How To Earn More Money Freelancing (Even If You’re A Total Beginner)

I started freelancing a little over a month ago and have had the chance to work with a dozen startups that are growing fast, as well as world-class experts. Since I began freelancing, I have worked with nearly a dozen high-growth startups and world-class experts.

Due to my success in defining my value propositions and branding myself as a specialist within my field and getting my content before new target audiences, my waiting list for freelance clients and jobs is now 3-6 months long.

But that didn’t happen over night. It took a lot of work and hours of effort to achieve my rapid success as a freelancer.

Here are my twelve top tips to earn more in your first year of freelancing.


  1. Choose a niche
  4. Create a high quality portfolio site
  12. Guest Posts on Industry Blogs & Publications

Is Tech Right for You?

Find out with our 3-minute quiz

You will learn the following:

  • What is the right career for you?
  • What career fits your strengths?
  • What are the skills required to achieve your goals?

Take the quiz!

1. Choose a Niche

You might be tempted to accept any paid work you find on Fiverr and Upwork. As you progress in your freelance career, you will need to be more strategic with the work you do and clients you accept.

You may be wondering: How can being picky about my freelance work help me earn MORE money?

You can earn more money by specializing in a particular skill set.

I don’t think it is worth even thinking about the debate over whether to be a generalist or a specialist when you start your freelancing career.

Would you hire a person with a wide range of skills or someone who is a specialist in one area? I will always choose the expert.

In my experience, deciding to specialize in content marketing consulting rather than being a digital marketer available for hire has been the best decision I have made to grow my freelance business.

In a short time, I was able to reach the top of my field because I have built a reputation as a content marketer with my clients over the last few years. I also regularly engage with content marketing on social media. In addition to my blog and client referrals, business owners searching for specific expert help on Google and social media are the second most reliable source of new customers.

Imagine you’re a new web developer and you want to get into a niche, such as migrating blogs from Blogger to WordPress. This means that when someone searches “help migrating blogs to WordPress,” you can be found. You can also do this for graphic designers: you can design graphics specifically for WordPress.

You can reap the rewards of a niche you have chosen for many years. Decide to specialize, and put some effort in branding yourself as a specialist within that niche.

2. Clarify your service offerings

You need to decide early on what you will and won’t do in your freelance career.

It is better to be more specific about the services you provide. It will not only help you brand, but it will also allow you to control the perception of prospective clients and give you an opportunity to continue to build your portfolio in the directions you want to go.

You shouldn’t consider any contract offers to customize WordPress themes or design the user experience of an upcoming application if you want your focus on becoming a highly-paid Ruby on Rails programmer.

The short-term rewards of steady work can be tempting and sometimes necessary, but taking on projects that don’t help you achieve your ultimate goal to become the best at your job will only delay your progress.

3. Define your ideal client

You’ll want to decide who you would like to work with before you start searching for clients. You can choose to work with small businesses, become a professional blogger or copywriter, contribute to the development of new features for technology startups in high growth, or sign long-term contracts. You may want to work for clients and brands that share your values.

It’s important to make clear distinctions about the type of company you are targeting and who your target audience is if you want to sell your services effectively.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you define your ideal client (and where to find them).

  • What kind of business is experiencing the issues I am solving?
  • Can I afford to be hired by the company?
  • What demographic trends can i identify regarding the decision makers of the businesses that I am targeting? Consider age, gender and geographic location. Also, their personal interests.

As I am more likely to be engaged and to work effectively with smaller startups who are working on personal projects, I have proactively decided to limit my potential clients. Working with similar startups, I can instantly relate to new clients within my niche. They also have confidence in my ability to replicate my success for their business.

Is Tech Right For You? Take Our 3-Minute Quiz.

YOU’LL LEARN: Whether a career in technology is for you. What tech careers match your strengths. What skills are needed to achieve your goals.


4. Create a Portfolio Website of High Quality

A portfolio website (opens in new tab) is a great way to show off your technical abilities. You need to have a professional website if you want to be taken serious as a freelancer.

  • Showcases your expertise.
  • Highlights relevant past experiences.
  • Display your personality.
  • Include your contact details so that clients can easily locate you.

If you lack work experience, or testimonials that prove you are knowledgeable about your field, a stellar portfolio will help you. You can read more about it here: 11 High Paying Jobs in Tech–No experience required.

Your portfolio should be designed to inform, spark interest and convince clients to hire you for their technical requirements. It’s important to spend time deciding on what you want to include in your portfolio, and how it will be displayed — prior to looking for new clients.

Start including links to your site in your email signatures and social profiles once your portfolio website is live.

5. You can start freelancing before you quit your day job

I think it’s better to start a business as a freelancer while still working your regular job (or part-time) than to go straight into self-employment.

It’s important to note that it takes time to build a portfolio, develop your brand and add to your portfolio. You should also have some steady freelance clients before you cut off your only source of income.

I recommend that you increase your side income by 50-75% before quitting your full-time position, depending on how risk-tolerant you are.

You will learn quickly how to run a business by managing a busy schedule, a heavy workload (including freelance projects) and being responsible for the client deliverables.

You can also be selective when you choose freelance clients, even if you are still employed full-time. It’s likely that you don’t need to make money. You can then turn down jobs that don’t pay well enough to justify the time you invest, or aren’t really your cup of tea.

If you plan to work as a freelancer full-time, you will need to adhere to these two rules.

6. Upgrade Your Skills

What is the best way to justify a higher rate per hour? You need to have skills in demand.

Build projects you’d like to be paid for. You can use cool examples and side projects to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Remember that even though highly-trained freelancers are paid more, you do not need to go back to school to earn a BS degree in computer science. Online classes, such as a Skillcrush course in Front End Development, can help you get on the right path and take control of your education.

???? PS – If you want to start or move into a career in tech, Skillcrush can help you get there! Our Break Into Tech course is a comprehensive program designed to help total beginners in tech start a new and fulfilling career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *