How to Earn Money Online as a Freelancer

How to earn money online as a Freelancer – A Complete Guide

Most of you probably have heard of Freelancing works, isn’t it? Yes or No! Whatever is your answer to the question! In this blog post, I’ll cover each and everything you need to know about freelancing. From the very basic to the money-making tactics with freelancing work. If you’ll walk through this blog post by the end, you would be able to earn money online as a freelancer in no time.

I’ll share you how I earned money at freelancer.com in just three days? How I get my first project on the very first day? How to deal with clients? How to bid on a project? How to withdraw hard-earned money on freelancer? Each and everything will be covered.

Let’s walk through the post, and clear all your questions and queries you might have regarding freelancing. Here you’ll not only get the answers to your queries but also a lot more that will help you to earn money online as a freelancer.

Probably this is the first and very obvious question a newbie has, How much could I earn with freelancing? Well, there is no limit to earn money online as a freelancer.

I know people who are already earning more than $15000 per month and on average if you have skills then you would be able to earn $5000 per month easily. Because most of the people in my link are earning the same amount, so why you can’t? If you’re smart enough, then you can do something far more than this, it’s totally up to you.

Don’t worry! I’ve some personally tested tips and tactics that will help you to earn money online as a freelancer. So, at first, let’s start with these two questions that what is freelancing? and who is a freelancer?

What is Freelancing?

What is freelancing?

Freelancing is a term that is used for a professional career where you work the way you want to earn money online. Basically, you are self-employed and selling out your services in freelancing. Freelancing offers you to work with flexible hours using skills you have on a project chosen by you.

What if you don’t have any skills? No problem! Everyone was a beginner once. Just start practicing from today and start developing your skills. You can also have a look at skills you could learn to get a start.

What happens in Freelancing?

Well, in freelancing we approach clients, who are seeking to hire someone for their project(s) using some platforms. You should approach those clients who are in your space, which means you have the skills that clients are seeking.

Let’s say one person (client/service buyer/employer) posted a project ‘I need someone to do SEO for my website’ then you must bid on this project only if you know about SEO and If you’re interested in this project or you believe you can do it.

If you’re a content writer and you’re biding/sending a proposal to someone who is seeking digital marketing services, then you’re not doing right at all. You have to work within your space. Send proposals to relevant people only.

Who is a freelancer? or What is a freelancer?

According to Wikipedia, “A freelancer or freelance worker, is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.”

Who is a freelancer? or What is a freelancer?

Let’s break it down further, in simple terms, if you’re a freelancer, you’re free to work. It’s totally up to you that you want to do work or not. If you want to do work, then at what hours you’ll work? You have complete freedom for flexible hours working. You are free to choose your projects over which you want to work as per your skillsets.

Basically, you’re not committed to anything. Neither you are bounded that you have to work from 10 to 6 PM nor you have any bounded policies like you have tied to a particular project with a company for long-term. There is nothing like this at all.

But it doesn’t mean that you’ll do whatever you feel. If you’re taking a project, and a service buyer/client is hand on a project to you. It’s your duty to complete the given task without meeting the deadlines. That’s how you can set up a sustainable business else you’ll play a short game in freelancing.

Why I personally like freelancing? Because, unlike Jobs in an organization/company, freelancing never demands a degree or certificates. You just need skills and the potential to handle a task or a project in a well-manner.

How does Freelancing work?

Practically, how freelancing work? This is really a good question for a newbie. Let’s check it out! I’m mentioning the answer in points.

How does freelancing works?
  1. Employer/Clients/Service buyers (those who are seeking for someone to hire) post a job on a freelancer website (here freelancer.com).
  2. Then freelancers place a bid or you can say send proposals to the employers by mentioning something that tells the employer that you can handle their project.
  3. When you send a proposal (bid on a project), make sure you explain the most genuine reasons that make you the best person for that particular project. You need to mention your skills, your previous work (if any), your experience, etc.
  4. One more important thing is to mention the reasonable prices during the time your bid on a project. If you’re a new freelancer (in most cases) then don’t expect too much, charge less in starting.
  5. When you’re done completing some projects in your space, then you’re good to go. You can charge accordingly. At that time, the employer will pay you, because you will have higher-profile ratings and positive feedback on your profile.
  6. Now, if your proposal (bid) seems attractive to the employer, attractive in terms that your bid is under employer’s budget and you bear to serve what employer is seeking, then you could expect a reply from the service buyer’s side.
  7. If an employer approaches you after checking your proposal, then it’s totally up to you to take the project. Your conversation with the employer is the deciding factor that employer will hand on the project to you or not.
    Check out the art of talking with your enterprise customer, it’ll increase your chances to grasp the project.
  8. If after the conversation, the employer wants you to handle his/her project, then (s)he will share all the required details with you. You have to work as per the requirements of the employer.
  9. After all these things, if everything is in your favor, the employer needs to deposit a fixed amount (a milestone in case of freelancer.com) to the platform for a secure payment in the future.
  10. Now, you have to work on the employer’s project and when you’re done completing the employer’s project, you can ask the employer to release the payment.

If the employer is satisfied with your work (s)he will release your payment, that will be added to your freelancer’s platform wallet. You can withdraw that amount to your bank account.

In some cases, if your employer is not satisfied with your work, you have to revise the project until you meet the requirements.

Please note: Freelancing platforms like freelancer.com charges a commission for every project.

Quick Tip: After completing the project, request for the positive feedback and a 5-star rating, this way you can establish a sustainable business and it’ll be easier for you to take any desired project later.

There is a lot more question like advantages of freelancing, disadvantages of freelancing, how can you start your journey with freelancing? and so on that, I believe you should know before starting your business as a freelancer.

If you’re interested in money-making tips and tricks, then I have some recommended readings for you:

Advantages of Freelancing

Needless to say, freelancing has a massive number of advantages, a few to mention are as follows:

1. Free to work: The first and foremost advantage of freelancing is that you’re free to work. Unlike traditional jobs, you are not time-bound that you have to work from 9 to 6 or 10 to 5. There is nothing like that! You could work on your flexible hours.

In my case, I used to awake at night, then I started a job from 9 to 6. It was really hard for me to wake up early morning by going to bed late at night or sometimes early mornings. At that time, I realize I can’t survive this way, and jumped into freelancing. Most of you probably go to bed late at night, right? Comment me, I’m curious to know how many of you are night owls? I do freelancing till date.

This is the best part of freelancing that you choose your own hours of work. You can either choose the most productive hours for working or most tired hours depending upon the requirement of the project you’re handling.

2. Command over Jobs and Clients: This is really not good working on a project that doesn’t suit you. It’s even worse if the person with whom you’re working is not of your taste in terms of payments and nature.

With freelancing, there is nothing like this at all, you’re free to choose your client and job. Do what work you like with the person that suits you.

3. No restrictions to work on a specific place: This is my favorite advantage in freelancing. Who wants to work daily at a single place? I don’t think anyone wishes to work at the same place over and over again. It’s boring!

Think another case now, how interesting it would be if you can work wherever you want, no matter you’re traveling, or just sitting at your favorite place. Like you’re completely free to work at any point on the map. The best part, working from home, wow!

4. Be your own boss – In freelancing, you do not have seniors, HR, managers, CEO, MD, and so on. Either there are you and your client. You’re not required to answer anyone except you and your client. You have all the control!

5. You keep all the profits – Doing a job is boring with a fixed salary. In freelancing, your income broadly depends on the projects you’ve completed. More work equals more income and less work equals less income. You’re not required to share your hard-earned money with anyone else, all your earning is completely yours.

You then can use your earned money to grow your business.

Disadvantages of Freelancing

There are two sides to every object, one is positive and other is negative. Like everything, freelancing has some disadvantages as well. To mention a few are:

1. The uncertainty of Work – This is the major drawback of freelancing, in the beginning, it’s hard to get work. Freelancing work in initial days is unstable and inconsistent. Thereafter with experience, you’ll find a strategy to earn enough. While in traditional jobs, there is a certainty in income.

2. Hard to distinguish between personal and working time – Working from home as your own boss is time-consuming as well. You got engaged in completing the task that you almost forget taking time for personal interests. Although, you can overcome this by improving your management skills.

3. More homework – What happens in a traditional job? You’re not responsible for looking for projects and clients. In freelancing, you have to look for clients, projects and also manage clients and projects. So, you can say that you need to manage each and everything on your own.

4. The issue during Payments – On my initial days, I burnt my hands working as a freelancer. One employer created a milestone, after that, I completed his project and then he didn’t respond till date! So, there is a risk in payments in freelancing. But, I’m sure with time you’ll learn not to get deceived in payments.

5. No employer benefits – This topic is simple, the day you’ll not work, you’ll not get paid. That’s another major drawback of freelancing. You’ll get paid as long as you’ll work. That means if you’re thinking for a vacation and to take a break, you will not make money out of these breaks and vacations.

Types of Freelancers

There are several types of freelancers in the freelance community that are as follows:

Types of freelancers

1. Side-project freelancers: These type of freelancers do freelance work in their free time, mostly they are the students or they have a traditional job. They do freelancing to add a few more bucks in their income.

2. Full-time freelancers: These freelancers give their full time in doing freelance works, they take several projects at a time and complete and submit them. They use to work on an hourly basis.

3. Single contract freelancers: These types of freelancers work for a single client at a given time on a fixed project with a deadline. Freelancers that use to work for a certain period of the time prefer this method. The drawback of this method is that you have only a single source of income.

4. Freelance business owners:  These freelancers are the ones who have established their business doing freelance works, they use to hire an employee to get their projects done. Every freelancer thinks to be a freelance business owner.

Now, let’s get started with ‘starting a Freelancer Journey’ or ‘Earn as Freelancer’.

How to Earn Money at Freelancer or How to earn money as a freelancer?

As I mentioned, we here will talk about a step-by-step guide on how to earn money online as a freelancer on freelancer.com. There are many other platforms as well like Upwork, Fiverr, Truelancer, and much more.

But for now, we’ll discuss only freelancer.com. Let’s start!

I’ll share with you how to start your journey as a freelancer, Starting with opening the website. Just follow the given steps carefully from here:

Step 1: Visit the site freelancer.com or You can perform a Google search with the keyword ‘Freelancer‘ and then open the same site. (Make sure you have a working internet connection)

How to earn money as a freelancer-homepage screen

Step 2: Now you’re on the homepage of the website. Register yourself here by clicking on the ‘Sign up’ link (Sign up link is indicated in the above image).

After you clicked, you must be on another screen which will be asking you for an Email Address and Password.

How to earn money as a freelancer-sign up form

Step 3: Fill in a working email address and generate a password for you, after doing so, click on the ‘Join Freelancer’ button.

Now, the next screen will appear asking you for choosing a username.

How to earn money as a freelancer-Choose a username

Step 4: Create a suitable and memorable username for your freelancer account. Make sure it looks classy and professional. After typing in the desired username, click ‘Next’.

Another screen will appear which looks like this (below). It’s asking you for your account type.

How to earn money as a freelancer-select account type

Step 5: You have to select your account type here. Since you have to work as a freelancer, choose ‘I want to work’ here and click on it.

Now, you’ll receive a welcome email from freelancer.com and You must be on the welcome screen of the website. Let’s have a look at the welcome screen. Actually, this welcome screen is asking you for your skills.

How to earn money as a freelancer-Welcome screen

From here you have to select all the skills that you possess. Freelancer claims that they have more than 1300 job categories operating on their site and projects across the world.

Step 6: Go through all the skills mentioned here on this page along with exploring ‘other’ option, if you find your skills here, just select them.

In case, you are unable to find the skills, use the ‘search skills’ option and search for the skillsets you have and select all of them. You just have an option to select a max of 20 skills here.

If you wish to select for more than 20 skills, you have to upgrade your freelancer membership plan, that will be addressed later.

How to earn money as a freelancer-select skills

After selecting the required skills, click on the ‘Next’ button.

You are now on the next screen where you have to complete your profile. Here you type in your name, choose the language(s) known to you, and how much experience do you have with your skills.

How to earn money as a freelancer-complete your profile screen

Step 7: Fill in the required details accurately on this page. In the experience section, choose ‘Beginner’ if you’re working with the selected skills for less than a year, ‘Intermediate’ if working with selected skills for more than 2 years, and ‘Advanced’ if working with selected skills for more than 5 years. After completing, click on the ‘Next’ button.

The next screen is to select and to verify a payment method.

How to earn money as a freelancer-select a payment method to verify

Step 8: Here, you must have two options. You opt to choose any one of them, either can you choose your payment method via Paypal or with Credit/Debit card.

You can also skip this for now and address it later depending upon your wish. But I’ll recommend you to select a payment method and verify that here, it won’t take you long. Just below, I’m mentioning why to verify a payment method is a good option.

Why Verifying the Payment Method at Freelancer?

There are many reasons that verifying the payment method is a good practice at freelancer, a few to mention are:

  1. Higher trust score – Freelancer with a verified payment method tends to get more projects than freelancers with the non-verified payment method. If you have verified your payment method, the employer thinks of you that you’re genuine and serious about work.
  2. Rank higher – As per the terms & conditions of freelancer.com, they tend to rank you higher in bids/proposals if you have a verified payment method because of your higher trust score.
  3. Free trial membership – This is an important thing with verifying of payment method, as soon as you verify your payment method you can unlock the access to a free 1-month trial membership.
  4. Get paid faster – This particular option is helpful for you after you’ll establish yourself on this platform. You’d be benefitted from higher monthly withdrawals,  more payment methods, and fewer security check-ups.

Now let’s check out how to verify the payment method in freelancers.

How to verify the Payment Method in Freelancer?

via Credit/Debit card

To verify the payment method in a freelancer via Credit or Debit card, click on the ‘verify’ option in the required section. Now, you’ll jump to another screen that looks like this.

Earn at freelancer - Verifying the payment method via credit/debit card

Here, you have to fill in the Card details like Card Number, Expiry date, and security number. Just fill the details precisely and click on ‘Continue’

When you’ll click on continue, the next screen will ask you for OTP. You should receive the OTP on the mobile number that is linked to the card whose details you’ve recently filled.

That’s it! After entering OTP received to you, just go ahead and verify your payment method.

via Paypal

To verify the payment method in freelancer via Paypal, just follow the instruction given below:

First, choose the option ‘Verify Payment’ in the Paypal section. Then you’ll have another screen that looks like this.

Earn at freelancer - Verifying the payment method via paypal at freelancer

On this page, you have to submit your login credentials i.e., username and password of your Paypal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account create a PayPal account here.

After entering your email and password, hit on ‘Log In’ button. And then you have to allow access or authorize the freelancer to access your PayPal account. That’s it, you’re done!

These are the methods for payment verification in freelancer. I’m here just moving ahead with ‘skip for now’ option since I’ve already a freelancer account, so I can’t make another because it’s against guidelines. You might get banned for doing so.

Step 9: It is a kind of optional step, it may or may not appear in your case depending upon the previous step. From here you’ll be offered for a 1-month free trial. You have to click on ‘start trial now’.

Why I’m suggesting you take a one-month free trial? It’s because normal plans have lesser number of bids to send proposals to the employers or to bid on projects.

In order to get more (up to 100) bids, you have to start your free trial, so this way you can send more proposals and you’re likely to get rewarded for more projects.

Earn money at freelancer - 1 month free trial

On the other hand, this screen also contains ‘Skip for now’ link. Choose it if you don’t want to start your plus membership plan. There are several benefits of this plan, to get a glimpse, refer to the image above.

I’ll recommend you to start your trial from here before going ahead.

When done! Let’s meet with the next window.

How to earn money online at freelancer - Verify your email address

Step 10: Just because you have not verified your email address yet, you have to verify it from here. If you’ll look close to the image you’ll see that there is a message ‘Verification Required’ at the top of the screen.

Go and check your email inbox, you must have an email from freelancer.com with the ‘Verify Your Email’ button.

Earn money online at freelancer - verifying email address

Click on this link in your email inbox, it’ll make you jump to another screen where a message will appear like ‘Success! Your email address is now verified’. Which means you have successfully verified your email address.

Now again you’ll be on a screen where you can check the posted projects by the employers in your space. Let me first set up your profile completely, then we’ll go ahead.

Step 11: This time you might have a message ‘Please provide your GSTIN’ (This is for Indians only). So, either provide the GSTIN or if you’re exempt from GST, then you will have the option under settings > Payment & Financials. Choose a suitable reason given here.

How to make money freelancing - Update GSTIN number (for Indians)

You might have some other option here as per the rules of government in your country. Basically, this is related to taxes.

Step 12: In a similar way, you have to verify your phone number, you’ll have an option to send an SMS to your mobile number. Choosing this will send you an OTP, enter that 5 digit OTP in the required field, and click on the ‘Verify Code’ button.

How to make money freelancing - verifying your phone number

Now, you’re done with verifying your mobile number as a freelancer.

Step 13: Now, it comes about profile details. Finally, after a long time setting up the freelancer account, you’ve reached to complete your profile details. This is an important part because it appears to the public.

By default, after verifying the mobile number, you will jump to the profile details settings, if not, go to the user settings > profile. You have this kind of window probably.

How to make money as a freelancer - profile details screen

You have to Fill in your First name, Last name, Address, City, Zip Code, Company, etc. here. So, complete this profile details according to you and click on the ‘Save Settings’ button.

Step 14: After saving the settings, Come to the next step which will cover setting up the rest of your profile, for that click on the ‘view profile’ link in the user section. See the image for reference.

freelancer screen

Now, you will be on a screen where you can edit most of what will appear on your profile. You can start editing by clicking on the ‘Edit profile’ button appears in the right section.  Let me mention a few things you can edit from here, or I’ll say you have to edit from here. Here’s it-

  • Change/upload a cover photo (use something that is relevant to your skills)
  • Change/upload a profile photo (use some professional image of you)
  • Change/Edit Tagline (for example, I’m a content writer, so, I’ll write ‘Content Writer | Article Writer | … ‘ in my tagline. You can change or write it according to your skills)
  • Change/Edit your profile summary (Write a short but attractive summary that says thousands of words in itself. Mention about your experience, your successful and famous companies/organizations for whom you’ve worked in past, your background, your special skills, etc. etc.)
  • Add/Remove portfolio or CV
  • Add/Remove Experience
  • Add/Remove Education
  • Add/Remove publication
  • Add/Remove certification
  • Add/Remove qualification

One thing to keep in mind while filling in all these details is, be transparent. Don’t try to show off! Add what you have, don’t be fake. It might sound you weird here, but It’s helpful. If you’re not agreed with me now, then I don’t have any issue, you’ll get to know yourself in the future.

“Business is more about transparency.”

Finally, you’re done with setting up your account. Let’s go ahead and start biding on relevant projects.

Step 15: It turns to bid on some good pieces of projects. For that go to Browse > Projects. To navigate easily, you may take the reference to the below image.

How to make money from freelancer - Browse projects

Now, you will have a list of projects in your space, you can start sending proposals to them that means you can bid to any project listed here except the ones who have some special demands including special kind of certifications.

How to make money freelancing - List of projects at freelancer

Step 16: From this list, you can bid on a project. If you don’t find any project of your taste in the recent projects, you can manually search for the same.

After deciding on a project, click on that project. Another window will open about that project containing information about the selected project (here, I’ve clicked in a technical writing project).

How to earn money online as a freelancer - Project description screen

Step 17: Here, walk through the description of the project posted by an employer. If everything is in your favor, or you think you can stand on all the requirements of the project. You can send a proposal to the employer.

You can even send a proposal to the employer if you think you should discuss the project further.

Now, it’s bid time, there is a button with the text ‘Bid on this project’, click on it (for reference, see the above image).

Step 18: You’re near to send a proposal to the employer. When you’ll click on the ‘bid on this project’ button, the screen will transform into something like this.

How to earn money online as a freelancer - bid on this project screen

Let me explain to you a few things about this screen.

At the very top, you have an option Bid in which there must be two boxes one is asking you for the amount to be paid to you and the time (in Days) you will take to complete the project. Fill both the boxes according to the project.

As I mentioned earlier, In the initial phase, keep your prices lesser than others as it’ll help you to build a reputation on freelancer and grasp the employer’s attention. Thereafter you can gradually increase prices.

Then come to the lower section ‘Describe your proposal’. This is the magic part, write something that will grasp the attention of the employer. Employer be like, ‘WoW! This is a nice piece of the bid, I should talk to this person…’.

Quick Tip: Keep your proposal simple and silly. Don’t make it too long, write to the point. Give a touch of your knowledge in the proposal to make your bid impressive.

For example, I’m a content writer so I usually bid like this –

“If you are looking for a Quality content writer. So that, your content is thorough, bounded, optimized and easy to understand, then most probably I am the one for whom you are looking. I am writing for the last 3 years and, I have written for individuals and for Blogs/Websites.

Till date, I ‘ve written down various articles for several niche websites. Feel free to ask for the sample article(s). And I can write for 5-20 USD for 500 words. Honestly speaking In order to prevent your from any grammatical mistakes and to have a genuine content that does not match to the content of any other webpage, I use Grammarly premium and a plagiarism test is always performed.

Keyword research is always performed before writing. Focused keywords can be used as per your requirements or as per search engine policies to rank higher.”

Step 19: At last, in the ‘Proposed Milestones’ section, you have to fill the milestone for the project.

A milestone is a payment that the employer requires to submit to the freelancer.com platform. It ensures you that employer has submitted the amount to the third part, now you can start working on the project.

As soon as you’ll submit the project after completing, the employer will review the project and if (s)he is satisfied with your work, he will release your payment.

Then the amount will be transferred to your wallet from the platform. That’s how freelancing platform works. They charge some commission also, you can check out the commission details about the freelancer.com website.

Now, double-check all the details, and click on the ‘place bid’ button. All done! You’ve successfully placed your bid for the project.

From here, it’s up to the employer if (s)he will award your bid or not. Depending upon a number of factors.

Step 20: In a similar way, you have to place a number of bids until you’ll not receive any project from here. Be fast! People on freelancers usually look for urgent hiring, so try to place your bids faster.

When someone will show interest in your bid, (s)he can chat with you and discuss the details with you over chat. If interested you can go ahead else try somewhere else.

Quick Tip: If someone asks you to work outside the platform, simply refuse it until you don’t know the person personally or until you don’t believe if the person is genuine. I’ve burnt my hand several times like this in starting. Hope, you get my point here!

That’s all about starting your journey with freelancing at freelancer.com.

How to withdraw money from freelancer’s account?

To withdraw money that you earned from the site, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Freelancer.com account.
  • Hover over your balance at the upper right part of your Dashboard.
  • Select Withdraw Money.
  • Choose your preferred withdrawal method (some are not available in some countries).
  • Fill out the details of the withdrawal which will be specific to the chosen method.
  • Click Withdraw Funds.


You will receive an email notification for your submitted withdrawal request.

Note: The minimum withdrawal amount is $30 USD and all first withdrawal requests are delayed for 15 days for security reasons.

To know more about withdrawals, please click here. (source – freelancer.com)

Final words to conclude

Freelancing is a great way to get yourself out of the daily boring schedule of your traditional job or from a 9-5 environment. You can start your journey as a freelancer and start earning money online. In this blog post, I’ve covered almost everything you need to know about start earning money at freelancer.

Freelancing has equal positive and negative aspects.  It’s up to you to decide which path you’ll choose. If you’re able to face the risk and have enough confidence, then freelancing is not a bad path to choose. You can grow yourself and your business starting as a freelancer.

If you can’t take the risk, then I’ll recommend you, not to go with freelancing because there are instability and risk.

At last, I’ll say that only you can decide if freelancing is for you or not? So, parallelly you can give it a try at least once. Examine what works for you and what doesn’t work for you, then perform your calculations, it might drive results.

Now if you have any query regarding the freelance working, let me know, I’ll be glad to help you. If you like this blog post, share or like this blog post.

Thanks for your precious time! 🙂

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9 comments

  1. NJ

    This is a comprehensive article on how to be a freelancer. Thanks for sharing this.

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