Freelancing: 5 ways to supplement your income

cubilcle prison

Think outside the cubicle

The sharing economy is one of the developments that’s offering new opportunities to make money outside of the 9 to 5 cubicle .  Uber and Lyft let you earn money with your car.

Sites like Airbnb and Homeaway let you rent rooms or your entire home to budget-conscious travelers, or anyone that’s weary of sterile corporate hotels.   And there are many freelance sites that connect buyers with sellers of virtually any service that can be uploaded, downloaded, emailed, or otherwise digitally transferred.

Make Money With Fiverr

For anyone that’s interested in developing new income streams (which should be just about everyone), offering your skills on a freelance basis is a great option.  Freelancing allows you to set your own hours, and to choose the projects that interest you most.

If you think you don’t have a skill or ability that’s valuable, you’re probably wrong.  If you can speak aloud, you can offer to record voicemail greetings for business owners or for anyone that’s not happy with the sound of their own voice (which is a surprisingly large potential market).  If you can type, you can transcribe audio into text.  If you have creative writing skills, you can research and write articles of virtually any length for bloggers and website owners.

If you’re new to freelancing, my top pick for your first foray is Fiverr.com.   Yes, there are two “r”s in Fiverr.

Fiverr’s unique approach was to have freelancers offer “gigs”, individual custom digital products, for $5.  If your first thought is that you’ll never work for such a paltry sum, don’t go away mad. There’s more to the story.   Many Fiverr freelancers are making 5 and 6 figures annually, and do nothing but offer their services on this versatile and popular platform.

With more than 20 million visitors to the site per month, there are more than enough customers to go around.  Typical gigs consist of a basic service with optional add-ons.  These include expedited delivery times, and can easily drive the cost of gig into the hundreds of dollars.

Five Easy Fiverr Gigs

To get familiar with the Fiverr community, starting with something basic is the best approach.  Your long term viability will depend heavily on how well you perform with your first clients, since 5 star ratings are crucial.  Many Fiverr freelancers develop relationships with their clients that allow them to create steady income streams.

The fact that this work can be done anywhere in the world where you have a good internet connection and can power up your computer should make freelancing a very appealing option for just about everyone.  Once you’ve mastered the basics of operating as a Fiverr freelancer, you may want to explore other platforms, like Freelancer,  Elance, Upwork, and even Craigslist.  Entrepreneur magazine has a good article about freelance sites here.

Meanwhile, here are my five top recommendations for easy Fiverr gigs to get you started:

  1. If you have any skill as a writer, offer to write articles for website owners.  There is a large and growing need for well-written content that’s fresh and engaging.  Start by offering 100 words for $5, but check other writing offers to see what the common rates are.  Your initial goal is to gain a following of happy customers.  Once you have that base, you can adjust your rates.
  2. You can offer to edit articles.  Bloggers and other prolific writers will often churn out a couple of thousand words a day, and they need a second pair of eyes to correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
  3. Offer app reviews for iPhone and Google app developers.  Reviews are a vital part of their ability to sell their apps.  Build in the cost of purchasing the app to your gig.  This can be challenging, because some apps are garbage.  It’s possible to maintain your integrity, but you’ll end up having to refuse to fulfill a few gigs for bad developers.
  4. Write resumes and cover letters.  There are some excellent guides and books on this subject, and while you may have a learning curve, once you get some templates set up, it will become very easy to crank out dozens of pretty high quality resumes and letters.
  5. Offer custom privacy policies and terms and conditions for website owners.   Facebook, Google, and other social media sites have guidelines that require websites to cover certain policy matters in these documents, you can find or purchase a template that meets the criteria of the top traffic engines, modifying it for each client.  These modifications will largely include only names, addresses, and contact information, which can be done quickly with a search and replace feature of any word processor.

Working as freelancer requires self-motivation, and self-discipline.  These two qualities are the backbone of success in whatever you do, so developing them means taking giant steps toward your full potential.

If you have questions, email me at [email protected]  I’d love to help if I can, so don’t hesitate.

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