Guide: How to Work as a Freelancer and Make a Living

Are you the one who wants to earn money right from his/her living room but don’t know what to do in fact how to do it? The fact is, many people are just not made for an office job but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t work and make a living to pay their bills and for other expenses. You may have heard many people saying ‘I’m a freelancer’ in parties, get-together or at any place where people belongs to different fields. Its a detailed guide and if you don’t have time to read it, forget to become a successful freelancer.

So what this freelancing thing is and why people tend to be one rather than an office job? How do they find legit online jobs and successfully maintain this process doing again and again or client after client? I know you have so many questions regarding freelancing and earning a living through it so I tried to sum up all the questions in this post to answer (possibly) all of your questions regards freelancing and real online jobs. So here we go (Down!)

Types of Freelancer Jobs:

The fact is that, this term is too broad and could not be covered in this single, little and innocent, post so what we are going to do is just picking up the general category to give you an idea about what could be done online as a freelancer and then you can dig out information about that particular category that matches your qualifications and work experience. However each of the categories would be discussed in the later posts on this website so keep in touch.

  • Administrative Support
  • Business Services
  • Customer Service
  • Design and Multimedia
  • Networking and Information Systems
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Software Development
  • Web Development
  • Writing and Translation

Administrative Support:

So! Here’s the term that is even broader in this broader overview of jobs that can be done online. Administrative support deals with providing administrative expertise to different firms and industries and it requires from you a deep knowledge of the industry in which you are doing to work and experience before you step out and start client hunting process.

Starting from financial firm, it goes up to the film industry and even covers different other industries like you could be providing accounting services or working as an HR manager in a company so almost all the professions can be listed here under this category when you are providing administrative assistance to any firm like handling email responses, doing web research for a particular project, doing transcriptional stuff or maybe data entry work in an office. Be sure to check this in detail before making up your mind.

Business Services:

If you are having your bachelors degree majoring in accounting, economics or banking then there is a good chance for you to be hired by one of the finest financial firms but if you don’t want to work in an office then why not try your luck in online marketplace where you could easily find a job if you are an accountant, Bookkeeping expert, Financial planner or maybe a business consultant.

Yes there are too many companies who are always looking for qualified people like you (if you are so) and outsource their project to cut the cost but the only thing they are looking is quality work so be sure about it. Some companies are even looking for a guy who could handle their legal matters so if you have any of this skills/expertise then you can easily cash so many projects.

Customer Service:

If you are expert in handling phone calls and saying ‘This is Alex! How may I help you?’ then you can surely be hired as a customer service representative. And the good thing is that you don’t need to leave your house or miss that Soccer match at all.

Just make suitable arrangements and start completing your projects. But be specific as this is, again, a broader term so first choose what you want to do like you want to give technical support or work as an order processor. Different businesses have different needs for their customer service section so study the market before you jump in and send pitches to potential clients.

Design and Multimedia:

Here comes my favorite job that one can do right from the place he/she loves to sit on and start designing different things for clients. If you are a designer then you must have felt that creativity dies in boundaries so it is essential for a designer to always have plenty of ideas that requires visiting different places and meeting other creative people.

But unfortunately conventional office job kills the creativity by time and soon the designer finds himself dry or out of ideas. Just stay at home (or at anywhere you want) and find clients if you are a graphic designer, print designer, logo designer, Photoshop expert or maybe a voice actor as well. There are so many designing projects for all those who have a passion to draw something unusual and appealing to masses.

Guide: How to Make Money as a Designer

Networking and Information Systems:

If you have earned a degree majoring in Statistics or you are an IT professional then you can work as a networking expert or as a database manager for a company right from your home and work what you love to do without any 9 to 5 conventional job.

Not only a statistician but if you are a software engineer, a developer or maybe Linux expert then opportunities are always there waiting for you at the other end of the bridge. So just cross the bridge and embrace them by offering your services and build your reputation a freelance networking expert.

Sales and Marketing:

Attention all the marketers and sales representatives. If you are the one who wants to pursue in sales and marketing sector but not willing to work from an office then online jobs are the perfect alternative that matches your mood (or possibly income expectations).

Just decide what particular field you want to join like SEO, SEM, SMM and PR or maybe Lead Generation and start working with millions of clients waiting for your talent out there. The good point is that you’d be prospecting clients from every country and all this would happen through your laptop either sitting in the park or watching a movie at home.

NOTE: It is better to be professional.

Software Development:

If you are the one who loves to play with codes and develop different software then you might be having a good chance to excel in software development industry. Employers know that this world is full of genius so they tend to outsource their work rather than hiring someone and giving him/her a cabin in the company. So if you want to work as a free bird and you are proficient software developer, then you can easily bank tons of projects even working from home and not going to office.

Web Development:

If you are a proficient website developer and thinking to work from home then you are thinking right as many people are doing this job right from their home office (not the real office). There is a lot of work available on different kind of online jobs marketplaces that you can easily get if you play your card right and convince the client that you are proficient in this work and would give him what he’s looking for. This just needs a working knowledge of coding and creativity with couple of web developing courses and you are good to go.

Writing and Translation:

And! Here comes the simplest work that you can do which I call ‘selling words and get paid for it’ and this is almost true. There are so many writing jobs one can do online and the good thing is that you don’t need to be a PhD to do this instead, you just need writing experience of few years.

Just choose your genre like copy writing, scriptwriting, short story writing or blog & article writing and start working on it. Find the clients and show them your work in order to win a project from the crowd. It’s that simple! If you are a good translator, then you’d be having a pile of projects before you soon. So enjoy working on what you love to do and write good stuff for millions of people interested to read and get benefited by it.

Guide: How to Make Money as a Writer

Q. So Can I Make Money by Freelancing?

Good question! But let’s put it this way like how much could you earn with an office job? Like $30 to $50 per hour less or more? That means you earn around $240 to $400 in a day which is around $7200 to $12000 per month and ultimately $86,400 to $144,000 by working 8 hours daily in an office. (NOTE: It’s an assumption not the correct figure). So let’s see what an average freelancer make by working from home and then compare it with an average office worker.

If we look at major online jobs marketplaces like oDesk, eLance or Freelancer then we find an average freelancer (belonging to any profession) charges in between $16 to $90 dollar on hourly basis for a single project. So if we take a random figure let say around $53 per hour then he/she maybe earning around $424 per day working 8 hours a day and about $12720 (including Sundays). So an average freelancer earns around $152640 a year that is as same as the office worker makes round the year.

But what’s the catch? Why would anybody leave an office job and work as a full time freelancer when both are earning almost same right? I think it is the time flexibility the freelancer has and freedom of workplace but the unfortunate office worker has to limit him/her in a 6×6 work station and work every day from the same location.

Major Online Jobs Marketplaces:

Another important question arises that where one can find a legit online job when there are so many scammers and frauds ready to steal their work and vanish away with their rightful money they are entitled for their hard work. As the internet has so many interesting things for us to entertain ourselves then how could it miss to support a person looking for a legitimate job? Below are some of the famous and reliable online jobs marketplaces to help you start off your online journey.

General Online Jobs Marketplaces


Here’s the #1 marketplace having variety of different jobs all under one roof. Just over the website, make an account and start working after listing your expertise and passing a test (part of their policy). But be sure that as this is the #1 marketplace so competition level would be tough as well.


OK! Here’s the second most popular online jobs marketplace that’d be having hundreds of projects (of different nature) for you every time you log into this website and check the listings. If you think you have that thing which attracts clients then dive in and start working.


Another perfect alternative of eLance and Freelancer is Guru that is full of loyal buyers and always has something to offer the dedicated freelancers. Just make an account and start working on the project that you feel you can do. List your expertise and start making money.


The fourth most popular website having more than 20 online jobs categories for different kind of freelancers. Just go over the website and checkout whether your expertise can pay you off while working on this website or not?

People per Hour:

Founded back in 2005 from its London office, this website is providing the valuable things to both freelancers and employers as well. It has different categories ranging from photography to video editing to copywriting to web designing etc. Go over and make an account in order to start working on projects.


Having different tools to track your work speed and secure payment options this is another great option for those who want to work from home. This particular website is the best solution for those who have payment processing issue (Remember PayPal?) as it has a variety of payment processing options that enables the freelancer to work without any payment issue.


Here’s the booming $5 marketplace with a variety of projects and unlimited projects with loyal clients coming again and again to this particular website. From past 2 years, Fiverr has taken over the competition from giant online jobs marketplaces but it is noteworthy that due to high competition, many people find it hard to get their first gig so be ready for this situation if you make your mind for working on Fiverr.

Must Read: Guide about Making Money with Fiverr

Actually this is more like an online job listing boards but I felt that it should be added to this list of general online jobs category as millions of people visit this site every month and most of them get a relevant job from its broad listing categories.

Teaching Online Marketplaces

Teachers Attention! As here’s the deal for all those people who love to teach different, or any particular, subjects. Tutor has a vast variety of subjects to be taught via internet and from anywhere in the world to anyone who wants his/her kid to learn that subject. Teach Mathematics, Science, English or Social Studies right from your home and get paid for doing that.

Freelance Writing Jobs Online:

If you are a college grate or maybe a professor, then the website mention above is best option for you where you would be making assignment kind of thing as per client’s demand and make money. This website has a variety of subjects as well as projects so dive in and start writing the assignment.

Complete Guide: How to Make Money As a Article Writer

Designing and Web Developing Marketplaces

Calling all designers! 99designs is one of the most famous website both for designers as well as buyers who are looking for a brilliant and creative designer maybe for a logo, T-Shirt design or brochure design as well. Make an account, list your work or participate in competitions to get paid for your creativity right from your laptop and the place where you like to work.

Art Wanted:

Actually! It’s more like a social network specifically for designers and photographers to enable them showcase their work and sell it out to those who want to buy it. Generally you can make a free account (Just like Facebook) but there is also a premium account that has $5 monthly fee with advanced features.


Are you a coder or a programmer? Well! In both cases, you are going to have a project and get paid after you complete it on time and deliver it to the client. Just make an account over there and start hunting for the client that has a relevant project for you.

Tuts-Plus Jobs:

Most of you have visited one of the Tuts-Plus websites where you find a lot of learning material if you are in editing or photography. Recently, they have created a different website for those aspiring photographers, designers, coders or programmers who are looking for a project. So you better try there.

Writing Jobs Marketplaces


If you are good at writing and just starting out in this vast industry then you should visit ProBlogger’s job listing board where you would definitely find a relevant job according to your working experience and what you love to write the most.

Freelance Writing Gigs:

This is another great online writing jobs list where you can find the best client. But the noteworthy thing is that you need to pay them $10 in order to showcase your work to the potential clients and get a project from there.

Pitch me:

This is a very useful website for those having a degree in Journalism. Just pitch an article after making an account there as many have pitched already and if someone finds your article interesting, he/she would pay you for writing that article for them.

Text Broker:

As the name says it all about this website, this website let you write what you love to write. Once you make the account, you will be asked to take the competency test and rated after that according your performance. Then if you pass the test, you can complete your author profile and start hunting for what you love to write.

Skills Required For Being A Freelancer:

As I’ve mentioned above that freelancing is a broader term so every single freelance job needs a different skills to get this thing done. But here are few points that every freelancer should possess in order to survive in this toughest economy and competition as listed below:

  • You should be able to work under pressure to meet the deadline
  • You should develop a sense of discipline and professionalism in yourself
  • You should be proficient in what you are doing freelancing
  • You should be a good (if not brilliant) speaker in order to represent your ideas persuasively
  • You should be able to perform different things like research and analysis of the project in order to deliver best

Useful Tips for New Freelancers:

Freelancing is not about taking few projects and doing them for a shorter period then tell the story of your valor and bravery to your kids but it is a matter of doing the process continuously. So in order to keep in business, you should focus on these following tips mentioned below:

  • You shouldn’t be discouraged if it takes little time to get your first order
  • Always pitch with an energetic way and impress your client
  • Don’t give an impression that you are done with this freelancing thing
  • Always keep yourself up to date from the current market rates and what’s in so that you could plan better
  • Make good relationship with peer freelancers and share each other’s working experiences to be on right track
  • Always be friendly with client but don’t let the professionalism slip from the conversation as it would affect your reputation as a professional freelancer

Do share if you think something should be added into this guide and also let others know about your freelance career’s story (if you are a freelancer) to help those who are just starting out through the comment section below.

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