A freelancer, also known as a freelance worker, is someone who is self-employed and is not in a long-term contractual commitment to any one employer. The most common freelance jobs include writing, editing, photography, web design, graphic arts or computer programming. Freelancers make their money selling their work to a clients rather then being employed by a business.
There are no requirements for being a freelancer. Some people do have some formal educational background such as in writing, journalism or programming. They may also have degrees such as a master's degree in journalism or in computer programming. Although these achievements do help in terms have having the experience before working as a freelancer, it's not required. Once you start freelancing, the experience that you gain from it can be used to get higher paying projects in the future.
When companies or business are looking for a freelancer, they usually look at the experience that a freelancer has from her portfolio of work. It can be hard for people who are just starting out as freelancers because they have no experience and people who are hiring will usually select freelancers who have proof that they are good at what they do. Learning how to market and sell yourself to clients will give you a distinct advantage compared to other freelancers who wait for clients to come to them.
One of the advantages of being a freelancer is being able to work anywhere. Freelancers do not have to work inside a company or an office, so they can conveniently work at home. They also are not constricted by a time schedule and have the freedom to make their own schedule. The flexibility makes freelancing an attractive choice for people who don't like to rigid rules and schedules that one might find when working for an employer.
People can usually find and hire freelancers online. For example, if they type in freelancers in a search engines, many results of freelance sites will show up that have many different types of freelancers posted. Some of the most famous freelance sites are GetaFreelancer.com, ScriptLance, eLance, Guru.com and Rent-a-Coder. Getting hired is a competitive process of trying to get the best paying projects from clients. When people look for freelancers, they are looking for people with good portfolios and positive feedback from other clients.
A downside to freelancing is that money is inconsistent. It really depends on how much effort and projects the freelancer is willing to do since the freelancer usually gets paid by the project. A project may take a week, or it may take many months to finish. But an advantage of being a freelancer is that it teaches you about personal finance. Without a steady paycheck, you have to be responsible for saving and spending your money.