Portable Jobs: Freelance Work

By: Wesley Fryer

When I first considered a job in freelance writing, I was intimidated.  It sounded like a complicated field that only “insiders” could succeed in.  It also sounded like an easy way to get ripped off.  So far, I’ve been wrong.

Through the advice of a friend, I joined a website that acts as a matchmaker for clients and freelance workers.  I find most of my freelance jobs through this website. After creating a profile for myself, where I showcased my writing portfolio and described my skills and relevant work history, I was able to start searching job listings.  When I find a job I’m interested in, I write a proposal.  Clients can choose me, or another contractor who has bid on the job.  I struggled to get jobs in the first few weeks, but after I finally landed a few and the clients had given me positive reviews, I had much more success.

Clients can also search for me and invite me to submit a proposal for their work.  This feature has helped me find better paying work.  Now that I’ve built myself a niche as an education writer, companies that are looking for this type of work often seek me out.  For example, I now have a steady job with a company I’ve been working with since February.

Freelancing Specifics

Who:  If you are an “expert” in a specific field, then consider working as a freelancer.  Skills such as writing, editing, translating, programming, web designing, and financial or legal advising lend themselves to freelance work.

Where:  Check out elance and odesk.  They guarantee payment and have hundreds of thousands of jobs listed.

How:  Build yourself a detailed profile.  Write specific proposals that tell the client what you can do for them.  Don’t underbid or you’ll feel bitter when you realize you are working for $8 an hour.  You don’t want to work for the companies that aren’t willing to pay a living wage anyway.  Don’t get discouraged by a slow start, it can take a while to establish yourself.  Find you niche- what can you do that others cannot?

 Advantages:  You can work anywhere.  You can set your own schedule and control what jobs you take or don’t take.

Disadvantages:  You can’t count on a steady income; some months you may make a lot, some months you might not make anything.  You always need to be networking, marketing yourself and searching for work.

And in case you missed yesterday’s introduction to portable jobs:

Portable Jobs (That Anyone Can Do)

Substitute Teaching

Home Sales Consultant

Turning Your Hobby into Income

Photo by: Wesley Fryer

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2 Responses to “Portable Jobs: Freelance Work”

  1. Steph says:

    Thanks for the websites! I have a crazy summer session that prevents me from getting a 9-5 job until at least July, but I could really use some extra money before the fall..

    • Emily says:

      I defintely recommend elance. It has plenty of downfalls, but I’ve made money and get to wear my pajamas while doing it! It took a little while to get the hang of it, so let me know if you decide to try it and need any help.

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