July 22, 2019

How to Earn Extra Money from Home – A Guide to Freelancing like a Pro

image of a woman sitting on a sofa with computer and cell phone, asking you

Everyone is seeking for new ways on how to earn extra money from home when most of you know of several great ways of doing this; you just need a little more guidance in order to get you started in the right direction.

It is my intention to share with you several methods to help you become the professional freelancer you have always wanted to be. Many freelancers have discovered that writing truly offers the best return on investment… BUT… only when it is done correctly.

Now, you could simply go ahead and start signing up for all sorts of jobs at websites like; UpWork, Fiverr, SolidGigs, FlexJobs, CloudPeeps, Indeed, etc., but that is not all you will need to know in order to succeed as a freelancer.

And no, you do NOT need to quit your regular j-o-b in order to start up as a freelancer.

In fact, it is recommended that you freelance while you are still working. Only quit your job once you become successful at freelancing and only once you are certain that you can sustain the level of income that you are comfortable with as a freelancer.

In order to be fully transparent, I need to share this with you right and now… there is NO scheme or trick being offered here for fooling the freelance system in order to get to the top.

There really is no EASY workaround to getting to the top of any career you pick to focus on. In other words, this is NOT a get rich quick scheme. Freelancing is a REAL job and you must look at it as such, if you intend on being successful.

In order to do that you need to literally schedule the hours that you intend on using daily so that you will be more apt to stick to that schedule.

There will be bad days and there will be good days, like in ANY business you want to start up.

Focus on theDon't Quit poem by John Greenleaf Whittier good days and learn from the bad days in order to lower the number of bad days as far as humanly possible (but it won’t be zero, of that I can assure you).

Be determined NOT to QUIT!

In order to help you remain focused while you learn how to earn extra money from home, write down at least four reasons on why you want to be a freelancer.

Whether your need is to help you pay off your debts; end your need to commute to work every day; address your passion to become your own boss; or to simply earn a little extra money to make a special purchase, your reasons will help you get back on track whenever a bad day rears its ugly head.

This is a proven method offered in several teachings and books like, The Powers of Positive Thinking.

It’s Time to Think like a Professional Freelancer

It is always wise to start any new venture on a part time basis. This way, you won’t HAVE to earn BIG straight out of the gate, in order to pay your monthly bills. So, the stress for success won’t be haunting you while you are learning.

Believe me; starting any new enterprise like this is much less risky when starting part time rather than full time, providing you already have a job.

Simply set aside no less than two hours daily to following your newly chosen career path.

Earning extra someone's hand with American dollar bills in itmoney from home can be very exciting, as many people are doing just that today. And, there will be lots of time in your future to make freelancing your full time profession.

However, if you have no full time j-o-b as of now, then you will be free to commit to spending far more time than two hours daily… perhaps eight hours might be best.

This is NOT a hobby… freelancing needs to be a commitment you are making to yourself in order for you to earn extra money from home, online if possible… especially if you are not a fan of commuting to work daily.

At the start you will be working hard to create a good reputation for making and meeting deadlines… and most importantly, finding the right customers to serve.

Choosing Your Niche as a Freelancer

What is it that you are good at doing? It might be skills like: creating websites for business owners, designing logos or infographics, copywriting, article writing, eBooks, etc. You will need to discover what it is that YOU are good at doing.

Here is an easy way to discover your marketable skills.

Go to one of the most popular freelancing websites and search for the niche you think you would like to focus on. Then simply search for jobs, using that keyword like “website designer” (without the quotation marks, of course), and see how many jobs are found in your search results.

If at least 500 jobs are offered in your search results then you will know that your skill is marketable. It is said that even if the number of jobs are under 500, you could still make it as a freelancer… but, you would have to work a lot harder at finding customers.

Take the Necessary Time to Learn to Write

If English is not your major then you will need to learn to hone your writing skills.

Emailed communications are another aspect to be looking at improving, as clearly communicating with potential customers is necessary. Learn to converse on a more personal level in order to get that all important “connection” established with your customers.

Brushing up on your English and writing skills can be done online from such websites as Udemy (Basic English Writing) and Oxford Online English (Free English Writing Lessons), etc.

Also, you may find it highly beneficial to start your very own blog.

This way you will be able to practice what you learn about writing while you are learning to polish your writing skills. Plus, overtime you will have developed many different samples of your work, should you ever be asked for samples of your writing.

Some freelancers end up being hired full time from outside the freelance platforms simply due to their personal blogs, so be prepared to send those potential customers a link to your blog as proof of your writing skills.

With inexpensive web hosting being more readily available nowadays, some hosts include the registration of your domain name, PLUS… some web hosting providers are including the all important SSL certificate too.

Then simply install and use WordPress as this CMS (content management system) offers many different free themes to choose from making blogging a lot easier.

Establishing a good reputation for your skills in writing is a very crucial step for becoming a successful freelancer.

You wouldn’t even need your own personal website it you don’t wish to have one. There are plenty of well established websites available today that provide you with a means of publishing your articles for free as a guest blogger.

As a guest blogger you gain free publicity.hand-held chalkboard with "Why Blog?" on it

You write a relevant article for a website and in return they publish it for you for FREE providing you with an author byline linked to your personal website or your social media pages… or both, whichever is agreed on.

If you like this idea, you may want to check out the definitive guide for guest blogging so that you will be well informed.

It is said that if you publish from three to four guest articles on a few reputable websites that you will gain an incredible advantage over the others who are pitching for the same work on those popular job sites that I listed earlier in this article.

Imagine being able to send a potential customer a link to a Huffington Post article that you authored.

Even well known entrepreneurs often have guest posts published on popular sites in order to gain more exposure for THEIR businesses. Now you can use this same method.

When you are ready to write your first guest blog, take the time to find the REAL name of the person in charge of the website and be sure to actually address them by their first name.

This is NOT a time to use the more formal “to whom this may concern” type of opening.

Make sure you include an email signature at the bottom of your emailed messages. Include your full name, your title, and your social media profile links, as well as a link to your portfolio.

You can Google search “free email signature generator” (without the quotation marks, of course) to help you find the right tool in creating your very own email signature.

screen print of an email signature template

For guest blogging, all you need to do is find a website that is relevant to your chosen niche and submit a blog post. Remember, there are different types of blogs out there, so don’t go over thinking or trying to complicate things.

If creating websites is your preference for becoming a freelancer, be prepared to offer a few different types of businesses a FREE website. Be sure to create the BEST website you possibly can for them and then simply create a link with your name and website in the footers of those websites.

Poof!

You now have proof of your website skills to add to your portfolio.

Never set limits for yourself using the standards set by others. ~ Trish Parr

Be forever challenging yourself to be better and better with each job you complete.

Find the unique ways that you can set yourself apart from others.

Always show how remarkable your work really is and give your potential customers a great reason to hire you for their project instead of anyone else.

Finding the Right Freelance Platform

There are literally hundreds of freelance job sites available in which to find gigs from, so do NOT ignore the less popular sites,Bot icon.svg: PlanemadWikimedia Community Logo.svg:real name: Artur Jan Fijałkowskipl.wiki: WarXcommons: WarXmail: [1]jabber: WarX@jabber.orgirc: [2]derivative work: ויקיג'אנקי [Public domain] as that is where you may find potential customers.

It has become known that some freelancers are now using bots to automatically post a proposal to EVERY new job posting under their chosen keywords.

To learn whose sites these are, all you would need to do is simply pretend you are a potential customer looking to have a pretend project completed.

If you receive instant proposals you will know those responses are being issued by bots.

And still other freelancers fall for bidding wars where freelancers offer lower prices hoping to outbid other bidders in order to win the job.

These types of games make the most popular job sites a lot less attractive to freelancers who want to succeed as a freelancer.

Finding the newer sites is key… then create your profile on those newer sites because when you are among the first few freelancers to join a new site, you stand a better chance of getting a job without all of those games.

If you think that creating a profile on as many freelance sites as possible and applying for every job that you can find as a good strategy for improving your possibilities for success, think again.

Mult-tasking by applying for several jobs at once will have you sacrificing the quality of your work, which is never a good idea. You need to establish a good reputation right at your start, so providing low quality work is NEVER recommended

Write a Winning Proposal

In order to write that perfect proposal you will need to spend a lot of time researching about your potential customer by reading THEIR job description and tailoring a killer proposal… one they won’t be able to refuse.

This will NOT be possible for you to do several times in one day… so, once again, do NOT try that.

Instead, focus on finding jobs from a couple of job sites… which will server to help narrow your focus and develop a higher quality freelance profile. In turn, this will improve your chances for getting higher ratings for your work submitted, and better reviews made on your profile.

Of course… you could always ignore those freelance marketplaces, and use job boards instead.

Job Boards

Job boards allow you to apply for a job without creating a profile or worry about ratings and, you won’t find yourself competing in a bidding war with other freelancers.

Using job boards allows you the means for contacting a potential customer using email in which you can send them your perfect proposal. Five good examples of job boards are as follows:

  • ProBlogger Job Board
  • BloggingPro
  • FlexJobs
  • MediaBistro
  • WeWorkRemotely

These job boards (1st one listed is the most popular) apparently offer high-paying jobs.

7 Tips for Your Freelance Profile

1.) When creating freelance profiles ALWAYS be sure to use your real FULL name. No matter how difficult your name might be to pronounce. By using your real name this will make you stand out from your competition.

2.) Use a professional photograph of yourself and NOT a selfie or a close-up webcam image, and be sure to genuinely smile. A studys shows that using a real photograph on your profile can increase your chances for getting interviewed.

3.) Make sure that your profile headline describes your job title. In other words, use titles like “article writer” instead of simply using “writer” helps to narrow down your niche, while helping your potential customers find you easier.

4.) When writing your profile, pretend you are sending it to your friend… not a close friend but rather someone who doesn’t now you really well. Always describe yourself in the first person, keep your profile at 200 words or lesss, and DO pay attention to your grammar and spelling.

In those 200 words, be sure that you include your qualifications and experience.

Be sure to use the:

  • Employment History
  • Education, and
  • Other Experiences

sections in your profile too. This will add more personality to your profile.

Be prepared to update your profile as you discover new ways of marketing your skills. Never make it too personal, and make it a habit act like a professional.

If you are stuck for what to say in your profile about yourself, read through a few other professionally (high rated) written profiles for examples to follow… but NOT copy.

5.) Always showcase your best work in your profile. Be sure to use attractive images, provide a detailed description of the projects, and include a link back to the sources.

If your profile does not provide a section for your portfolio you can use free portfolio sites to host your portfolio and then simply offer a link to your portfolio within your freelance profile.

6.) You can also add your social media sites to your freelance portfolio.

Apparently, you social media profiles will NOT be shown to your potential customers, but they will be used to help the platforms you share them on to better understand you, in order to create a more personalized experience, and so they can be sure to show you more relevant jobs.

7.) Most customers will leave a review regarding any project that you have completed for them. However, do not be afraid to ask for a review if they failed to leave one.

Pricing Your Skills

Everyone asks this very question when eye looking throug a keyhole with text over top stating,"What are others charging?"starting out and my favourite response is check to see what others in your niche are charging, then make your decision a lot easier based on what you discover.

OR…

Decide on the financial goal that you are aiming to achieve and then multiply that total by 3. Then divide your new total by the total number of hours you will actually be working a month.

Example: If you work 2 hours every day of the week, then you will have worked 14 hours weekly and 56 hours every four weeks (or roughly said, per month).

Now let’s say you want to earn $500 a month to help you pay down your debts…

$500 x 3 = $1,500

Now divide $1,500 by 56 hours (per 4 weeks) and you will get $26.79 per hour that you need to be charging.

There is by far a prefect method in discovering the best price to ask for your services, so you will need to keep experimenting… and be sure to increase your price as you gain more experience.

How to Pick a Job Posting

Look for client profiles with several reviews of which most freelancers have left good reviews, then look at the suggested salary for the project that client has posted and hopefully it is at least negotiable, and also look at the specific details of the project. For obvious reasons, the more details provide the better.

It is recommended that you avoid low priced budget projects, especially those that are posted where there is no client reviews available, and the details are sparse, to say the least.

Instead, look for jobs that actually challenge your skills and help you move out of your comfort zone so that you can grow beyond your ordinary skills. This is how you can learn to advance your career as a freelancer, one gig at a time.

9 Tips on Wining a Freelance Job

female and male students intently listening

1.) Read the entire requirements detailed in the job postings and know exactly what the client’s needs are. Some smart clients have learned to put specific instructions part way into the details in order to weed out those who decide to skip reading the details and apply for the project anyway.

2.) Never think any client is an idiot, and you need to remember that most people would be able to tell a copy and pasted response when they receive one. Make sure yours stands out.

3.) Discover who your client is before placing your bid. When a client offers their first name in their client profile then you be sure to address them by their first name so that they will be more apt to respond to your personalized message.

4.) Be sure to take at least one course on learning how to build a strong relationship with clients. In this way you will learn to write better emails and proposals.

5.) Only apply to projects that you know you can contribute to. Never apply to all of the jobs simply because they appeared on your profile feed.

6.) Always use a professional looking photograph of yourself while smiling as your profile image. Most times potential customers will judge your personality based on the photograph you choose to use.

7.) Do not brag about your skills. Instead offer solutions to your client’s issue(s), and why you deem this would work best. Only mention your skills when necessary.

8.) Never bid to low for ANY job as that will only make you look though you are not qualified for their project. Figure out a fair price based on the difficulty of the project, the level of your skills, and your experience.

9.) Find new freelance sites simply by creating a Google Alert for “new freelance sites”.

By following the advice offered here, you certainly will be better able to earn extra money from home.

Should you have any comment to make regarding freelancing work, I hope you will feel free to leave me a comment below.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Mandrew5 - August 18, 2019 Reply

Well that sums it up. Thanks to you, I have been able to do a check list for what i have to focus on now. Truly a helpful guide to rely on and to check out now and then while working, to work online. 

The earnings calculation you provided under “Pricing Your Skills” was most helpful!

Thank you.

    Trish - August 18, 2019 Reply

    You’re very welcome Andrew, and Thank YOU for letting me know this information has helped you.

AmDetermined - August 22, 2019 Reply

Hi, your post is unique and educating I really learnt from your post, when I started freelancing I notice a lot of mistakes that I made me not to be successful like copying others freelancers niche, your post just open my eye that if I want to succeed I need to do what I love doing.

i also appreciate you on your research for sharing sites like ProBlogger Job Board, this to set up a profile and lastly for teaching how to win in freelancing job.

i have really gained a lot from your post because most of this advice work for most online business.

    Trish - August 22, 2019 Reply

    Thank you, AmDetermined. Glad you found this post informative. Hope you will be able to profit from the knowledge you gained from here.

C - August 22, 2019 Reply

Thank you very much. This is a great guide to making money online. I have never found such a thorough guide to freelancing. You are right it takes real focus to set the timer side, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Thanks for all your tips about writing. Right now I just started creating my first website and it gives me a chance to practice my writing every time.

    Trish - August 22, 2019 Reply

    You’re very welcome C… I’m glad to learn my article provided with helpful tips. Thank YOU for letting me know.

SeunJeremiah - August 22, 2019 Reply

Thanks for this informative and educative post. You have made becoming a freelancer easier by basically explaining step by step in a way a beginner would definitely understand. Earning money online has been one of my major goals, and achieving it is definitely possible with everything I’ve learnt from your article. There is no doubt that anyone can succeed if they follow your tips diligently.

    Trish - August 22, 2019 Reply

    You are very welcome Seun Samuel Cyril, and Thank YOU for letting me know that you found my article helpful and informative. Much appreciated.

LK - August 22, 2019 Reply

Hi Trish, I have been searching for the information you have shared here. I work full time on a job, and want to earn extra income for my family on the side. Sometimes the fear is so bad that it stops me from making a decision. I’m inspired by your domain name, “Use your passion”, and the ideas are bountiful so I will need to come back again to make sure I did not forget any of them. Thanks so much for sharing. All the best!

    Trish - August 22, 2019 Reply

    Hi LK, I’m glad to learn that you have enjoyed the information I have shared in my article. I do hope you can use the tips to your advantage. Thank you for taking the time to let me know by commenting.

Sharon - August 22, 2019 Reply

Thanks for all the valuable tips, Trish. I have read a few articles about earning extra money from home and yours is very thorough. I am a stay at home mom trying to earn some extra money. While my kids are away at school, I like to fill up the time with something useful and earn along the way. With your awesome tips, I think this is doable. Thanks again. I will have to read this again… 

    Trish - August 22, 2019 Reply

    Hi Sharon and Thank YOU for letting me know you enjoyed the information shared here so much that you will be back to read this again. Comments like this help me know what readers are looking for, so your comment is truly appreciated.

Alblue - August 22, 2019 Reply

Thank you very much for the information you have shared here. These are incredible tips and recommendation!

I’ve just started working as a freelance writer and I think I need to polish my work up quite bit. Guest posting and managing a portfolio are great ideas. I will start to reach out to bloggers within my expertise and ask them about allowing me to guest post for them. Thanks 🙂

    Trish - August 22, 2019 Reply

    You’re very welcome Alexander. I am very glad to learn that the information shared here has helped you. Looking forward to your coming back here soon and telling me how successful your new freelance business has become. 🙂

Kat - August 23, 2019 Reply

This is a good outline of freelancing as a way to earn some extra cash. It is competitive so working out what niche to write in is a good idea. I hadn’t thought of it like that, but it makes sense.

I thought if you know how to write well and just put yourself out there, well, I hadn’t considered what niche to focus pn, oops. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

You also made a really good point to not spread my time too thinly in trying to get work from too many sites. Thank you also for listing the many valuable tips to think about to help with finding work as a freelancer.

I also wasn’t aware of job boards as a way to find work, so it’s great that you’ve listed a few that I can register with. Thanks for creating such a valuable post, I learned a lot from this. Thanks for sharing.

    Trish - August 24, 2019 Reply

    You are very welcome Kat, and Thank YOU for letting me know that you were able to learn several points from my article. Much appreciated as this helps me to know what sort of information others are seeking so that I may continue to offer in depth articles like this one in the future.

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