Is Internet Freelancing Worth It?

Among all the ways you can earn extra money – or even your full income – internet freelancing has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It’s not hard to see why, either. It’s relatively easy to get into, offers lots of diverse niches for realizing your potential in, and can provide you with a nice stream of income that is mainly under your own control.

That said, it’s not all sunshine and butterflies on the freelancer front, and there are some issues that people like to conveniently sweep under the rug when discussing this as a possible occupation. You should be aware of those potential pitfalls and do your best to avoid them when making your first step in the freelancer market. And in cases where they’re unavoidable, simply be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Starting Out Can Be Tough

Starting out is the most challenging period. No matter what niche you pick, as long as there’s any potential for earning money in it, you can be sure that it’s already overcrowded. This means that you’re going to need some amazing skills to stand out, or alternatively, sell yourself short for a while. Don’t make the mistake of working for peanuts though. Your clients will develop an expectation for that, and it will be difficult to branch out to higher-paying clients later on without any good references.

As long as you’re patient though, you should eventually be able to get through those first steps and find yourself on the way to becoming a proper freelancer. After that, the process will be more streamlined. But getting there in the first place can be a challenge in itself.

Work Is Often Inconsistent

You should also be prepared to deal with some “dry periods” when your clients don’t have that much work to send your way. This is pretty common in many freelancing circles, and even if you’re one of the best in your field, you’re going to suffer from this problem from time to time. It’s not always about not having any work at all – it might simply be insufficient to make ends meet in your current lifestyle.

This means that you should also be more careful in the way you’re building your life in the first place, as you shouldn’t get too accustomed to having lots of disposable income. Unless, of course, you have a solid backup plan for those dry periods.

The Extra Freedom Is Not Always a Benefit

The fact that you’re free to work whenever you want, wherever you want, is often presented as the biggest advantage of being a freelancer. But for some people, it’s also the biggest problem with the profession. It’s easy to start postponing work when you know that you can just catch up later on. And on the other hand, you’ll always have that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you could be working right now.

That’s not the case with a regular 9-5 job. You leave the office at the end of the day, and you spend your evening completely detached from your work. Freelancers have it completely differently, and if you don’t put some effort into separating your work and life, this is going to come back to bite you later on.


Just because you don’t work in an office doesn’t mean that networking is suddenly irrelevant to you. Quite on the contrary, you can benefit a lot from expanding your network of contacts as a freelancer, and putting your name out there. This will be especially useful in cases where you’re having trouble getting extra work, as you can ask past clients for references in that case.

Take full advantage of any opportunities like conferences and meetups for freelancers, even if they’re not in your specific niche. You can gain a lot from spending some time talking to others, exchanging ideas and contact details, and letting them know what you’re capable of.

Supplementary Income

You should always think about the possibility of earning some extra money on the side though, even if your freelancing starts to go well. Consider the option of taking out a loan, and don’t disregard it if you’re in a difficult situation. It can sometimes pull you out of a huge mess with minimal repercussions after that, but it’s something that has to be used responsibly and with full understanding of the implications attached to it.

It’s also not a bad idea to stay at your day job until things have truly reached a stable level. You don’t know how you’re going to progress through your freelancing over time, and you definitely don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck without both sources of income.

Starting Your Personal Business Safely

Deciding to start a personal business is no small ordeal. There are many tricks that you have to be aware of, as well as various potential pitfalls that you need to avoid. And yet, for many people, it’s a very attractive opportunity that can potentially lead to great results. The most challenging part is often the very first step. When you’ve finally decided to take the leap, things can get very difficult over the next few months of your life.

Is Your Niche Viable?

The most important decision to make if you want to maximize the safety of your new business, is what niche you’re going to operate in. The sky is the limit here – you don’t necessarily have to conform to traditionally established fields if you feel like you have a product or service that people are going to be interested in. But needless to say, if you’re going to experiment with a niche that’s still unexplored, you should prepare for potential failure as well.

The easiest option is to pick something that’s already well established and has an active, crowded market around it. The only downside to that is having to deal with some serious competition on the horizon. But as long as you’re prepared with a good business model that makes sense, this should not be such a problem.

Saving Enough Money

You should think about an initial funding platform as well. This is not something you want to approach with empty pockets, even if you’re confident in your ability to put together the necessary money as you go. This is a recipe for disaster, and you’re likely going to burn away any money that you throw into this venture if you approach it in this manner.

Because of this, starting your own personal business – even a small one – is something that requires a lot of planning ahead of time. You will want to be sure of the implications it will have on your finances, instead of only looking to maximize your profits as much as you can.

Alternative Funding Options

That said, there are some ways to fill the gaps in your budget if you’re close to having all the money required. A loan is probably the most common approach, and it can easily be used to plug any holes that might still be there. But you should be careful with this – it’s not free money! Even though that’s exactly how some people seem to treat the loans they take out, that’s far from the case.

And when you’re borrowing money for the needs of your business, it should go without saying that any mishap in your budget that leads to defaulting on that loan, could have dire repercussions on the company itself. Don’t borrow any money that you’re not prepared to pay back in full. Sure, this sometimes hangs on the success of your business – but if you can’t plan around that, then maybe your business idea needs some reevaluation.

Learning from Your Mistakes

You’re going to make some mistakes along the way – everyone does. This is especially true in the business world, where there are tons of unknown factors that could potentially trip you over at any point. You have to be wary of those traps and always be one step ahead of them, and the best way to do that is by learning from every mistake you’ve made in the past. Whenever something goes wrong that you could have prevented, take some time to reflect on the situation and figure out exactly what it was that you did so badly.

And more importantly, put that knowledge to use. The next time you’re in such a situation, try to remember how things ended up previously, and avoid anything that could land you in a similar place.

Developing the Company

Even though a small business is ideal at first in terms of management requirements, it will eventually be insufficient for your lifestyle if you keep adjusting it to the growth of your company. You’re going to reach a point where you want to expand things sooner or later, and you should be prepared for that. Know what direction you want to take the business in, and what kinds of challenges you can expect along the way.

Expansion can seem a bit scary at first, because it’s another major step in the growth of your company, and another potential tripping point. But if you want to realize the full potential of your business, there’s no other way around that, and you’re going to want to put as much effort as you can into expanding it from early on. As long as you’re properly dedicated to that though, it should come along naturally.

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