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How I Made $2000 My First Month of Freelancing

March 24, 2017
Long Term Traveling

No, I am not one of the prodigies on the internet that made $10,000 their first month of freelancing, quit their job, and now have a four hour workweek. But I did bust my own butt, committed to a goal, and not only conquered that goal, but utterly demolished it.

I always considered it to be just a dream. So instead I applied myself in school and got what I considered to be a "real job" until I realized just how miserable I was. So, I took the plunge and began seeking out other options. 

I began, as many do, on Upwork. 

This is not my favorite freelancing platform for several reasons. However, it did the job. 

It is incredibly difficult to land your first gig on Upwork. The website is designed to run on feedback the freelancers receive from clients for their work. Pretty hard to get this feedback if you can't book a job. Since I had no job score or visible work on Upwork, I took my writing from school, personal writing, and my blog and pasted it all over my profile. I created a portfolio out of the mish-mash of what I had to work with. It wasn't perfect or pretty, but it worked. 

The biggest hurdle to over come is to just start. I began applying for 10-30 jobs a day, constantly researching and figuring out the best ways to send proposals and format my profile.

-My First Gig: Editing a manuscript

Why I got it: We both had knowledge in the same niche (science fiction & world building) 

What I made: $100 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Writing an article on Female Traveler's Packing List w/ SEO

Why I got it: I have a travel blog

What I made: $20 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Writing an article on choosing the right career

Why I got it: Same client from the previous gig needed another SEO article. 

What I made: $20 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Writing two articles on language

Why I got it: I love languages and have a lot of evidence of that on my travel blog, I am fluent in two languages, almost fluent in another, and conversational in a fourth

What I made: $60 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Write 150 blurbs/copy for a website

Why I got it: At this point it was because I had a 100% job success score on Upwork. To a lesser extent, because of my travel blog

What I made: $270 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Writing an article on the German language

Why I got it: I am fluent in German

What I made: $20  (Fixed)

-Next Gig: I landed a long term & multi client writing gig for an agency

Why I got it: Good work history, great feedback, my portfolio, and a body of writing 

What I made: $250 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Business writing w/ SEO

Why I got it: Good work history, great feedback, my portfolio, and a body of writing

What I made: $30 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Business writing w/ SEO

Why I got it: The same client from above loved my work

What I made: $30 (Fixed)

-Next Gig: Social Media Manager

Why I got it: I had a proven track record on Upwork as well as my own blog. My experience managing my website and social accounts for my travel blog showed that I had plenty of experience to tackle this. 

What I made: $845.19 (Hourly)

-Next Gig: Virtual Assistant & Graphic Designer 

Why I got it: This actually wasn't on Upwork! One of my first jobs outside of the agency. I had taken my Upwork portfolio and positive reviews and made my first (cringe worthy) portfolio. But I showed them that I was up to the task. 

What I made: $425.89 (hourly)

Month end: ~$2071.08

Needless to say, I was incredibly surprised. Not only by how hard I was willing to work, but that I could DO this. I wasn't just a cubicle mole that had a mish-mash of random skills. I had a skill set that was in demand. 

I admire all those who have been able to work full time and build their own business. I especially admire those who have been able to quit their day job through their hard work and dedication. 

Now, I have people coming up to me asking how I did it. If I have any advice for those starting out, and talk about what a hard worker I am. I don't feel like I deserve any of this praise-sometimes I think I'm crazy for all the shit I do-but I realize these people are far braver than I was! I never had the guts to ask one of those big bloggers how they had done it. 

​Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have! Freelancing can be tough; let's all make it easier on one another. ​.

This post originally appeared on my portfolio site SiggMedia

Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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