Q & A: How Difficult Is It to Become a Freelancer?

Question: I am looking to begin working from home as a freelancer. How difficult is it to break into this business? - K.P

Answer: I get asked this question all the time,
K.P., and for good reason: breaking into freelancing can be a bit
overwhelming. I know it was quite stressful and daunting for me when I
first started. Thankfully, as long as you know what to do, it’s not too

It’s all about deciding what you are good at and then rolling with
that. Are you strong grammatically? If so, you may find a lot of work
as a proofreader or maybe a writer. Are you an experienced programmer?
Then there are lots of programming-related work opportunities
available. How about web design? You could easily start selling your
services to others and designing web sites for them. There are
literally hundreds of different opportunities for you as a freelancer.

Next, when you decide what to do, you can begin exploring where to
find work in that area. Try free sites like Craigslist.org,
RentaCoder.com and ScriptLance. Often, you’ll be required to supply a
sample or two of your work–in which case, you should spend a little
time developing it, whether it’s a small web site or article. Even if
it isn’t required, showing your experience to perspective buyers is a
good idea as it shows that you have what it takes to complete their

Finally, make sure you have a spreadsheet in place to carefully keep
track of how much income you are receiving, expenses and also taxes.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is freelancers who forget about taxes
only to realize at the end of the year that they owe a bunch. Take the
time now to set aside 15.3% of your profit (after expenses) for the
self-employment tax. Also set aside enough to cover federal, state and
city taxes.

Good luck!