Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular option for those seeking financial independence and flexibility.
Whether you’re looking to start your own business or supplement your income, freelancing offers advantages like setting your own hours and working from home.
It can be intimidating to start freelancing, but with the right skills and dedication, you can successfully begin your journey as a freelancer.
This article provides an overview of how to get started as a freelancer and tips for finding jobs and earning money.
With this guide in hand, you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom!
Here’s a TL;DR to answer “What is freelancing?” and give you an idea of why people become freelancers:
- Freelancing is a type of self-employment in which you work as an independent contractor to provide services to clients.
- You can be your own boss when self-employed, but you have to fine-tune your skills and find clients to work for.
- As a freelancer, you decide when and what projects you work on and maintain a better work-life balance.
- Full-time employment has a routine schedule, routine pay, and benefits (health insurance!), but being a freelancer isn’t the same. No clients mean no pay for you!
- Join FlexJobs or Upwork to find clients and become a successful freelancer.
- Examples of self-employed work are proofreading, bookkeeping, data entry, and more.
What Is Freelancing?
The term freelance is broad, and it can refer to many different types of work, including gig economy jobs, under-the-table jobs, and odd jobs.
Freelancing is a type of self-employment in which you work as a self-employed independent contractor to provide services to clients.
Independent contractors are hired per job rather than having an employment contract for traditional employment. That means you aren’t considered an employee.
You find clients who need your services and negotiate a rate for the job you’ll be doing. You can set a rate per task basis or create packages for a predetermined fee.
It can be a great way to earn money while having the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours and work from anywhere.
Types Of Freelancing
You can specialize in one particular field, such as web design or writing, or you can offer a variety of services to your clients.
Some common freelancing work includes:
- Virtual assistance
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Data Entry
Freelancing & Taxes
One of the most important aspects to consider when starting a freelance career is how you pay taxes.
As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for paying your own income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. This means that it’s essential to save money throughout the year so you can pay your taxes at the end of it.
It’s also important to research any state or local laws regarding freelancing in your area, as some states require freelancers to charge and pay sales taxes.
Like where we live, we get tax deductions for our internet service, heat, and more because we freelance from home.
If you’re unsure how to handle taxes, it’s worth hiring someone to determine your income tax and get you the right deductions.
Finding Freelancing Jobs
When you become a freelancer, finding clients is the first key step after getting your resume ready.
Many online job boards and freelance marketplace websites are dedicated to connecting freelancers with clients. Here are a few of our favorite freelancing websites:
FlexJobs is a website that specializes in helping freelancers find remote work.
It offers job postings from companies looking for freelance workers and tips and resources to help you succeed in your career.
FlexJobs vets each job listing to ensure it’s legitimate and no scams are in your way.
However, FlexJobs is a paid membership platform, but it offers a free trial, so you can test it out before committing.
Steady is a website and app that promotes freelance work and side hustles. With Steady, you can effortlessly search for open jobs in your field, apply to them with a few clicks, and get paid quickly.
You can also set up an automated invoicing system, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down payments from individual clients.
With Steady, you can find reliable work with multiple clients and make sure you’re getting paid on time every time.
Fiverr is another great online marketplace for freelance work, where you can offer your services or packages to potential clients, set your own rates, and get paid every week.
With Fiverr, you can showcase your skills or portfolio and get discovered by clients who need your services.
Upwork is one of the most popular freelancer platforms that offers various tools to help you manage your projects, track time, and get paid quickly.
The website allows you to create a profile and bid on jobs posted by clients. You can also set your own rates and work with clients directly on projects.
Pros & Cons Of Being A Freelancer
In the modern world, freelance work has become an attractive option for many people.
There are numerous benefits to being your own boss- you set your own hours, choose the projects you work on, and have more freedom than most people with traditional jobs.
That said, being a self-employed person isn’t always easy and has its fair share of hardships.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of being a freelance worker:
- Control over your schedule and work-life balance; you decide when to do your work and when to take time off
- More freedom to pursue your passions or switch careers if you want to
- Increase your income potential by working for multiple clients simultaneously
- Money is only limited by your project load and hourly rate
- Join a freelancers union to get more resources, help with your resume, and more
- No guarantee of steady income as a freelancer
- No health insurance or retirement plans are provided; you have to find those on your own
- Taxes are a bit more complicated
- Running a freelance business with multiple clients and meeting multiple deadlines can be hard
Best Freelancing Jobs
So, have we answered your question, “what is freelancing?” I’m sure you’re now wondering what independent workers’ contract work for.
From proofreading to writing jobs, here are some of our favorite freelance gigs:
Proofreading is the last line of defense before any written piece is published or distributed.
To become a professional proofreader, you must possess excellent language skills and be able to spot errors quickly and accurately. You also need to be detail-oriented to catch mistakes that others may miss.
The easiest way to start proofreading is to take the free workshop by Proofread Anywhere.
Caitlin teaches you how she became her own boss by creating her freelance business providing proofreader services.
Blogging is a great way to make money online and is our bread and butter! It started as our side hustle but became our full-time jobs once we grew an audience and monetized our articles.
Blogging requires writing, researching, and editing skills and marketing skills to help spread the word about your blog.
But you can create content about anything you’re passionate about and build an audience. It takes time, and our free Start Your Blog Boot Camp is the easiest way to start blogging.
Freelance writing is one of the most popular freelance jobs. It involves creating content for websites, magazines, newspapers, and other outlets.
As a writer, you must understand grammar rules and English usage, as well as create compelling copy that speaks to the target audience.
In addition to writing skills, you should also possess research skills to ensure you are providing accurate and up-to-date information in your stories.
As a bookkeeper, you’re responsible for managing financial records and keeping track of accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll.
To become a professional bookkeeper, you should know the basics of spreadsheets and be comfortable working with numbers.
You must be able to understand how businesses operate financially to manage the books effectively.
The easiest way to learn this is with free classes from Bookkeeper Launch, where you’ll earn some basic bookkeeping and what equipment you’ll need as a freelancer.
A virtual assistant is an excellent option for those looking to freelance from home. Virtual assistants provide administrative and other support remotely for businesses and individuals.
As a virtual assistant, you must possess excellent communication skills to communicate with clients effectively. You should also have solid organizational and time management skills to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.
Data entry is an easy way to make money online. This involves entering data into a computer or other electronic system for processing.
Data entry requires accuracy and attention to detail to ensure that the information is entered correctly. To become a professional data entry worker, you should have basic computer skills and knowledge of various software programs.
As a graphic designer, you’ll create visuals such as logos, advertisements, brochures, and websites.
To become a professional graphic designer, you must have strong technical skills to use various design software programs like Canva effectively. Additionally, having an eye for aesthetics is essential for creating attractive and eye-catching visuals.
You should also understand customer needs so you can create designs that meet their requirements.
Freelancing from home is an increasingly popular option for those looking to earn money without committing to a full-time job.
You don’t get benefits as you would from full-time employment, but freelancers have the freedom to work when they want and for who they want.
With the right skills and dedication, you can become a freelancer and make more money than ever before.
Our favorite freelance jobs are just some of the many freelance options available, but you can join FlexJobs and find high-paying projects this week to get your freelance career started.