Freelancing has now become the "bread an butter" of my online business, and is the main reason my friends say I'm "so lucky" to be able to choose my own hours. It's a great way to form a baseline of minimum income, whilst allowing yourself to work on other income streams and grow your online business.

How to Start Freelancing

Well, first you are going to need marketable skills. I already started with some good skills, having a background in Digital Marketing and Business Development Management. If you are unsure of your skill-set, go back and complete the basic Wealthy Affiliate training course. You will learn a bunch of skills that people are willing to pay you for!

You now need to start putting yourself out there. Start finding jobs that will pay you for your skills. These jobs can be a one-off gig that pays you once you complete a task, it can be an hourly job, or it could be a series of jobs. You might even find yourself some ongoing work, on a project that needs your help.

There are several sites that connect projects with freelancers. E-Lance, Freelancer, even classifieds sites like Gumtree or Craigslist. Do a little research to find the right one for you. I have had great results with Freelancer.com, but there are very mixed reviews online, so be careful. They are also pretty expensive, so you need to choose jobs wisely.

What Freelancing Means to Me

After I started generating a little income through Wealthy Affiliate, I signed up to a couple of freelance sites. I looked for jobs that matched my new Wordpress and Content Marketing skills, as well as my sales and digital marketing skills.

I tok on a few jobs, some better than others, and built up my profile. It took me a while to get any jobs that paid what I felt I deserved, because I was a new player and no one trusted me with the good jobs. After a while, I started generating a steady income by freelancing, and this is when I quit my day job.

It was around this time that I was made an offer by a digital publication, offering me a permanent, ongoing, work online position. It pays hourly, plus bonuses, only takes 15 hours per week, and is JUST ENOUGH to live on. This has allowed me the freedom to work when I want, how I want, and focus my remaining time on other income streams.

Freelancing has literally become my "bread and butter," while my other online income streams are money for growing my business, my savings and for fun. I could never have done it without Wealthy Affiliate.

A Word Of Caution

This is a great way to safely quit your job and live off an online income, which you can do from anywhere in the world, however there are several things to be very careful of:

Time Management is a key issue. It's very easy to slack off on your other income streams, such as online sales or your affiliate marketing websites. This is a trap I struggle with on a daily basis.

Stiff Competition can be hard to overcome when you are starting out. Just like a job application, you will be competing for the same job with numerous others. Some of them will be more experienced, others will be cheaper than you. You need to present yourself well and keep building your reputation.

Return on Investment depends on two factors: How much it cost you to get / complete a job, and how much you make from the job. My main guidelines here are: Don't accept jobs that don't pay enough - respect yourself. Don't spend money "highlighting" your job bids. It'll cost you too much. Don't waste time on jobs you don't want, just pick your best matches.

Scams are very common. Always follow basic internet safety guidelines.



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Crittercraft Premium
Thank you for this tutorial. It has helped me get back on track.
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RKingsley Premium
That's great to hear! I myself struggle to stay on track sometimes, and as you can see, some of that is due to over-committing to immediate income instead of long-term goals.

Glad you found this helpful!
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Anh Premium
Jess,

Love how you wrote from your own experience. I see that you have a very specific plan of action and it's interesting to learn how you diversify your income streams.

Personally, I found it better to focus on one specific strategy such as targeting low-competitive keywords and building my knowledge upon it.

I still have a long way to go, and can relate when you said that the hardest thing is when you put in loads of efforts yet didn't make enough money. Building an online business is easy in that you don't have a huge overhead cost, that said, you need great self-motivation to succeed.

I'm curious, what is the biggest lesson you've learnt from making money online?

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Anh
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RKingsley Premium
My reason for joining Wealthy Affiliate in the first place was that I was working from home, running my own business but with only one major client (like an employee, really, but doing my own invoicing and taxes.) Unfortunately, they were always late in paying, so my finances were getting messy. I needed to diversify my income.

This led to me finding and joining WA, and eventually completely replacing my income.

From all of this, my major lesson has been:

Take the plunge carefully. Don't keep all your eggs in one basket! Make sure you have multiple options - some that provide a base income, others that you can build over time.

I hope it helps!
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Anh Premium
Jess,

Thanks for sharing your story. It's admirable that you took the plunge to diversify your income.

I found your answer very helpful since I am also in a position where I'm both working a full-time job and keeping my online business a side project. It not only helps me keep a healthy base income but also a good "distraction" of some sort from working on my computer alone all day.

It's probably not what we usually hear about "taking the plunge", as in you've gotta risk it all. I believe that life is more complex than that, and sometimes it's better to play it safe.

Stay awesome,
Anh
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RKingsley Premium
I certainly agree that you need to play it safe - You have to support yourself while your online business grows!
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Anh Premium
:)
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RTejeda Premium
Thanks for sharing this helpful training, Jesse. I have referenced.
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RKingsley Premium
You are very welcome!
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Barryw1 Premium
Problem is that when people arrive here they have been inundated with "make money in 14 days free" type ads.

I really have to check myself when people ask in discussion, quite frequently, when will I make money. I check their profile and they are on day 2.

That's on me not them. It took me 7 months to get my first referral and 9 months to get my first sale.

I agree, the hardest part is when you have been working hours per day and you are on month 4 or 5 or 6 and nothing. The best advice here in my opinion here is:

Get back to it. Just keep going. Nice write up JessHop. When I feel my irritation starting I will link people to this article.


Barry
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RKingsley Premium
Thanks Barry, I'm glad this seems useful. Anything that you feel needs to be added, for those new arrivals?
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Barryw1 Premium
Take the focus off making money,ourselves, and put it on helping others. Money is a by product of helping others. Thanks for asking.
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RKingsley Premium
It's a good tip. I'll consider it!
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Anh Premium
Very well said, Barry.

I am one of those who took longer to make my first sale. I only earned my first dollar after 4 months. And only a few more in the months afterwards because I made a mistake in not having specific monetization strategy.

"Keep going" is definitively the best thing you can do when building an online business. It's hard to swallow at first, but you truly need to make mistakes to succeed.

This reminds me of something Charles Ngo said:

"Want to succeed faster? Fail twice as fast. How do you fail twice as fast? Teams and systems."

How is your business doing?

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Anh
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FHagstrom Premium
Jess,
Thank you for this very informative tutorial. It was a big help
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RKingsley Premium
You're most welcome. Thanks for reading!
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