Earning money online looks easy. But, in reality, it takes a lot of hard work and skill to make a profitable income working from home.
I learned this the hard way. When I quit my job to become a full-time freelancer, I had no idea how hard it was to get a client and how competitive it is to land a job on freelance platforms like UpWork.
I struggled for almost four years earning barely enough money to pay the bills. Then, things started to turn around when I managed to land the first high-paying gig that paid $500.
Today, I’m earning 10 times that amount as a full-time freelance writer. And more importantly, I love and enjoy my work.
How did I get here? Well, I had to learn a lot of great lessons by making a lot of mistakes. I’ve explained them all with the secrets to my success in my book Freelance Like A Pro.
If you want a brief version of the story, here’s what’s happened.
Before Financial Freedom
Before I get to the story of that first $500, let me explain what I went through to get there.
In the beginning, I had no clue how to do freelance work online. So, like most other beginners, I went ahead and signed up for every freelancing site I can find online and started applying for all kinds of jobs.
Back then, there weren’t a ton of freelance marketplaces out there. But I landed a few clients and made some money, but it was never a stable income.
Some months I never made any money at all and I was terrified and always doubting myself if I made the right decision to become a freelancer.
I was expecting to work a couple of hours a day and work while traveling the world or relaxing on a beach. This was quite the opposite. In fact, I was starting to think about going back to a day job.
Earning My First $500
Despite the harsh times, I never gave up. After several months of struggling, I saw an announcement for a new freelancing platform called Envato Studio (this site shut down in 2022). I took a chance on this new site and signed up for a profile.
I was among the first handful of freelancers in the copywriting section of this new site. This gave me an edge over the competition because I had a killer portfolio from my previous jobs and plenty of published articles to prove my skills. Before long, a client offered me a project through this site which paid $500.
Now I know $500 may not seem like much but at the time it was a lot to me. This $500 gig opened the doors to more high-paying jobs. I started getting more clients than I could handle.
From $500 To $5K A Month In 1 Year
As the demand for my services got higher, I decided to increase the prices for my services until I had only a few clients who offered higher rates.
Within a year after making that first $500, I was earning nearly $5,000 a month. All from doing freelance writing work online. I was finally living the dream.
I was writing blog posts, big eBooks, website copy, and all kinds of work. It was exciting and fun at the same time.
The best part was, I no longer had to look for clients week after week. I was working with several clients under long-term contracts. As a result, I finally had a stable income.
I also managed to work with several millionaire entrepreneurs and popular startups and learned a lot about how they do content marketing online. All while doing the work that I love the most: Writing.
Why Am I Telling You All This?
I wanted to share my story to tell you all that it’s actually possible to make a profitable and stable income as a freelancer.
Yes, it’s possible to work from home and earn a living as a freelancer while doing what you love. But, I want you to understand that it doesn’t happen overnight.
It took me four years to start earning a decent amount of money. If you have proper guidance, you might be able to get there in less time.
Sadly, most beginners get into freelancing for the wrong reasons. Some try to do freelance work as a hobby and some try to do it during their vacation time. These people believe that earning money online is as simple as sitting in front of a computer clicking on ads.
Freelancing doesn’t work that way. Much like any other job in the real world, you need to be consistent and work hard to become a successful freelancer.
More importantly, you need to have the will to keep going when times get tough. However, there are ways to overcome those difficult times.
Tips To Boost Your Freelance Income
If you’re just getting started and having trouble landing clients, here are a few tips that will help ease up your struggle.
- Learn To Communicate Well: Learn to communicate with your clients to build better and long-lasting relationships. There are online courses you can follow to improve your communication skills. And use email templates to approach clients.
- Improve Writing Skills: Learn to write killer proposals and emails that make your clients fall in love with you. It wouldn’t hurt to take a few English writing classes to improve those skills.
- Build A Portfolio: Before applying for jobs online, make sure you have examples of your work to show to your potential clients. Get some of your work out in the open.
- Look For New Opportunities: Join new freelance websites with low competition to increase your chances of landing jobs. Keep an eye out for brand-new freelance site announcements.
- Polish Up Your Skills: Take online courses and read blogs to keep improving your skills to add more value to your services. Never stop learning.
Try to find yourself a mentor to guide you through the process of getting started in freelancing the right way and avoid making mistakes. And, no matter how hard it gets, never give up trying. Your $500 breakthrough may be just around the corner.
If you want to learn how to get started in freelancing, check out my free getting started guide. Or you can grab my book, Freelance Like A Pro, to find 21 lessons and 5 secrets to my freelance success. Grab it and follow the step-by-step guide to learn how to make over $1,000 a month from home.
Images via Freepik