20 Ways to Survive as a Freelancer Working on the Web

I work a as freelancer for approx. 5 years now. I am or was a web developer, a problogger, an online journalist and currently I’m a SEO consultant most of the time. I survived!

It is difficult at times to freelance, but I pay my bills and have a family where I am the only working person. Thus I want to share 20 ways to achieve this: 20 ways to survive as a freelancer. You will need several of them to follow to survive, the more the better, but it works!

  1. Don’t compete, cooperate with your peers. It’s ridiculous to compete against the whole world. Cooperation on the Net is easy though. Write how great others are, create or join networks like Behance or 9 rules and soon you’ll be much better off than on your own.
  2. Don’t work 24/7, use two mobile phones, switch off your office phone. To stay sane do not work at nights and on Sunday, do not let clients call you in the evening or at night.
  3. Charge twice as much as you assume you deserve, you think you should get paid 50$ per hour? Charge 100, people do not value cheap services. If you’re cheap they assume you are worthless
  4. Do not get charged per hour, you only have 40h per week to sell. This way you’ll never expand
  5. Get paid for results: You work two hours and get results like others who need ten? Great!
  6. Sell your expertise: You’re an expert for 5 years? Ignore the market, charge accordingly, you don’t have to compete with newbies
  7. Sell your image (the most read web design blogger of your city, state, or even country), charge accordingly
  8. Diversify your income sources, get at least 3 of them
  9. Earn one third of your money by client work
  10. Earn one third selling a product
  11. Earn one third publishing and earning via fees or advertising revenue
  12. Get a good lawyer
  13. Get a good book keeper
  14. Do not offer services on saturated markets: Web design? Every kid offers that.
  15. Specialize: A friend of mine does no PHP but he’s an Coremedia expert, never heard of it? Huge companies have. He earns accordingly.
  16. Anticipate trends and adapt: How many people offer web design for iPhones?
  17. Do not work on the computer only, work with people to stay sane
  18. Offer workshops to teach people your know-how
  19. Meet clients instead of working predominantly virtually
  20. Work in teams, you can’t design, do the programming, SEO and public relations all at once

Yeah. Freelancing makes you feel much better than working at a company. Wage slavery is an inhuman condition.