A freelancer hard at work

So, remember that time I did a guide telling you how to get started freelancing? (link here)

Well, that was like 4 months ago. Since then, I’ve actually gotten started. I made an account on Fiverr and Upwork and proceeded to get zero clients. That is, until one day a lovely gentleman from Bangladesh offered me a low-paying job, churning out content for one of his sites. Being poor and bored, I accepted. That initial job made me something like $15 and took three days. In hindsight, it wasn’t even remotely worth it.

However, after doing a few more articles for him, he offered to let me join him as an equal partner in those sites, as well as a few others which are yet to be made. I’d write the content, he’d handle all the website stuff. Seemed fair to me. So far, those sites have made no money whatsoever. In fact, he’s short several hundred dollars of his own money buying the tools he needed to get started.

Yet, after working with him, he recommended me to his boss when they required work doing on a site. So, through this random guy in Bangladesh, I ended up doing work for a company in Australia. I’m not going to pretend it was all fun and games, the pay was still nothing worth mentioning, and that client never gave me any guidance when they told me to write an article. I wasn’t even given a word count.

Current money made:

$122.63

That’s right. I’ve made one-hundred-and-twenty-two dollars and sixty-three cents from freelance writing, in four months. From a monetary standpoint, I could’ve made far more just working a terrible retail job for a week or two.

Then again, I could’ve made a lot more money in that time if I’d worked faster. The issue is that I’m a busy college student and don’t really have time to spend hours churning out content for the content-mill for way less than minimum wage. I could’ve also taken on other clients. I received a fair few bad offers on Upwork for more content-mill garbage, which I don’t like doing. But it would’ve easily filled my downtime and made me a lot more money.

What worked?

So, how did I make my fat stacks? It was all through one guy I met on Upwork, which just goes to show that networking is key. If you plan on getting started doing freelance copywriting like me, speak to a few local businesses and see if they want their website copy done on the cheap. Upwork is also a good place to start networking. But Fiverr is almost a complete waste of time unless you get very lucky, or can completely automate your gig.

A friend of mine had a lot of success with a fully automated gig on Fiverr, making him upwards of £100 a week. He was selling Facebook likes. He’s now making a bit of side-cash through crappy spammy websites he’s advertising through Instagram.

What’s next?

A couple of friends and I have started a cheap and stupid web design gig. We’ve even got a website and everything. The plan is to create a bunch of webpage templates and sell them dirt cheap to local businesses, just reworking the text, colours, and pictures. In theory, this should be easy work. We’ve started a Fiverr gig for it in hopes of getting some quick experience and money so we can build the foundations of a more profitable business.

In reality, this is just a good excuse to learn HTML, CSS, and JS. I reckon it’s working. Hopefully, it’ll make us all a bit of real money, but even if it doesn’t; it’s good fun.

In terms of the freelance writing, I’ll probably keep it up until my friend in Bangladesh decides to fire me from his projects for being slow. College takes its toll, so don’t expect to be making a fortune in your free time. It’s just a good way to make a bit of beer money.

Summary

In short, if you’re going to freelance, make some friends. Upwork is a pretty decent way to get started and get yourself out there, but the best way is to just go and get some business cards printed and speak to local business owners. If you can, get a portfolio going. Create a site like this one. Or, if you’d like, we take guest posts. Just drop a comment below with your email in and I’ll personally get in contact.

Regardless, freelancing is feast or famine. It’s not sustainable as a full-time income in the early days, but if you just want a bit of cash for videogames and beer, then it’s a great choice.

Leave a Comment