What is freelance
I knew I wanted to learn about freelance work when I saw this message on a site a few years back; ‘How to become a freelance writer’, and I knew I had to follow up and research it in more detail. You see my father was a writer, so I thought that writing might be in my blood. With that being said, I started at the basics, and specifically wanted to know what freelancing was. In short; Freelance is working for yourself when you want too. 🙂
OK, so it is not as easy as that!
Dictionary.com explains a freelancer as follows: “a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.”
That means a freelance worker or a freelancer is a self employed person who is not working for a full time or long term employer, and do not hold a ‘regular job’. Freelance jobs range from administration support jobs, freelance writing jobs and even to more specialized consulting and designing jobs. Gone are the days however where freelance workers were constricted from merely advertising in their local newspapers. The birth of the internet has created a much wider audience for a freelance worker to reach and to which they can advertise their trade.
This is why companies such as Upwork, Freelancer.com, Guru.com, Peopleperhour, and Fiverr.com and others were formed, to connect businesses with freelance workers. These companies then afford people from all over the world the chance to sign up remotely for freelance jobs and projects and then get paid through their accounts.
Freelance workers are in demand
Businesses, which include global Fortune 500 companies, small start up businesses and even individual entrepreneurs all over the world, have realized the importance of saving on their bottom dollar or operating costs, and have therefore looked at reducing their labor cost. A great way of saving labor costs is being able to hire less permanent staff, and/or outsource additional work to an online freelance site. Start up and small businesses especially look to freelance sites ‘to get them going’, while they can spend their money and time on growing their business.
Another attractive aspect of freelance sites to businesses is the wide talent pool they have to choose from all over the world. People from all over the world with different talents and experiences register with freelance sites. Experiences range from software engineers, application developers, web and graphic designers, copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and data entry and administration support staff.
All you need to become a freelancer is time, an internet connection and talent. The freelance sites make their money by taking a small fee, usually a percentage, from all the work that flow through their sites. The only thing that is different is the amount, as some sites charges more than others. Workers bid (which is like applying) on a project or job at a fixed price or at an hourly rate.
The amount of money that you can earn depends on the industry you work in, your skills and experience. Freelance work on most sites is either charged by the hour or on completion of the project. Many sites also have a ‘Milestone’ option, where the freelancer and the client can set a target to be achieved, and if the freelancer achieves that target they earn a bonus. The milestone could be, for example, completing the project by a specific date, or completing 1000 spreadsheet entries per hour, and so on. Most also guarantee certain payment types, for example, when you take a project which pays by the hour, you are guaranteed that you will get paid upon completion of the project.
There are many benefits to working for yourself, and I will briefly mention them below. The benefits can however be different between men and women and between people of different lifestyles, and can also be different within the different industries that are serviced.
Benefits of being a freelance worker:
- Flexibility to work when you want.
- Wide choice of work available in different industries.
- To be able to pursue work in an industry that you love.
- Possibility of getting work in a dismal economy for people without work.
- Some industries are starting to prefer part time labor to full time staff.
- Students who are trying to earn extra money for college.
Along with the many benefits of freelancing, there will also be some disadvantages or in plain terms; cons. Just as with the benefits above, the drawbacks can also be different between men and women and between people of different lifestyles and requirements.
Drawbacks of being a freelance worker:
- Lack of job security.
- Could be dealing with employers who don’t pay on time, although most sites offer guaranteed payment terms.
- No employment benefits such as pension, health insurance, sick leave, and paid holidays.
- Hourly payments are generally less than what the ‘offline’ standard is. (minimum wages)
- Employers generally look to pay as little as possible, which means, as mentioned above, you usually earn less than what your experience would require.
- Online hiring provides the challenge of not being able to meet the employer or employee, so care should be taken of what work is accepted, or which workers are hired.
Purpose of this site
The websites reviewed on this site will all be legitimate work from home and freelance websites, where you are able to quote/apply for jobs and projects legitimately. If you don’t find a site reviewed here, the chances are they are not very good, or maybe I still have to review them. It is not always because they are bad though. The best thing to do is ask me about a site you don’t find here.
There are many sites on the web that lures you in with the best marketing lines, and once they got you interested, you get the words; ‘Join today for a discounted price, never to be repeated again!’ Of course if you visit the site in a week again, you will see the same message.
Why should it be necessary to pay to get paid? You are looking for a way to earn money, and you are looking for legitimate work to be able to earn that money, then why do you have to pay? Be very careful of sites that asks for money, or speaks about money even before you are registered with them. Just remember though that sites that have a free membership option and paid membership options as well, are usually legit because you actually get something for that paid higher membership.
Working freelance is incredibly fun and rewarding. You are able to work on projects you otherwise would not have had the opportunity. Although, as mentioned above, there are disadvantages to working online, I strongly believe that what I personally get out of it makes up for things like lack of job security and so on. If you are dedicated and hardworking, there is no reason why it would not be possible to make a good steady stream of income through freelancing.
Just remember, freelancing is a very competitive industry with a lot of people applying for the same position you are. So it could be that you have to apply many times before you are able to land one job.
Please give your feed back below if there is something on your mind, or if you have a site that you need information on or need reviewed. I will be happy to help.
This site is dedicated to show you and recommend to you the best sites to work on. This article is about freelance work, but that isn’t the only thing I do online. Make sure you check the other things I do on my site.