As the job market becomes less stable, a growing number of Americans are turning to freelancing. According to recent employment data, about one in three Americans did freelance work in the past year. The Internet has made freelancing easier than ever.
Ways to Make a Living Freelancing Online
A growing number of Americans offer freelancing services over the Internet these days. However, many people make the mistake of choosing a freelancing career that isn’t right for them. Here are some questions to ask yourself first:
Is this career something I will be good at? If you have difficulty with grammar and research, then you probably don’t want to pursue a career in freelance writing.
Is there a demand for these services? Some services are so specialized that it’s nearly impossible to find work.
Will I enjoy doing this? You won’t have a sustainable career doing something you don’t like.
If you are looking to become a freelancer, here are some ideas that you may want to try.
Freelance writing is one of the most popular ways to make a living online. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 140,000 writers in 2014 and most were self-employed.
Many freelance writers specialize in a certain type of content, such as writing press releases, writing analytical and technical papers, creating blog posts or drafting sales copy for web pages. Make sure you understand the differences between writing these different forms of content. As Alex Peterson, founder and CEO of EssayHub points out, writing essays on technical topics is much different than writing blog posts, so you need to understand the structure before selling technical paper or white paper writing services as a freelancer.
“The main goal is to appraise the work and provide an alternative opinion whereby the writer may agree or disagree with the existing conclusions,” says Peterson. “Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if it is your first time.”
Since we’re becoming a more global economy every day, there is a huge demand for translators. If you’re multilingual, you can sell your services as a translator.
Being a translator will be an even more popular career in the near future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the profession will grow 29% in the next 10 years, which is far faster than the national average. If you want to find a career with great job security, becoming a freelance translator is the right call.
Web Design and Coding
There are officially over one billion websites on the Internet right now and more are being built every day. Brands in every industry are investing in quality websites to reach new customers.
If you have a knack for HTML5, backend programming or design, then you may want to make money as a web designer. Great web designers can bill their clients at $110 an hour or more.
If you have a unique skill set, then you should have no trouble getting people to pay you for your insights. You can charge $100 or more an hour as a consultant if you have:
- A legal background
- Knowledge about conversion rate optimization
- Expertise in running a green business
- A knack for managerial logistics
There are thousands of different types of consultants out there. You just need to think about your skill sets and encourage people to pay for them.
PowerPoint Design for SlideShare and Business Presentations
You probably didn’t realize that there is a strong demand for people to design PowerPoint slides, but the market is actually higher than ever. Businesses have used PowerPoint for formal presentations for years. However, there is an even stronger demand for PowerPoint slides in online marketing on SlideShare.
SlideShare is one of the largest content marketing platforms in the world. In fact, B2B marketers receive four times as much traffic from SlideShare as Facebook. The trick is to design great PowerPoint slides. Since many business leaders lack the design competencies needed to succeed there, they are willing to hire great designers instead.
Selling Your Services Online as a Freelancer
The hardest part about being a freelancer isn’t finding a profession and developing your competencies. The most difficult part is finding a market for your services.
Fortunately, marketing is a lot easier than it looks if you know where to look. Here are some ideas to consider.
Use Job Sites
There are a lot of great sites that you can use to find work. Some of them are broad and cater to a large number of freelancers, such as Upwork. Others are more specialized, such as the Problogger Jobs Board, One Hour Translation, EssayShark and TopTal. You tend to get better paying work through specialized sites, but it’s a good idea to test different platforms.
Try Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in an industry. Freelance writers, lawyers, translators and virtually all other professions rely on it.
The important thing is to find sites with a large audience of potential customers. The sites don’t have to be specific to your niche, but should be relevant enough that potential readers will want to contact you.
Use Google Adwords
Google Adwords can be a very effective way to reach new clients. You want to make sure that you do the following:
- Use exact or phrase match keywords relevant to your profession (such as “find freelance writer” or “translation services”)
- Make sure your landing page offers a good user experience to improve your quality score
- Make sure your landing page and ads have your keywords in them
- Provide a clear way for people to contact you
You’ll need to test different things to get Google Adwords to work, but it can be a great way to find online clients if other options are saturated.
Build Your Dream Career as a Freelancer Today!
Being a freelancer is difficult, but you can make it work if you are willing to put in the effort. There are only two things you need to do: develop the right skills and find a way to market them. After that, everything else will fall into place.