How to Get Started as an Online Freelancer
Make some extra cash or change your career by freelancing online.
February 4, 2010
Freelancing online is a great way to supplement your income.
Having an extra source of income, whether it’s a large or small sum of money, can be a big help especially in the midst of a recession. More and more people are turning to online freelancing as a way to supplement their current income and even create their own full time business. Freelancing online can take the form of writing, graphic designing, virtual assisting, data entry, and even managing projects. So, let’s get started s an online freelancer.
You should consider creating a new email account to be used strictly for business purposes only. You are not going to sound professional if your email address is outdated and contains words that are (1) not your name or (2) have nothing to do with your profession.
To begin your freelancing career, you need to know where to look for jobs. The best places to start are freelancing sites such as Odesk.com, Elance.com, Guru.com, and Freelancer.com. Here you can create a profile for yourself detailing your previous and related experience, what you are good at, and how you can help potential buyers achieve what they are looking for. Essentially, your profile will be similar to a resume where potential buyers can search through and match to their jobs.
You will also need to create a payment system account through which you will be paid when a job or assignment has been completed. The most common method of payment is PayPal. PayPal is an online payment service which you can create a free account and verify it through a credit card or bank account. This allows you to have payments sent to you and to add or withdraw funds as required. Opening a PayPal account takes only a few minutes and is one of the most popularly used payment services on the web.
Choose an area of expertise and market yourself accordingly. Most freelancing sites categorize job positions and it is up to you to filter through them and bid accordingly. Be sure to only apply for jobs that you are actually capable of doing and have experience with to really showcase your skills. You generally will have an allowed number of bids so be sure to choose jobs that are suited to you. Many people new to freelancing will have to do a couple of projects at a lower bid in order to gain feedback which will ultimately bring their feedback ratios up and allow a higher percentage of job allowances.
Freelancing online can be a very rewarding career move – it allows people to work at their own pace doing what they like to do in the comfort of their home. Freelancing also gives you the option to work full-time, part-time, or by contract basis, so there's lot's of flexibility.