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How I Went From Making $500 To $5K A Month Doing Freelance Work

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 my first high-paying gig that paid me $500. Today, I’m a freelance writer earning a stable income.

How did I get here? Well, I’ve learned a lot of great lessons by making a lot of mistakes. I’ve explained them all with the secrets to my success in my new book 21 Days To Success In Freelancing.

In brief, 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. I landed a few clients and made some money, but it was never a stable income.

Some months I never made any money 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 looking for a day job.

Earning My First $500

Despite the harsh times, I never gave up. After several months of struggling, I came across an announcement for a new freelancing platform. 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 I had 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 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 a 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 a will to keep going when the 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.

In conclusion

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.

My new book 21 Days To Success In Freelancing is now available. It includes 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


Did you find this article useful? Then you should check out my book Freelance Like A Pro. It includes 21 lessons and 5 secrets from my freelance career to help you supercharge your journey as a freelancer. Click here to learn more.

Roshan Perera
Roshan Jerad Perera is a freelance writer, blogger, and founder of His main goal is to help others get started in freelancing and guide them toward a successful career and financial freedom.
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  • Jacqueline Vera Mayfield Apr 12,2019 at 3:30 AM

    Awesome story. I am happy that you are making enough money to make a living. I am working on that also.

  • nomi Jul 1,2018 at 3:34 PM

    what a bullshit artice. I gained nothing from this article. It is just water.

    what was the purpose of author while writing this post? Topic says value but article has no value

    • Roshan Perera Jul 1,2018 at 5:43 PM

      Hi Nomi,

      Yeah, it may seem like a piece written by a narcissist who brags about himself. But, my main point was to prove other struggling freelancers that they can too win at this and make a profitable income if they keep pushing forward 🙂

  • Laxmipriya Dec 28,2017 at 7:21 AM

    “Keep an eye out for brand new freelance site announcements”. Where will we get this information?

    • Roshan Perera Dec 29,2017 at 11:45 AM

      Use Google Alerts to create an alert for terms like “new freelancing site” so that you get notified of new announcements. You should also follow blogs that share news related to freelancing like Freelancers Union.

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