Freelancing: Making the Doughnuts My Way!

So I guess it’s about time I elaborate on what I mean when I say I’m a freelancer. I cover a bit of it in my ‘hire me‘ page, but what am I really talking about when I’m telling you guys that I freelance?

free·lance:   /ˈfrēˌlans/
Adjective:  Working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.

First off, I have a personal assistant business for local clients. I offer a variety of services to them including child care, maid service, administrative help, the works.

I also spend a lot of time doing remote freelance work. There’s a ton of options out there for people who want to freelance online. Elance is great but my preferred site to go through is oDesk. For me, it’s easy to use and I’m able to book work fairly easily. There’s work available for just about every thing you can outsource online. Just pick a category and start scrolling away to find clients looking for independent contractors. I tend to work within the writing, administrative support and customer service categories. I wind up with a variety of tasks. From writing copy, social media management, ad posting, telemarketing, article writing, post approval, email correspondence, data entry and more, there is no real limit to the work available right at my fingertips. It’s actually quite easy to find people who don’t want to do data entry work or spreadsheet creation. This allows me to flex my skills, help someone out and earn some money in the process. This isn’t a get rich quick method by any means, but if you negotiate decent contracts, manage your time and actually do the work, it can be a pretty profitable endeavor. Just make sure you’re using a legit site and verify the reputation of potential clients.
Here’s a peek at what I’m looking at when I’m working —

At any given time, I can take a look at all of my jobs. Some are hourly with a weekly limit while other jobs are one-time, fixed price jobs. Some jobs have a total amount that I work up to, reaching milestone payments along the way.

Whichever contract I will be working on at that moment, I pull up all pertinent details the client has emailed me and the time tracking software. For most writing jobs, these include guidelines. For other jobs sometimes I have up instructions as a quick go-to guide. The time tracking software makes sure that I get paid for my hourly work by tracking my activity during the time I’m logged on as working.

From there, every week my time is tallied and payment issued out to my oDesk balance around Wednesday and takes about two days to clear to my checking account. I like oDesk because I’m able to pull out any amount without a minimum. Besides the waiting time for it to clear, I can get to my funds when I want to.

I love the flexibility and ease of doing this. I can manage my time so that I’m able to work on several contracts at once. A lot of them are one-time commitments or don’t require a full 40 hours of my week. Typically I like to stay active and maintain hourly gigs as well as pick up one-time jobs from time to time. I’ll take you on a tour of my day one day. For now… I’ve got work to do.

Have you ever tried freelancing? Horror stories? Success stories? Do you think it’s difficult to make the jump? Would you combine it with another job to supplement income?


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