4 Things Freelancers Should Know Before Pursuing Online Work


Working for yourself sounds like the cushiest gig ever, right? You get to pick and choose the work you want to do, set your own hours, and rake in all the money.

What could be better?

While it absolutely can be this plush, it doesn’t always start out that way. Most freelancers have to build a strong foundation, proving their work ethic and determination the hard way.

If you’re considering joining the millions of others who make up the online gig economy, there’s no better time than now to do so. However, before you do, there are a few things you should be aware of, like these five obstacles you’ll need to overcome.

1. You’ll Need to Build a Portfolio

Business is booming for freelance workers. Clients all over the world turn to online help to fill their needs.

This is a great thing, but it means that in addition to worldwide job opportunities, you will probably have global competition. Before you can start charging what you’re worth, you’ll need to have a portfolio.

Most freelancers will lower their rates long enough to attract clients willing to hire newbies. You might make more at a fast-food restaurant for a little, so don’t plan on quitting your day job right away.

As you build client relationships and get reviews, you’ll be able to start charging competitive rates. When you’re too busy to take on any new opportunities, it could be time to turn the side hustle into your “real job.”

2. There’s Lots of Help if You Look

No matter what kind of tasks you’re doing as a freelancer, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Want to start a website? YouTube the best options for your business, and learn how to put one together. Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress are some of the most user-friendly options.

Worried about quitting your job and losing your health insurance? Check out Gigly for discounted health care and affordable options.

Not sure where to start marketing your skills? Head to Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr, where millions of freelancers get their feet wet.

If you have a question, the internet has an answer. And if you need to narrow down your options, ask Reddit users or your social media followers for their experiences and opinions.

You’re not alone in your quest to better your life with a freelancing career.

3. Rejection is Part of the Process

Until people start coming to you, you’ll be applying for their job openings. But you most likely won’t be the only applicant. You could be the top-qualified person for the job and still get rejected, though.

You have to learn not to take rejection personally as you’re growing your career. It’s part of the freelancing process. Someone else will have a little more experience, or a cheaper rate, or catch a client’s eye in a way you didn’t.

They don’t know you, so your rejection isn’t a personal insult. Even mega corporations get rejected by potential customers all the time. Move on, and keep applying for other work.

4. Plan for the Future Now

As with any business, freelancing is full of ebbs and flows of work. Some days you’ll be so overwhelmed that you’ll have to turn away business. Other times, there won’t be any work on the foreseeable horizon.

In the midst of your busy seasons, it’s important to keep looking toward the future. Make sure you know how your bills are going to be covered and when your slow periods are about to kick in.

When will you get paid for these current jobs? Will you be able to pay your bills in the meantime? What will you do when this work is over? When will you need to start searching for more jobs?

A successful freelance worker knows how to budget, juggle deadlines, and plan ahead for expenses. That big paycheck you’re expecting could be delayed or might be the only one you see for a little while.

How you plan ahead will be the key to your stability, no matter how advanced your business gets.


Although there are always going to be obstacles to overcome, there’s a reason why so many people are joining the freelance life. They prefer the stress of their own rules and decisions over the daily grind of working for someone else.

As long as you understand what you’re getting into so you can overcome the challenges, your gig work career can be successful!

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