College is an important step in life that many people undertake. That said, it is rare to find a student that can go to college, cover all of their bills, eat, and pay for classes without working. The issue often comes from that fact that balancing a busy college schedule alongside a part-time, or even full-time job can make college even more difficult. So how do you make an income while also making sure you have time for college? The easiest way is the growing need for freelance work.
Finding Freelance Work
One of the easiest places to find freelance work is in the writing sector and there are a few sites that will help you to get started without any investment. Textbroker and Elance both offer you different ways to find freelance writing work based on your particular areas of expertise.
With Textbroker, you set up an author profile and will start out at a base rating which qualifies you for a certain level of writing. You may write, for example, 500 word articles for around $5 for a while and then earn a higher rating, which leads to higher paying jobs. The advantage of Textbroker is that you choose what to write based on a subject. Once you head into the subjects “hub” you can choose the specific articles you wish to write. As long as the client accepts your work, you are able to withdraw the payment weekly. Clients may even contact you personally to write for them more in the future. If that does occur, you actually negotiate a rate per word with the client and can earn a very sizeable income.
Elance is the other side of freelance work and is set up slightly differently. Instead of just picking an article and writing it, you find proposals from clients for work. Once you find one you like, you make a bid for the job based on how much you would expect to be paid per hour or per article. Once the client accepts your bid, you work with them until completion, which may lead to extra work in the future.
Elance can be a little slower to get started on, but the income potential is much higher than Textbroker. The best idea is to use both sites to find the most freelance writing work you can.
Not a Writer? No Problem!
If writing isn’t your forte, look for other freelance sites for your specific skills. There are plenty out there, you just need to search for your specific field. For example, if you are a programmer, you can do a quick search on Google for freelance programming work. You’ll find some people looking directly for freelancers which you can contact, but you’ll also find sites that are designed for that particular field. This is true for most fields and a little searching will help you find the right site for your skill set.
An important note for freelancers that wish to really grow their client base is to make sure that their LinkedIn profile is always up to date. Clients will often scour LinkedIn to find freelancers that they have worked with in the past, or they may look for someone new to contact. Textbroker and Elance both take a tiny cut of the fees and payments that go through their site and most clients won’t care about the fee, but some will need high paying, high volume work and will prefer to work directly with you as their writer.
In most cases, PayPal is used as the preferred payment source since it is easy to track invoices by the client and the freelancer, so make sure you have an account set up before you start pursuing this path. You may be surprised how much you can earn working as a freelancer. Many graduates continue to freelance on the side after they start their careers because of how lucrative the field can be. Freelance work is growing quickly and there are not enough good freelancers out there to fill all the positions available. Start taking the steps to become part of this field and you’ll be able to work on your schedule throughout your education.
Are you currently studying and working as a freelance at the same time? If so, which sites have you found to help you find work? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Randal Owen
Randal is a freelance writer for UniversitiesOnline.net. He is also attending an online college in his free time and raising his 3-year-old daughter, Chloe.