How to start freelancing and make money in 7 easy steps

Start Freelancing And Make Money In 7 Easy Steps

Start a freelance business and make money online, spend more time with their kids, and take control of their time and life. It's an absolute dream for many of us. If they could know how to make money freelancing, they could quit their 9 to 5 job and focus on their new freelance jobs.

The good news is that make money freelancing is not a dream. It's a simple, pure reality. Many make a living freelancing, such as web developers, graphic designers, writers, marketers, or any other remote work.

And according to Upwork stats, over 57 million Americans are freelancers? It's about 35% of U.S workers with an increase of 4 million freelancers since 2014.

Freelancing_in-america-2019Image source:

All around the world, large and small enterprises have increased the use of freelancers considerably. No medical insurance, lower payroll expenses, less office space, and fewer taxes; these are some of the factors that many companies seek to help their businesses grow through freelancers.

And this gives people with useful skills a tremendous opportunity to start a freelance business, and gradually to develop into a successful independent career.

Fortunately for freelancers, there are many great freelance websites out there today that meet this growing demand.

So if you've decided to become a freelancer, whether it's your goal, to make some money on the side, or make freelancing a full-time job, you'll have to equip yourself with plenty of patience, expertise, and ambition to learn. And before deciding to start your freelancing career, ask yourself some questions:

  • What are you doing well?
  • What you're doing better than anyone else?
  • In what areas are you excelling?
  • Can companies or people use your skills?

So, here is a step-by-step guide to answering your questions on how to start freelancing. Let's get started.

What Is Freelancing?

What is freelancing

Freelancing is when the person can use his expertise and experience to provide services to a variety of clients, instead of being employed in a company. In other words, freelancing is when a person uses his skills to work with multiple clients and take on specific assignments without being committed to an employer.

You can offer your freelance services on the internet without requiring your presence at the company or client's office.

Often these services are offered to companies, despite the rise of freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and others. The freelancers can also sell their services directly to clients, without the support of third parties, who also take a part of the pay.

But it doesn't mean that you're always going to work from home. Depending on the nature of work and the requirements of the client, You may also need to work at the office.

How much can a freelancer earn?

How much Freelancers can earn

The freelancers may provide nearly every type of service needed by most industries. Some freelancers concentrate in general industries, such as project management, marketing, and virtual Assistant. In contrast, others try to focus on a specific sector, such as real estate assistants and other specialized skills such as Google Adword experts.

Freelance's income varies according to the skills, experience, and the industry or niche that you're targeting. In these various opportunities, you can found some industries more popular or more profitable than others.

To learn more about freelancer's average salaries, hourly rates, and skills. Payoneer conducted a global survey of 7,000 freelancers from over 150 countries. No universal thumb rule or guide to follow, a quick look at any freelance marketplace reveals that any skillset anywhere can be priced from $1 / hour to $100 / hour. The rate may rely on professional experience, education, geographic area, and demand for a particular sector.

Younger generations, such as Gen-Zers and Millennials, comprise a vast majority of the world's freelance workforce today. 82% of workers in Southeast Asia are under the age of 35, compared to just 47% in North America. We found, on the other hand, that freelancers over 55 earn more than twice as much as their younger peers do.

Here's a CNBC post that shows us the highest-paid freelance jobs that - according to Upwork - will be in high demand in 2020. The annual income is based on a workweek of 40 hours, 50 weeks a year.

Should I be a freelancer?

The stronger economy provides more optionality and opportunity, and as a result, more people are seeing freelancing as a long-term choice, and fewer are doing it on a temporary basis.Adam Ozimek - UPWORK'S CHIEF ECONOMIST

If you ask, should you become a freelancer or not, my answer is YES absolutely, YES. Despite the few cons, the pros - and this quote of Adam Ozimek - go to convince you to start your freelance career, I'm sure.

Here are some of the things I like about being a freelancer:

  • Job possibilities remain. There are dozens of new job posts, added every hour to whichever freelance platform you use. There are several opportunities, choose ones for which you want to be recruited.
  • If you already have the skills and abilities to get to the job, it is affordable to launch your career.
  • Often flexible, freelancing allows you to control your schedule, work part-time, or during off-business hours, you have full control of your time. Whenever you want, you work as you want and as much as you want.
  • You have incredible opportunities to gain experience and make the best of your peak productivity. Working with various clients in diverse projects allows you to amass expertise and develop skills.
  • It will enable greater work independence, you decide with whom you work. You can always find another if things don't work out with a client.

Few downsides that you should not overlook:

  • Work may be irregular and therefore, the income also, and the pay is often low for new freelancers.
  • A full-time income can take time.
  • It would help if you had an excellent organization to handle many clients and projects.

How To Start Freelancing And Make Money In 7 Easy Steps

For a large number of workers, freelancing has become a lifestyle. The freelance market is growing daily, and technological advances make it much easier to acquire freelance jobs and to find new opportunities.

So if you wish to be successful and have an honest career as a freelancer, you always need to plan yourself accordingly.

To get started, follow these 7 steps.

Step 1: Decide Whether Freelancing Is Right For You

Freelancing has its upsides and downsides, as you have already read in the previous lines. But in general, you must have a particular mindset to be a freelancer. Without clearly defined, easily measurable objectives, you'll have a tough time to reach the goals you want to achieve.

Take the time to understand why you intend first of all to start a freelance business, and what career you choose. Want to you become a freelance writer or a freelance designer, or maybe freelance developer. Be sure about your choice. This decision is the best option in your progress towards accomplishing your objectives.

Being your own boss and setting your own schedule is a great thing. Still, it would be best if you were disciplined, reliable, maintain a daily work routine, and be prepared to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and continuously look for new projects so you can maintain a steady flow of work.

If you still have a full-time job, don't quit it immediately. Instead, try to combine freelancing and your full-time job until you have enough clients and contacts to support yourself as a freelancer.

Comfortable work, steady workflow, and safe income make a better environment for your freelance business development.

Step 2: Find a profitable niche.

The niche choice is one of the biggest obstacles that many people face and stops them before they even start.

For some, they have a variety of skills, which makes it difficult for them to choose the good ones, or they don't know how positioned their existing knowledge sets in a way that appeals to clients.

There's generally no best or worst niche to choose from, just how to manage your skills and figure out where you're the best.

You can choose more than one specialty but aim at only one or two to avoid going to extremes. Your future clients want someone who's an expert, so the more you try to do more things, the less a professional you'll be.

Here are three steps to help you reduce the choices of your niches:

1. Find out What You're Doing Right

It seems easy, but sometimes it's hard for us to have a better perspective of ourselves. There are many ways to use, to see the strengths and weaknesses of your technical skills.

If you already have the experience, think about the projects you've worked on, either as a freelancer or otherwise, and find times when you received genuinely good feedback. Among these top projects, is there a theme? This theme, you can call it a niche.

But, if you're new to the world of freelancing or are moving into a new industry and don't have previous projects to use as a reference. Try using Jobscan, is a resume screener that can help to guide you. Resume screeners point out your top skills and can even suggest other positions that you're good at, which will help you narrow down your niche.

2. Find Your Passion in Life.

As a freelancer, one of the great benefits is having control over the work you do. Take the idea out of your mind that you don't enjoy the job you do because you can and should love your work as a freelancer.

Think of the projects in the past, which made you feel confident and happy. Is it a client that made you love the project, or maybe the whole project? And don't be surprised if what you are good at, and what you like to do overlap, it's another reason to make that your niche.

3. Consider Profitable Revenue Streams.

You represent your brand when you are a freelancer, what often means, you really have to think like a business owner. So, you need to find the most attractive revenue opportunities that take up the least amount of time while narrowing down your niches. After, make sure that your professional web site lists clearly those revenue sources.

If you have more than one passion, try to focus on types of projects you enjoy working on, that you're good at, and the simple, consistent services that take very little of your time and account for the large percentage of your monthly revenue.

Finding your niche as a freelancer is about becoming more competitive within the industry you love and good at. Once you find your niche and start marketing yourself as an expert, I guarantee that you can begin to pull more income than before.

Step 3: Identify Your Target Clients

Targeting the right types of clients for your Freelance business is as important as finding a profitable niche.

So, when you pick your niche, think about the type of clients with which you wanted to work. Maybe, you're working with certain types of entrepreneurs (start-ups founder, online business owners, or women entrepreneurs). Or perhaps, you are a part of a particular industry like health, finance, or e-commerce.

Make initial assumptions about who you want to work with, target them first, work with a few of them, which allows you to develop a distinct idea and whether you wish to continue working with similar clients or not. You can always pick other clients if you know they are not your ideal choice. You have the right not only to decide yourself but also to change your views, and this is the beauty of running your freelance business.

As you have just started your business, it is best to take a slightly more in-depth approach to draw a few clients.

However, you'll get much better results over the long-term by only working with targeted customers, which is an extremely challenging decision, as it means passing a lot of business off. But once you have a few clients ready to defend you, the momentum will catch up.

Keep always focusing on the quality, not price, especially if your free time is minimal. All you need is to point to your ability to provide your clients with the highest quality results, establish your authority, and be considered as a resource of a specific type of service.

By appealing so well to a micro-niche, your targeted clients will be able to determine very quickly that you are the right person to assist with their projects, and because your portfolio work applies directly to what they do.

Step 4: Build your freelance portfolio

In the first place, let's understand what the aim is to have a portfolio website. It is often the first impression a potential client would have of you, your style, your activities, and the past customers (or businesses) with whom you worked in your freelancing business.

So, if you want your potential clients to take you seriously, you have to communicate adequately the services that you can provide, and for whom they are. Further than that, you need to sell yourself as the best person for this type of job for your targeted clients. Make sure you provide a portfolio that will demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

But if you are a beginner and you don't have a lot of work experience to confirm you know your stuff. A good portfolio will help you out, and my suggested solution is either to take time to make a sample one or merely to accept several jobs at a discount price in return for experience.

In order to sell your services efficiently, your portfolio needs to communicate the following:

  • Your experience and examples of your work.
  • Your skills, education, and accomplishments in this field.
  • Your contact details and your personality.
  • Testimonials, even though they come from colleagues or former bosses.

One of the best ways to show you are the best in what you do is by the regular release of new content, images, or videos - depending on your type of content.

Once you understand what your clients need, go out to create examples of this precise type of content on your website as if you had been hired to do so.

You can't sell your services much better than if you persuade your clients that you can create whatever they need. What's even more, when you have a library of related work, it can make their projects that much more straightforward.

Your portfolio aims to educate, attract attention, and encourage potential clients to choose you based on their technical needs. That's why it's worth investing time to decide whatever to display on your portfolio and how it's going to be displayed before you start searching for new projects.

If you are a web designer, your portfolio website must be very carefully designed, as everything about it's a reflection of what you will create for your clients. If you're a writer, so your articles need to speak about the quality of the work that you're going to make for every client you get. The same goes for designers - ensure that the images you feature on your website demonstrate the style you want to create for your target clients.

Step 5: Determine your price as a freelancer

Bonsai Freelance Rates Explorer

Your hourly rate or project price depends heavily on your set of skills and your experience. The more skillful and expert you are, the better you will be rewarded. Don't underestimate what you're doing for your clients, and don't charge far above your value too.
And don't let someone else decide the terms that define your worth. I already notified how this devaluates the freelancers as well as the quality of his work. And it's not like this that you start a freelance business.
Of course, if you have just a few years' experiences, you can't charge the same rate as freelancers with 6 or 10 years of work under their belts. However, if you decide to take freelancing as your full-time job, the price should meet your monthly expenses, no matter how experienced you might be.
Start evaluating your pricing strategy with a very different progression in mind, to afford the lifestyle you want to stay on. A tool like Bonsai freelance rate explorer can help you to determine what your average hourly rate will be for your industry, to see if your prices can suit your revenue purposes and your expenditure level.
Keep in mind that you must price yourself based on the value you offer, not what your competitors charge.
There's no such thing as too high prices. Your prices may be too high or too low depending on the kinds of clients you're targeting, but if you do your job in determining who to sell your services to, you're going to sell what exactly your clients need at an affordable price.
It's just a matter of persuading them you are the best person to assist in their projects. If you are already confident that you are the right person for this work and if you convinced them that you are the expert they need. Price becomes a side matter.

Step 6: Find freelance work.

How to find a job as a freelancer? This is the most frequently asked question and the one which most people do completely wrong when they begin.

The majority of freelancers use popular freelance websites to seek jobs. Since there's always an available job, and they allow you to connect effortlessly with clients looking for freelancers.

Also, most of these platforms have policies and offer protection for both clients and freelancers. Any project you take on freelance platforms is a mini contract, so you and the client may conform to its terms and conditions.

In contrast, other freelancers avoid these freelance online marketplaces because the fees are generally 5% to 20% of your earnings, which can add up by the end of the month. In that case, if you have the same view, try to use social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Viadeo or The-dots, to find work where could also be a good source of gigs. However, be aware that there is no contract with these gigs, no guarantee that someone will pay for your work.

Or start in ultra-local.

You can ask your family, your colleagues, your school relations, your former employers, or your coworkers if they know someone who needs your services. Make direct connections with local community members, and learn about their business needs.

Your main goal is to acquire experience. Money is a secondary concern for your long-term freelance business - although that may be a pressing necessity.

More practice and experience will bring more profit. You must put yourself in work to accomplish this objective.

Before all that, you need to know who your perfect clients are. It may not be possible to get them immediately, but you need to have a clear idea about who you are trying to target. And you must only apply to the jobs you can do. It makes no sense applying for a project that you are not able to complete with successful results in due time. As a freelancer, it's of the high importance to receive positive feedback and building your reputation, especially at your beginnings.

Plus, freelancing platforms reward top-rated freelancers with badges, lower fees, and access to specially tailored job offers, so making your best interest to ensure your clients are satisfied.

Step 7: Choose the best freelancing websites for you

Obviously, for your success, you must choose the platform with the model that meets your needs and your salary aspirations. There are plenty of freelance platforms you can use to find the right deals. But also other platforms where you find freelancers that provide poor service in return for inadequate remuneration - clients can't find high-quality work, and freelancers don't earn enough, and absolutely that doesn't encourage anyone.

Some freelance jobs websites such as or 99designs base their business strategy on accepting only top freelancers, and connecting them to clients on particular needs. So becoming a member of such an exclusive platform helps to join and get paid for high-quality work with serious clients.

Develop a freelance career takes time, but it doesn't mean that you can't get going now and dive deep in. So I've prepared a small list of freelance job sites that you can get started on immediately.

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Toptal
  • Simply Hired
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Aquent
  • 99Designs
  • Writer Access
  • Designhill
  • Freelancer
  • Guru


So my last advice you need to open the doors to your new career as a freelancer, new lifestyle, and your financial independence.

There is not only one answer, no single solution, no unique way. It's your own game! And understanding how to play it, and enjoy it, is what will guarantee your success.

Don't forget that building up a successful freelance business is about playing a long term game. Every client you're working with, and every project you're working on will be another step to building your freelance career. Defining your ideal clients, and then preparing how to market your skills and build your brand to attract them and gain their trust.

Be patient. Stay focused and committed to offering the clients the best effort in every project. Be consistent about being professional, and it will bring results.

Freelancing is something you'll have to desire and be ready to work for hard. It's a big choice requiring equally massive commitment. Those who prepare well will rise above the gig-worker masses to build a genuinely dependable, stable career. And lifestyle and sense of independence are the results of that, and it's unrivaled in every other work in the world.

Feel free to drop me a line or ask any questions in the comments below!