An interesting question came on Quora recently: “I see people earning in lakhs per month as a freelancer. Can anybody on Quora guide me to be a freelancer?” (link)
My response to the query was as follows:
First things first, earning a “Lakh” (hundred-thousand rupees) or about US$ 2–3 K is indeed possible. A few freelancers are certainly making this kind of money leveraging their digital, technical and networking skills.
Some of the skills that might get that kind of money include:
- Superior web-design skills: Ability to program scripts, design and configure databases, integrate complex e-commerce sites with payment gateways, prototype and develop slick User Interfaces (UI) etc etc. Keep in mind the difference between “superior” and average skills are huge. Only those with superior skills can command the top hourly rates
- Ask yourself: do you have the “superior” skills in this area?
- Creative blogs that are sticky. Not all content online is sticky. Not all content goes viral. There are millions of little and un-noticed blogs developed by freelancers.
- Ask yourself: How is your content unique? Why will readers continue to come to your blog?
- Innovative content sells: For instance, creative folks with YouTube channels that have thousands of followers are indeed generating thousands of dollars in revenue.
- Ask yourself: Do you have a talent you can showcase? Perhaps something funny or interesting or educational that thousands of users from around the world would want to see.
Now, comes the reality check: Making this kind of money is neither easy nor a walk in the park. Besides some of the skills highlighted above, the secret to success is consistency and hard work.
You will have to consistently engage with your online audience, or your clients. This requires a lot of hard work, time commitment and sweat!
After finding a skill niche, one needs to really, really sweat it out before one can see an ounce of success! For instance, after posting creative content online, one will have to engage in a wide variety of social media platforms, responding to comments and continually enhancing the value one creates.
Also check out the listing of other tips ()