Freelancing, especially for a writer or English major student, has become very popular with the growth of internet access. You can find countless articles and advertisements online that praise the benefit of sitting at your desktop and making money by banging out articles, blog posts, graphic design elements and anything that you take the time to research.
On the Train
Sarah P., freelancer in the city of Philadelphia Pa. wrote in to us with this experience:
“I am so happy that the train I use to get to my brick and mortar position in the downtown area where I live has added quiet cars. While traveling to and from work, I can whip out my thumb drive, access the trains available wi-fi and start writing for the company I freelance for online. It is a 45-minute ride into town, and a 45-minute ride home. I do this every day and make pretty good money by the end of the week doing something that I love, writing.”
In early 2013 commuter trains found that passengers were complaining that they could not hear themselves think while commuting to and from work due to noise from those on cell phones or having open conversations, and so the need for special cars for them were instituted called quiet cars.
Climbing aboard the commuter trains, such as those that leave from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. each morning, suddenly as everyone settles into their seats laptops are popping open and commuters are getting to work. It makes you wonder, how long will the need for office buildings be necessary.
Your Main Income
Then you have those that freelance from their desktop all week and do not work for anyone but those they write, or design for. Sometimes they too must travel long distances to finally meet up with their clients to develop something that cannot be done with only internet access.
During this travel time, those that freelance know that this is the time that they can use to catch up on other articles that may have upcoming deadlines. A serious freelancer does not have just one client. If they are diligent in looking for work many freelancers can juggle up to 5-6 clients at a time. This takes good scheduling of your time and prioritizing the work.
The Time Factor
Choosing the time you put in working as a freelancer is be the number one pro for this type of business. Your time is your time, and those that hire you to work for them know this.
They can ask that certain work be prioritized when it hits your desk, but when you let them know that you work 5 hours a week and only 5 hours a week, if you are good at what you do, they will respect that and honor those hours. But this relationship is two-way.
You as the freelancer must be diligent in getting the clients work out as fast as you can within limits. Utilize your time, and prioritize your output for all your clients and you can work 5 hours a week and use the rest of the time at your leisure.
To maximize your time, do the following:
- Keep and open communication going with your clients
- When you are under time constraints and have more than their work on your desk, let them know, even if you must pass the work off to someone else. Give them time to find someone before denying the work.
- Ask questions, get clarity on information that you do not understand, your client will appreciate this, it saves time.
Choosing to Travel and Freelance
While many of us need a full-time job with benefits to support our families, there are some of us that choose to travel the world and work from out laptops. Although becoming a location-independent freelancer may seem scary at first, it is being done, and successfully.
Don’t get them confused. Telecommuting and working while traveling are two separate things. As Sarah P. stated above, she was on her way to her full-time job while freelancing for a client.
Telecommuting is when your boss lets you work from home. However, traveling and freelancing to support those travels is a totally different aspect of the freelance world. If you decided to leave the world behind and get out there in the big world, here are some jobs that are available:
- Copywriter- this freelance position is one of the least paid. The more you like writing though, the better the income. You must build your reputation by starting out by getting known on sites such as Freelancer.com and Upwork.com.
Start out by accepting the lower rates of pay and as your reputation grows for delivering great content and you become adept at best SEO practices, you will become more valuable and can live comfortably in low cost areas of the world as you travel.
- Graphic Design- For those that can combine copywriting with graphic design and SEO capabilities, you will find work if you are diligent in looking for it. Many companies do not have the know how to build up a webpage or use software to create appealing graphics. Hang out on sites that teach this skill or go to school for it, you will make good money from anywhere in the world.
- Teachers- We cannot say enough about how this job is growing online. You can teach from anywhere today. With a little savvy about time-zones and the students that you are targeting, you can make good money teaching online. If you specialize in anything, you can teach it online. The proof of this is YouTube. When you want to learn anything you can find an tutorial on YouTube. Virtual chat is changing the world.
These are just a few of the jobs that you can do while traveling. There are many more to choose from. Just go to Google or your favorite search engine and type in freelancing and travel. After you find your niche, hop on a plane, train, or bus, work a little and sleep a little. Travel can be pleasurable for the mind and if you can get a little work in to help pay for it, why not?