March was a productive month. A little hectic, but productive. You may have noticed the new site design. I’ve been plugging away, trying to fix snags. Things happens. At the same time, I was taking notes so I can share exactly how I made an extra $1000 part-time in the midst of all the redesign upheaval.
I stumbled into the idea of generating freelance income on the side from a few conferences last year. What a marvelous concept.
- I accepted a side hustle challenge to make money on Fiverr.com.
- While I didn’t personally crack the Fiverr.com code (yet), I had a great guest on the Midday Money Show podcast who did and shared his secrets for success on Fiverr.
- In November, I shared my first month of results with you. $665
Between surgery, being sued, and getting the new site up; my freelance focus had to take a back seat for a few months. I’m back.
I love the idea of freelancing for so many reasons.
- You can accelerate your debt repayment schedule which improves your momentum.
- You can coordinate freelance gigs around your full-time work schedule or other family obligations.
- There are fewer geographic restrictions because much of the work can be done remotely.
Most of you already have Internet access and a computer. Time to put your social networking skills to work for you.
Which begs the question – how did I make my side hustle bloom?
In March, all I did was write. That’s it.
I do that on a regular basis anyway trying to keep you all motivated. Why not test the waters as a freelance writer?
In the first month of this experiment, I secured a couple of projects. I scored one while attending a conference covering a topic of interest – finance and blogging. I found another on CraigsList.com. The last connection came from Indeed.com.
Of the three, I’ve only nurtured the relationship with the editor I met at FinCon. I’ve continued to pitch ideas and make every effort to be responsive to all emails. In a freelance relationship, communication and responsiveness are important. Remember that.
This month, I experimented with a paid job board. Flexjobs.com.
I’ll admit, paying for a job boards seems a little counterintuitive; almost scammy-esk. However, with the 30% off coupon code, NEWSLETTER, the cost for the month was only $9.95.
I was diligent about applying for gigs and searching for work since I had skin in the game. As long as I brought in at least $10 of work, then the Flexjobs.com fee was money well spent.
I also like that Flexjobs.com allows you to expire your subscription. Your subscription will cancel automatically before the next billing cycle. That’s a very nice feature for a forgetful person like myself. So trying out the service for one month is manageable.
I also like the idea of working through Flexjobs.com because they offer links to openings in a variety of industries – not just writing. I have a background in IT and project management, so I was able to look at remote, flexible schedule positions in a number of industries.
My goal is to generate enough income in my spare time to convince you to try it too.
I secured two small writing gigs from Flexjobs.com and set interviews with three potential clients for everything from web development to podcast production to social media management.
I didn’t get the web development gig, but the other two are still in progress. I’ll have more information on those in the next update.
I like the idea of working with clients in a more established arrangement for two reasons:
- More consistency with projects, scheduling, and of course projected income.
- I’d rather not have to continually pitch new clients for work.
Since this is all still new, I’m open right now to try many things within reason. Basically I’m running this experiment to prove that freelance work is a viable option for ANYBODY looking to pay down debt faster, build your savings, or add another income stream to your household without wreaking havoc on your schedule.
My Freelance Income Report
- Personal finance content: $1033
- General content: $30 (I just picked up this client toward the end of March.)
- Crowd Content: $24
I don’t track my hours so well, but I spent between 14-16 hours total on the projects listed above. All month. Rough estimate.
Thoughts on Job Boards and Content Mills
Since freelancing is new to me, I’ve been working hard to learn as much as possible. I recently interviewed Gina Horkey about how she made money freelance writing on the side.
Unlike Gina, many with more experience suggest avoiding job boards because:
- The pay is low.
- There’s much more competition.
- Pitching this way consumes a ton of time.
I agree with all three of those reasons. However, I’m not mad about my last few months searching free and paid job boards because:
- It’s easy to get started.
- You can practice perfecting your pitch to get responses.
- It’s a nice way to build a portfolio of work quickly.
Everyone asks for a sample of your work. If you don’t have a website and don’t want to start one, collecting samples from content mills is fairly painless.
I will move away from job boards and content mills. These sites, like Crowd Content or TextBroker.com, are third party tools that connect freelancers and those in need of content.
I do like the idea of an automated rating system that allows you access to higher paying jobs. I just don’t know if I’ll have the patience to work through the process. In the first month, my rating is still on the first level. The pay rate is set to .02 cents a word. For you all, I’ll give it one more month.
This month, I’ll focus on securing 1 or 2 more regular clients and pitching publications directly. I’ve been doing a little more research and am looking forward to sharing my results next month.
Can $1000 make a difference in your debt dumping journey? Do you have an extra 14 hours in the month to give this a try?
Take a look at Indeed.com.
Peruse the help wanted section of CraigsList.com.
If you’re serious, pony up $10 (with the discount coupon: NEWSLETTER) and take Flexjobs.com for a spin this month. Let’s see what falls out.
Let me know below if you’re ready to give freelance work a try.