Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork , but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you. Looking to get even more serious about your freelance writing.
The Write Life published two e-books to help you find more paid writing gigs. This post originally ran in September We updated it in February Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor; you can follow her on Twitter CordeliaCallsIt. Looking for freelance writing jobs? Kelly Gurnett Kelly Gurnett runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits and is growing her own freelance writing, editing and blogging empire day by day. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook and hire her services here.
Move from irregular client work and crappy pay to being a freelance leader in your field. For those who are a bit more familiar with AP and Chicago Style for writing for magazine styled publications, allfreelancewriting. I think writers, especially new ones, need to value their skills and pitch to clients who are willing to pay decent rates, instead of trying to get work from the penny pinching cheap clients!
You are SO write about valuing your work. I am now hoping to start my first freelance writing job at uvocorp my essay sample is still under evaluation.
May I hear a word or two from you as your usual advice to beginners like me? I encountered that company once when I am looking for other academic writing companies.
But the experience is just horrible. Once they see that you already has a few dollars on your earnings, the support sharks will flood you with multiple revisions with corresponding monetary penalties. The first and second revisions are ok, but after running your work on plagiarism checker hundreds of times and proof-reading for grammar mistakes thousands of time. They will still ask you to revise something and dissolve your earnings through penalties one after another.
They will not stop until you say you give up, in the end you lost all your earnings from unreasonable revisions and even end up owing them money for negative balance on your earnings. So, are you an academic writer? I have been looking for chemistry or biochem based writing work and have had trouble finding appropriate places to look.
Do you have any suggestions? I worked as a freelance academic writer for about 5 years and Uvocorp was one of the sites I worked with. I totally agree with Norbert. Everything looked fine for about assignments before I started receiving revision requests. I had them review their comments and remove fines for the first two revision requests.
However, I just gave up when I got the next seemingly senseless plagiarism remark. I was not sure if it was unintentional from their part, but I felt annoyed and disappointed by then. I started out writing for a website, not quite as bad as that one, but making just a few dollars for rather long articles and no byline.
I was young and desperate though — would never do it again! The website needs to be catchy and informative, with writing samples easy to access.
I always advise my friends, who wish to get into freelance writing, to create a great website and put forward their experience. So where are the legit sites? I began as a freelancer just this summer and found a lot of low-pay cruddy stuff. I wrote a blog on my experiences and it offers tips, tools and help. My fist post may be helpful to you as a beginner: I am a writer and have a manuscript I am trying to get published.
My manuscript has been accepted by two companies, but It cost a lot of money to do that, so I thought I would try to make money this way. Should I go further with this, and if so, can you help me along and teach me the ropes?
Outsourcing and exporting work over-seas occurred in my former profession by the Medical Transcription Services, and it seems a fact of life in my 2-month stint as a content article writer.
The content mill has an author forum which is helpful for learning the ropes and venting! I did apply to The Writers Hub, and was surprised when they asked what my per page rate would be? I am hoping to network locally with a non-proffit in the coming weeks and eventually find a content article opportunity that pays decently, desires my talents, and provides a reasonable degree of work or referrals. Perhaps that is what the majority of us want here.
I am very grateful for this site, thread, and posts! How so many missed that only to find a chance to criticize is troubling. I thought it was just auto-correct showing its butt again. Why is this so?
I have, as of yesterday, begun exploring the opportunity of writing for income. Therefore, with no qualifications save my own, self-perceived ones, I say this: David, you should write to the editor of MedicalExpo e-Magazine and propose your journalism services. Take a look at the magazine first emag. I know the editor and they pay well.
My girl came across this site, after I told her about losing a comment posting gig. I appreciate the time you took putting this together. My international clients hate all the extra fees. You might want to consider keeping your eyes peeled for spelling errors if you want writing jobs…. On the western side of the pond, we would look at some cross-eyed if they used that term seriously. Spelt is definitely the way it is spelled and pronounced in Britain. My daughter reads and watches many British books, shows, and movies, and she spells and pronounces it that way because she has become so accustomed to it.
She had one English teacher criticize her until she showed said teacher that it is the British way to spell it. It is not incorrect. I have so many stories and poetry and even a couple of novels that I have written or started writing and I always joke that when I die, someone will find my writing and only then, will I get famous for my writing.
I, as the writer, would never turn something in, to have it read by anyone, without proofreading it myself either. One of the posts reads: Any sites you can recommend off the top of your head for someone starting out as a freelance academic essay writer? Should pay well too. Science-Fiction Writers of America, which I use as a guideline, advocates for no less than six cents a word as professional rates.
Most good clients who hire freelance writers will pay considerably more. Most of the content mills I have seen pay about three cents a word. Just saying…again, it trying to be rude or mean. I wish the best of luck to you! I too, am trying to get some writing gigs, and just starting out.
I have no idea where to even begin. With that said, I think constructive criticism is a good thing, that if we take need to, can help us out in the long run. If anyone has any constructive criticism or constructive advice for me, please comment. Hi Donna and others, The online writing lab at Purdue University has resources on the Chicago Manual of Style and the APA manual, as well as many articles related to English grammar usage that are user-friendly! Just type owl purdue university in your fave search engine and it should appear as a result.
I got a fairly good rating but not tops. Glad to have joined this particular thread and sooo thankful for the supportive content on here.
Smiles to all, David. And hopefully a movie. It is called Zombie Revelations and has the old with a real touch of reality. I hope it can save some writers from going through the penny-a-word phase too many of us went through at one point! I would add staying away from Yahoo! Good for you for approaching businesses directly! Thanks so much Kelly for taking the time to research and put together this list. It will get some good use here!
Your skills and time are worth far more, and there ARE clients out there who will recognize and honor that. Hold out for the good ones. I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so.
I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated. One client said that he already had words. When I looked at what he wrote, it was on a sixth-grade level. No research, statistics, compelling copy, SEO keywords, etc. So I had to start from scratch.
I ended up acting like a tutor. Another client loved my work but kept disappearing. I asked for her website address, information about her company, etc. She let another week go by then disappeared again. I could go on and on. I think that clients who use the content mills do believe that they can get stellar writing for peanuts. I believe these incidents are blessings in disguise. I follow top-notch bloggers and copywriters and hone my skills continually.
It is up to the freelancer to determine his standards and ultimately his worth. Hello Denita and others, I am thankful for this site, thread and continued posts including yours. At present I am an IC with Textbroker International, and try to look at most the jobs as blessings in disguise. Generally, I am a better conversationalist since starting this in late September, agree with you about developing writing skills, and have kind of found my subject niche as it were. The big picture tells me I have it pretty good, given local opportunities and employment services for those of us who have a handicapability are inadequate in my place of residence.
I hope your experience is dynamically different, but you sound quite capable and willing to improve where need be which says a lot favorably concerning what you bring to the proverbial table. All the best to you Denita, enjoyed the chance to talk shop! Avoid sites like Researchwritingcenter.
I think the better question is, what kind of writing do YOU want to do? What topics interest you? What style are you most comfortable writing in? Freelance writing is a huge industry, and you could be everything from a lifestyle blogger to a marketing copy writer.
You need to determine what niche fits your skills and interests best; that will make it much easier for you to locate specific, nitty-gritty advice. I am based out of India. I would like to write short stories. Could anyone guide me as how I should go about it.
Please recommend sites where I should register myself. I have registered myself in Freelancer. You can find them here: This article was quite helpful and the comments were too. I am just about to finish my English MA and I am broke as joke, living at my parents, and finding writing work online is my priority for the time being.
Best of luck to everyone trying to survive out there! Thank you for this post. I just recently got into freelance writing and I feel so stupid already. I feel so cheated. Should I even complete the job? Is it possible that the work she is doing for oDesk would at least provide a portfolio for her future use? I am brand new to the writing game. Love your words of encouragement to stay true to writing and get properly paid for your talent.
I love writing and have been caught up in content mills since I decided to write online about a month ago. I must admit the pennies I have received for my time, talent and dedication has been great to encourage me to seek something better.
Are there any books or articles you recommend for beginners looking to earn a living writing online? The Write Life has actually put together a great list of resources to check out. You can find it here: This article was an actual eye opener. Once again a big thank you for now I know what to expect and whom to deny. Thank you for the tips. I am handicapped and a fairly new mom at 41 to our 9 month old first and only son. Can anyone give me additional tips on the best way I could start a blog aside from wordpress or blogger please?
First of all, congrats on your new baby! Second of all, my thoughts are with you and all your friends and loved ones — are you located in the Philippines yourself? Third, The Write Life has put together a great list of resources you can check out. First off, congrats on your 1st son!
Sounds like you come central Visayas too like me, am from Bohol Phils. Yolanda Haiyan and the quake that hit our country — and the economic woes they brought are really challenges we need to hurdle. You see, I am more comfortable in writing articles than blogs. Also, writing websites that work like a vendo machines like Xoobiz, in , but now seems closed where writers can draw writing jobs from a queue — will also help, as we need not waste time in pitching for jobs.
If you disregard everything else you learn about pitching in this article please remember this simple rule:. Specific requirements that will affect you getting the job or not. The most common form of this is them asking you to put something in the pitch to prove that you read it. Like this job pitch where I had to put two specific words in the subject line:.
So make sure you go through everything with a fine tooth comb before you send anything. Copy and pasting is great, but not if it loses you a job. You can edit this however you want but it is a sure-fire template that will help you land clients:. Toy around and find your own unique stamp. People are pitching to your potential clients all the time so you need to craft pitched that make you stand out from the crowd.
Ask questions in your headline, or reference the job listing, to get the best open rates. Because, regardless of the arguments for and against what your prices should be, it comes down to you. But do remember you have to put food on the table and you need to respect your time. One of the best lessons I learned came from the team at Nifty Marketing.
In this post they share how they set themselves a minimum that they refuse to budge on to attract the calibre of client that they wanted. Set a minimum price that you will not go under by any stretch of the imagination. Respect yourself and be proud of what you will work for, as well as what you wont. Always be open to negotiation. But also be open to negotiations on different things. This can chop and change depending on the client, too.
Also, the payment in that niche is lower. But if you have a really niche, in-depth topic, that requires a lot of research — like SEO or Engineering — you would charge more. The price per hour is also dependant on your experience.
I use it for almost all of my articles, especially on those longer articles — like this one — because it often works out fairer for you and the client. I use a similar system to the above for working this out. This is a standard pricing package for small businesses and copywriting clients. For example, when I created the copy on this training company website, I set a fixed price for all of the content:. So, it pays to have a flexible option where people can talk to you and you will flesh out a price together for the work that needs to be done.
This works on a per-client basis. There are a number of ways you can get paid, too. This is usually when you bill out when you receive money:.
Clients are sometimes flaky. Not all clients are like this, but there is always a level on inconsistency. But there is a way you can make it more consistent and guarantee yourself an income. You just need to employ a subscription model. That way you are definitely getting paid and you have guaranteed work every month. Setting the right price is personal to you. There is no right or wrong price to charge.
In this step I want you to explore some of the ways to improve and refine your business. And, learn about other technical aspects of the job. Every piece of work will come with a brief. Sometimes that can be professional and in the shape of guidelines, like this:. Point out what it is you believe you should be delivering and if that is in line with what the client wants.
There is nothing worse — for you and a client — than going in blind and hoping you hit the target. Ask as many questions as you need to and go into as much detail as possible. The clearer the picture the better the end product. You do have to pay attention to what the client is saying and offer some changes based on what they ask for. More than just slapping what you did and your price on a sheet of paper or in a document and sending it across. But I highly recommend using a service like FreshBooks to manage your invoices.
You can just input the client data, send it across, and the rest of it is taken care of for you. They also come with a tonne of different payment options too:.
Contracts will sometimes be sent to you to be signed, others will be be an email correspondence or done through a Skype call. And, there is a good chance you will never have to enforce a contract, but you should have one in place.
They cover your back; make sure you get paid the right amount for the right amount of work; cover your client and make your business more professional.
Much like a project brief, be clear in:. I hope by now you have a clear picture of what it takes to be a freelance writer and how to start your business the right way. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it really is as simple as choosing one of these steps and taking action until completion. You can sign up here. Very detailed and awesomr guide.
If someone is into Article writing then this is a best guide anyone can see. What do you say on offering a little extra or something a bonus the client isnt expected?
It always worked for me. Whats your take on it? I would add some references link or some more evidences as a backup to prove my stance. This thing alone can give you a lot of trust which can result in into big businesses. If you follow the above steps and try to build a strong business relationship, I believe thats the best strategy for long term and big business. After you finish an article contact the client and ask them how they liked it.
For example lets say if someone post a job as a client there for words. A writer put his hard work and submit the article for apprval and client Rejects the article intentionally. I worked with iWriter and I experienced or knew others who experienced intentional rejection. I mean clients who never intended to accept the article they requested, so when you submit it they reject it with no valid reason.
Regardless, I enjoyed the tutorial by James, and will be using it to further my freelance writing. I reject articles frequently! For new writers, try it at your risk! I feel there are more sustainable ways of building a Freelance Business.
I find Upwork difficult to pitch on at the moment as I think there are lower paid jobs on there. The other writing job boards like ProBlogger have better quality adverts.
Thanks so much for providing such a valuable information at one place Matthew. Keep up the great work! James — what an epic blog post! Thank you Matthew for commissioning James to put together what should be considered the defacto guide to freelance writing online. As someone who is now trying to make a real go at being disciplined in writing at least 5, words a week for my own blog this post is super useful and motivating.
So for example I always open with a what you will learn section, and then the results of what they are about to learn before teaching how to actually do it. Hey James, Nice article.
You did very good and deep research for this topic. Whenever I came on this blog, I always got some nice piece of information. Hats off to you guys.. Just a brilliant article that really opens up many more doors in the world of freelancing than I first thought were available.
This is a great piece with a lot of great info. As someone who is sick of the grind, this will surely be an article that i come back to again and again as I start down the trail of freelance work. This is an an awesome article with lots of valuable information and insight on the nuts and bolts of freelance writing.
Very encouraging for someone looking to be independent from a standard job. Thanks James for sharing your experiences and tips on freelance writing. Freelance writing comes with a lot of perks and challenges.
If you want to succeed in this field, you have to get familiar with the ins and outs of the trade. You also have to make sure that you have all the required resources for producing great content for your client such as computer, reliable internet connection, etc. This was such an epic article that I had to have two bites at it. Just this past week I had a change of circumstance which has forced me to choose a path. This has given me a lot of confidence. Age and family is an excuse, just roll your sleeves up and get started.
Getting started is the hardest part but it can be done in less than a day! As someone who has been grinding on Upwork for a couple of months fairly successfully and figured there must be a better way, this article is incredibly helpful.
For me, though, it was a good place to start: It sounds like you are already well on your way with your journey though especially if you have long term clients that have developed from upwork — I would start by asking them for referrals to new clients in exchange for a discount: Nice post,Thank you so much for providing such a valuable information at one place Matthew.
Also will be starting my Content writing services soon so it is a great resource for me. I am just starting out in copywriting and just wanted to know if you would advocate membership of any UK based copywriting associations?
I have found quite a few articles advocating membership of the PCA and nothing to discredit it. These things seem a bit strange for a professional copywriters association?! Would appreciate your thoughts? A very well-researched and detailed article for aspiring freelance writers looking to get started writing online. In my opinion, Upwork, Guru, and PeoplePerHour are freelance sites that feature a wide variety of jobs across different industries.
They all feature writing jobs but the pay is not great in general, but there are high-paying jobs posted on these sites too. I am not sure though should I call them content sites. Freelance writing jobs boards are a great place to find writing jobs. These sites usually work as a search engine, featuring writing jobs advertised all over the internet at one place. There is a big question mark on the legitimacy of the jobs listed on these sites though.
However, most jobs seem to be legitimate opportunities. A great source for paid article writing jobs is freelance article writing jobs sites like Textbroker.
These are called content mills, notoriously though. But they are great places for beginner writers to build a portfolio, learn SEO content writing and get paid immediately for writing articles.
Then there are some websites and blogs that accept writers with expertise in a certain niche or more. The writer usually submits a pre-written article on a topic covered by these sites and if it is approved by the site owner or webmaster, the writer gets paid.
The pay rate can be based on the world count or an article-produced basis. Some other websites usually large content based sites like wisebread. The applicant usually has to write a sample article or two and then the sample articles are evaluated by the editor. If the work is approved, the applicant is hired to write articles for the relevant site. So the market for freelance writing is vast and there are many different ways to find work in freelance writing online.
I would like to thank you very much for producing such a great article packed so much helpful information for both the beginner and seasoned freelance writers.
Keep up the great work: Thanks for your kind inquiry Matthew! Well, actually I have been writing online content since for small businesses and individuals who run a website or blog. My favourite topics include make money online, online and Internet marketing e.
I would rather call myself a web designer and developer anytime soon as I am currently doing a full-stack web design and development course. I find reading this article a joy. Extremely helpful is It and interesting and very much looking the forward to reading more of your work.. I am also just starting down the road of freelance writing and about to put together my first blog. Your article has inspired me no end. Extremely helpful is It and interesting and very much looking the forward to reading more of your work.
Thanks for the article, lots of good information. Makes it sound super easy but I have to warn newbies, unfortunately a lot of the freelance work sites like Fiverr and Upwork are super competitive even for the crappiest paid jobs. In Australia many hundreds of experienced journalists have been laid off from newspapers and magazines that closed down due to low readership. They are now competing with everyone else for the online content jobs. You gotta start somewhere though!
This is often low-value businesses looking to get cheaper labour within their price range. But, you are right, you should definitely settle in for the long haul and not expect super quick success.
What an excellent guide for freelance writers, I hope it help me to build some positive. First and foremost we have to do some research on a topic and then writing article on it will give good result.
As soon as the client accepts our written article we will get paid. In other words this is the one of the fast way to make money online. Anyone with basic english written communication skills can get in to this freelance writing online job. One of the big problems with Upwork as I am discovering is trying to get your profile accepted in the first place. Does anyone have any advice as to how to get accepted? This is such an awesome point. There are many online writing jobs for every topic you can think of, but if you are a good researcher then you can write about anything.
You can write about things you know better because it takes very little research by which you can finish your work quickly and can get paid.
I just wanted to say thank you for this awesome article about freelance writing jobs. Thanks for writing this post. Your blog post has been extremely helpful, thank you so much! I absolutely LOVE this article! Your blog posts have been so helpful for me Elna! My suggestion is to focus on a niche. This way, you have more of a chance of standing out.
This prevents you from being another writer. Hello Thank you for providing valuable information that is very helpful for beginners and I always inspire from you and your blog. This is amazing and it is incredibly kind of you to share your expertise for free. In the meantime, you have another follower! Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. Send post to email address, comma separated for multiple emails. As a writer my work has been featured in some places you might have heard of: What Is Freelance Writing?
You exchange your words or time for money, regardless of your niche or medium. Why Become A Freelance Writer? All whilst being able to sit at my laptop, sip coffee, and create art. So you have somewhere to do, and save, your work. You can get this free from Google Docs or you can use Microsoft Office. So you can have a portfolio; but also practice writing and scribble down ideas as you go. That way you can get paid.
A Desire To Write: Get started and learn as you go. There are two main options you should look at: Writing blog posts for companies who are using blogs, social media and SEO to grow their business. You can come on board and help them with their workload. Freelance Website Copywriting One of the easiest ways to break into freelance writing is by helping people create the copy for their new website. Take a look at this video interview from Dave Koziel and Aleksander Vitkin: You Might Also Enjoy What kind of extras do you offer?
Hello James and Matthew! Man… all your posts are epic lol. Hi Matt, I mean clients who never intended to accept the article they requested, so when you submit it they reject it with no valid reason. Thanks for the extra advice: Well done Matthew I need a few days to check everything and it really is worth the time.
So much valuable info and tips to action! I think SEO copywriting is killing it. If you are good at SEO and writing, you can make a lot. Freelance writing is giving more and more people the option to start making money from home. Thanks Siddharth, James is an expert at what he does: No problem Adam, I hope you manage to quit your job! What an excellent guide for freelance writers.
Thank you for this piece. May 10th, at No problem, although I cannot take credit for this one: Awesome site, brilliant post, and a bit cheeky I love it! No problem Dan, I see you already made a start on your own personal brand: No problem Pauline, I hope you put it to good use: July 7th, at Many thanks for the insight and advice!
July 5th, at No problem Kathryn — how have you been doing with upwork so far? July 12th, at No problem, glad to be of service! July 23rd, at Great article, gave me some content ideas for in the future. September 5th, at 9: October 7th, at November 1st, at 3: Thanks for your additional insights Shaheen! It sounds like you have or are working as a freelance writer yourself?
December 13th, at Sounds like you have a lot of experience in a lot of areas that you can leverage! Hi Matthew, Nice article.
It is the very useful article for newbie copywriters like me. Can you tell me about legal requirements in India for invoicing? November 23rd, at Thanks for your valuable reply. January 5th, at 9:
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