Who wouldn’t want to be able to earn some extra cash without having to dress for work and fight traffic on the commute to the office? There is a great way to earn from home and that is as a freelancer.
It’s a perfect fit for stay-at-home moms (or dads) as well as those who are semi-retired or working their way into retirement from a demanding career but still interested in having an extra income source.
This trend is growing fast too, as Forbes magazine reports 1 out of 3 American workers is now freelancing. Freelancing doesn’t mean just writing, either. If your skill set is a bit more on the technical side there’s plenty of opportunity to turn that experience into a profitable work from home business.
There are numerous websites designed just for freelancers to connect with contractors all over the world for these virtual jobs. Top picks include oDesk.com, elance.com, freelancer.com, ifreelance.com and freelancers.net. The premise behind freelance work online is best explained by the fine folks at oDesk.com who proudly state on their homepage that they are the world’s largest online workplace and verifies it with the statement that they are “where over one-million companies hire freelancers to get the job done.”
The main freelance categories at oDesk.com are Web Development, Software Development, Networking & Information Systems, Writing & Translation, Administrative Support, Design & Multimedia, Customer Service, Sales & Marketing and Business Services. Under each of those is a number of sub-categories so, for example, if you have an interest and the skills to look for work in Web Development there will be jobs listed that would include web design, web programming, e-commerce and website project management.
If your work history leans into the category best described as Business Services, it would include jobs for accounting, bookkeeping, HR/payroll, financial services and planning, payment processing and related tasks. What I am trying to get across here is that if you have done anything from customer service and sales to creative writing and game development chances are that you’ll find a freelance job, or online job, that will fit and bring you some regular income without having to seek training for another type of employment.
Before you jump into freelance work you do need to do a few things first. In the case of all websites that are designed to connect employers with skilled labor, you will have to post a profile and use that as your main selling point. You should view your online freelance profile as an internet version of your resume as companies looking to hire freelancers will use it to learn about you.
If you haven’t done any freelance work before, be honest about that. Many companies are hiring ‘newbies’ to try them out and to find new talent. This may be the place you get your first big break! If you are part of the oDesk.com community, you can search the database for freelance jobs in the categories you choose that are close to or contain your main interests and skills.
On any given day you will find thousands of jobs available to bid on with new ones posted hourly so it pays to check back frequently. The whole process is explained fully at each of the freelance websites.
The best part about freelancing is that you have complete control over how often and how long you work daily or weekly. You also have the option of bidding on short-term fixed rate projects or longer term hourly contracts depending on your overall goals with your freelance work.
In addition, if your work is found more than satisfactory by one contractor, you could find yourself working steady for him or her or referred by that contractor to another in need of your services. You really could stay very busy as a freelancer.
As I’ve stated before, there are many, many freelance opportunities ranging from writing to transcribing, translation and data entry as well as jobs requiring greater skills. Regardless of your career and educational training, you will be able to find work as a freelancer.
You can also enter the term ‘freelance jobs’ or “freelance writer” in your browser window to find freelance opportunities that exist from private companies who are not members of the freelance website network.
Once you start picking up freelance work you may ask yourself why you didn’t start doing it sooner!