Do you have a family vacation you want to go on? An addiction to beautiful shoes? A bunch of debt you want to pay off?
Perhaps you just got laid off or, like many of my friends, moved to a foreign country where you are not permitted to work without a visa.
Or, do you just want a little cushion or an emergency fund for hard times? Sure, you can wait for the income tax refund that you might or might not get, but when money’s tight you don’t want to wait!
If any of these scenarios sound like you, you should be a freelancer.
While my experience has primarily been with freelance writing jobs, you can do just about anything online from making phone calls for people to being someone’s personal assistant to agreeing to wear a big hotdog outfit and jump on a trampoline (you think I’m joking – and no that was not me.)
But, before you get all pumped up and start dreaming of ways that you can spend the extra cash, you should know a few things.
- Finding online jobs is a job in itself.
- You might not get paid what you think are worth.
- If you want to be successful, you have to work extremely hard.
Now that I’ve said that, here’s my take on it:
Over one year ago, my only “freelance” gig was helping family and friends edit their papers, formal letters, and personal statements for graduate school. Time and time again, people told me I should charge for my services, but I just did it to be nice.
Then, when I moved to the Caribbean island of Grenada, I got stir crazy. I wasn’t working for the first time in my life, and I had just finished a rigorous masters degree program. I actually got a little down, because I felt like I had just done two years of intensive studying, only to do nothing with it.
So, I started to research online writing jobs. And, I got my first one making $10/post (I do a little better than that now!)
As the months went by, I continued to look for jobs. At least once a day I applied to something. Many of them did not respond. Many of them lowballed me. But, I kept on persisting.
I don’t want to list the exact amount I make each month doing this, but I can say that it is in the thousands. And it started at zero only one year ago.
I should also note that I don’t have any talents that are particularly better than anyone else’s. I’m just a gal that likes to write.
However, what I believe has always set me apart is that I have an intense work ethic, and I’m a self-starter. I can literally force myself to sit for hours and do this. I think my family thinks I’m crazy. But, I’m just crazy satisfied, because for the first time in my life, I am really enjoying what I am doing.
So, now that I’ve rambled on and on, here are the 5 main ways that I get freelance jobs:
- I look on problogger every day. These are mostly writing jobs, but occasionally they have social media marketing jobs (which you can do with a little know how and an understanding of facebook, twitter, and pinterest.) The important thing is that if I see a job I want, I apply the exact same day, and I try to make sure my resume and job qualifications match up perfectly. This is a very popular job board, and you have to be quick.
- Criagslist is king. One of my biggest tips/secrets is that I look at craigslist jobs in major cities every day. I found one of my highest paying clients by applying to a job I found on the New York City writing jobs section of Craigslist. Be wary of sending too much personal information. Just send an introduction and qualifications.
- I was lucky to get in on Fiverr in its early stages. This is a website where people pay you to do things for 5 bucks. It can really be anything. The hurdle you have to leap over is getting your first gig and first positive review. Then, you immediately jump up in the rankings. This one takes time, but it surprises me each month with the profits. In fact, I opened up a separate high yield savings account just to put Fiverr profits in, and I am using it to by a new macbook computer in the beginning of August.
- Another tactic I use that’s not typically discussed is that if I see a blogger that is similar to me, I check out who they are writing for. Often I will take it a step further and ask for their contact’s e-mail address. (You can see who I write for on my Hire Me tab, for example.) This is key because if you just e-mail a big website at random to ask for a job, it might get lost. You are looking for the specific e-mail address of the content manager, assistant editor, or social media manager. They are the ones who get you hired. And, their e-mail addresses aren’t often out in the open.
- Sign up with a site like Odesk or Freelancer. While I do not work with these sites myself, many, many freelancers that I know personally have gotten amazing amounts of work from these sites. One SEO company that I work with actually got hired personally to do SEO for the entire Freelancer.com site, so they even use their own freelancers to get things accomplished!
Bonus Tips: You are not the only one who is trying to make money online. You might get some work by passively applying for jobs, but you will not be able to quit your day job. The only way you can do that is with a go getter attitude and constant persistence. Network on twitter. Get to know a lot of people who do the same type of freelance work that you do. Connect frequently. Apply every day. Get better. Get recommendations. Present yourself as a professional. And when you get the job, do a victory dance!