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How to Find a Freelance Writing Job Today

Find A Freelance Writing Job

If it is your dream to become a professional writer, you can get started on that dream today. You can even get your first job in less than 24 hours if you know where to go and what to do. In just hours from now, you could literally get paid for your writing. Here are some ways to find your first or next freelance writing job TODAY.

Check Out Bidding Sites

For people just starting out and for those who need a paycheck TODAY, you can check out the writing site iWriter.com. When you first start out, you will not earn very much money. However, you can literally get started today and have your first writing assignment in minutes after signing up (for free!). Over time, you can earn more money once you’ve built yourself a reputation.

Another way to get started in freelance writing is to start out on a bidding site like Upwork or Guru.com. When I say easiest, I mean it is the quickest way to get set up for the potential to earn money right away. It doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to land work on your first day, but you have the possibility.

You begin by setting up a profile with your information and a sample of your writing. Once you have this task completed, you can start looking at jobs posted by clients. To win these jobs, you submit a proposal that shows why you are the person for the job. You must also provide a cost for the project, which is the amount you will get paid. It can be determined by project or by hourly rates.

Some people struggle with these sites and never see any results. However, other people earn thousands of dollars each year and even six figures. Here are a few keys to help you make the most of these sites and to give you the best chance of success.

  • Make sure your profile is complete and focuses on what makes you a good writer
  • Include samples of your writing even if you have to create something brand new – select a topic and write a 400-word article on it
  • Mention areas where you have previous experience in your profile and look for jobs in those topics – the “real-world” experience can help overcome the lack of writing experience
  • Be willing to start out with low-paying jobs to get feedback from clients – seeing a number of completed jobs makes clients less hesitant about hiring you

There is no guarantee that you will land a job in the first day, but there is a possibility that you will.

Spend Time on Craigslist

Craigslist has numerous jobs for freelance writers from clients all over the country. It can take you hours to search through various cities looking under freelance writing jobs. However, you can enter a general search term on a search engine like Google or Bing to bring up a list of job openings.

A more efficient way to find the best jobs for writers is to sign up at one of the many online job finding sites. These websites not only include relevant jobs from Craigslist but from other online sites as well. Freelancewritinggigs.com is a site that updates its list on a daily basis, Monday thru Friday. Freelancewriting.com is another site.

Many of these sites include the same listings, so you should check them out and select only one or two sites to follow. Otherwise, you will be reviewing the same jobs over and over and may even apply to a job more than once.

The competition is stiff with these jobs, and it’s not uncommon for clients to get hundreds of proposals. To have a chance at landing one of these jobs, you have to stand out. Choose job postings that feature a topic or industry where you have experience. For instance, if you worked as a paralegal, you will have an advantage with attorneys who are looking for articles or blog posts.

Temp Agencies

One option that many people are not aware of is the temp or placement agency. Not all agencies take on jobs for freelance writers, but it is becoming more common. Certain agencies specialize in this area, and have numerous clients who are looking for writers. Insource is one site that finds writers for clients. The Creative Group is a company that focuses on advertising and marketing clients. This company also provides benefits even if you don’t write full-time.

Some of these agencies only place local writers with local clients while others work with people around the country or internationally. Find out the details before you submit an application. Treat it as a traditional job application and include a resume with three or four samples of your best writing.

Get On Social Media

If you don’t have a writer’s profile on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, take the time to set one up. Use keywords that describe what you do to help clients find you. Some examples include freelance writer, technical writer, blog writer or real estate writer.

Join groups on LinkedIn to help learn where the jobs are. Writers are willing to help out newbies and give them tips and secrets they can’t get on their own. Sometimes writers even end up with more work than they can handle and will hire it out to another writer.

You can also find jobs on these sites by doing a search for freelance writing. Set up alerts so that you know when new postings appear. You can even narrow it down by including only healthcare writing jobs or real estate writing jobs.

The important thing to remember is that while it is okay to search for jobs on social media, it isn’t okay to harass other members and ask for work. These sites are built to allow you to develop relationships. In time, they may lead to regular work, but not if you appear as if you are only interested in what they can do for you.

It is possible to find a job for freelance writing in just one day, but you have to be assertive and determined. Be willing to put out a lot of applications and proposals. Finding a writing job is often a game of numbers. The more you apply for, the better your chances of getting accepted.

How to Write Books as a Freelance Writer

Write Books As A Freelance Writer

For many who dream of becoming a successful writer, the ultimate goal is to create a book. It may be a masterful work of fiction or a nonfiction piece that inspires others from their experiences. At the same time, the idea of being a starving writer doesn’t usually appeal while they slave away working on the Great American Novel.

If you want to write books and make a living as a freelance writer, know that it is possible. Follow these tips to discover the secret to success.

The Growth of Ebooks

Check out Amazon.com or other sites, and you’ll see that more books are being offered as ebooks. Some of them are still offered as print books as well, while others are solely in electronic format. With this option, you no longer have to find an agent and publisher. Instead, you can publish your own books for a fraction of the cost.

Investigate further and you’ll see that fiction and nonfiction do equally well. Some genres are more popular in this format than others, but almost any book can be a success. One thing you’ll notice is that the ebooks are much shorter than those in print format. In fact, some are short enough to be read in one sitting. Of course, the price is also lower, but you get more of the total price than with print books.

How to Write an Ebook

Amazon offers a format that is easy to use for beginners. You will be guided from beginning to end on how to create an ebook. You can even find inexpensive or free cover art for your book or you can pay someone to create the cover for a relatively low cost.

If you use Amazon, you will be restricted on where you can sell your ebook. Another option is to use an e-publisher, such as Lulu. No matter what publisher you use to convert your manuscript, you will have to follow specific formatting guidelines so that it looks right. You’ll need a title page and other pages like you see in traditional books.

It pays to learn all you can about ebook publishing before you start. Once you feel comfortable with the process, converting future manuscripts will be much easier.

Marketing

To sell your ebooks, you need to promote them. Set up a landing page or website that you can link to. Offer to guest blog on other sites for promotion. Give your friends free copies in return for reviews.

After you create one ebook, begin working on the second title. Most writers earn their success with ebooks because they have multiple titles. Since the books are short, it won’t take you long to write one. Then, you can add to your library with other titles that will help draw attention to earlier books.

Do Your Research

Before you begin writing ebooks with the hopes of making enough money to pay the bills, it pays to do your research. Determine which subjects or genres you are interested in, and learn what types of ebooks are most popular. Find out how they are priced and what length the books sell best. There are no strict guidelines that work for every type of book. For instance, many nonfiction books sell well when they have less than 10,000 words while a mystery may do better if it is longer to ensure a complete story.

Pricing is another area where you will need to research. Some titles sell best at a price of $2.99 or $4.99 while others may be popular even when they are priced higher. Many writers will sell a new book for $.99 for a limited time to gain new fans. Others may reduce the price on one book just before they have the next one ready to sell.

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a formula that works. It’s also important to know that you will have to write multiple books before you see an income you can count on.

Become a Ghostwriter

If you like the idea of writing books but don’t care about having your name appear on them, you can make good money as a ghostwriter. You also won’t have to worry about how much money you will make since you’ll be charging a flat fee. This is also a great way to get some valuable experience before trying to write your own.

Most of the time, someone who wants an ebook written will have done the research to know the optimal length and price. They often use the ebook to promote a product or to establish their reputation in a subject. They may even have the research and outline. All they are looking for is someone to do the writing.

If you choose this option, you should have a contract with the person hiring you. Also, ask for partial payment up front instead of waiting for the book to be finished. Many times, you will have a recurring job if you please the client.

To find clients who want ebooks written, you can visit job boards or bidding sites. They are generally people with businesses who are looking to enhance their authority or they may even give away their ebooks to promote their company. Don’t discount this kind of job even if your ultimate goal is to write fiction. The experience will teach you several valuable skills that work regardless of the type of ebook you’re writing.

Many writers choose to write ebooks as a way to supplement their other careers while a few make enough money without doing anything else. If your dream is to write a book, go for it. With the growth of ebooks, there’s never been a better time to become a published author of a book.

Can You Make Money Freelance Writing?

Can you make money freelance writing

Freelancing as a writer is one of the best open secrets of surviving on your own without a regular day job. Considering the fact that there are freelance writers everywhere coming out of the woodwork, the reference to secrets may appear odd at first. The vast majority of these writers get by on very little, though. The fact that anyone could jump in and make a full-time income without a steady gig with the New York Times or turning into a successful published novelist, tends to be not very well known.

Can you make money freelance writing? The answer is, you certainly can. Dozens of magazines, books and websites around try to teach people how this might be possible, and how such work replaces a day job for thousands of people. It isn’t actually hard to work yourself off to this level. Nevertheless, it does require commitment and dedication; something that tends to be in short supply.

I got started with SEO writing

I turned to freelance writing because I love writing, and like plenty of other people, I wanted out of the 9-to-5 grind. When I looked for ways that I could start making money immediately, it was writing for search engine optimization (SEO) that I found luck with. In the beginning, I found my assignments on bid-to-work sites like oDesk (now UpWork. All I found were bottom-of-the-barrel assignments, even if there was plenty of it. I took it all because it helped pay the bills. It makes for interesting reading why anyone even wanted bland, uninteresting, mass-produced articles.

Google and other major search engines today are extremely effective at telling good content apart from poor quality content. Back in 2010, though, Google wasn’t really focused on telling the difference, at all. There were plenty of fly-by-night Internet businesses back then that took full advantage of this state.

They had a simple trick that worked over and over. An Internet marketer would first start a website based on a popular search term on Google. Usually, the marketer would choose something like cheap dog food that had the potential to lead to a purchase. He would start an exact-match website called something like cheapdogfood.com, and then hire inexpensive writers like me for plenty of $10 articles based on the search term. They weren’t particular about quality, because Google couldn’t tell the difference. I would look for a little content on the subject anywhere on the Internet, get a few ideas, and hammer out 500 words in 30 minutes. These articles would then go on the website.

Google was so simple back then that when someone searched for cheap dog food, the search engine would right away think that this disposable website called cheapdogfood.com that was full of articles with the term cheap dog food had to be completely relevant. It would make the website number one on the results page, directing thousands of searchers to it. Some would click on the Google AdSense ads for dog food that showed on the website, and with each click, the Internet marketer who owned the website made a couple of dollars. It made these marketers tens of thousands each year. I made $100 a day hammering out 10 articles.

Of course, Google got wise to these tricks and shut them down with the now world-famous Panda algorithm update of 2011. The algorithm helped Google tell the difference between good content and low-quality content, and suddenly, it wasn’t so easy for these Internet businesses to trick Google AdSense into making them some advertising money. I was out of an easy freelancing job. While I was worried at first, I soon discovered that there was so much more that I could do.

Can you make money freelance writing and actually be successful?

While the term SEO writing used to be associated with cheap, unoriginal and mass-produced content, it’s all changed now. Today, it’s the exact opposite that works on Google. Today, Google is so smart at telling good content apart from bad that the term SEO writing has actually come to mean high-quality, original and creative content that consumers will love. Keywords are still crucial to such content; the content does need to satisfy the search engines’ quality algorithms, though.

To writers who are truly able to write well, the newly quality-aware Google is a major advantage. Since they have what Google wants, they can now charge far more for their services than writers who don’t write well.

You can charge at different tiers depending on how much effort you are willing to put into your work. Clients could ask for just-good-enough articles with grammatical language and little else, articles with both good language and couple good points to make, or truly original stuff. You could make anything from half a cent a word to 10 cents a word, and more.

It’s possible to find a place for yourself anywhere on the continuum. You could go for entry-level work on websites such as iWriter, mid-level work on websites such as Constant-Content or Ghost Bloggers or much higher level work on Demand’s StudioD. If you want to be truly successful, you could build out your own freelance business website and work hard on creating a name for yourself as an independent authority in your field who charges a dollar a word for his groundbreaking stories and opinions. You would be marketing yourself not as a writer, but as a talking head, a consultant, a pundit.

How do you go about establishing yourself?

To truly become successful as an authority, you need to truly know a field well enough that someone would pay you for your opinions. It could be any field, whether you are qualified to have opinions on it or not (qualifications and credentials help, though).

If you’ve just always really enjoyed fashion, and have read and thought about it for as long as you can remember, for example, and if you have a way with words in addition, you’ll probably be able to say something good about it that others would find interesting. You could probably pitch a novel idea a publication, and be accepted. There are all kinds of places, from small publications to established ones, that would welcome your opinion.

Where can you go and what do you do?

If you want to really get somewhere as a freelance writer, there are all kinds of ways to go. Whatever you do, though, you need to start right now building yourself up as a brand. It’s what I’ve always tried to do, and I’m certainly well along. Starting your own blog or website with your best writing on it is an excellent way to get started.

With your website backing you up, all you need to do is to find one small-time blog or other publication that will publish you, and parlay your success there into spots on bigger and bigger publications. You can start out by approaching businesses to write for their trade magazines, internal company magazines and newsletters, or approach local newspapers and tiny, but well-respected blogs and websites. You will soon be well on your way.

You have all kinds of ways to go

You can take your career in any one of a dozen different directions once you’re reasonably well-established as a freelance writer. Depending on what you love and are talented at, you could be a journalist, a copywriter, a blogger, a pundit, a copy editor, a film script writer or anything else. It all comes down to what kind of writing you find it easy to be original in. If you can see yourself doing this, there’s no way that you won’t make plenty of money.

Keys to Successful Online Freelance Writing

Successful Freelance Writing

Writers need markets to publish their work and, right now, the Internet is the biggest market there is. It is so large, in fact, that it is overwhelming, for writers, for readers and particularly for web site publishers. The key to successful online freelance writing is to make sense of this potential market, approach it rationally and professionally and use the strengths of the medium to your advantage – while avoiding its pitfalls.

I’ve been a freelance writer (part-time and full-time) for nearly 35 years, so I began with the print-only market, and yet somehow survived the transition into the mixed market that exists today. While there are similarities between physical print and online publishing – writing is, after all, still writing – there are particular approaches that can help improve the success when freelancing for online venues.

Focus Your Writing

It’s difficult to believe, at least for me, but the Internet, as we know it, is less than 25 years old. From its origins in 1991 as a basic file-sharing system for academics until about 1999, there were fewer than 100,000 web sites; over the next 15 years, the curve that plotted the number of new sites was so steep that it might as well have been a vertical line. Now, it is estimated that by late 2015 the number of active web sites online will reach one billion.

That is simply too large a number to comprehend. Admittedly, not all of those sites are potential markets for freelance writers, but even a fraction – “just” a few hundred million sites – is still overwhelming. The first step is to target a specific market and a select number of sites to approach with proposals. Pick your field – current affairs, politics, religion, history, science, beauty, sports, whatever you feel is your strength – and search for the sites that you think might be willing to consider a proposal from a freelance writer. Start with the obvious ones (the ones you read on a regular basis), but add as many to your “possibles” list as you want.

Be Professional (Only More So)

Just about everyone thinks they can write (and, judging from the quality of what you read online, just about anyone does). Therefore, one of the secrets to successful online freelance writing is to treat it as if it were any other type of writing: When sending a proposal by e-mail, present yourself as a true professional and web site editors will note the difference and give your proposal a fair hearing.

Research the site to make sure that your proposal is within their scope of interest and that it isn’t a subject that they’ve already covered (or, at least, give it a fresh angle). Proposals should cover the traditional ground: Brief description, why it is important/interesting/timely, your qualifications to write it, length and delivery date. Since publication lead times are shorter for web sites than they are for print (most magazines need submissions at least three and often six months before the issue date), you can offer seasonal material sooner than in the Old Days, but don’t cut it too fine: Editorial, fact-checking and layout still take time. Keep to a standard length for the letter, just a few hundred words that can be read and absorbed in a few minutes.

Include all contact information, not just your email address; the editor might want to call you to discuss your idea. If you have published online recently, add URLs for those articles at the bottom of the proposal (the electronic version of clippings). Under no circumstances should you send a cold proposal with attachments. The text of the proposal should be entirely within the body of the email. And, of course, try to find a way to send the proposal to a specific person on the editorial staff, instead of using a generic email address.

Don’t Just Rehash Online Sources

It is amazing how many writers think that it is acceptable to just spend a few minutes doing some generic searches online, re-package it into a “new” article and consider it a job well done. One of the major keys to online freelance writing is original research – create something fresh! Find new sources, reference printed books and journals, telephone (or at least email) experts or insiders, and then document it all. Any editor worth his salt will fall upon your shoulders and weep with joy (metaphorically, at least) if you give him something that isn’t going to appear with almost copy-and-paste similarity in every competitor’s site.

Create Your Own Site

The old saying about a shoemaker’s children not having new shoes applies to writers. After spending all day writing, who wants to spend evenings and weekends doing more writing – without pay? In point of fact, however, it does pay, in the long run. It doesn’t even have to be that difficult or time-consuming a task.

There are so many plug-and-play web site formats that are available; you don’t have to hire a specialist to create one for you. Any website that looks clean and reasonably professional, even if it is a little generic, will do the job. The point, after all, is to showcase your qualifications, experience and, most of all, your writing skills. A photograph or two (don’t get too carried away), some samples of original writing in your areas of expertise, perhaps samples of what you’ve published elsewhere (get permission from the sites, of course) and every point of contact you possess and you’ll have what is horribly called an “author’s platform.”

While, in my old fogy ways, I consider that term to sound uncomfortably close to the place where a writer stands just before he is hanged, a platform can be very useful. It provides a fast and easy way for an editor to check you out before deciding whether to accept your proposal. Also, it means that everyone who reads your articles will also be able to contact you so you can write for them, because you will always insist that your platform’s URL will be included in your by-line, won’t you? Of course you will, because you’re a professional and want to be successful.

How to Start Freelance Writing for Magazines

Freelance Writing For Magazines

If you have a unique way of looking at things and enjoy expressing your thoughts in writing, you should consider freelance writing for magazines. If other freelancers that you’ve spoken to seem to scare you with visions of starving writers, you mustn’t pay them much attention.

Personally, I made the mistake of believing every alarmist report about the death of print media that I read (here’s one such alarmist report on Forbes), and allowed it all to dampen my enthusiasm. The truth, though, is that print media is alive and well; from columns and analysis to filler most of the content in any magazine, minor or major, is still sourced from freelancers, and not from staff writers. Freelancing is the way the magazine industry works, whether you have your eye on Time, ESPN Magazine, Parents, AARP or Prevention.

Being successful at freelance writing for magazines isn’t easy to get into; nevertheless it tends to be easier than what most people starting out believe. If anything, it’s easier today, now that the Internet offers freelance writers excellent reach to magazines they would never have otherwise heard of. It can still be somewhat intimidating knowing how to get started. Here are the tips that I’ve put together from my experience. They should help you retain faith in your ability to make it.

Check Out This Video From A Successful Magazine Freelance Writer

Start small and keep plugging away

While it would be great to have your writing accepted on Cosmopolitan, Atlantic or New Yorker, it’s likely to be far better for your morale to start on a modest scale, with something that’s approachable. You could get on LinkedIn, pay for the membership, and find freelance magazine work posted, for instance. You could also apply directly to the thousands of print magazines that come out each week.

However small the magazine may be that you’re aiming for, whether it has a print version or not, you can be reasonably sure that they accept freelance articles. All you need to do is to apply. While it can be hard being handed rejection after rejection at first, you’ll pull through it. Look at the tips to follow.

You do need to know how to apply

Knowing how to apply greatly helps your chances of acceptance. Your first thought when you approach a magazine for the possible publication of your article should be to find out where the writers guidelines are. In fact, searching for the guidelines on the website of any magazine that you come across is a great way to know if they accept articles, as well.

If you don’t know where to find these guidelines, all you need to do is to go to the magazine’s homepage, copy the URL on the address bar, paste it into Google, prefix it with Google’s site search operator, and search. For instance, if you are on New Yorker, you should type the following into Google: writerguidelines site:newyorker.com (the site: operator helps you use Google to search within a website).

Once you know which magazines to apply to, it’s time to get started with the actual work of applying. This is the fun part, and you need to keep a few basic rules in mind about how to go about it.

Read those guidelines carefully

In the beginning, I never figured out for the longest time why exactly my applications kept getting rejected. It was only with time that I found out about how important following those guidelines is. Reading those guidelines carefully will ensure that you know exactly what kind of writing each magazine is looking for, how long it should be, what tone and formatting they expect, and the submission method that they want. Ignoring even one of these requirements can mean that your application is never read.

You don’t need to send in entire articles simply to apply

When I first applied, I would write entire articles on spec (short for speculation) in the hope that I would find a magazine that picked it up. It was a while before I realized that this wasn’t what magazines expected. Writing articles and spec involves accepting the risk that you will never see a return on your work. What you can do, instead, is to write to the magazines that you’re aiming at with detailed descriptions of your ideas for an article. If a magazine finds your pitch interesting, they will call you. You’ll be able to apply too far more magazines when you don’t need to write out entire articles simply to apply with.

What you need now is a platform

As with any other writing career, freelance writing for magazines requires experience — the big magazines will always want to see where your work has appeared. In the beginning, then, what you need is a platform, rather than your name in a big magazine, or even decent pay. While you should always only work for publications that will pay them thing, it doesn’t make sense expect it to be generous. Think about what a gig has to offer, instead — does the editor seem like a well-connected person who really appreciates your article? Is the publication read by important people in the field? Getting your name in print at this stage is all you should really care about.

Keep looking for new publications

Going after a new publication or a local magazine is one of the best ways to find a great welcome as a freelance writer. Places like Writers Market and Writers Gazette regularly publish information about new, paying publications, as they come up. You are also likely to see local, small-town publications put out the welcome mat for talented, but untested writers.

Not every idea has to be completely new

You mustn’t ever think of recycling other people’s ideas — any editor will usually recognize a borrowed idea. What you can do, instead, is to recycle your own original ideas in different ways to appeal to different magazines. For instance if one magazine rejects an idea that you pitch to them, you can make a few cosmetic changes to your article or your idea, and send it to another one. Just because one magazine rejects an idea doesn’t have to mean that it isn’t worthwhile.

Before you actually write for a publication, read it

Magazines will usually reject articles that don’t match the tone that they are used to seeing on their pages. The better you manage to nail the tone, the more acceptable you will turn out to be.

For instance, paying attention to the kind of writing style that they use, the kind of statistics and research that they cite on their other articles, the number of sources that each article quotes, the kind of style evident in the opening and closing paragraphs, the specific topics that they cover, and the political stand that they take, can all help greatly.

Be sure that you know what resources to tap

Great articles require great resources. If you aren’t established yet, you won’t have much backing — where do you find people to interview, or find statistics? The answer is to use resources such as Prof Net or Help a Reporter Out. On the services, you’ll find plenty of people who are willing to be interviewed, and who are willing to offer you information.

Finally, it’s important that you understand how important polish can be as you attempt to break into the big time. You need to polish your article well as possible before you send it out. You should do what I did — I ran my first articles by every friend or family member that I could get hold of. A polished product can help like nothing else.

The Biggest Freelance Writing Companies to Apply To

Freelance Writing Companies

Some freelancers make writing online work very well for themselves, pulling in $50 an hour or more every single day working day. Others struggle to make $20 an hour.

Sometimes, it’s a difference in skill level. A good part of how you’re compensated, though, depends on the area that you specialize in. If you happen to have the expertise and qualifications necessary to write on subjects such as the law, personal finance or popular medicine, you’ll find well-paying opportunities far easier to come by.

I’ve written on personal finance, and I was lucky enough to find magazines that did want my work, and were willing to pay well as long as I came up with interesting new ideas for things to say. When I wrote on other areas that I had experience in, as well — parenting, computers, fitness or gardening — I found that good rates were generally harder to come by. What you write about, then, certainly does have an effect on how much you make.

The truth is, though, that it certainly is possible to command an excellent price for your work no matter what area you specialize in, as long as you’re willing to look for the best outlets for your writing. Here are a few ideas on how to look for the best freelance writing companies are for your writing, and ideas on how to look for something in your specific niche.

Applying individually to the best paying magazines

It’s important to remember that there are practically thousands of online magazines and other publications that pay freelancers for their articles. Since these outlets are heavily targeted by freelancers, though, it can be difficult to get them to pay attention to you. You should keep trying, though. Once you get in, you’ll be able to get their attention far more easily in the future, for steadier work. The following pay particularly generously, usually in the region of 25¢ a word and up.

EarthIsLand.org: An online environmental magazine that focuses on areas of concern that haven’t yet it to the public spotlight.

TheNation.com: A liberal magazine that pays for original articles to do with the feminism, civil liberties, labor rights and so on.

The Sun Magazine: If you’re good with creative writing, poetry and interesting interviews, The Sun pays as much as $2 a word.

VQR Online: Another well-paying poetry and essay website.

Contently.net: A clutch of high-end magazines on a variety of subjects. All of them accept freelance material, and pays very well.

Listverse.com: The site publishes interesting list-style pieces of the kind that go 10 Things You Never Knew About the White House and its Dark Past.

ScaryMommy.com: A great pregnancy and parenting site that pays for freelance work.

TravelBlog: Wherever you travel, Viator pays you to write about it if you have the knack.

Great Scape Publishing: This one goes even further than Viator — they teach you how to get paid to travel, so that you can then write about it.

Transitions Abroad: This site is about showing people how they can travel overseas to volunteer, work or study. If you have something important to say, they’ll pay for it.

There are so many other major freelance sites that you can apply for great pay. Tin House, The Toast, The Bustle, The Awl, New West, Nevada Magazine, Slice, Model Railroad Hobbyist, Unschooling, VRay, Women on Writing, Knitty, The Introspectionist, A Fine Parent, Big Gray Horse and Luna Luna are some of the top names.

Go with the famous names

If you manage to get a piece on the New York Times, The New Statesman, Boston Globe, Salon or Slate, it could do wonders for your career. You should consider such an opportunity the way you would winning the lottery. You need to be constantly on the lookout for an excellent new angle to write about, and write thoroughly researched pieces when you do. You’ll probably be rejected a hundred times before you get accepted to any one of these.
When you do get in, though, you can expect big things to happen. You’ll find that your network expands tenfold, that you are able to command a far higher price than you ever did for you work before, and that you get paid more quickly.

Whether you get accepted or not, you can be sure of one thing — trying to get on these publications will force you to up your game greatly, something that will definitely have an influence on your chances at success.

Target a corporate blog

Many freelance writers tend to consider writing for corporate blogs a form of selling out. There’s nothing about corporate blogs that is any different from a good magazine, though. Both publish good content; the only difference is that while a good magazine uses content to draw advertisers, a corporate blog uses content to draw customers.

You don’t necessarily need to go to a major corporate blog like the American Express OPEN Forum. Instead, you should try any company that doesn’t seem to be doing its content well, or that doesn’t have a blog, at all. You should cold call them, and discuss the possibility of doing their blog for them. It could turn out to be a steady gig; corporate blogs usually pay very well.

Being active on LinkedIn, and constantly participating in conversations with fellow professionals in your niche, can also be an excellent idea to get in touch with companies in a position to hire freelance writers. You should also sign up to services such as Thumbtack and Cloudpeeps, both of which are freelancing websites that specialize in corporate blogs.

Going with the best bid-to-win websites

At one time, I stayed clear of the freelancing websites that had freelancers bid for work, with the lowest bid winning. I hated the indignity of hustling for work, entering a race to the bottom. It doesn’t need to be this way, though.

If you’re confident in your abilities, you can simply go with clients who pay well. About one in five clients on these websites are the marketing departments of major companies that pay $1 a word or more. You need to make sure that you target only well-paying projects like these.

If you do, freelance writing companies such as UpWork, eLance, Freelancer, Craigslist, PeoplePerHour and Freelance Writing Gigs can work out very well.

The Fastest Ways to Start Freelance Writing

Start Freelance Writing

So you are ready to take the plunge, quit that hated job and start freelance writing? You want to set your hours, pick your clients and topics, make your office wherever you can set up a computer and log into Wi-Fi. You want your salary to depend on your own effort and skill and not on office politics or the competency of the rest of a big staff. Once you start freelance writing, you are on your way to having all this and more.

I decided to start freelance writing for a living about a decade ago, when my children were in high school and needed someone to attend all those soccer games, get a healthy dinner on the table, and be there to make sure the homework got done after school. Freelance writing allowed me to work early in the morning, during school hours, or late at night, and I was able to be there for my kids at this important time in their lives. A surprise benefit was that I made more money freelance writing than I had in any of my twenty years as an executive at a public relations firm. And now that I am an empty nester, I take my freelance writing jobs with me on the road, visiting my grown children in places like New York City, Denver, and San Francisco or relaxing on the beach, computer on my lap, looking out over the Caribbean Sea on a West Indian beach. Choosing to start freelance writing was one of the best decisions I ever made – for me and my family.

Setting The Ground Rules Before You Start Freelance Writing

The fastest way to start freelance writing as a full time occupation – or even to supplement a day job — is to lay some serious groundwork before you take the solo plunge.

Make sure your skills are top notch: Before you start freelance writing full time, make sure you can write quickly and well. Because freelance writing is such a lucrative and enjoyable career, there is a lot of competition out there. If you feel your understanding of grammar or style are lacking, look into taking a class, online or at a community college. Buy a copy of the AP Stylebook and become familiar with the conventions there (most freelance writing jobs, with the exception of fiction and academic papers, want you to write to the AP style guidelines or something close to them). Read the type of writing you want to do. Decide for yourself what makes a piece successful and what dooms it.

Set up a website with examples of your work: To start freelance writing fast, you will need to be ready when a client comes to you. You want to be able to point him or her to a professional-looking website and examples of different pieces you have written or, even better, published. There are plenty of places online to get free or low cost web sites built such as Web.com, Weebly.com, and Wix.com. Just make sure your site looks business-like – and that all the content on it is as sharp and convincing as possible. I had several clients ask me to start freelance writing for them after they read my website; they wanted me to rewrite their business websites so their sites were as crisp as mine. Below is a video on how to set up a site on WordPress in about 2 hours:

Develop some leads on freelance writing clients: The best way to start freelance writing fast is to have some clients begging for your work on day one. In my last months in my job, I talk to everyone I could about my decision to start freelance writing. Some friends and colleagues said they would hire me outright; others sent me to their friends and colleagues. One the day I left the office to start freelance writing, I already had three solid jobs lined up and many more leads that would eventually turn into jobs.

Know what’s available online: Though online freelance writing sites have been a big part of my business plan, relying on those sites, especially at the beginning of your career, is not the fast way to start freelance writing. Jobs you find on Craigslist, Elance, iWriter, Scripted, and Freelancer often require you to bid or apply, and it can be days before the client gets back to you, months before you get chosen for your first freelance writing job. Some sites, like the one I work for, Constant Content, require you to pass a rigorous grammar test and have a writing sample evaluated by their editors. Once you get into the system, your articles go through editorial review before you can offer them for sale. All of this benefits the writer in the end, as Constant Content has a reputation for quality writers and products that command higher prices, and many freelancers I know, myself included, use our work with Constant Content to generate income between big jobs. But, because of the wait — for editorial review and approval in the case of Constant Content, for bidding and client decisions in other online freelancing sites – using these may not be the fastest way to start freelance writing.

If You’re Going To Start Freelance Writing, Do It Now!

Had I known all the benefits, I would have chosen to start freelance writing for a living long before I finally did. I have been able to set my own hours, earn good money, make my own decisions about clients and writing topics, and work from anywhere. I firmly believe that this career path is open to anyone who has good writing skills and just a touch of entrepreneurial spirit.

If you are looking for the fastest ways to start freelance writing, take a lesson from successful sprinters. Those who run the fastest usually have done the most training before the race even begins. The fastest way to start freelance writing is to prepare before you open up shop: hone your writing skills, set up a website, develop a list of potential clients, and understand your online opportunities. After that, all that is left is to go for the gold.

How to Start Freelance Writing

Start Freelance Writing

The idea of making a living as a freelance writer appeals to many people and yet, they often don’t know where to begin. It can be overwhelming to figure out how to start freelance writing, which is why so many never get past the dreaming stage. However, it is possible to make a living as a freelance writer as I have done. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Set Goals And Have Realistic Expectations

First, you need to set some goals and know where you want to go. If you fail to do this step, you could end up getting nowhere. With so many avenues available to freelance writers, you may dabble here and there without succeeding in any area.

Is your goal to become a fiction writer or are you interested in writing nonfiction? Do you want to write for print magazines or for websites and online magazines? Based on your overall goals, you will determine what your next step should be.

You also must think about making money. The way to start freelance writing is different for someone who just wants to write and hopes to make a little money on the side versus someone who wants to make their living in this career.

If your goal is to make your sole living as a writer, you should set milestones along the way. For instance, you may create a list like the following:

  • Make $100 a week for the first month.
  • Make $1000 in a month.
  • Increase to $2000 per month within six months.

When you have goals for your income, you have a way to measure your success. You’ll also need to be sure your goals are realistic. As with any other career path, you will need to start at the bottom and work your way up as you develop a reputation and grow your portfolio. New freelance writers also tend to take more time to finish tasks than freelance writers who have years of experience. As you progress along your career, you’ll learn some tricks on how to get things done faster without sacrificing quality.

Learn more about how much freelance writers typically make.

Build Your Initial Portfolio

While you may be tempted to write first and find a place to accept what you wrote, a professional freelance writer does it the other way around. They find out what clients and potential clients want them to write and that is what they create.

You can enter a search term for “freelance writing jobs” to find many different options. However, the first place to begin is often by creating a portfolio. An effective and fun way to do that is to find sites that allow you to post your content online with your name attached. Even if you need to do this for free at first, it is worth being able to get some exposure and show proof of your skills.

One of the great places to start out is Hubpages. You can create a profile and write about anything you want. However, it is a good idea to read what others have written first and discover what is popular. Then, you can create something that others will want to read. It also gives you a chance to see your name and work in print, which is a fabulous feeling for beginning writers. Another similar site is Ezinearticles.com.

Another route you can take is by contacting blog owners and asking if you could write a free article for them and all you ask is for your name to be attached. It’s best to contact owners of smaller blogs vs. trying to go after larger companies or blogs that employ a dozen writers of their own. Let them know you’re trying to become a freelance writer and you simply want to use the article as a part of your portfolio. Very few bloggers would reject this idea. Plus, if the blog owner likes your article, you might just score a new client!

Create a Resume

Not every place will require a resume, but it is a good idea to have a good resume hand. Some corporate or business clients and content companies will ask for a resume. It is also a good point of reference when you are writing a cover letter to sell yourself and your writing. Even if your writing stands alone, you may need to prove that you have a background in certain categories.

Don’t forget to include any volunteer work or other special experience. If you are interested in writing on a subject, show why clients should hire you. Let them know that you are knowledgeable about the topic.

Find Your First Paying Jobs

If you really want to be taken seriously as a freelance writer, you have to start looking for work. You can send out queries or letters of introduction or submit writing tests, but you must search for places that will take your writing and actually pay you for it.

Many content sites are looking for new writers. One of the most popular and easiest to break into is Textbroker. You submit a few pieces of writing as a test, which are graded. If you pass, you are given a rating and you can find jobs that fall within your rating. Other content sites work differently, but they all have one thing in common. They are a good option for beginning writers who don’t know where else to start and need to begin earning money.

This topic is something that can’t be summed up in a few short paragraphs, so check out this article on how to find freelance writing opportunities when you’re just getting started.

Learn From the Pros

You don’t want to stay on the same beginning content sites forever. You want to work your way up in the world of freelance writing, which is why you want to follow those who have been successful. Find freelance writers with blogs that detail their experiences and read everything you can. Some of their methods will work for you and others won’t be a good fit. The key is to have a learning attitude and find your own path to success.

You can also join writers’ associations where you will receive support, advice and even education with special courses and online seminars. Writing is a solitary career, but you don’t have to go it alone. Find groups that can help you and offer advice and encouragement to help you get started. Entrepreneur groups and local business networking groups exist all over the country. There is likely one in your area. Once you have made it as a writer, you can return the favor with the next new writers.

Treat Writing Like a Business

Begin on the right foot with your writing by keeping track of your time and expenses. Open up a bank account or at least a PayPal account since that is how a lot of clients and companies pay writers today. Be organized with your paperwork to make filing taxes easier and to track how successful you are. It is much more difficult to go back later and find everything than if you start out on the right foot. While many people don’t want to spend the money to form a business such as an LLC., once you start earning a decent amount of income it is a very worthwhile investment both for tax and liability purposes.

Figuring out how to start freelance writing is not as difficult and mysterious as it once was now that more options are available on the internet. You still need to have good basic grammar skills and a talent for writing. However, true success comes more from hard work and being willing to learn than from being gifted. If it is your dream to become a writer, get out there and take the first step to realizing your dream.

A Guide to Starting Freelance Writing

getting started with freelance writing

If you’re tired of the stress of your regular job, and love writing enough to consider committing yourself to a career in wordsmithing, it can make a lot of sense to get into the freelance market. Depending on how much of yourself you’re willing to invest in it, you can either just get by on basic skills and a decent $25,000, or hone your skills to a high level, and go as far in your career as your imagination will allow you.

Your first few weeks finding paying assignments

Oddly enough, my first paying freelance assignments came not from online jobs boards, but from the contacts that I built up over my time at my regular job. I asked both my employer and every other contact I gained in other businesses over the course of my career, about the content needs. When I told them that I was beginning to strike out as a freelance writer, they were happy to help, and even a little jealous of my newfound freedom. Any copy that they needed for the brochures, or the company’s website, they turned over to me as often as they could. My plans at starting freelance writing quickly became reality.

Tapping former work contacts may not work for everyone; if you do have contacts to ask, it’s important to give it a shot. If this isn’t up an option, though, there’s so much more that you can do.

Try a freelance writing jobs board

Trying Freelance.com, Envato, Elance and the other famous names in the world of bid-for-work freelancing is an excellent way to start. Less familiar names such as Krop and Coroflot offer a wide range of possibilities, as well.

When you begin working for the freelance websites, though, it’s important that you know how to position yourself; if you are unfamiliar with the way jobs boards work, you may fall into the trap of lowering your prices to attract custom. This can be a terrible mistake; low-priced work is for those who write with minimal research and little originality. It can be impossible to make a decent amount of pay with work like this.

Freelance websites do attract quality customers from major brands, as well. They need experts with original ideas to put down, and a real, recognizable voice to associate their brand with. They know that this kind of work costs about $100 an hour, and they’re willing to pay. You need to set your price at no less than $50 an hour in the beginning, and aim for the best paying jobs.

Work for yourself

Magazines, company blogs and company newsletters exist out there in their thousands, and you should apply to all of them. When you do apply, though, you will invariably need to offer links to articles previously published. It might seem a Catch-22 at first — how are you supposed to have a published piece if no one will give you a chance without one? In the world of online freelance writing, though, it’s easy — you publish yourself in a serious, high-quality blog.

Buy a domain in the niche that you wish to market yourself in, find a web designer who will do a good job with it, and put your best thoughts down in it. Then, get on LinkedIn, get in touch with fellow professionals in the industry that you’re writing on, and tell them about your blog. You’ll begin to attract traffic.

Not only is this a good way to have published pieces to show when you apply to new assignments, it can also be the first step that you take towards marketing yourself. In addition, your industry blog will one day possibly turn into a force in its own right. A popular, long-standing blog is an excellent way to establish yourself as an industry authority that brings you opportunities over the long run.

Learning to market yourself

Committing to creating the greatest industry blog possible in your niche is an excellent way to begin marketing yourself. There’s so much more that he can do, though. Your primary aim should be to turn yourself into a brand in your niche.

Come up with original ideas to offer others: From the New York Times and the Boston Globe to every industry trade journal, influential material that goes into print comes from freelance writers. The more you try to get yourself into these brand-name publications, the more recognizable your name becomes, and the more sought-after you turn.

Publish your own book: Having a book to your name on a niche subject is one of the quickest ways to win respectability in the area. If you have something truly original to say, you should publish it as a proper, printed book on Amazon. With Amazon’s on-demand printing technology, putting printed books out is affordable.

Be a force in your local area: Local publications and businesses tend to be the easiest to target for freelancers starting freelance writing. Membership at the local Chamber of Commerce and at a local trade association can be an excellent way to build contacts, and find writing opportunities.

Read constantly

Since each business has its own conventions, learning them can do a lot to ease your way in. Reading constantly, signing up for seminars and networking with other freelancers can make your transition into your new business far easier than it would otherwise be, and far more effective.

What Should a Freelance Writing Contract Look Like?

Freelance Writing Contract

When you are a freelance writer working with various contracts, you may be given a contract to sign. If not, you may want to consider creating one for your client to sign. It is a legal document that protects both of you in your professional relationship. If you’ve never created one before, you may wonder what one should look like.

What is a Freelance Writing Contract?

Before you know what a contract looks like, you need to understand the purpose of one and what it does for you and your client. A freelance contract sets the ground rules for your working relationship with your client. You will need one for each client you have, but you don’t have to start over from scratch. Create a template and just vary the details to fit each situation.

A contract provides confidentiality guidelines between you and your client. It also tells who owns the work when it is completed and how long the client has to approve or reject the contract. It may also detail how long the contract is good for.

Many writers and clients don’t create a contract for a one-time job, thinking that it isn’t important. They assume that nothing will go wrong with a short-term project. However, it is a good idea to have one in place even if the job only lasts a few days or weeks.

On the other hand, clients who plan to use a writer ongoing will often request a contract. If they don’t, you should suggest it. It protects you and those you work with.

Parts of the Contract

Opening – the opening of your contract will include your name and role, which is freelance writer, and the name and role of the client. It will provide the date the contract begins.

Nature of the Arrangement – Here you will describe the basic roles of each party such as who determines scope and details of work and who makes the decisions regarding the schedule and work. It also includes the fact that you can work with other clients and customers. You don’t want it assumed that you will be working exclusively for the client.

Copyright and Property Rights

This section is important to protect you and your client from concerns about who owns the work. If you are providing work-for-hire, it generally means that the content transfers to the client’s ownership once you deliver it.

On the other hand, if you retain the rights of the content, you must specify that the client doesn’t have the ability to make any part of it public without express written permission from the author. Another option is to have the content revert back to you at some time in the future.

Non-Disclosure Agreement

This is the section that says you won’t disclose any information the client provides to you. You may want to go into detail about what type of information is to be included as confidential. For instance, you may not even be allowed to tell others that you work with the client or provide details about what work you are writing for the client.

Non Compete Agreement

Some clients require you to include this section saying that you won’t work for anyone who is a direct competitor to the client. For instance, if you write content for an attorney, you may not be allowed to work for another attorney in the same city or county. Of course, you don’t have to agree to this stipulation, but you should be aware of it if it appears in a contract.

Term and Length of Contract

In some cases, this will be an open-ended contract that has not specific end. The contract may say that it continues until one or both parties choose to end it and must give a certain amount of notice.

Termination

This section will outline proper procedures for how to end a contract. For example, the client may have to give written notice and pay all work completed. The writer may have to provide two weeks’ notice in writing.

After this portion of the contract, you may include special sections that allow you to include the client’s work in your portfolio or other specifics. You will also provide a warranty that says all work is your own and nothing has been plagiarized.

You will want to detail how a dispute will be handled or any requested changes to the contract. The final section is for the signatures and addresses of both parties.

Depending on the nature of your relationship with the client, you may not include all of these sections or they may include only one or two sentences for a section.

Tips on Writing the Contract

Following these tips can help you avoid problems in your relationship with your clients. First, make sure you define your role as an independent contractor. This can help prevent problems in the case of a dispute.

Search online to find sample contracts that you can customize. It makes the process easier now that you know what each part is for. If you have a complex or long-term relationship with a client, you may even want to have an attorney look at your contract.

If you are given a contract to sign, make sure you read it. Pay attention to everything and ask questions if you don’t understand something. It is imperative that you don’t sign anything you don’t understand. It can be costly to you if you violate the terms of the contract even if it was by ignorance.

A contract is an important part of your freelance writing career. It helps establish your writing as a business and ensures that others take your job seriously and that you treat it the same way. Most importantly, a contract protects you from unscrupulous clients who would take advantage of you.