How Make Money Online as a Freelancer: How to Start off

A lot of people may be thinking about freelancing, but not many of them know how make money online as a freelancer. Although it gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility, starting out can be overwhelming and also confusing. That’s why it’s better to completely understand about the concept of freelancing before you jump into the wagon and go with the ride.



Freelancing: What Is It?

Freelancing is basically about self-employment. You are working on your own, being both the boss and the employee. You may work for individuals or companies for generally a single project and with a contract basis. You aren’t the full employee of any company or business. Can you take different projects (with different clients or companies) at the same time? Sure, why not? As long as you are able to manage the time and stay professional, you are free to do anything.

Why would people choose to become freelancers that actually lead them want to know how make money online as a freelancer? Well, for a starter, there are tons of perks you can enjoy from the work. You are able to pick your own hours and schedules. Whether you want to work full-time or part-time, there’s no one to stop you. Should you be taking only one client or as many as you can? It’s also up to you. It depends on your capacity and ability to manage your time.

Moreover, you are able to set your own rates. It’s typical to start low, but then you can grow higher as your portfolio grows and develops. If you can pull it off quite smartly, you can actually get higher earnings than those of the traditional employment scenarios. Whether you still want to set it up high, or low in certain circumstances, it’s all in your hands. You also have the freedom to choose your own projects: which ones to do and not to do.

However, let’s not forget that freelancing isn’t perfect. When it comes to payment, it can be quite inconsistent. It’s true that you can get higher rates, but you won’t get any benefit. There is no paid time off either. Earnings may be inconsistent. Not to mention that getting the first clients can be an extremely difficult task. In most cases, freelancers need to struggle hard before they can finally enjoy the sweet fruit of their hard work and efforts. If you can show your skills and professionalism, clients will come back – again and again. You won’t have to concern about running out of order.


Reasons to Be a Freelancer

Before learning about how to make money online as a freelancer, you need to understand why people become a freelancer first. In most cases, those who want to have more flexibility and more freedom in managing their schedules (and time) would consider freelancing. Around 71% of freelancers stated that they like the schedule flexibility while 88% of them said that they like the idea that they can have more control of the workload, projects, and tasks they do.

How Make Money Online as a Freelancer


Many freelancers enjoy their freedom. They can still do projects while traveling or visit their friends. Some of them also like the idea that they are free to do anything they want with their time, such as taking one day off to watch their favorite show on Netflix or enjoying a day at a spa to recharge. This is the biggest motivation for them. In the end, it’s about happiness and mental joy, really. When you are happy, life seems to be easier, right?

Moreover, freelancing is great for people with personal circumstance and situations, which can be quite different from the traditional 9 to 5 routine. About 48% of the freelancers are basically caregivers, and from those figures, around 76% of them stated that being freelancers has given them better flexibility and availability when they need to care for the loved ones. Around 33% of the freelancers are either have disabled family members or they have their own disability. From those figures, around 72% said that freelancing has provided them a better environment to address those particular needs.

Naturally, we need to be completely fair. As it was mentioned before, there is no such a thing as a perfect job. Freelancing itself isn’t free from any downsides, but if you read the early section of this article (and for many freelancers themselves), the positive perks definitely outweigh the downsides. If you want to try a freelancer life, feel free to do so. But before you learn about how make money online as a freelancer, don’t forget about the right tools.


What You Want to Do?

Freelancing can be about anything. When you learn about how make money online as a freelancer, you need to specialize yourself in a field, and be truly good in it. What are you good at? Programming? Designing? Coding? Writing? Language translating? All of those things can be good options for your freelancing career. Some people with good knowledge and experience in law also provides legal consultation service as a freelancer. Some people with medical background and experience can also set up their own medical consultation or medical services for those who need it.

Basically, the options are endless when you are freelancing. You need to be creative – and be really good in looking for opportunities and options. The decision to set up your own business or to join a platform is also up to you. If you join a platform, you will be connected with potential clients. However, reputation (or rating) is typically important when you join a platform. You need good stars (or even all stars) from clients so your rating will stay good and positive. Bad review can affect that rating, and it may affect your performance and reputation. If you set up your own business, you may not have to worry about it. But starting out can be a challenge, for sure.


The Right Field for the Right Skills

how to make money online as a freelancer


The point about how make money online as a freelancer is basically about letting the world knows of your existence. You want to notify everyone that you have a business, there is a certain subject about the business, and the services you provide. So, what can freelancers do to tell the world about their special skills and expertise?

  • Be a mentor or a teacher. Good instructors are always needed. Adult education programs, business schools, or community colleges are some places that are always in need to professional and skilled people to give practical (and also first hand) instructions to e students. Some colleges or institutional organizations also have mentorship programs. If you think about setting your own business, you should be able to share your own expertise with beginner or starter freelance writer or graphic designer while at the same time trying to build reputation as the expert (within your field).
  • Create online course. If you dislike the idea of in-person teaching, use your experience and abilities to make your own online course. If you have your own website, you can provide free service. If you are joining platforms (such as Skillshare or Udemy), you can exchange your service for a certain fee. This way is quite effective to establish your own reputation as an expert. The plus side is that you can get extra revenues.
  • Start a business as a speaker or consultant. Are you super good in coding? Do you have special ability in designing websites? You have the precious info and insight that you can share with specific market and audience. Freelancers find out that speaking during conferences or events would be a great method to build themselves a reputation as the expert. It is also great to create the opportunity of networking, so they can still find new projects and offer their services. Being a consultant is also one of the best ways on how make money online as a freelancer.
  • Be a blogger. You are extremely familiar with the hot topics, trends, and challenges in the field of work, so why not writing and sharing your experience. This would be one of the best alternatives on how make money online as a freelancer, especially if you are into writing so much. If you are able to create interesting, engaging, and unique contents, you have built a good reputation and rapport of yourself. If you have your own website, it would make it even easier for your clients to find you. Showcase your ability and expertise by writing the complicated, difficult, and challenging projects that you have been involved in. You can also write contents about certain topics that are considered challenging or rare. If you understand about SEO, it’s even better! This is your time to increase your SEO rankings.


The Right Tools

What do you need to start freelancing?

  • Reliable internet connection. Not only you need to have high speed connection, but it should be reliable too. You may not work 100% online. But you will need the internet to communicate with and find potential clients. Investing in reliable, secure, and fast connection is a must. You need to make a budget for it.
  • Desktop or laptop. If you are freelancing lower tech activities (such as freelance writing or data entry), any (modern) device will do. You are able to use the tablets. Some people can even use their smartphones to do this, although it may not be highly effective. However, if the projects are more tech heavy (such as video editing or coding), you need to have a more sophisticated system so you won’t struggle with the higher demands.
  • Software or program. What kind of programs you need depend on your skills and also your preferences. For instance, if you are a (graphic) designer, you may need Procreate or Adobe Illustrator. If you are a translator, you may need the right apps to support your work.
  • Although you can always join platforms, having your own website can give you better freedom and flexibility. You can freely display your portfolio.


Besides all of those things, let’s not forget about the backend of the business. Let’s not forget that you need tools or software for managing clients, making sure that you get paid, improving productivity, and managing the overall projects. There are several popular picks:

  • Business management tool. Pick the one with all in one concept that can help you deal with projects management, send invoices, meetings schedules, client intake, and others. You will need assistance from such a tool.
  • Invoice generation. There are several tools that can help you produce and generate invoices. Some of them are free, while some may require you to pay.
  • Task manager. There are also tools that can help you manage the tasks, especially the ongoing ones. This kind of tool can help you manage everything, including sending out invoices, managing the tasks, scheduling clients, and others. Clients can also connect to you easily, and there is no limit to the interaction you can build with them.

In the end, freelancing gives you more freedom, but the question is whether you are ready or not with it. Now that you already know how make money online as a freelancer, you need to start at some point.

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