What is freelance work? I am sure that you have heard of freelance photographers eagerly snapping photographs of movie and sports stars, and selling them at huge profits to gossip columns and entertainment magazines or websites. These photographers are not employed by any of these magazine or website owners. They work for themselves as freelancers, and decide when and where they would like to work and often sell their work to the highest bidder if a highly sought after photograph has been taken.
Taking and selling photographs is by no means the only freelance opportunities available to freelance workers. You can work as a freelancer in many different professions. You can work as a translator, design websites, create applications, optimize websites, write adverts, work as a virtual PA, write reviews, the list goes on and on. And similar to freelance photographers, you decide when you want to work, and how much work you would like to do. No more working office hours at the beck and call of your boss. You are your own boss.
It does sound wonderful, doesn't it? Well it is not as simple as it seems, but it could be. We all have knowledge of something, a particular area where we would consider ourselves to be an expert. Why not use this knowledge by working as a freelancer, and getting paid to share your knowledge. It is much easier than you think.
Where do you go to get work as a freelancer?
Searching on Google will get you millions of possible results for potential freelance work. Proceed carefully though, as there are many scams out there. Your best bet would be to start with a reputable freelance provider. Again you can use Google to search for information on a particular site, and often you can find comments from would be freelancers, supporting or exposing these sites.
There are primarily two types of freelancer sites. The first type asks you to pay a membership fee, either monthly, or a once of payment. For someone starting with very little available resources, and no reputation, this could be a difficult option. They do have their advantages though. They tend to attract the more serious freelancers and suppliers, simply because you have to pay to join. These sites may or may not charge commission on projects completed. On the down side you can get scammed out of your hard earned cash by sites promising thousands of jobs, but once you have paid to join, you find very few opportunities available. The once off payment sites will mostly fall into this category.
The second type of freelancer sites will cost you nothing to join, and they will take a percentage of the total value of the project. The percentage is generally higher than pay to join sites, and is normally around ten percent. The advantage of this type of site is that anyone can join, but this can be a disadvantage as well, as you will get more unreliable freelancers and suppliers. If this type of site is well managed, it can be a good opportunity for new freelancers.
Before you join any of these sites though, you have to ensure that you can receive payments made to you. Most sites will offer you the option of more than one payment method, but you have to ensure that you can receive payment in your country. As an example you can not receive payments using PayPal in all countries. The last thing you would want is to complete a project and then find that you can not get your money.
To start of as a freelancer, you will have to build a good reputation. This may require you to work at much lower rates in the beginning to be able to secure projects. Consider this as your learning curve. Many freelancers take years before they can get sufficient work to be able to earn a living wage. You have to get stuck in and be unrelenting, and then you will be successful.
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