It's been three years officially since I started my home-based business. And it's been one year since I expanded that business to an official "part-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. Elance. I began using Elance in 2008 and found immediate clients at a real wage. 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.
You can get paid once a week via PayPal. Elance does take a percentage of what you make (as does PayPal) so charge with that in mind.
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 Elance 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.
2. Odesk. Funny thing, Odesk and Elance are now one company. But, there are people who prefer one over the other.
Odesk is a great way to find clients and the site is laid out in a way that's really easy to use. Much like Elance you just set up an account and begin searching for jobs to apply for.
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.
Like Elance you will get paid quickly for the work you do, but Odesk takes a 10 percent commission.
Pro tip: Don't just blindly or generically apply for jobs on Odesk 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Pro tip: Provide lots of details on your offerings so the parameters of your services are clear and concise.
More places to checkout:
hat about you? Do you freelance? What sites do you use?