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Doing exactly what you want and getting paid to do it is a set-up that most people can only dream of having. For some, it is having a stable job and earning a secure paycheck. The traditional way of making a living has long been considered as getting employed, going through the daily commute, performing your tasks at an office, coming back home and spending whatever time you have left over as you deem fit. This has worked for many people in the past and is most likely going to continue for the foreseeable future. There are of course other ways to earn that may offer greater flexibility and perhaps, a higher monthly income.

Paying your dues

paying dues

Working as a freelancer makes it possible for you to earn from your current skillset with an opportunity to add and improve on them as you go along. The jobs you get would usually allow you to perform them from the comfort of your own home, without having to get out of your pajamas. At first, it may be difficult to find clients that will hire you on a consistent basis. You still have to build up your online reputation in a flourishing and increasingly competitive market. Be prepared for longer working hours when you eventually find your rhythm though you should not expect to receive overtime pay or vacation leaves.

Still interested?

Try to find a good freelancing website you are comfortable using. There are so many of them out there but you really just need one or two to get started. Before you know it, the jobs will start coming in and you could gradually include other interests to earn money from as well. Make sure to take any certification exams (for free if possible) or small jobs that will improve your rating on freelancing websites. They make you stand out and gives a potential employer an easier time in hiring you.

Paradigm shift

There is a growing number of the workforce that have taken that first step toward a different approach to making a living. The two to three hours spent on the road is replaced by more opportunities to earn, increased family time and chosen occasions for rest. A freelancer soon begins to find the distinguishing line between being busy and genuine productivity. There are more specific moves geared toward self-improvement towards the things you like to do instead of doing such things for the requirements of a job. Freelancing creates a positive feedback loop that pays you to apply what you have learned to perform work that you particularly enjoy doing and opens up other areas of interest to do the same.

Test the waters

It does not really matter where you currently are in your career or if you have stopped working. If you have a desire to find out if your expertise, talent or passion can make a migration into the world of freelancing then you are already headed in the right direction. The next things you have to do is to actually join a freelancing platform and start bidding on jobs. Try for anything that you are comfortable with at first. As you get more confident in navigating around your chosen freelancing website, you can eventually bid on jobs that are a bit out of your comfort zone.

test the waters

Doing so is a necessary part of the process to help you grow your skills and get better at your current level. This will lead you to be better qualified for a wider range of jobs which could also improve the asking rate for your services. For example, being a skilled writer could land you a lot of writing jobs for articles, speeches or short novels. You can add unto this solid foundation by complementing it with skills in copywriting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), backlinking, image editing, social media management and Content Management Systems (CMS such as WordPress). Being well-versed in these extra skills could improve a writer’s chances on being hired for jobs beyond strictly writing projects.

A good place to start

So what now?

It’s time to see which online platforms are best for you. Below are some recommendations though you can of course simply go on Google to find a ton of other sites that offer similar services. The following are the more established freelancing communities that could serve as your new source of income or a springboard toward a more suitable digital workplace.

Freelancer.com – It is one of, if not the largest freelancing website available today. It has over 25 million registered users and close to 12.5 million jobs posted. This number will only continue to grow as more people discover the benefits of working remotely coupled with employers finding quality output at competitive rates.

 

Upwork.com – This is the resulting company between the merger of two well-known freelance job sites, oDesk and Elance. Upwork has the distinction of being the most popular in the industry with over 17 million registered users and over three million jobs posted per year. Its tried and tested system helps you find work, get hired, produce output and get paid for it.

Toptal.com – The place where the top 3% of freelancing talent can be found. This website caters to employers looking to hire experts in the field of software development, digital design and finance modeling. If you have skills in any these areas and are confident in your work then this freelancing platform may be the right one for you.

Have fun with it

Freelancing is not only about flexibility but having a steady stream of repeat clients as well, preferably hiring you for work you like doing. How you feel about an assignment is most likely going to show in your deliverables. The client will see it in terms of the quality of your output, timeliness of submission and the way you communicate. Make sure you maintain good standards and seek to constantly improve on them. Like with any job be it freelancing, contractual or fixed employment, the most important thing to do while performing it is to enjoy yourself.