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Start your own business as a freelancer – possible?

Start your own business – Freelancing through the Internet…is it possible? (and profitable)?

By  Lisa Cumes

Is it really possible to find jobs and make money off the Internet? YES! I have been working from home part time as a Virtual Assistant for the past 4 years as my very young children are growing up. I find it is the perfect balance between being a mum, and keeping in touch with the real world and my career. Since discovering fantastic opportunities online, I have turned my back on the ‘corporate world’ and aspiring for a corner cubicle in some high-rise office building in the city. I have realised that I am the type of person who likes at home, while choosing my own clients and projects, in other words, an Entrepreneur!

Freelancing is a great opportunity for mothers who may only have 5-10 hours per week, and do not want sign contracts or commit to long periods of work.  It’s also a great option for mothers who want to be able to work odd hours, like early in the morning, or after the kids are in bed. You can work in 5 minute increments if you like, it’s up to you!

The top websites for finding freelance work on the Internet are:

There are lots of options when it comes to the type of work you can do ‘virtually’. The easiest and fastest way to pick up work is through web research, data entry and simple tasks that let clients check out the quality of your work and communication style before awarding you more work. Initially, clients pay fairly low to start, but as they develop a relationship with you, and build confidence in your work, you can negotiate an increase in your hourly rate.

Finding work online, is in fact, starting your own business, without the formalities of printing business cards and advertising online. Within days of bidding for a job you could be working with a client on the other side of the world, or in your own backyard. The best part is that you choose the projects and decide how much you’ll be paid. And to answer the first question….yes, it’s possible AND profitable!

I started my adventure with Google. I typed in freelance work and the first listing was Elance.com. There are several websites that allow employers to search for freelance contractors in areas such as web design and programming, writing and translation, design and multi-media, admin support, sales & marketing, finance etc. Within each category there are sub categories that help you concentrate on jobs that are suited for your exact skill set. For example, my skill is in Virtual Assistance, which is a sub category within admin support.

When you find a job or project you are interested in ‘applying for’, you place a bid, which is an hourly rate or one time fee you are willing to accept in exchange for your time and skill. Employers will choose a contractor based on skill set, experience and ultimately how much it will cost them.


About the author, Lisa Cumes

Lisa is founder of CleverMyx a site committed to empowering highly skilled Australian women to work as freelance professionals and re-enter the workforce by providing training on small business tools such as Dropbox, Basecamp, Evernote and many more.



Do you have experience as a freelancer?

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3 Responses to Start your own business as a freelancer – possible?

  1. Great article, thanks for the links to the websites. I hadn’t considered this as an option, but why not! I’m going to check them out now.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Awesome article. I am a Virtual Assistant myself specialising in Human Resources support in addition to general administration. It’s so nice to find articles about the VA Industry in Australia as it is still a relatively new concept here. Thanks again for the article and I’m about to check out your website to find out more information about your training.


  3. Hi, thanks for this article. I’ve not seen it before but was exploring the site. Did you know there are actually VA Networks here in Australia that do provide connections with clients? And the clients appreciate having Australian VAs working with them on many different levels.

    Thanks for highlighting the industry. It has been here in Australia since 1996 and one I very much enjoy being a part of as it allowed me to bring up 5 daughters while working from home.

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