“MoolahNinjas main goal is to help our readers improve their financial lives. We partner with other companies that share that same vision. Some of these links in this post may be from our partners. This is how we make money.”
A demanding but good way to make money at MoolahNinjas.com
For writers, designers and IT developers, experience is of the essence in landing the coolest jobs. Unfortunately, this experience often comes in the form of unpaid internships, being a gopher, or impossible work hours. There is one way, however, where you can gain experience and make money at the same time: freelancing.
Freelancing is great for sprucing up your resume, and contrary to most other entry-level jobs, you will be in charge of your own work hours. Moreover, with the right project, you will have the opportunity to make a more substantial income freelancing.
Well, in what areas can you freelance?
This is probably the easiest and most obvious type of freelance work, if you have linguistic skills.
This includes lots of different types of jobs. You may be asked to write articles, ghostwrite entire e-books, write product descriptions for online shops or create postings for various social media.
Furthermore, if you are well versed in a foreign language, translating is another obvious choice. Especially if it is a language other than English, since the competition in this case can be significantly less fierce.
Freelancing in text work is for people who have their grammar down and who love to learn new things – regardless how insignificant. Of course, you never know the subject of your texts, so you may suddenly increase your knowledge about online roulette or dog food.
This field obviously requires you to be very creative, but also that you have the right equipment for digital design (since you are unlikely to meet your clients face to face).
As a freelancer in graphic design, you will be able to design logos for start-up companies, animated movies, PowerPoint presentations or perhaps even print advertising for newspapers or magazines.
Programmers are the brains behind the IT we use every day. They take handle the programming of websites and apps, so they are efficient and user-friendly, which often requires long strings of code.
In addition to actual programming, you could also offer IT support. This will typically involve helping companies do search engine optimization, making them more visible to customers. Statistical analysis and database administration are also common freelance jobs in this field.
Doing assistant work, as a virtual assistant, is a popular work in the freelance industry, so be ready for fierce competition! One of the typical tasks is transcription, where you write down recordings of conversations, interviews, or otherwise.
You can also work as a part-time personal assistant, where you work from home keeping track of your employer’s appointments, taking phone calls, handling travel arrangements, or doing simple research.
Advantages and disadvantages of freelance work
If, as a freelancer, you want to avoid getting completely burned out in front of your home computer, it’s a good idea to get a regular change of scenery. You may want to break up your work into manageable chunks, and then take turns visiting the library, a café, or anywhere else, where you can find the peace and quiet to work. Hopefully, this way you will be able to keep up your energy and creativity levels.
How much money can you earn as a freelancer?
As a freelancer, you have two payment options – you can either charge by the hour or charge a fixed amount for each job.
Unfortunately, as Internet freelancer you compete with people from all over the world, and it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to compete with the prices offered by people from developing countries. So in order to get an income you can actually survive on (country), you will have to convince people through your ad that you are the only one for the job.
Before you present a prospective buyer with an offer, really think about it – how long will it take and how much do you want to earn per hour?
If you have exceptional skills in one area or another, you will often be able to charge a slightly higher price. However, be realistic! You wouldn’t want to scare customers away with prices that are completely out of line. It might be a good idea to check the market and see what others are charging for roughly the same work.
Be aware that freelance agencies will take a chunk out of your profits in exchange for finding you work. Therefore, you need to look into what fees you have to pay and add those to the price you offer the customer. Never agree to bypass the freelance agency, since this makes it easier for the customer to evade payment after receiving the product.
5 tips for a good profile
In addition to individual applications you send out to potential customers, you will also need to make sure you have an inviting profile. On your profile, customers will find an introduction, comments from previous clients, and perhaps some work samples.
Take the time to make a comprehensive profile! Your profile will often mean more to the customer than your application.
Unlike so many other places, you really shouldn’t put your light under a bushel. List all your previous employers and types of work – nothing is too insignificant to be included. If you have recommendations from previous employers, don’t hesitate to quote some of the best parts.
At the beginning of your freelance career, it is extremely important to make sure that the client leaves a review of your work after each job. The hardest time to get jobs is during the first few weeks, but once you have a handful of 5-star reviews, it should be easier.
Sure, it is professionally irrelevant that you are an accomplished pianist or have run a marathon, but you may want to mention it anyway. Most customers will appreciate a little personality, and it certainly can’t hurt anything.
Since you’ll probably not meet many of your customers (if any) in person, it can be hard for them to verify your legitimacy. Fortunately, most freelance sites take care of this by checking your qualifications and location. Once you have done this, you will get a big fat check mark next to your profile, which looks good to customers, no doubt. You should also consider taking tests in your freelance area, such as a 40-minute test about Photoshop, your programming skills, editing, or spelling. After taking the test, your results will appear on your profile – and who knows, maybe you’ll have the top score?
Considering the many profiles buyers click through, you probably wouldn’t want to write a complete autobiography. Obviously, you need to include everything of relevance, but keep it short, so the buyer quickly and easily can get an overview.
One last thing you shouldn’t forget when creating your profile, is to check it for errors. Especially if you’re looking for text work, the importance of not having dumb errors, types, etc., cannot be overstated. It just doesn’t look good! So go ahead and look through it one last time before pressing ‘save’.
Get the job
You have created a profile, narrowed down your freelancing areas, and you have some idea of what to charge for your work. But now what? How will it be YOU and no one else who gets that job? Here are four ways to make a splash.
Typically, a free profile will only allow you to send a limited number of applications per. month. It goes without saying that the more applications you send out, the greater the chances of getting a job. So check what an upgrade of your profile will cost – most of the time, it will be worth the investment.
Choose jobs with a long and detailed description – this enables you to write a personal application, where you show that you carefully read and understood the particulars of the job. Please, do not hesitate to ask questions if something is unclear to you. This also shows commitment and interest.
You have the option of paying an extra €1.5 to have your application moved to the top of the stack. This may be a good idea in case of a coveted job, so your application won’t be buried in all the other ones. Statistically, these applications are chosen more often than the others are, so the money will often turn out to be well spent.
The biggest no-no is to create a standard application for you to send to everybody and his brother. Buyers can easily spot a generic application from a personal one, and they will always get low priority. Therefore, spend your time reviewing the ad first, and then write a personal application. Buyers appreciate the commitment and the personal touch!
Your payment options
Once you have done your job, you obviously need to get paid. There are several options to do this, each with their advantages and disadvantages:
It is easy and fast, but unfortunately, you pay for exchanging dollars for crowns. It will still be the best option, however, as it is 100% safe and quite user-friendly.
Some sites offer a direct transfer to your bank account. This sounds easy, but always check what fees you will be charged for a transaction – it can soon become expensive!
Aside from the uncertainty associated with sending money by mail, it can take quite a bit of time to receive a check mailed from the US or Australia to Denmark. Additionally, you will have to go down to the bank to deposit the money into your account. All in all – both uncertain and time-consuming!
Mistakes you should avoid and things you should remember
As freelancer, you obviously aren’t tax exempt, so unless you’re a genius at handling paperwork, this may be a good time to get advice from an accountant.
Most freelance sites have a system to ensure you get paid, but you should still keep a close eye on your agreement: what is the job about, exactly? How long will it take you? How much will you earn on the job? Make sure you are always 100% sure of all three things before starting a job
Sure, that sounds obvious, but there will be jobs that straddle the line between legal and illegal. If in doubt, you’re better off turning it down than risking trouble.
Although it may seem the right thing to send a small “sample” of your work, this is not allowed on many sites. Instead, offer to do a “sample job” which should be neither very extensive nor very costly, after which the client can choose whether he/she wants to continue working with you.
You may run into offers of a part of the profits from a client’s homepage as payment. Never accept this type of offer! 99% of the time, it’s nothing but a scheme, and you will rarely be able to track them down when a job is completed.
Did you get a good job at a decent pay? When why not offer the client a 5 or 10% discount on the next job, if they hire you again within a week? Buyers love a good deal, and it saves you the trouble of finding more work. In addition, always make sure you get your clients to give you a good review after the job is completed, since this will make it easier for you to get new clients.
Especially with e-books or various designs, getting your name on it can be a great boost for your reputation. The client retains copyright on your work, however, and only few will allow you to get your name on the product – still, it can’t hurt to ask!
Since you’ll probably never meet your clients face to face, Skype and Dropbox are essential tools for sharing documents and communicating with clients. The Pamela add-on for Skype even lets you record and save conversations for later use. If you become a serious freelancer, the tools Trello and Basecamp are certainly worth checking out as well.
If you’ve made it all the way through this guide, you should be well prepared to start your freelance adventure. However, if you do not feel like this is the best way for you to earn money online, then go see our page “How to earn money online”, which shows all the best way to earn money on the internet. Good luck and all the best!