First of all, what exactly is freelancing?
Freelancing is a simple concept.
If you have a talent, but you can't (or don't) want to work long-term, freelancing is the alternative. You can exchange your valuable services for money, without having to stay with long-term with any company. Say, for example, you're a writer. You want to write articles, but not do as part of a company. So you decide to become a freelance writer. But how does it work? Where do you start? That's what you'll learn in this article.
Freelancing is simply this; working for a temporary employer to do the project(s) they hire you for. That's all there is to it. You don't stay with your employer after you're done, which is why so many college students freelance. You can finish up however many projects your doing, then take a brake if you want (something you can't do when you're with a company).
Freelancing was revolutionized by the Web. Just by typing ?Freelance? into a search engine, you can find lists of sites that offer you the ability to sell your work, or customize your talents for people who need some specific kind of creation (like a corporate identity, or web page, or article).
Nifty idea, but how exactly does it work?
The nice thing about online freelancing is that you don't have to be Computer-savvy, to work these websites. Once you find a freelance site (let's say for example, www.writerlance.com), your first step is to register there. Some sites require you to subscribe (which usually means cough up money) to get work, but on most, you can register for free. Once you do that, your next step is to create your payment information. When you complete a project as they're called, the person hiring you, has to send you the money. There are a couple ways to do this. You can register on sites like www.PayPal.com. When you sign up on a site like this, you can give out your e-mail address, as well as your street address, and when someone pays to your e-mail address, you receive the money! (I don't go into detail, because sites like www.PayPal.com usually explain how everything works).
As for the freelance sites themselves, once you register, you have access to a control panel; from there you can keep track of everything, such as bids (Which I get to in a minute), payment info, and just about anything relating to you on the site. Once you register, and get your payment info filled out, you're ready to roll!
Alright, everything's set up, but how do you actually get work?
OK, so you're registered and you have your payment options filled out correctly, right? Now, it's time to get some work. Look around the site; see if you can find a listing of projects. That or you can search for keywords (like ?Article?, ?Logo Design?). Once you find a list of projects, look for whatever interests you, whether it's website design, programming, graphic design, or writing, you're guaranteed to find something, if you look hard enough.
Once you find the project(s) you want, your next step is to bid on them. Sadly, you can't just take up a project, you have to put your name down, how much payment you'll need to complete the project, and how fast you can deliver; then after a set number of days, the project owner looks at the list of people who did put their names down, and decides who gets the project. This process is as I referred to it earlier, ?bidding?. When bidding, you leave a message for the project owner, telling them why you're the choice for their project. You can go one step further, and communicate with them using what's called a Private Message Box, or PMB. A PMB is like e-mail. You can transfer messages back and forth between yourself and the project leader. It's a great way to post any references you have, without having to share them with the whole world. It also lets you ask questions about the project, and make detailed messages, which you can't do through your bid messages.
Those are the basics of any good freelancing website. There are more tools on the sites than what I've shown here, but you'll just have to get out there are check it out yourself!
There a lot of options for these sites, and just as many freelance websites through the Internet, but it takes a great freelancer writer for them to work. It's always tough to start on freelance sites; it takes time, and patience, so make sure you're up for the challenge.
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