How to Make Money Online as a Freelancer

How do I get started as a freelancer online?

You may have heard about Freelancing at some point, but maybe you’re not quite sure about what it is. Freelancing is simply working on a for hire basis. When someone needs a job done, but doesn’t need someone full time they may post a listing asking for help. If you get hired on by this company you are considered a freelance worker.

Freelancing is great for someone that is trying to fund a business, but is also working a full time job elsewhere. It’s also great for someone that is running a business, but has a little time on their hands to do side jobs. Anyone can freelance no matter what skill you have. It could as simple as mowing lawns or as complex as creating a mobile app for a company. It all just depends on your skill set and hustle.

Where can I Find Potential Jobs?

So finding work online might be easier than you think, it just takes a little bit of searching to find the right kinds of jobs. I’m going to list a few places you can try out, but it is far from the only places you can go in order to find work. It all depends on your creativity level. Enough with the small talk though, let’s get to the freelancer list.

Fiverr

Fiverr* is one of the most common places you can go to sell your services. So if you’re looking to sell services, especially coding and design work, you can post your jobs here. The name Fiverr comes from the fact that work can start as low as $5 for people to buy. Despite this you can charge more than this if you’d like.

Upwork

Upwork is a site where freelancers can go in order to find companies looking for work. It’s a little different, and a lot more professional, than Fiverr. Users can contact you for work, but primarily freelancers are there to find work from businesses posting requests.

A business will post there requirements on the site and what price they’re looking to spend. From there freelancers will submit their offers and are given a chance to demonstrate why they’re the right choice for the job. If the company picks you, than you perform the work and get paid. Companies can rate you based on your performance so be sure to do awesome work.

Social Media

If you have a good following on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube than you can potentially have people reach out to you on there. You can simply make an agreement via email or messenger systems and bill them via a platform like PayPal for the work. When I do work like this I like to bill on a deposit basis. Basically the customer puts a certain amount down for the job and pay the rest at completion. I deal with websites so it’s less likely for me to get ripped off since I can always just take the site down if they don’t pay.

YouTube is fantastic for doing freelance work because you can make videos showing off your skills or even giving some tips for free. If you can gain trust via your free content you may find people more willing to pay you for your services on a freelancing level.

LinkedIn ProFinder

The LinkedIn ProFinder page is a place where people can find a vetted professional freelancer. To get listed on the ProFinder part of the website you’ll need to meet certain requirements. For starters you’ll need a LinkedIn profile, I would strongly suggest filling out all of your info and making sure your artwork looks good also. LinkedIn also likes you to have some recommendations or endorsements from some of your LinkedIn connections before they’ll put you on their ProFinder listing.

With that being said, if you have clients on your LinkedIn profile it would be a good idea to get them to give you some endorsements on your skills. Not only will it help you get into the program, but it will increase your chances of being selected by potential clients. Overall the ProFinder section works much like UpWork, but it is tied in with the LinkedIn system so one could argue it’s an even better option to find work.

Website

If you create your own website you can populate it with useful information and content to show off your skills. With a website of your own you can post portfolios, add blog articles, and place some testimonials from past clients.

Having a website can make your content easier to find via web search compared to the other options listed because everything on the site will be all about you. I highly recommend posting blogs and other informative content on your website to answer questions clients might have, show off your skills, and demonstrate to viewers why you’re the right choice for them. Similarly to social media you can set up deals via email and charge with PayPal.

<shameless plug> By the way, if you need help setting up a website you can always reach out to me. </shameless plug>

 

So there are a few ways you can get yourself a little bit of extra money by working freelance for clients. If you have enough skill and hustle you can easily turn this into a full time gig and potentially ditch your current job. How awesome would that be?

Have any ideas of your own that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about them in my comments section so please, let me hear it!

 

Why Your Subscriber Count Means (Almost) Nothing

Browsing through various internet marketing groups I see a majority of posts are from people talking about one thing: subscriber count. I’m here to tell you that subscriber counts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Sure, having a high subscriber count can be helpful in many cases. It can help you get a nicer initial boost on videos you post to YouTube due to the notification system. It also unlocks certain features like Super Chat that you can’t use unless you’re at a certain number (currently 1000). Other than that it doesn’t have too much weight behind it other than looking cool.



The fact is that many channels now have large subscriber bases so it’s no longer anything special to have thousands of people subscribed to you. Many of these large subscriber bases aren’t even watching anymore, they’ve just never bothered to unsubscribe to you.

So if I am down on the importance of YouTube subscribers than what IS important? Simply put: engagement.

Engagement is the force behind successful channels. It’s one thing to get users to watch a video or look on a page, but it’s an entirely different thing to convince them to interact with your content. Engagement comes in many forms: comments, likes, and shares being the most common. YouTube loves content that is engaging because it keeps people interested and can build a better community. So if YouTube likes it, you should like it too.

There are many other benefits to gathering engagement on your channel. Engagement tells us a lot about what fans like and don’t like. Likes/dislikes can tell creators what is going over well and comments are an option for further discussion or suggestions.¬† It also looks great to a potential sponsor because you are demonstrating that you have the power and pull to make people take action. After all, as a sponsor you’re looking for creators that can convince their user base to take action and look into a product or service.

So am I saying that subscriber count has zero to do with anything? Of course not. For one, it does give us practice with our persuasion skills. If we’re able to persuade people to subscribe to our content then maybe we can also use those skills to persuade them to check out a sponsor or buy a product. Another important detail we can gather from subscriber count is how much people value our content. Usually people don’t just subscribe from one good video. Most subscriptions come from the channel overview page and you’re more likely to get subscribers if your channel features a lot of content the viewer will like.

So while it does provide some value and insight on the health of our channel, the subscriber number is not what we should be focused on (especially in the beginning). Instead try focusing on your views and watch time. It is a well known fact that YouTube favors videos and channels that keep viewers on the website. You don’t do that by getting people to click a subscribe button. You do that by hooking viewers and keeping them watching your content for long periods of time. As for views, when you’re getting started you can try to gain search traffic by targeting relevant and valuable keywords.



Getting views and watch time will lead to some real magic in the long term. Views and watch time will lead to higher search results and more appearances in the suggested videos column. This will cause (hopefully) your subscriber count to rise as more viewers will see your content. If you’re getting the eyes on the channel and providing good value it will lead to a more consistent flow of subscribers, I promise. It also doesn’t hurt to ask them to hit that subscribe button either. A good call to action can do wonders for you.

The bottom line is this: Views and Watch time lead to subscribers, not the other way around. If you’re new to YouTube and constantly find yourself checking your counts try to stop focusing so much on it. Believe me, I’ve been there and I understand the excitement of seeing a channel grow. However over time you’ll see the same thing I did; if you focus on providing a great value on a consistent basis the rest will start to fall in place over time.

8 Special Factors of a Viral Video

We all would love to create a video that goes viral. There’s only one problem, it’s not very easy to do. Creators can spend their entire lives working to make that one video that everyone just has to see, only to have it end up all for nothing. On the flip side, someone can do something incredibly stupid on film and end up the next big thing (Cash Me Outside?)

The truth is that what goes viral is often unpredictable and at the mercy of the masses. There is absolutely no “fool proof” method to making a viral video. Anyone that tries to offer this to you is simply full of crap. Sorry, I see it all the time on Fiverr and it makes me laugh. Do people really think some generous guy is going to sell his ability to make any video viral for the low price of $5?

While there may be no perfect method to making a video go viral, there are some factors that many of these smash hits share. By aiming to make videos that have these attributes, you can increase your chances of having a viral success story.

Evokes Strong Emotion

We are humans after all and sometimes we just can’t help, but get emotional. When you’re dealing with a topic that people are passionate about it can get them sharing. Usually you see humor videos or cute cat videos go viral because they evoke a happy emotion and for the most part we all want to be happy.

It doesn’t just apply to happy emotions though. Many sad stories or videos that bring anger also can go viral. Social media is a place where people sometimes go to vent (we all have that one friend that is always angry about something). If it causes a strong enough sense of anger in someone they may feel the need to spread it out there to get other people talking as well.

Shareability

If you take nothing else from this article, take shareability to the bank. In order for something to go viral it has to be shared a lot. If you want this to happen than the content had better be worth sharing around.

What makes content shareable? It all depends really, when you see something online and think to yourself ‘I bet Jan would love to see this’ or ‘I can’t wait to be the first to share this’ ask yourself why. What is it about the content that makes you so eager to spread it around? Is this something you can replicate?

Covers a Large Demographic

If you want to go viral you need to have content that would apply to a large group of people. Although I preach niche all the time, viral videos typically have a very large niche of people. For example, kitten videos can be enjoyed by most pet lovers. This niche is very large and tough to crack, but if you do the possibilities are huge.

Another style video would be things that most of us experience. Whether it is a video about celebrities or common life events, most of us can relate to these topics. Smaller niche videos such as the niche I operate in, content creation, may not have a large enough following to truly go viral in. Fortunately this doesn’t mean you can’t have success with smaller niches, you might just never go viral with it.

 

You might also like: Why Your Subscriber Count Means (Almost) Nothing

 

Enticing Title or Hook

Humans have a short attention span and it’s statistically getting shorter over time. This means that video creators have even less time to get users to keep watching their content. That is where an enticing title or hook comes into play.

We see titles like ‘You’ll never believe what he did’ or ‘It was a normal day until her boyfriend did THIS‘ and they are kind of annoying. Usually the articles are a let down, but you will continue to see these types of titles regardless because they have historically produced clicks and interest. We can’t help ourselves, we just have to know what the boyfriend did. It’s simply human psychology.

Titles that also perform well can include lists ‘5 things only 90s kids will understand’ or titles that have strong wording also increase clicks. Words like Beware, Deadly, Horrific, Crazy, or Warning can grab the attention of the reader and cause them to click.

Timely

What good is a Christmas video in March? Exactly.

This also applies to news stories that are very time sensitive. If you can get the jump on other creators it could help propel your video into the spotlight.

Luckily there are a lot of tools you can utilize to see what people are searching for and what it hot right now. Google Trends is one of the most popular tools, it shows you certain search patterns that are trending. It also allows you to search specific terms to see how they perform during certain times of the year in the past. Other great sources would be the Trending Now bars on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s important to note that some content is “evergreen” meaning it can be reasonably consumed anytime. A lot of content viral content is evergreen making timeliness less of an important factor for those particular videos.

Strong Value

As with most videos you want to provide a strong value. Whether you’re providing entertainment or education, the content has to be deemed as valuable by the user if you expect them to share it.

The best way to determine this would be to gauge the comments, likes, and dislikes of content you post. People that find it to have value may comment on it or give it a thumbs up. However people that do not think it’s valuable may abandon the video early or leave some nasty feedback for you. Another suggestion is to take a good hard look at your content before publishing it and ask yourself this: ‘If it weren’t me in the video, would I still watch and enjoy this video?’ If you can’t honestly say yes, than how can you expect others to do so?



Simple to Understand or Share

Most people aren’t going to be interested in complex reading or long-winded content. They want something that is simple to understand and easy to consume. The content also has to be easily shareable. If you make it super easy to share content to Facebook, you’ll likely see more shares than someone that doesn’t take the time to add share buttons. Simple and Easy is the name of the game here. I’m not saying people are lazy… or am I?

Correct platform

The platform you post the content on matters as well. Places like Instagram are meant to showcase short videos or photo content. YouTube, however, showcases content of a variety of lengths. Other factors that can affect the platform of choice is the demographic that’s consuming it. Apps like Snapchat can attract a younger audience, but maybe that’s not where your viewers are. Getting the right platform for the type of content and type of audience can really help launch it towards success.

 

Don’t let this article fool you. There is plenty of success to be found in small niches that are less likely to go viral. So if you’re a content creator this means you don’t have to focus all of your energy on filming cute animal footage. Small niches are likely easier to break into and should have less competition. It’s more important to create content for value and based on your passion. Creating content for the purpose of going viral specifically rarely works, so don’t sweat it.

 

Cover Photo Credit: Photo by Casey Clingan on Unsplash

Build A Website: 5 Reasons You Need a Website for Your Brand

I push and push the concept quite a bit. If you ask me, you need a website no matter what type of online content you’re creating. I get a lot of different excuses for why people don’t feel they need a website for their brand. Among them are:

  • My brand is still small.
  • I don’t know how to code HTML.
  • I don’t have a lot of money.
  • I don’t see why I need one.

Well heck, I can tell you exactly why you need to get one and break down some of these excuses that prevent you from going forward with a page.

It cannot be taken down easily

So let’s imagine for a moment that you have an Instagram that does very well. What if for some reason it gets flagged and your content is taken down? Your users will no longer be able to find you. That’s a scary thought. In the blink of an eye your entire web presence is gone, *POOF!*

Thankfully if you have a website for yourself than people can always reference it when they’re looking for you. Plus, it cannot be taken down as easily since you own the domain and the web hosting is paid for by you. Essentially you are the boss here and everything on the page is geared towards you. No other profiles are shown, only the content you choose for them to see. Isn’t that kind of control great?

It is more professional

When you mark your brand with a .com you also get email addresses. This looks exponentially more professional than the old yahoo.com or gmail.com one you may already have now. By all means, keep those Gmail accounts handy, but it’s best to use your personalized domain email for business communications.

A web domain is also good to put on business card and can be remembered much easier than other URLs. It also looks good to have your own space in the world. It makes your brand appear more professional and because many of your competitors may already have a name, it may be a great idea for you to grab one also.



Building a Site is Inexpensive

People seem to have this idea in their heads that building a website is expensive. Turns out the costs of maintaining a simple WordPress is actually quite cheap. I use HostGator for my website, the cost of hosting there can be as low as $6.95 per month. Many times you can get a discounted price on a domain name when you first sign up. Personally I use NameCheap.com for my domain name registrations. It can get as cheap as $8.88 a year.

Don’t be afraid to shop around for deals. There are many other awesome web hosts out there that will give you great service as well. I have made a page that lists the various web hosts you can use, they are all regarded as solid web hosts and are included on the list because of it. Don’t worry, I try my best not to hook you up with poor services.

It’s the perfect home base for Brand You

So you’ve made the perfect brand for yourself, why not put it all together in one place? By having a website you are creating a home base that can link all of your social media networks together. Chances are you have a YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Instead of directing users to “Like my Facebook, Follow My Twitter, Follow My Instagram, Blah, Blah Blah, Blah, Blah…” you can just simply tell them to visit your website.

From there you can include everything about yourself in one place. Consider the website to be like the Walmart of your brand, get it all in one easy to remember place. Plus since some social media sites do not allow many links, you’re able to promote yourself and your products much more freely. So while many social media networks don’t like you sending people off of their platform, it may be worth it to send them over to your own personalized space.

It’s easier than you think

If you’re creating a simple WordPress blog than the need for coding knowledge is minimal. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated away from building a blog because you think it’s going to be too hard. The truth is that many themes in WordPress are fully customizable without ever having to open up the HTML of the page itself.

WordPress is not your only option though. Squarespace and Weebly are a couple other places you can turn to for some easy GUI based web building options. So remember, it doesn’t have to be hard. Things are so automated today that you can have a nice looking website up and running in less than a day. Heck, I can have my WordPress blogs ready to launch in one afternoon pretty easily.

Conclusion – If you need more help

So there’s my 5 reasons. Don’t be afraid to get yourself a website. If you’re still a little nervous or have some questions; I understand. If you want some extra advice from me don’t hesitate to get at me over on Twitter @ericminermedia. Give me a follow, send me a message, and I’ll be glad to help out wherever and whenever I am able to do so. Till next time, thanks for reading this one. Keep mining for your social media gold.

4 Perfect Reasons to Use Lists in Your Videos

So here’s an article on lists and why they’re great for your videos. Get this, the article about how lists are great is indeed a list itself! Oh the irony here! So I have 4 great reasons for using lists in your videos.

1. It will keep your information organized.

So if you’re putting things into a list than you will have an organization. For example, this article covers 5 key points on why I feel lists are amazing to use. If I didn’t put it in a list format I could be all over the place, but since it’s organized into a list it keeps things right in place where they belong.

So don’t wander all over the place in your videos. Use lists to keep yourself organized.

2. People Like Structure

People enjoy knowing what to expect when they tune in for a video. If I post a video that is called Top 10 things you need in your daily life than you know exactly what to expect. What happens after I reveal #3 on my video? I bet you’d probably guess that the reveal of #2 is up next. So this gives your videos a nice level of structure that is easy to follow for people.

3. It keeps users hooked onto your video.

Since people like structure and know what to expect in your video it should be no suprise that list videos can keep users attention more. Even if a list of “10 Favorite free PC programs” would include things that don’t interest you; you may still stick around to see the other 9 programs.

On YouTube retention and watch time is king. So being able to cast out that hook and reel in users can really pay off big dividends for you.

4. Statistically it is more clickable.

Making a list video and using some numbers in the title is not just a good idea, it’s a freaking great idea. Independent studies have proven that number based titles are more clickable in test groups. Seeing that most people see the title and thumbnail first, it wouldn’t hurt to use this to your advantage. Take the following title names for example:

  • 6 ways to make the most amazing Martinis
  • Ways you can make your Martini more amazing
  • How to make some amazing Martinis
  • Ways to make a Martini amazing
  • Are your Martinis as amazing at these ones?

According to the people involved in the study, there is a huge preference towards the titles with numbers in them. In fact, this list is in order by effectiveness. It surprised me because I always thought my question titles were awesome. Apparently no one else thinks so.

 

So there you go, 4 reasons you need to start pumping out the list articles. Take a close look at news articles, YouTube videos, and search results. Before long you’ll notice so many people are using this list format to their advantage.