Freelancer Vs Online Worker: What’s the Difference?


Online work is becoming very popular these days and many who do online work see themselves as freelancers. By definition, yes you are indeed a freelancer.

You set your own due dates, work on your own schedule, and do the other stuff freelancers normally do. But most often, the actual work is not freelance work in the strictest sense.

This is only based on our opinion though so take it with a grain of salt. We believe that freelancers are those who treat their work as a business.

You make sure the money coming in is more than the money coming out. You do marketing, online or offline, whether it’s advertising or just plain old participating in a community you love. You have a process, however informal, for most of the things you do, from drafting client agreements to deciding whether to buy unlimited internet for the day or not.

At the other end, there is the online worker. You treat your work as work and it’s separate from your real passions. You might be a mom doing part time data entry to help dad with the bills. You might be a student who blogs for hire during weekends. You might be an office worker who wants some extra income on the side by doing a bit of design and web development.

For you, online work is a means to an end (more money) rather than a calling or vocation.

Good thing there is room online for both types of people. Freelancers have a lot of tools at their disposal like guest blogging, showing off their work on sites like Dribbble and Github, answering questions in Quora and so on.

Online workers can join sites like oDesk and our own 199Jobs to get work and participate in worker communities in FB to catch those who need work done asap.

While we ourselves would like people to jump from being online workers to full-time freelancing, it’s not for everyone. It’s nice being free to do whatever you want but it’s also scary.

So if you find yourself struggling to become a businessman because you see yourself as a freelancer, maybe it would do you more good to continue working online as part of a team.

Photo credit: antoniogonzales

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