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Ways to Make Money on the Side with a Full Time Job

Ways to Make Money on the Side with a Full Time Job

“Never depend on a single income. Make investments to create a second source.”

This quote from Warren Buffet highlights the importance of creating a second source of income. A secondary source of income boosts your confidence, on the job as well as outside of it. Financial security is one of the reasons why many people compromise on their dreams and never follow their passions. Multiple sources of income mitigate the financial risks. It also empowers people to exercise their creative freedom and take calculated risks to achieve their life goals.

Making money on the side with a full-time job may be hard but not impossible. It takes some time, initial investment and patience.

Here are few ways that can help you generate a decent extra income without quitting your full-time job.

Google AdSense

If you don’t know about the Google AdSense yet, it is an advertising exchange service by Google that helps you monetize your web properties such as websites, blogs, YouTube videos, etc. If you know about Google AdSense, you may have heard that it generates very little income and is no longer profitable today. Even though it creates peanuts, I recommend starters to try it out. In the long run, it provides an excellent ROI without eating your time. In 2013, I wrote a blog on the topic “careers after graduation” and applied AdSense. After that, I never looked at the blog. At the time of writing this blog, I have earned a total of around $850. With some minor tweaks, the earnings are expected to increase to around $100 per month (currently it is $50 per month). With an investment of around $40, if I can earn $1200 per year and that too without doing anything, I don’t think it is a bad investment at all. To generate an equivalent rental income from real estate, you need to purchase a flat worth $40,000.

Google Adsense Earnings Report

Google Adsense Earnings Screenshot

Investment:

Money

$40 per annum ($10 for domain name and $30 for a basic hosting plan)

Time

1st month – 8-10 hours (Deciding a name, registering a domain, purchasing hosting and creating the website)

2nd to 6th month – 6-8 hours per month (In research and curating content, or putting relevant data on site if you are not comfortable in writing)

6th month onwards – Nil (Although you may give as much time as possible, the content would be sufficient to become a base for generating consistent income)

Returns

First Six Months – Nil (A new site must be at least six months old to get approved for AdSense)

First 6-12 months – $10-15 per month (This is the minimum. It could be much more if your topic is unique or content becomes viral or is of high quality).

12-24 Months – $25-30 per month

24-36 Months – $40-60 per Month

36 Months onwards – $100+ (If you invest 4-6 hours a month in keeping the content updated).

These estimates are based on the basic minimum investment and ordinary work. If you can write excellent content which becomes viral on social media or serves a niche audience, the AdSense income could be much more than what is estimated here. Many bloggers earn $1+ million from AdSense based on their traffic and target audience. Also, a site that caters to US audience will generate significantly higher AdSense income than a site that targets emerging countries such as India. I will post a detailed blog on Google AdSense later.

Create a Responsive Website in Six Easy Steps

Freelancing

By working as a freelancer, you can start generating an immediate income. To start, you need to decide on a niche service that you can provide. If you can acquire customers regularly, the freelance income can surpass your full-time salary within a year or so. The freelance income can eventually convince you to quit your job and start your venture. Since freelancing requires active involvement and finding regular clients, you need to devote sufficient time on a regular basis. Therefore, it is recommended to those who can consistently work hard to provide quality services in addition to the full-time job.

Everyone can do freelancing without initial investment or training!

Investment

Money

Nil-$50 per month

Time

At least 2-3 hours per day (maybe more on weekends in finding clients)

Return

For first six months to one year – $300-500 per month (depending on the time spent in client acquisition and working)

1-3 years – $500-1500 per month

Beyond three years, your freelance income depends on how much time you are devoting, the quality of client base and business acumen. Many freelancers earn even $10,000+ per month and more. It entirely depends on the direction you provide to your freelancing business.

How to Maximize Your Income as a Freelancer?

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be little tricky for beginners and suggested for those who have some working knowledge of digital marketing. In affiliate marketing, you promote others’ products and services and earn a commission on every referral or sale. It is one of the best ways to build passive wealth. For example, I bought a mobile phone on Amazon, and I liked it very much. I can post a review of the same on my blog and recommend it to my friends or readers. If anyone is purchasing the mobile or other items on Amazon using my referral links, then I will earn a commission. Most e-commerce firms use this technique to increase their revenue. All coupon sites use affiliate marketing on the back-end to generate revenue.

Investment

Money

$200-500 per month (Website, hosting, content curation and promotion)

Time

At least 4-6 hours a day (More if you want to start generating revenue soon)

Return

Due to stiff competition, you may take almost six months to generate your first income through affiliate marketing. However, once you start making money, there is no looking back. Successful affiliate marketers make $30+ million per annum of revenue with a team of just 2-3 full-time employees and some freelancers.

Amazon Affiliate Program Screenshot

Amazon Affiliate Program Screenshot

Selling Digital Products

If you are a writer, cook, a professional or an expert in a particular field, you can write ebooks and sell them on Amazon or several other marketplaces. If writing is not your forte, you can hire a writer to put your expertise into the words. The online marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart promote your products and charge a fixed percentage of revenue as commission on each sale. Many professionals have become millionaires by writing and selling ebooks and other digital goods or services. Apart from ebooks, you can also sell video tutorials, research reports, academic assignments, etc. to generate consistent income. If you are a graphic designer or photographer, you can register on ShutterStock, iStock or Graphic River to sell your products.

Investment

Money

Fix Investment – $100-1000 (Depending on your writing or oratory skills)

Recurring Investment – $50-100 per month to promote products

Time

Initial – 100-150+ hours (Depending on the product)

Recurring – 2-3 hours per day to promote products on various forums

Once buyers start rating your book positively online, you have to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

Return

First six months – 5-10 sale (The revenue will depend on the price of each unit of the product)

Afterwards – 2-5 sale every month if the product is resonating with its target audience.

The sale should get double every 2-3 years and so will be the income.

Note: These figures are for new sellers. It is based on my discussion with some successful sellers who have sold $1million worth of digital goods or services. However, the actual figures may vary. If you are a well-known personality, you may be able to sell a large number of books within a short span of time. It also depends on the quality of products, extent of promotion and the niche. Over 50% of the new books on Amazon have not seen a single sale in the first six months of publishing. Thus, you need to make your product outstanding and promote it extensively to make it a bestseller.

Selling Digital Products

Become a Seller on E-commerce Marketplaces

Not only digital goods but you can sell almost anything without owning the product. For example, you can sell mobile phones without having an inventory of the same, thanks to the booming e-commerce sector. You can register yourself as a seller on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, or Snapdeal, etc. and create product listings. For the shipment of goods, you can tie-up with a local mobile phone vendor. You can work on a revenue sharing model with the supplier.

Many off-line retailers have no time or understanding of online channel. Thus, they can give you a good discount as well as a great commission for selling their products in bulk.

Investment

Money

Fix – $10-100 (For creating product listings, images, or deposits, if any)

Recurring – $200+ per month (For SEO and promotion of product listings)

Time

2-4 hours depending on your experience in digital marketing and the knowledge of the product

Return

The return on investment depends on the category of products and the margin. It may take almost 3-6 months to generate first few sales. However, once you get first 10-15 ratings, then things become quite simple. After a year or so, you will see a sudden jump in the sales and revenue.

Teach Online

Do you love teaching? If yes, then this is the right time to convert your passion into a full-fledged business. Gone are the days when you needed to rent a property in a prime location and spend a lot to make it upmarket to start a premium educational center. Today, you can launch a coaching institute or an education center with just a computer and a good internet connection. Companies like Adobe and Cisco WebEx provide inexpensive tools and the infrastructure which can be used to teach hundreds or thousands of students online. You can also record the live lecture videos to sell it later as a product. If teaching is your first love, then start exploring this option today.

Investment

Money

Fix cost – $0- 500 (On Educational material, content, etc. You can save this money by doing everything yourself)

Recurring – $50-100 per month + a fee depending on the number of students. (Cost of the education infrastructure provided by the companies)

Time

You can start with 3-4 hours per day and increase it later based on enrolment

Return

Based on your expertise, reputation, years of experience and niche you can make around $1500 per month easily with a year or two after launching the course. There is no limit to the maximum amount as it entirely depends on the direction you give to your business.

Adobe eLearning Solutions

Adobe eLearning Solutions

If you are planning to quit your job and start a business on full-time basis. Read following article to know more about low investment business ideas:

Low Investment Business Ideas

Conclusion

Many other types of work can be done to build a great source of income. I will keep adding them as and when I try something new myself or any of our clients do it (with their due permission). One thing is critical for all kinds of businesses – Working online requires your commitment and time more than the money. You need to take a horizon of at least one to three years to make your business successful. However, the sooner you start the better it is. So don’t wait for a perfect date to start. If you want to build multiple sources of income, then right time is “now.” I wish you all the luck.

Do you need any help, let me know through comments!

15 Unique and Profitable Business Ideas for Better India

15 Unique and Profitable Business Ideas for Better India

India is among the fastest-growing economies in the world. Enormous domestic market and increasing middle class with high disposable incomes have insulated the country from global economic challenges. Most successful firms in India are export oriented. While this strategy works well for the companies, the domestic market remains underserved. Most of the startups in India have copy pasted the business models of international firms (mainly American startups). Therefore, the local market has an enormous potential for new ventures that can meet Indian needs.

If you are looking for traditional business that requires low invest, read following article:

Low Investment Business Ideas

However, if you are looking for innovative business ideas that can be scaled quickly, here is a list of business ideas that can be turned into a successful business models to serve domestic market:

If you are aware of firms that offer services related to the listed ideas, please mentioned them in comments and I will include the list in blog for readers’ reference:

1. Real Estate Research Firms

If I want to purchase or rent a home or office, I have no option but to spend a lot of time in finding the right information. Commission based business model leads to miss-selling by most of the brokers. Although I am ready to pay a fixed price for an extensive research that includes visiting some of the properties or localities, taking new images and providing a fair analysis of the properties. I can’t find a firm or an independent professional who can do this work. Some broker free portals are good for nothing as they have very limited useful information. Some research firms work for high-end corporates or provide subscription-based analysis which is too standardized to be helpful.

Another micro-business model (perhaps a blog is enough) that can provide accurate construction updates of new projects or recent developments in localities. Currently, you need to visit personally to get information that can easily be accessed through a platform.

2. Sales outsourcing services for B2B Businesses

Major e-commerce players such as Flipkart and Amazon work as brokers for B2C sellers. While the e-commerce is booming for B2C market, B2B sales are almost untouched by the technological evolution, especially in the services sector. Some of the sales processes such as tele calling, mass mailing, inbound call centers are outsourced. There is a great market for end-to-end outsourcing of sales and marketing for high-value products and services.

3. Lead Generation Services

Affiliate marketing has solved the need for result based marketing services to an extent. However, it is not popular among the Indian small businesses market. Also, there is a vast scope for lead generation services for offline and B2B companies that can’t take direct advantage of affiliate marketing technology.

4. Technology Business Consultants

If I want to start a payment gateway business or a mobile payment system, I don’t know where to find relevant information. Similarly, non-technology companies require the help of consultants to start technology-based businesses. Currently, the firms rely on technology services providers (such as developers) who hardly know anything other than coding. Large companies such as Infosys and TCS provide such services. However, they are too expensive to be approached by a small to medium business.

5. Independent Media

The news seems to be a thing of the past. A majority of media houses are either cheerleaders or adversaries of government and corporates. Newslaundry is making a right effort in this direction. However, they are still more focused on media critique and unbiased opinion rather than simple everyday news. There is an enormous scope for independent media entity that provides straightforward news without putting their stupid views that waste readers’ time.

6. Government Purchase

This kind of a business has a huge scope but requires connections in government. The defense purchase (or any government purchase) is still a messy and an expensive process. Startups can use technology for streamlining the purchase made by the government departments. Big corporates will never do it as they are the largest beneficiary of the current mess.

7. Content Writers

India is the second biggest country in terms of English speaking population. However, there are very few professionals who brace ghostwriting or content writing as a full-time profession. Therefore, there is a massive shortage of writers who are also a subject matter experts in specific domains. Excellent writers can earn more than IIT/IIM Graduates.

8. Queue Management Mobile App

The hue and cry by media over long queues after recent currency ban exposed their ignorance of rural India. People in the countryside are required to be in long lines for necessary daily requirements. From railway ticket, ATMs, cinema halls to banks, you can find long queue in almost every small town and village. Queue management apps can help institutions manage queues efficiently and save a large population from an unnecessary hassle.

9. Career Counseling

Pathetic is the mild term to describe our education system. It produces people who don’t know what they should and can do even after completing their studies. A professional career counseling can not only help students identify their strengths and weaknesses but also suggest in choosing the right schools, colleges, courses, and jobs. Currently, most of the career counselors act as an agent of sham institutions who pay commission for every admission.

10. Getting rid of unwanted Guests and noises

In many localities of India (especially in urban areas), it is difficult for sensitive people to sleep peacefully in the night. Sometimes stray dogs bark continuously, or pigeons keep fighting in the bedroom windows. Stray cows and buffaloes create traffic jams while monkeys create havoc all around in a busy market. Organized networks of beggars present a different set of challenges for people on the street. Currently, there is no way to get rid of such small but critical problems.  Addressing these issues will be a great social work in itself.

11. Hiring of semi-skilled and skilled labor

If you want to start a restaurant, salon, beauty parlor or a taxi services business, you will have a nightmare in finding people. Hiring plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. for minor household work is another big challenge in urban and semi-urban areas. On the one hand, people blame governments for not creating enough jobs while on the contrary; businesses are shutting down due to lack of skilled individuals. The government has established National Skill Development Center for training and placement of semi-skilled and skilled labors. However, intermediaries are the biggest beneficiary of this initiative. Some portals such as Babajobs, Careersma, Quikr and OLX have done a good job of providing a platform to hire such people. However, their scope is limited to the major cities of India.

12. Car Pooling and Hiring a private car

Quality public transport is still a dream for the majority of Indians in urban as well as rural areas. Uber and Ola have done a brilliant job of providing cabs on demand in the main cities. Their reach is limited to commercial vehicles and big cities. Providing GPS based car and bike pooling facility for private individuals can be a significant boost to the public transport infrastructure.

Most office goers have their car parked during working hours. Renting the idle car will not only help others, but owners can also have an alternate source of income. This will also contribute to reducing congestion on the road. The implementation will always be difficult for this kind of business. But, this is what entrepreneurs are made for – to solve difficult problems.

13. Solid Waste Disposal

Solid waste is one of the leading causes of concern for urban areas in India. Municipal bodies don’t have the competency to address the concern. A technology based startup can easily get government funding to address this problem.

14. Laundry Services

Some startups in the major cities provide laundry services. However, its reach is still limited. The demand for such services is increasing in semi-urban as well as rural India. Although this business has a lot of implementation challenges in 2nd and 3rd tier cities of India, it also presents enormous opportunities to entrepreneurs.

15. Pending Court Cases

Our judicial system is amazingly slow. More than 20 million cases are pending in district courts in India. People hardly have any faith in the justice system. Criminals and corrupts are rarely punished whereas innocent and minor offenders spend years behind the bar. Courts will not fix the problem as the judiciary is not accountable to any institution in the democracy. No government will ever want to solve this issue as the politicians are the biggest beneficiary of the current system. Legal startups should step in to use technology to settle civil cases through arbitration or easing the burden on lower courts. Activists should build public opinion to pressurize governments to bring in judicial reforms.

I will keep adding more ideas to the list in future. Some may be far-fetched; some may look promising, while others might look laughable or ridiculous. But that is okay. If you also come across any pain points or business ideas (even if they are not implementable), please write them through comments, and I will include them on the blog with due credits. Also, please share your input and feedback on ideas mentioned above. Together, we can build a better India.

One Thing That Makes People Filthy Rich

One Thing That Makes People Filthy Rich

When I thought of writing this blog, I asked myself: “Am I the right person to advise on wealth; I stay in a rented accommodation and work 10-12 hours a day to earn my living.”

“No” was the clear response from my heart. “I am a nobody ” and therefore, I can’t advise people on how to become wealthy.

However, as an entrepreneur, I can share my experiences and lessons that I learned the hard ways. It may help others who have similar aspirations.

Here is my take on what makes some people wealthier than others.

To create enormous wealth, you need to have only one thing:

Rich Mentality

If you have the rich mentality, other things will follow.

People with rich mentality follow their heart and use available resources to multiply their wealth over time and in a legal way.

People with a poor mentality, which I call lottery mentality, are usually unaware of their current strengths or resources and spend more time looking for ‘ways’ to make more money rather than making money.

Both kinds of people are innovative, hard working, believe in work ethics and honesty, have good intentions and want to do good for themselves as well as for their community. However, people with rich mentality are the ones who successfully do what they want to do while others always feel the lack of time, dissatisfaction with what they are doing and always want to do more without knowing what exactly needs to be done.

The good thing is, it is easy to change the mentality if you want and this is how you can do it:

Poverty is the cause of all the evils

Respect money. Take control of your wealth. Don’t let others decide what is your worth. If you are doing a job and unable to take control of things, either move on or start a side business. A simple, even part-time business can allow you to have greater control over your wealth.

If you are already into a business, don’t let competition or even customers decide your strategy. Know the worth of your products or services, set a reasonable price, innovate and push yourself to move faster, grow bigger and get better at what you do.

I want it, but I don’t

Don’t let the choices and options confuse you. If you are ever skeptical about the direction you have chosen, remember this:

“This world has enough space to accommodate all types of products and services. A cobbler in Czechoslovakia invested his entire savings in buying machinery to make shoes. Soon, a traditional one man shop had ten people working on a fixed schedule and weekly wage, which was rare for its time. The company did a lot of firsts and went on to become a leading shoe manufacturer in the world. We know them as “Bata” Shoes. Almost all big brands began as a small business working in a highly competitive market. The difference between small businesses which go on to become market leaders (or grow to a significant size) and others is perhaps the vision of their founders. While one set of founders innovate and work out of comfort zone to make the product better, others constantly look out for other avenues from which they can make fast money.”

Have faith in yourself and the choices you have made. A little innovation can take you far.

If you are planning to start a business and not sure what to do, then

Do whatever you are good at

If you are not good at anything, then choose something you like or love to do. And you can work for 10-15 hours a day without getting tired.

If you love to do a lot of things, then

Pick ‘one thing’ that is the easiest to start, requires less investment and you don’t need any help from others to execute it flawlessly.

In short, it is important to believe in whatever you are doing. Love what you do or do what you love. Starting something just for the sake of money will need some help from God in terms of luck. If you consider yourself lucky, then you can take this route also to become rich and wealthy.

If you are willing to start a business but don’t have sufficient capital then start a business that requires low investment. To get some ideas on low investment business ideas, read this article:

Low Investment Business Ideas

I made a mistake and learned from it

For me, it has been one of the best learning so far.  When our consulting services business was booming, I spent significant energy and time in developing a product for faster growth. We were taking an uncertain path at the cost of a well-established business. This flawed strategy lowered the pace of our established business and stifled innovation. The focus on current business line boosted revenue by 40% per annum and expected to grow at the same rate for at least the next few years. I know many people who have ruined their best wealth creator by getting into too many things at a time.

Meanwhile, it is a good strategy to stay in a rented accommodation and save enough capital to reinvest in the business. Even a mediocre business generates better returns than real estate.

Wealth is the most debated point of all time. If you disagree with any of the points mentioned above, please write it through comments. Let us help each other to achieve our financial goals.

Everyone can do freelancing without initial investment or training!

Everyone can do freelancing without initial investment or training!

After reading this blog on maximizing freelance income, readers asked several questions. While I answered specific questions, many readers asked a pertinent question, the answer to which will require an entire blog post.

Through this blog, I will answer “How one can freelance without having a technical skill set or a specific domain knowledge?”

Although I answer each and every question through social media, emails or in person, I request you to post questions in comments so that other readers can also benefit from the answers.

Before I proceed, let me explain the kind of services I provided as a freelancer and why I chose them.

In my last job, I handled digital marketing for the organization. And therefore, digital marketing services were the natural choice for me. I registered my profile as a digital marketing freelancer. However, in 2013, Google updated its search engine algorithm that gave more preference to high-quality content in search engine rankings. This led to a flood of content writing projects on every freelancing site. Since I was in the experimenting mode on the website, I placed few bids on content writing projects and finally won the first project. As I had no formal training or experience in professional writing, I had to work almost 10-12 hours to research and write a four-page content that was worth $10. The client was delighted with work and came up with next set of projects. Over a period, I gained confidence in professional writing, and it became a great complement to digital marketing services.

Until this time, I didn’t know that content writing could also be a business. I didn’t limit myself to just content and digital marketing, but continued learning whatever came on the way.

I will write a dedicated post on learning professional writing later.

For now, let us discuss the main question: How should you choose an area of freelancing, especially when you are not an expert in any one particular field?

Based on my experience, I can only say that start with any one niche and keep learning new (but related) skills to expand the range of services. To become a successful freelancer, you don’t need to be an ‘expert’ in any one field. Rather, you have to be sincere and need to have the full commitment towards the projects that you undertake. Also, you shouldn’t just leave a non-technical project offer simply because you don’t have prior knowledge of the field. The Internet has plenty of free resources that will be useful in learning the required skills quickly. However, for this, you must have commitment and patience to work without being discouraged or dissatisfied at the monetary value of the first few projects. Remember that freelancing demands time and sincere efforts on your part. So, you should choose the kind of work that you are passionate about and love doing it. Something which, if required, you can do for 12-14 hours a day without getting bored, tired, or frustrated.

Here is a comprehensive list of skills that you can choose to begin your freelancing career.

Non-Technical Skills

  1. No or little experience needed

You can become better and efficient at anything you do consistently. So, with experience you may become an expert in Google Search. However, to start a project in searching something on Google, you don’t need to have an experience or a particular educational background. Here is a list of similar tasks that you can choose to work on when you don’t have profound knowledge about anything. If you wish to start freelancing right now, choose any of these skills and start bidding.

Click here to see the list of skills

Article Submission
Bookkeeping
Call Center
Customer Service
General Office
Helpdesk
Data Entry
Data Processing
Desktop Support
Email Handling
Order Processing
Phone Support
Procurement Research
Telephone Handling
Time Management
Transcription
Video Upload
Virtual Assistant
Web Search
Classifieds Posting
eBay
Internet Research
Article Rewriting
Copy Typing
Forum Posting
Newsletters
PDF to Word/Excel/PowerPoint
Product Descriptions
Reviews
  1. Some Prior Experience/Knowledge Needed

Skills that require some prior experience/knowledge, however, can be learned in 3-6 months of self-study. If you are passionate about jobs that involves following skills, it is better do spend some time for self study.

Click here to check the list

Some Prior Experience/Knowledge Needed
BPO
Customer Support
Excel
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Outlook
Technical Support
CRM
Etsy
Facebook Marketing
Google Adsense
Internet Marketing
Market Research
General Marketing
Sales
Social Media Marketing
Telemarketing
Visual Merchandising
Entrepreneurship
ERP
Recruitment
Legal Research
Legal Writing
Academic Writing
Blog Writing
Content Writing
Financial Research
Ghostwriting
PowerPoint Presentation
Press Releases
Report Writing
Resumes
Short Stories
Technical Writing

3. Significant Experience/Expertise Needed

To complete projects that require any of the following skills, you should possess extensive knowledge or skills. If you want to to work on project related to following skills, you first need to learn and apply the concepts in low-risk environment. You may consider working as an intern or offering free services to validate your skills  and acquire some experience before selling your services to serious buyers.

List of skills that requires significant experience or expertise

Investment Research
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Email Marketing
Google Adwords
Lead Generation
Search Engine Marketing
Viral Marketing
Accounting
Business Analysis
Business Plans
Compliance
Event Planning
Finance
Financial Analysis
Inventory Management
Personal Development
Project Management
Risk Management
Book Writing
Business Writing
Catch Phrases
Copywriting
Creative Writing
eBooks Writing
Editing
Medical Writing
Proofreading
Proposal/Bid Writing
Slogans
Speech Writing
Translation Services
Data Science
  1. Specialized/Niche Skill

Although you don’t need to have a technical background to learn these skills, you must work on specific software/platforms to get acquainted. The list can go on and on. However, I have tried to list the skills for which freelance jobs are readily available across the internet. If you want to learn any of these platforms/applications, it is better to use trial versions and practice it before offering freelance services.

Click here to check the list

Journalist
Mailchimp
Mailwizz
Periscope
WooCommerce
Translation Services
3D Printing
Buyer Sourcing
Logistics & Shipping
Manufacturing
Product Design
Product Sourcing
Supplier Sourcing
Attorney
Audit
Autotask
Contracts
Crystal Reports
Employment Law
Fundraising
Intuit QuickBooks
ISO9001
Legal
Linnworks Order Management
MYOB
Nintex Forms
Nintex Workflow
Patents
Payroll
PeopleSoft
Property Law
Public Relations
Salesforce
SAS
Tax
Tax Law
Unit4 Business World
Visa / Immigration
Xero
Grant Writing
LaTeX
Wikipedia
Brain Storming
Business Coaching

Technical Skills

You can even choose to work on technical projects. However, you need to learn specific skills before venturing into the technical freelancing world. The best part is you can learn those skills easily by enrolling on any online training websites. These pieces of training are as good as or sometimes better than offline training provided by local institutes in your area. Some of the popular online training sites are Lynda, Udemy, CourseEra, etc. There are some open source technologies like WordPress etc. that you can learn by self study and its practical application. You can choose the skills based on your interest and decide a future course of action.

  1. IT, Website & Web Applications

Freelancing job opportunities related to  hundreds of programming languages are readily available across internet. You simply need to master any programming language and get started your freelance career.

List of IT, Web & Software Skills

.NET
AJAX
Amazon Web Services
Analytics
Android Wear SDK
Angular.js
Apache
App Developer
ASP
Asterisk PBX
Augmented Reality
Azure
backbone.js
Big Data
BigCommerce
Bitcoin
C Programming
C# Programming
C++ Programming
CakePHP
Cisco
CLIPS
Cloud Computing
CMS
Cocoa
Codeigniter
Coding
Database Administration
Database Development
Database Programming
Debian
Delphi
Django
DNS
DOS
Drupal
Dynamics
eCommerce
Game Development
Google Analytics
Google App Engine
Google Chrome
Google Maps
Google Plus
Google Web Toolkit
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Website Optimizer
Hadoop
HTML
HTML5
Instagram
Internet Security
Interspire
Ionic Framework
Java
Javascript
Joomla
jQuery / Prototype
JSON
Kinect
Knockout.js
Laravel
LESS/Sass/SCSS
Linkedin
Linux
Mac OS
Magento
Metatrader
Microsoft
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft SQL Server
Mobile App Testing
MySQL
Network Administration
Nginx
node.js
NoSQL Couch & Mongo
OAuth
Objective C
OCR
Odoo
Open Cart
Oracle
OSCommerce
PayPal API
Perl
PhoneGap
PHP
Pinterest
Plesk
PostgreSQL
Prestashop
Python
Ruby
Ruby on Rails
Sharepoint
Shell Script
Shopify
Shopping Carts
Smarty PHP
Social Networking
Software Architecture
Software Development
Software Testing
Splunk
SQL
SQLite
Squarespace
Stripe
System Admin
Twitter
Ubuntu
Umbraco
Unity 3D
UNIX
User Interface / IA
VB.NET
Virtuemart
Visual Basic
VMware
VoIP
Volusion
VPS
vTiger
Vuforia
Web Hosting
Web Scraping
Web Security
Web Services
Website Management
Website Testing
Weebly
WHMCS
Windows
Windows API
Windows Desktop
Windows Server
Wix
WordPress
WPF
XML
YouTube
Zen Cart
Zend
Zendesk
Zoho
  1. Mobile Development Technology

Mobile technology is rapidly changing the entire technology ecosystem. There are thousands of freelance jobs available for mobile technology experts. You can launch your freelance career in mobile technology by mastering any of the following skills.

List of Skills related to Mobile Development

Amazon Fire
Amazon Kindle
Android (956)
Android Honeycomb
Appcelerator Titanium
Apple Watch
Geolocation
iPad
iPhone
J2ME
Metro
WebOS
Windows CE
Windows
  1. Designing & Multimedia

There are thousands of designers available on freelancing sites. However, the demand for quality (creative) designers still exceeds the supply. So if you have a creative bend of mind, you will do very well in design and multimedia field. All you need to do is, learn a related technology and practice it for 1-3 months. Good designers will always be in demand from all type of business from across the world.

Click here to see complete list of skills related to Designing & Multimedia

3D Animation
3D Design
3D Modelling
3D Rendering
3ds Max
Adobe Dreamweaver
Adobe Fireworks
Adobe Flash
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Lightroom
Adobe LiveCycle Designer
Advertisement Design
After Effects
Animation
App Designer
Apple Compressor
Apple Logic Pro
Apple Motion
Audio Services
Autodesk Inventor
Autodesk Revit
Axure
Bootstrap
Building Architecture
Capture NX2
CGI
Cinema 4D
Covers & Packaging
CSS
Design
eLearning Designer
Fashion Design
Fashion Modeling
Filmmaking
Final Cut Pro
Flash 3D
Google SketchUp
Graphic Design
Illustrator
Maya
Motion Graphics
Photo Editing
Photography
Photoshop Design
Presentations
Prezi
PSD to HTML
PSD2CMS
QuarkXPress
Stationery Design
Sticker Design
T-Shirts
Tattoo Design
Templates
Typography
User Experience Design
User Interface Design
Vectorization
Video Editing
Video Production
Website Design
Wireframes
  1. Local Jobs (Mostly requires your physical presence at the clients’ location)

Following job requires you to be physically present in clients’ location. You shouldn’t look for these kind of jobs on freelance marketplaces like Freelancer or Upwork. Rather, you should get a premium listing on top local classified site in your area. In 3-6 months you should get decent number of leads from sites like JustDial, CraigList, Locanto, OLX etc.

See the complete list here

Appliance Installation
Appliance Repair
Bathroom
Bricklaying
Building Consultants
Building Designer
Building Surveyors
Computer Help
Courses
Decking
Decoration
Drafting
Event Staffing
Furniture Assembly
Gardening
Gas Fitting
Hair Styles
Home Automation
Home Organization
IKEA Installation
Installation
Interiors
Landscape Design
Landscaping
Landscaping & Gardening
Lighting
Make Up
Painting
Weddings

Conclusion

While choosing a skill set, the interest and passion should be preferred over anything else. Don’t just jump into something because it has a lot of potential. Of course, the potential is crucial while considering the options. However, freelancing requires a lot of efforts and hard work, and if you are not passionate about the work, it can be a never ending nightmare. Depending on the time you have, you can learn any of the skills in 3-6 months. To apply theoretical learnings in real life, you may offer your services at a minimal cost. After working with a few clients, you will not only gain confidence and charge competitive rates but also help your customers achieve their goals. The critical point is, the short term hiccups and conflicts with clients shouldn’t deflect you from the long term goal. If you can manage this, the success will be entirely yours.

This post was proofread by Grammarly!

How to Maximize Your Income as a Freelancer?

How to Maximize Your Income as a Freelancer?

Warning – If you are looking to make a quick buck without working hard, you may be disappointed, and this article isn’t for you. For others, who value hard work, keep reading.

I started working on Freelancer in November 2013 and have earned around $66,000 (INR 41 lakhs) through the website in 23 months. I could have earned even more if I had sufficient bandwidth to manage all the incoming projects. My income increased consistently from $23 in December 2013 to around $5000 in September 2014.

I left freelancing in October 2015 and today I use Freelancer mostly for hiring freelancers. I will soon write another blog post on why I left such a lucrative career and what did I do after that. You may like to subscribe to my newsletter for regular updates on how to develop a sustainable business online with prestige.

This blog is an account of my journey from being a freelancer to an employer. Freelancer has already published a case study on my freelancing career. You can read this here.

Started by Accident

I left a well-paid job to start a digital consulting business. During my last job, I spearheaded a successful digital marketing campaign that generated 60+ B2B leads, and the monetary equivalent of it was almost US$400,000. While this success boosted my confidence and revalidated my digital marketing skills, I had no clue of how will I get clients for my new business.

Soon after acquiring few local clients, I realized that it is too difficult to provide high-end digital marketing services to SMEs at the price they are willing to pay. It was rare to come across a small business owner who has a professional approach towards his or her business, especially towards marketing (There were some excellent clients too, and I will talk about how I acquired them in a new blog). After struggling for five months, I stumbled upon Freelancer.com and then never looked back.

The process of making it big 

Let us see the factors that can influence your earning on Freelancer.

freelancer-earning-framework

Earning Framework for Freelancers

The factors that affect your earnings

Before you proceed, please spend some time in understanding the Earning Framework. Your earnings depend on the number of projects you have completed successfully and average project value. You can increase your earnings either by working on more projects or increasing your professional fee. Both of these are directly linked to your profile rating on Freelancer. So you can’t charge higher than other freelancers until you have a good number (say 100+) of ratings and excellent reviews on your profile. To gain 100+ ratings, you need to win more projects. To win more projects, you should place a large number of bids and at the same time ensure that the award rate is also high.

Award rate = Total Number of projects awarded/Total number of bids placed

For beginners, award rate is 1-2%. This means you need to place bid on 50-100 projects to win your first job. You can increase your award rate if you take care of the following:

  • Place your bid as soon as the project is posted
  • Keep your price on the lower side
  • Write an impressive proposal

This will help you win maximum projects. More projects will lead to more money and ratings. Higher earnings and ratings will lead to the better rank of your bid that in turn helps you fetch more projects. And, after few months the cycle will be automatic. You simply have to ensure that you deliver the work as per your commitment. You will never run short of projects. In the process, you can also experiment with pricing raise or keeping it the same for new clients.

If you think you can’t do freelancing because you have no domain or technical knowledge, please read this article on how every can do freelancing without initial investment or training.

As a beginner, you need to understand the following:

Start Small

My first project on Freelancer was worth $25 and the second one was worth $5. I got the first project after placing a bid on over 45 projects while the second project was awarded after placing 25 bids. Despite low value of projects, I gave my best and both the employers worked with me for two years.

Don’t give up in first 100 Days

New freelancers need to make huge efforts to build the trust. For first 100 days, freelancers don’t work for money. Rather, they work to get ratings on their profile. They work to improve their bid rank as explained in next section.

Have a look at my 1-year earnings report and you will know why I am saying this:

freelancer-earning-report

My 1st year earnings report on Freelancer.com

My 1st year earnings report on Freelancer.com

You should not lose patience and self-belief in the first three to four months, even if you are not able to make your ends meet. Never give up. Remember that the efforts required to earn first $1000 are same as efforts needed to make the next $5000.

Improve Bid Rank

In late 2015, Freelancer introduced pagination system for bids as shown in the following figure. According to the new system, the list of bidders is split into some pages. Each page displays only eight bids.

freelancer-bid-rank

 

As a new freelancer, your bid may end up at 3rd, 4th or even 10th page. Employers usually prefer to review 5-6 profiles before selecting a freelancer. So, only 20-30% of the serious employers will go beyond the first page of bids.

The website also gives you an option to sponsor your bid to the top position. However, this doesn’t enhance your prospect, so don’t waste money on this feature.

sponsor-bid

You should try to complete at least five projects by offering your services at lowest cost. Once you have five ratings on your profile, your bid rank will go up significantly.

Write a Custom Proposal

This worked wonderfully for me. Most of the freelancers write standard proposals for all the projects. If you can write a short and clear plan based on the project description, it will immediately attract employers’ attention.

Complete Your Profile

Before start bidding, complete your profile including display picture, cover photo, education details, work experience, skill sets, and portfolio. It impacts the decision of the employers.

Choose your Niche

Don’t bid on every project only because you need to get started. Choose your niche and focus only on the relevant projects. If you are a graphic designer and want to build your profile on graphic design, then don’t work on data entry projects. All the ratings and money earned on data entry projects will not be able to help you rank higher in the Graphic design category. So focus on a niche which suits you in the long term.

Be Quick and Consistent

On Freelancer.com, 80% of the genuine projects get awarded within 24 hours of being posted. 60% of these get awarded within an hour of being posted. So try to be first to place a bid on new projects. Competition is less in the morning and evening times so bidding on these times can be helpful. Also if you want to build a long-term freelancing career on these sites, make sure that you have ample time to bid. 40-50% of your time will go in bidding while remaining in completing the projects in hand.

Pricing Strategy

Freelancing marketplaces position themselves as low-cost marketplaces. They attract a large number of entrepreneurs who want to get things done on a shoestring budget. As a new freelancer, you can’t compete with top freelancers on value; hence you need to compete on the budget. For the first ten projects, you have to keep your prices to lowest possible level. Once you have ten ratings on your profile, you may increase the prices slightly. You can similarly raise the prices once you achieve a milestone of 50, 100 and 200 ratings. Average project value on Freelancer lies between $50 and$200.

Communication with Employers

  • While discussing the project, explicitly specify the timeline by when you will be able to complete the project. Ask as many questions as possible. If you feel that the bid price is way too less than you can accommodate, it is better to quote the right price before accepting the project. You should take care of following points before or after taking the project:
  • Never work on a custom sample, however, small the work maybe – Like any other marketplaces, you will find a lot of scam artists on Freelancer.com as well. They ask for a small piece of work to check your quality. Once you send it to them, they never get back to you. So never work on a free custom sample. The best you can offer is to create a small $5-10 hourly project.
  • Never accept a project until a milestone is created – You must ask an employer to create a milestone before you accept the project. The moment you will accept the project, the site will deduct a commission from your funds (irrespective of whether you get paid by your employer or not).
  • Never work out of Freelancer.com – Getting paid through Freelancer boosts your profile.

While Working on a Project

  • Ask your doubts
  • Keep your clients informed about the assumptions you have made
  • Avoid any delays, however, inform customers about any possible delay
  • Communication is everything – Respond quickly and immediately

Be careful about

  • Never work for free
  • Avoid projects that need to be delivered within the next 24 hours
  • Don’t get into the trap of promises made by employers on long term work – Everyone says it to get the max out of you. No one can guarantee long term work.

Conclusion

There are 20 million members on the website. Obviously, the competition is very fierce. Also, almost 80% of the projects posted on these sites never get awarded. So you need to work hard to get many projects. However, if you can work hard for the first 100 days, there is a real possibility of making it huge over a period. You will face several challenges until you have 20+ ratings. You need to figure out how to deal with those challenges. Also, you should look at the larger perspective rather than, the smaller daily earnings in the initial days. Once you understand the right strategy, you will never run short of projects.

This post was proofread by Grammarly!

How to Start Making Money As a Freelancer?

How to Start Making Money As a Freelancer?

The job of a freelancer is best suited to persons who want to be their own bosses and manage their work with their own rules. Working as a freelancer has been great fun and rewarding for those who understand theirself-worth, and know how to unlock the doors of opportunities.  There are numerous freelancing opportunities available, especially in creative fieldssuch as music, writing, web development, filmmaking and consulting, etc.

There are several ways you can start earning as a freelancer. For most freelancers, online portals are one of the major gateways to get hired. Many websites are dedicated to providing the freelance projects. These include freelancer.com, upwork.com and guru.com among many others. It isa brilliant way tochannelize your skills into a rewarding career.  There is plenty of work available there, and you just need to register to start working. But if you want to earn big and get work on a regular basis, you need to convert yourself into a ‘brand’. These websites might provide you with work, but having your own identity in the market will surely serve your interests better. In a fast growing competitive environment of freelancers, only sheer talent can’t provide you with the desired result. You must be an expert in a particular field, and if employers can know exactly what you can provide with credibility, it will enhance your brand value in the market.

You might have figured out what we are talking about, and you are right. We are talking about having your website. It will enhance your position in the market and even clients who are looking for experts can directly find you.

There are many essential benefits for freelancers who have their website:

  • As I have talked earlier, branding your services will help differentiate you from others. You are not only one to offer your services as a freelancer and what makes a difference between them and you, is your identity in a virtual world.
  • Secondly, websites will serve as a virtual office of your work, where employers can easily see their work
  • Thirdly, it gives you thefreedom to decide your rates because you are the boss and you know your value better than anyone else.
  • Online presence also enables you to get customers much more easily, and most people would ask you to work for them because they admire your work and appreciate your skills.