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[Journey] My way to make a living as a Freelancer

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Naulex, May 30, 2017.

  1. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    Hi, everyone!

    Today, a few hours ago, I have been asking about if something would be interested in a different journey, a journey where I would show my way to make a living as a Freelancer (you can read that thread here) and a lot of people told me they would be interested so let's start it!


    Motivation and goals
    First I would like to explain few things about this journey and why I am doing this. Right now I am a student trying to finish what I am studying in the University so meanwhile sometimes I have no free time, other times I have too much free time. As I am a student, I want to build a good CV (curriculum vitae). Maybe I won't need it in the future if I build a good business as a freelancer (or with another project), but I want to have one, just to be sure that if I need it, I will have it. And I think a lot of freelancing projects would fit really fine in a good CV.

    About my goals, I don't want to say something like "earn $X per day" or "end with $Y in my bank account". I am focusing on a niche where people usually earn a good amount so if I do everything well, I will be able to earn a good amount. But that niche has a lot of competence, so I will need to fight a lot to reach that amount. But if you keep asking me for a number, I would like to be able to reach $2000-$2500 per month and I would like to reach that quantity in 9 months. Is it possible? Yes, of course. How? Just keep reading!

    My niche
    I have been programming since I was 11 (right now I am 20) so I feel very comfortable with anything related to code something. And I think that if you want to be successful doing something, you have to feel comfortable with it, so it will be my niche. I will be a freelancer developer.

    What will I offer?
    I will be focusing on four services:
    • Develop apps (for Android and iOS)
    • Develop mobile games (for Android and iOS)
    • Develop Wordpress sites (or speed them up / do bug fixes)
    • Online business advice (before you say anything, I will explain it better in few moments)
    Why will I offer these services?
    Well, the first two is obvious why. I am really experienced with them and I really enjoy working on them. About the third, Wordpress uses (mainly) PHP, HTML, and CSS; things I know. Also, I have been developing several Wordpress sites so I have experience working in this area.
    About the fourth, I have been creating (and several times failing too) online business (let me say that this freelancing journey is not my only one income) so I have previously sold business advice on Fiverr and people was really happy with the service offered so, if it worked why stop doing it? (but maybe I should try to improve it in some way since I was charging just $5, so I earned just $4 for study the business, look for their competitors, see how to improve everything... it was a lot of work for just $5 but I didn't know how to charge more).

    So, what do I have right now?
    I won't lie you. I am not starting from zero, I have been working on this for a month but I will explain my work until now in few moments.
    To make easier for you follow this journey and do the same, I will try to do everything as if I were completely new there, so let's say we don't have a portfolio of our work, ok?
    So, if you don't have a portfolio, it is really difficult to start selling and more if you don't have a portfolio in a niche like development. But we can do something.
    Let's start on a freelancing platform. We have four big platforms:

    • Fiverr
    • Seoclerks
    • Freelancer
    • Upwork
    Freelancer and Upwork are too competitive and without a good portfolio is really complicated to get works (it is not impossible, but I tried it and I couldn't get enough good works at the beginning).
    So now we have to choose between Fiverr or Seoclerks. I have chosen Fiverr, just because I have worked there before and I know the platform better but in some time I will take a look to Seoclerks too (just watch the journey and you will see it!).

    Note: Seoclerks has another site specifically to code, it is called Codeclerks. In some days I will try to enter in that market.

    So, I have been working this month on Fiverr. Some years ago, I worked there just selling things like "I will edit your picture" or "I will subtitle your video" so it is an aged account with some previous sells and with good reviews.

    Note: If you are going to start selling on Fiverr and you are thinking about start offering a service like edit images, subtitle videos or do some SEO services, think about it twice since I have noticed that now Fiverr is overcrowded in niches like those.

    In every freelancing site, reviews are one of the most important things to get sales so I am starting with some advantage but don't worry, if you start from zero, you will get some sales, just wait. At the beginning is more difficult of course, but if you offer something good, people will buy it!

    So, on this previous month basically, I created all my Gigs (I created 7, the maximum if you are a beginner), added images to them and videos (videos, it is really important, I don't know why but it always increases your sales!), also I tried to improve the descriptions and tags to rank better on Fiverr searches (if you are interested I could talk a bit about it) and I promoted the Gigs in my social networks.

    Note: Try to always play this game to your advantage, if you have something that already works and you want to make another thing work, try to use the thing that works with the another one. For example, I have right now two Twitter accounts related with development with around 10K followers (in total). Although the conversion is really low, it helps (at least the gigs promoted are retweeted and shared a lot and I think Fiverr counts it)

    Since my Fiverr account was not used for a long go and all my Gigs were new it took a lot to start being ranked but after the first week, I got my first sale: develop an Android app for $40. Yeah, I know, it is tooooo low, but I needed that sale. It was more important that the money in that case, because I would get my first 5 stars review on that Gig, so I accepted the deal and did the app for the user. He was a really complicated buyer, just asking for more and more features for the same price and I was always frightened if I said no to something he will cancel the order so I keep doing most of the cases (but I kept thinking starts are always difficult). But finally, I got my first 5 stars review.

    Fast forwarding, in this month, since I have started on Fiverr I have sold 5 apps on Fiverr (and I am closing the deal for another 2) and I have done another deal with a previous buyer. The good thing is as more deals I close with good reviews, a bigger price can I ask for, so now I am developing for better prices (maybe not fair prices for me but freelancing is difficult at the beginning!). I will put my current earning at the end of the thread.

    And, what am I going to do now?
    Well, today I will be ending a prototype for an app I am trying to close the deal and not much more since it is late and I have to study for my upcoming University exams.
    Tomorrow I will take a look to Codeclerks (and Seoclerks). (In few days I would like to do the same with UpWork) and I will try to setup the same Gigs from Fiverr there. And maybe I will do something more, I am not sure, I will say what I finally do tomorrow in the next journey post.

    My monthly earnings:
    Well, May is not ended but it is really close to ending. If I do another sale before, I will update it. Right now I have done the following:

    - App development revenue (on Fiverr) after Fiverr fee (-20%): $400
    - Game development revenue (on Fiverr) after Fiverr fee (-20%): $480
    - Business advice revenue (on Fiverr) after Fiverr fee (-20%): $16
    - Total: $896

    Conclusion:
    Well, it not bad for my first month as freelancing developer. Nothing bad. It is not enough to make a good living (at least in my country) but it is a start. It is true I have worked too much, a lot of night without sleep, one window coding, another window ready BHW :)P) and I feel like some deals were too cheap for the buyers. But later, when I become more popular, I will be able to charge more, I suppose.
    About the next month, I would like to earn $1000 (after fees) and I think it is possible, just I have a lot of University exams this upcoming month so I am not sure if I will be able. Anyway, I will try to enter in another markets and improve everything a little bit. I will talk more about these things tomorrow, now I feel like I have written a long post, so if you have read until reach this sentence, thank you!
     
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  2. jason2009

    jason2009 Senior Member

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    Best of luck with your journey. I'm also a coder so i know the pain when client wants more edit one after one with the initial budget :( BTW hope you will update it regularly :)
     
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  3. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    Thanks for your answer! I will try to update it every day (and also to make my posts shorter ;))
     
  4. wilihost

    wilihost Registered Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience! Goodluck on your path too and hope it grows!
     
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  5. dobcho0

    dobcho0 Newbie

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    This will be interesting, I am following for sure! Good luck! :)
     
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  6. Diplomat

    Diplomat Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well done man! Please keep in mind that don't get greedy and get yourself too many projects at once. Better try to provide high quality work so you get great reviews than doing bad quality work in larger quantities. Eventually you will earn that much from 1 project if not more.. so keep your quality high and clients happy. That's the perfect solution for becoming a successful freelancer.
     
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  7. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    Welcome to the second day of my journey!
    First at all, this post will be shorter than the previous one, don't worry! Yesterday was a long post but just because it was the first one (and also because I like writing ;))

    What have I done today?
    I have finished the prototype for the project I talked yesterday and it was approved by the buyer so I got a new order! (Yes, I thought I wouldn't be able to get a new order before end May but yeah, it was possible!). But it is a short project and right now I don't have a lot of orders (just that one) so I am not really busy, I should look for at least one more project.

    As @Diplomat told me a few hours ago I have to take care about don't take a lot of projects and focus on just a few with very good quality, so I will take just one or two projects more until I finish this one.

    Also, I said yesterday I was going to take a look to Codeclerks and I have done it but I am not really convinced to post any project there, it seems like there you can sell programs already done, not offer to create a custom app (do you know if I am wrong?) so I think tomorrow I will take a look to Upwork and start creating my profile there.


    What would I do tomorrow?
    Well, tomorrow I have to focus on study for my University exams but I will find time to do the following things:
    • Continue working on the current order I have
    • Try to promote more my Fiverr account because I want to close one or two more deals this week
    • Create (and configure) an Upwork account
    • Keep working on a "hobby" project *
    * My hobby project is I am doing a framework for .io games (to create easily games like agar.io or slither.io). Maybe when it will be ready I will look for a JV in BHW, maybe someone is interested in publish games like them and bring traffic to earn some bucks!

    And that is all for today! Oh, and thanks for the support you are giving to me, I am really happy!
     
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  8. BillTomy

    BillTomy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Interested, good luck on your journey :)
     
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  9. Writing Package

    Writing Package Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is exciting! Congratulations on the prototype and setting up the foundation necessary to scale. That hobby project sounds like a very good idea, I can't wait to see how it turns out!
     
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  10. shafi432

    shafi432 Regular Member

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    Good luck with your journey. BTW, how much would you charge for some tweaks in an android project? It might take few minutes or so. I'm not able to figure out the way myself.

    Anyway, keep us updated.
     
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  11. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    The third day of the journey has come!
    Today has been a quiet day, not very busy, I suppose it is because yesterday was the last day of the month so there weren't too many buyers outside. I have seen the days where I have more activity on Fiverr are on Tuesday and Wednesday (and more in the middle of the month), so I have to look how to use it for my own benefit.

    I have created an Upwork account as I said and I have started configuring it (I just have to finish uploading the portfolio). I have started doing some qualification exams there (I have done the English exam right now but I can't understand, I failed just a few questions and I had just 4.2/5.0. Ok, it is fine but... it says I am below the average! Wow, that was amazing).

    For the app that I sent yesterday the prototype, I am waiting for some designs from the UI team (that team is part of the buyer so I can't do anything but wait) so today I couldn't develop anything related to it.

    So I have been developing my hobby project (as I explained yesterday) and it is close to be finished!

    What would I do tomorrow?
    That is something I am not really sure. For sure I will finish the Upwork profile configuration. Also, I will search for more information about Upwork and how to get sales there. I will try to finish a demo of the hobby project and host it somewhere to test it more (and look for people to test it). And I was thinking about something more but right now I have forgotten it so when I remember what it was, I will edit this post!

    Regards and thanks for reading!

    Oh, just PMed you!
     
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  12. Servicesman

    Servicesman Junior Member

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    Interested, follow your journey.
     
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  13. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    Day 4 of my journey!
    Again today was a not busy day, with not too much things to do so I have been mostly reading things about UpWork, Fiverr and developing some hobby projects. Also I have been helping a friend who wants to start earning some dollars on Internet but he doesn't know what to do or how to do (right now he just want to earn around $10 per week or so, just to try, so I had a lot of ideas of things he could do and we have been working on some of them).

    About UpWork, finally I have finished the profile so I can start looking for work there but I will wait some days more because I am looking for more information about how to achieve clients there and also I want to pass some more certifications.

    A few days ago I talked about Codeclerk and how it was a little weird for me. I said there you can't sell something like "I will code an app based on your idea for X$", it was a market where you could sell programs working. But I didn't want to surrender, I want to try that market so as I coded few Instagram and Twitter bots a few weeks ago for my accounts, I will redesign them to try to sell some of them there, maybe it works, and if not, at least I have tried it!

    Oh, and 2 or 3 days ago I had few ideas of really simple (but cool) apps for Google Play. These apps are that are focused on getting a lot of users spending some time every day inside the app doing a task (I am very general because, you know, I don't want to be copied ;)). I will display banner ads and interstitial ads. Some months ago I tried something similar but it didn't work because I failed in one thing: getting enough traffic (=enough installs) so I think I will have to find in some place (maybe here in BHW) a partner who will be able to drive traffic to the app meanwhile I manage the coding part, of course going something like 60/40 or 50/50. I will have to think about it.

    Anyway, stop talking, I have too much to read and code before going to sleep so I will have to end this post now, thanks for reading!
     
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  14. moneymakinguy

    moneymakinguy Junior Member

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    Following your journey.. Good Luck!
     
  15. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    Day Five!
    Well, day five and new journey post. I am thinking about doing this journey weekly to have things to tell you, the only reason why I am not doing it right now is that I am afraid to forget it someday and stop doing it.

    Today I have been coding a lot, few apps for some buyers, the app for my upcoming JV (if you are interested just read my previous journey post) and meanwhile I was taking a rest, I was thinking about promote my freelancing app development business on LinkedIn when I thought I don't have enough contacts there (I had just 27) so I looked here, in BHW, for a way to get more connections. I found a script to do it but it was not working for me, so I said: "Ok, let's start coding!" and I have coded my own script to get more connection on LinkedIn (right now I have 130 and growing!). If you are interested, I posted it here for free: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/e...-to-grow-your-linkedin-profile-to-500.944911/


    And, what am I going to do tomorrow?
    I have just realized I have been few days without publishing anything in my blogs so I will be writing and posting. Also, I will be coding for some clients and finishing the app for my upcoming JV (I would like to publish it in two or three days here). Tomorrow I will take a little break from promoting my services so have more motivation at the beginning of the next week, I would like to close some deals in the next week!

    Anyways, that is all for today, I will be updating here so watch the thread if you are interested!
     
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  16. Writing Package

    Writing Package Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is amazing, Naulex! I think the weekly updates will serve you better as long as you track your daily progress. Thanks for sharing the script, I'll definitely check it out.
     
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  17. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    Thanks! Yes, I think tomorrow will be the last daily journey post and I will start doing it weekly, I will talk more about it in the journey post of tomorrow. Thanks, I hope the script will be useful for you as it is being for me!
     
  18. Xr0x

    Xr0x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Following! wish you best luck!
    very intresting
     
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  19. Mcney

    Mcney Junior Member

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    Could also try PeoplePerHour as another platform to advertise your services.
     
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  20. Naulex

    Naulex Registered Member

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    True! I was thinking I was forgetting a freelancing website, thanks!