Freelancing is a great way to make a living, as you get to call the shots, but you will need to watch out for some serious issues that can arise in time. You will find that when you look for clients, or even apply for positions on a contractual basis, you will end up having to work with a variety of problems that you may not have to deal with otherwise. The following things are going to be prevalent in what otherwise is a wild west of sorts. While there are some rules and regulations out there, a grand majority of work that you will find advertised can end up costing you more money than it’s worth.
First and foremost, do nothing illegal. If someone asks you to copy and paste content, take HTML code, or simply borrow ideas, don’t do it. This will come back to haunt you in your career and could end up costing you a great deal in terms of legal issues. You may skate by with doing this for some time, but it will catch up to you. So with that in mind, do not do anything that is even a grey area. Stick to positive things, custom work, and anything that requires your skills, without crossing the line.
The second thing that you need to be careful of is giving your work to someone before they pay you. This happens a great deal and it may pay off some times. However, you will find that many times a client will take your work and run. To protect yourself from this, make sure that you get an appropriate amount up front, so that if they decide to take you for a ride that you at least have enough to justify some of the work that you’ve done.
Lastly, do not accept less than what you are worth. A lot of companies will ask you to write, or do something for less than minimum wage. Do NOT go into that area, as you will end up making someone else rich and you will make pennies in return. There’s no justification for making less than minimum wage as a freelancer, even if you have a lot of work. Don’t do anything that would put a strain on your life in order to make a few bucks. Get a reasonable rate and make sure your hourly ratio of work versus payment is at least minimum wage, otherwise what’s the point?