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A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

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ECONOMICS by KRISS on 02 october 2018

A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED When I came up with “freelancing myself” it wrongly sounded to my mind as if I were prostituting myself for some strange reason.
What I mean is that the experience has been so far frustrating enough to take a not all positive dimension.
About a month ago after trying everything we know and which had worked until now to make money, and obviously after everything had failed, I decided to finally have a proper go at freelancing.

After all, most of my skills are perfectly fit for that purpose and I can’t think of any better way to keep sailing and changing location while remaining active and making a living.
Besides photography which becomes scarcer and scarcer every year (but there might be a way to reverse that), I have never stopped writing, translating, web coding and doing graphic designs.
Why shouldn’t I make the most of the skills I am best at and offer them on the market ? As brilliant an idea as it sounds, it is hardly a won battle.
There are a few sharp rocks along the way and I’m going to reveal them to you straight away.

But first I need to point out that I managed to find clients this months, a few might even give me more work in the future and I am able to afford our berth and some of our food without touching our savings.
I have read that it sometimes takes months before scoring your first client when starting freelancing.
It took me a couple of days so I must be grateful.

Now, the not so good.

Out of the many websites you can use to showcase your talents, the major seem to be Upwork and Freelancer.
There are many more and I have tried a few.


Let’s start with Upwork.

I stuck to presenting one very specific skillset on their website which is english to french translations.
I took a few of their test, the main one “english to french translation” was a real success as I scored in the top 10% of their crowd.
Still, they have turned down my application and because I value my time I won’t be trying again with them anytime soon.

Then there is Freelancer.
I think the idea is brilliant and they must be making a fortune.
They charge freelancers and clients for any single move they make.
So far it is the only platform that has been of any use to me but it is also very unfair so far.
Maybe when I get to take part in their “preferred freelancer” program, things will be easier.
For now, I can tell you what is wrong with their system.
They sell freelancers packages of bids they can use to bid on projects.
The more expensive the package the more bids you have and the more you can bid.
So far so good.
Now, because it must be a very lucrative business they purposefully (I suspect at least) let fake clients post fake offers so that freelancers can spend real bids and waste real time.
I must admit that after a month I have quickly learned how to spot these and not waste any more time bidding.
But then what am I left with ? Not much ! In fact this last week I have spotted fewer than 10 projects that were serious and worth considering.
And how many fellow freelancers had their sharp teeth already biting in the steak ? Scores ! First, 90% of the bids are placed by Indians and Pakistanese folks that offer any possible existing skill on the planet.
Yes my friend, C++ and java developing, SEO marketing expert, photoshop and illustrator guru, fluent and bilingual (hehehe) in every existing language on the planet etc… I am sure these guys can build me a rocket to go to Mars… and at bargain prices at that ! For only $2/hour they can crap over any other freelancer genuinely trying to make a living where $20/hour barely cuts it.
Anyhoo, that’s globalisation blablabla, new job market blablabla and blablabla.
Once these guys out (mind you I have seen projects that advertised “natives only - high quality translation required” awarded to people who clearly didn’t fit the profile), there is still a good number of fellow talents who are fighting over crumbles and wether I like it or not, I am one of them !

The other thing about Freelancer are their testing system.
They have put in place a wide range of tests that you can purchase and then display on your profile.
Obviously the more relevant tests you the better (but then again instead of making money you are spending money).
Well, I gave in a took 2 of their tests and my oh my, were they bad ! Not that I did not pass them, I did.
Brilliantly for one (french/english translation) , not so much for the other one (french level 2 lol).
Well, I should spend a little more time on this blog post but after all, I am not making a living of it so I’ll leave it at that, I’m off to browsing some more projects.
Fingers crossed !

Photo credits : wikimedia commons

#family #earnings #freelance

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