Freelance jobs are gaining more popularity than traditional jobs at an increasing rate. People who are motivated by wanting to work independently often find online freelancing a convenient way to get self-employed.
Skills widely sought in the freelance market include computer programming, photography and photo retouching, web design, graphic arts, computer programming, copywriting and editing. The top paying freelance jobs are writing and editing. After writing, the most paying freelance field is web design and graphics.
If self-employment is the goal, freelancing is one of the most cost-effective and immediate ways to start. Freelancing jobs can be found in print, via word of mouth, previous employers and classified ads; online agencies and marketplace-style job websites are the Internet’s latest contributions to this growing field.
A wealth of new resources have sprung up in the form of freelancing job search websites like Freelancer.com, Guru.com, eLance.com, and oDesk.com; providing companies with a connection to the competitive pool of contractors who submit bids and applications in response to job postings on the site. This allows the contracting company to choose their freelancers based on talent, application and bid rather than geographic location.
Some jobs have a fixed price, while others bill hourly as work progresses on the project. With the completely online nature of most freelancing jobs, talented professionals and eager amateurs alike can be recruited from anywhere in the world. Freelancers with more experience and expertise within their chosen craft typically charge more for their services and have a portfolio available for prospective clients to browse, whether on their own website or in a profile for their agency.
Most professionals start their freelancing career working for an agency or other business, establishing credibility, portfolio and contacts as they complete jobs in their chosen market. As much freelance work is done on the contractor’s own time, this makes it possible to continue working at one’s primary place of employment while building a client base, and gaining valuable experience.
Businesses that use freelancers reap multiple advantages. The specialized skills needed for a particular project can be gained only for the duration of the job without further ongoing obligation. Savings gained by not having to provide benefits to freelance workers are often one of the factors that motivate businesses to consider contracting out work. Freelance workers online have proven to be the profit drivers to many businesses.
There are advantages of freelancing online: no travel cost needed, travel time saved, you are the boss and you are in control. You have the chance to earn more money by working more hours or serving many clients. However, there are downsides to relying completely on freelance employment for livelihood. Locating, applying to and negotiating terms for projects are the freelancer’s responsibility, and there is no guarantee of an adequate amount of available work. The comfort of working from home can sometimes lead to complacency and a drop of production, and clients can suspend work at any time. Steps should be taken to have as little idle time between jobs as possible, and having enough contracts steadily moving through the application and production process will assist in avoiding those gaps.
Above all, the truth is number of online freelancers are many but the number of online successful freelancers are very few. To be a successful freelancer online you need to have a skill or a set of skills which is in demand. Freelancers need to find a way to attract clients. This is the biggest challenge for someone who is new to freelancing. Freelancers also need to have excellent communication skills, be self-motivated and dedicated to providing quality services.
It is essential to know the challenges that freelancing or starting your own business can pose before you start working as freelancer. Knowing how some freelancers became successful online helps. At the same time, you should also know the common reasons of failure in freelancing online. You can talk to other freelancers who have been on this track for years, read article magazines, forum posts, and success stories. If you start freelancing online without acquiring skills and without knowing the facts of freelancing online your freelance venture might add another fail to your list. Do your research, be prepared to work hard, be persistent, and diligent. Those qualities that make an excellent employee will make a successful freelancer.
Jamil Ahmed is a full time freelancer who has been online since 2010. He has been conducting workshops on freelancing online. You can visit Jamil Ahmed ‘s website to learn more what he says about freelancing or freelance jobs online.
By Jamil Ahmed