The most awkward post I’ll ever write….
Why I Needed Extra Money
I know it’s awkward talking about money, especially income. It’s quite uncomfortable sometimes because people place our worth and our success on the amount of money we have. The more money somebody has, the more important they are right? (I hope you can tell I was being sarcastic!). I would much rather my hubby be a great husband and father then be rich and I would much rather be home with my children, watching them grow and spending time with them, then working a full time job to help us move up on the economic ladder. That being said, things cost money. Money doesn’t make this world go round, but money is how my family lives. We use money to pay for our home, our home maintenance, our food and that about takes up all of our money. My husband and I joke that we hardly argue about money, because we never have any. However, I was tired of not being a financial help to my family. I was sick of living month-to-month and never being able to do fun things because we don’t have any “extra.”
So, in this post I will disclose the amount of money I made this month, but let me tell you why. I have gone through almost every avenue there is to make money from home. I’ve tried Avon, surveys, Melaleuca (a multi-level marketing group), user testing, writer bay, testing products, selling things in home decor shop, transcribing and I currently run my own blog. Nothing ever amounted to anything. Most of my Facebook friends have been around for all of these and have watched me struggle through each one. One of these actually required me to switch Facebook’s multiple times. And then…I started freelancing
My Journey to Get my Income
I decided to started Freelancing at the beginning of January and received my first job the very very very end of January (making February as the beginning of my Freelancing career).
I chose to sign up for UpWork (a freelancing website) as part of my YEAR OF NO FEAR. I applied to about 15 different jobs and everybody denied me. Nobody wanted me! Part of me really didn’t want somebody to ask me to do a job, because I was extremely nervous of doing a horrible job for them and then them telling me about all of the things that I need to fix about myself! To my blessing (and to my dismay) a man asked me to start on a project! I was SO nervous. He asked me something that was really out of my wheel house. He wanted me to write a 1000 word product description about a generator. He told me that I didn’t do a very good job (haha oops) but he said he would give me a second chance at a paid product buying guide. It was a 6000 word paper! I wrote 13 pages about Zero-turn lawn mowers and it was the worst experience! He hated everything I wrote, he kept on turning back my paper to me, I re-wrote that stupid paper about five times. He was super vague about what he wanted and he kept telling me that I didn’t have the right “voice” for his website. He ended up me “firing” me (originally he was planning on giving me steady work). He gave me the money which he agreed upon and then moved on. I walked away with about $100 from that project.
I was actually kind of excited to get fired, because I wouldn’t have wanted to continue writing papers like that. After getting “fired” from this job I started applying to tons of other jobs. I applied to about 20 jobs and most of them rejected me. Three people responded and I was super excited. There was one guy I was super excited to work with, let me tell you first that this was a scam and in hindsight I should never have believed this to be true. The guy asked me to connect with him through Skype and then said he wanted to pay me through Paypal (ugh I am so stupid, I know). I was kind of excited, because I thought that I was going to get away from the Upwork Service fees. I started writing for this guy immediately and wrote so many articles for him. After a couple of days I had racked up about $600 worth of money from the writing samples that I was sending him. But he started getting really suspicious. And so I started asking him questions, I asked him if he could pay me through Upwork instead of Pay pal. He ignored my question and sent me another article. I told him I wasn’t going to write anything else until I got paid. He ignored me again. When payday came around I asked him where my money was and he has been offline every since. Basically, he was taking my articles (in which he wasn’t paying me) and he was selling them to people who were paying him! I was involved in my first SCAM. I almost wanted to give up, but I couldn’t give up already! I want this! I needed this!
I began applying to places that didn’t seem suspicious. And I was asked by a man if I could start writing for his Child Safety Blog. He had me write a sample writing (which I got paid for) and he loved my writing, so I became a new member of his writing team for his blog. After writing three articles he told me that he loved me and he didn’t want me to leave him to write for anybody else, so within the first week he gave me a raise. It was amazing to talk to my husband about my success at my job.
My “boss” is really amazing. He sends me a list of topics that I am assigned to and I get to write them on my own free time. The most amazing part of writing for freelancing is the fact that I get to write on my own time! I write when my children are taking naps or when they go down to sleep. I get to make money on my own time and I choose how much money I make. I could write more if I want to make more. For example, I went to OMSI with my grandma all day, I came home to make dinner for the missionaries and then spent the evening with my family, I wrote when the kids went to bed and ended up making $104.
Towards the end of the month of February I was talking to my boss about almost being done with the articles that he gave me and he said that he would give me new articles shortley, because he would be letting go of his team of writers. He decided to “fire” the rest of his writers, because he didn’t want a team anymore, he just wanted me to write. It was AWESOME!
The End Result: My Income
What are great first month of freelancing.
I earned $1400 for my first month of freelancing!
I made a little more than that but Upwork takes service fees from you paychecks. They take 20% of your income before your first $500 and then 10% after you make $500.
You would be naive if you thought that I just got to play with that $1400 though. I first had to put 15% away to save for taxes at the end of year and then I had to pay 10% on tithing. After everything was said and done, I had $1100 to play with!
Why I am Sharing
I don’t tell you my income to brag to you about how amazing I am! NO! Ever since I was 18 I have been trying to find things to do to make money at home. I always wanted a side job I could do while going to school and then when I became a stay-at-home mom. You can learn about me journey HERE! Many people are searching for legitimate at-home jobs that don’t require you to spend money, that are not scams and are not pyramid schemes. I was one of these people. I have FINALLY found my solution. But, I have to be honest and tell you that probably the most beneficial component of my resume is the fact that I have a Masters Degree. It might be difficult to get any jobs if you don’t have a college degree unless you have 20 years of experience in the subject you are applying for.
I want everybody to know that if they have any knack for writing then becoming a freelancer would be the perfect way for you to get some extra money! Here is finally a legit way to be a stay-at-home mommy and make some money!
Here are a Couple of things I have learned:
- Know your Worth: Before you start applying to ANY freelancing job you need to know what you are willing to work for. Don’t devalue yourself, and make sure that you are strong in your price so that people aren’t paying you less than what you deserve. You can choose to work on an hourly rate or a word count. I choose to write a word count, because I can type quickly and I know I will get more per word. Also, I knew I didn’t want to track my minutes in their server (that sounded like way too much work). So, before I started applying, my husband and I did our research as to how much I should be asking people. I am not going to tell you how much I make per word, but I can tell you that my first job I chose to write $.02 per word and I realized that I didn’t want to work for that little. In my experience, you should not be working for less than $0.02 a word and starting out your should not be asking for more than $.15 a word. Make sure you aren’t charging too much. If you don’t have education and you don’t have a lot of experience then even $.01 a word might actually be more appropriate. There will be people who want to pay you the smallest amount possible, don’t work for these people. I had a guy who came and asked me to work for him. I was really excited, but then he wanted me to write for $1.15 per article. He told me that $1.15 was more than enough with my little experience. Hello Dude, I have my Master’s Degree. I politely declined. When people say “article” they are usually referring to 500-1000 words. There was no way! That is worse than inmate income.
Disclaimer: I actually just started putting my work into my schedule, because if you work by the hour you get paid the exact time every week. It is a lot more convenient for me and a lot more convenient for my boss. Even though i input it into hours, I still write by the word, but he gave me an amount per hour if I chose to write per hour.
(word count) x (my price per word) = total amount / (amount I get paid per hour) = (the amount of hours to input).
So for example (these are not my number) 1000 x .05=$50 / $10 = 5 hours. So then I would place 5 hours into my schedule. Therefore I am getting paid the EXACT same amount but I get paid on a consistent once a week basis and I don’t have to ask my boss to pay me.
2. There is a scam everywhere you turn. Don’t leave Upwork. Right when you leave Upwork you are not protected, and in my case, you can do a ton of work, but then not get paid. Upwork can’t monitor anything unless you stay on their platform. Some scam artists will have you turn in a ton of work that they will get paid for, but then they don’t pay you. Also, don’t ever send unpaid sample work! Many people will ask for pieces of sample work, to judge your writing style. They will ask you to send it to their personal email or to their Facebook messenger. I had a girl who wrote me through my Facebook to send her a sample of my work. No thank you! Don’t do this! If you have a blog, this is where you can just send them to a link to published work. If somebody wants you to send sample work, tell them that you don’t mind going through an interview process where you get paid for a sample work. An interviewed sample work is the ONLY time that you can accept less than what you are worth, but don’t go too cheap! I really wanted to work with a parenting blog. He asked me to write four sample articles. He then told me that I would get $15 (for all four of them). I figured that he would offer me a long-term job. He did not. And so after the upwork fees, I only made $12 for writing 2000 words! Never Again!
3. Long Term Work is the BEST!: I love the guy I work for right now. And I love the fact that I am going to be having long term work. I don’t have to search for another job, go through the interview process and so on, for awhile at least. The next time I have to find somebody else to work for is when he doesn’t pay me as much as I would like or he stops having work for me. I have decided that I will never apply for temporary work, or one work assignments.
4. Don’t Apply Just to Apply: So the first job that I applied for (the job that I got fired from) I applied because I thought that I matched the requirements. However, writing about product reviews of appliances and tools didn’t really sound all that much fun to me. I am REALLY happy that it didn’t work out, but if it did then I would be writing huge 6000 word papers about jack hammers. That sounds horrible. Don’t apply for a freelancing job just because you meet the qualifications. Apply to a job if you would like to work for that company.Don’t work for somebody who has strict deadlines: Right when somebody tells you that you have to complete three articles a day, every day a week, this is NOT the person you should be writing for. You don’t want to work with somebody who treats you like a writing slave. Also, this is a HUGE red flag that they might actually be scamming you OR they might be working for somebody else and they are the middle man. You have to look out for middle men. They are the people who are getting projects from people, and then hiring you and paying you less. This is a messy situation. You want to work directly with your “boss.”
5. Ask for a payment: Don’t write for a month, or even a week straight without making sure that you are getting paid. You want to make sure that you can trust them and they are true to their word. With my SCAM situation I wish I would have asked him to pay me after the first article, because then I would have avoided all of that time that I spent working for him. This time, I wrote for him 4 articles and then I asked for my payment. It was successfully deposited into my Upwork Pending Balance within seconds of me asking him. I knew that this guy was trustworthy and legit.
6. Your Profile is Key: With every job you apply for, you get to tell them what your rate is and you get to give them your cover letter. Most everybody will then check out your profile to make sure that you are what they are searching for. Make sure that you fine tune your profile before you apply to jobs. You want to make sure that everything is complete so that potential bosses won’t see your your half finished profile. It’s like sending a boss a resume with tons of spelling errors.
This has been such a great month for our little family. It is nice to be able to be a little more financially stable. I would love to help other people to get out of their financial slump and to learn how to make more money for their family. Having this extra income has opened tons of more doors for my family and we are ready to jump through a couple of them!