A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing

A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing

Not sure how to get started with freelancing? This guide to freelancing will put you on right track.

This guide is for beginners who have no idea how to use freelancing to earn money without leaving their homes. If you want to become a freelancer but have no idea how to do it, this guide is for you.

Let’s get started with the basics.

What is Freelancing?

Online freelancing is a term used to represent those freelancers who are self-employed online that is, over the internet. Just like traditional freelancers, online freelancers are the ones that work remotely over the internet for their employers. These are also known as online independent contractors.

So online freelancing simply means working online as an independent contractor for employers where you are not employed full-time. You work from home, you have your own working hours, no boss, no specific timings and most importantly you don’t have to work for a single employer for a very long time. Online freelancers do small projects for different employers. You have to decide how much projects you want to take and how to manage them all.

The Benefits of Online Freelancing

There are lots and lots of great aspects of online freelancing and making money via freelancing way.

  • You choose your own working hours. Work at night, work in the morning, take 3 day offs a week, work 2 days a week or do whatever you want. It is all up to you. Your employer needs the work done – how it has to be done, you decide it.
  • You don’t have any boss. When you work as an online freelancer, you do small projects for different clients. There is no permanent boss. In fact, you don’t have a boss, you work as an independent contractor. If you don’t like a client, do not work for him.
  • In online freelancing, you work from home. This is what everyone wants to do but only 1% of the people succeed in doing so. Being an online freelancer, you don’t have to go anywhere to do the work until and unless specified.
  • You have all the options under your control. What projects to take, what to refuse, when to work, how to meet deadlines and everything else.
  • The instructions from the employer are limited. He/she just tells you what to do. He/she will tell you his/her requirements and then it is up to you as to how you manage the work. You are your own boss in the true sense.
  • The earning potential is really high. You can make lots and lots of money from online freelancing quite easily. All you have to do is manage everything in the right way.
  • Do what you love to do. When it comes to online freelancing, you can do almost anything. So it is the best way to do what you love. There are no restrictions whatsoever.
  • Lastly, it doesn’t matter where you live on this planet, online freelancing is for everyone.
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Well, there are freelancing sites out there where you, as a freelancer, have to sign up to view and apply for all projects that are related to you. Here projects refer to “a job”.

What are Freelancing Sites?

Freelancing sites are where you get access to all those employers from all over the world that need freelancers like you. There are lots of freelancing sites out there where you can sign up as an independent contractor, choose your skills, build your profile, create your resume, apply for different jobs, and make money.

You don’t have to spend a penny to register as a freelancer on these freelancing sites. These are all free.

List of Top Freelancing Sites

Here is a list of best and most popular freelancing sites.

  1. Upwork
  2. Peopleperhour
  3. Freelancer
  4. Guru

Sign up with a single freelancing site for now. Choose the one you like and register there as a “contractor”.

What’s Next?

When you will register at a freelancing site, you will then have to pass at least one test (free), build your profile, build your resume, enter your skills and complete your profile to 100%. It is also important to explore the freelancing site for some time and learn as much as you can about the site.

Almost all the freelancing sites work in the same way except for a few minor changes. So once you will get used to one of them, you will not going to find it hard to get going with other freelancing sites.

Choosing the Right Skills is Important

Perhaps the most important thing is choosing the right skills.

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Sit down, relax and focus.

Figure out what you want to do. Do you want to write? Do you want to become a programmer? Do you want to start your online freelancing career as an accountant?

This is very important. You must choose your skills based on your interest. If you have experience with anything, I strongly suggest you do the same and update your skills on freelancing site accordingly.

Pro Freelancing Tips

  • Start with a single freelancing site. Avoid making accounts on multiple freelancing sites.
  • Complete your profile to 100%.
  • Explore the site. Read its terms and conditions, and policy page.
  • Do not worry about the withdrawal methods. You will be paid for sure.
  • Select your industry and skills very carefully.
  • Update your experience be it relevant or irrelevant.

How to Build Your Profile on a Freelancing Site

Now that you have selected a freelance site, it is time to create your profile. Building your profile is the next step and we will discuss it in detail in this post.

Profile is the first thing that your employer will look at after getting your application. A strong and healthy profile will make things very easy for you. The probability of getting hired for jobs increases to a great extent when you have a fully built profile.

Building Your Profile: Basics

As soon as you will sign up with a freelancing site, you will be instructed to complete your profile. All the freelancing sites will guide you as to how you should build your profile to get your first job easily.

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Ensure that you have completed your profile to 100 percent. Once you have completed your profile to 100 percent, then move ahead.

Building Your Profile: Sections

Here are some of major sections or components of a profile.

  • Title
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Your skills including keywords
  • Employment history
  • Education
  • Portfolio
  • Certifications

Among them, portfolio and keywords are the two most important sections and must be dealt with extreme care.

When you are building your profile, make sure that you choose the right keywords that describe you, your job and what you do. For instance, for a website designer, the most appropriate keywords are website design, website designing, website development, CSS, HTML, Dreamweaver, etc. Most of the freelancing sites will let you choose keywords from a predefined list of keywords.

When building your profile, it is also important to completely and appropriately use the portfolio section. Use it to tell viewers that what you do. Add a few samples so that those who will visit your profile can access your samples.

Why Your Profile Matters

So why is building your profile so important?

As mentioned, your profile is the first thing that an employer will look at to judge your skills and to judge you. 65 percent of the employers hire contractors right away without any interview. How they do it? They do it by judging you from your profile.

When you are working as an online freelancer over a freelancing site, a profile is all you have to impress your employers. There is no other way to tell them ‘who you are’. An employer will only contact you for an interview or for a job invitation if he likes your profile.

Do you really think an incomplete, generic and bogus profile will compel someone to contact you?

Final Words

Be innovative while building your profile. DO NOT be generic. Do not use copied content. Be creative. Focus on your achievements and on your aims. Focus on your passion.

And be precise. Employers don’t have time to read stories. Your profile must have a reading time of not more than 2 minutes.

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