In today’s economy, the trend of hiring freelancers to support a business is getting common. Big names and big corporations are now turning towards freelancers to save costs and time. Just think, they don’t need to pay a monthly salary, let alone work-related insurance. They don’t have to make space in the office for you and don’t even need to purchase hardware like a laptop for you to do your work.

Some of you might already aware that I am a freelancer on top of writing for MiddleMe. Being so used to work, live and breathe the corporate world, freelancing get some time to get used to but it has been and still is an exhilarating and eye-opening ride. Definitely no regrets.

Today, I’ll like to share my side of being a freelancer. A role that is pretty new to me and the vast differences as well as similarities from working in a business world.

As I like to delve into the articles and to make it easy reading, this is the first part of the freelancer 3 series.

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Job
There are plenty of different kinds of freelance job offers. From online work to physical work. For me, I’m an advertorial writer, a ghost writer, researcher, customer service, virtual assistant, consultant, translator and social media management. Since my previous work experience allows me to have vast dabble in these areas, I don’t mind having to wear many hats to cast my net wider and drawn in more fishes in the ocean.

You need to know what is your unique selling point. Being a freelancer, you have to go out as a salesman and sell yourself. Be able to differentiate yourself from the thousands who advertise having the same ability as you. What can you bring to the table that others can’t? Why does a client want to pay a higher price for you when he can get someone else much cheaper?

Be prepared to do menial work because that is what you are hired for. Most companies won’t hire a thinker or a manager they couldn’t see on a day to day basis but they are willing to hire people to do the work that no one does like copying and pasting large data off the internet and onto an excel sheet.

So what does this mean for me:Β 
I actually learn more even when I’m doing menial work. I learn about the different industries that I work with and at times, I work alongside small start-up entrepreneurs which give me a lot of inspiration and insight into their minds.

The Other Side:
Some work can be repetitive and bored you out of your wits.

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Money
It’s all about the money, money and Money. Right? Not quite true. Unless you are a world famous programmer that charges thousands by the hour or you are an expert bond trader, you don’t earn much as a freelancer. Well, not as much as a full-time job.

The thing is that companies are looking to cut their costs and some of the recruiters out there, just search for the lowest costing manpower. With people who charges USD1 per 1000 words, it’s almost nearly impossible to compete for their price versus your value. However, as you grew your reputation and your reliability, your income will naturally flow in. Once you build a steady repertoire, you can charge higher as your value is being recognized and appreciated.

Well, you would think that you’ll have an abundance of time. Not exactly true. If you are organized and planned your time well, you might have some time for yourself but as a freelancer, your time belongs your clients. With business equates to money, won’t you want to schedule them in, even it is a project out of your planning?

So what does this mean for me:
Time in exchange for a little amount of money. Sometimes, you do question yourself on whether it is worth your time over such little money. Income is not a regularity and dependable on market demands.

The Other Side:
You actually save a lot of money. There is almost cost free and full profit from freelancing with the exception of your laptop, your time and perhaps a conducive working space. But I don’t have to spend a dime on clothes and transportation. Eating at home also means I save some cash.

If you like what you are reading or you are thinking of being a freelancer, please do watch out for part two of this freelancer series.

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99 replies on “I am a Freelancer

  1. I signed up for upwork and frelancer.com and they have seemingly possible jobs but they tell you to bid high and I tried for a few weeks and will start again on upwork as I preferred their site.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Was it that you found somewhere better or that their jobs do not seem like jobs? That is what I figured. Plus the whole 60 credits and it was explained that it is 1 credit free for each month and I routinely lost 2 and applied for over a month.

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      1. Which one is better? It seems freelancer is a pay site and upwork is a tease at being free but they tease you to pay for work. IDK if I am wrong about that or not. How often do you bid and how often do you get work? Is there another site that helps also?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Both are pretty alright to me. I don’t usually bid a lot since out of 5 jobs I bid, I get 3 offers for interviews within the same week. I often have clients approached me directly for work through both platforms. Hence, I only bid when I have free time to work. I never used up my free connects. I’m also on Fiverr.com which is great for one off jobs.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. OK as far as the free credits they are for each month? When you say have them directly contact you directly you mean go around the company and with a bid put in your contact information indirectly, to cut out the middleman I figure?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Nope, they still contact me using the platform but I don’t need to bid for the job and sometimes I don’t even need to interview for the job. The free credits are for each month. I guess I may have to write a post about this. Hahaha!!

            Liked by 2 people

          3. That’s what I figured. But in that instance they are coming to you without approaching them. I am bad at taking tests, being out of school a while and see more than one way to answer things, which hurts me. So, they approach you based on your profile?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I’m working on coming out articles to help people who wants to freelance like yourself. Not an expert here but so far, I’ve been doing it for 6 months now. Keep a lookout for it.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice one, Kally!
    Apart from freelancing, companies are also more focusing on contract based jobs. I can give example of my company where this concept was introduced few years ago. And it seemed to click. We give new employees about 3 months time and if they are what we need, then they also become permanent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post! I really like this topic. I’m not a freelancer, (I’m a teacher), but, I have a dream to be a freelancer. I dunno what should I offer to the companies. πŸ˜€ Would you like to share some trusted sites those offering about online job?! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, Kally. You are sooo helpful. I will save those three sites. I can work hard and have accumulated good skill sets (10 years teaching college English, 10 years technical writing), but feel clueless about the “go out and sell yourself” part (which I suppose is a sticking point for many). Gary

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I sometimes think it is hard for freelancers – we call them independent contractors – and sometimes I know it is win-win for folks, but feel workers are left short handed for their expertise – and side note – You know I like (love) your articles, but sometimes the grammar bugs me a little – not too bad, but thought you would want to know –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ouch, you broke my heart..! Just kidding, I’m always looking ways to improve, that is how everyone grows by learning, improving and accepting different and difficult challenges. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very revealing kally..
    I have being wanting to know more about the ghost writing stuff, freelance and ability to work with small and growing outfits without getting frustrated..
    Money is a big issue when you have decided to do your own thing but you hit the nail on the head properly, I guess I have new insights on this things I really love doing.
    Thanks for sharing with us an amazing punch for someone with the gift of doing fine expository essays πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I tried to do some freelancing before using fiverr & upwork but j haven’t sold myself well! No one contacted me πŸ˜” it’s not as easy as it seems! I would love to read more on how you get jobs and such! ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. There are all sorts of freelancing lifestyles. I’ve freelanced most of my working-life. I like the freedom, but have to do masses of driving to get to my clients. No job security and no benefits, plus all taxes and insurance out of your own pocket, not the company’s. Also, even if you’re great, you’re not guaranteed 12 months’ work, it’s more like about 9 when you take out the downtime and country holidays, and you have to live all year on it. So money-wise it can get tough. BUT I was on an in-house contract for 4 years, and the corporate world is too too boring for words πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. This was really helpful. I’m planning to leave a career for grad schools and a second career. I’ve been considering freelancing in my field to help maintain some level of income. This provided a good perspective. Thank you, Kally. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great article. I’ve been on the fence regarding freelancing for a while. I’ve considered writing for content mills, but have read both good and bad reviews for them. Breaking into freelancing seems like such a long shot, especially when you’re just starting out. It really feels like your submitting to a vast slush pile. It also helps when you have a specialty to offer. Looking forward to this series. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey Kally, this really hit home for me as I’ve fairly recently started working as a freelance copy writer fron home. Sometimes I question the time it takes versus the amount of money I receive but I do enjoy the flexibility it gives me. What I really miss is the social contact and getting out of the house to a business environment. Look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks Kally! I just applied for my first freelance job. I have a sub topic for you and perhaps, you can open it up to the floor. How much freelance work do you do in a day? Example: Do you write several 250 word ads/blogs per day? Or, perhaps, just a few larger blogs/week? I am interested in the quantity of work you began your career with as well as fellow freelancers.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve been freelance translator and medical writer for 30 years. I’d say, it’s not easy and the workload is very unpredictable. It’s tough to be a freelancer. I’m doing more of the art stuff recently. It was a nightmare sometimes since deadlines are tight and it could be as many as 15-20 pages of really complex medical stuff for medical professionals a day. You are in a difficult business, too. We also sometimes cannot predict whether the payment will arrive as promised or not. Sometimes companies go out of business before they pay. IT’s not an easy thing to do, although, I am am extremely disciplined. This comes at a cost, as well. I damaged my eyesight badly because of 14, sometimes 16 hours a day at computer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, life as a freelancer is not easy. Especially for you, medical writer. Just the terms alone drives me crazy. I try to avoid doing anything that technical.

      Would like to tell your side of the story through collaboration? Why not, drop me an email at Kally@MiddleMe.net and we’ll discuss the possibility? πŸ™‚

      Like

    1. Thanks so much for your compliments!! And welcome to MiddleMe!! Freelancers have a lot of things going on for us and against us, it’s how we manage them and stay positive.

      Like

  13. I have enjoyed this read and will definitely be reading part 2 of this article. I have been wanting to be a freelancer, I mean I already took the steps, but it is hard and takes a lot of time and patience for the most part. I had to literally sell myself and learn the ropes. I still have issues with throwing out good pitches on paper, but that is something that will take trial and error to perfect. I find looking for work to be a bit tedious as well because I have to apply for so many jobs in case I get rejected from one. I am hoping I can soon make income from freelance work. At the moment I am working for an editor who was a former editor of a magazine and even though it is voluntary now, he said down the road he will be interested in paying his writers, so I do it because he promotes me on social media :)I think that is cool. Anyways, it is good that I found a fellow blogger who freelances as well.
    Btw, I have heard there is a difference between freelance writer and freelancer blogger, is this true?

    Shay-lon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shay-lon, yes there’s a difference between a freelance blogger and a freelance writer. A blogger as the name implies only writes in a blog and usually from a personal point of view however, a writer can write for a lot of different media like magazine, commercials, website, books etc. In addition, a writer needs to write from different angles and style. I do hope you have a smooth journey as a freelancer and do enjoy growing in time πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. As a freelance chef and food writer, I’d like to add…..
    To me, freelancing first and foremost is about freedom. In my case with a growing daughter, I no longer wished to work every weekend. But in choosing this path it meant turning down lots of work if it involved Saturdays and Sundays. Yes, you lose the security of a regular wage but there are other benefits that are sometimes hard to see at the beginning of the journey. Sometimes, being a chef in one fixed place no matter how feted keeps a chef’s focus very narrow. No time to travel and find new ingredients, very little time to see what your peers on the other side of the world are doing, just working long days to keep hold of your hard-won achievements. But eventually, the body gives out or a change of ownership makes you realise that not being freelance is full of uncertainties too. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your post was very encouraging. This was my first year poking around the internet for freelance jobs. I knew I wasn’t going to be making my old income, but was frustrated with how little I was getting paid for big projects. I’m now asking for more money, not an unreasonable amount, but have scared off clients in doing so. Any suggestions on how much is too much to charge/ask for? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dani!! Thank you for dropping by MiddleMe and telling me how much you like my article. Payment negotiations with clients are like a tango dance, you give in some and they give in some. My advice to you is to look around how much others are charging for the same amount of work that you do and ask yourself do you have a unique selling point that is not available in the market. Potentially, you can charge 10% higher for each unique selling point you have that others don’t but don’t just apply this across all your clients because you may encounter clients who might have different things to barter with you not in monetary sense but in exposure or experience, that I believe is much more valuable than money.

      Liked by 1 person

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