How to Walk the Walk of a Freelancer

08/01/2011 10:36 am ET | Updated Oct 01, 2011

Originally published on, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.

By: Robyn Gee

As James Clear, the creator of Passive Panda, is quick to point out—anyone can say they're a CEO of a web start-up. Or that they're a freelance web designer, or design consultant. But are they making any money? is all about getting people to buy into your ideas and using the skills you already have to earn more money, according to Clear, the site's creator. I talked with Clear about his series of interviews called “Side Hustle Stories”, which focuses on people who have made it work—they’ve taken their own skills, successfully marketed them, and are now profitably freelancing.

Clear hustled a bit himself, which is one of the reasons he feels qualified to write about these things. He’s currently writing about the “Five Pillars of Earning”: freelancing, being an entrepreneur, being an employee, winning an award, and investing. “I’ve done all five,” said Clear. Reader feedback demonstrated to Clear there was a lot of interest in reading about how normal people make extra money. Be it dog-walking, advertisement consulting, writing, or social media, Clear interviews people who hustled for the opportunity to make money on the side.

He hopes the series will be useful for others looking for the path to doing the same thing. “These people explain real steps [one] could take. ... The goal is to explain what people can do if they wanted to start doing it THIS week. Those are the tips people share. The goal is to give actionable steps,” said Clear.

One particular Side Hustle Story is about Kristina Cutura, who worked for over six years at Google right after college. She quit to give herself more flexibility and became a freelance web advertising consultant. She has reached the point in her business where clients come to her, and she can pick and choose who she works with. Her story lays out very specific steps that people could follow to do exactly what she did.

One of the keys to Cutura's success was specializing in Google AdWords, and other similar programs, to help companies monetize their web presence. She recommends taking the AdWords certification test. In her interview she includes scripts of emails and phone conversations that she would typically have with new clients. Clear finds the people featured in these Side Hustle Stories through friends as well as by using the Help A Reporter Out network. He is currently looking for people who freelance as personal organizers. In order to be considered for a Side Hustle Story, the freelancer must have had multiple paying clients, and be able to give clear steps towards being successful.

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