Many see freelance jobs online as a profession reserved for only a few but the truth is it is so easy that anyone can start immediately.
Doing a bit of research will put you on a career path of working from home and earning a steady income.
Here at Skillscloud, we will show you that anyone can create an income stream in no time with a little bit of effort by taking advantage of online business ideas that are out there.
- What is freelancing and how does it work?
- What jobs do freelancers do?
- What are the benefits of freelancing?
- What are the disadvantages of freelancing?
- What qualifications do I need to become a freelancer?
- What skills do I need for freelancing?
- How much do freelancers earn?
- How do I start freelancing?
- Which freelancing site is best for beginners?
- What do I need to start freelancing from home?
- Freelance jobs you can do online from home – Conclusion
What is freelancing and how does it work?
A freelancer is someone who offers their skills and services to one or more employers independently. For this service, they will be compensated as per pre-arranged agreement.
Freelancing can have different meanings in different countries, and in some countries, such as Germany, the law specifies what a freelancer is. This is because of tax regulations and business registration that differs from other businesses.
There are two ways in which freelancing jobs are distributed online. One is where a client places specific tasks with a predetermined offer on a freelancer platform against which freelancers bid to get the job.
The other way is for Freelancers to create gigs such as the ones you will find on Fiverr. These gigs will have a specific price, which will leave the customer to decide who is selected to do the job and how much they are paid.
Once the customer accepted an offer they will pay the money to the freelancing platform. The money will be held until both the buyer and the seller are satisfied with the completed task.
The platform will then take their cut and pay out the Freelancer at certain periods of the month. Some platforms will pay you automatically while others will only allow you to withdraw funds when you reach a certain threshold.
Freelance jobs are easy to find if you develop the right skills.
What jobs do freelancers do?
There are many freelance opportunities available on different freelancing platforms.
All you have to do is align your skills and experience with something that is in demand and you can start earning some cash.
If you look at the different types of freelance platforms, you’ll get a good idea of the types of projects that are available that match your skills.
Here are just a few popular niches that are currently in demand and offered by freelancers online.
- Web Design
- WordPress setup
- Graphic Design
- Video editing
- Content creation
- Virtual Assistant
- Audio recording & editing
- Software developer
There are many more and there are also hidden micro-niches within these categories that are worth exploring that will provide freelance jobs to last you a lifetime.
What are the benefits of freelancing?
The biggest benefit most people that consider freelancing strive for is to be in control of their time and income. Most people who work a 9 to 5 job realize that a lot of their time is spent on tasks that don’t really help them secure a long-term future for themselves.
Once you reach retirement age you depend on savings and hands out which makes your whole working career redundant.
Putting your destiny in your own hands from an early age can provide lifelong financial security.
The main benefits of finding freelance jobs online are:
- Additional or sustainable income
- Time management of your own needs
- Control of outcomes
- Exposure to a bigger clientele
- Freedom of choice
- Development of skills
Additional or sustainable income
Working for a salary is not a guarantee that you will always have an income to support your lifestyle. The economy changes daily and business moves with the highs and lows experienced in the markets.
Retrenchments, restructuring and mergers happen daily and increase the risk of losing your job.
That is why it is important to take control of your own life and create lasting income streams as soon as possible.
Freelancing in itself is not a guarantee but at least it is a very sustainable form of income if managed correctly.
The best advice I have ever seen online was the quote:
Don’t wait till you are broke to start a business
Time management of your own needs
Doing freelance jobs with efficiency is all about managing your time.
If you’re like most working people, you want more time to do the things you enjoy. Being tied down in a 6 day work week does not allow you to experience life as you should.
Freelancing allows you to manage your work and playtime in a way that lets you enjoy both sides of the fence. Your whole day can be planned around your state of productivity without failing to deliver your product to the client.
Control of outcomes
When you are working for someone you have no control over the outcome in the end even though you contribute your part of the final product. In business, there are just too many factors that can affect the results you are trying to deliver.
Freelance jobs allow you to be in total control of planning and managing the final outcome you aim to deliver.
If you fail to achieve your goals, it is your own responsibility. You cannot blame anyone else for your failure.
Exposure to a bigger clientele
Working for an organization will limit the applications of your skills and the amount of experience you can gain in the industry.
Doing freelance jobs will expose you to a huge clientele base with different needs. This will allow you to develop and use multiple skillsets.
The choice is yours if you want to geographically expand or remain local as you will only focus on where the money comes from.
Freedom of choice
For me, the biggest reason for taking on freelance jobs is the freedom of choice.
Working for yourself you will finally be in control of what you do and when you do it, unlike a normal day job where you are constantly being told what to do or how it should be done.
The choice is yours:
- If you want to work for certain clients or not
- How do you spend your time
- How you spend your money
- Where do you get your resources from
- Who do you collaborate with
- What products do you select for your business
- What services do you want to take on or not
Development of freelancing skills
Working as a freelancer gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and make money in new ways.
By managing your own free time you will enable yourself to identify new opportunities and develop skills to execute them.
Being employed in a work environment where the skills requirement remains the same will prevent you from recognizing the need for new skills therefore you will become stagnant in self-development.
When crunch time comes you will not be able to respond accordingly and you will work for survival instead of growth.
What are the disadvantages of freelancing?
If you’re thinking of freelancing, be aware of the potential disadvantages. There are no guarantees, and most freelancers end up failing.
It is therefore important that as with any other job you know that a freelance job can also have disadvantages.
Most of the important ones you have to consider are:
- Lack of benefits
- Variable income
- Full accountability
- 24 Hour service
Lack of benefits
You will definitely miss the benefits that come with corporate employment as it will take a while to build up your own business from home to a stage where you can afford to replace benefits such as medical, insurance and retirement funds.
No month is the same when it comes to freelancing. Income can be very inconsistent as projects differ in timelines and availability as demand changes.
Managing your income can be difficult when you have a family to support and other financial obligations. Freelancing can be a great way to make a living, but it can be difficult to manage on your own.
Once you are earning enough to sustain and grow your service it becomes easier.
When offering a freelancing service from home all of the responsibility is yours from beginning to end.
From setting up the service to after-sales service is your responsibility and without some experience, it might be too much for some to handle.
Only those who are willing to work hard will be able to weather the initial storm and build a successful business. With experience, the freelancer becomes more organised which enables the handling of responsibilities.
24 Hour service
As a freelancer, you can work flexible hours, but you still have to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will depend on the geographic location of your clients. Sticking to local time zones will reduce your workload.
This excludes you only from many opportunities and beginners may take longer to build a strong portfolio. The best is to market yourself in all time zones until you know where your core business is coming from.
Working from home as a freelancer can be lonely after the initial stages, and when you’re not under pressure.
That is why it is important to find a good balance between work and socializing. Freelance work can quickly take up your time, and if not managed well, can become a hard job.
Most freelancing entrepreneurs will communicate with others who share similar interests, but this will not replace human interaction.
Be aware of the potential for burnout, and always make sure to stay connected to friends and loved ones.
What qualifications do I need to become a freelancer?
Unless you are entering a market where the demand for specific qualifications is needed you do not need anything specific although it does good for your profile.
If you have chosen a topic related to your qualifications, it will give you credibility when discussing that topic.
Some of the target markets that will require professional qualifications are highly professional or technical fields such as:
- Business setups
- Software Developer
If you are a beginner, it is best to rely on your skills to build your authority.
There are plenty of small tasks that do not need any professional qualification which you can complete and earn an income by applying only your skills.
The good news is that with the availability of free information and learning materials online, it is easy to learn the required skills quickly and for free.
When doing your targeted niche research it is very important to also see what information is available.
What skills do I need for freelancing?
The skills you will need to become successful as a freelancer will depend on the niche you select.
We have already seen that the more technical the niche becomes the more skilled you need to be in order to start landing the correct freelance jobs.
The advice here is for total beginners with very little skill so learning new skills is the only way to establish yourself as a freelancer.
The top 5 skills that will enable beginners to start earning money immediately are:
- Creative writing skills
- Video editing
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Computer programming
Any of these skills will help you to start off immediately once you have identified your niche and decided what the easy tasks are that you can do.
The whole idea is to get simple tasks that can make you $5 consistently until you are experienced and ready to do higher valued jobs for your clients.
How much do freelancers earn?
It is hard to put a figure on earnings while freelancing because earnings will depend on many factors. Many of these factors will be out of your control but at the end of the day, it all depends on your commitment to succeed.
If you browse the various freelancing platforms you will realize that there are big earning opportunities waiting around every corner.
Making a decent living from freelance jobs is within your reach and depending on your niche it will enable you to create a sustainable income easily.
Earning anything between $2500 and $10000 a month is not impossible but once again it depends on your niche and the demand.
The following factors only you can control and because your earnings depend on them, it is important that you focus on planning thoroughly before you start.
- Time Management
- Skills development
- Marketing yourself
- Client choice
Of course, unless you are lucky it will not happen overnight and it will need some work to put yourself into a position of sustainable income.
How do I start freelancing?
To start up as a freelancer is simple once you have completed your niche research. Selecting a niche starting point makes it so much easier to focus on one service alone to get you going and obtain the freelance jobs that will generate an income.
The four major steps to start freelancing as a career are:
- Create an account
- Create a profile
- Set up work offer
- Promote your freelance service
Create an account
All you have to do is to create a free account with one of the freelancing platforms online. It will be necessary to supply the platform with all the information they need in order to get paid.
As it is being treated like a normal form of employment they might also require you to submit your income tax information. The best is to read the platform’s terms and conditions carefully before joining.
Not supplying all information or incorrect details can make you work hard for no pay. It is also advisable to browse the platform to get a feel for other users’ experiences.
Create a profile
Create a profile that tells customers who they are going to deal with if when they give you projects. Remember you are trying to build up a trusting relationship with potential customers so you need to be specific in the service you offer.
Your profile is also what the customer will look at when they want to establish your authority on the subject at hand. In other words, let them know you are the one to choose for the task because of your experience on the topic.
Set up work offer
Follow the instructions of the platform on how to set up your job offer as not all platforms are the same. It will also depend on the type of service the platform is promoting.
I suggest starting small as a beginner with tasks that you will be able to handle comfortably and especially if you are starting part-time.
In this case, it is necessary to let your profile reflect you are a beginner and doing it part-time.
There are many clients who will make use of beginners because it is cheaper and they feel that beginners will also put more effort into delivering quality.
Most platforms will work on a rating system based on customer feedback and starting off not being able to complete your tasks on time will affect your rating negatively.
A high rating will ensure that you get repeat jobs and on some platforms also the opportunity to charge more for your services.
The earning gap between beginner level and expert level can be quite significant. This is evident in the payment scale below I have taken from iWriter.
Promote your freelance service
When your setup is done it is time to let the world out there know that you are available for business.
The best way to do this is to hang out in the same places where potential customers will frequent. You will find freelance jobs quickly if you maintain a presence on the different platforms.
The best places to promote your business as a beginner are:
It is also recommended to set up a one-page portfolio page connected to your freelance platform that can be found in Google searches.
The more places you are present the higher the possibility to attract customers. It is essential to advertise the freelance jobs you are able to perform.
It is obvious to mention that spamming is not going to help you so make sure you share useful information in all your marketing spaces.
Not only will it build trust but you will also be noticed as an authoritative figure in your niche.
Which freelancing site is best for beginners?
Once again depending on your niche, there are a few beginner-friendly platforms I can suggest.
These are platforms that most beginners will use so competition might be tight but it is worth it just for the learning curve you will go through.
Top 5 freelancing platforms for beginners
Most beginners to this platform will be in graphic design, video and writing fields of expertise but Fiverr offers anything from the most ridiculous to very advanced opportunities.
Opportunities on Upwork are more aligned to admin, IT and accounting but there are other niches that you can pursue through this platform.
Similar to Fiverr with their niche offerings but I found some jobs that take higher commissions than Fiverr.
This platform allows for a quick and easy set-up process and also a fair amount of niches that you can target.
If you are focusing on writing as a living then iWriter is the platform I will suggest. Building a reliable profile here can turn out very profitable as it is here where most of your content creators will look for writers.
There are hundreds of other platforms available but caution to all beginners. Not all the platforms are going to allow you to start a full business from home with the income you can create from their tasks.
It is better to stick with your known skills and platforms that are reputable for generating real work from home opportunities.
What do I need to start freelancing from home?
In order to start your freelancing career, you will need the equipment that will enable you to perform the job are offering. This will most likely include:
- PC, Laptop or Smartphone
- Internet connection
- Bank account
PC, Laptop or Smartphone
Any device that can connect to the internet can be used but once again it will depend on your niche.
Most freelancers will prefer to stick to a desktop pc or laptop because of its capacity and storage abilities. It is not easy to complete tasks that require powerful software applications on a smartphone.
A laptop is preferred if you are on the move but still need to stay in contact with your platform. Smartphones are more useful when it comes to taking notes, photos or marketing on social media.
An internet connection with speed and reliability is essential as some of the content you create or receive from customers can be size heavy. Downloading and uploading work quickly can make a difference in the time you spend on task completion.
It is very important to have all the software you will need to create and distribute your end product. It does not matter if it is free, online or paid software as long as it produces quality results and quickly.
Starting a time-limited task and then finding out halfway you need additional software to fulfil customer requirements can be embarrassing and a waste of time.
Practice your task execution and view the final results before you offer the service to someone else.
A bit of quality control can go a long way.
Without a bank account, you cannot get paid for your efforts. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of platforms as it will tell you more about payment methods accepted for payment. It will also tell you what the minimum payout amounts and commissions are.
Some platforms also will only pay on certain dates.
Make sure that you select the payment method that can be used in conjunction with your country’s requirements and local banking accounts.
The choice will normally be between an online payment platform, direct deposit or cheque account although the last option is being phased out by most payment platforms.
Also, make sure that you are aware of the rates the different payment platforms charge for transferring your hard-earned money as it impacts your commission.
Freelance Jobs you can do online from home – Conclusion
Starting up a freelance service from home as either a part-time or full-time business is one of the easier work from home options.
It is easy because you take skills you already have and just apply them to a different work environment.
Most freelancers will start part-time and build their profiles until they can generate a consistent sustainable income.
This might take a bit of time management and effort but in the long run, it might be well worth it.
Creating a business consisting of various freelance jobs will provide you with valuable income streams in the future.
You will not know if this is your calling until you’ve tried it.