Does online freelancing really work? And how can you earn more from it?
posted 13 days ago
“Work from home and make $100 an hour!” If you’ve spent even just a little time on the internet, you’ve probably come across an ad or comment like that. The lure of online freelancing is obvious: no schedules, no rules, and definitely no office politics. You are your own boss, and you work only when you want to. But can you make a reasonable wage working online? And how can you maximize your earning potential? RELATED: Looking for a part-time job? Here are 9 part-time positions available for Filipinos There are more sites than ever that offer freelancing opportunities for almost any type of industry or job. One of our contributors, Darius Nease, even wrote of his experience in taking writing jobs from oDesk. It wasn’t pretty, and if you do a little research and take a look at some forums, you’ll often see that the most common complaint from freelancers is the meager pay they get from these jobs. Part of the reason for the lower pay is the sheer number of people who are trying to find jobs. Freelancer.com, one of the most popular online job marketplaces for Filipinos, added over 150,000 users in the past 12 months, according to Evan Tan, Regional Director for Southeast Asia. The increased supply of freelancers means that employers are able to price jobs lower and lower, knowing that someone somewhere will be willing to take on a job for close to nothing. Still, despite the stiff competition and predatory pricing by some users, there is still good money to be made online, if you know how to value and market yourself properly. Many freelancers are investing their money in bitcoin trading to earn profits from the comfort of their home. Thus they believe that they can double the money earned through freelancing. “Image is key when it comes to online freelancing – and this means, freelancers should really put in the time to complete their profiles. Treat it as a resume: upload a photo, write down in detail your experiences, and utilize the portfolio section. It’s not just for web and graphic designers. This gives employers a glimpse of your skills. If you’re a writer, you can upload a sample article that you wrote,” said Tan. There are even success stories, such as Anna Salas, a licensed architect who earns approximately 60% of her income from online work. (She’s earned over $21,000, or Php 900,000 since she started at Freelancer in 2011.) “When I had my first contract, I could not believe it,” said Sales. “It was a townhouse project. I was so happy then because it was the first time I received a project and have been paid on the site. After that, everything just came one after the other. Sometimes, I don’t even bid—they just offer the contract and all I need to do is to accept it. I also have regular online clients here. Most of them come from Australia, USA, and Canada.” For employers that value good quality work, the saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies, and for freelancers, that means knowing how much you value yourself through the rates you set. “You can reap the full benefits of freelancing if you treat it as a career,” said Tan of Freelancer.com. “Be smart about the projects you bid on. Build a good reputation with your employers.”