As most of you may already know, I work at home and earn money from writing articles. But there’s more you don’t know about. The largest portion of my earnings doesn’t actually come from writing. I have three other clients right now – two of them are from the US and the other one is from Australia. Each of those contracts is different in nature – I write fictional suspense/thrilling stories for an app, I’m also a Virtual Assistant (managing social media accounts, handle email marketing, graphic designing, customer service, research, etc.) and for my third client, I help build her website by filling it with contents.
How much do I make from these jobs on top of my writing contracts? I won’t give you a specific number but I can say it’s more than what I would earn if I had a corporate job.
But it took me a loooong time to get here. In fact, I didn’t get too serious about freelancing until recently. The jobs I had before were short terms because I went through major life changes such as getting married, moving to the U.S, moving back to PH and having a baby. I finally had the time to focus on freelancing just last year.
Why I think You Can Do It Too
Every time I scroll through the job postings in Upwork, I always find jobs that I know I can do but I never send applications to them because I already have a lot in my plate. There are so many businesses these days that needs your help, you need only to find the one that you know you can do or at least you have the potential to deliver. Some of my jobs before were totally new to me and I didn’t have any knowledge about it but I researched, watched videos, listened to my bosses, and finally learned how they’re done.
One common statement I usually get is this, “I’m not good with English. I don’t think I can do it.”
The good news is, freelancing isn’t only about writing. You can also do graphic designing, social media management, administrative tasks, transcribing, and so on and so forth. These jobs don’t require you to be fluent in English, they only require your creative mind, attentiveness, and willingness to learn.
I wish more Filipinos take advantage of working from home and explore the possibility of earning using their skills and talents more. This is not to insult those who work in the corporate world, this is to inform those who no longer like their job that independent contractors like me exist, earning a good amount of money, and are living a work-life balance.
What is Upwork?
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. On Upwork clients find a range of top talent, from programmers to designers, writers, customer support reps, and more.
How To Find Jobs In Upwork?
You first need to set up your profile, build your portfolio, take Upwork exams, take advantage of low paying jobs, make sure you apply only for clients with high ratings and positive feedback, and use your connects strategically which means don’t use it for jobs with high competition or jobs that you know you’re not capable of doing.
Upwork only gives you 60 connects per month (for a basic account). Every application you send, you will lose 2 connects. This means you only have 30 chances to send applications so make them count. [UPDATE: Upwork now charge $.50 cents per connect. Freelancers that are just starting out were surprised and disappointed by this change. However, in an e-mail I received from Upwork, the CEO stated “We want to help professional freelancers like you win more jobs. With paid Connects, we expect freelancers will submit fewer proposals, increasing your likelihood of winning projects and making it easier for clients to identify high-quality talent. “
Upwork automatically recommends jobs base on your skills. If your profile says you’re good at writing, you will find writing jobs in your feed. You may also use the search section if you want to look for a more specific job or task. If you got hired on an hourly contract, you’ll be using Upwork’s time tracker – you can download it and install in your desktop.
What Do You Need To Get Started?
You obviously need a laptop, fast internet connection, and a Paypal or bank account where you can transfer your payments to. Before you start looking for clients or send applications, I recommend that you start getting used to Google Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Canva as they are what most clients will require you to have knowledge with.
What Makes Upwork Best for Stay-at-home Mommies?
Upwork is best for stay at home mommies or full-time moms who want a bit of extra income or even have a full-time job from home. One main reason why I love what I do is that I get to spend time with my little one and no longer have to leave the house for work. I get to see him grow up and spend time with him whenever I want to because I control my time and I don’t have to look over my shoulder to see if my boss is watching me working my ass off. As long as I can submit and finish the assigned tasks before the deadline and my client is happy, I’m good. I no longer have to depend on my husband’s income, I can provide my child’s needs and wants, I’m constantly growing and expanding my skill set, and without me even knowing it – I am starting to build a career at the comfort of my own home.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to earn money from your own hard work. It’s more than just financial independence and security, it’s also self-fulfillment. I talked about how important it is for Pinay moms to make their own money, here. Don’t get me wrong, there are disadvantages of working from home and in being an independent contractor. Some of which are not being able to socialize more often as you work from home and have no co-workers, the fear of losing clients, and getting distracted with your kids running around you while you work. But these downsides are actually solvable (yes I made that up). You can socialize if you really want to and if you have the time to meet up with your friends, even go to the beach with your laptop with you. I don’t think you’ll lose clients if you know what you’re doing – just don’t f*ck up and don’t take your clients for granted – is all I’m saying. Lastly, if your kids are starting to distract you from work, then take a break and play with them. The goal here is to live a work-life balance. We are working from home to be able to live life more with the people we love.
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold J. Toynbee