Today I take the the mic solo to walk you through how to get started in freelancing and how I started myself. Learn how I went from $0 to $30,000 per year in this episode of the Personal Profitability Podcast.
- The Complete Beginner Guide to Freelancing
- Freelancers Union
- Problogger Job Board
- Media Bistro
- Elizabeth Willhite Design
Eric Rosenberg: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome back to the Personal Profitability Podcast. I’m so excited to have you here for episode number 14. ‘Cause it feels like yesterday I was recording episode number 1. I’m thinking back longingly. Well actually, its about 6-7 months ago. Not long ago, but I am excited we’ve made it this far. I see a lot of podcasters give it a go and give up. But I’m committed to bringing you the very best personal finance tips that I have, and I can bring you. Thank you for those who’ve been with me from the beginning.
For those who are listening to their first episode today. I love all of you. Thank you so much for being part of it. I really… I couldn’t do without, you guys give me the motivation to keep going.
Today before we get started as usual, I want to give you an opportunity to hit the pause button. Go grab your favorite adult beverage of choice and come back give me a cheers. Here’s your chance to hit pause. Okay, pause is over. Obviously if you’re in a car or you can’t probably be drinking, definitely can’t drink and drive, or probably can’t drink on the job, unless you have a really cool job. I know I can’t drink on my day job, but I can drink while recording a podcast. And personal finance should be fun. It shouldn’t be something that you dread. Today I know I’ve always had a beer every single episodes so far, but I’m mixing it up today. I have a glass of red wine here. A cheap red wine. I got it Traders Joe’s. Not Two Buck Chuck. I do it a lot better this time. I decided to try one of their Bordeaux, it’s a French wine. It was a 5 or 6 dollars for the bottle and I’m about to have my very first sip of it, so here’s a cheers and let’s see how it is. [gulping] It’s okay.
Not great, definitely good enough for a six or seven dollar bottle of wine though. I’m impressed with that. Tastes like maybe even a ten dollar bottle of wine.
So anyway, you could probably tell I don’t have a guest with me today. This is actually my second full-length episode I’m recording solo. So we’ll see how it goes, normally I bend those short episodes which I more or less stop doing unless you drop me a question that I feel is really awesome. We’ll definitely, still answer all those audio questions on the “Ask Eric Page”.
But for today I wanted to talk about something that is really big on the blog this week, just earlier this week, on Monday, I released my newest complete beginner guide post which is a series I’ve started working on. It didn’t start as a series, it was something I decided to make a series as I see how successful some of these posts were. And this one is called “The Complete Beginner Guide to Freelancing.”
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I make about $30,000 per year outside of my day job that I can use to do whatever I wanted. It’s my own money. We actually saved about $30,000 a year in our retirement accounts and savings accounts. It’s pretty much what I’m making on the side that is funding our retirement. And it’s a much bigger percent of income that I could save if I were just saving from the income I make from my day job alone, obviously it’s a big chunk of change.
I’m very proud of what I built here and I want to share the tricks that I used to get from zero dollars a year to this $30,000 a year I made last year. My goal this year is actually $40,000. We’ll see if I can make, I actually post an update every month on the blog saying exactly how much money I made online. And I am not quite on track for that forty thousand dollar goal. I have to admit. I’m running low, but I’m definitely on track to at least hit thirty thousand dollars again. That’s something I think is ‘braggable’ and I would love to see you guys have that bragging story as well. It’s not because I’m special, and I like to point that a lot of people think, ‘Eric you’re different than me. How do you do this?’ It really just comes down to hard work and planning and that’s it. I’m not smarter than you. I don’t have anything that makes me special. I’ve gone to school probably longer than most of you. I have that MBA, but the MBA isn’t what got me my freelancing gigs, it just makes me look a little fancier when I write those posts. I know plenty of successful freelancers who do much better than me, and even people that started their own companies that made more than I do without a college degree. I have a relative who just has a high school degree and he got really good at a particular skill and started a company around that and was able to do quite a bit more than just feed his family.
You can do this no matter what your education, no matter what your background. You can make money freelancing. What’s great about it that I love is anybody, and when I say anybody can do it, I really mean anybody can do it. If you have a full-time job like I do, I still make money on the side. If you’re a stay at home mom, a lot of stay at home mom, parents decided to start the mommy blogger movement as what it was built in to, and they start their mom blogs. There’s so many different businesses, people on Etsy, people on Fiverr. There’s so many ways you can get started making that first dollar online or through whatever freelancing method you like.
There’s no excuse. The time is better than ever and we have better resources that we’ve ever had before. Throw out the old idea of you have to make your living from a full time job. And I do encourage that, I do it myself. I’m not saying go quit your job, but that old notion is now an old notion. You don’t have to rely on an employer that you’ll go work through your whole career and pensions are long gone. No companies are paying out pensions anymore. Actually, I started my career after I worked in a bank, I went into a telecom company and I was there for the final months of the pension plan there. I actually did earn a few months of pension contributions which when I left the company ended up being about two thousand dollars. I got to put it there on my retirement account. Definitely, not an enough that I could have lived on it, but pensions are gone and freelancing is a growing movement.
There is a whole freelancer economy now, that’s people out there who just don’t care to go work for the same boss every day, 5 days a week, year after year. They want to work from Chang Mai in Thailand, that’s a really popular freelancer haven or on a beach in Mexico where your cost of living is lower. Wherever you want to live in the world, freelancing especially online freelancing gives you total flexibility to control your hours within some reason. Some clients might want you to work certain hours, but generally you’re pretty flexible when you work. You’re flexible where you work. You can work as much or as little as you want as long as you meet your client requirements to get paid. You can really take control of how you make money with freelancing.
On my last episode we interviewed Martin Dasko, who’s a full time online income earner and a professional wrestler, something I think is totally awesome. He started his first freelancing income like a lot of us did, baby sitting or mowing a lawn, which he started with lawn care and newspaper delivery. That idea of when you made have baby sat when you were younger, I was a baby sitter when I was in middle school and high school. That is the mindset that you need in freelancing today, it’s just the platforms and the tools have changed a bit. Some of you might even still be babysitting. There’s the money to be made in that industry so I don’t want to knock it.
Making Your First Dollar as a Freelancer
Let’s really dive in and try to understand how you can make that first dollar. That’s really my challenge of this episode. When you’re done listening, you will go take a step and earn your first freelance dollar. And if you are already making freelance money, that’s double awesome. Let’s try to increase your rate or find one new client. Those are my challenges to you. A call to action if you will and what you should do at the end of this episode. If you’re listening while at the computer, I won’t be offended if you missed a few words because you start working while you’re listening. You can do that. I give you permission if you want to listen intently that’s cool too. That’s why I’m here.
The freelance economy again, it’s a great thing. There’s a really great site called The Freelancers Union. That’s a place that has a lot of tools for freelancers to get started out. I’m actually taking a note right now to put in the show notes. I’m going to put a link to that and it will be at personalprofitability.com slash episode 14 spelled out E-P-I-S-O-D-E 1-4. The Freelancers Union has a ton of great resources for freelancers to find health care and all these other statistics about freelancing that are great. But they’re mostly tools and things for you as a freelancer to learn how to do your job better and earn more income. That’s a great site I want to give a shout out to. It’s becoming the center of the freelancer economy from my outside perspective though. There is no real central spot because it’s, each worker can do exactly what they want.
Let’s start with your journey to your first dollar. I’m going to call it that throughout the episode even if you’re already a freelancer. I’m still talking to you, but I’m going to call it the journey to your first dollar.
Pick a Skill
First what you need to do is you need to pick a skill, something that you can do that you are good at and you enjoy doing ideally, that someone is willing to pay you to do. That’s really all you need to get started. You need a skill that someone is willing to pay you to do for them. It kind of goes against the passive income idea which is something that I wouldn’t enjoy. I don’t see as many people successfully building passive income. There’s a lot of buzz about it and great sites about it, but every time I’ve tried to make passive income it just hasn’t work.
This is essentially trading dollars for hours. That’s what a lot freelancing this. That’s where I’m seeing the biggest gains. That’s where I’m making the most of my online income. The bulk of that $30,000 is from freelancing, it’s not from personalprofitability.com, though. I’d love to see that income grow to $30,000 a year. That is not making nearly that much. It’s really my freelance writing and freelance web design that’s building the bulk of my online income.
And how I started freelancing, I’m going back to how I picked my skill to be a freelancer, it started with me actually starting my first blog when I was in college. My first blog I ever started was just kind of a personal journal using Blogger before Google ever bought it. And I just wrote my thoughts, about politics, and the economy and why am I awesome things like that. Obviously not many people read it, but it was the start of my blogging. From there I built other websites and blogs even before this blog, used to be called “Narrow Bridge Finance” which I started in 2008, but it started other blogs before that in 2007, that summer was when I really started my first blogging.
Acquire and Develop Essential Skills
I was really stubborn as I often am, and was not willing to pay anybody a penny for anything until I made enough money to cover the cost. Which going back if I’d invested a little money earlier on, I’d probably would have grown my income a lot faster as earlier on rather than take it as long as I did. But the benefit of me being stubborn and wanted to do everything myself was that I have learned how to do everything involved in creating a website. Once Narrow Bridge Finance got big enough that I decide “Okay, I’m going to put the money in to move off of the Blogger platform, which is free”. I got my own dot com domain name with my own wordpress.org, it’s the self-hosted WordPress hosting. The cost to do that ends up being 60-70 dollars a year. In the long run not that much money and if you think about how many hours people put into their blogs and websites, and my hourly return on that was ‒ it was a no brainer. If I were going to spend hundred hours in a year on something that I’m so too cheap to put ten dollars and need to buy a dot com domain, that will be crazy. I see to that a lot of bloggers. I see people who put their heart and soul into their blog and they won’t even spend seven dollars and fifty cents after a coupon code to get your dot com domain.Take the steps, make yourself look professional out there and I know that’s a little tangent.
Let’s come back to it. I put the money and got my blog moved to my own hosting, my own dot com, and I did all of that technical work to move to my blog from Blogger to WordPress, imports, redirects and all the technical stuff behind moving a website. I did it all myself and I learned how to do it. I started with the free WordPress theme, a lot of people do that, and overtime I learned to customized them and prove my HTML skills. Actually, I started HTML in high school when I started self-teaching, but you need a little more than just HTML to run current websites and they run on other codes with things like CSS which is a cascading style sheet and PHP, that’s the dynamic language behind WordPress websites like this one.
I’d learned all these stuff, all these knowledge. I started getting involved with community as other finance bloggers and told my friends what I was doing. People seem to be excited about these skills that I had about in how to build a blog and a website app so people ask me for help and I say “Yes, sure I’m happy to help you out.” I helped a bunch of friends get their websites started out. A handful of other personal finance bloggers moved their websites from Blogger to WordPress or do a little tweeks or upgrades on their sites.
Eventually I realized people come in to me for help again and again and again, but I’m not charging anything, maybe I could start a business of this. So I started charging people, initially way too little after I stopped doing it for free, it was just enough to help cover my beer tab things like that, I wasn’t try to get rich on it. And my skills set kept expanding. I kept trying new and different things. And eventually I was able to start charging a more premium rate up to multiple thousands of dollars per website. That skill started just for me enjoying building websites.
And my freelance writing business started kind of similarly. I was writing blog posts all the time and sometimes when I was early on there were shorter and not as good post, trying to hold myself to one blog post every single day, at least five days a week, sometimes seven days a week. They were shorter but I was writing. I was practicing. I was getting better at it. I was honing my abilities.
And as I got better and better, I started writing guest posts on other blogs and other websites which I was ‒ it’s a good way get your name out there to a new audience. You’re giving that site good content as long as you provide a good quality post. It’s a win-win for everybody as long as you’re not doing it just to get spammy back links, that’s another blog post. My writing skills were improving. I was getting my name out there. People were starting to discover my website, and people actually started coming to me. I never asked anyone else’s and say “Would you write for this website at this rate.” I thought it was sure. I was so excited. I was making like $20 a blog post. I was living the dream. I was doing it up making money online and I found overtime that skill in demand by more people than just the ones who were coming into me. If I would have marketed myself, I can make even more money online, and raise my rates, get more clients. So I started doing it, anytime I saw someone in a community I was involved in which I’m very in love in an online personal finance blogging community. Anytime I saw someone looking for freelancer I would jump out it and say “Oh yeah, here’s a few of my top posts I’ve done. I’d love to be a part of your team.” And I picked up a couple of good clients that I worked with for quite a while.
And overtime my rates increased, and my clients changed a bit. I lost some old clients because they were not willing to pay my new rate. It was totally fine. We wish each other well. I’m still friendly with some of them. I brought on new clients that were willing to pay more. And overtime that kind of rotated through my clients and builds up a portfolio of active clients who I still have today. I still write for about half a dozen different websites. Every month or two, some once or twice a week. It really depends on what that client needs, but I was willing to put the work out to meet their needs and kept improving my skills and improving the value that I can provide for them. They would get a good return on investment on what they paid me to do.
Let’s back up again. We started talking about how to pick your skills, so I’ve told the story on how I picked the two skills that I freelance for. You might have the same skills if you’re listening to this ‒ you’re obviously interested in some kind of techy internet things. Podcasting is a more tech centered things.
If you’re into tech things, think about tech things that you’re good at that you might be able to charge people for. Are you the guy in your family or girl in your family that people come to all the time and say “Hey! Can you fix my computer?” If they do that, that’s because you’re good at it. And if you’re able to fix their computer, you’re able to fix other people’s computers too. That’s a great business to be in.
People can find you through Craigslist or your own website. If you use good search engine optimization for your immediate area for local search. Let’s say you live in a town called Spring Field – a little tribute to the Simpson’s because we never really knew what state they lived in. There’s a Spring Field in every state. Let’s say you want to be the number one computer repair person or even just on the list of computer repair people in Spring Field. If they searched for Spring Field in your state ‒ you want to come up on the listing so they can hire you.
Finding Clients and Ways to Market Yourself
You build a website. You write some content, write some articles. You fill out your Google site owner information and claim your business. Set up social media accounts have things are funneling to your website, and eventually you’ll see when people search your website will come up if you do everything right. That’s a way for clients to find you.
You could go out and advertise and think about the places people who need help with computers might be looking for computer help. You could go to ‒ if you’re active in a church or a synagogue, you can make a flyer and post it there. Maybe in nursing homes, you know older people need help on their computers if you’re willing to be really patient and help them out. And a local nursing home or assisted-living facility is willing to let you post there, you can put up flyers there. You can to a grocery store ‒ if you’re in a big city, small city. Think about the places people go and congregate it might look for help that you can provide.
Flip again and do another business. Let’s say you’re really handy around the house and you can fix just about everything. Your mom calls to fix the garage door. Your cousin calls to help install a new cabinet. Your sister calls to fix or change out a new toilet. That’s something I’ve actually done myself. Maybe you can be a handyman. That’s another great freelance thing you can do on weekends, you can do on a side that could eventually grow in to your own business. Or if you’re a good plumber, electrical work, lawn care, even a laundry service. You could do almost anything as long as you can find someone willing to pay you to do it. You just have to get your name out there and start doing it.
We keep talking about earning our first dollar online. So I’m going to tell you how I earned my first dollar because I told you people reach out to me to write articles that happened through my blog, but when I decided to look outside to make money for the first time online, I ended up landing on a website called “eHow” which is still out there. That’s owned by a company called Demand Studios which built, what are now called content farms. Their website were ‒ they’d pay writers 10-20 bucks an article to write tons of articles on every topic imaginable just to get them to rank high in Google. And then people would search for a certain terms ‒ go to those articles and click on ads and they’d make money which let them pay me and have a profit. They’re still around. You can still go to Demand Studios and become a writer though I wouldn’t recommend starting there anymore. I’d start your own blog first, but that was how actually made my first freelance dollar online that wasn’t someone who came and approached me through my blog.
There’s other things you can do, and other websites you can use to get your name out there and approach other companies to pay you as a freelancer. If you want to be a writer which I’ve done, you can go to places like the Problogger Job Board. It’s jobs.problogger.com. Writing that one down also for the show notes. You don’t have to worry about it right now. Then there’s a Media Bistro, that’s another big one. You can go find online writing jobs there. Also online graphic jobs, online editing jobs. All kinds of jobs. It’s jobs website for any kind of media, video editing, video production anything like that.
You can get out there and find places that people are posting for jobs that aligned with your skills. It might be Craigslist. There’s really nothing wrong with that. If you are a skilled book keeper, Craigslist is a great place to find work. If you are a skilled handyman, Craigslist could be a great place to find work. Just want to be careful and let out those potential customers who contact you a little more than you would if you’re on a more savory place. Craigslist, you know there’s some dirty things that go on, on other parts of Craigslist too and everyone there is not so honest, but a lot of people are and it’s a great way to make a few bucks.
Another great place to find clients – there’s a big freelancer websites that cater to anybody, any skill set. My favorite is called UpWork ‒ it used to be called oDesk. There’s other one similar called eLance. There’s also freelancer.com. I’ve never used, but it’s out there. UpWork is one I’ve used. I think I got hired on one job through there. It hasn’t been as huge for me, but I know I hire people through there quite a bit to help me with task, now that I’ve grown big enough I need freelancers to help me with things. My freelancer that helps me at personalprofitability.com, she goes by “Zee”, that’s her pseudonym that she uses online. I found Zee through the ‒ there’s was an oDesk still and I was looking for someone who had English skills and just kind of had a good grasp of how internet things work and wanted to do that type of work that I needed transcribing, blog post promotion, social media, things that I was too busy to do or things that were not my favorite to do on the website, but I’m willing to pay other people to do it. That’s how I found my VA, and she’s been doing a great job. I’m really thrilled with her. And if you need help like that, you can find them through oDesk, but if you want to do that kind of work, you can go there too and post your profile so someone like me might hire you.
The challenge with using a site like that because it’s global ‒ Zee lives in another country where the cost of living is a little different so I’m able to pay her less than if I were to hire someone living in Manhattan where the rent is $4,000 a month or something crazy like that or San Francisco. You are competing with people all around the world. There’s people in the Philippines who will work for $4 an hour or $3 an hour. I think I’ve even saw one for $2.50 an hour, once that’s the lowest. And I pay quite a bit more than $2.50 an hour, but there’s ‒ you need to find the right balance of the skills you offer and what people are willing to pay. That can be a challenge for United Stated based freelancers or even EU based freelancers where the cost of living can be higher than places like Southeast Asia, India or the Philippines. But the workers that I found in those countries can be great too. Good resource for me. Potentially good resource for you too, but also think about how you can differentiate yourself from those workers around the world.
If you’re a native English speaker and you speak impeccable English, and have great grammar skills. And if you paid attention in high school English class, you can demand a higher rate than those international worker because of your English skills. The same goes if you have special skills around, let’s say you have accounting skills or if you’re an accountant full time for your day job and you have a CPA. Maybe on evenings and weekends you can do bookkeeping for local businesses or financial analysis projects. People hire for that type of job on sites like oDesk. And people are willing to pay a premium if you have the right skills and English skill included in that to do those jobs.
Really think big and also think about who you are competing against and the best way to show your value, because that’s what people are going to hire. They’re not going to hire you because they like you, they’re going to hire you because you get the job done and give them the best return that investment that they make on you. If you’re going to charge too much, they are going to somewhere else, but if you’re going to charge a lot and deliver an awesome result, then you’re worth paying a lot. Think about that.
Create a Network of Potential Clients
Next one I want to really market yourselves as I said places like UpWork, the Problogger Job Board and Media Bistro. You really need to get yourself out there as much as you can. Marketing isn’t a natural thing to a lot of people. I’m sitting here just talking, talking. I don’t have any problem with people skills, but you really want to get out there and network as much as you can.
There’s a lot places you can do that online. You can look to specific maybe Facebook groups. There are Facebook groups and forums that are dedicated to all sorts of different topics. If you can find a really good active Facebook group to be a part of, where you can contribute and become a recognized contributor in that group, then when people are looking to hire, you can say “Yeah, I do that.” and they are more likely to hire you or give you references for a job.
Talk to your friends and family. I have a relative who is totally awesome graphic designer. She did the graphic design for moneymoollah.com I’ll give her a shout out. She’s at ElizabethWillhite.com, it’s my sister-in-law. She does awesome graphic work and whenever ‒ because of our relationship whenever I see a graphic project come through I say “Oh yeah, talk to my sister-in-law at ElizabethWillhite.com”. And I know she’s got a couple of good jobs through that.
Don’t forget to nurture relationships with the people around you who might have connections to that type of people who would want to hire you. And that’s what networking really is. It’s utilizing your network and relationships whether its friends, family or co-workers to help build your personal wealth, Empower, I guess you can call it, so think about that.
Importance of Building a Portfolio
Also think about building a portfolio. I have a portfolio at narrowbridgemedia.com, that’s the parent company that owns all of my online properties, and I’m the owner of that. It’s just me I know it sounds like a big company. Narrow Bridge Media is just me. But if you go to narrowbridgemedia.com, you can see my online portfolio of all the websites I worked on, a listing some of my writing clients and links to posts that I have done, and all of the projects I have.
Having a portfolio like that is great because if you’re working with a potential client you can say “Oh yeah, take a look here. Here’s some great work I’ve done”. I’ve also had people find that website through ‒ maybe a little link on the footer of the client that I’ve worked on and they’ll go to nerobridgemedia.com, and they’ll go through and see my portfolio say “Oh! This Eric guy’s alright. He’s done some cool work. I’m going to contact him.” And I had a couple of good jobs come in that way.
Having a good portfolio that can showcase the best of your skills and abilities is a great thing to have in your back pocket. That’s a good way for people to find you.
Tips on Raising Your Rates
That’s a good way to do when I want to talk about next which is raising your rates. As I said, I started around 10-20 dollars a post. Now I can get posts often in a 100-300 dollar a post range. I can’t say what I get paid by each individual client, but I’ve had several clients paying me in the $300 a post range, and I know people making quite a bit more than that. I’m on the load of middle and for a lot of freelance writers, and I’m okay with that. I’m not a full timer. If I work full time, I’d probably be able to enhance my skills more and charge more. But based on the time and work I put in, that’s a very good rate, and I’m very happy with it.
Think about what you can do once you’ve found that first client or if you have paying clients already to find new clients that will pay you more or finding a way to raise your rates on your existing clients. If you have a really good long term relationship with the client, you’re not going to come around and say “Oh! I want you to pay me a $50 more.” That’s not going to fly, but if you could raise your rate maybe 5% per year and be clear with that, that you plan to do that once you get that relationship developed, that’s a great way to keep building your rate and cover your cost of living, things like that.
Or you can just go out there and find higher paying clients. And you can always come back to a client that’s becoming difficult for you to manage your work load and keep them on, and they have the lowest rate even if they’ve been around a while. You could say, ‘I have clients now paying X rate. I charge you Y rate which I have for a long time. Can you now pay X rate? Can you increase it closer to that rate, so we can keep working together?’ That’s a back and forth negotiation, but if you do come to a client asking for a higher rate, you have to do that knowing there’s a risk you could lose that client. And to some extent you have to be willing to walk away if they won’t pay your rate, otherwise you’ll look like you’re spineless and you don’t want to have a reputation for that. You want to charge what you’re worth and if people aren’t willing to pay that as long as you can find the new clients who are willing to pay, it’s okay to let some clients go.
That’s just part of the business of freelancing. You don’t always have your clients forever though. I’ve had some clients for well over a year ‒ I love those relationships. I work well with them, and some of them are below my new rate, but because the work load is easier ‒ my hourly rate ends up being about the same. I’m willing to take half per post if the post takes half as much work. Think about that and your hourly rate that you end up getting for each client.
Becoming a Full Time Freelancer – Is it For You?
Let’s say you’re really doing well. Your portfolio is growing. You’re rate’s growing. You have a good stable of clients. You’re getting stable income. The next big question is should you go full time, and for me the answer so far has been no. I actually almost went full time once on accident. Last year, one day I lost a job and it was definitely a tough experience, but it was an easier experience because I knew when I walked out the door that I was still making, I was on track that my best income last year which was about $30,000, almost of the dollar, and I kept saying that number. It was really close to that within ten or twenty dollars of $30,000, it was pretty crazy to see it that close.
I was on the way to that year and I was thinking I’ll be okay. I can’t quite afford the lifestyle I’ve been living, but if I really kick-butt and bring on new clients and keep my raising my rates, and following my own advice I can do this full time. It was a total coincidence about two hours after I got home. I got a note from a recruiter here in Portland who ended up the job she called about was the job that I have today. It’s a great company, a great manager, and I have no plans to pick up and leave anytime soon, but I did think about for that month. Can I do this full time?
I definitely think I could have and I looked at a lot of my friends, which a lot of them are from that personal finance community I’ve talked about, who have gone full time.
Actually, last week I was hanging out in a bar with Stephanie Halligan she has a website called The Empowered Dollar. And she started her blog all about personal finance stuff similar to me, but she differentiated herself by drawing really cool comics all about personal finance topics and it really helped her blog explode to this huge popularity, and the people started hiring her to speak at their events and to draw comics for their websites and their companies. And she was able to go full time with that ‒ that is totally awesome.
I’ve also talked to a couple of other people, a few months ago we interviewed Melanie Lockert. She used to be a staff writer on this site and has her own site called Dear Debt. She went through a huge rollercoaster and was having tough time financially a lot because of her career path ‒ she was working at non-profits. And the year she left her non-profit job to freelance full time, she made more money than she would have made in the full time job. It depends if you’re making a hundred thousand a year it’s going to be harder to beat your income freelancing, but if you’re in a non-profit sector or a low paying job it could pretty quickly become a primary income source and maybe even be a full time job.
Now for me I just, at this point I don’t think it’s the right thing for me. I have a baby girl on the way coming this November. I’m hoping we’ll be happy and healthy. And the health insurance part of the equation makes it really something to think about if you’re going to leave a job to go full time freelancer. When you have a full time job, thanks to Obama Care ‒ you should have pretty good benefits if you’re working in a big company which I am. I’m at a company with well over 10,000 employees, so our health insurances is not the best I’ve had from every company I worked at, but it’s pretty darn good.
Something has changed though with Obama Care, it used to be if you’re a freelancer getting your own health care was really, really difficult and very expensive because you didn’t get the benefit of a group policy. Now with the new online marketplaces Obama Care actually makes it a quite bit easier to get health insurance. That’s less of a factor that it used to be, but for me with the child on the way it’s not just me I’m taking care of or just me and my wife, with the baby on the way having that extra safety net of both a steady income and health care are a big thing.
I also really enjoyed the retirement account matching that I get from that job. You don’t get retirement account matching when you’re a freelancer because you are the only one funding your retirement account. There’s some perks and benefits of a full time job you don’t get as a freelancer. But I said earlier on you can travel, live and go anywhere in the world in your own schedule and do your thing. Some employers, the Google and tech companies are allowing a lot more remote work than we used to see. But there are still a lot of company that want you to come at the office every day, and that’s definitely a downside of having an office job, unless you can work at home and do your thing like that or work from whatever city you want to in the world.
That’s really the big topics I wanted to cover today. Thank you for being a part of it and listening. If you have any questions about the topic, you can leave comments in the post comments at, I said earlier, personalprofitability.com/14. You can send me an email, [email protected]. You can send me a tweet, I’m @EricProfits, E-R-I-C P-R-O-F-I-T-S. Facebook, all the social media accounts.
I hope you really can go make your first freelance dollar or improve your freelance dollars if you do. Please send me your story. I’d love to talk to you about it. I’d love to hear about it. I love to be inspired by it because you guys are all awesome and can do amazing things.
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Thank you again so much for being a part of it and listening all this way to the end. Until next time, stay profitable.