How I Made $4,000+ as an Online Freelancer

“I’ve never imagined that I could make more money online than anywhere else.” 

That’s exactly my thoughts when I started seeing how much I’ve made as an online freelancer.

That’s also the thoughts of millions of freelancers today who started with nothing.

It wasn’t always the case; in fact, I started with nothing!

The journey was hard, but once I realized that there’s a whole new world online, I didn’t look back.

For this post, let me share with you my story. I’ve also scattered some tips to help aspiring freelancers take action today!

Before I Made Money as an Online Freelancer

Before I was rolling in doughs of dollars, I was struggling to move out of bed every SINGLE day.

I’ve just graduated from my course, which is Business Administration… along with millions of others.

So, as you can imagine, getting a job in my city in the Philippines isn’t easy.

But that didn’t stop me from applying to banks all over the city, hoping that one of them would even glance at a resume of an inexperienced fresh graduate.

Thankfully, one of them did. The only problem was the interview location was hundreds of kilometers away from my home city!

What were my qualifications?

  • I was broke.
  • I had 0 experience.
  • Subpar grades.

But that didn’t stop me at all from pursuing my dreams of working as a “bank teller.”

So, I went to the interview and to cut the story short – I didn’t get the job.

I went home, even more, broke, depressed, and intent on giving it all up. I went to the one place I know I could vent my frustrations: online.

As if by chance, I’ve read some success stories of an online freelancer on Facebook with his 6 digits monthly salary. This inspired me to do the same.

So, I searched online and began creating my profile on the most popular freelancing platforms such as UpWork, Peopleperhour, and more.

upwork earnings of jerico

Looking back, I’m actually grateful that I didn’t get the bank job because I now realized that I’m enjoying my work as a freelance content creator.

It has also allowed me to gain the time and financial freedom I yearned for little by little.

So, are you curious to learn what the steps I took to make money online as a freelancer?

Read on!

Here Are the Steps I took to Earn $4,000+ as an Online Freelancer

When people look at successful freelancers, they think that these people must have some special kind of gifts.

While they do have gifts, I assure you that you’re just as gifted as they are. No one started as a master without first being a student. Aside from their skills, they have the determination and the hunger to succeed.

Here are the things I did that allowed me to no longer look for 9-5 jobs and how YOU can also do the same!

Tip #1: Don’t wait for anything

10 year goals list on a notepad

If you’re wondering what separates highly successful people from those that are stuck in, it is their actions. Successful people MOVE even before they feel like it.

I was scared because even though I knew how to write as I was the editor-in-chief of our high school paper, I was completely lost. I haven’t written an article online, and I don’t have a single clue what SEO is.

But even if that was the case, I knew that I had to do something to get somewhere. Also if it was insignificant at first. Here’s what I did.

  1. I started to look for jobs offering low salaries at first just to build my portfolio.
  2. At the same time, I learned everything I could from my clients and by searching online.

The experience was indeed the best teacher. So, don’t wait for anything. Your portfolio and experience won’t fill themselves!

Tip #2: Learn everything you can

When I first started freelancing, I was overwhelmed by the things that I didn’t know.

Even if I had no idea how most computer applications worked, I tried using them and learning on the way.

If you want to become a successful online freelancer, you need to learn everything you can and fast. There are a lot of free resources out there, as well as paid.

Here are some online sites I used to enroll in some online courses on writing and SEO.

Tip #3: Make mistakes

Yes, these were all real clients that have rejected me in the past. The common denominator was my writing lacked quality, which I couldn’t defend because I was just a newbie then.

This just proves that to make money online, you need to make mistakes. But don’t make them just because you were unprepared. Make mistakes because you take risks.

If you want to succeed, you’ll naturally make a few mistakes. If you don’t make them now and then, you’re not trying hard enough.

I made many when I first started freelancing. Here are the biggest ones that you should look out for:

  • I submitted to almost every job post I saw.
  • I didn’t tailor my proposal to the specific job post.
  • Not addressing the client by their first name in cover letters.
  • Putting too much “I” instead of focusing on providing value.
  • Doing the work for the sake of doing instead of providing high-quality articles.
  • Not having enough articles in my portfolio or submitting low-quality articles as samples.
  • Being picky at first with jobs.

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made, so I listed them here for you. The key takeaway here is to put your shoes in the client’s shoes.

Notice if you’re just asking for money or if you’re providing high-quality work.

In the end, it’s okay if you make a few mistakes, the important thing is you learn from them and move on!

Tip #4: Lifelong learning

Books stacked against each other

When I first started as a freelancer, I was making around $300/monthly. This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either compared to other freelancers.

That’s why I’m still learning today. I’m learning new skills such as affiliate marketing, WordPress management, and more.

If you’ve seen my first set of articles, you’d ask if it was written by a different person. Yes, that’s how I improved drastically. I no longer rely on big and fancy words like I used to before.

That has allowed me to land high-paying clients and start my blog on personal finance. Though I’m still at the early stages, I’m learning a lot just by setting up my blog and writing blog posts.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid of the unknown

jerico working on his home office setup

When I first started freelancing, I was scared. I was too afraid to guest post on blogs because I was afraid of getting rejected. But I knew that I wanted to do it since it’ll allow me to punch my fears in the face.

What you’re reading right now is my first guest post. Yes, it took me about a year of procrastination and crawling under my comfort zone before I decided to act. I’m very grateful that I did and shared my story for BforBloggers first.

I learned that the number one thing that you shouldn’t let into your mind is FEAR.

  • What if I fail?
  • If I don’t meet the client’s expectations?
  • What if I ruin the client’s business?

These questions are normal. But instead of focusing on these, you should think these instead:

  • What if I succeed?
  • How can I succeed?
  • What can I learn from my mistakes?

Can you see the difference? The first set of questions limit YOURSELF before you do something. The second one encourages you to take ACTION before you feel fear.

Final Thoughts

I still have a long way to go, but all I know is that this is what I want to do for a living. To make a living by being an online freelancer and achieve the time and financial freedom is what I’ve always wanted.

How about you? What’s your story?

Tell me how my story has touched yours in the comments below!

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  1. Hi Jerico, Congratulations on the success you have achieved in your life. your story is true inspiration to many aspiring freelancers. I agree with you learning is a continuous process, whether you are newbie or experienced professional, learning will always happen. One thing i learned in my online journey is that to avoid past mistakes.

    1. Jerico Saquing says:

      Hi Sajan!

      Thank you very much for reading and for your kind words. Indeed, it’s important to learn especially from our mistakes to be better. 🙂

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