This post continues a series called “A Millennial’s Adventures in the Gig Economy”. You can reference the original post for this series here.
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Week 5 Gig Status Overview
This week has been another great learning experience in the Gig Economy. I made more than $0, which is great, but it’s not much more. Finally, I’m feeling like I made a breakthrough in writing proposals and engaging clients on Upwork. I also made some strides and finished my first paid review for onlinebookclub, which is super exciting. This week I applied to several at-home proofreading jobs through other companies, but I’m waiting to add them to this post until I hear back. The world keeps turning, and I keep bidding work, grinding it out, and keeping the faith.
As I said last week, the plan for Upwork is to keep the overall number of proposals down and focus on quality over quantity. I think it’s working as I am in three conversations with prospects and am hovering around 15 proposals. While I haven’t closed any new projects this week, I feel that things are trending in the right direction, and I’ve finally figured out how to get job posters to engage.
I’ll do a separate post in the coming weeks about what I’ve found to work when it comes to writing proposals. For now, I’m going to keep selecting new jobs carefully and staying steady with applying.
This week my profile was updated with a “Job Success Score,” which is a breakdown of client feedback. Based on an Upwork support article, if a client fails to provide feedback, the score goes down, but it can also increase with repeat client contracts. My first score is 85%, as two of my five clients failed to provide feedback. After looking into it further, you have 14 days from the close of the contract to provide feedback. Since one of my contracts is still within that range, I reached out to the contact who hired me to ask them to go back and add feedback in hopes of increasing my score.
I have gone 5 for 16 with archived proposals, which brings me down to 31%, but with the three active candidacies, I’ll firmly put this week in the win column.
Time invested this week: 10 hours (reviewing job postings, submitting quality proposals, conversing with potential clients)
Not much in Fiverr news this week. I am debating lowering my rates to try to attract clients but was hoping to be able to have results of Upwork jobs to use as a kind of portfolio. I’m going to sit on it for now and keep my focus on Upwork, where I’m starting to get real traction.
Time invested this week: none
I finally completed my first paid review for onlinebookclub. Choosing my book for this past week was the first time where I saw a dollar amount listed on the selection page. I moved up from level 0 to level 1 and am thinking this might be the reason for the change.
The paid review is the first fiction book I’ve done. I surprisingly enjoyed it despite most of my pleasure reading being non-fiction. I plan to check out another book by the same author since I now have a familiarity with his style and know the books are easy, fun reads.
Again I am enjoying onlinebookclub for free access to books, but it also helps to receive a small reward for completing the reading and leaving honest feedback. As it stands, going forward, this should bring in $40/month on the low side. I anticipate the availability of higher-paying reviews as I continue to do more reviews on the site.
Time invested this week: 6 hours (reading book 4 and writing review)
Everyone is still at home and nobody wants me to hang with their pups.
Time invested this week: none
Survey Junkie has been an effortless way to break up the day when my brain needs to focus on something different. I’ve also found that I enjoy providing opinions and feedback on everything from digital devices to new breath freshening products. Survey Junkie has been an enjoyable way to pass the time while also earning ~$5/week.
Time invested this week: 1.5 hours
The plan for week 6
- Get a contract with at least one of my three open jobs in Upwork
- Submit a few more directed, quality proposals on Upwork
- Continue to monitor metrics for Fiverr (views/clicks) and Upwork (jobs won/jobs bid)
- Spend 20 minutes a day doing surveys for easy, quick money
- Read book 5 for onlinebookclub and write review
- Follow up with at-home proofreading companies
The Financial Picture – April 27, 2020
This week was another tough one. While I had some breakthroughs with getting potential clients to engage in conversation, sadly, those have not yet converted to contracts. I’m hopeful that at least one of them will take this week. The name of the game right now is to find some recurring income, no matter how small.
Current week income: $16.51 (book review and surveys)
Current week expenses: $111.96 (grammarly premium subscription needed for proofreading gigs)
Net Operating Costs: -$243.14
Things I learned this week:
Being selective about proposals is the best way to spark conversation with job posters: I honed in focus this week on jobs with a component of IT, development, or similar where I can draw from my experience in some capacity. I had previously been shooting for content writing jobs in any discipline but have realized that I need to play to my strengths. It seemed to work, though, as I now have three ongoing conversations with prospects.
Follow up with potential clients: Clients who are interested in potentially hiring will generally reach out and ask any number of questions about your work style, rates, etc. Most of the clients then tend to go radio silent after a response. I speculate this is because they send the same questions to multiple potential hires and have received a slew of feedback at once. I have started to follow up with these potential clients 2-3 days after sending a response. It opens the door again to a conversation and has proven to be successful in re-engaging.
Grammarly* is an impressive tool that I’m not sure how I lived without: After using the free grammar checking tool for a few weeks, I decided to go premium with Grammarly to get the benefits of so much more than spelling and grammar checks. This tool is fantastic, and I can honestly say it has made an enormous difference in my writing. As a non-English major trying to break into content writing and proofreading, having Grammarly has made me feel like I’m competitive in the space.