Freelancing is a risk, as you may imagine. Many people, as I’ve mentioned countless times, would rather stick to their job, their stability and their comfort zones over taking the risk of starting a new life as a freelancer at home, having to build a portfolio and look for clients (which I helped you do in a previous post).
But I’m not here to force you to become a full-time freelancer (I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that but yeah), or to tell everybody that the only way freelancing works is if you’re amassing a fortune… Anyone can freelance, just so you know. Making even as little as an extra one-hundred bucks a month is excellent, considering you can use that for transport, rent or simply to get yourself something cool. You can start slowly, and nobody will say anything of it.
Hey, I even used to use my freelance income to go out for sushi and burgers – it doesn’t even matter!
When you’re starting off as a freelancer, you’ll usually look for milestones to reach. Your first job – your first hundred – your first five-hundred, and so on. You’ll want to make it steady and grow, packing that portfolio and job history with notches like a man/woman on a mission. This is why we bring you our new challenge, built for you to start building your online moneymaking career like a boss, and reaching those milestones when you see fit.
The best thing about this challenge is that – despite the fact that it is being published at the very beginning of 2019, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY BTW – it will remain timeless and age like a good wine. You will be able to apply these same strategies for making $500 monthly today, tomorrow or in 2 years from now, although certain concepts like YouTube, Upwork/Fiverr, Patreon and so on may evolve or disappear. Things like writing blog posts, translating documents and selling photos, however, will not fade away. In fact, I have a strong feeling that they will only get bigger as time passes. More and more companies need freelancers these days, and this is excellent news for people like you and me.
Like this, except it will actually work for something. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
So what is at the end of this freelance challenge? Is there a prize? Maybe, maybe not. My definite prize for you, however, is knowledge, experience and above all, INCOME. You see, not everyday will you find a resource like Begin Wandering that can give you these tips for free without charging you real money for a “freelance ultimate course” or something along those lines on Udemy and similar sites.
With all of that said, we can now move on to the important part. Hence, Begin Wandering’s Freelance Challenge has now commenced. May the income be forever in your favor.
Blogging. You’ve probably been listening to this for ages – decades even – about how people who started off by blogging eventually became rich and skyrocketed their career as writers, journalists and freelancers. It is a popular half-truth that has led thousands across the world to do the same, many without the same amount of success.
If I have to do an honest assessment of blogging, I have to say that it is slightly overrated. Of course, many of the most successful online moneymakers and digital nomads which live off passive income, do so because their blog is highly successful and generates most of the leads they will ever acquire during their careers… but there are currently much more time-effective activities which you can take part in to generate money without the need to wait years creating a loyal following that trusts you enough to give you their cash.
However! There is a difference between setting up a blog and starting from scratch as its owner, and writing for somebody else, and this is where this article comes in.
Every company in existence can benefit from having a blog: a section of the page used for publishing articles related to their field, allowing them to establish themselves as experts in what they do. It’s not the same to have a technology website where, as the CEO, you claim to know your stuff without much evidence, than a website where you write the blog posts and prove it.
This is where you, as a freelancer, can enter the game and help companies build their following around a blog.
Writing for blogs is simple and one of the most attractive lines of freelance work that you can find out there: while entry-level jobs can provide you anywhere from $10 to $50 USD for a short 500 to 2,500 word article, requiring little more than four to five hours of research, those with more ambition and experience can easily find themselves writing for massive sites which pay at least $150 USD for as little as 1,000 words that are well-researched and beautifully written.
There’s a list right here on GuestPostTracker for you to take a look at if you’re thinking of starting today – I would have loved to have seen this a few years ago when I started my freelance career!
If you can start racking up those blog posts and get them to publish them under your name, gaining notoriety and filling up that portfolio, you’ll be reaching the Freelance Challenge’s $500 USD monthly in no time whatsoever! Be wise though, many people will want to pay you too little – avoid those companies at all cost, no matter what other opportunities they offer you on the side: especially if it’s “EXPOSURE”!
I recently came across somebody on a Digital Nomad Facebook group who was trying to find his way around the freelance life as a photographer. He felt uncomfortable with his career in its present form, working on a seasonal basis that left him with long dry periods and little to do.
I couldn’t help but ask him – have you ever tried using social media to expose your work to the world? What about remote work? Did you ever consider selling your photographs? We had a conversation, and I think (hope) that he walked away as knowledgeable as he was grateful to me.
The best way to get your camera stolen, but go ahead! (Source: Pixabay)
There are countless places to sell your photos and turn your photography career into one of an income stream which doesn’t involve photoshoots and obnoxious models – in this article you may find just a dozen of the most popular, including Shutterstock, who have paid their contributors over $500 Million USD since their beginnings 15 years ago.
Instagram, meanwhile, is the number one resource for photographers, considering that you can start and grow a photography profile within seconds, posting your work and positioning it in your niche with ease. Published a picture of a beautiful scene that managed to gather hundreds of thousands of likes and scores of comments within hours? Consider turning it into a print that you can sell for minimum $50 USD and sending your potential customers to a website where you can have it shipped to them (consider Shopify).
The possibilities are endless for photographers; don’t weight yourself down by not being creative enough, and certainly don’t allow anyone’s criticism to stop you from turning photography into your personal income stream! If you can create a business from selling your photos, thereby also establishing your career as a photographer, go ahead. Trust me, you’ll have no trouble making $500 USD a month and beating this freelance challenge!
Look guys, I’m tired.
At this point in time, I’m finishing a university career (more on this in my article on studying vs. working), working 20-25 hours a week for a client in my field of chemistry and engineering, working another 10-14 hours a week for an entrepreneur in the Kindle business, producing content for BeginWandering.com, trying to be a wonderful boyfriend to the person I care for, a great son to my loved ones, planning a South America tour for 2019 and getting into video editing so I can create tutorials for you guys.
I’m exhausted. I just wish I could find somebody to help me out.
But then it turns out I can. I actually got a formal offer from somebody just last week, and I may consider it. Yes, there is an important specialty of freelancing which is heavily focused on helping busy people like me – Virtual Assistants – the secretaries / right-hand-men or women of the future.
These wonderful helpers can perform tasks ranging anywhere from writing up ten social media posts and scheduling them across the week, to making sure all of your staff have been assigned work on Asana. VA’s are the saviors for anybody that is way too occupied with their own work to micromanage every other little thing that needs to be done in life.
A novice VA can enter the game earning around $10 USD an hour, and if you can work for 50 hours a month (please try getting paid better than this, it’s a miserably salary if you don’t mind me saying), you’ll be completing the Freelance Challenge without any issues. Just be patient, and prepare to learn to do things you never imagined (I’ve heard of VA’s being asked to help their bosses with finding them a partner on a dating site, seriously), but it should all add up to earning respect and getting raises when you can prove you deserve it.
I mentioned this in my big How To: Start a Freelance Career post a while ago: I started off my freelance career as a ghostwriter, happily writing eBooks for my clients and watching them run off with the credit.
Hah, wait, that makes me sound bitter. Let’s start again, since I’m actually very grateful for what each one of those guys and girls did for my career as a freelancer: I used to write eBooks for my clients and they paid me to do it, selling them as their own but always valuing my work and effort. It was a fun time, and it helped me grow as a writer. I found out how to cater to children and young adults with books in less mature genres, while also reaching readers like me who simply love a good Sci-Fi release.
A fiction book can earn you anywhere between $8 to $25 USD per 1,000 words, and non-fiction can get you more due to the research and possible pictures involved. It isn’t the overall best-paying freelance work, but it is easy to get into, and you can choose who you work for and what you write about.
"I don't get it, why haven't the ghosts arrived yet?" (Source: Pixabay)
Honestly, I wouldn’t take back the time I spent working as a book ghostwriter or trade it for any content or blog writing job out there; ghostwriting helped me get where I am now, and I’m happy that I did allow all of that credit to be taken from me. Start a career in ghostwriting, and you’ll be reaching a successful end to this Freelance Challenge – Easy Mode – before you’ve even written three books in a row.
Here’s my own type of challenge: can you imagine a world without social media? Come on, try hard. Think of spending the day differently, without logging on to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other channel you use to find out more about your friends, favorite celebrities or simply the content creators that you follow. Think of not being able to like your favorite football player’s latest post, or your ex’s stories no longer being available for you to check out when you’re missing him or her.
It’s not easy, is it? Even if you don’t like social media yourself, you know the impact it has on modern life. Despite the fact that many experts try to highlight the negatives surrounding the use of social media with valid studies, we simply do not care enough to stop.
But is there a way to make money from somebody else’s social media without having to expose yourself to the world and potentially setting yourself up to embarrass yourself in front of family and friends? Why, yes. There is.
Become a social media manager, and you will probably get a beautiful chunk of income towards the $500 monthly you’re aiming for!
Social media managers are basically the people that make Facebook, Twitter and Instagram what they are. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that very few company figures are actually behind what gets posted on their social media accounts (would you advertise your company’s latest gadgets yourself on Twitter? If so, have a share of my respect); instead, the directors of these business ventures go out and search for somebody to take control of their posts, allowing them to focus on the bigger picture of their company.
The thing about being this type of manager is that – beside the creative aspect, which will most likely be left to the company’s copywriter and graphic designer - the direction of the company on social media is in your hands. You will make sure to schedule posts to be released to the public on the most adequate times, answer user comments and offer solutions to your customers, choose what kind of statuses or stories are going up and when, as well as identify what content you want to be sharing from the competition and similar companies.
Because of this, you will probably set yourself up for an hourly rate that will depend less on results and more on workload. Be glad – you’re in for a lot of work and the chance to establish a long relationship with your boss.
Charge bigger companies anywhere between $20-50 USD per hour, and you will have dealt with this Freelance Challenge within a couple of weeks. But be careful… there are plenty of people who can easily take your job if you don’t produce the expected results, so good luck.
Knowing a language that is sought-after by English speakers is a wonderful advantage to have. You could equate it to being the handyman at home, always being requested for help by your family when they need an expert to take care of a leaky pipe, changing a bulb or having a look at a busted smartphone.
Furthermore, you don’t necessarily have to teach a foreign language to English speakers; you can even teach English for a living to foreign students by joining certain websites. Heck, look up “Teach English Online” on Google and you shall see just how many results come up.
"This concludes our lesson - now wire me the $500" (Source: Pixabay)
Pay may vary in this field – serious companies often offer between $12 and $30 USD per hour, but you can always find a specific student who will require a specialized Skype class, and you will be able to charge them up to $60 per hour, making sure to offer something at the end to make it consistent with the price (such as a certificate of some kind that is accepted by educational institutions around the world.
This Freelance Challenge is no match for a language teacher who knows how to organize their time and actually impresses their student - $500 monthly shouldn’t be a limitation for you if you can handle the other challenges that this brings such as requiring a stable, fast-ish internet connection, an unbreakable level of patience and the will to be on a camera and microphone without wanting to run away.
So get your old textbooks out, look for some students and start teaching today for extra online income!
This one may be dangerous territory, since not many web developers enjoy other people finding out how profitable their business is now. They want to keep this gold mine a secret, but I’m here to RUIN THEIR DAY.
Something you must know, and which most veteran developers won’t want to tell you, is that designing websites has become easier than ever. With at least two incredibly powerful and user-friendly platforms in Wix and Wordpress, you have an option to start learning how to make custom-tailored, easily accessible and attractive websites; all while being able to research everything that you need on the thousands of YouTube tutorial videos out there for both of these resources.
Ever considered taking a programming class? You won’t need one with all of the materials available online, and this ability to design websites will be priceless once you’ve learned more and more. You’ll be able to offer bigger and better websites for more than you ever charged, and you’ll have the ability to create websites for your own businesses.
Everybody needs a website, sooner or later, and you’re going to be the person they’ll be looking for. This is just one other way of making $500 monthly online, and we’re not even done yet!
Note: I am aware you can make much more as a web designer once you’ve gained experience, but this is just for initiates in this field. A quick survey I made told me that a web designer who’s just starting off can earn anywhere from $500-1500 per site, but you may not finish it in a single month (you probably will take much longer since you’ll have more testing, Q&As and learning to do than an experienced designer). Therefore, let’s consider keeping this online moneymaking activity in the $500 monthly bracket, and move on to the next item.
Woah, wait – this isn’t freelancing or anything you’ve ever seen on Begin Wandering, is it?
It doesn’t matter though, because Patreon is an excellent source of income for digital nomads and freelancers who want to think outside of the box, as well as those content creators who have always wanted to have a personal community to produce content for, while earning money in exchange for it.
You see, things are pretty straightforward for Patreon Creators – you create your profile and select a title (what your profile will say after “is creating…”), in which you can place whatever it is you’re doing. Then, you set up payment methods (PayPal and bank accounts for U.S. citizens, PayPal and Payoneer for everybody else), and start creating membership tiers.
A Patreon account is like a small job – you create membership tiers (starting from $1 per month) and offer something in return for the people backing you for each amount (“patrons”). You can charge as much as you want on the maximum tier, but most people keep it at $100-$200 monthly for their best patrons. Furthermore, you can set goals for monthly income ($500 monthly, in your case if you’re following this challenge), allowing you to provide yet another incentive to your patrons if you offer something great once you reach said goal – just make sure you don’t promise you’ll tattoo your patrons’ names on your buttocks or streak down a busy street… keep it modest.
Be sure to check Patreon out and start working on your own profile – it’ll certainly help you with this Freelancer Challenge – EASY MODE.
I’m sure you’ll be able to achieve this mission that you’ve set yourself to accomplish, hitting the jackpot and finding a way to beat this EASY MODE of our Freelance Challenge.
But what happens next? What do you do once you’re making $500 monthly online? How do you move on and start doubling – tripling or even quadrupling – that amount?
Well, you’re going to have to wait for the next Freelance Challenge articles, exclusively on BeginWandering.com!
This year is going to be huge for our website, so stick around and find out more about how we’re going to help you hit those big $4000 monthly.
You ain’t seen nothing yet!
ARE YOU PARTICIPATING IN THIS FREELANCE CHALLENGE?
How far are you from those $500 monthly? Is it time to move to the next stage?
Comment below on how you’re doing it, or how you did it… we’re dying to know! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!
Founder, Head Content Creator. Chemical Engineer. Entrepreneur. Instructor. Writer. Traveler. Once a cog in the traditional workforce machine, I decided to stake my claim in the freelancing business and haven’t looked back since. Working remotely is the first step to freedom, bringing you the ability to call your own shots and organize your own time. Now, however... I'm going to teach you how.