How to Become a Freelancer

Writing is a skill that can offer freedom beyond a regular job. I am sure that you have heard of the job and figured that it had something to do with newspapers or magazines. While this is true, that is not the only kind of freelance writing available. With the entire globe connected through the internet, it is easy to find freelance writing jobs that are not tied to a physical location. If you have a desire to travel but cannot take time off of work, using your writing skills might be a way to solve this problem. It is also a great way to supplement your income while building your resume.

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I had no idea how to become a freelancer.

I started my writing career by creating digital content for local businesses’ websites. At the time, I had no idea how to become a freelancer. I dressed professionally and pitched a few owners on how I could help them. Not all gave me contracts, but some did. The hardest part about freelancing is making that first sale.

Once you have another business vouching for you many others are willing to take a risk. I would suggest starting with low rates in order to gain initial clientele, and once you have given them some awesome quality you’ll have the testimony to back up your work. If you are having trouble setting your initial price-point and live in a Western country, $20.00/hour should be a decent place to start.

If you do not have many local businesses or are too shy to approach them in person, try using the website Upwork. It helps connect professionals to clients, holds project funds to ensure freelancers get paid, and serves as a great way to build your business. Since clients rate you on your projects, it is important to give quality work otherwise it will be near impossible to generate substantial revenue. In my first three days of using Upwork, I earned $565.50. (This is the combined total of multiple contracts.)

One of the interesting things about Upwork is that you can get clients from all over the globe. Some of my clients are located here in America (Prescott Papers is one of my favorites to work with. If you are interested in freelancing send them an email), while others are on different continents. I am currently writing some marketing material for a firm in Bulgaria. Though I can do it from my home, it really makes me want to travel and write. (I’m looking at you, Europe.)

Please be aware that freelancers are often taken advantage by both legitimate companies and con men. Do not complete work until you at least have some sort of deposit either in hand or in escrow. (Upwork places client funds in escrow until the project is complete.) You will often see many people charging as little as $3.00/hour. If you would like to use this approach to start gathering initial reviews I understand, but I urge you to not devalue yourself.

With a solid work ethic, it is possible to make a lucrative full-time job out of being a freelance writer. Hopefully, I will get the chance to travel for at least a month in the summer and continue to work on my own. If anyone has any digital nomad experience I’d love to talk to you. I know that this was a short post so if you still want to read about freelancing check out Paris Montgomery or  anything from The Freelance Writer’s Den. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, and I can’t wait to discuss things in the comments.

13 thoughts on “How to Become a Freelancer

  1. I signed up for upwork but haven’t bid on any jobs yet. I keep seeing jobs that require “connects” and I’m not sure what those are. Are you familiar with those?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone receives 60 free connects per month. If you use all of your connects, but do not want to wait until they refresh you have the option to buy more. Since you just started an account, you should be good for quite a while.

      Like

  2. Hey, great article! As an Upwork freelancer, I can say that it is one of the best sites for both newbies and experienced professionals. Everyone can find something for themselves, so do check it out. Regards!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, thanks for getting in touch! 🙂 Not at all: I heard through a friend who’d already established himself as a freelancer on Elance, a couple of years ago… I’ve been snowballing ever since 🙂 Although still far from being the only source of income, it’s pretty good, and keeps getting better… Two things to bear in mind: 1) provide quality work no matter what 2) be patient yet perseverant.

        Liked by 1 person

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