Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Start Working As a Freelance Web Designer|Programmer

There are many ways to earn money as a freelancer on the Internet, particularly if
you are able to write articles, content, design a web page, program web applications (think PHP / MySQL), do sound recording and engineering, know your way around the web, or are even willing to spend a couple hours a day doing quick data entry projects or link exchanges for a website. Often, there are even jobs you might be surprised to find. People looking for freelancers often pay through PayPal or other type services on the Internet. If you work fast, many of you can start finding little projects to start TODAY (no kidding, it works!) Here are some ways to find jobs like these on the internet and get started.

Step One: Go sign up at a Freelancer Marketplace. This is a place where people post ads for jobs and people bid on getting those projects. Signing up is almost always free (and if it isn't you'll need to look elsewhere), and there's usually nothing expected of you at these talent pools until you win a project (at which time they will take out a percentage commission of your final project bid -- usually anywhere from 5-10%). There are quite a few on the Internet; I'll be listing these resources following this article.

Step Two: You will usually have to confirm your email address, so do that first.
Next, you'll be choosing a username and filling out your profile. Don't worry about it if you don't have much to add just yet, just choose a username and add the basics, for now. Later, you can update and add more when you can. Choose a username that sounds professional and trustworthy (think 'writer4hire' or 'projectmaster', rather than 'suckit2004')

Step Three: Setting up your profile. When you're setting up your profile, be sure to choose the categories of the kind of work you do (writing, marketing, web design, ASP, whatever) and choose to be updated when new projects arrive instantly. You want to do this for sure, other-wise some other guy could beat you to the job! Many times, being the first one to place a good bid will get you the job, so it's worth it! Being FAST is a great way to get started working immediately.

Step Four: The Bidding Wars. When you start finding projects you want to work on, being new (zero feedback), place bids that are a bit cheaper than you'd normally be willing to go. A few tiny projects and good feedback will get you the clout you'll need to start charging more for projects. Besides, an extra $40 in your Paypal account in a day or so (if your fast) is nothing to complain about!

Step Five: Know When and How to Follow Up. When you do put a bid in, make sure you also leave a message on the board and repeat exactly what you said in the bid. Most projects are awarded for a combination of things, but mainly because the person understands what they have to do! Write a proposal that is basically a SHORT recap that includes the time it will take you, how you'll be delivering the final product (such as 'A ZIP file in an email with a TXT file of the article', etc.), and - believe it or not - a summary of EXACTLY WHAT THEY ASKED FOR IN THE PROJECT POST. I know it sounds silly, but it does get the point across, and you'll get chosen because you sound like you understand. And you do - because you have to read the post to even DO this!

Step Six: Winning the Project. When you get the project, do it AS FAST AS YOU CAN! Speed is important if you're working for less than what you expect at first. PLUS it will gain you better feedback.

Step Seven: Rinse, and repeat. After about 5-10 projects, you'll realize quickly that you're actually pretty much working for yourself these days. And considering the size of many of these sites, you can do this on and on and on...whenever you want.

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