The Freelancer’s Guide: Defining the Craft and Earning Potential

By admin Apr15,2024
The Freelancer's GuideThe Freelancer's Guide

I would like to tell you about what freelancing is and help you understand what kind of direction it is and why it will be interesting for everyone. I and many of my friends who are currently working remotely or developing their own Internet business started their Internet activities as freelancers.

Let’s talk about what advantages and disadvantages it has in contrast to office work.


What are freelancers

What is Freelancer
What is Freelancer

Freelance (English freelance – free) is a form of employment that does not involve employment, staying in an office, solving the tasks of one employer, and other attributes of full-time specialists, in simple words – it is free remote work with various customers.

A freelancer is a person who does such work. He can be self-employed, and work with clients under a contract, but he is not on the staff. At the same time, he looks for customers himself, organizes the work process himself, and is responsible for his actions.

This freedom often tempts beginners and those who are just about to leave the office for free bread. “It’s enough to work for my uncle, I’ll go and live as I want,” dreams a naive newcomer. Indeed, there is freedom, but it is quite conditional.

Freelancing has its downsides. Let’s consider them in more detail.

Pros and cons of freelancing

First about the pros:

1. You really don’t work for your uncle anymore and are only responsible for yourself. No more vacation schedules, two days off a week. All 365 days of the year are yours. At least in Bali, at least in a village near Poltava.

2. You allocate your time yourself. There are no climbs at 6-7 in the morning, no cut-off at 6 pm, and clear lunch breaks. You want to work, you want to lie down with a book or run on the track.

3. You can learn a new specialty, which is sometimes radically different from the main one. I know many happy copywriters and programmers who were unhappy accountants and engineers.

4. You are responsible for your own income. If there was a ceiling at your previous job and you couldn’t break through it, here all the ways are open to you.

5. You choose who to work with and what to do. It won’t work like that in the state – you are obliged to follow the instructions of your superiors. As a freelancer, you and only you filter the customers and can refuse the job if you are not satisfied with it.

The cons, surprisingly, largely stem from the pros:

1. Yes, you can work while traveling the world. But practice shows that running and jumping do not work very well. And in general, when traveling, you want to rest, and not be tied to a laptop-Skype-messenger.

2. Yes, at first glance, the schedule is free — but in fact, you somehow adapt to the schedule of clients. And he is just in the office: all the same from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Few of the customers will discuss tasks at 9 pm or on weekends.

3. Yes, you can radically change your life and master a new profession. But if you don’t want to develop and learn, you’ll work all your life on exchanges and freelance sites, or you’ll be interrupted by random orders for little money. Any work requires immersion, perseverance, and, no matter how loud it sounds, a thirst for knowledge.

4. Yes, all paths are open. But to start making real money as a freelancer, strict self-control is required. If you are prone to procrastination, or disorganized, it is better to stay in the office, under the leadership of the boss. Freelance is an iron discipline and a stone ass.

5. And, of course, a significant minus — sometimes dense, sometimes empty. Especially for newcomers who have not yet become regular customers. So advice: don’t start freelancing until you’ve built up a client base or built up a financial cushion for a few months.

Types of freelancing: what you can do

In general, you can become a freelancer in any field – even if you provide accounting services, even if you lead author’s tours. But usually, freelance means work on the Internet: copywriting, web development, SMM, and other areas. Let’s analyze the most popular ones.


This is the writing of commercial and informational texts for business: blog articles, social media posts, texts for landing pages, website pages, product cards, etc.

The main mistake

Copywriting is cheap text on exchanges that cost 5.5 hryvnias for 1000 characters. An outright lie: if you don’t work on the stock exchanges, you can pump your knowledge and skills, and you can make great money.

What a copywriter should know and be able to do

• Write texts of various types and formats. A guide is different from an interview, and a newsletter is different from a Telegram channel post.

• Search and verify information.

• Know the basics of SEO: at least at the level of selecting key queries for articles and developing metatags.

• Know the basics of marketing: what is the target audience, how to get ahead of competitors, and how to solve the client’s problem with the help of text.

• Basics of analytics: track through Google Analytics how many views there were in the text, how many rejections, from which devices readers entered, etc.

• Distribute content on various resources.

How much can you earn?

Depends on the copywriter’s experience, skills, expertise, and ability to sell oneself, in the end. I started copywriting on the exchange 5 years ago, the first few months I worked for 15-55 hryvnias for 1,000 signs. In a month, I got about 8,000 hryvnias. Now I take 8 thousand for one article, and this is far from the limit.

SMM, advertising on social networks

This is promotion in social networks: management and administration of the client’s public. There is also targeted advertising: it is engaged in by herpetologists, but some SMM specialists combine both.

The main mistake

Oh, what’s so complicated: wish you a good morning and a good night’s sleep, cat posts, and more hashtags. No, it doesn’t work like that: followers are smart now, they want useful content and real communication.

What an SMM specialist should know and be able to do

• Know the features of each social network, its audience, nuances of posting, and advertising settings.

• Write posts of various types and formats: informative, selling, attracting, entertaining.

• Design a profile header, and posts, and make templates in the editor.

• Communicate with subscribers, motivate them to communicate, distinguish unjustified hate from fair criticism and adequately respond to negativity.

• Know the basics of social media analytics and adjust your promotion strategy based on analytics data.

How much can you earn?

A beginner can earn an average of 2,500 to 5,500 hryvnias per month for managing one pub. The more experience, cases with results, the higher the payment. On average, SMM specialists ask for 16,000 to 22,000 hryvnias per month for managing one public.


A web designer creates designs for sites, landing pages, and mobile applications. A graphic designer specializes more in thematic illustrations, social media templates, logo design, and presentation design – many areas.

The main mistake

Well, I draw well – therefore, I will master this profession. This mistake is a sibling of “Well, I wrote well at school – I’ll be a copywriter.” It is not enough to be able to draw and write – first of all, you need to study internet marketing and understand how everything is arranged in IT and digital.


What a designer should know and be able to do

• Be able to work in special programs: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Canva, Figma, etc.

• Know the classic fundamentals of design: the rule of the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, etc.

• Be able to create prototypes for the site and landing pages.

• Know the basics of color.

• Basics of layout and typography.

• Know the basics of usability, UX, and UI.

• Be able to work with photo banks, and select and process pictures.

How much can you earn?

Newbie freelancers charge 1,500-2,700 hryvnias for the design of a simple site on a constructor or the design of a public hat. Masters of all trades can request an amount 10 times more – in well-known studios for express design – the creation of a logo and basic style – they charge 55,000 hryvnias. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

An SEO specialist works to ensure that the site reaches the top positions of search results, receives more traffic, and its owner – more profit.

The main mistake

SEO is all about putting more keywords on pages, right? No. As in the previous directions, without knowledge of the basics of Internet marketing, there is nowhere to go.

What an SEO specialist should know and be able to do

• Understand the internal structure of the site: know what a site map, micro markup, duplicate pages, redirect, etc. are.

• Know the features of search engines, their algorithms, and ranking factors.

• Know the basics of Internet marketing so that the site sells.

• Be able to make a semantic core.

• Be able to work with special services: Keys. so and Google Search Console.

• Know the basics of web analytics, and track statistics through Google Analytics.

• Understand UX, usability, and site design.

How much can you earn?

Beginner SEO specialists charge both 2,700 and 5,500 hryvnias for their services. On average, the promotion of one site costs UAH 8,000 – 16,000.

The prices of experienced specialists are sometimes not inferior to the prices of agencies – they start from 16,000 hryvnias per month. But for this, of course, you need to become a real professional and really help businesses bring sites to the top.

How to find a job as a freelancer

Let’s consider several options.

Freelance exchanges

If you are a beginner, I advise you to start with freelance exchanges. First, there is always an order. Yes, they are inexpensive, but you will definitely not be without work. Secondly, they will definitely not be deceived there – the exchange ensures both performers and customers, keep the commission. Thirdly, and this is the most important, you will gain experience on the exchanges. I learned copywriting there and in a few months, I mastered many formats, and services for work, learned to present myself, and communicated with various customers.

But just, please, don’t stay on the stock exchanges for a long time. You feel that you have squeezed everything you can out of them, that you have gained experience and have become more expensive – do not be afraid, go free swimming. Otherwise, there is a risk of staying in this cozy and stable swamp, and then writing tearful posts on social networks “Teach me how to leave the stock market and earn more !”. No one is chaining you – go and earn.

Social networks, Telegram channels

A method for those who have already learned a lot and want to cooperate with customers independently, and not through the exchange. Social networks and Telegram are full of groups and channels where customers publish their tasks. There are shared channels – you can find them by searching for the words “Freelance”, and “Remote work”. There are communities by direction – copywriting, SEO, web development. You have to search for them also through search.

You can find any task in such profile communities. Here they publish:

• one-time tasks: for example, write a post or make a logo;

• complex long-term proposals: for example, to keep a blog permanently, to develop a corporate style of the company.

Direct appeals

You can take the risk and directly contact the company you want to work with. I call this method “the door with your foot”, it is suitable for the brave and confident. But keep in mind that if she does not have a request to find specialists, it will be a cold letter, and you will most likely not get an answer. It is better to contact those companies that are looking for freelancers. In the field of digital, it’s simple: for example, blogs of well-known Internet agencies often need freelance authors. Write and you will find.

Tips for Newbie Freelancers

Finally, I will allow myself to give some advice that can help at the beginning of the journey.

1. Do not leave a permanent job, unless you have clearly stated WHY you want to work as a freelancer, WHAT it will give you, and HOW it will change your life for the better. Make a business plan, estimate how much you can earn in the first month, six months, a year, and whether it is worth taking a risk. If necessary, accumulate a financial cushion for several months just in case. It’s more comfortable to take risks when you have a substantial amount in reserve that will help you and your family survive in the event of failure.

2. When choosing a direction, listen to yourself. Maybe you dreamed of drawing or writing for a long time, but couldn’t? Sit down and make a list of your competencies. Which of them can really come in handy, and which ones were outdated ten years ago? But don’t forget to take off the rose-colored glasses: I described the most important mistakes of freelancers above for a reason. Fives in school in literature, music, and drawing do not mean anything: in freelancing, as in any work, concrete knowledge, abilities, skills, and willingness to learn decide.

3. If you consider freelancing as a part-time job – for example, you are a high school student, a student, or a mother on maternity leave – prioritize. Of course, you want to make extra money, but studying or taking care of your child is more important. It is only in the sweet fantasies of advertising creators that everything can be combined with a heroic mother who is not touched by anyone from the family – work, dear, we will sit quietly. Aha, aha🙂

4. Do not sit in isolation, join the Internet community. Subscribe to opinion leaders in your chosen field, read their posts, and leave comments. Tap into professional chats, communicate, and ask questions. This is how you will gain experience and make a statement about yourself. Networking works wonders – colleagues will be able to recommend you, give advice, and support, and help find a customer.

5. If you take one-time orders – today with one customer, tomorrow with another – you will not be able to earn much. Because this is stream work. Such freelancers—and most of them—are treated as hired labor. If the copywriter wrote the text, it is free. And what’s next with this text, how it worked out, what results it led to for business – freelancers are usually not told.

If you want to become a highly-paid specialist and improve your marketing skills, look for complex jobs. Only in this way will you be involved with a business client and begin to understand how your work brings him profit, in what it is expressed. Only then will you be truly useful to the business, and it will definitely appreciate it.

Today you learned what freelancing is and how to make money from it. I hope you liked the article and it is really useful.

Before meeting!

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