Thank you so much Elna for these 20 tips. I am new to freelance writing and have recently read Writer For Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger, and would recommend it to anyone, but was still feeling that I needed more. A quick google search led me to this blog post of yours which has given me the extra boost I needed. Many of my ‘How do I get started?’ questions have been answered. I am taking one of your free courses and am planning on taking your ‘Write To 1K’ course very soon. The price for your course is very reasonable and I can’t wait to start. A quick scan of your blog has assured me that I have found a goldmine of resources and I want to thank you again for taking the time to share your learning curve and your experience with us all.
What an informative and fun article. While I’ve been writing for years, I’ve never had the courage to venture out because I haven’t got a degree, and feel very intimidated by a lack of formal education. But, when I say I’ve been writing for years, I mean I have been asked by everyone to write almost everything…including breakup up letters, condolence cards to the family of a murder victim, return texts in the middle of a text-fight (those are fun) and even an anonymous letter to a woman who’s best friend spotted her husband with another woman. (Not fun.) I’ve written proposal letters for house-hunters, eulogies, on and on and on….and I love it. I’ll write anything (within my knowledge base) and be happy doing so. Finally, after my last request from a long ago former coworker, to write a plea to Salvation Army for assistance, I decided to try to finally do what I love and learn to profit from it.
I’m 17 (living in the UK) and I really love the idea of being a free lance writer or something similar. However I’m concerned that I should have different aspirations? I mentioned it to my friend but she said that I should be thinking about a job that is a bit more stable. I still live the idea of free lance writing though as writing has always come very naturally to me. I’m in my final year of collage ( what you guys would call high school?) And I’m not sure what the most useful thing for me to do next would be. Do you have any ideas about what kind of degree I could do at university or useful stuff I could do in a gap year, or even right now? Thanks you!
I appreciate all the information that you have given us. It’s something that I have been thinking about doing and I plan on going through the different steps you have here and putting myself out there. I love writing. Even if this was only a part time thing for a while it would still be great to write for people. I read an article about becoming a blogger too and she suggested even starting out as a ghost writer. What are your thoughts on ghost writing?

You mention starting a blog is beneficial for starting out and creating content. My initial fear is what to blog about, I have so many interests that I feel it’s hard to pick one and really be informed and educated about the subject. They include animals (2 time dog mom), hiking/outdoors (I live in the wonderful PNW) , motorcycles, travel, personal growth, all things sweet, and of coarse writing. How do I choose? Or somehow combine a couple?
I forgot to also share that I will be starting work with On Point as an Advocacy Coordinator too. It sounds like a great job that helps our fellow Americans keep informed about political issues. On Point is the voice of the average citizens that may have an opinion to share with their politicians but have no way of knowing how to contact them. On Point makes sure those voices get heard. In orientation the trainer said she will be hiring agents again around the middle of June. If you have good writing skills and are a good conversationalist then you may want to check it out. It also seems like if you put forth a little effort, you can make decent wages with them and they do pay weekly. I’m not big into politics but excited about this new venture.
If you were not able to find luck with the list of jobs I have presented above, visit FlexJobs. This job site has been rated by the Better Business Bureau with an A+. They even provide a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with how they deliver their service. FlexJobs assures that every single work posted is hand-screened to check its legitimacy. This is a fantastic method to find legit home-based jobs without the worries of handling scams.
3. Birch Creek Communications – BCC periodically looks for people to do data entry; when they do, they’re looking for independent contractors just like everyone else. Pay is by the job and your performance, with their uppermost pay range going to those with consistent near-perfect accuracy. You can set whatever schedule you wish with them, but it looks like work is most widely available Monday through Friday on a corporate schedule.
Fay — I have a few posts up that list ways to get fast cash, but if you’re looking for bill money, those might not help much because the things I listed there are mostly good for gas money, pizza money, etc. Just a little extra. I know that with the phone positions there’s often a few weeks or more worth of wait time while you’re getting a background check done, training, and so forth. The sales positions (things like Helios, which has actually received negative feedback lately from some of my readers) could probably have you up and working and making money quickly. I do have a post on this blog covering Helios. But not everyone likes sales, so that may not be the route you’d want to take.

Don’t pay for opportunities: It is sometimes worth making investments in your online business – such as taking courses or paying for extra bids on freelance work platforms, but you should run a mile from anything that requires you to pay to work, such as survey sites that promise to offer lucrative opportunities but only if you pay for a subscription. With very few exceptions these are scams.
It is essential to check the policy of your individual school or tutoring agency however, as some establishments place limits on teachers ability  to tutor children from their own class or school. You may want to limit your tutoring to students outside your class or school even if not directed to do so, to avoid any conflicts of interest such as perceived favouritism that might arise.

I just discovered your blog and want to say how right on you are about the above. I’ve reached a dead end with freelance writing and after reading some of your posts, I have learned some of the reasons why, like not having an online presence for example! You’re also absolutely right about bidding sites (which was in another post). I’ve tried them before and they weren’t helpful. Anywho, I wanted to ask about #10. It seems like a great tip! But am wondering how open the web design companies are to providing writers with a list of people in need of web content? I definitely want to try this out.

Teaching is not just about passing on your knowledge; it is also about building a bond of trust with your students. Showing your human side is very important. Showing that you’re an interesting and thoughtful person, willing and capable of listening to others. Mention your hobbies, groups you’re part of, your travels, your past work experience, and successes in life.

“I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!”
I am glad this topic is ongoing and agree with Catherine’s assessment. 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. I work for a “content mill” at the moment which is entry level to me but work is often sporadic and glad to have a patient working spouse at the moment! 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 stated similarly to what I charged when doing transcription, but gave a 10% discount in comparison. 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.
Fantastic article! I’ll definitely add this one to my bookmarks! Although I’m not exactly “new” to freelance writing, I have decided to make this year “my year.” My year to get off the job platform sites like Upwork. My year to make more money from freelancing, my year to pitch to clients – both locally and nationally. My year to be more successful than I have in the past. Many of the tips you shared in this post were several of the ones that I had already planned to do this year to ramp up my business. But, you’ve also added several others that I hadn’t considered! Thanks for the great, informative post!
One of the posts reads: “You are SO write about valuing your work. I’m actually writing a post on that to appear here soon, so keep your eyes pealed. Undervaluing our work (especially when we’re just starting out) is a huge problem for freelance writers.” Hopefully the author has already been advised of the, shall we say “typos,” and not “senior moments”? I am referring to “write” and “pealed.” Maybe Rule Number One for a writer would be to proofread first?
SO happy I found this blog! I’m the owner of a brand spankin’ new MA in Literature, but can’t find a company I’m excited about for full-time work (and I can’t move…boyfriend’s work visa and all…), so I’ve started looking into freelance! It scares the hell out of me, but I’m motivated and you’ve given some great starting points and advice! Wish me luck!
Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. With his wife Holly, Greg co-owns two websites – Club Thrifty and Travel Blue Book. The couple has also co-authored a book, Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love. Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ClubThrifty.

Hi Elna! Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, informative article. I am a full time paralegal with a B.A. in Journalism. I’m about 5 years away from retirement…and would like to shift from full time paralegal work to freelance writing. I’ve been writing a column (“Throwback Thursday”) in the local paper for a year now, for free, but of course I get the bylines from those which is how I’ve built my portfolio. How would you reccomend I transition to freelancing. I’m interested in writing about legal topics for lay people…such as how to find a good attorney…and small community life…and parenting.


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This is not some faraway reality — because of the interconnectivity and vast information access allowed by the internet, a growing number of companies are offering partial or full work-at-home opportunities, in a variety of fields. The 13 companies on this list are hiring for roles from transcription to software engineering to athletic recruiting. So regardless of your skill set, one of these companies could be your ticket to never having to get out of bed to go to work again.
Fantastic article! I’ll definitely add this one to my bookmarks! Although I’m not exactly “new” to freelance writing, I have decided to make this year “my year.” My year to get off the job platform sites like Upwork. My year to make more money from freelancing, my year to pitch to clients – both locally and nationally. My year to be more successful than I have in the past. Many of the tips you shared in this post were several of the ones that I had already planned to do this year to ramp up my business. But, you’ve also added several others that I hadn’t considered! Thanks for the great, informative post!
The first are tasks you don’t enjoy doing. These are things that you know how to do, but don’t enjoy. Second, are tasks you shouldn’t do. These are things you know how to do and may even enjoy, but may not be the best use of your time. Third, are tasks you can’t do. These are things that need doing, but you don’t have the skills or expertise to follow through with them at this moment.
I actually want to reply to David Russell but can’t seem to. David, you should write to the editor of MedicalExpo e-Magazine and propose your journalism services. Take a look at the magazine first (emag.medicalexpo.com) to see what they’ve recently published, get an idea for the kind of info, and pitch a potential story. I know the editor and they pay well.
Hey, kelly. This article was an actual eye opener.I’m from India and being a novice writer, I didn’t have any expectations which made me vulnerable to such clients. I’ve worked for clients who have been paying rather poorly but require an ‘outstanding’ quality of work from us. I’m amused and at the same time rather disappointed when I realize that I had been working for 0.16 cents per word !! Once again a big thank you for now I know what to expect and whom to deny. Take Care.
What's better than getting paid to write reviews for popular restaurants? I knew about people making money online writing but I never thought that it is also possible for me because I live in Asia. Good thing I tried your trial and signed up, now I get weekly jobs from different restaurants wanting me to review their famous dishes! I even got to fly to Bangkok and Singapore all expense paid for a food festival which I covered. All I can say is thank you and more power to you guys!

Pretty much every serious blogger and online entrepreneur I know has at least one virtual assistant. Think of a VA like an administrative assistant at a regular office building, except they are working remotely. Duties can include practically any administrative task you can think of – including handling emails, bookkeeping, completing sales, customer service, editing websites, and much more. Specializations in areas like social media management or online ad management is another option.

“I love being a part of TTEC@home because of the flexibility of the schedule. There are way more benefits to working from home than most people realize. I save money on transportation and clothing. I save time. I have a tax write-off. And I have less anxiety. The bonus of working with TTEC is that I’ve met some great people and have learned new skills.”
If you were not able to find luck with the list of jobs I have presented above, visit FlexJobs. This job site has been rated by the Better Business Bureau with an A+. They even provide a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with how they deliver their service. FlexJobs assures that every single work posted is hand-screened to check its legitimacy. This is a fantastic method to find legit home-based jobs without the worries of handling scams.
4. Clickworker – Clickworker allows you to sign up and become part of a pool of folks who complete tasks for Clickworkers’ clients. Data entry is one of those tasks, and others include proofreading, copy editing, web research, surveys, and more. Once you sign up (for free), you fill out your profile and complete short assessments to demonstrate your abilities. The number of jobs available to you depend on how well you perform, and providing excellent work means your earnings will increase. You work your own schedule, they take care of invoicing, and you’re paid either monthly or weekly through PayPal.
College students make money online in all kinds of different ways, and the ones doing surveys aren’t going to be millionaires any time soon. That said, anyone with the time to sign up to two or three survey providers and answer all of the surveys offered them should easily clear an extra $30 (£25) or more each month. Taken in the form of Amazon vouchers, this is a good way to keep up with those essential reading list purchases.
Thanks so much! Yes I like warm pitching, but sometimes I have better success just using job boards. I’m a bit impatient 🙂 and have a million things on my plate so when I can, I’ll do some warm pitching. I’m finding for me, the best chance of my landing work is via referrals. Once you have those awesome clients, there’s a goldmine more clients and more money!
How to Get It: GoFluent.com is an English training company working with 12 of the world's largest corporations. There are also jobs out there for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, which are more structured. Visit ISUS (iSpeakUSpeak.com), a placement and training company. While a degree in education or ESL is ideal, you are encouraged to apply if you are enthusiastic and articulate.
What It Is: What better way to alleviate your travel bug than to work as a remote travel agent or consultant? Whether part- or full-time, spend your working hours dreaming up itineraries, flight plans, hotels, and activities for clients looking to travel far and wide. Then, take advantage of your discounts (hey, perks of the job) and go wherever your heart desires, whenever your heart desires.
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?

Fay — I have a few posts up that list ways to get fast cash, but if you’re looking for bill money, those might not help much because the things I listed there are mostly good for gas money, pizza money, etc. Just a little extra. I know that with the phone positions there’s often a few weeks or more worth of wait time while you’re getting a background check done, training, and so forth. The sales positions (things like Helios, which has actually received negative feedback lately from some of my readers) could probably have you up and working and making money quickly. I do have a post on this blog covering Helios. But not everyone likes sales, so that may not be the route you’d want to take.
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