Many people want to know how to make money freelancing so that they can save enough for a vacation, pay their monthly bills, or pay off their debt faster. It could even be to save for retirement.
Whatever your reason, a side hustle might be just the thing that you need to achieve your financial goals. Nowadays, more and more businesses are closing their doors because of health reasons.
This also means that many are wondering how to make more money without having to seek employment in person. The solution to this dilemma? Freelancing, which is is also known as the gig economy. This started out as a small trend that has exploded into full-time careers for many individuals.
But listen up, getting started as a freelancer isn’t easy. No matter how talented you are at what you do, thousands of individuals are just like you looking for work.
Nevertheless, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Go through my guide for how to make money freelancing for all the tips and strategies you need. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find,
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming a Freelancer
- Profitable And Popular Freelance Niches
- Best Freelance Platforms to Source Clients
In today’s post, I will also reveal seven of the top freelancing side hustles you can do from home. If you’re looking for inspiration to make extra money and become your own boss, you’ll want to take action on what you’ll read.
What Is a Gig?
The gig economy is an employment market that is defined by the high ratio of freelance work or short-term contracts in contrast to permanent and traditional jobs. The whole idea of the gig economy is for one to earn more money or extra money with part-time jobs and freelance work.
The best part about this is that you can pursue the kinds of gigs you want at a time that works best for you. The flexibility of the gig economy not only allows you to schedule your own work but to also dictate how much you want to do or how little.
With the awesome technological power that comes with the Internet, there are many short-term gigs that one can complete for the clients who hire them. Gigs have become more frequent as technology permits users to connect linearly with people who are willing to hire them for a project based on their expertise, time availability, and skills.
Short-term gigs or side hustles have now become a legitimate means of earning income if you don’t have a job and act as a supplement income for those who already have a career.
Here are some facts that may sway your opinion about choosing gig work if you’ve been skeptical about its legitimacy:
Over 37 percent of American adults (that’s roughly over a third of adults) have at least one side gig that they are engaged in. So, yes, it is more common than you think.
Almost 40 percent of those who have side gigs use the earnings received from it to afford their daily living expenses. This means that side gigs are necessary for a budget that breaks even.
They may not be extremely lucrative for part-timers, as the average monthly earnings for side gig workers is $690, and most side gig earners earn $210 or less. But it all depends on what type of gig you choose and how much you want to charge and work.
You’re in complete control of your hours and commitment to the gig work available, so if you need to earn more, you can simply accept more jobs to earn the amount you need for whatever purpose you choose.
Are You a Freelancer or a Consultant?
Whether you’re just starting out in the freelance world or you’ve been at it for quite a long time, there’s one question to ask yourself that many people neglect to think about. Are you a freelancer or a consultant?
What’s the Difference?
A freelancer is a person who works on a project-by-project basis. They’re assigned a task to complete, they complete it and they get paid. They may have one or two primary clients or they may have dozens. A freelancer can also work for an individual or a business.
A consultant on the other hand is a person that a business or individual turns to for advice, expertise, and help. They also are assigned a task and paid to complete it.
However, they’re given wiggle room within the project to use their skills and experience to help the client achieve their objectives.
For example, a freelance copywriter may write the copy exactly as a client has dictated. This includes the exact format, benefits, and even call to action.
A consultant, on the other hand, will be asked what approach they recommend to sell a product or service. The client will trust them to make the best decisions for their sales copy.
Why Does It Matter?
There are benefits to being a freelancer only. For one, there are no heightened expectations. You’re not expected to be an expert in your industry. You’re just expected to complete a task. Freelancers don’t have the added stress of helping a client thrive and grow.
However, consultants benefit for a number of other reasons. They’re able to charge a lot more because of their expertise.
Their clients are also often loyal and come back for their expert help time and time again. This means consultants may spend less of their time actually seeking clients and more time making money.
Which Is the Right Approach for You?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Each and every freelancer has their own reasons for being a freelance professional. They have their own goals and agenda. If you want to simply work part-time and make some extra money, then maybe the idea of positioning yourself as a consultant just doesn’t make sense.
However, for those freelancers who are looking to build a solid full-time business, it makes sense to position yourself as a consultant.
How Do You Position Yourself as a Consultant?
One fantastic way is simply to publish, a lot. Become a guest blogger. Publish articles on your website and other websites. Write reports and eBooks and give them away. Publication helps establish authority and credibility. Also, participate in social networking sites and offer advice to those who need your help.
Finally, you can position yourself as an expert by simply offering advice and experience to your current clients when it’s appropriate. If you’re looking to grow your business and make more money, consider adding “consultant” to your list of services and watch your business boom.
Best Candidates for Freelancing
Gig careers are great for men and women of all ages. From college kids who need to earn money while in school to senior citizens looking to supplement their retirement or social security funds – gigs can help.
If you’re someone who has a hectic schedule that makes it hard to get hired by traditional employers, such as a college student with scattered classes, then gig work can allow you to earn between classes or on off-hours.
Moms and dads who have kids they want to spend more time with may find gig work an attractive option to a traditional employer. Instead of having to ask a boss for permission to take off and care for your child, you’ll be the one in charge of when you work and when you don’t.
Senior citizens who either hate the idea of retirement and want to maintain a career – or those who need more money but who can’t work in a traditional workforce, will love the idea of using gigs to earn the money they need or want to fund their lifestyle.
People who love doing gigs might be creative people. They love putting their writing or artistic skills to good use. They might be laborers who don’t want to have to expend a lot of mental energy on a job.
Some people love the idea of listening to a podcast or music while delivering groceries or restaurant meals. Introverts love gig work because they don’t have to show up every day to a room full of coworkers and clients.
Extroverts love gig work because it gives them the opportunity to meet people. Uber or Lyft drivers get to meet new people, chit chat and see new places as they drive. But introverts can work from the privacy of their own home and only deal with clients via email or messages.
Take A Headstart Before Quitting Your Job
When it comes to working in the gig economy, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider, from skills and hourly rates to time management and the other important little details.
This is a business you can start out doing here and there as time allows, and snowball it into a full-time career if you want to. But you need to know a few ins and outs of how to start and expand your gig work.
Employ Proper Market Research
In the beginning, you may not know exactly how much time and effort a gig takes. Or you may need to master certain skills, tools or even learn the right route to take. As you gain experience, you’ll become faster and more capable of delivering for your clients, and this can help you build repeat business in the future.
Before you begin, there are some important things to consider. Number one is to choose the right side gig. One may be a dream and one a living nightmare to you, depending on an array of components, such as skills, goals, and personality.
Ask others performing certain gigs (as well as those buying them) what they think about the service – if their needs are being met, any mishaps they have to endure, etc. Spend at least a couple of days to take a good look at the gig and all of the advantages and disadvantages associated with it.
This is to ensure that you make the right choice. Choosing the wrong one may discourage you from ever trying this line of work again. For example, if you think rideshare driving might be right for you, but you read about the extensive wear and tear on your car, you might think twice.
However, if you take out time in the beginning to research all about it before you choose it, you might as well be saving yourself a whole lot of headaches. Look at forums and social media to see what others are talking about regarding what they experience.
Ensure Due Diligence
Second, take a look at the type of side gig that you have chosen to pursue. If you are going to be launching an actual gig business by yourself, then you should consider registering as an S Corporation or an LLC (Limited Liability Company).
However, before you rush in and do all the paperwork, you should try speaking with a lawyer to understand whether it’s necessary or not. If you’re just working off of a third-party platform for part-time pay, you may not need to.
You also want to prepare for taxes. The last thing you might think about when you start a side hustle is that you need to pay taxes on those earnings. However, this should be one of the first items on your list because you don’t want to be hit with an unexpected tax bill at the end of the year.
When preparing for your gig tax, make sure that your personal bank account is kept separate from your business bank account. This ensures that your finances do not get mixed up and you can report expenses correctly.
Another thing to do is to get a certified accountant and speak to them about how you can prepare yourself for the tax season – and how much you should be setting aside. Speaking to a certified public accountant will help you figure out whether or not you are breaking even with your side gig or whether you are losing profit with it.
Sharpen Your Saw
While gig work may not provide the same degree of job security as traditional employment, there are many different ways to earn on your own, so you’re not restricted to just one method of work.
Some other gigs might require you to level up the skills you need in order for you to gain more profitable work in the future. The best way to justify higher hourly rates? Make sure you have impressive skills that are in high demand.
So, perhaps you may need to consider personal development courses. While you may not need it for ridesharing or food delivery, you may need to gain experience writing or creating graphics before you do those kinds of gigs.
How to Find Your Ideal Client
Being a freelancer has definite perks. You have the freedom to choose your hours. You can call in sick without feeling guilty.
If you’re still wondering how to make money freelancing, the idea of skimming through long lists of clients may seem entirely far-fetched.
In order to find your clients, you’ll have to define the type of problems your services will solve. Even if you don’t have clients swarming around to hire you initially, you’ll need to specify this concept in your head to streamline your approach on a personal level.
And of course, you’re in control of who you work with and the projects you work on. However, at the beginning, and certainly throughout your freelance career, you’ll likely take projects that are with clients you’d rather pass on. Many freelancers struggle to find their ideal clients.
Understanding Your Avatar
Before you can go on a scavenger hunt for your ideal client, you want to identify what makes them ideal.
Is it a topic, project type, or subject matter that you find ideal? Do you prefer certain communication styles? Are you looking for someone who is detail oriented or someone who lets you manage the details? Do you want to work together as a team or would you rather work alone?
Many people view their ideal client as someone who provides them with a constant stream of well-paying work. That’s certainly a bonus. However, if you don’t enjoy working with that client or on their projects, the money isn’t going to be as fun to earn. They won’t be an ideal client.
Take some notes or jot down an idea of who your ideal client is. Daydream for a minute and imagine who they are. This is your ideal client profile. Keep this information where you can review it often.
Finding Your Ideal Client
The next step is to explore where your ideal client may hang out. Do they participate in industry forums? Are they in your local networking group? Find out where they hang out and make yourself a part of their world.
For example, if your ideal client is a small business blogger interested in parenting and child-related topics, then you may network on small business blogging sites or parenting sites. Check out the people who are hanging out there too. Connect with them.
Introduce yourself. Perhaps you already know who your ideal client is. Maybe you love the products a company offers, you like their personality and would love to work with them. Then by all means hold out your virtual hand and introduce yourself.
Let them know you admire their work. Tell them what you do and offer your services. Consider offering a project on spec. That way they get to know you and the amazing freelance work you do, and there’s no risk to them.
Ask for an introduction. If you know people who know people, tell them who your ideal client is and ask for referrals and introductions.
If there’s one thing everyone should have been taught in school, it is that hard work is only part of the success equation. Who you know is also important, and it makes the trip to success street much faster and easier.
Finding your ideal client isn’t difficult. Describe them in a paragraph or two; create an ideal client profile. Then seek them out online and off. Ask for introductions and referrals. Connect with them and don’t be shy. Your ideal client may be looking for an ideal freelancer – you!
Looking Under the Hood of Gig Platforms
There are various online or app platforms for on-demand work, such as DoorDash, Fiverr, Upwork, Uber, and other freelance jobs. With the power of the Internet backing it up, the gig economy is able to connect side gig searchers directly with individuals and companies that need their skills. This occurs without them having to go through the conventional offline means of dealing with certification and applications.
Working on a platform, keep in mind that you operate at the mercy of their rules. If you want payment upfront, but they only require funds in escrow, you have to abide by that. Or, if they require certain customer service elements, you must deliver on their regulations, so make sure you know what they are asking of you before you sign up and agree to anything.
When working on a gig platform, your success or failure may be dependent upon what those who have hired you have to say about your performance. Your reviews and ratings will often determine whether or not you are able to maintain a consistent flow of income on that site or app.
These platforms allow sellers and buyers to exchange their services and payment at a faster rate. The gig economy is fast becoming a deeply rooted and significant part of the overall workforce economy.
So, if you have the right skills and develop an excellent work ethic, you can start earning and making a living just by working gigs and being a stellar provider. Also, if you are able to develop healthy relationships and a good rapport with some particular clients and customers, you could end up enjoying full-time earnings.
With that said, let’s take a look at the gigs that you can start doing now to start earning ASAP. If you are talented in a field or you have the skills that allow you to earn a living at a traditional job, you can decide to sell your expertise online.
Popular Freelance Niches
Uh-huh, so you’re still looking to ditch the 9 to 5 and learn how to make money freelancing, right? These days, it’s easier than ever before to set up your own business. Technology has made it possible to dive into the world of self-employment, working from the comfort of your own home.
Freelancing is a particularly popular side hustle option. There are lots of different freelancing careers you can get into. Here, we’ll look at just 8 freelancing side hustles you can do from home.
Here are examples of a few fields where you can put your talents and skills to work without leaving the comfort of your home…
If you’re looking for a lucrative freelancing career, bookkeeping is a great choice. Given the number of self-employed is continuously increasing, the demand for bookkeepers is high.
You can provide a competitive freelance accountancy service to all kinds of businesses and start-ups. It’s a fairly easy freelancing career to start up if you have the right qualifications too. You won’t need much in the way of capital and you’ll find it easy to generate new clients.
Pros: Well paid, don’t require much capital to get started and stable clients.
Cons: Inconsistent income, requires qualifications.
If you have a way with words, freelance writing is one of the most popular ways of earning extra money in the gig economy. So, if you have the skill to convey a message, consider this option strongly.
Freelance writing includes editing, proofreading, and translating, if you are proficient in those areas. Additionally, it incorporates a range of specialized types of writing, such as medical writing, technical writing, academic writing, and legal writing.
You may also consider more entertaining types of writing, such as informational content and blog posts or even fiction!
On some platforms, a skilled freelance writer can earn anywhere from $10 to $250 per hour. This is dependent upon the type of writing that they specialize in, their qualifications, and also, their portfolio.
So, whatever you’re interested in, you’ll be able to write about it while getting paid.
Pros: Plenty of opportunities, no real qualifications required, work remotely.
Cons: Inconsistent income, not the highest paid opportunity.
Another great freelancing opportunity is to become a marketer. Digital marketing is huge right now and it’s forever changing. Many businesses simply don’t have the time, or the know-how to market their brand online.
You’ll find a lot of free courses on digital marketing you can take. This will give you the knowledge required to start offering freelance marketing services. You could also specialize in particular types of marketing too such as email marketing or social media marketing.
Pros: An in-demand industry, varied workload, minimal qualifications required.
Cons: Inconsistent income, finding job opportunities.
Why not consider becoming a virtual assistant? They are always in demand. Helping businesses to save money by hiring a freelance remote assistant, you’ll do pretty much what you would in a standard personal assistant role.
You’ll basically be providing administrative support to companies. This can include data entry, handling phone and email communication for the business, and scheduling appointments.
Pros: High-demand, work from home, minimal qualifications required.
Cons: Pay isn’t always great, inconsistent income.
Another option is to become a freelance web designer. Out of all of the roles featured on this list, a web designer role does require a little more expertise.
The good news is, there are a lot of courses online you can take to teach yourself web design. This is particularly lucrative role, giving you the opportunity to earn a really great income. Businesses are constantly looking to have websites designed or updated. So, you’ll never run out of clients in this career.
Pros: Very lucrative career, in-demand, remote working.
Cons: Qualifications are required, inconsistent income.
Coding, otherwise known as computer programming, includes several popular programming languages, such as Java, SQL, and Python to name a few. The difficulty it takes to learn to code can ensure that a freelance programmer earns a high rate.
According to Career Karma, a freelance programmer can earn up to $60 as an average hourly wage. You can find work on gig sites or launch your own site to accept on-demand projects from individuals and companies who need your skills.
Another popular job in the gig economy is the ridesharing service. This service allows users to transform their cars into taxis. Some popular ridesharing services include Uber and Lyft, and they are more convenient and cheaper than traditional taxis.
For this, all you have to do is own a smartphone and a car and go through some compulsory background checks and application processing (depending on the service) to become familiar with the rules and regulations of the company.
There is flexibility in work hours and one can earn an average hourly wage of about $15 to $25, depending on the location. It’s possible to sign up with more than one company to earn from, too.
Not every restaurant has delivery options. However, with the gig economy and its option of food delivery, a lot of restaurants can now offer home deliveries using these third-party platforms.
A list of food deliveries is Postmates, Uber Eats, and DoorDash. These platforms operate like ridesharing services and let you earn cash for delivering food to customers.
So, there you have it – 8 of the top freelancing careers you can do from home. You’ll notice they all have the same potential and concerns regarding inconsistent income. This is the only real downside to freelancing as your income will change from month to month.
However, there are things you can do to build up more stability within the job. When thinking of a freelancing career to start up in, consider what you’re interested in. There are lots of great freelancing opportunities so no matter what your skills or hobbies, you’ll find an opportunity to suit you.
Best Freelancing Sites to Make Money
Upwork is arguably the largest freelancing job structure on the Internet and offers a wide array of fields for gigs. So, if you are a writer, designer, sales marketer, legal service provider, business analyst, data scientist, brand expert, translator, or another freelancer, you can use Upwork to earn money.
The platform takes a cut of all earnings as a service fee. When you earn up to $500 of lifetime billings, they apply a fee of 20 percent. When it’s $500.01 to $10,000, it’s a 10 percent fee, and when it is over $10,000, the fee is reduced to 5 percent.
Fiverr gives you the variety of having writers, artists and programmers all on the same site. The site also offers you the option of add-ons, which lets you charge more when you complete additional tasks for each job.
Like Upwork, Fiverr also uses a customized profile and portfolio and takes a 20% fee on all jobs completed. This is a good starting point for the newbies in the freelancing gig economy.
How to Succeed As A Freelancer
There are several apps and gigs that you can use to make money freelancing, but not everyone will succeed. You want to consider several things before you get started so that you’re able to maximize your earnings.
First and foremost, you never want to take on a gig that you’re unsure you can complete, either due to your schedule or desired skills or talent. It’s better to pass up an opportunity than to accept a gig, fail with it, and ruin your reviews and ratings.
You also want to make sure that you carefully abide by all of the customer or client’s requests. If they hire you to write a report and give you an outline, don’t stray from it to do something else.
Going the Extra Mile
Whenever possible, go the extra mile for your customers. You may have seen rideshare drivers who have snacks and phone chargers in their care for customers. This creates a nice experience and ensures they get tipped well and receive a nice rating for future work.
But even if you’re doing something else, such as freelance writing or graphics, you can go above and beyond and throw in something extra to seal the deal that you’ll be the one they come to in the future for more work.
If the gig is something where you can be chosen specifically, like ghostwriting, then ensuring your customers’ happiness will translate into more work via word-of-mouth recommendations.
Become A Problem Solver
If you’re someone who is currently sitting at a job you hate – or worse, unemployed and in desperate need of money – then you need to look at gig work as a solution to your problem.
With gigs, you can create a listing and have money deposited into your account within hours – or even minutes. Of course, there are no guarantees, either. Sometimes there’s a bit of a lag between when you create a profile and when you get hired.
So, you don’t want to walk out on a steady-paying job before you’ve started building momentum with your side hustle. If you’re in a situation where you want to leave your 9-5 job, then start doing gigs in your off-hours.
Learn the ropes and gain a favorable rating. This gives you time to ensure you’re happy with that type of work, too. Then, you can submit your two weeks’ notice to your employer once you’ve gained your footing as a reliable gig worker.
In time, you might decide to move from a platform offering gigs to the creation of your own business entity dealing directly with customers and clients and cutting out the middleman altogether!
How to Build Your Freelance Blog
Having an online presence is imperative for anyone with a freelance career. It’s an opportunity to showcase your skills and knowledge.
It also makes it easy for prospects to find you and connect with you. However, not all websites are created equal and a blog may be a much more effective and efficient means of connecting with prospects.
Here’s how to build your freelance blog.
Choose Your Platform
Most experts and bloggers will advise going with WordPress. It’s the most commonly used blogging platform. It’s easy to use and customize yourself – you don’t have to hire a pro to get the job done.
Additionally, there are more widgets and plug-ins available for WordPress than any other blogging platform. This means you can basically ask a WordPress blog to do just about anything you need it to do.
Finally, WordPress is free, and although you do have to pay a few dollars to host it yourself rather than on WordPress, it’s worth the money to have your own URL. You can also find quality WordPress templates for free, or you can buy a predesigned template that fits your needs.
If you don’t want to use WordPress, take a look at Blogger, Typepad, and Tumblr. There are many free and paid blogging platforms to choose from.
Determine Your Blog Mission
Decide what you want your blog to accomplish BEFORE you begin creating it. What do you want your blog to focus on? Presumably, you’re marketing your services as a freelancer, right? What static pages do you want to have? For example, you probably need an about me page, a rates page, and a contact page.
What else do you need? Plan your blog before you create it. What categories will you post your content in? What sites will you link to, if any? Will you integrate your social networking activities into your blog? Answer these questions before you create your blog and it’ll look a lot more put together.
Become A Writing Machine
Make sure each post is relevant to your audience. Each post should have a purpose. The purpose can be to drive traffic, to make an announcement or to highlight a promotion. It can also be simply to provide valuable information to your audience or to solve a problem they have.
Consider creating a kick-butt content plan and plan a month’s worth of posts in advance. That way, you’re never at a loss for what to write about – you’ve already brainstormed a solution.
Note that it’s also a nice idea to find guest bloggers to help you out. It adds value to your blog and helps position you as a credible resource in your industry.
Blogging is one of the best ways to build your freelance business. It helps drive traffic to your site and increase awareness. It also helps establish your credibility. If you’re not blogging yet, consider adding one to your current website or changing your website to a blog.
Can You Make Money Freelancing?
Earlier in the article, we featured the benefits of becoming a freelance writer. Another amazing thing about freelance writing is that, most of the time, it requires nothing more than a strong Internet connection and a gadget with a word processing software.
This means that you can make use of your laptop, desktop or even your smartphone. Also, you can make money freelancing from anywhere in the world as long as you are online and you have a computer or a smartphone.
Are you fluent in multiple languages? You can earn a living with that skill through the freelance gig of translating. There are not many multilingual people in the gig economy, so a freelance translator can earn steady money from gigs.
Also, if you are fluent in an in-demand and difficult-to-learn language, such as Japanese or Mandarin Chinese, you have a whole lot of opportunities open to you. Zip Recruiter assents that a freelance translator can earn up to $29 per hour as average pay.
You now know many of the top opportunities that deliver the biggest profits. You also discovered the pros and cons of each opportunity featured.
But if you need to dive deeper then grab your FREE copy of Side Hustle Success!