Are you tired of having to commute each day just to work from 9 to 5 in a cubicle? Countless people are starting to work from home and making a real living.
The internet has changed things so much! Especially since the speed has constantly increased in the last few years. The same goes for technology. Our devices can handle big loads of work without breaking a sweat.
However, before we proceed, you should know there are two different ways you can work from home.
The first involves getting a remote job. You still have an employer who pays for your work on a monthly basis. Working hours may be either fixed, either flexible. But the bottom line is you’d still have a boss.
If that’s something you want to avoid, you could consider stepping into the world of freelancing or starting your own business. For the latter, you’ll need an investment budget, a great idea and a complex suite of skills.
If you want to keep things a bit simpler while focusing on the skills you already possess, freelancing is the way to go. 34% of US’ workforce are freelancers. That’s 53 million people who work from home and make a living.
What’s the Difference Between a Contractor and a Freelancer?
For starters, a contractor usually works for one company at a time, through a contract. They usually have to keep certain office hours and sometimes even have to physically go to the employer’s office.
The jobs contractors are usually project-based: 3-12 months or even less and get paid by the hour. However, the employer could take care of taxes.
In conclusion, it’s a project-based job with a contract, an office, and a boss.
On the other hand, freelancers find work on their own on a gig by gig style. Many believe there is no third-party involved in the process of getting a freelance gig, but they’re a bit wrong.
As a freelancer, you are responsible for your taxes. You’ll rarely be required to go to the employer’s office to do the job. Most gigs are either short-term or are on an “on-call” basis.
Freelancers can find work on platforms such as upwork.com, freelance.com, and countless others. Sadly, some people get over booked by accepting too many gigs and are no longer able to deliver until the deadline. It makes employers lose faith and trust in freelancers.
Why Millions Decide to Work from Home
Nobody says working from the comfort of your home is simpler or easier. But in most cases, you’ll be able to make a living without having to go through all sorts of processes and company culture aspects you may find irritating.
Additionally, you’ll be able to manage your own time how you see fit and take care of more important personal aspects, without having to ask for a day off.
However, freelancing can prove to be more stressful than you can imagine. At least for starters. When you’re new, you’ll have a hard time finding gigs and projects. You’ll have to work hard for each of them and deliver the best results possible.
In the first few months, you’ll feel like having a 9-5 job is way easier. It is why many quit and abandon the opportunity.
But if you decide to go on with it and keep up the good and hard work, you’ll eventually succeed. It will prove to be one of the hardest, but most rewarding choices of your life. It will also turn into a solid income you can be sure of in the long run.
How to Get Started on the Right Path of Freelancing
If you want to become a freelancer and work from home, you’ll also want a head start. In the following lines, you’ll find useful tips and tricks which will help you reach the financial stability you crave faster and easier.
1. Setup Your Personal Brand
Almost any employer will want to learn more about you. They’ll want to know who you are as a person because it will allow them to trust you.
So having the right personal brand is important. It will require some work, but it’s work you should complete before you start looking for freelancing gigs.
The first step should be signing up for the biggest social media networks: LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Be sure to take your time and create professional profiles which outline your skills. Choose the same colors and professional profile photos for each account.
2. Get a Professional Bio Page and Turn Yourself into an Influencer
The easiest way to achieve this is by using a WordPress blog and a couple of tools. Create a bio page for yourself which looks and sends the right message.
Don’t make it sketchy like a curriculum vitae, but impressive. Outline the skills you have and what work you have done so far. Use images, videos, and any other type of rich media you can create.
You should use free tools like Canva for every piece of visual content you create.
Additionally, if you publish articles on a daily basis, getting an author bio plugin for your WordPress blog would be wise.
Starbox was recently launched on ProductHunt, and it will help anyone in your audience to get to know your work and contact you.
You’ll be able to write a short description about yourself and place your social media accounts on each and every article. The looks matter as well, and Starbox has some professional themes you can use. You can read more about it from here.
3. Take Time and Market Yourself like a Professional
Many people work from home, but if you’re reading this article, it means you want to do better.
Your success can often be determined by the way you market yourself as a freelancer:
- What can you do better than the others and why?
- Why should people choose you for gigs instead of the others?
- Why should they pay you what you’re asking?
Work from Home: Here’s Where to Find the Best Gigs
There are countless platforms which promise to connect freelancer with employers looking to get things done. One of the most trustworthy of these platforms is Upwork.
Upwork helps freelancers find work, chat and share files, track your time, and get paid.
Time tracking for hourly projects is done by taking work-in-progress screenshots every 10 minutes during the billable time or manually tracking hours in the Upwork app if your client agrees. Your client will be billed automatically for the time you track via the desktop app.
For fixed-price projects, you set milestones and deadlines for your client for each part of the project. You then submit work for each milestone. Your customer will release funds from escrow upon approval.
Upwork has many different types of jobs, from the web and mobile developers to writers and countless other professions.
If you’re only into writing, there are dedicated freelance writing platforms. Take for example freelancewriting.com.
There are countless writing jobs on what claims to be the #1 source for freelance writing jobs ever since 1997. They also give you comprehensive guidelines for different topics and subjects, which you should use to improve your writing skills.
Another cool aspect about freelancewriting.com is the fact they offer you free books to become a better writer. Some are about writing skills or how to make your home office more comfortable, while others are about headlines, time management and so forth.
Freelance Writers Who Work from Home Should Invest in Themselves
A great way to get more profitable and interesting gigs is by delivering more – as in higher quality – than your competition.
It’s one thing to say you can write as an English native and a completely different aspect to mention you can provide 100% SEO optimized content. The latter is important nowadays when content is king, and organic traffic is the most valuable you can get.
The easiest way to write search engine optimized content is by using a dedicated WordPress plugin like SEO by Squirrly. You get tons of benefits for choosing to invest into your writing.
SEO by Squirrly gets you:
- A keyword research tool – stop doing keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner because it’s for advertisers, not content writers.
- A live assistant who works together with you in real time. It helps you better optimize your content, so it ranks higher in SERPs.
- Free Training Session – 14 lessons and 10 actionable work files so you can become an SEO expert.
- Over 100 other features which help you and your blog gain online authority.
Get your 14 days free premium version of the SEO by Squirrly plugin for WordPress and start writing SEO content. Your freelancing gigs will benefit off of it as well – just optimize the articles using Squirrly before sending them.
Over to You
There’s nothing worse than not being able to stick to a tight schedule when you work from home. If you’re constantly struggling with ‘the bed calling out your name’ or other distractions, freelancing may not be for you.
However, managing your time efficiently and delivering what you will get you far. Not just regarding money, but peace of mind as well.
Do let me know in the comments below if you use any other tools to improve the quality of your freelancing work. Also, I was wondering if you know any other freelancing platforms worth mentioning and recommending.