There are many benefits to being self-employed as a freelancer. You can essentially choose your own schedule. You control which clients you work with. And, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there is really no limit to how much money you can make. [Read more…]
Back in the day, you got a job at a single company. From there, you signed up for their 401(k) package, had predictable Social Security benefits, and may have even had a pension to boot.
Over time, these luxuries have slowly been stripped from the modern employee. Pensions are a thing of the past. Social Security is anything but certain over the long-term. And 401(k)s are still common perks — for full-time employees, that is. However, the meteoric rise of the gig economy has created a massive pool of tens of millions of self-employed individuals who lack even this basic retirement staple as an option for their financial future. [Read more…]
If you were to just glance at some of the latest numbers coming out of the freelance industry, you would see that more people are looking to work from home, and more companies are hiring freelancers at amazing rates. And with more websites and businesses online than ever before, this is just fueling more work and money pouring in the freelance writing, design and marketing space.
This is a win-win for both sides, but it’s also bringing in a world of competition for freelancers in a wide range of markets. Even with freelance marketplaces delivering the bulk of the work, there simply isn’t enough work to go around.
The increase in work is nice, but if you are just another freelancer in a flood of other freelancers, that isn’t good at all. This means more time and effort needs to be spent on building your expertise, brand and portfolio of completed work.
For these reasons and many more, every freelancer should have an online portfolio and site of their own. If you are still on the fence and not sure if right now is the best time to start your own blog, by the end of this article you will likely have a much better idea.
1 – It’s Way Too Easy and Affordable to Have a Site
First off, creating a website or blog is so much easier, faster and more affordable today than it ever was in previous years. With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, pretty much everyone and their dog has a site! This is mainly due to there no longer being a requirement of knowing how to program or be a graphic designer.
Now it’s simply a matter of coming up with an idea for your site, picking a reliable hosting solution and site builder, and then going live with your site. With most platforms now having simple drag and drop editors, it’s super fast and easy to get a site live.
And from the perspective of being a freelancer, it would be a huge disservice to offer services online and not have a platform and site of your own. To stress that point even further, if a freelancer doesn’t have a site of their own and a client asks to see some of their previous work, testimonials or an online portfolio… that could definitely come back and hurt your earnings and work potential.
2 – A Site of Your Own Looks Amazing and Professional
Having mentioned that starting a site and going live with one of your own is extremely easy and cost effective, it’s also a great way to start building a brand and portfolio of your own.
In the world of freelancing, first impressions mean the world, and if you have something to showcase to your potential clients, even better! Throw in a free expert guide (a PDF download) or an industry case study or report, and you can turn that first impression into much more, with new sales and leads being generated all the time.
And when it comes to writing a professional bio, here are some quick tips to follow:
- Always write in the third person.
- List provable facts.
- Include pertinent education and experience.
- Keep the writing tight.
- Hook, grab and hold.
And it’s also important to try and not always just be a middle-man freelancer that is relying on other marketplaces and platforms for all of your work. With a site of your own, this is the next step in the process — plus you could start taking orders right from your site and earn even more per client.
3 – Secure Your Brand By Ranking in the Search Results
No matter what someone is searching for online, they are likely going to start that search on Google. Whatever Google ranks at the top of the search results for that individual keyword or phrase, that is what’s going to be clicked and read.
With a site of your own, you can heavily increase the chances for ranking at the top of Google for your personal name or freelance brand. Then, after your site, you can work on ranking your other marketplace profiles as well.
This is all part of the content creation and SEO process, and if you have a nice collection of sites and profiles ranking for your name on Google, this could be the difference between securing a new client or losing them.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Freelance Writing Efforts
Having read through each of the recommendations and notes listed above, you are probably thinking about your options for how to get started with a website or blog of your own. The good news is, it’s extremely cheap, fast and easy to get started.
The truth is, when running a freelancing business of your own, you are the boss and responsible for all of your own success and failures. This means you will want to set yourself up for as much success as possible, and having a site of your own is a huge step in the right direction.
The first things you will want to do is register a domain (or spend some time thinking about one), pick a reliable site builder and hosting solution, and then go live with your site.
Don’t wait around for it to look 100% perfect, just get it live. As you continue to add more resources and content to the site, it will turn out great!
At times, the freelancing lifestyle can feel a bit like the Wild West. You have to use unconventional methods to remain employed, you don’t generate income unless you put in the work, and even then, you won’t get paid unless you take the unpaid time to bill your clients. [Read more…]
Freelancing is becoming a major industry as more and more people work from home. In recent times, due to the pandemic, there’s been a spike in workers who’ve had to become their own boss and market their business services as independent contractors.
However, we saw a spike in freelancers in the years before coronavirus hit due, in part, to the attractive, alternative lifestyle it offers. You have total control over your schedule, with flexible hours that you can work from home, set on your terms. To many, the opportunity to be your own boss and set your own price rate is far more enticing than a standard 9-5 job.
But, with more control comes more responsibility. As a freelancer, you’re tasked with handing your own employment taxes since you’ll no longer have an employer to file on your behalf. If you fail to keep up with your taxes, you could find yourself owing a large sum of money to the government without sufficient savings to settle your debt. And unfortunately, this happens all too often for individuals that are just getting started with their own freelancing or side business the first time around.
Whether you’re just launching your freelance career or trying to make up for lost time, here’s the run down on how to pay taxes so your business can stay afloat.
Understand Tax Basics
As a freelancer, you may have many skills—copywriting, video editing, web development, and so on—but you may not know about how taxation works. The most important thing to note, is that if you work as an independent contractor in the United States and earn at least $400 or more in a given year, you are required to file taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
The tax bracket you fall into will depend on how much you make. If you made money last year freelancing, you’ll need to submit estimated quarterly tax payments based on your previous earnings. And don’t take this responsibility lightly, as the estimated tax penalty can cost you hundreds of dollars if you fail to do so.
Keep Track of Tax Expense on Daily Basis
Here’s another crucial tip: save every invoice, but more importantly, every business-related receipt. Need a new laptop? Had to purchase a specific software program? Write it all down and add it all up. When it comes to filing your income tax return, you’ll be able to deduct the total amount from your earnings, which may in turn drop you into a lower tax bracket.
Keep in mind, however, only qualified business expenses count, so you might have a hard time justifying how that Xbox relates to work. And, should the IRS ever issue an audit out of suspicion, you’ll need proof to back up each claim—not only for this year, but up to seven years ago. If you have a hard time keeping track of paperwork, consider investing in a document scanner that can save all your information over the cloud.
Research Tax Deductions and Credits
Business expenses (including travel costs, vehicle use, and internet bills) are just one example of a deduction that you can claim to lower your taxable income. There are many more ways you may be able to find tax relief, including payments health insurance and student loan interest.
Tax credits are different in that they reduce your final tax bill dollar for dollar. You might be able to qualify for these too, so do your research to save all the money you can.
Don’t Hide Your Income
You might be tempted to conceal your earnings from the IRS, but it’s against your interest to do so. The people who hire you might record your payments for their own tax purposes by filing Form 1099. That means the government will know what you made, and if you report a number that doesn’t add up with their calculations, you could face serious consequences from tax evasion or fraud.
In the end, even if you personally aren’t reporting all of your income and costs, the business or brand on the oppposite side of the transacation probably is. So in short, don’t cut corners and be sure to pay all of your owed taxes and don’t try to cheat the system.
Hire a Tax Accountant
If all of this sounds like a lot, you’re not alone. It can be quite a headache to stay on top of your freelance taxes, which is why many people turn to professional help. There are many online platforms you can use to stay organized, but you can also hire an accountant to file on your behalf.
Another thing to consider is that you don’t need to hire a local accountant. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can hire an accounting company or financial advisor anywhere in the world, while still running your freelancing business from home.
The Business of Working for Yourself as a Freelancer and Managing Finances
As with most entrepreneurs and individuals working with side jobs to make some extra money, the process of managing your finances may soon become a big part of your job as well. However, it sure beats having to work for someone else!
The good news is, there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you along the way. Whether it’s invoicing software, making payments and paying yourself online, or even paying your taxes early or on a quarterly basis, it’s now all easier and more accessible than ever before.
Keep these points in mind to stay out of hot water with the IRS and your odds of running a successful freelance career will be much greater!
The world of freelancing can be a fun, frustrating, and extremely lucrative one when approached correctly. However, with so many people jumping into this space with heavy expectations, without the right tools and work ethic in place, your valuable earnings might soon disappear right before your eyes. This can happen for a number of reasons, and many of which we will be covering in this article today — along with some importance tips on how to better manage your freelancer finances in the process.
First off, according to Statista, there are an estimated 62.2 million freelancers in 2019, across the United States. This number will just continue to rise, as third word country keep getting access to better internet and more freelance marketplaces open their doors to foreign markets.
This figure is set to rise in the upcoming years, and by 2027, there will be an estimated 85.6 million people who are freelancing. Being your own boss, setting your own hours, and doing your own thing are just some reasons why people are becoming freelancers.
Working from home on something you are passionate about is great, but freelancers also have to keep track of their finances. This is especially true if you are writing for a wide range of clients, while also working on various freelancer marketplaces.
If you are thinking about becoming a freelancer, here is everything you need to know about how to organize finances.
Best Ways to Manage Finances
If you have previously worked for other company’s or you have never worked before then thinking about how to manage your own finances can be difficult.
There are a number of financial costs involved with setting up your own freelance business and you also need to think about filing and paying your own tax.
We have the low-down on the tips and tricks on how to manage finances better if you are a freelancer.
1. Track Your Income
Make sure you know how much money you have earned each month. Keep a track of your income as this will help you:
- a) know how much wage you have that month
- b) know how much you earn each year (which makes filing your tax much easier).
A good way to keep track of your income is by creating a document that includes all your monthly going ins and going outs.
There are certain apps and software that allow you to put in your income information and keep track of your money, such as ThePayStubs.com.
2. Set Aside Money
There are two reasons why you need to set money aside because being a freelancer means that you don’t have a set income each month and that you also need to pay your own taxes.
One month you might earn a lot of money and work with many clients, whereas another month might be very quiet and you might not earn that much money. This is why it is very important to set money aside. Give yourself a strict freelancer budget and make sure you save some money each month.
You should also set aside enough money to pay for your tax. Often this is about 30% of your income, but it can always be good to set aside more, just so you are covered.
3. Accept As Many Payments As Possible
As a freelancer, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t limiting your incoming revenue and finances by only accepting payment certain forms of payment.
Depending on where you are located, you might be limited in this area already, but new payment options are opening up all the time. As pointed out by WPBeginner, there are plenty of payment options out there for accepting money online. This can prove quite useful if you have your own website or brand, and can accept payments directly.
Such payment solutions include:
- Google Wallet
However, when doing business with anyone in the United States, Paypal is going to be one of the most requested options for payments.
3. Get Insurance
If you are thinking of becoming a freelancer and are wondering how to organize your finances if something bad happens then you need to get insurance. Ensure that you have health insurance that can cover you if you have any health problems and need to take some time off.
If you don’t have insurance as a freelancer than you might be at risk of getting into a lot of debt. This is something many top freelancers have a problem with and also discuss through their websites and blogs to help other freelancers. Carol of MakingALivingWriting.com, recommends the following insurance options:
- Spouse’s policy
- Affordable Care Act
- Freelancer’s Union
- Private Insurance
There are a whole number of businesses that offer insurance for freelancers, so have a look around and find one that covers your business and needs.
How to Organize Finances and Make More Money
Being a freelancer is great because it gives you more freedom than working for somebody else, however, you need to make sure that you are smart when it comes to the money side of things. At the same time, don’t forget — millions of other freelancers are fighting to get work as well, so if you want to make money as a freelancer, you need to treat it like a serious business.
Follow our four simple, yet effective, tips on how to organize finances and you will be able to have a successful freelancing career.
Freelancing in any field carries risks. How can you possibly feel safe when you’re not getting a steady, guaranteed paycheck? However, experienced freelancers know the truth. With a traditional job, you could be fired or laid off at any time—meaning you have less control over your income than you do when you’re self-employed. [Read more…]
As a freelancer, you probably spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about your income. You might wonder how long your current client base will stick around, crave a higher overall revenue stream, or worry that you aren’t making enough money to retire.
One of the best ways to address these concerns is to diversify your income stream and supplement your income with other sources. How can you accomplish it? [Read more…]
As freelance writers, we’ve all been there.
Maybe it’s not a lot of debt – maybe just a couple of credit card bills that are racking up some interest because your income forecasting fell short. It’s just a bad year in a cycle of good and bad years. Or maybe it’s more than that. Maybe you’ve recently faced some emergency expenses and you’re buried under a pile of loans and bills, some of which are even going to collections. [Read more…]
There are plenty of perks that come with being your own boss: flexible hours, picking your projects and more control over work-life balance. But one thing you’ll miss out on is an employer retirement benefit.
When you freelance, building your own retirement nest egg, including choosing the right plan, falls entirely on your shoulders. You can set up a retirement account at an online brokerage or robo-advisor. But first, you should know the best options for you. [Read more…]