What I Learned From My First Freelance Job

what i learned from my first freelance job

Written by Blossom

January 4, 2016

Before I even left for Christmas break, I asked Marshalls if they had any shifts I can do to make some moolah. I called like in a month in advance and then they told me to call back 2 weeks before. They said they had filled up their space with employers and that I should continue calling.

So I did something useful with my life. Instead of calling to get a mere 4-hour shift and burning gas, I turned to blogging. I turned to freelance. And wow, what an experience.

what I learned from my first freelance job

what I learned from my first freelance job


Sure I probably would have made more money at Marshalls (if I worked more than 5 of those 4-hour shifts…and that’s lowly likely because they didn’t like giving me hours)

Freelancing is just like looking for scholarships, but more promising.

I remember I used to face every weekend looking up scholarships until my brain flew out my ears. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any, but this isn’t about that remorse! Like scholarship writing, I searched far and wide for freelance marketplaces, and found Problogger JobsFreelancer.com, and Upwork. And guess where I got all these sites from? You guessed it! Pinterest.

Related: Pinterest Overwhelms Me

Pinterest pointed me towards many bloggers who were dedicating their lives to doing something I just wanted to do to keep myself busy. I went through my “GET MONEY” bookmark folder thinking I could list all the bloggers I used, but I guess I was too quick to sign up to all these freelance websites that I never bookmarked the blogs. Bad etiquette.

P.S Another thing: these freelance websites will sometimes blow up your e-mail. Just like the scholarships. But really, all bloggers should have a separate email so they can subscribe to $10001 blogs without a cluttered main inbox. But you don’t have to for my blog because I use bloglovin, so subscribe to the right if you haven’t already. —>Follow

I only found work that I actually wanted to do with Upwork. And it didn’t take as long as everyone said it would. My client was nice and even though I did not earn what I had bid. I still enjoyed writing for him and working with him. I’ll post the link to my post when he releases it to the world.

Self-worth is everything

The downfall about Upwork/freelancing is that everyone needs money. So, some people will cut corners (and I mean huge chunks of cheese) to make sure they’re not investing in too much.

You know how many times I’ve seen “write 5 2,000-word-article for $10?

Or even “Help me write my 30 PAGE EBOOK for $20” I’ve never even written something that long for school.

Or 5 dollars PER 1000 WORDS? Do these people not think we have bills to pay?

And I’m just sitting here like, what person in their right mind will spend a chunk of their life writing for 5 dollars? I mean, there’s a lot of stuff I can do with 5 dollars like buy my favorite leave-in, Cantu Shea Butter (don’t know why I like it, it just does its job, you know).

These people obviously don’t value their self-worth. Or maybe their gonna write a really crappy McDonalds-quality article for that 5.

Or maybe they’re just happy writing that much for that little. Who knows?

I’ve contemplated offering to work for a lower price just to make something out of this–but then I had to double take at the person in the mirror. I write a lot. I have a humorous and engaging style, research everything before writing, and I can give it to you quick. I can’t undercut my value like that.

Blogger Burnout is REAL.

On my search for jobs, I remembered that I still need to update my blog and pins and my youtube channel and do bloggy things. So I’d spend day and night on the computer, either writing proposals, looking for more jobs, researching on how to make my blog better, or all of the above at once. I couldn’t step away and it was eating me alive!! So one day I just turned my laptop off and went to bed early. That was enough brain for one day.

My first freelance job (and my friends) taught me that I really do need to make a no-work zone. To just appreciate the beautiful things in life, talk with my sister, go out more. Learn when it’s okay to just do nothing. 

Related: How to Keep Yourself Sane (Physically)

And then when you’ve had your little fun:

You need to put yourself out there.

Freelancing isn’t only about posting to these job boards. It’s about doing your research and really putting yourself on that pedestal. The job boards is only one of many routes you need to explore. Magazines, bigger blogs, online newspapers–you’ve got to reach out to people–I’ve got to reach out to people and not the other way around. As of now, that’s how it’s going to be until I’m imminent enough for people to come to me. And the same for you too.

Overall Pros of Freelance Work:

  • Freelance is fun. It’s economically sound in comparison to the gas burning when I travel to a job.
  • I also suck at driving so I don’t have to risk my life trying to make a quick couple of bucks.
  • I can freelance for people in my niche. I know SOOO much about eating healthy and fitness now and I didn’t have to spend thousands on a college nutrition course.
  • I made over 100 dollars simply by writing. Yep, no burger-flipping or babysitting or boss kiss-butting. I made money doing things I love to do.

Overall Cons of Freelance Work:

  • I need to steadily look for jobs, and that can get overwhelming.
  • There were the most ridiculous rates clients were offering on some of these websites.
  • My internet is slow.

But overall, I enjoy freelancing. And I’m pretty sure those other writers that’ll take $3 for a 3,000-word article like it too!

If you need to add a little bedazzle and flavor to your health/college blog, I’d love to take the load off your shoulders and work with you. Paid or non-paid, let’s build each other up this year! Check out my Work With Me! page to get connected.

Thanks for reading!




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  1. Kyah

    I can’t wait to actually start freelancing at one point – I always think about doing it and never work up enough courage!
    Kyah / http://www.weekendtempo.com

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Definitely try it. All you have to lose is time, but we’re losing that regardless! Thanks for hoppin on by.

  2. Miranda M. Nahmias

    I recently started freelancing as well (for graphic design work/virtual assisting)…and so far I’m really enjoying it 🙂 I use Upwork, and at least for me, the trick seems to be in adjusting the settings just right when you search. I only search for jobs that pay a certain amount, etc. I haven’t even really had to do anything with my profile, I get offers for work almost every day. But I was picky about which ones I selected, and now I have long-terms projects going on with two different people 🙂

    Great post, Blossom!!


    • Blossom Onunekwu

      That inspires me to hop back on and try Upwork again actually! Thanks for stopping by!


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