It's been four years officially since I started my home-based business working as a blogger, freelance writer and marketing consultant. And it's been two years since I expanded that business to an official "full-time" job where I earn a consistent income.
I hear from a lot of people ( A LOT!) who want to start their own business freelancing from home. And I am honest with them, it can be tough but I am also proof that it can be done.
So I thought I would share a few websites where you could start earning a freelance income this month.
1. Upwork. Upwork is a great site to find work or find people to do work for you (if you're looking to outsource within your own business.) I began using a site called Elance in 2008 and found immediate clients at a real wage. Lance merged with another sited (Odesk) in 2015 to form Upwork.
I use Upwork to work with my own virtual assistant. I hired a wonderful lady that helps me with some of my marketing work. She is fabulous!
The program works a like a lot of freelance sites in that you set up a profile, upload a resume and then "bid" for jobs.
There are a variety of services you can offer from writing to programming to graphic design etc. etc.
There is an array of skill levels and budgets so there is something for everyone.
There are also lots of skill tests you can take which will help you stand out among the thousands of freelancers in the site. Take as many as you can and be sure to load up your portfolio.
You can get paid once a weekly and Upwork does take a percentage of what you make (so charge with that in mind).
Also the site can be glitchy sometimes, which is annoying.
Setting up an account is free, however, if you want to bid on more than five jobs a month you will have to sign up for a "professional" account at a small fee. I don't recommend that.
You will need to learn HOW to write a job proposal and keep protecting until you get good at it.
It is pretty easy to set up a basic account with them and begin browsing and bidding on jobs in under 30 minutes.
I think Upwork gets a bad wrap because there are so many people on there charging only $2 to $3 per hour and that is really hard to compete with.
My advice is to just be persistent.
Pro tip: Set up a GREAT portfolio. Include everything you can possibly think of that you have ever worked on so that potential clients can get a good idea of the body of your work.
Don't just blindly or generically apply for jobs on Upwork because you are trying to get your foot in the door. Instead write thoughtful cover letters to each potential client. This will make you stand apart from everyone else.
2. Fiverr. This is a site where basically you get paid $5 to do a task. You can write an article, design a logo, record voice work... the list goes on and on. Basically you can get paid for doing almost anything.
I actually have mixed feelings about Fiverr. On the one hand it's a great way to get noticed and build your portfolio. But on the other hand I really think you should consider your time. Your time is almost always worth more than $5.
However, you can really hone your skills using Fiverr, especially if you are a social media aficionado.
Pro tip: Offer lots of service upgrades so that you can earn maximum profits.
3. Etsy. Etsy isn't just for cute dresses and funky hand made jewelry. You can also upload digital designs and offer freelance packages.
I have seen lots of people sell their epublishing services whether it's designing covers or formatting books. There are also a slew of people offering graphic design services to businesses and individuals.
You could offer social media strategy or blog design services.
Etsy does cost $.20 to upload items to Etsy and you will be charged per month. They also take a 3.5 % commission, so charge accordingly.
Pro tip: Provide lots of details on your offerings so the parameters of your services are clear and concise.
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