You’ve seen them online, seemingly ordinary people working at home making money online with matching success stories.
You think to yourself, if only I had the skills and determination they have, then I would be achieving my dreams too!
And if you ask for their advice on how to start working at home, all they can tell you is just “build your profile and apply for jobs, never quit and do what you love.” It all sounds simple but hard in reality.
If only there was a step-by-step guide to start working at home right? If only there was…
Good news! There is – now!
I decided to make this guide after seeing my fellow Pinoys struggle to make a living with their current jobs and want something better. Let me tell you something, you deserve better! So, as a way of giving back, I decided to make this ultimate step-by-step guide to working at home for YOU!
Why start working at home?
The good thing about working at home is that it’s for everyone! When I say everyone, I mean literally EVERYONE 🙂
Whether you’re a student looking for extra money to supplement your school needs, or a single mom that’s looking for ways to make money online, there’s no stopping you. You don’t even need a degree to start working at home! I’ve seen a lot of successful freelancers who didn’t even finish high school. If they could do it, how much more for you?
So, if you’re still not convinced, here are the enticing benefits of working at home.
- NO MORE TRAFFIC!
- More time with family and friends.
- No more stress (commute, office politics, annoying coworkers)
- Unlimited earning potential.
- Flexible hours.
- You can work anywhere (home, cafes, at the beach)
- Save money on work-related expenses.
- Develop your skills further.
- Enjoy your work.
- Your productivity will increase.
Just look at this infographic I made. It lists out the relevant numbers related to freelancing in general. You’ll see the growth of freelancing in the country and in the world.
If these don’t sound something you’d like to have, then maybe working at home isn’t for you. But if you crave these things, then read on to find out how you can successfully work at home!
Note: Some links you’ll see in here are affilliate links. This means that I get a small but helpful percentage commission each time you purchase them at no added cost to you. Thank you and in return, I can keep making helpful articles like these! 🙂
Step 1: Assess your skills and experience
The very first thing you want to do if you want to work from home is to find out what you can offer. What are your skills and expertise? Even if you think there’s none, we all are experts at something! To help you find it, try to answer these questions:
- What is your hobby?
- What do you like to read, watch online or talk about?
- What’s something that you would want to learn more of?
- Something that you’ll still want to do even if you’re not paid?
- What’s something that interests you that others don’t know much about?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have some ideas of your skills or strong points. The reason why I’m asking you this is because your freelancing success depends highly on your skills. If you don’t find something you love and are good at, you’ll be tempted to quit later on (trust me, you’ll be tempted a lot).
If you already have work experience, this makes it easier. For instance, you’ve worked or are currently in the BPO industry, then you can be a freelance customer support or something similar.
I chose to be a content writer because I was the editor-in-chief of our high school paper back then. Being an introvert, writing was something that came naturally to me. Also, I don’t make any money yet from this blog but I love writing and inspiring people so I’m patient enough to do it 🙂 This blog doubles as my portfolio!
The key is to find a profitable niche, become a master of it and charge premium!
To help you more, I created a list of the most in-demand online freelance jobs today!
Step 2: Take online courses (free & paid)
Once you’ve found the skills that you’re going to offer to the market, it’s time to polish it. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to be good at that certain skill you want to offer, your interest is all that matters!
In my case, I love writing so I chose to be a content writer. The problem was, I didn’t know anything about writing articles, SEO or blogging! Thankfully, there are a lot of free resources out there especially from YouTube and Google.
But the issue with these free resources is they tend to be limited and time-consuming! Not to mention, you’re going to be bombarded with millions of videos and articles which will leave you confused.
This is why I took online courses. It not only made things easier, it also allowed me to focus more on the other steps listed down below!
Here’s a free list I created just for you: Top 6 Sites to Get Free Online Courses Forever
Step 3: Create your profile in freelancing platforms
After you’ve chosen your niche and learned how to do your work, now you’re ready to create your freelancing profiles! There are a lot of freelancing platforms out there. The one mistake that many newbies make is they focus on the highly popular sites only. Some only create one freelancing profile and then quit when they don’t get jobs.
To help you with this step, I’ve listed down the best and the most popular freelancing platforms today. Some of these platforms are hard to get approved to but most of them are easy!
- Hubstaff Talent
There are a lot more freelancing platforms out there but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Besides, you won’t even get to sign up for all of these since around 3-5 freelancing platforms are enough to get you started!
I have profiles in 6 of these freelancing platforms but I only focused on 3. Here are my profiles on the 3 platforms that I use so you’ll have an idea of what to put in yours!
If your UpWork profile gets rejected every time, don’t worry as I can help you!
To successfully kickstart your work at home journey, you’ll also need to create a freelancer website, your social media profiles and a resume! You might be wondering why you need these things if you already have profiles in freelancing platforms. It’s because having more point of contact (freelancer website and social media profiles) will get you more potential clients!
Freelancer Website – Freelancing or working at home is a business. You’re going to become self-employed so you need to treat it like a business. The best way to look professional is by creating a freelancer website. There are lots of free websites out there where you can make yours. Wix, WordPress and Weebly are all free websites you can use to start making your own!
I didn’t create a freelancer website because I have my blog (this website you’re reading now). The only problem with the free sites I mentioned above is it puts a .wordpress.com on your website which sounds unprofessional.
For example, you created a website called “Iamafreelancer”, it will show up as “Iamafreelancer.wordpress.com.” If you don’t want that, I bought my domain name (pesohacks.com) at the cheapest price for $8.88 at Namecheap. For my hosting, I subscribed to Hornhost for just $1/month!
Social Media Profiles – Aside from having a freelancing website, it helps if you have social media profiles accross different social media sites. Try to create ones like these:
Resume – Some platforms and clients require you to pass resume. It helps if you already have one! I used Canva to create my stunning resume! It’s free and it’s super easy to use. What’s great is that they have plenty of ready-made templates that you can instantly use.
Tip: Join Facebook groups for freelancers! Groups such as UpWork Philippines, Online Filipino Freelancers, and The Underwearkers helped me greatly in my work at home journey! The best thing about these groups is that they post work at home job opportunities from time to time!
Step 5: Learn how to apply for jobs
Whatever freelancing platform you plan to use, you’ll need to apply for jobs. It’s the same in the real world, you need to read the job post and submit a job application. The only difference is it’s all online!
When I first started working at home, I applied for almost every job post I saw. I later realized that this was a HUGE mistake when I wasn’t getting any replies. It’s also costly on my part since my connects on UpWork was quickly used up before I could even land a job! If you’re wondering what are connects, it’s a virtual currency in UpWork that lets you apply for jobs. For instance, if you wanted to apply to a job post, you need to spend a certain amount of connects.
This is where I learned to craft winning proposals. I started reading the job posts carefully and selecting only jobs that I’m sure I can handle. This meant that I applied for fewer jobs but it also increased my chances of getting hired!
Tip: Don’t forget to check your grammar and spelling when sending your proposals! I use Grammarly to help me with this because it’s FREE! Simply create your account and you can start getting high-paying clients.
Step 6: Interview process
Most online jobs conduct video interviews via Skype. If you’re on UpWork, they might prefer to use its own video chat system.
Sometimes, clients interview through chat only. However, you need to be prepared for every interview. This is your ultimate chance to kickstart your work at home journey! With that said, here’s the checklist you need to complete before proceeding with your interview.
- Make sure you’ve read the job post more than once.
- Make sure you’re familiar with the client and their business.
- Arrive early, 10-20 minutes before call time is ideal.
- Dress professionally (At least for your top).
- Practice answering questions beforehand.
- Make sure to take notes while the interview process is ongoing.
- Ensure that your background is free of clutter (Ideally a white solid background)
- Make sure your area is free from any noise (Close the door and windows if necessary)
After each interview, don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity they’ve given you. This shows that you’re grateful and professional. It’s also a plus for your communication skills!
Step 7: What to do once you’re hired!
Congratulations, you’re hired! I remember the feeling when I first got a client on UpWork. I started computing my monthly salary and started dreaming about things I could do.
Take a breath and take it all in 🙂 This is just the start of your work at home dreams! I’m here to help you at every step of the way. The first thing you need to do if you haven’t already is to set up your payments system.
If you already have a debit card, you can use it to withdraw funds from UpWork directly. Although this takes up to 5 business days, it’s free. But if you don’t mind your funds to get $2 off, you can withdraw it in PayPal or Payoneer to get it real-time.
There are 2 ways you can withdraw your funds real-time:
- UpWork > PayPal > Gcash/Paymaya > Bank
- UpWork > Payoneer > Bank
If you don’t have these online payment accounts yet, register here:
- Register to Paymaya here to get P50! (My invite code is: 285wit3)
Things you’ll need to start working at home
You don’t need a lot to start working at home. Here are the only important things you’ll need to get started:
Skills – This is perhaps the most important one you’ll need. Without your skills, you can’t work at home. What will you offer, right? The good thing is, you can learn and develop them at home online! You don’t need a diploma working at home, you just need to be good at something.
Computer/Laptop – As much as I wanted to work with only my smartphone, that wasn’t possible. So, I borrowed the laptop of my girlfriend and until now I’ve been using it to work at home. You don’t need a fancy desktop setup, some successful freelancers even started their journey at internet cafés!
Internet Connection – To be able to work online, you must be online. If you don’t have an internet connection yet, you can go to public places with free wifi or buy a mobile data plan for your smartphone!
Determination – Lastly, without your determination to succeed, almost all the steps above will be useless. Often times, determination and hunger for success are the only things that drove ordinary people to success. Don’t settle for less, be determined to make your dreams come true 🙂
The steps I listed above should serve only as a guide for you. It should not limit you rather inspire and guide you to start taking action TODAY!
If I have something that I wish I could’ve had when I first started, it’s this “step-by-step guide to start working at home”. I was all alone back then, I had to search the internet for hours and days to learn everything I could.
But I’m happy to be able to help even just one aspiring freelancer make his dreams a reality. To me, I consider that success more than anything. So, if you’re having some problems or you have more questions on how to start your freelancing journey, feel free to drop a comment down below!
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