With the current economic situation going downwards, many people are searching for alternative income sources and one of the most sought after jobs is freelance writing. So I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate one blog this week, showing you how to make money as a freelance writer online.
If you like to learn more about this opportunity, read on.
Do You Need Qualifications to be a Freelance Writer?
In theory, many people strongly think that you need to have an English, Journalism, or Communication degree to get a good headstart in writing jobs.
No doubt these credentials can create an impressive resume, they are only useful if you’re planning to work for the Wall Street Journal. Let’s face it; that’s not what you’ve in mind and getting a special degree which can add to more student loan debt, is not a practical move either.
In reality, you don’t need fancy titles to pass as a writer. According to this blogger, as long as you possess the following fundamental criteria, you’re good to go and I totally agree with her.
- Curiosity – the ability to think outside of the box and conduct diligent topic research.
- Courage – the ability to undertake challenging tasks and face rejection (yes, it happens)
- Hunger – a strong reason, whether it’s financial or passion-based, that motivates you to want to write all the time.
Many ‘disqualified’ yet successful writers thrive solely on these three traits and are capable of making a decent living. If they can do it, so can you.
How Much Can You Make as a Freelance Writer?
Some make hundreds while others make up to thousands per month. This disparity is largely attributed to two main factors;
(1) Knowledge and expertise – If you’re knowledgeable about a certain topic, your expertise will be much sought after than the general writers. Customers are willing to pay more because valuable information translates to more readership, especially with profitable niches.
Such skill usually derives from your job scope, your hobby, or unique areas that you’ve vast experience with. For example, some people enjoy writing about gaming while others can produce pages after pages discussing real estate and finance. The higher the market demand, the more you’ll likely make.
(2) Writing skills – One’s writing is strongly influenced by two things; language eloquence and typing speed. Since the English language is one of the most popular mediums, native writers can expect to earn more than non-natives. In addition, if you can type faster, your article turnover rate and the number of projects will be much higher too.
The earnings also vary according to rate charges; some are paid by the number of words produced, while others are paid hourly. Some charged per article while others charge per project (comprising many articles). If you’re efficient at producing good quality work on a consistent basis, you have every right to raise and negotiate higher rates with the customers.
Where To Find Freelance Writing Jobs?
The online space provides freelance writers with a convenient avenue for finding jobs because that’s where most of your customers linger. It pushes you to go out there to search, I mean hustle for a job, instead of just relying on a crafted resume.
(1) Freelance Marketplaces
There are many online marketplaces that promote freelance services and you should look into them when getting started. The process is fairly straightforward; just submit a complete profile, get approved, and get listed for hire. Start by checking out the following sites;
These platforms usually take a small commission cut from your sales but that’s because they also provide you a huge customer base. Due to the low barrier of entry, there will be a lot of competition for the same type of jobs so that’s one of the major disadvantages to be expected.
(2) Job Boards
Job boards are places where businesses/organizations/websites put up job openings for specific writing scopes. They let you search based on your skills, talent, and the area you wish to work with. These sites include Indeed, Problogger, and also Craigslist. Resumes are often required and do expect to wait about a week or so to hear from them if you’re accepted.
(3) Forums and Facebook Groups
Networking with other freelancers is crucial to find new writing projects. You may look up at Facebook to search for online groups or join any specific forums that can provide you with job opportunities and a reliable community to navigate through the early stages of your career.
(4) Your Own Website
One of the biggest mistakes most freelancers make is not establishing an online presence from the beginning. Listing your services on marketplaces or job boards may seem convenient but that exposure can be easily deleted or taken over by other people and nothing can be done about that.
If you want to have better control over promoting your writing service, you need to create a website. Think of it as an online business office or a virtual business card where people can read previous work samples and contact you personally without having to go through any third party.
This website, when boosted with targeted keywords and great content (written by you obviously) can attract massive free traffic from the search engines. This allows you to sell to a wider audience size than just marketplaces, job boards, or forums. You can literally build a long term client base through blogging alone.
It’s very easy to create a website nowadays; no coding skills needed. Try this WordPress builder tool for free and see it for yourself.
The Advantages of Freelance Writing
Let’s look at some of the perks of doing freelance writing.
- Earn some extra cash to help pay bills and debts. Hence, it’s a suitable side gig for college students, stay-at-home moms, or anyone interested in pursuing writing as a career. The low barrier of entry to the industry means anyone can start offering their services as early as today.
- Freelancing is generally a flexible job that allows you to work within your own scheduled hours, either part-time or full-time. In many cases, you can work remotely too thus cutting down expenses on traveling to offices as a regular employee would.
- People are consuming information on the internet more than ever so there are plenty of opportunities to work on different creative topics and projects moving forward. These experiences can hone your talent and further improve your skills as a freelance writer.
The Downsides of Freelance Writing
As interesting as the job may seem, it is not without its own set of drawbacks.
- Freelancing by nature is not a very secure job and there’s a tendency to move about working with different clients at different rates. In cases where a contractual relationship isn’t established, it’s difficult to secure writing projects for the future and this can negatively impact your weekly or monthly cash flow. In addition, it can be very frustrating if you’re stuck with a difficult/unhappy client. This can lead to prolonged project time as well as delayed payment on your side.
- On the contrary of working remotely, many freelancers tend to face isolation issues because you work alone most of the time and there’s very minimal physical interaction with other people. In other words, it can be a pretty lonesome job.
- In the case of a full-time freelancer, you are considered self-employed. Therefore you won’t get to enjoy any employment benefits such as paid vacation, medical insurance, or retirement savings. You’ll have to cover these funds from your own pocket.
Are You Ready to Become a Freelance Writer?
Writing can earn you plenty of experience, learning new things, getting to know different people, and ultimately paving the way to a new online career. Those who take this job seriously should treat it as a personal business; always searching for opportunities to write and to earn more.
If you have that kind of drive, making a full-time living as a writer isn’t impossible. If you’re unsure about freelancing but still interested to make money online writing, why not consider becoming an affiliate marketer instead? You can earn referral commissions from blogging, promoting other people’s products and services.
With affiliate marketing;
- You get to create an online presence from the very beginning through a blog.
- You can be part of any affiliate programs/brands you like and write content that you’re passionate about.
- Instead of writing for clients, your purpose is to build a readership for your content. This gives you the freedom to write whatever you want or don’t want for that matter.
- You will get a taste of what targeted writing is all about.
- You will also learn a lot about SEO, keyword research, website building, and all those geeky marketing stuff that make online businesses (freelancers included) successful.
To learn more about becoming an affiliate marketer, sign up at my recommended training platform here and get started for free. Hey, I hope this post has shed some light on how you can make money online as a freelancer. Please leave your comments or questions below if you’ve anything to add.
See you at the next topic!