Freelance Work From Home: What You Need to Know (Pros & Cons)

Last updated on July 11, 2020

is online freelancing for you?

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Freelance Work From Home

Is freelance work from home your kind of thing? You’ve probably heard that people work from home doing all kinds of freelance work, such as freelance writing, translation jobs, software dev, graphic design and more.

Truly, the rise of online freelancing throughout the world has been amazing. 

If you’re thinking of becoming a freelancer and work from home, then there are some things that you will need to consider.

It’s not all fun and games but if you come in with the right attitude, you’ll discover that it’s a highly enjoyable career.

Before we get into that, let’s first of all understand who a freelancer is.

Who Is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed person who works as a web designer, writer, virtual assistant, transcriber, video editor, etcetera.

He or she receives work/projects from different clients and gets money when the work is done. An online freelancer is also not bound to one client.

This article will give you facts and facts alone that will help you in your quest to decide if you are destined to be a freelancer who works from home. Let’s go!

Freelance Work at Home Jobs – The Pros

 No Boss Hovering Over You

This is undoubtedly the favorite for most freelancers. There is no boss to check in with. You are free to come and go as you please. Personally, that gives me a lot of happiness.

Flexibility

Online freelancing provides flexibility and freedom.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? As a freelancer, you decide which hours you want to work and you are free to work when you’re most productive.

After all, what the client wants is good quality work in a specified time period. How you do that is entirely up to you.

You can take a day off without having to ask for permission from an employer. Isn’t that cool?

I love the fact that I no longer have to wake up at 5.30 a.m to go to work. And you will too, if you take this route!

No Limit To What You Can Earn

That’s right. You have an internet business that has absolutely no boundaries, meaning that you can get as many clients as you desire, provided that you market yourself effectively. 

There are freelancing sites such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, with hundreds of thousands of jobs being posted daily so you do not have to worry about where you are going to get clients.

You also have control over how much you can charge your clients.

Apart from freelancing sites, you can also pitch clients directly

When you do get a high paying client, you will enjoy all that money yourself because your income is not determined by any specific person.

You Can Choose Your Clients

In the freelancing world, you will come across some difficult clients- rude, unprofessional and with unrealistic demands. If you feel you cannot work with a certain client, you are free to let them go.

I had to do that recently.

It was like a breath of fresh air. However, when you’re starting out this may not be the case.

Clients are few and far between so you will need to use a lot of discretion.

You Get To Learn New Skills

I have learned new skills in my online freelancing business.

Seriously, I didn’t think there was so much to learn. I started out transcribing, now I have a blog.

I have gained writing skills, social media skills and more. I really wouldn’t have gained this much if I were employed, I sincerely believe so.

You Can Wear What You Want

You must be thinking that this is not a serious point, yes? I know people who hate to have to wear suits everyday – from Monday to Friday.

When you’re an online freelancer you can wear what you want -jeans and t-shirt – as long as you produce good quality work for the client.

Make New Connections

I have made several new friends over the past year as a result of online freelancing. I have made new mentors, been hired by new clients who I consider to be friends. It’s really been fun.

The Cons of Freelance Jobs From Home

Now to the other side of the coin.

Work Pressure

Oh yes. There are a few weeks where the workload can be quite overwhelming.

You bid on a couple of jobs quite industriously and don’t hear from any client for days. Then – ever heard of the saying when it rains it showers?

Out of the blue, you get four or five clients offering you work.

I’ve had such kind of weeks. Lots of pressure. When the payment is made, its all worth it 🙂 Thankfully, those crazy weeks are manageable and I’ve been able to stay sane.

It’s very important to maintain a healthy work-life balance or else you’re inviting burn out!

Irregular Payment

Damn! Another late payment from the client…Hey? I’ve got bills to pay. This is a common complaint amongst online freelancers.

Ideally, payment should be made once work has been submitted but some clients take their sweet time.

Also, when you’re starting out it takes a while to get those repeat clients who are so vital to a freelancer’s business.

And who can forget the famous ‘feast and famine’ quote. Some great months financially…some slow months too. Such is a freelancer’s life.

Not For The Faint of Heart

This is not a job for the faint-hearted.

This is not a job for the weak of spirit. You must be self-motivated.

Self-motivation is crucial because there are millions of freelancers out there.

I like what Liam Veitch says in his book, Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer: The Evolution of a $1M Web Designer, “Remember, you are not exempt from ‘being in business’ just because you’re a freelancer.”

That’s right. You ARE in business. And business is not an easy peasy thing. 

Every day, I turn on my computer and I send bids every morning and every evening no matter how many nos I get.

It doesn’t matter. For me, NO simply means NEXT OPPORTUNITY. It’s a daily ritual..second nature.

Because success depends on you, you will have to be firm with your friends and family.

No, you are not free to chat with your sister/brother/friend for hours in the middle of the day. Why? Because you are working. By the way, this is a business! Treat it as such!

Monotony

Let’s face it. Freelancing can be very lonely.

Sure you network with other freelancers via Facebook, Twitter and other social sites and online forums but there isn’t much of the face to face interaction that one is used to in a typical 9 to 5 job.

You can feel a bit isolated.

Sometimes I’m so wrapped in my work that I have no idea what is happening out there.

 I remember I went to the City Centre and I hadn’t been there for over three months and I felt like I didn’t know my way around the city. That’s freelancing for you.

Conclusion

Have I had times of self-doubt? Yes. I’ve sometimes wondered whether I was that good of a freelancer, especially on those slow weeks.

Have there been tough times economically? Yes. Great weeks. Slow weeks. Feast and famine. (There I go again)

Would I trade this for the typical 9 to 5 job? No way. I completely enjoy what I do.

My final thoughts: Freelancing, be it writing, transcription, graphic design, etcetera is, in reality, a job; same as being an accountant, teacher, doctor or pilot.

I hope this post has helped you make the important decision of whether you want to venture into freelance work from home jobs.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post, please share it! 

About the author

Virginia Nakitari is a work from home mom passionate about making money online. She's here to show you legitimate companies offering full-time, part-time and remote jobs from home! Stay tuned!

    • Glad you liked it Carol! The first thing you need to do to become an online freelancer is find out what your strengths are. Do you think you can make a good writer, transcriptionist, video editor or graphic designer? Once you have made that decision, then connect with clients via online freelancing sites such as Elance,oDesk, freelancer or fiverr.com. Feel free to ask more questions and thanks for reading my post!

  • Wow! Wow! Wow! Great writing skills. Great advice. Felt like you were talking to me. I love the part about wearing what I love… I am a sucker for official clothes, tucked in and black kiwi-polished shoes. Freelancing has freed me from the drudgery of everyday life and worrying whether I will get sacked for the project that I have not yet handed in. Although I am still employed, I feel more freer than when I was relying entirely on my employer to give me the check that will pay my bills.

  • i just love the article.its hits tha nail on its head n would be a good read to the starters as well to the established freelancers as well. a good point to note to the starters is that its not easy @ the start of your freelance career, its rather a tough job that will make u feel the earth on ua feet due to the demanding time and new tasks u face.but once u stabilize n knw wht it takes in your new career,u good to go n u live to smile to the bank alltime

    • Thanks for your comment Alex. Determination, persistence and consistency are must have characteristics in this business. Keep it here for more good stuff!

  • Amazing article. I was introduced to freelancing, writing specifically, three years ago and like any other business there have been ups and downs. But the most important thing is they have made me determined and focused. For a teenager, freelancing instils a sense of discipline, responsibility, and improved time management. I have been able to pay my bills, fees, and support my siblings too. As you said, freelancing is the future of WORK.

    • Glad you liked the post Anthony. And its so encouraging to hear that a young person like you is making very good use of their time. Kudos!

  • Hi. This is a nice article. It’s very informative. I am just starting out. I decided to join oDesk. It seems quite difficult to break into as a newbie. I keep applying for jobs but I haven’t received any response yet. I have had two job applications ended. It can be demoralizing but I tell myself I have to keep at it if anything is going to come out of it. I hope that happens soon.

    • It will happen soon if you keep at it. Also, try and send proposals that don’t have too many bids already. At least between 10-15 bids. If your profile is complete and you send professional cover letters that are straight to the point, you will land a job in no time. I had to send about 20, if I remember correctly, before I got my first contract. So, hang in there dear! 🙂

  • wow Sheeroh!!!!
    I have been in this industry for exactly a year today and you know what I am impressed with this>>>>> NO means Next Opportunity…yes it aint that easy but its fruits are so sweet..
    Thanks so much for this nice piece.

    • You’re welcome Matts. Discouragement will take us nowhere. Even after a couple of No’s, you get back up on the horse!

    • Hi Edna. There are numerous freelancing opportunities such as academic writing, article writing, transcription, graphic design, etc. The best place to start is by determining where your strengths are in these areas.

  • absolutely! TRUE! freelance work can be lonely and monotonous too. great piece…the only issue I have is that you never mentioned kenyalance.com 🙂 🙂 okay we aren’t big enough yet

    • Thanks Chandi. I figured people needed to know that freelancing wasn’t all rosy (not a nightmare either) in order for them to make an informed decision!

    • Hi Timothy. Thanks for your interest. You can get plenty of graphic design jobs via the main freelancing sites, odesk, freelancer.com,fiverr.com, elance.com. Hope that helps!

  • am a trained bookkeeper and would like to bid for bookkeeping jobs from clients within kenya.
    could you please connect me with some clients or guide me on how to bid for the said jobs.

    I will apreciate so much. i have my laptop and unlimited internet access.
    thanks and be blessed.

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  • Hey Sheeroh, thanks for your information.
    I really love writing. Where do I start? Am a newbie.
    Once more thanks.

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