Freelancing as a Side Job – How to Get the Best of Both Worlds

So you have decided to do freelancing as a side job? That’s great. Taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine by doing something that ignites your passion and also earns extra cash from it is absolutely rewarding.

This may not be an easy journey though, but guidelines, tips, and tricks are always readily available for you. Keeping in mind your main purpose in taking on freelancing will surely help you stay on track despite any challenges you may face. Plus, there are truly more ways to enjoy this like taking on tasks that you are interested in. If you like parties, you can be an event planner. If you are into arts and crafts, there’s photography or doing commissioned paintings or sculptures. And again, you get paid for your products or services. You are definitely getting the best of both worlds!

Pros of Freelancing

There are many benefits in doing freelancing. Come to think of it, the opportunities freelancing gives you may outweigh any risks or concerns you may be having. Aside from not having a boss, and having full control of your time and overall decisions, earning extra cash and learning skills are some good points in going on this path.

Man working and writing

Extra Cash

Having total control over your side job means having control over your finances too. Of course, there are industry standards in pricing your work or service, but still, this is extra money you get from doing something you really love. What’s even better is you get to be in charge of how much of this extra cash you earn! If you can deliver, say, multiple paintings in a month, then you get to earn more. If you feel you need to increase your rates to match your skill, you can easily do so too.

Learning New Skills

“Practice Makes Perfect,” they say. As you continue to practice your craft, you will get to learn new skills and improve them. The more jobs you take on, the sharper and better you become. The little mistakes or obstacles you may encounter will definitely help you improve as well. Sometimes, when you do freelance, it is not from something you are already good at. Maybe, your passion calls you to do it, and it is during this time when you learn all these skills. Let’s say if you are a party planner who does not know how to do balloon arrangements, doing kiddie parties will make you learn and excel in this skill.

As you go on your freelance journey, you also learn the business skills you need to help your practice. You will learn marketing tricks, drafting contracts, and of course negotiation skills. So whether you are learning a new skill or specializing in one, this is one of the perks of doing freelance on the side.

Cons of Freelancing

Having a freelance job comes with risks and obstacles as well. You may experience times when you have no clients, or on the other hand, you have too much on your plate that you start to get overwhelmed. Breathe in, breathe out. Knowing what to expect helps lighten up the situation. Here are some of the challenges you may face:

Woman at a computer in front of code

Juggling Multiple Tasks

Being a freelancer, you have to be a jack of all trades. Just think if you are an artist who does portraits on the side, that’s not all you do. No, you have to be your own marketing person so you can get clients. You also have to do the admin work of creating invoices and filing contracts. So really, you’re not getting just one extra job as a freelancer, you’ll be taking on multiple roles too.

As this is a side job, your time may be dependent on your regular workload. Other daily tasks may also take up most of your energy. Juggling multiple tasks may be tricky for you, especially in the beginning.

Challenges in Finding Good Clients

Another roadblock in doing freelance work is not having enough or good clients. There may be days when you have no clients. You cannot just go out on the streets handing out flyers for your services. You will have to rely on referrals from friends and family too. Actually, your friends and family will be your perfect first clients. Finding new ones will be the greater challenge.

Ironically, what may be worse is having a difficult client. Remember that most people who hire freelancers expect more specialized and committed service. You will get to meet different types of people. Some clients may be demanding while some clients may be too slow in telling you what they actually want. This is a risk in freelancing that you should be ready for, the challenge of finding good clients.

Tips for Freelancing as a Side Job

As you take on your freelancing journey, having a strong start is as important as having the proper skills to sustain your craft. Do not forget that in this setup, you are the boss. So you get to call the shots. Lay out your plans, set a unique strategy, and swear to stick by it. Build a brand for your name and know what works best for you. And by all means, make your journey easier by maximizing technology that is available to you, like social media platforms and apps or software.

Use Social Media

In this day and age, everybody is online. Everything is on social media. So one of the more important things you should definitely do is create your own professional account. Your freelancing side job will really benefit from this because of its wide reach. Besides, it’s free marketing, right? So put yourself out there. Build your online presence. Post your works. Be visible. Remember that this is where most inquiries and potential clients will come from so always be available. Also, social media is where you can learn about current trends that you may use to stand out.

Be careful when posting your commissioned works though. Some of your clients may not want them posted. Make sure to ask them first before posting. The same goes for tagging. Your client may not want to be tagged. So always ask permission first, especially for paid work.

Facebook page of an entrepreneur's social media on desktop and mobile.

Apps Will Help You

Yes, apps will help you. Apps and software are available for all tasks now. Have your own smart secretary by using time tracking and project management apps. Software for inventory, invoicing and payments are a must so you could keep track of your finances.  Besides communicating through social media, you should be available in other voice and chat apps to ensure you will be easily reached by clients. 

Do check out apps and software that may aid you in your specialization as well. For example, if you make artwork or are doing photography, you may use color correction apps. Or use planner and client management apps if you are into events. Boost your productivity rate by using apps and software; these are all readily available to you on all devices.

Young lady typing on keyboard of laptop in living room


Taking on a new role may seem like a big gamble especially if you already have a regular busy day. But you have to keep in mind the motivation behind your decision. You have to see the bigger picture because as scary as it may seem, this journey is both fun and fulfilling. Imagine you get to do something you love without answering to no one, perfecting it, and then get paid. Truly freelancing as a side job gives you the best of both worlds.

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