Updated April 14th – Added Freelancer.com and added new details about UpWork
What Is It?
In the online world it is now a lot easier to find small freelance work (a.k.a. “gigs”). When freelancing you go to freelance marketplaces as a means to find work, book clients and get paid. There are many different ways to make money online and this is one of my favorite. This type of work pays quite well ($25+/hour is quite common) and offers many different ways to make money, including copywriting, painting, cleaning, software/website development, computer support, translations, putting together furniture, carpentry work and a lot else.
How Does It Work?
First you need to register with an online freelancing marketplace. Each one is focused on slightly different types of work so you need to determine what services you want to provide (IT, admin support, construction, gardening, cleaning, etc). These tend to have many different types of jobs, while there are other sites that are more focused on specific industries, such as graphic design or translations.
When you register it will ask what services you provide and your background. Some will then provide you with ways to prove your experience, such as doing online tests. How you sell your services you provide depends on the site but comes in two main types; hourly based or outcome based. With hourly based work you set the rate you will work for while with outcome based, you put together defined packaged services with specific deliverables, timelines and costs (it’s easier than it sounds).
After you are setup, you will need to find the work. In some freelancing marketplaces, customers come on and browse the freelancers to see their rating, credentials and services. Then they click a button to contact the seller directly and arrange the work. In other marketplaces customers post work they want done and you browse the list of available work, and contact the client with a proposal.
Once the work is accepted, then you work directly with the client. After the work is complete then the client rates your work and identifies if it is successfully complete. The client then automatically pays the marketplace and the marketplace will then pay you. That last part is quite important because one of the biggest challenges as a typical freelancer when you are not using a gig marketplace is actually getting paid promptly.
Keep in mind that these gigs can be time-consuming and often have deadlines so make sure you have the free time to get it done or it will negatively impact your rating.
Freelancing has been steadily getting more popular and this has driven competition higher and higher. When starting out it will be challenging to be consistently busy. After you have been working for a while, as long as you have been doing a great job you should have a higher rating and regular customers which will lead to a lot more money.
Also, keep in mind that the competition has been leading to changes in how sites handle job applications. Freelancer.com only allows 8 job applications per month before you have to upgrade to a paid account. Meanwhile, Upwork requires freelancers to use what it calls “connects” to be able to apply for a job. The cost ranges from $0.15 to $0.90 per job you apply for, even if you don’t get it. These costs are meant to reduce freelancers from spamming every job on the site with applicants. However, it does add an extra layer of cost in there. To date, this is the only freelance site that has that cost.
How Much Money Can You Make?
Unlike the other work we have on StudentOnlineHustle, these freelance sites can pay some significant money once you have been doing it for a while. Depending on the services you provide, the time you put into this, your rating on the system and your customer base if you are doing this part time it would be reasonable to make anywhere from $250-$2,000/month. Some people actually work on these gig sites full time and make $50,000-$90,000+/year.
To see an easy comparison of Fiverr, TaskRabbit and Upwork check out this article.
These are bigger than a micro-task but smaller than a freelance project.
- GigWalk – pays much about $2-$10 per task and have to travel for the tasks
- Lionsbridge – pays about $10-$15 for short projects up to 20 hours
- Potential customers will compare costs of other people on the gig sites so do your research and don’t price yourself higher than everyone else or you will struggle to get work.
- Many marketplaces allow customers to reach out directly to people they have worked with in the past. Do a great job and this can lead into repeat business.
- At the same time, your rating and success rate are displayed to new potential customers and if you regularly fail jobs or have poor customer services you might as well cancel your account. Make sure the work requirements and due date is very clear up front so there isn’t any confusion.
Categories: Decent Income