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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Working as a freelancer

These days, everyone wishes they could have the freedom to work from home. And there are several companies that are hiring remote employees. You go through training, set up your computer and phone, and for the most part, deal with clients in the comfort of your home office. There are some requirements to meet in order for this to work. After all, you are working. You are being paid for your services. You can’t slack off. You can’t have background noises distracting you and those you are on the phone with. You have to be professional. But it comes with a level of flexibility. And freedoms. You save money on gas since you don’t have to drive to work. You save money on meals since you have your own kitchen to use. These are great reasons to want to work from home.  
Since I lost my job, I have been trying to get into working freelance. Editing, proofreading, offering suggestions and even writing. I've done this as a side job here and there for friends as well as for free for even closer friends and family. I take great pride in what I do. The author I have done the most work for lately, turned my eye to fiverr.com. You create a profile, list a gig, and make bids to work for others. This sounds great. In theory. In reality, it can be difficult. For starters, their website works with Firefox best. So don't try to use other platforms (learned the hard way). Secondly, most job requests I have seen are sellers asking for work rather than buyers asking for editors. So the system is clogged with that. Out of 90+ requests, only 3 are actual buyers. And the list of available editors is huge! Far more supply than demand. The next problem you face is the fees. Say I sell something for $5, I get $4. A job I do for $25, I get $20. So discouraging for the ones just starting out. Upwork, bought out from Elance, charges a 20% fee for everything you make.

Not worth it when your starting price is $5. Plus, in order to transfer your earnings to your bank account, PayPal, or a card they provide you have to pay another $1 fee. My wallet feels raped. Then for Upwork, you can go with the free version and have to use a credit system to "buy" jobs. Or you can purchase the upgraded account that allows you more credits so you can "buy" more bids.
There are benefits to websites like these. Even if you consider sacrificing the money you made on a couple transactions. You can build rapport with buyers. Then take your clients outside the website. I had my author friend "purchase" and complete an order for some things I edited for him through the website. This way, he could leave me reviews. Then I can use those reviews as references for other clients. Especially since this friend is International Best Seller, Mark Villareal. It gives me a boost towards what I want to do long term.  
Working from home is noble. And something to strive for. But it isn't as easy as people think. A lot more effort is required to make a living and truly make a name for yourself. You have to truly want it. Which is why I have decided to put more effort into creating a website that is user friendly. That other prospective clients will want to check out. And hopefully, I can start doing more of what I enjoy. At home.

2 comments:

  1. It is a tuff time we are living in. Maybe 1 day you can just be a stay at home wife?

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    Replies
    1. That is my ultimate goal. But having a home-based business would be nice too.

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