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8 Tips How a Student Can Start a Career as a Freelancer




Freelancing isn't hard and it's quite affordable. The requirements are an internet connection and your laptop. That's it, and you’re good to go! Anyone and everyone can freelance as long as you put your heart into it. Being successful in any activity is all about the effort and dedication you put into it. Freelancing not excluded.


Freelancing isn't limited to a particular niche of activity which is a great thing and the reason as to why it has been adopted globally. The majority of students seeking to earn that extra cash have taken to freelancing. Who wouldn't want to make some extra money, right? For students, it's particularly great as it helps build skills that they will need once they get to the job market.


Students have the challenge of creating the perfect balance between their studies and work. Freelancing gives them the opportunity of taking on two activities, studying and working. Getting a job is great, though it just may not work in your favour. The timelines dictated by your job and study will at one point collide. But with freelancing, you get to decide when to work and you ultimately end up avoiding the chaos that comes with juggling work and studies.


So, as a student, you've probably wondered about starting to write works as a freelance writer. Well, wonder no more as I’ll give you some tips to help you out. Thanks to the internet, freelancing has never been easier.


1. Find Time

Time is your most valuable commodity so be sure to use it well. It’s really not that much of a daunting task. As a student, you always have at least one or two hours a day when you don’t do much. This doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re not studious. Of course, you can’t spend all your days studying. You need to take breaks. Freelancing provides you with the perfect break. You get to do something fun and unwind while making money at the same time. Fun because with freelancing, you do what you enjoy and are good at!


A successful freelancer understands that their time is invaluable. Therefore, the first thing you need to do as you commence the journey in freelancing is create time needed to build your career. Take freelance writing or tutoring or graphic design, all these activities need one thing – time!


Have a schedule that creates a balance between your studies and freelancing. This is for the sole purpose of avoiding a situation where you concentrate more on one activity and end up neglecting the other.


2. What’s Your Area of Expertise?

What are you good at? You need to establish what you can do excellently and with much ease. The list of things you can do as a freelancer is unlimited. Once you’ve identified this, focus on becoming the best at it. Freelancing is quite competitive. As a start, it’s good to try freelancing in various niches. You might just discover that you have the skills for doing other tasks.


Identifying what you’re good at is great, but without understanding the needs of your clientele, it may all be a disaster for you. Remember, your intentions also include making money. So, focus on the three things:


  • What are you good at?

  • Does the market need your skills?

  • Will the compensation be satisfactory for you?


So, what are you good at? Writing? Graphic design? Online marketing? Tutoring? Web design? Or editing? You’ll be spoilt for choice, though ensure you pick something that works for you. What you pick to specialize in will either make or break your freelancing career.


3. Have a Portfolio

A portfolio is what will let your prospective clients know what you’re offering and what skills you possess. It’s quite easy to create one. Especially since you’re new, it won’t be long. This is a chance for you to make a first impression. You will get judged by how well you present yourself to clients. It determines your success as a freelancer. As you progress in your work, you add more works to your portfolio.


Ensure that your portfolio appeals to your clients’ needs. It should be simple, precise, eloquent, appealing, and truthful.


4. Source for Jobs

Now that you have your portfolio ready, you should go online and look for platforms hiring freelance writers. For you to gain a good market pool, you have to sell yourself to potential clients and build a relationship with them. This way you are guaranteed to always have a market for your services.


Apply for writing and designing gigs depending on what you’re passionate about. The best way to get others to see your skills is by applying for jobs. Otherwise, no one will ever get to know what you can do.


5. Market Yourself

Every successful business has to put some effort into advertising. Freelance writing has become so competitive that for one to get a good client base, advertising is almost compulsory. However, take caution not to advertise what you can’t offer.


A number of online platforms are available for you to use as a marketing platform. LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest are examples of such platforms. Marketing on LinkedIn is especially good for you as a student, both academically and for freelancing.


6. Have a Strategy

After thorough deliberation, you come to a conclusion that you want to build your career as a freelancer; how do you realize this goal? By proper planning and foresight! Having a strategy has always been a good way of dealing with unexpected situations and achieving set goals. Your strategy is what will develop your career. Write down the milestones that you have a target of achieving.


This is what strategy is all about. It will be a roadmap to your success as a freelance writer. Being a student, a strategy is what will help succeed in both your studies and freelancing.


7. Dedication

Commitment to work is what assists us in attaining success. Freelancing as earlier said is quite competitive and being a student, you'll require some level of discipline, patience, and commitment. Successfully juggling work and school will require sticking to your timetable irrespective of the situation, except in case of unavoidable circumstances. Be passionate about your job and you will realize that being dedicated to it comes with ease.


8. Compensation

You may have done writing gigs free of charge in the past, but if you want to have a serious career in freelancing, then you'll have to start charging for your services. Remember that your career is what sustains you and your family (if you have one already/or aspire to have one). Expect payment for work done. The rates may be a bit low at the beginning. But as you gain popularity for the good work you do, you may increase your fees.



Freelancing is one of the fastest growing sources of remuneration. The advantage with freelancing is that you get to customize your schedule according to your needs. It means you can freelance while studying. For students, this has become an excellent way of earning that extra cash without much hustle and strain.


Starting a career in freelancing may seem a bit challenging at first, but as you get more experience, you get to build a wider client base and it gets easier. These tips will help you start your career in freelancing and be successful. Be the best at what you do and offer only the best. This can also help you succeed in your academics.