I’ve been noticing over the last few months that there seems to be a misconception amongst our virtual communities that the only way to work from home and make money “online” is by niche blogging, affiliate marketing and/or pay per click.
What really bothers me though is that I am seeing more and more people speak of their struggles rather than their successes – and why is this? Truthfully, I’m not going to point at one reason and say that this is why the success rate is so dismal, but I am going to dig a bit deeper into a word that many “work at home” gurus seem to leave out.
In the most basic form, freelancing is simply the process of soliciting a specialized service to a market which has a need for it.
A freelancer is not usually on contract and can work openly with whom ever he/she pleases, and if there is a contract involved, it’s usually non-exclusive and for a temporary period of time – meaning while you are in contract with that particular individual/company you still have the ability to accept outside work, as long as it doesn’t effect your contractual obligations.
The Freelance Myth.
Veronica and I were in bed the other night watching Seinfeld and I brought up the misconception of freelancing and how a great majority of the public, on and off line, seem to view freelancing as some sort of cop-out to having a 9 to 5 job. In the 1970’s if you brought home a new boyfriend and told your parents that he was a rockstar freelance writer, they would have told you to get your head out of the clouds and find a real man with a real job.
Is the perception of freelancing really any different today? Not really. Putting the word “freelance” before your professional title still seems to take away from its legitimacy, for example, when people ask me what I do I simply tell them that I own a small web development company on the Internet. On the other hand, if I was to tell people that I am a freelance web developer, which technically I am, how many of those people do you think would downgrade me?
The Freelance Reality.
The reality is this: for the people who look at freelancing as a fancy way of saying you’re unemployed, it’s time to think again. With the advancement of technology and the Internet, now is the time to start thinking about what skills you have and identify the need for those skills within a specific marketplace. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What skills do I have (technical or practical)?
- What do I really love doing?
- What did I go to college/university for?
- What have you learned from past jobs?
- What type of people live in my neighborhood?
- What services could they use to make their life easier?
As you start asking yourself these questions, you’ll slowly begin to compile a list of potential idea generators. The magic really happens when you start to realize that you have a whole set of skills that fulfill a certain need – and that there are hundreds of thousands of people on and offline who are willing to pay you for those services… immediately!
What I Did Was No Different.
Once I sold my first website flip on Sitepoint, I sat back a took a look at the marketplace. I asked myself questions like who are these people and why do they need my websites? How could I leverage the fact that I love building niche WordPress blogs and turn it into a unique service?
I began to bounce ideas off everyone I know (online) and started to realize that there is a huge market of webmasters, old and new, who have the skills to market niche blogs but aren’t technically/physically able to throw them together in a fashion that is professional and functional. Maybe these marketers don’t have the design skills (I’m not even a designer) or maybe it’s as simple as they don’t have the time because their portfolio is so huge. Who cares.
I put together a website to display the details of my service (skill), incorporated an email list to capture prospective repeat buyers from my Sitepoint auctions and started to put NicheOnDemand.com url in my auction copy and forum signatures. That is all it really took. I know get 3 times more business through my website and spend less time putting up sites “hoping” that they sell on the marketplace.
That’s My Story – What’s Yours?
If you haven’t thought about freelancing and how you could begin soliciting your services online – now is the time to do so. Stop thinking about affiliate marketing and CPA networks as the be all and end all of working from home and making money online – because if it’s been more than a year and you haven’t found your groove yet.. you’re not going to.
Get back to the practical thinking of supply and demand. Become that Rockstar Freelancer you know you can be! Get back to what you’re good at and discover as many ways as possible to have people pay you money for it! It’s fucking genius and you need to get moving! Rockablepress.com is a great place to start.