Freelancing has been around as a profession for centuries. The term freelancing has its early roots as a descriptor for soldiers who would hire out their military services to armies in other nations. They were also known as mercenaries. There have been freelancing journalists throughout history submitting their work to wire services using primitive methods that usually involved teletype machines, typewriters, telegraph, couriers, and any other method available before the internet. But freelancing really accelerated with the advent of the internet and this medium has created more freelancing opportunities than ever before. Let’s look at how the internet has changed the profession of freelancing.
The big advantage of the internet in relation to freelancing is that it removes boundaries of distance. A freelancing professional can submit his or her work from anywhere in the world where computer and internet access is available. With improvements in wi-fi and computer notebook technology, this person is no longer restricted to only the internet cafes found across the globe. There are even devices that use a cell phone card to act as a modem on your notebook computer effectively giving the freelancing professional internet access any place where cellular service is provided.
Internet payment services make it possible for the professional to get paid quickly anywhere in the world. Paypal is the most famous of these services. Paypal also issues a debit card that can be used in ATM machines worldwide and allow withdrawal of funds in the local currency. This is important because a person can now work and live in one country yet be paid from another. The professional might choose to live in a country where the cost of living is lower and be paid at higher rates from his or her home country.
The internet provides opportunities independent of depressed geographical locations. In the past, if a community suffered from plant closures and a local recession, the inhabitants of that area had little choice but to move elsewhere. This meant going through the expense of a move. Now, the freelancing professional can stay put and find work through the electronic job market of the internet.
Many more opportunities are available for freelance copywriters because of the internet. Because there are numerous businesses that use the internet as an extension to their advertising, the field of copywriting is wide open. Programs like Google’s Adsense pay revenues when potential customers click on a link to an enterprise’s web site. The copywriter uses his or her compelling writing ability to draw visitors to a business website and get that website location indexed on the internet search engines.
Delivery of the end product of a freelancing project is much easier with the internet. Freelancing work in most cases revolves around deadlines. Freelancing journalists have to get stories submitted. Web designers have to get the client site installed. Freelancing language translators only have a short time to turn in their work. With the internet, work can be submitted in seconds without delivery fees and with almost perfect reliability. Deliveries can also be confirmed just as quickly as they were sent.