How to be a Successful Freelancer

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If you have a particular skill you may be able to make a living as a freelancer. Most freelance businesses require very little startup cash. And one of the primary benefits of being a freelancer is that you can create a business that fits your needs and lifestyle. You’re self employed and therefore you make the rules and decisions. It’s all up to you.

What is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who works for pay. They may work from assignment to assignment. Or they may sign on to work with a company for an extended period of time. Regardless of how they work, they are self employed. This means as a freelancer you are responsible for your own taxes. You’re also responsible for your own insurance.

An example of a freelancer might be a website designer, a writer, a photographer, or even an administrative assistant. In fact, many professions can be freelance. You can be a freelance sales person, a freelance accountant, a freelance attorney and so on. If you have a marketable skill, chances are you can work as a freelancer.

How Does a Freelancer Make Money?

Most freelance workers charge by the hour or by the project. For example, a freelance journalist might charge a flat rate for an article. The flat rate would include interviews and research as well as photographs, the writing and editing of the content. Of course, as a freelancer you can charge by the hour too. The more clients or projects you have, the more money you make. Many freelancers make quite a substantial annual income.

How to Get Started as a Freelancer

To get started as a freelancer you’ll want to choose a specialty. What are you good at? What are you interested in?

For example, if you’re interested in learning more about motorcycles then you could become a freelancer that specializes in writing about motorcycles.

You could write for magazines and websites that focus on the topic. You don’t have to specialize on a topic or industry. You could specialize in a format.

For example, you could be a website designer that specializes in creating custom WordPress based websites. You could be a copywriter that specializes in business to business sales pages.The specialty you choose should be something you’re interested in and/or skilled at.

You’ll also need a website to promote and market your services. Your website will have samples of your work along with your rates, policies and procedures and your bio. You don’t have to have real customers to create a portfolio. Create a few samples. Once your business is booming, you can add your new work to your samples.

Getting started as a freelancer is straight forward. Begin with a business plan. Decide what you’re going to offer and how you’re going to offer it.

Who are your customers? How will you charge? What are your goals and how will you reach them?


With a little planning you can have your freelance business up and running in less than a week. It’s a great way to make a living.


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