I am writing this article to share my freelance journey and how I got into freelancing.
My Freelancing Journey
I graduated in 2019 from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. I knew the job market for Agricultural Economist is not exactly booming, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to graduate school or not.
After graduating from university, I attended an agricultural studies internship in Israel and stayed there for a year. When I returned to my home country, I began to consider freelance work as a career choice.
I knew I had a love of writing, but no formal training in journalism, so becoming a writer was out of the question. Or so I thought. With no direction in life and more than $5,000 in debt from earning my degree, I decided to take a leap of faith and become a freelance writer.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “freelance” means working for multiple clients on a project-by-project basis, rather than as an employee of an organization. Projects can be small or large, and freelancers may work out of their homes or travel to client sites. Some freelancers do this full-time, while others do it part-time to supplement their income.
I’m a full-time freelance writer, copywriter, editor and content strategist. I’ve been in the industry for over one year, and what I love most about it is that there’s always something to learn. Researching and writing about new topics is my favourite part of the job, and I also enjoy getting to know clients’ brands and helping them build their businesses.
At first, it was challenging to find freelance jobs because I didn’t know where to search for them. Then I used some freelancing websites but they were not very helpful at first because there were so many scams and fake jobs on them. So now I use only Upwork. The platform is more reliable than other freelancing sites.
[Read 5 Common Freelancing Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them]
My First Client
My first client was an online retailer that wanted me to write product descriptions for their website. I charged them $75 per product description, which took me roughly 10 minutes each to write. So I made $7.50 per hour, which isn’t great money, but it was decent for a beginner with no experience.
My second client was an SEO agency that needed writers for their clients’ blogs. They paid 1 cent per word (about $10 per 1000 words) and expected articles in three days or less. This was not very good money either, but it was better than the retailer gig.
I have been a freelancer for about a year. I have worked for more than 10 clients and made about $14,000 in that time. The work has ranged from simple tasks to quite complex projects, but no matter what the scope of the project is, I’ve learned that there are a few basic principles that make a project go smoothly.
This article is intended to help you improve your chances of getting good feedback (and being paid what you’re worth) when you bid on a freelance project.
My Freelance Advice
#1 ADVICE: As a freelancer, your life is in your hands, and although that may sound overwhelming, it’s also incredibly liberating. People who are new to freelancing are often scared to take the plunge because they’re worried about finding clients, but that’s not something you need to worry about if you have a plan.
#2 ADVICE: One of the things I have learned about working as a freelancer is that you need to practice a lot of self-discipline. Freelance work is a business, and there are many tasks that you will need to perform on a regular basis to keep your business running smoothly.
#3 ADVICE: One way to help increase your focus and productivity is by having a schedule. The key to having an effective schedule is to have it be flexible enough so that you can adapt and change with the needs of your freelance business.
One way to accomplish this is by using what is known as the Pomodoro Technique. This technique uses the concept of timeboxing, which means that you set aside specific periods of time for specific activities. For example, if you want to write an article, then you might set aside two hours every morning for writing articles. You could also use this technique for other things like creating content or researching information for your clients.
I have noticed a trend: those who are really successful freelancers have gained this status by making sure that their skills never stop growing. Skills that can make you stand out when you apply for jobs. This means that even if you are at a point where you are making a comfortable income from your freelance work then it is probably worth investing in some new training and skills so that as time goes on, you will still be able to compete with designers who may be newer to the freelance world.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.