I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Although it’s more of a marketing position, I write content two days a week for a financial advisor, but it isn’t enough to pay the bills. Maybe it’s just the area I live in but I can’t land a writing gig to save my life. And writing is a real passion of mine so it’s very frustrating. I’ll try and apply some of your tips and advice. And I feel like no matter how many emails and resumes I send out, I rarely get a reply.
Ugh. I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re not the only freelancer to have gotten lured into one of those sites. My rule of thumb, even as a newbie, was never to accept less than $10 for every 100 words, unless it was a fantastic gig that would get me good exposure. Even if you don’t have a portfolio, you should only take on projects you’ll be proud to show to other people when they ask what you’ve done. It sounds like you are creating good work right now, but unfortunately, it’s for a client who totally doesn’t deserve it.
I need someone to pick up my 4th grader after school (Monday through Thursday each week) from the neighborhood school, bring her home, and work with her on improving her reading skills, completing homework assignments, practicing for spelling or other tests, etc., until my husband and I get home from work between 5:30 or so. On Friday afternoons, rather than pick up the 4th grader, I need you to come to the house to sort, wash, dry and fold our laundry. * My 4th grader is often eager to please, but on occasion (like if she needs a snack), she can be a bit of a challenge. She loves sports and singing and dancing so a willingness to entertain little study breaks is a must. * My 8th grader may need a little help in pre-AP classes. * Our last tutor/assistant's class schedule next spring conflicts with the times we need her. :(
Who can resist the dinging sound of a new email? You, that’s who, especially if you want to stay on task. And forget about signing in to Facebook “just for a minute.” It’s easy to get distracted when you telecommute—unlikely distractions that just don’t exist at work abound at home. At the office, for example, you might visit the company kitchen once in the morning and once in the afternoon for a cup of joe (because that’s what’s appropriate), but at home, you’re hitting the fridge every hour on the hour. Or more.
oDesk has put me under supervision based on negative feedback from clients even though my rating is 4.77. One client said that he already had 700 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’ve had my wake-up call. 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.
As for writing courses, I don’t think it’s necessary. Instead I would do more of a freelance writing business course like mine or others. Write Your Way to Your First $1k helps you with getting your business up and some writing tips for blogging. This blog also has some great resources for writing: https://elnacain.com/blog/improve-samples-new-freelance-writer/ and https://elnacain.com/blog/writing-mistakes/
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These are all great ideas. The problem, which I haven’t heard anyone address, is that all these places want to see a portfolio of your work. If you’re just starting out, it’s not likely you have one. In my case, I did extensive technical and creative writing for my previous company but it was all considered intellectual property for them, thereby preventing me from including it in any personal portfolio of mine. How does one build a portfolio if you already need one to get started?
I am a first year student at college, and while I’ve always loved writing, I’ve been wondering whether I have the skills to work in freelance writing. I just got out of high school last year, and while I can write essays for school, I don’t know how I would transition to doing freelance writing work, especially since the type of writing required is so different. My main concern is that right now my writing might not be “good” enough. I don’t have any sample content to show clients, aside from academic essays. What tips would you have for starting out?
When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you telecommute, she’s just another email in your inbox. From letting her know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with her.
One such example, is diverting time on tasks you shouldn’t do. Let’s go back to the washing machine example. Your husband decides to fix it on his own instead of simply getting an expert to fix it. Why? Because it’s probably a challenge he enjoys, and it’s an accomplishment that would bring him satisfaction. However, if the value of the task is too low, you really ought to delegate it to others.
Hi Elna, thank you so much for sharing!!! I have recently become interested with the idea of freelance-writing. Most of the things I have written, are in story form, and have never been read by anyone out side of my close group of friends. However, I have always been told that I have a gift, and I do enjoy writing. So, I thought, maybe, I’d try getting free-lance writing a shot. Thank you so much for these great tips!
Because the fee is so small but the task takes so little time, the strategy is to do as many of them as possible. However, be sure to read the fine print because many of these companies have a minimum payout, meaning that if you earn $8.55 doing 20 micro jobs, you may have to wait until you’ve earned as much as $50 to actually get your money. Read more about some of the pitfalls of this kind of work.