You want to earn money online. (Emphasis on EARN!) That is AWESOME!
What I do today is earn money online. Actually, I’ve been doing it for years!
In fact, I’ve been working on the Internet since before I graduated from college. In 2005, I learned HTML, CSS, and how to use Photoshop. I wrote and edited web content. I took photos. I recorded and edited a podcast. I created and managed websites.
Over the years, I added SEO, paid search management, and analytics consultant to my resume.
Seeing how small businesses struggled to keep their websites up to date with the latest SEO best practices, I focused my side hustle efforts on SEO and my side hustle grew really, really fast. I had more than one service to offer small businesses, which combined with great customer service, helped me go from a side hustle into a full-time business.
Today, I’m dedicated to help others become side hustlers or freelancers to achieve their financial goals by helping small businesses! Some of the most common questions I get from those who are new to side hustling are related to the 5 Ws (and 1 H): who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Who can earn extra money as a freelancer?
Anyone. Literally anyone.
If you want to become a freelancer on the side, you can. To launch your freelancing side hustle, you need one skill and one client.
One skill. One client. That’s all you need to get started as a freelancer.
Whether or not you think you have skills to offer, as long as you have the willingness to try, you can get started as a freelancer.
What are some ways you can earn extra money as a freelancer?
According to Upwork, a job board for freelancers, these are some of the most in-demand skills, almost all of which you can use to earn money online.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Chances are, you have some experience with one of the in-demand skills on this list: customer service.
In fact, my first job as a high school student was in customer service! And many jobs today, full time and part time, require excellent customer service.
You might even have experience with more than customer service. But even if you don’t, that’s OK. You can learn new skills, like the ones on this list, without having to go back to school. With the plethora of training options available online, you can pick up a new skill and a new gig in a month if you wanted.
When can you earn extra money as a freelancer?
In my opinion, this is the toughest part. You likely have a job and lots of other commitments.
A spouse. Kids. Parents to care for. Community organizations. The list goes on and on.
Starting a side hustle as a freelancer can make it difficult to maintain balance. I’ve made the mistake of investing too much time in freelancing and not enough time in my relationships, so my relationships suffered as a result.
Deciding when you want to work is critical, so consider creating a focused block of time for your side hustle.
When you work shouldn’t keep you from doing the most important things you need to do each day. When you work shouldn’t be a burden to others.
If you can manage 30 minutes each day after the kids go to bed, then that’s great!
If you have 5 hours available every Saturday morning, then that’s great, too!
As a freelancer, you get to decide how many hours you want to work each week or each month; try setting a limit for yourself on the amount of time you’ll work each day for that goal so as to manage all your other commitments.
Where can you go to earn extra money as a freelancer?
Using resources like Upwork, Craigslist, Guru, Toptal, and many more, you can find clients in your area and across the world who need extra help with one of the skills you offer.
Clients can be found literally anywhere. I’ve found prospective clients on airplanes, in coffee shops, at conferences, and via referrals from other clients.
Finding clients to launch a side hustle is the easy part. Really. As long as you are motivated to find a client, you will find someone who will pay you for the work you do. Invest a few minutes each day to reply to warm leads (i.e. ads posted by potential clients) and you’ll find your first client in no time.
Small business owners can’t do it all. Be of service to just one small business owner to start. Once you find your client, you’ll see how easy it is to start earning extra money.
Why earn extra money as a freelancer?
Everyone has their own reasons for launching a side hustle or becoming a freelancer.
You might have a financial goal, like saving for a vacation or paying off debt.
You might have a personal goal, like the desire to for a location-independent career.
You might have a professional goal, like adding skills and experience to your resume.
Regardless of the goal, starting a side hustle or a freelancing gig is a great way to test the waters of new opportunities and to find what fits best without having to make a full-time commitment.
How can you earn extra money as a freelancer?
First, consider the skills you can offer. If you’re a writer or a web developer, you can become a freelancer today. If customer service is your best skill today, you will find lots of opportunities that can help you “get a foot in the door” of a potential client.
Second, consider the skills you want to learn. Small business owners are busy and like to work with freelancers who make life easier by tackling more than one need. You might start working with your client as a writer or a customer service agent working 10 hours in a month, but by learning new skills, you could work 20 or more hours each month for the same client.
Third, consider who you know who needs your help. You likely know one person who needs help, so tell everyone you know that you’re starting a freelancing gig. All you need to get started earning extra money is to find one client. Form a great relationship with this client and you’ll be one step closer to a long-term opportunity to grow your side hustle, your skillset, and perhaps even your career.