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Making Money The "All Things Freelance" Thread
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Don Offline
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Post: #26
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
Hey guys, i'm in a pretty difficult spot right now and i could really use some advice. I promise i'll make the backstory as concise and clear as possible out of respect for your time.

I'm 21, no college education, born and still currently living in Bucharest, Romania. I have about 1 yr experience working as web developer. I self-thought HTML, CSS, Wordpress, Photoshop, Illustrator and a bit of Jquery. This working knowledge allowed me to land through word of mouth some low-cost work. (for scale, the minimum wage in here is 280E/month, an avg salary for a jr. web dev. is 350e/month and a Senior web developer at IBM Bucharest makes an average of 1500e/month(20k USD/yr). Yes, it's that shitty.)I was making around 200e/project, but the projects were gruesome to work on because the clients were very demanding and hard to please, borderline delusional. The mantra in general in Romania is to pay as little as possible and demand as much as possible. I could've landed a jr. gig but the idea of waking up early, commuting and doing the 9 to 5 as a code monkey at some agency for 350e/m and beg for a 20% raise after a year or some shit sounded horrible. I took some time off and invested mainly time - and some money - into a venture that at first gave huge returns but is now shaky and i'm facing the possibility of going broke.

As of right now I have the time and freedom to study and try anything. I don't want to go back to web programming. It's a field dominated up top by college educated nerds with tons of experience that I can't compete with and tons of cheap indians at the bottom that make it harder for everyone. It's a field where you have to constantly keep up with new technologies and standards and in the end you'll always be the bitch of either a client or a boss that will always pay you a fraction of what you make them. (I'm sorry if I offended any programmers, i might be wrong, but this is just my opinion and my experience). But I also know that smart people always say: Play on your strengths, not your weaknesses, so i feel like a fool for thinking of kicking to the curb something that pays pretty well that I invested effort into learning and starting from scratch with something that I have no clue about.

So in conclusion: What path do you think would be the best for me to make the most money but also give me the most flexibility? Would starting to learn copy or content writing make sense? I could write about health&fitness, poker and maybe tech. A job, any job, that would pay even 8-10e/hour would change my fucking life right now and set me up for good. I have the brain and motivation to do anything as long as it's legal, profitable and flexible. Any opinion or advice is welcomed.
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2015 06:45 PM by Don.)
05-08-2015 06:40 PM
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Post: #27
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
Don, I'm going to let some other guys answer you for now because I don't want to be "in charge" of this thread. I will contribute when I can't but this isn't meant to be my space, so I'd like to see other ideas.

On another note, and this is to everyone, I'm looking to hire a guy to send out proposals for me (both on bidding sites and off). Other marketing tasks/strategies as well. I'm not going to hire a Filipino because I've been down that road and it hurts. Properly proposing jobs takes being sharp and a bit clever (and it's hard to do that in a second language).

I won't be paying a ton for this to begin with, but I know some of you guys are working for pretty low rates as is. As soon as I get you up to speed and can stop micro-managing, I'd be happy to give raises (assuming you perform) and/or talk about a commision on top of the hourly.

This will not be full-time to start. Maybe a few half-days a week.

Also, I know some of you German and Eastern European guys are super sharp and have near native-English level speaking skills, but it's important for me to go with an American on this one - as there's a much better chance they'll eventually be able to mimic my writing style.

This will not be an immediate hire, so if someone is struggling to eat or pay the bills, you should probably be thinking of other opportunities to make cash.

Clearly this will also be a learning opportunity for some of you guys, and you'll get some good take-aways even if we don't go for the long-term. I'm not the top of the market but I do pull work relatively well.
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 06:44 AM by Beyond Borders.)
05-09-2015 06:22 AM
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RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-08-2015 09:47 AM)VincentVinturi Wrote:  ...then you can sell your services on the Warrior Forum to those exact people who are most likely to buy them.

I know you had success over there, but I had absolutely none. And it wasn't for lack of effort.

I offered review articles, rewrote the copy multiple times, got feedback from you and others, payed the $20 fee to bump my ad plenty of times, contributed on the forums with a link to my ad in my sig, etc.

After all that, I got very few jobs and the clients and rates were not great at all. I'm not saying WF sucks or anything, but to me, Elance has been a lot better use of time and had a much lower barrier to entry. I completely abandoned the former after a couple months of trying.

Also, I understand your point about replying to job ads, but the truth is most bigger companies with unlimited amounts of work aren't going to go actively searching for freelancers. Personally, I prefer having a couple long-term clients who have as much work as I can handle, then constantly dealing with a bunch of random jokers from WF, Elance, etc. who just need a few articles for their site.

Not trying to turn this into another Elance thread or argue it's the best marketing channel, just wanted to address that point.

(05-08-2015 04:38 PM)Chick Magnet Wrote:  There's so much smoke and mirrors in this 'work online frenzy'. Most of the gurus didn't make a penny doing what they're preaching.

It's a classic case of the blind leading the blind.

Maybe you should lurk a little longer before you go around throwing accusations.

First of all, BB lives overseas with online freelancing income, as do I (based much on his advice). You've got other guys, like Vincent, who are doing something very similar.

There is nothing smoke and mirrors about it.

Second of all, preaching offline marketing to a bunch of guys who have a main goal of being location independent proves to me again that you haven't read enough of the content on this site.

How many Filipino businesses do you think are looking to hire American writers at a Western premium? Not to mention visa issues, laws, rampant corruption, etc. Then you have to reestablish an entirely new network every time you move to another country or city.

Third, do you seriously think 82k isn't possible using online marketing channels? That's the only "blind leading the blind" statement I see in here. Not to mention you're comparing apples to oranges, considering that's not even a lot of money if you're living in a major American city.
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 08:09 AM by Enigma.)
05-09-2015 08:00 AM
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RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-08-2015 12:50 PM)Fast Eddie Wrote:  
(05-08-2015 12:00 PM)VincentVinturi Wrote:  One of the best things I did in my current business was to productize.

Happy to expand on what that means if anybody's curious.

Hell yeah we're curious! Speaking for myself, I know what the term means but I'd be very interested to hear how you were able to transition in your particular case.

Productization in a nutshell:

You take whatever service you're offering on an hourly or per-project basis and instead charge a monthly fee for it.

Then you create frameworks, systems and processes, hire employees, and scale.

Basically, you're building a service-based business that has the potential to earn you a lot more money than you can make consulting.

It also teaches you the business of business, as opposed to the business of writing/building websites/graphic design, etc.

Not all services lend themselves equally to productization.

Writing, for instance, has terrible margins at scale. Graphic design, on the other hand, can scale pretty well if you manage your operation well.

The idea is to build a business with recurring revenue so you can break the feast and famine cycle of consulting.

If you've been there, or if you *are* there, you know how much it sucks, the ups and downs of having money and then not having money, chasing down clients who treat paying you like a reluctant act of benevolence that they can bestow on time, or late, and other bullcrap you have to put up with.

Productizing solves a lot of these problems.

The tricky part is creating the stipulations of your service. What do you do? What don't you do? How fast is your turnaround? Do your fulfill requests on weekends, and so on.

A few successful productized services are:

- http://www.WPcurve.com (wordpress support)
- http://www.DesignPickle.com (graphic design)
- http://memberfix.rocks (membership site support)
- http://testing.agency (A/B testing)

The name of the game is keeping customer retention high and building a great reputation.

There's a lot more to it than this and there's an excellent book called The 7 Day Startup by Dan Norris that does a much better job of describing the actual how-to of starting one of these suckers than I do.

My Latest Book On How To Make Money Online By Offering A Service Check It Out Here
05-09-2015 08:03 AM
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Post: #30
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
@Enigma

I didn't know about your attempt over at WaFo, that's interesting.

It's certainly possible that I got lucky, not discounting that.

So maybe it would be more inclusive of a lot of different people's experience to say that each of these platforms has something to offer, and you should try different things and stick with what works for you.

Sorry to hear WaFo didn't work out.

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05-09-2015 10:38 AM
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Post: #31
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-09-2015 10:38 AM)VincentVinturi Wrote:  @Enigma

I didn't know about your attempt over at WaFo, that's interesting.

It's certainly possible that I got lucky, not discounting that.

So maybe it would be more inclusive of a lot of different people's experience to say that each of these platforms has something to offer, and you should try different things and stick with what works for you.

Sorry to hear WaFo didn't work out.

Oh, no worries, man.

I just wanted to offer a counter point. I know some guys have had success over there, including another forum guy who was offering services the same time I was.

Like you said, it's just all about finding what works for you.
05-09-2015 12:06 PM
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Post: #32
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
oDesk became (and Elance will become) Upwork. What's up with that? Any thoughts?
05-09-2015 12:35 PM
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Post: #33
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
Speaking of the WF stuff, I just got off a phone call with a guy off there about a sales page I'm putting together for his video course, and man it is impressive the calibre of people you meet in what seem like the lowliest places of the web (assuming you position yourself as a quality provider).

I seriously feel like I just walked out of mentorship that I paid for, and this guy was paying ME for the interview. Some serious paradigm shifts.

I was on fire already - this was just what I needed. Interesting how things work.

Reminded me of my first convo with the guy I met in the early stages of my career that lined me up with some Fortune 500 gigs over the year.
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 01:00 PM by Beyond Borders.)
05-09-2015 12:53 PM
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Post: #34
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-09-2015 08:00 AM)Enigma Wrote:  
(05-08-2015 09:47 AM)VincentVinturi Wrote:  ...then you can sell your services on the Warrior Forum to those exact people who are most likely to buy them.

I know you had success over there, but I had absolutely none. And it wasn't for lack of effort.

I offered review articles, rewrote the copy multiple times, got feedback from you and others, payed the $20 fee to bump my ad plenty of times, contributed on the forums with a link to my ad in my sig, etc.

After all that, I got very few jobs and the clients and rates were not great at all. I'm not saying WF sucks or anything, but to me, Elance has been a lot better use of time and had a much lower barrier to entry. I completely abandoned the former after a couple months of trying.

Also, I understand your point about replying to job ads, but the truth is most bigger companies with unlimited amounts of work aren't going to go actively searching for freelancers. Personally, I prefer having a couple long-term clients who have as much work as I can handle, then constantly dealing with a bunch of random jokers from WF, Elance, etc. who just need a few articles for their site.

Not trying to turn this into another Elance thread or argue it's the best marketing channel, just wanted to address that point.

(05-08-2015 04:38 PM)Chick Magnet Wrote:  There's so much smoke and mirrors in this 'work online frenzy'. Most of the gurus didn't make a penny doing what they're preaching.

It's a classic case of the blind leading the blind.

Maybe you should lurk a little longer before you go around throwing accusations.

First of all, BB lives overseas with online freelancing income, as do I (based much on his advice). You've got other guys, like Vincent, who are doing something very similar.

There is nothing smoke and mirrors about it.

Second of all, preaching offline marketing to a bunch of guys who have a main goal of being location independent proves to me again that you haven't read enough of the content on this site.

How many Filipino businesses do you think are looking to hire American writers at a Western premium? Not to mention visa issues, laws, rampant corruption, etc. Then you have to reestablish an entirely new network every time you move to another country or city.

Third, do you seriously think 82k isn't possible using online marketing channels? That's the only "blind leading the blind" statement I see in here. Not to mention you're comparing apples to oranges, considering that's not even a lot of money if you're living in a major American city.

I wasn't going to comment in this thread anymore, but I don't want misunderstandings...

First off, I wasn't throwing an accusation at anybody in particular, just commenting on the general IM scene. It IS rife with frauds.

For the second point, obviously you don't understand offline marketing. That encompasses cold emails/calling to specific companies. You can do that abroad (as I did). Of course, there are other aspects of offline that you'd be missing out on. But this is about initial prospecting. For the guys, who are in the U.S and would like to be location-independent...you can do an offline campaign for a few months and then never need to prospect again. I haven't in over a year. The only reason I'm in the U.S is to speak at a few local conferences.

Thirdly, sure it's possible. I have several friends in IM selling their own stuff (and working 50+ hour work weeks) that dwarf my income. My point being is they're in the small minority. For the newbies, it's better to go where the odds are more stacked in your favor.

I didn't say $82K is a lot of money (though I do live in a rural area). But then again, it's multiples of what your average "digital nomad" is making. I've been to meetups in Asia and Europe, and most of these guys are lucky to break $2K a month.
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 01:28 PM by Chick Magnet.)
05-09-2015 01:10 PM
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Post: #35
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-09-2015 01:10 PM)Chick Magnet Wrote:  I wasn't going to comment in this thread anymore, but I don't want misunderstandings...

First off, I wasn't throwing an accusation at anybody in particular, just commenting on the general IM scene. It IS rife with frauds.

For the second point, obviously you don't understand offline marketing. That encompasses cold emails/calling to specific companies. You can do that abroad (as I did). Of course, there are other aspects of offline that you'd be missing out on. But this is about initial prospecting. For the guys, who are in the U.S and would like to be location-independent...you can do an offline campaign for a few months and then never need to prospect again. I haven't in over a year. The only reason I'm in the U.S is to speak at a few local conferences.

Thirdly, sure it's possible. I have several friends in IM selling their own stuff (and working 50+ hour work weeks) that dwarf my income. My point being is they're in the small minority. For the newbies, it's better to go where the odds are more stacked in your favor.

I didn't say $82K is a lot of money (though I do live in a rural area). But then again, it's multiples of what you're average "digital nomad" is making. I've been to meetups in Asia and Europe, and most of these guys are lucky to break $2K a month.

And I'm sure you've also noticed the work ethic of the guys in Asia (myself included)...

Anyhow, you are welcome to continue commenting in the thread if you just tone down the pissing contest attitude from earlier.

I'd love to talk more about the other shite you want to talk about. That's what we're here for, and that's all I really wanted to get across, so how about a little virtual handshake and let's continue discussing strategies for landing clients?

No hard feelings.

Moving on, I'm actually well-acquainted with offline marketing and have dabbled myself even in the physical world while back in the States. As you pointed out yourself, I engage in it every time I send out a cold email and most of the clients I work with even meeting on the sites we were bickering about earlier are brick and mortar companies.

I digress. Point is I know exactly what you're talking about (though clearly I have less experience with it) and 100% agree. My experience doing this off of the computer was more in web design and online marketing services, though (design farmed out to Filipinos).

You could definitely spend portions of your year in a more prosperious location and the rest of the year traveling. Or target offline companies through calling, emailing, direct mail, etc. I've actually had some decent success in the past with emailing - if done right, you can blast lousy open rates most people talk about out of the water.

I find that in some industries, it really gets no better as far as subject lines go than "Do you work with freelancers?"

Also, I'd urge the guys in poorer locations not to give up on the idea of meeting offline clients even in your current location. I've landed and at least negotiated with some pretty solid offline clients in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam as well for thousands of dollars - not everyone is broke. This is small-time figures compared to what solid offline marketers make out here. Even in Cambo there are certain industries exploding and companies jumping at the bit to get online and promote themselves to the world.

Best part about it? Competition is less fierce, though not nonexistent, and just being a foreigner lends you at least some degree of credibility. People from other cultures also find it harder to tell when you're hanging on the seat of your pants and "faking it until you make it." Wink

If you're a good networker, you can meet very afflient expats with extremely successful international companies out here making the rounds.

Anyhow, just let the bad mojo go and keep posting, man. We're hear to help each other - not beat each other down.

Keep that in mind and we'll all do just fine. Grouphug
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2015 01:54 PM by Beyond Borders.)
05-09-2015 01:30 PM
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Post: #36
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
BB,

Yea, no hard feelings. I didn't mean to ruffle anybody's feathers. Like you said, we're all in it together.

I'll put up my thoughts on offline marketing in this thread later. And I'd be glad to tackle any questions you guys have about it.
05-09-2015 01:40 PM
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RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-08-2015 06:40 PM)Don Wrote:  Hey guys, i'm in a pretty difficult spot right now and i could really use some advice. I promise i'll make the backstory as concise and clear as possible out of respect for your time.

I'm 21, no college education, born and still currently living in Bucharest, Romania. I have about 1 yr experience working as web developer. I self-thought HTML, CSS, Wordpress, Photoshop, Illustrator and a bit of Jquery. This working knowledge allowed me to land through word of mouth some low-cost work. (for scale, the minimum wage in here is 280E/month, an avg salary for a jr. web dev. is 350e/month and a Senior web developer at IBM Bucharest makes an average of 1500e/month(20k USD/yr). Yes, it's that shitty.)I was making around 200e/project, but the projects were gruesome to work on because the clients were very demanding and hard to please, borderline delusional. The mantra in general in Romania is to pay as little as possible and demand as much as possible. I could've landed a jr. gig but the idea of waking up early, commuting and doing the 9 to 5 as a code monkey at some agency for 350e/m and beg for a 20% raise after a year or some shit sounded horrible. I took some time off and invested mainly time - and some money - into a venture that at first gave huge returns but is now shaky and i'm facing the possibility of going broke.

As of right now I have the time and freedom to study and try anything. I don't want to go back to web programming. It's a field dominated up top by college educated nerds with tons of experience that I can't compete with and tons of cheap indians at the bottom that make it harder for everyone. It's a field where you have to constantly keep up with new technologies and standards and in the end you'll always be the bitch of either a client or a boss that will always pay you a fraction of what you make them. (I'm sorry if I offended any programmers, i might be wrong, but this is just my opinion and my experience). But I also know that smart people always say: Play on your strengths, not your weaknesses, so i feel like a fool for thinking of kicking to the curb something that pays pretty well that I invested effort into learning and starting from scratch with something that I have no clue about.

So in conclusion: What path do you think would be the best for me to make the most money but also give me the most flexibility? Would starting to learn copy or content writing make sense? I could write about health&fitness, poker and maybe tech. A job, any job, that would pay even 8-10e/hour would change my fucking life right now and set me up for good. I have the brain and motivation to do anything as long as it's legal, profitable and flexible. Any opinion or advice is welcomed.

Since everyone else wants to be an a-hole and ignore you (I kid, I kid), I'll go ahead and chime in on this.

Do you have savings? Do you have other skills? How long do you have to get something up and running before you go hungry?

You may want to bust out of programming, but if you're finding it a grind, I think you might find that writing can be too. It's all perspective, and it may just be about learning to enjoy grinding and constantly pushing yourself to get better at something again.

Another idea is to look at other interesting areas that would take similar mindset, skills, and propensites as programming. What skillset excites you to learn about? There are countless things you can charge money to do if you put in the work to learn and position yourself. So it's less a matter of what should you do than it is what you want to do and then pushing through the process to get there.

If you don't have money saved, a shift over to a whole other freelance skill based on a whole other type of thinking and work style seems a bit wild. Just find some steady part-time online work doing that and channel your other hours into learning something else and branching out your current brand or a second new one.

To be quite honest, I kind of doubt your assertion that programmers can't make a high-paid very respectable living. No offense, I've just heard that same exact thing far too many times about writing to take it seriously.

Best case scenario, you need to learn to position yourself (and I'd say that's also most likely). Worst case scenario, you need to build rare skills, knowledge-sets, or specialities in the field that are in high-demand and carve out your niche. Or become "so good they can't ignore you," as it is said.
(This post was last modified: 05-10-2015 04:39 AM by Beyond Borders.)
05-10-2015 04:38 AM
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RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-10-2015 04:38 AM)Beyond Borders Wrote:  Since everyone else wants to be an a-hole and ignore you (I kid, I kid), I'll go ahead and chime in on this.

Do you have savings? Do you have other skills? How long do you have to get something up and running before you go hungry?

You may want to bust out of programming, but if you're finding it a grind, I think you might find that writing can be too. It's all perspective, and it may just be about learning to enjoy grinding and constantly pushing yourself to get better at something again.

Another idea is to look at other interesting areas that would take similar mindset, skills, and propensites as programming. What skillset excites you to learn about? There are countless things you can charge money to do if you put in the work to learn and position yourself. So it's less a matter of what should you do than it is what you want to do and then pushing through the process to get there.

If you don't have money saved, a shift over to a whole other freelance skill based on a whole other type of thinking and work style seems a bit wild. Just find some steady part-time online work doing that and channel your other hours into learning something else and branching out your current brand or a second new one.

To be quite honest, I kind of doubt your assertion that programmers can't make a high-paid very respectable living. No offense, I've just heard that same exact thing far too many times about writing to take it seriously.

Best case scenario, you need to learn to position yourself (and I'd say that's also most likely). Worst case scenario, you need to build rare skills, knowledge-sets, or specialities in the field that are in high-demand and carve out your niche. Or become "so good they can't ignore you," as it is said.

It's ok, at least I got one reply in the end Big Grin Programming can indeed pay well, but not in Romania. All the good programmers I know either emigrated to UK/Canada/France/etc. or had to stick around for <2k salaries. And I just know that I could never gather the passion needed to excel at it, which I admit is a shame considering that I definitely had talent for it, everyone always assumed I would end up 'working in IT'.

Right now I'm taking action towards becoming a copywriter. And I think I have all the tools I need to succeed from this forum and other sources.

But what I could really use right now is a job to help me make money on the short term. There's tons of jobs that you guys would never even consider since anything under 15$/h wouldn't even sustain the bare essentials. What I'm asking for is maybe a tip from any established freelancer about what sort of gig you would recommend for someone with my described skillset? My English(spoken and written) is -almost- at native level, i can type 130WPM with 99% accuracy so I was thinking about maybe Data Entry? Or would Content Writing be better suited?

Do you have savings?
600E
Do you have other skills?
I'm fluent in English and Romanian
I know a lot of stuff about nutrition, exercise science and poker(there's a niche for that, i'm sure)
I learn tech very fast, it only took me months to dishing out websites.
And the most recently discovered skill..I type really fast and accurately.
How long do you have to get something up and running before you go hungry?
For better or worse I have food and shelter guaranteed regardless of income for 2yrs+.
(This post was last modified: 05-10-2015 02:12 PM by Don.)
05-10-2015 02:10 PM
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05-10-2015 03:20 PM
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Post: #40
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
^lol I'm sure he will. A solid data sheet is a significant time investment.

(05-10-2015 02:10 PM)Don Wrote:  It's ok, at least I got one reply in the end Big Grin Programming can indeed pay well, but not in Romania. All the good programmers I know either emigrated to UK/Canada/France/etc. or had to stick around for <2k salaries. And I just know that I could never gather the passion needed to excel at it, which I admit is a shame considering that I definitely had talent for it, everyone always assumed I would end up 'working in IT'.

Right now I'm taking action towards becoming a copywriter. And I think I have all the tools I need to succeed from this forum and other sources.

But what I could really use right now is a job to help me make money on the short term. There's tons of jobs that you guys would never even consider since anything under 15$/h wouldn't even sustain the bare essentials. What I'm asking for is maybe a tip from any established freelancer about what sort of gig you would recommend for someone with my described skillset? My English(spoken and written) is -almost- at native level, i can type 130WPM with 99% accuracy so I was thinking about maybe Data Entry? Or would Content Writing be better suited?

Do you have savings?
600E
Do you have other skills?
I'm fluent in English and Romanian
I know a lot of stuff about nutrition, exercise science and poker(there's a niche for that, i'm sure)
I learn tech very fast, it only took me months to dishing out websites.
And the most recently discovered skill..I type really fast and accurately.
How long do you have to get something up and running before you go hungry?
For better or worse I have food and shelter guaranteed regardless of income for 2yrs+.

Don, there's a member on the forum named woot who is a German. I think he's focusing on other stuff more right now, but I know he has made $100/hour at times with writing (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, woot). Being bilingual positions you well to work with Romanian markets.

I also know a guy from Holland who does well serving markets back home.

Finally, learning something like Adwords can make you valuable, and I think it'd be fun, to be honest. Or hell, learn split testing and optimization - that'll make you priceless if you learn it well.

Start with Google's basic Adwords training program to learn the fundamentals and then start seeking out something more advanced. Get some results for a few small companies or websites and then turn those into bullets to use in your marketing.

- I made this company this much more revenue in this amount of time.
- I brought this client's conversions up by this much while reducing spend by this much.
- etc, etc.

You could take on small marketing tasks here and there until you get your foot in the door. I imagine this will not be a quick solution unless you're a good hustler, but it could be a very solid path to take.
(This post was last modified: 05-10-2015 10:28 PM by Beyond Borders.)
05-10-2015 10:27 PM
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Post: #41
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
I mentioned I have some work if someone wants to help out - no love, so I'll be more specific.

Right now I've got a cold emailing campaign if someone wants to lend a hand.

$10/hour until I feel you can send them out without me micromanaging over your shoulder. If you're sharp I'd say that'll take a day or so of actual work and maybe a week at most.

If you're good at it and punctual, I'll bump it to $12/hour after that and am happy to talk about raises down the line if you can add value to what you're doing for me or if you can help me test out other campaigns (esp. if they end up being successful).

This is not just click and send email.

There will be a specific process for locating these prospects and fine-tuning emails accordingly. It's not rocket science but it isn't spamming either.

Oh, and this is not a super consistent thing yet. Maybe a few hours here and there for the first week or too. Then we'll take it from there. It could very well become a long-term thing though.

Yes, the starting rate is nothing to call and tell Mom about, and yes, I can post a job on Elance or the Warrior Forum for this shit. But I see some of you guys churning out articles at these rates and I'd rather hire an RVFer.

I'll hold off on this for a day, maybe two, to see who hits me up, but otherwise I'm pretty much ready to roll.
05-10-2015 11:04 PM
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Dan Woolf Offline
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Post: #42
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
----------------------------------------
(This post was last modified: 02-06-2016 06:07 PM by Dan Woolf.)
05-13-2015 02:55 PM
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Post: #43
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-13-2015 02:55 PM)Dan Woolf Wrote:  Would be great if you guys could talk about your first month(s) in freelancing, specifically online on Elance etc. What services you offered, how much you made, what mistakes did you make, what did you learn...

Sure.

I had actually read about freelancing for a while, but always overlooked it. I wanted to make money through websites, but have to come to realize that is a very difficult process. It wasn't until I read a thread by 'Woot' on this forum (I'll try and find the link) that I actually went through with freelancing.

I started off with oDesk. I applied to a few jobs but my very first one was writing about a 'Unique sexual experience'. I wrote about how my then-girlfriend shoved a finger where the sun don't shine. $5 later and I felt like there was a lot of potential.

I really didn't mind doing a few cheap jobs at first, just to get my foot in the door. For the first few months my rates were around 1.5 cents per word; pretty low. But what I would recommend, like many other have, is to aggressively raise rates. Honestly, I've tried to figure out why people charge what they do, but haven't been able to. There are some people that charge $12 an hour when they should charge $36. They get comfy at a certain rate and imo are afraid to notch it up.

People ARE willing to pay for good writers. And being a good writer is quite subjective. Basically if you're decently smart you can be considered a good writer and charge a good amount just to write content articles.

Cover letters are also important. Clients get tons of cover letters and you really have to stand out. For me, having my own blog (and other websites) served as a portfolio for my work. I just wrote in a blog post talking about how I secured a $2k contract because the client's niche is along the lines of masculinity, being alpha etc. That really set me apart. Although good cover letters can take time, if it's the difference between landing a job then it's not an issue.

If you're not getting work at first, just keep applying. That said, there've been times where I didn't apply to jobs because I thought I was too busy. Then I'd sit around twiddling my thumbs because I overestimated how much work I had. Better to apply to more jobs, as you can always turn stuff down.

Let's see, what else...

Don't be afraid to cut a client off. Don't be rude or have a meltdown as that will effect your rating. Just dont accept any future offers.

As for what type of content you should do when starting out, I just did content. Looking back writing ebooks were stupid. My logic is that clients have a hard time budgeting so much money for a large project. I've never seen an eBook job for more than 2 cents a word. They're usually around 1-1.5; this is just too low to do long term.

Also, I NEVER applied to hourly jobs at first. I honestly didn't know what to expect. Looking back I would have applied and accepted more of them.

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(This post was last modified: 05-13-2015 06:37 PM by Seth_Rose.)
05-13-2015 06:33 PM
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Post: #44
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-13-2015 06:33 PM)Seth_Rose Wrote:  
(05-13-2015 02:55 PM)Dan Woolf Wrote:  Would be great if you guys could talk about your first month(s) in freelancing, specifically online on Elance etc. What services you offered, how much you made, what mistakes did you make, what did you learn...

Sure.

I had actually read about freelancing for a while, but always overlooked it. I wanted to make money through websites, but have to come to realize that is a very difficult process. It wasn't until I read a thread by 'Woot' on this forum (I'll try and find the link) that I actually went through with freelancing.

I started off with oDesk. I applied to a few jobs but my very first one was writing about a 'Unique sexual experience'. I wrote about how my then-girlfriend shoved a finger where the sun don't shine. $5 later and I felt like there was a lot of potential.

I really didn't mind doing a few cheap jobs at first, just to get my foot in the door. For the first few months my rates were around 1.5 cents per word; pretty low. But what I would recommend, like many other have, is to aggressively raise rates. Honestly, I've tried to figure out why people charge what they do, but haven't been able to. There are some people that charge $12 an hour when they should charge $36. They get comfy at a certain rate and imo are afraid to notch it up.

People ARE willing to pay for good writers. And being a good writer is quite subjective. Basically if you're decently smart you can be considered a good writer and charge a good amount just to write content articles.

Cover letters are also important. Clients get tons of cover letters and you really have to stand out. For me, having my own blog (and other websites) served as a portfolio for my work. I just wrote in a blog post talking about how I secured a $2k contract because the client's niche is along the lines of masculinity, being alpha etc. That really set me apart. Although good cover letters can take time, if it's the difference between landing a job then it's not an issue.

If you're not getting work at first, just keep applying. That said, there've been times where I didn't apply to jobs because I thought I was too busy. Then I'd sit around twiddling my thumbs because I overestimated how much work I had. Better to apply to more jobs, as you can always turn stuff down.

Let's see, what else...

Don't be afraid to cut a client off. Don't be rude or have a meltdown as that will effect your rating. Just dont accept any future offers.

As for what type of content you should do when starting out, I just did content. Looking back writing ebooks were stupid. My logic is that clients have a hard time budgeting so much money for a large project. I've never seen an eBook job for more than 2 cents a word. They're usually around 1-1.5; this is just too low to do long term.

Also, I NEVER applied to hourly jobs at first. I honestly didn't know what to expect. Looking back I would have applied and accepted more of them.

This thread probably: http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-41691.html

My plan is this:

1. Right now I'm writing copy on spec. I use brochures and websites that can be downloaded for free and then I customize them for my needs. I've also made a couple of ads from scratch. I'll put these in my portfolio with some of my articles and short stories.

2. Sign up to Elance and Upwork, fill out my profile completely, ace the tests.

3. Bypass all the low paid shady shit and go straight for the good clients who actually pay something.

4. Write every proposal from the scratch, not just use generic crap.

5. Overdeliver.

I'll probably concentrate mostly on copywriting, because it's easier to stand out as opposed to writing 5 dollar articles like all the IRTs.
05-13-2015 07:14 PM
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Post: #45
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
One of my problems is trying to find a way to "nicely" raise my rates, or at least find the better paying fiction jobs. I keep getting all these emails from the people I ghost write for as to how they love my work. Well, I appreciate the good vibes, but a little green love would be nice.
One of the problems I'm having is that its a little hard to adjust to people who pay me and send praise. I had 25+ years of asshole bosses in a dying industry who thought motivation consisted of screaming. I quickly learned if someone was being nice that meant they were about to lay you off.

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05-13-2015 11:30 PM
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Post: #46
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
Start by charging your new clients higher rates right out of the gate.

At the rate levels you're working, you should be aiming to multiply by double for the next couple increases

Then when your old clients come back, explain to them that you've been really busy and that you're sorry but you've actually doubled your rate since you last worked together. Tell them that if it means you can't work together anymore, you completely understand (sometimes they come back later anyhow, even after saying they can't budget it) and thanks for their business blah blah blah.

If you want you can offer them a returning customer discount to try to keep their business, but don't steep too low.

Many won't stick with you. Try to get a testimonial if you can - these people might need you but most are happy to see you move on to bigger and better things.

Here's the key. If you lose half your customers but double your rates, you just cut your workload in half while maintaining the same income.

The fastest way to raise your rates is to book so much work you can't keep up with it and change your rates accordingly.

The real struggle is doing this with clients you're depending on for work. But if you don't have enough leads to do this kind of thing, it is because you stopped marketing.

Big mistake (I've done it a million times, so don't feel bad).

No time?

Make time. If you can't put in an extra day or two to put in the effort to DOUBLE your hourly, which doesn't take much time at all, you're probably not going to make it long in this biz.

It's no different than a 9-to-5er building a business on the side on nights and weekends or increasing his skills by taking night classes at the local college. If you want to move up, make the time and put in the work - simple as that. Otherwise you don't need to believe in any woo-woo law of attraction stuff to see you're creating your own reality.

And if you're staying busy around the clock and have your bills paid, there is simply no reason you can't bid on jobs at a higher rate on the side even just to see what happens. You can afford to because you don't need the work and have money coming in already. So at this point a higher bid sent out is just a test and a pleasant surprise if it works out.

In every instance I've seen people send out new queries for higher rates when they were already booked, they've ended up blindseded (in a good way) by what's possible.
(This post was last modified: 05-14-2015 03:03 AM by Beyond Borders.)
05-14-2015 03:00 AM
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Post: #47
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
Business steadily picking up with my newfound energy for work.

Just got my second copywriting client on WF last night for the new copywriting WSO.

I can see some momentum picking up here as I get more feedback. My rates are low to get the ball rolling, but I plan to increase after 3 more customers.

Also pulled a $50/hr and $70/hr client on Elance, last night and this morning, respectively. I don't usually do hourlies but expirementing with it a little and trying to fill my schedule with as much work as possible right now.

Still trying to get my email campaign rolling to get away from these sites but finding myself really busy at the moment. I'm going to alter my main sales page on my site to focus just on two specific services at a high rate and try to get it working for me more.

Have a Cambodian working for me here and there doing admin stuff and talking with a member here about helping, so if things keep rolling along nicely, looking to expand, or at least push my rates up, steadily over the next couple months.

I'm putting in a lot of work right now (went to bed at 6:30am this morning and was up again at 10), but I plan to build some better systems in my currently small practice that will make my life a lot easier months from now, and I may even start turning this into an agency type of company if I don't land the apprenticeship in LA.
(This post was last modified: 05-14-2015 03:15 AM by Beyond Borders.)
05-14-2015 03:06 AM
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Post: #48
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
(05-13-2015 07:14 PM)Dan Woolf Wrote:  This thread probably: http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-41691.html

My plan is this:

1. Right now I'm writing copy on spec. I use brochures and websites that can be downloaded for free and then I customize them for my needs. I've also made a couple of ads from scratch. I'll put these in my portfolio with some of my articles and short stories.

2. Sign up to Elance and Upwork, fill out my profile completely, ace the tests.

3. Bypass all the low paid shady shit and go straight for the good clients who actually pay something.

4. Write every proposal from the scratch, not just use generic crap.

5. Overdeliver.

I'll probably concentrate mostly on copywriting, because it's easier to stand out as opposed to writing 5 dollar articles like all the IRTs.

This sounds like a solid plan.

Also, could you share the link(s) or show examples of the bolded above? Im quite curious.

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05-14-2015 09:39 AM
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Post: #49
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
^^

Just google "free website templates", "free brochure templates" etc.

You'll find templates like this:

[Image: YCb3ffB.png]

Then you just customize it and put in your own copy.
05-14-2015 10:51 AM
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Post: #50
RE: The "All Things Freelance" Thread
That feeling you get when you see a notification showing Escrow funds release...

Anyone have any ideas how we can start a private thread or discussion about freelancing? I'm sure there are some things we would be happy to share with each other that wouldn't be available to prying eyes.
05-14-2015 11:47 AM
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