Online Freelancing has become a way of life for many. With the accessibility of high-speed internet and online communication platforms like Skype, freelancing has become truly accessible to everyone with a laptop and internet, no matter their age or industry. In fact, according to Forbes, 35% of the U.S. workforce is now made up of freelance workers. These workers collectively earned 1 trillion dollars in 2016 alone. That’s some serious money, all from working from the comfort of home.
Freelancing used to be thought of as something only for designers and the ultra tech savvy. However, there are now plenty of ways to earn money freelancing online, you just need to know how, and where to start.
While freelancing, you can make anywhere from a few extra dollars a week to six figures a year. Your earnings are totally dependent on your skill set and the amount of time you are able to devote to projects. However, regardless of your skills, or lack thereof, you are bound to find something you can get paid for. Sometimes clients are only lacking in time, which may be something you have to offer.
Now for the trickiest part, how are you going to actually start making money? Well, first you need to identify what skills you have that are currently in demand. A good place to start is with some self-reflection. What skills are involved in your current (or past) position(s)? What are your strengths? Regardless of your skill level, from entry to executive, there are positions available for your skills, I promise.
If you’re unsure what skills may be viable to an employer, take a look at Quora and see the top in demand freelance skills. Technical skills are often high on the list, however, the following skills are also highly desirable, and profitable:
- Administrative Tasks
- Appointment Setting
- Graphic Design
- Web Development
- Mobile Development
- Customer Service
- Sales and Marketing
Before you get started, keep in mind: If you’ve never completed an online freelance job before, and you’re not an expert in any specific field, you shouldn’t request $100 per hour for your services. Be reasonable, and start small. These sites are competitive, you will need to start slowly and work your way up! Additionally, if you have just created a profile and have never completed a project, clients may be wary of hiring you. You may receive quite a few ‘no’s before you get your first ‘yes’.
Fiverr.com: Unsure if you have any skills worth paying for? You’re wrong, and Fiverr wants to prove it. On Fiverr.com you will find a wide range of tasks available ranging from online instruction to digital marketing. Fiverr lists ‘micro jobs’. ‘Micro jobs’ are small, and inexpensive tasks that don’t require much time to find or complete.
UpWork.com & Guru.com: these sites provide a platform where you can review job listings, apply for positions, and even get paid. Keep in mind a small chunk of your earnings will be paid to these platforms as somewhat of a “finder’s fee”.
Craigslist: Yes, the same Craigslist where you can find apartments, sell your furniture, and buy concert tickets, also has a wealth of opportunity for online freelancers. You have to be selective and be very careful of scams, but if you’re picky, you can find some great opportunities.
BelaySolutions.com: Belay used to be only for virtual executive assistants. However, now, they are offering social media assistant jobs, and other types of work may not be far behind. Have some great admin skills? BelaySolutions may be a great place to start. Rates range typically from $20 to $45 per hour for U.S.-based virtual assistants.
FlexJobs.com: Over 1.8 million people have found positions via FlexJobs.com which serves as an aggregator for jobs of nearly any level with some sort of remote component. The site promises to offer pre-screened and scam-free listings. They offer a wide range of positions in consulting, tech and administrative support, sales, customer service, tutoring, and accounting.
PeoplePerHour.com: This company is based out of the UK and offers only fully remote listings. The positions typically focus on design and website development; however, other creative options are available.
Truthfully, there’s plenty of opportunities out there. Be mindful of your current workload and take the time to find the right opportunities for you and your schedule. Remember to be reasonable. You won’t become a millionaire overnight, but there is endless opportunity to earn some real money through online freelancing. If you want to get started small, check out micro jobs.