What is Freelancing? Freelancing Meaning, History, Pros & Cons of Freelance Jobs

December 22, 2023
freelancing meaning

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Freelancing is a great way to turn your passion into income by offering your skills as services. As a freelancer, you can work independently without being tied to a full-time employment contract with a company. With the rise of globalization, more and more people are turning to freelancing as a way to start a business and work independently. To begin your freelancing career, numerous websites are available where you can find projects and clients. In this article, we will explore the definition of a freelancer job, the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing, and more.

Facts About Freelancing in India

What is Freelancing Meaning?

A freelancer is a self-employed person who provides service and gets paid accordingly. Any employer can hire a freelancer on a part-time or contract basis. They get paid as soon as they complete the given freelance work. Freelancers can work independently on a particular project and can also start their own businesses.

Who is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed person who works for different employers at a time and may or may not commit to that employer for a long time. A freelancer works on his own time and does not enjoy any employer benefits. They mostly work remotely.

Other Terms for Freelancer

There are many other terms for freelancers that you should know. Here is the list:

  • Independent contractors
  • Self-employed
  • Free-agent
  • Non-employee
  • Contract Worker
  • Unaffiliated

History of Freelancing

Now that freelancing meaning is clear to you, let’s understand its history. The origin of the word freelance dates back to the early 18th century. Medieval mercenaries fought on behalf of the nation or someone who gave them the most money.

These soldiers had already lost their king in the war and were free to fight and get paid by any king. Earlier, these soldiers were common, but with the advent of 1000 AD, these soldiers were known as condottiere or contract workers.

The word “lance” was a sword or weapon used by knights during battle. In ancient times the term was used for an independent worker. Nowadays, freelancing is referred to as a person who is working independently without coming in close contact with anyone.

Highly recommended: Discover the World of Freelancing with Chegg India

What Are the Differences Between Freelancing and Full-time Jobs?

Freelancing and full-time employment represent two distinct approaches to work, each with its own set of characteristics and considerations. Here are some key differences between freelancing and a full-time job:

1. Employment Structure:

   – Freelancing: Freelancers are self-employed and work on a project-by-project basis. They have the autonomy to choose their clients, projects, and work schedules.

   – Full-time Job: Full-time employees are typically hired by a company on a long-term basis. They work a set number of hours per week and receive a regular monthly salary.

2. Flexibility:

   – Freelancing: Offers a high degree of flexibility in terms of work hours, location, and choice of projects. Freelancers have the freedom to set their own schedules.

   – Full-time Job: Generally has a fixed schedule, and employees are expected to work during specified hours. Flexibility may vary depending on the company and role.

3. Income Structure:

   – Freelancing: Income is often project-based, and freelancers set their own rates. Earnings can fluctuate depending on the number and nature of projects.

   – Full-time Job: Employees receive a consistent salary, often with additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

4. Job Security:

   – Freelancing: Freelancers have less job security as their income depends on the availability of projects and clients. There are no guarantees of a steady stream of work.

   – Full-time Job: In India, the emphasis on stable and secure employment is deeply ingrained in the job-seeking mindset, reflecting a cultural inclination toward long-term commitments and financial stability. Many Indians value the assurance of a consistent income, benefits, and a predictable career trajectory, over work-life balance, making job security a pivotal consideration in their professional pursuits.

5. Benefits and Perks:

   – Freelancing: Generally, freelancers do not receive traditional employment benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. They are responsible for managing their own benefits.

   – Full-time Job: Often comes with benefits such as health insurance, retirement contributions, paid time off, and other perks depending on the employer.

9. Work-Life Balance:

   – Freelancing: Can offer greater control over work-life balance, but it requires discipline to set boundaries and manage time effectively.

   – Full-time Job: Work-life balance may vary depending on company culture, policies, and individual job roles.

5 Steps to Start a Career in Freelancing

Freelancing revolves around the mutual agreement and contract between the employer and the freelancer. They work in coordination to provide and add value to each other’s professional lives. But taking the path of freelancing can be challenging with advantages and disadvantages.

It does not guarantee you clients and opportunities all the time. There will be days when you will have more workload, and there will also be days when you have no work in hand.

So, now that you know what freelancing means, here are 5 ways in which you can start your freelancing career.

  1. Define Your Goals
  2. Identify Your Skills
  3. Find Your Clients
  4. Form a Service Package
  5. Price Your Service

1. Define Your Goals

The first and foremost task is to set clear goals. Because without proper goals you can’t know where you are going. Setting goals first gives you a clear understanding of which direction you should go in your freelancing journey. You can do this easily by answering the following questions:

  • Why do I want to start freelancing?
  • Should I take freelancing as a part-time or full-time career?
  • How much money do I wish to make out of freelancing?
  • Is freelancing my dream job or just another side hustle?

2. Identify Your Skills

If you have learned the freelancing meaning, then identifying your skills is another important step. You must excel because a freelancing career is built on the foundation of your skills.

Freelancers operate in a diverse array of fields, leveraging their expertise and skills to meet the specific needs of clients. Here are some common fields in which freelancers often thrive:

1. Writing and Content Creation:

   – Blogging

   – Copywriting

   – Content marketing

   – Technical writing

   – Creative writing

2. Graphic Design and Multimedia:

   – Graphic design

   – Illustration

   – Video editing

   – Animation

   – Photography

3. Programming and Web Development:

   – Web development

   – Mobile app development

   – Software development

   – Database Administration

   – IT Consulting

4. Digital Marketing:

   – Social media management

   – Search engine optimization (SEO)

   – Email marketing

   – Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

   – Analytics and data analysis

5. Creative Arts:

   – Music Composition

   – Fine arts

   – Fashion design

   – Interior design

   – Performing arts

6. Marketing and Public Relations:

   – Public relations

   – Branding

   – Event planning

   – Market research

7. Education and Training:

   – Online tutoring

   – Course development

   – Instructional design

   – E-learning content creation

8. Health and Wellness:

    – Fitness training

    – Nutrition consulting

    – Wellness Coaching

    – Mental health coaching

These fields represent just a glimpse of the diverse opportunities available to freelancers. The beauty of freelancing lies in its ability to accommodate a wide range of skills and talents, allowing individuals to pursue their passions while meeting the specific needs of clients in a dynamic and ever-changing market.

3. Find Your Clients

Once you have shortlisted your goals and skills, the next step is to find potential clients. Do proper research and locate good customers. You can find the right customers by knowing your industry.

For example, if you are a content writer, you should look for businesses requiring copywriters and bloggers. You can easily find these on platforms like LinkedIn. Similarly, those who are good at social media management can find clients on Instagram and Facebook.

4. Form a Service Package

What most freelancers miss out on early in their careers is the difference between skill and service. Your skill is the quality you use to get the job done. And your services are work you get paid for.

For example, content writing is a skill but copywriting is a service, and coding is a skill but producing customized mobile applications is a service.

Marketing your services is all about finding out the problems of your clients. Following this, you need to show them how your services can solve these problems.

5. Price Your Services

The final step is to decide how much you will charge for your services. It depends on the client you are working for and how much effort you are putting in.

In freelancing, there are four basic ways to do this.

  • Hourly
  • Retainer
  • Fixed project fee
  • Value-based pricing fee

Recommended Article: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Become a Freelancer

Types of Freelancers

After understanding the freelancing meaning, now learn about the different types of freelancers. Here is a list of freelancers you should know.

Types of Freelancers

1. Independent Contractors 

Independent contractors are full-time freelancers and work independently on a particular project. They work for as many employers as they want, and they get paid on a project basis.

2. Freelance Business Owners 

This type of freelance job involves people who run a business and work on one or more projects collectively. The owner of this business is also called a freelancer. They work with a team of freelancers.

3. Moonlighters 

These freelancers work for a traditional 9 to 5 job and work on freelance projects at night. They are the best at managing their work-life balance. They start freelance jobs to fulfil basic needs or out of their passion. This leads to a more stable income and can lead to good savings for the future.

4. Diversified Workers  

These are the type of freelancers that fall in the middle of moonlighters and temporary workers. They tend to work at night after their traditional job and mix their time with full-time employment. Diversified workers have multiple full-time jobs and work as moonlighters at night. They are a mixture of several categories.

In this type, you are entirely devoted to freelance jobs online as well as your full-time job. As a result, an individual can be making a tremendous amount of money.

Pros and Cons of Freelance Jobs

If you plan to become a freelancer, you should know some Pros and Cons


  1. Flexible working schedule – Freelancing offers unparalleled flexibility in terms of work hours, location, and the ability to choose projects.
  2. Work from anywhere – In a freelance job, you can work from any part of the world. You only need to communicate and stay in touch to keep your clients updated with the work. A freelance job gives you the freedom to work from anywhere you want.
  3. Autonomy and Independence – Freelancers have the autonomy to make decisions about their work, including the projects they take on, the clients they work with, and how they structure their workflow. This independence can lead to a more fulfilling work experience.


  1. Lack of job stability – Freelancers do not have the job security provided by traditional employment. There is no guarantee of job stability. The absence of a stable, long-term contract can lead to uncertainties about future projects and income.
  2. Income Variability: Freelancers often experience income variability, with periods of high demand followed by lean times. This lack of predictable income can make financial planning challenging.
  3. Lack of paid benefits – At the beginning of your freelance career, you get several benefits. But it all comes with a downside. Since you are not a full-time employee, you will not receive any health benefits, insurance, and other benefits that full-time employees receive.

Top Freelancer Industries in High Demand in Indian Market

India is the second largest market for freelancers in the world. And with the online resolution where all businesses shifted online, freelancers will find ample work opportunities.

Here are some industries that have traditionally been in high demand for freelancers and may offer competitive pay:

1. Technology and IT:

   – In-Demand Skills: The tech industry constantly evolves, creating a demand for skills such as web development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript), software development (Python, Java), mobile app development (iOS, Android), cybersecurity (ethical hacking, security analysis), data science (Python, R), and IT consulting.

   – Reason: Rapid technological advancements and the need for specialized expertise drive companies to hire freelancers for specific projects rather than maintaining a full-time, in-house team.

2. Digital Marketing:

   – In-Demand Skills: SEO (search engine optimization), social media management (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), content marketing (blogging, content creation), digital advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads), and email marketing.

   – Reason: The shift towards digital channels for marketing and advertising purposes requires skilled professionals to navigate and optimize online platforms.

3. Design and Multimedia:

   – In-Demand Skills: Graphic design (Adobe Creative Suite), web design (UI/UX design, Adobe XD), video editing (Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro), and animation (After Effects, Blender).

   – Reason: A visually appealing online presence is crucial for businesses to attract and engage their audience, leading to a continuous demand for design and multimedia services.

4. Writing and Content Creation:

   – In-Demand Skills: Blogging, copywriting, technical writing, content marketing, and creative writing.

   – Reason: Content is key for online visibility and brand communication. Businesses consistently seek quality content to engage their audience, improve SEO, and establish thought leadership.

Related Article:

  1. Top 25 Freelance Jobs from Home that Pay Really Well
  2. 15 Freelance Jobs for Students to Earn Quick Money

Where to Find Freelance Jobs in India?

Freelancing is one of the most common career options in India. As already mentioned, the availability of jobs is also high. But it is not easy to find work as a freelancer. From finding your ideal clients to talking about your services, there are a lot of things to do before starting a career in freelancing.

However, some freelancing websites can help you find the right clients. After registering on the platform, write your proposal carefully about your services.

Some of the freelancing platforms are:

  1. Fiverr
  2. com
  3. Upwork
  4. PeoplePerHour
  5. Guru
  6. Toptal
  7. Dribbble

Detailed Guide: 20 Best Freelancing Sites in India

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Start your freelancing journey

Freelancing meaning is simple- you are free to work from anywhere and for any employer. This is one of the best benefits of freelancing. There is a lot of demand for freelancing jobs, which have seen a growth of 22% in the last few years. You can find the best freelancing jobs online easily.

To get started, focus on building your resume and portfolio of work. A successful freelancing job requires dedication and patience. If you will be dedicated to your work, then you will get success soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a freelance job mean?

Freelancing Meaning: Freelance job means working on a contract or project basis. The person hired by the company or client is known as the person to help them complete their project. A freelance job is not full time and the freelancer is free to work on his own time. The freelancer gets paid after completing the project. Payment can be on an hourly or monthly basis.

What is an example of freelance?

Freelance jobs vary from industry to industry. You provide your skills as a service to the company and the individual and get paid as per your experience. You can work on any job as a freelancer. Some of the freelancing examples are listed below:

1. Content writing
2. Copywriter
3. Social media marketing
4. Data Analyst
5. Graphic Designing
6. Online tutor

Do freelancers get paid?

Yes, freelancers get paid. When a company or a client hires freelancers for their service, they pay them the amount charged by the freelancer. Freelancing charges can depend on various factors such as the experience of the freelancer, the budget of the client, the duration of the project, etc. After the freelancer delivers their work, clients pay them their service charges.

How do I become a freelancer?

To become a freelancer, you must know what freelancing means and have proper skills which you can use to help other businesses. You can work on a freelance basis as an online tutor, content writer, consultant, digital marketer, etc. To start your freelancing journey, register yourself on freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Chegg, etc., and start earning from the comfort of your home.

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