This is written by a ten-year freelancer who’s made over $150k in freelancing on three different platforms.
You found this article while searching for how to start a freelancing business. Let me guess. You are probably looking for assurances that working as a freelancer will make you more money and give you the freedom you’re looking for. Hence, you believe this might be the ultimate salvation.
I won’t tell you that this is not true. It could be true. For me, for instance, it was entirely accurate. I surfed articles around ten years ago. Some of them showed me that freelancing is fantastic. But, at the same time, others showed that it would be competitive.
Now, after those ten years of freelancing on three different platforms (Upwork, Fiverr, and Medium), I can safely tell you that you can do it. So this is an absolute YES if you want it to be.
My only question to you is, “Are you determined to do this no matter what?”
If your answer is yes, then this is your perfect article. However, if you have doubts about this working out, close this tab.
You’re still here. That’s a good sign. Alright, let’s get to it.
Wait, who am I to talk like this?
I’m a modest human like you, fond of freelancing. I started freelancing quite a while ago on a website called Upwork. It was on a topic that I am fond of, entrepreneurship.
I had some experience in this when I created my startup and started raising investments. I have never studied business whatsoever. Yet, I loved entrepreneurship. I read ALOT of books in that area, and I do that every single morning.
I’ve made over $100k freelancing on Upwork and became a top-rated plus freelancer. But then, a minor situation led me to call it a day with Upwork.
Then I moved to Fiverr and made over $25k there. After those years, I understood what works and what doesn’t. This allowed me to make even more money via direct referrals of old clients and on a writing website called Medium, where I made over $11k.
I shifted my focus to managing my freelancing business and platform, Albusi. Now, whenever I attain a client, I send them to my platform where other freelancers can help.
Hence, I am far from a freelancing god. But I was able to make money on three different platforms. That only happens if one truly understands how to start a freelancing business and how this freelancing world works.
Now that you know me, shoot me a comment to introduce yourself; I’d be honored to connect with you and maybe collaborate one day.
Remember, a small intro was all it took to connect Steve Jobs with Wozniak. Look how that turned out.
You need to freelance in something, obviously. Does this have to be something you studied? Big No. Actually, from my experience, people tend to perform better when pursuing freelancing in a skill they deem a hobby.
So this is your first question: “What is it that you would love to be doing right now?”
Is it coding? designing? management? strategy? marketing? mountain climbing?
You are good to go if it’s anything not like mountain climbing. You need to select a skill that does not require your physical presence. That’s why, for instance, photography is not easy to freelance in online except if you are looking for people in your region.
So take some time to reflect on this. Discover what you’d like to be doing for quite a while (not the rest of your life because that’s unrealistic. You don’t know what you’ll have for breakfast tomorrow.)
Remember, the keyword here is passion. You need to be passionate about this particular topic. You’ll learn everything else in the process.
Where do I go now?
Now that you know that you are starting your freelancing business in hamburger design, for example. You are officially a hamburger designer. That’s all it took. You see, usually, people think it takes more than just a belief to make it happen.
While in reality, you are who you define yourself. Suppose you describe yourself as a freelance hamburger designer; who am I to question that?
Firstly, you need to start walking the walk. You need to find the perfect website, to begin with. My recommendation is not to try everything at the beginning. However, once you start earning a fair amount on any platform, then start a profile in a new one as your safety precaution.
That being said, you have three options. You probably could read a list of 50 websites to freelance in. But since I tried those three, then that’s what I am qualified to talk about.
Website 1: Upwork.com
If you research “how to start a freelancing business?”, you will most definitely have Upwork topping any of the lists. If not, then this blog is probably paid.
I am saying that even though I have a gigantic feud with them and would say that they have the worst customer experience of all time. However, you need to become a hamburger designer. So a bad meat supplier should not stand in your way.
Upwork offers tons of options to freelance. It’s simply a marketplace that many people join to start their freelancing journey. It will be competitive, make no mistake. However, you could make more than a million dollars there using some tips and tricks, persistence, and patience.
I could write for hours, but what’s even better is a video explaining how Upwork works. I recorded this a while back, so it’s not the most amazing of my videos. However, remember, not a meat supplier nor a blog advisor like me should stand in the way of such a persistent hamburger designer.
If you prefer reading about it, I’ve also written a Medium blog that is quite long and thorough. You only need to do this when you are in front of your computer (not your phone) and pumped to start.
If you’ve either seen or read the Medium blog, then this should get you super prepared on how to start a freelancing business via Upwork. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments below.
Website 2: Fiverr.com
Fiverr is another website that is growing significantly. It started as a prank website, but now it’s the main competitor to Upwork. They are more or less the same thing. Usually, from my experience, Upwork has a higher caliber of clients.
Don’t be shocked if a Fiverr buyer (a client) spams or even insults you (It happened to me once.)
However, I have met some outstanding clients there. So Upwork and Fiverr will play the marketing game of getting clients. You focus on what you should, which is presenting yourself on either of those platforms.
Fiverr works differently from Upwork because you don’t have a lot of work to do after you create your services. You wait for the god of algorithms to get you buyers. If Fiverr’s marketing team is taking the month off, so are you.
On Upwork, you can apply for jobs, which is the main difference.
For Fiverr, I have documented my journey and provided my tips quite well in two articles. The first one shows how I made around $3,600 in the first month of working on Fiverr. Then the second article showcases how I made it in 3.5 months, about $17,700.
If you’re interested in how to start a freelance business on Fiverr, then check the two articles below.
Follow these strategies and tips, and add our favorite secret ingredient, persistence, and you’ll ace it there.
Website 3: Medium.com
If you are a hamburger designer who knows how to write, this could be the one for you. You do not need to be an excellent writer. You need to understand what people want to read about, catch them with the perfect non-clickbait title, and keep them reading for over 5 minutes.
If you know how to do that, you could become a very successful Medium writer.
I started with no experience in writing whatsoever and ended up making over $11k there. It pays a monthly recurring amount if you are consistent, which always proves helpful.
The key here is understanding what people want to read. For instance, an article about a new Apple product could make you a few thousands. One of my articles about a controversial business topic made me around $1,500.
This had a very low average reading time; the recommended one is about 7 minutes. If you have a trending article with such an average reading time, you can imagine how much you could make from a single article.
To ace it on Medium, one needs to learn the following:
- First, you need to know how to get curated from the Medium algorithm.
- This is not a challenging task. It requires consistency, correct grammar (use Grammarly), attribution of images, and a user-friendly article structure.
- You also need to get on publications.
- This could take you from earning $10 per month to making $2000 per month.
- You need to approach the best publications on Medium with good pieces.
- They will reject you quite a few times; persistence is key.
One of my highly recommended publications that I write for is called Entrepreneur’s Handbook. I am confident they’d be interested if you approached them with an excellent entrepreneurial or business-related story. If they reject you, keep applying.
This is one of the most accessible platforms to start a freelancing business. However, consistency is what will keep the money flowing.
Always have your reason of why to start a freelancing business pinned somewhere. If it was because you hated your job, then keep reminding yourself of that. If it’s for extra income, then do not forget that.
Put a timeframe for you to either succeed or fail. If that’s six months, do not stop applying to jobs on Upwork after five months and 29 days. It only needs one good gig to keep you motivated.
How do I turn this into a freelancing business?
Well, you are already in a “freelancing business.” However, if you want to start a solopreneurship where you hire freelancers and work on your business, a blog, for example, or a shop from home, then you also need those websites.
Fiverr and Upwork will provide you with the best hiring talent you can find. Medium will expose your business to a range of people (just do not make it sound promotional.)
I started by writing business plans. In time, it was only natural that I’d start my own freelancing business revolving around that. I’ve hired freelancers to help out from Upwork and Fiverr. Some of them I am friends with after all these years.
Hence, promise yourself that this will be the start with no limits.
I did not want to mention anything promotional. Still, in case you are interested (ONLY if you are interested), I’ve worked on documenting a system that made me all of this money in freelancing. I went on a journey to understand why this worked and didn’t. Then I created a visual experience (or simply, a course) with the name of FreelancersID, which I aim to update constantly.
If you’re too early in reading this article, then it is still under development. However, if you see it and believe that you can’t afford it at the current stage and that it will provide you with much-needed value, shoot me an email, and I’ll make sure you get it for free.
Don’t forget to throw a comment down below about your thoughts or experiences in freelancing. Finally, no matter what goes on, freelancing or not, remember to look at the sky and enjoy this day.