to ensure you’ll get paid.
According to Miha, who also has an online course, the key is to apply for a project effectively. What does this mean? You should always read the project brief carefully. And if you don’t find the description detailed enough to write a proposal for it, just send questions to the client. When you’ve got everything you need to write the proposal, introduce yourself briefly, giving relevant examples of jobs done in the past, and stress how you will bring value to their company. As a newbie, you can also charge clients less for your services, for example. And if you manage to find a client, make sure you exceed their expectations, so you’ll get five stars and a positive review.
3.3. Ask your network or look for other opportunities
Getting that first client without a positive review is a tough nut to crack, especially if you only send proposals to clients you don’t know, or if you compete with hundreds of other freelancers. What you could also do to get your first reviews on the site is to offer your services to your family members, friends and people in your social network. If someone could use your help, invite them to one of the platforms as a client. Once the job is done, you’ll have your first 5-star review that will lead to more commissions.
While you’re waiting for your first client, you could try to earn money with digital marketing, PayPal and by uploading photos, among others. Zeb can give you advice on how to start making money online – in various ways. You can find more info on affiliate marketing in his e-book.
The Truth About Making Money Online You Need To Know Before You Start
We hope we can be completely honest with you. Therefore, we’ll start by looking at some facts you should know. They are listed not to scare you away but to give you a better, more detailed picture of what to expect when starting your journey in the labyrinth of online freelancing and making money online. By managing your own expectations, you’ll more likely to succeed and you won’t even consider giving up halfway through.
4.1. You won’t get rich quickly
Only a small percentage of people will make it online overnight – thanks to luck and great timing probably. You and the others comprising the 99.9% of freelancers will possibly need to work hard for months or even years to finally be able to issue an invoice with some zeros on it. Because of the pace of the process, it is advised to open/keep a savings account and have a financial plan. Freelancers in general usually start thinking about their retirement years quite early and read up on insurance coverage. By no means, you should focus on the former now, but it’s something you should keep in mind as your career progresses.
4.2. You need multiple sources of income
In addition to some money saved, another source of income is essential when embarking on a freelance journey and dreaming about getting started making money online. For example, you can browse opportunities that will bring in money without much extra work.
4.3. You must be motivated
That goes without saying, right? Your ultimate goal may be a part-time job or ‘only’ some occasional gigs, but you must be determined and work on your performance. You must constantly look for opportunities and, of course, learn from the mistakes you make along the way. If you arrange your ‘office’ in your home, you will also need an extra push – at least at the very beginning.
4.4. The beginning is tough
And the beginning will be pretty hard, and not only because of the huge competition out there due to the widespread use of the Internet. Freelancing seems fun, and if you enjoy what you’re doing, it will make you happy. However, this kind of lifestyle requires you to be sort of available 24/7. It doesn’t mean you have to get back to everyone right away but soon enough to demonstrate you’re a professional. This is something you have to get used to. Besides that, it may take weeks (or months) to get commissioned by a client, to turn the side hustle into a part-time job, or to finally believe in yourself enough that you’re capable of providing an excellent service. In other words, to shine as a freelancer. Hang in there, and you’ll make it through the swamp!
4.5. There is no one way to make money online
What works for someone will not necessarily work for you. Maybe your personality differs from theirs, or your skill set. Some may choose to travel the world and try to earn a living as a digital nomad. You don’t have to – and should not – imitate someone else. Especially because their background story might be completely different from yours; they maybe had access to more resources when they decided to start making money online.
You may find these posts interesting:
- Are you good with words? Take up freelance writing jobs
- Ready to lift off your designer career? Freelance graphic design jobs
- 4 legitimate companies that will pay you to take surveys
Popular ways to make money online
• Blogging & freelance writing (Considering starting a blog? This beginner’s guide might help you!)
• Being a virtual assistant
• Data entry
• Technical work
• Freelance video editing
• Building online courses
• Online surveys
• Selling online
Moving forward with more confidence
Working as an online freelancer is challenging, yet the benefits of it will outweigh them. Working flexible hours to do what you love sounds amazing, doesn’t it? So why not give it a shot? Try to connect with other people. We live in a hyperconnected world, so you don’t have to struggle and/or celebrate your success alone. Be the voice of the next generation!
Can you stay with us a bit longer? Read other posts!
- Freelance part time or full time? Turning a side hustle into a regular job
- Best freelance jobs – guidelines for students, expats and stay-at-home parents
- 11 Platforms to Become an Online (English) Teacher with No Experience or Degree
- Beginner’s guide to making money with Udemy
Featured Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash