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.
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.
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:
Photo by: Wesley Fryer