Sunday, 29 December 2013

Freelancing Tips for 2014

With 2014 drawing near, it's only natural to look back on the past year and look ahead to the one forthcoming. The world of freelancing is witnessing rapid changes like never before.

Today, more and more people are leaving their regular jobs to "go freelance" or moonlighting a freelancing career as a secondary means of income. Because after all, what with the job market still not fully recovered and of course the dream of working from home and being your own boss, freelancing is more than ever the destination of choice for those looking for work.

Apart from the traditional offline freelancing practice of subcontracting, the online freelancing world is dominated by less than a dozen major websites. We have global freelance "marketplaces" like Elance, Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru and oDesk as well as more unconventional destinations like,,,, and other more specific niche-oriented freelance websites.

So looking forward to the year ahead, what are some great tips that freelancers can apply? We at Frontier Freelancing have come up with the Top 10 Freelancing Tips for 2014 below:

1. Start ASAP

Every additional day you delay your entry into the world of freelancing is a day lost. It's no secret that the most highly-rated, highly-paid freelancers are those that have been plying the trade for years.

So don't delay, start right away!

2. Build your Portfolio

The more work you land, the greater the chances of creating great work that
you can later upload and showcase to others in your portfolio.

It's only natural that the quality and professionalism of your work will improve the more you do it over time. This applies to all areas of freelancing - whether we're talking about article writing, SEO or web design.

3. Start blogging

Interestingly enough, Frontier Freelancing has its own roots through this tip. This blog started out as a simple pastime for yours truly to express his writing and blogging capabilities.

Now of course, this blog has gotten a lot bigger and more complex and has even expanded out of freelancing to cover other topics.

Nevertheless, you too, should start your own blog on Blogger, WordPress or any one of the other free blogging platforms.

4. Engage in Social Media

Don't be left behind when it comes to embracing the social media wave. More than ever, individuals and companies alike are turning to social media to express their views, network and connect with others, generate an audience and to sell their products (and themselves) online.

Why else would we go to the lengths to have our own Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Stumbleupon accounts? For engagement with our always important clients, fellow freelancers, dear followers and other stakeholders of course!

5. Build Bonds with Your Clients

When starting your freelancing career, it's important that you establish good relationships with your clients. Talk with them frequently and welcome their feedback. It could prove invaluable for the future quality of your work.
Also, don't forget to follow-up with a client after the completion of a job and contact them at least once a month to simply get updates on how their work is going and if they need any assistance.

6. Create a Website

One of the most effective ways to market your skills and work in a professional way is to have your own website. People (especially clients) love those freelancers who take the effort to build and maintain their own websites to showcase their talents and accomplishments. You can use your websites to showcase past projects and portfolios, show content related to your specialties/niches and/or for plain old self-branding.

Sign up to great web hosts like HostGator or iPage and get started on your freelancing website. It's not surprising that the highest-paid freelancers (the ones that earn thousands of dollars a month) are those that have their own theme-based and well-updated websites with rich content and features.

7. Use the "Tools of the Trade"

Familiarize yourself with popular freelancing tools and software like Skype, Google Hangouts, Dropbox and Copyscape. Also, if you haven't already, start learning the essentials of productivity software like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Having a decent grounding in Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop doesn't hurt either.

8. Learn SEO

For many freelancing jobs like article writing, link building, online research and social media management, knowing the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) is definitely an asset. Know the most common buzzwords like keywords, density, optimization, SERPs, PageRank, AdWords, AdSense, robots, spiders and other interesting lingo. Having prior knowledge of SEO will show both current and prospective clients that you don't require any additional training (and therefore time) in order to complete the job. It will also enhance the quality of your final work.

9. Diversify Yourself

By this we mean, you do work on multiple freelancing websites and not put all your proverbial eggs in one basket. If you can't seem to find work on one site, there's always a dozen others that can suit you better. The best site to start your freelancing career is no doubt The website is free to use, easy to navigate, takes only a few days to get used to and best of all, unlike other websites, doesn't nag you with so many verification and identity checks.

Additionally, you should also look to have at least 2 clients at any given just to be safe in the event that you get stiffed or face delays in payment. However, try not to have more than 3 clients at once in order to sanely manage your work schedule. Because after all, your quality of work and turnaround times are what makes or breaks your freelancing reputation.

Another sub-tip here is affiliate marketing. Once you get into the habit of writing content, you will come to the realization that, apart from freelancing, there are also other easy ways to make money online (provided you have your own website/blog). Refer to our previous article The ABCs of Affiliate Marketing for more information on affiliate marketing.

10. Outsource Your Own Work

Once you get enough clients and establish a solid base, you can even have the luxury of freelancing away your own work to others. As with anything, the more experience you develop, the more power and influence you can acquire - the same goes for freelancing.

You can even consider opening up your very own freelancing agency to hire out freelancers under your control! In fact many clients themselves initially started out as freelancers but later expanded to create their own agencies or become full-fledged clients relying on the skills of other freelancers to do the work for them. The possibilities are endless!


Of course, this list is in no way comprehensive. We have compiled the Top 10 tips based on what we believe are the most urgent for freelancers for 2014.

If you have any extra tips or comments, then please do share it with us!

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