get started as a freelancer

How do you get started as a freelancer?

How do you get started as a freelancer?

From creating an account on Upwork to moonlighting, here are 8 answers to the question, "How did you get started as a freelancer?"

  • It Was An Intimidating Experience for Me as a Freelance
  • Like Many Life-changing Moments, It Was by Accident
  • Start as a Side Hustle
  • I Created An Account On Upwork
  • From Unfulfilled 9-5 to Living My Freelancing Dream
  • Moonlighting as a Freelancer
  • From Content Mill to Freelance Freedom
  • Freelancing Started in College

It Was An Intimidating Experience for Me as a Freelance

When I first started out as a freelancer, I had no idea what to expect. It was an intimidating experience for me, as someone who was used to the structure and stability of a full-time job. However, starting my own freelance business allowed me to take control of my career and start achieving my professional goals. The first step was to create a portfolio and market myself. I started by making an online portfolio showcasing my skills and services, as well as writing up an extensive list of the tasks I could offer potential clients.

Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO

Like Many Life-changing Moments, It Was by Accident

While taking a content marketing course at work, I had an "Aha!" moment when I realized people got paid to create the modules within the course. The phrase "content writing" kept popping up, so I started looking into it to see what it was all about and how people were making money as content creators. This led me to start looking for content writing gigs. Within two weeks, I had my first client. A few months later, I could fully my full-time income doing part-time writing. My business flourished quickly and it wasn't long before I had a solid portfolio. I didn't know things would take off so fast, but all of the pieces just fell into place. Now, seven years later, I've more than tripled my annual income, work fewer hours each week, and absolutely love what I do.

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

Start as a Side Hustle

I got started as a freelancer by picking up a freelance project on the side of my full-time job. Adding a freelance project as a side hustle helped me to know I was secure with my full-time income while I explored freelancing. Eventually, I added more freelance work and stepped away from my 9-5. If you are looking to find a freelance project on the side, you can look for freelancing gigs on Craigslist, Facebook, Upwork, Fiverr, etc. If you don't know what to do for freelancing, consider using the skills you use at your full-time job! For example, if you are in charge of social media and marketing for your 9-5, maybe you could help a brand with social media projects on the side.

Macy Westlund, Wellness Expert, Macy Michelle

I Created An Account On Upwork

Upwork is a great site to start out. They have an array of clients who are looking for newbies; people who are just starting out in freelancing. All you have to do is search "Newbie" on the job search tab after creating an account, and you will see a list of job posts in which clients are looking for beginners. Creating an account is easy because all you need to do is fill in the questions honestly. It's really hard to secure a job without a rating. This is why you need to search for newbie jobs because these clients will take a chance on you. They may have low rates, but all you need to do is complete about three jobs to get a good rating. And then you can start applying for higher-paying jobs.

Lydia Mwangi, Content Writer, Barbell Jobs

From Unfulfilled 9-5 to Living My Freelancing Dream

I've always been a creative person, but it wasn't until I found myself feeling unfulfilled in my 9-5 job that I realized I wanted to turn my passion into a career. So, I took the leap and started freelancing. It wasn't easy at first, but I knew that if I wanted to make it work, I had to be committed to building a strong foundation. I began by identifying my area of expertise, which in my case was writing, then I built a portfolio of my work, created a website to showcase my abilities, and started networking with other professionals in my field. I found clients through word of mouth and by offering my services on freelancing platforms. It took time and a lot of hard work, but with each project, I gained more confidence in my abilities and my business began to grow. Now, I'm living my dream as a full-time freelancer, and I couldn't be happier.

Sylwia Obuchowicz, Content Marketing Specialist, Natu.Care

Moonlighting as a Freelancer

I began my freelance career by taking on some freelance projects in the evenings in addition to my day job. Gradually, my freelance workload increased to the point where I had very little time between my job and freelancing to sleep or do much besides work. I needed to make a decision, and, despite being extremely nervous, I decided to quit my job and start freelancing full-time.

Larissa Pickens, Co-founder, Dapper Confidential

From Content Mill to Freelance Freedom

I always wanted to be a writer. Realizing my 9-5 was so toxic it was affecting my health, I found the motivation to try. My first gig was with a content mill. The goal? Sell that first piece. It paid barely enough for two pints of beer. Within several weeks I moved up to freelancer job sites like Fiverr and Upwork, building experience and a portfolio. I have always been an avid gardener, so I created a profile as a garden writer. Having a niche was an advantage for me as a newbie. It allowed me to focus, and it brought clients to me. It's hard to stand out from the crowd if your profile is just "SEO articles" or "helping brands increase sales." Two months later I had enough work that finishing it after working my 9-5 was challenging. I decided to quit my job, going freelance full time. Job site rates are typically low. Eventually, I left them. Now, I have a portfolio website, prospect for my own clients, set my rates as I see fit, and love my freelance career.

Andy Wilcox, Horticulture and Garden Writer, That Garden Writer Guy

Freelancing Started in College

Freelancing started when I had a college professor who was a freelance writer herself. She required us to publish an article in a print publication in order to pass the class. Brilliant! It was the most impactful class I took. She introduced us to "Profnet" queries and hooked us up with an editor accepting freelancer submissions. I actually got paid $50 for the sidebar that I wrote. Totally motivated, I found a few freelance markets while I was still in college to earn some extra spending money. I wrote for an old content sourcing firm, WriteforCash, followed by Constant Content. Someone tipped me off to buy the Writer's Market book of publications accepting freelancers. Since then, I've vastly grown to write for newspapers, magazines, websites, corporate clients, and literally thousands of blog posts (product descriptions, ebooks, newsletters, etc.). Now I focus on my own blog, All of this because I had a college professor who opened my world to the possibilities.

Kate Van Druff, Owner /Content Creator, Bunny's Garden LLC

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