How I Earned P865,656 in 2015 with my Freelancing Career

 

I Work Online From Home as a VA (Virtual Assistant)

P865,656 – It sure wasn’t easy but it is definitely attainable.

work online from home for freeDuring this period I work as a VA for roughly 40-43 hours a week. Of course, this includes the breaks we freelancers are accustomed to. This amount might seem low for programmers and designers working on the top of the freelance job pyramid but for a mere virtual assistant, it’s absolutely $$$! Who doesn’t agree with me? Then show me your bank account!

I’ve been working on oDesk since 2009 (after 3 months working in a call center). At first, I wasn’t aware of any online jobs work from home that would get me paid. Most of the google results back then would show money-making scheme that promises million of $$$ on affiliate marketing, blogging, clicking ads and doing surveys. They all make it look simple, but it wasn’t. And I was sure those sites made a few cents from my clicks. Anyway, as gullible as I was, I end up bouncing from one site to another and it all leads to a sign up form asking for your credit card information.

I mean, who has a credit card that looks for a first-time job online? (Considering you’re not a resident in the US as they seem to get credit cards so easily, I wonder how that is.)

Freelancing online is not easy. If you don’t have the patience and determination, then this career isn’t for you.

What I needed is to get a work at home free registration jobs. If only someone with a considerate heart would take me for a trial job! After numerous and I mean long hours of research, I found oDesk , Elance (Upwork now) and freelancer.com.

How I Started Working Online as a Freelancer

Can I apply for online jobs and work from home even without experience?

A rather fair question – and I made some point here.

After setting up my freelancer profile in oDesk (Upwork now), you can check my other article for tips on how to make your online profile even without previous clients here. I applied for various job offers under administrative section. I have my starting rate of $2/hr. I’ve had jobs ranging from loooong data entry, web research, video research (contains adult content but it was not full blown porn!, just seductive and titillating videos), article submissions, content management, transcription (which is very time-consuming and I promised myself I would never do again).

Most of my first jobs are project-based. As you can tell by now, we online freelancers live project by project, task by task. You’re among the lucky ones if you can have a regular client in your first year. It’s not so reassuring considering you need a job that will possibly sustain your living expenses and maybe some more.

Applying for a job was easy back then because oDesk doesn’t limit the number of proposals (I’m not sure about this now, but it seems that they have large limit before). The greater the number of proposals the higher the rate to land a job (there are many factors that affect this but just to get the general idea of it).

But as soon as a project is done, I scrambled into the night just to be among the first ones to send those precious proposals. For newbies, you think it’s difficult now but most of us have been there and it’s a continuous cross we all have to bear.

My Lowest Points

online jobs work from home-rate

my biggest client in Upwork with the lowest rating

Sometime in my freelancing career, it was really hard to find a job. I remember accepting a gruesome data entry of 1000+ entries with 5-6 columns for only $20. If remembered correctly, I charged $3/hr that time.

I accepted article writing and spinning even if I wasn’t skilled in those areas. As much as I love to read and research it wasn’t enough to command my brain to write numerous articles a day. It was really stressful.

What I regretted most was that my biggest client in oDesk (Upwork) let me go after a series of unprofessional behavior. I could find all excuses that I can come up with to justify my behavior. Most of it was true but I really don’t have high regard for job ethics before. I’d respond to the client when I can and if it’s convenient for me. This leads to my only poor rating with the highest percentage on my profile. I think I got a 2.85 rating out of 5 because of this. Although it is the only low rate I got, that client was my biggest paying job. It hurt my profile rating pretty bad.

A New Start

Because of a low rating in my oDesk profile, I got less confident in applying for jobs. That’s when I decided to jump ship to Elance.

By 2011 I started a new freelancer profile in Elance. As much as it has its advantageous side, I can’t deny that limiting the number of proposals was a great setback.

I learned my lesson and I strive to become more transparent and respectful with my clients. Many would argue that there are a lot of scam clients in Upwork. As much as this is true, don’t let this hinder you in trying out online jobs. I was fortunate enough to get repeat clients and referrals from previous clients.

As of 2014, I started working on my now full-time client. At first, it was only setting up online forms for their business. As time passed, they needed me to create documents to automate proposals as part of their daily workflow. Then I set up websites for them, do content updates. Now, I play an integral part to their day to day transactions as I manage and process most of their documents, schedules, billings and a whole lot more.

On the side, I do other jobs as well. I can’t let my other repeat clients hanging now, could I? Most of them don’t require long hours, so that works for me very well.

Truth About Work from Home Online Jobs

The truth is – it pays great if you’re exceptional and have respect for your craft.

It’s not bad to start small, but don’t be comfortable staying there. Hone your skills, never stop learning and on the way, help some newcomers too! It wouldn’t hurt to give a friend their first 5-star job rating for $10, right?

Don’t be a mediocre freelancer who does jobs just as they’re told. Sometimes we need to think outside the box and be problem solvers. Build constructive conversation with your clients. Let them know what you think that can profit the business. Show them that you are invested in the job and not just after the hefty salary (this is the big part but show some love – loyalty and involvement as well!).

TIPS:

Try different things as you’ll never know what skill set you to have the flair for. A substantial fraction of online freelancers didn’t go to college to learn their specific skills. There are tons of learning materials lying in the cloud waiting for you to poke it. Maybe I’ll create another post for resources, so don’t forget to check back.

Most of the online programmers I’ve known didn’t graduate with IT –related courses, writers don’t need to have a native English language to qualify for writing jobs, and there are endless opportunities out there for you to try.

Remember, curiosity and enthusiasm can only get you so far. Perseverance, patience, and continued learning – keep these traits as you go on board with online freelancing.

Happy Hunting!

About Agnes Galinato

Agnes has been a self-proclaimed Rockstar VA for 5 years. When she's not focused on a computer screen, she's a certified couch potato.

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