This past year has been a roller coaster ride for me. I want to give freelance writing a try. I did get accepted to a content mill site, but the jobs on there go so fast I can never get a chance to grab one to work on. 🙁 I do not have a portfolio and I’ve never made one. I also do not blog anymore. So, how can I get into freelance writing? How do I build up a portfolio or show my writing? Free hosting is all I can do now, and I’m sure that is going to be a turn off to a client. Any tips would be great. Thanks.


To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work.

With so many businesses operating mostly, or even completely, online, it’s no wonder that many hire virtual assistants to help keep them organized and complete administrative tasks. According to the International Virtual Assistants Association, these workers are “independent contractors who (from a remote location, usually their home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.”


By far this is the best and most informational site I have found thus far, I have trouble trying to narrow down my niche , I also read on another freelance writing blog, that knowing marketing strategies, and things like SEO is needed to be successful. I am pretty good at writing but I don’t know about online, especially for blogs and companies. I mostly like to write fiction story’s and academic papers. I have noticed that the better paying jobs are copywriting, writing or starting a blog and jobs like that. Do your course help to write better, as well as help with narrowing down a niche? Some of the information out here is so confusing. Thank you so much in advance!
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.

Your article is helpful, and I plan to try some of these. Over the last couple years I’ve inadvertently picked up some writing jobs by good fortune that have paid .30 – .50/word, but writing was always a sideline. Now I want to do more of it – but searches are yielding abysmal and depressing results. My content is rarely and minimally edited (by professional editors)and I turn it in on time with solid grammar and syntax. I’ve been looking and finding gigs at .01/word or less. No wonder so much of the writing I read on the web is crap, including articles written by those who don’t know the difference between “less” and “fewer.” I hope your tips will help me find some quality gigs. After all, my name is attached to it even if there’s no byline.
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While it may seem like these sites are your best best when you’re a newcomer, they’re largely a crapshoot when it comes to winning a project. These sites are a rush for the lowest bid, and you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other desperate freelancers prepared to sell their firstborn for the chance to write someone’s 250-page ebook. (Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork, but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen.)
Find the best remote writing jobs here. Are you passionate about writing on a specific topic? Do you work well with a variety of clients and under tight deadlines? You may be the right fit for remote writing job. Remote writers are frequently hired for freelance or contract positions, but there are often positions available for full-time remote writers.
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.
I am thankful for this site, thread and continued posts including yours. At present I am an IC with Textbroker International, and try to look at most the jobs as blessings in disguise. Generally, I am a better conversationalist since starting this in late September, agree with you about developing writing skills, and have kind of found my subject niche as it were. The big picture tells me I have it pretty good, given local opportunities and employment services for those of us who have a handicapability are inadequate in my place of residence. In a former profession I was under “supervision” before leaving and it was somewhat demeaning more than helpful. I hope your experience is dynamically different, but you sound quite capable and willing to improve where need be which says a lot favorably concerning what you bring to the proverbial table. All the best to you Denita, enjoyed the chance to talk shop!
I absolutely love this article Elna. Thank you so much for providing your top techniques on how to start as a freelance writer. I think I have read so much content from numerous bloggers about writing content, starting blogs, making a living writing, etc. but have not yet come across anything quite like your article. I was already familiar with some of your techniques, but this was only a few. The first thing I am excited to do is take your course. I am a stay at home/work at home wife and mother. I was laid off from my job of 7 years almost 3 years ago and have been struggling with contributing to my household after my last pregnancy. I have written for pleasure most of my life and want to be able to continue being home for my family. I never thought that I would consider cold pitching but the way you put it just makes so much sense. Literally reading your article I was in such awe and had several “A-ha” moments. Again, thank you for sharing.
Report your income to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It’s important to keep your income and taxes up to date and a legal requirement to declare your income. Are Superprof involved in payment? No, Superprof are not involved in the payment process between tutor and student: it is for both parties to decide how they want to be paid, whether it be by cash, bank transfer, or through another means.
Hi Elna my name is Margie Bilyeu-Clark. I read the twenty ways to become a freelance writer and I am actually writing to books for fun and I am good at it I would like to join in on the writing fun. The tips were great and I enjoy writing I never knew there was such a thing as this until I seen your name pop up and I was curious about what you do and it sounds like what I like to do in my spare time.
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!
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“I love working for TTEC@home. I get to interact with and help others from the comfort of my own home. (Have you ever been in Houston traffic rush hour? That says it all!) Plus, they have some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. They aren’t just here to draw a paycheck. They truly care about their co-workers. I work many miles from the brick and mortar buildings, but I have a sense of security that my coworkers have my back and I’m not alone.”
P.S. The only way you can find out how great all of this can be is to get started today. We promise you a 100% Money Back Guarantee within 60 days! That's how confident we are of this AMAZING system. You can be signing up for your very first job within minutes, even if you're all the way in India, Australia, or even Singapore! That's the beauty about the Internet, it's a 24hr, World-Wide GOLDMINE! You can work when you want and how you want
Working remotely for an established company is similar to working a desk job except you get to work at home. Most jobs require you to chat with customers online or via the phone, but their biggest draw is the fact that you’ll earn an hourly wage and receive a (relatively) steady paycheck. You’ll usually be asked to work regular hours, but you can do it in your pajamas if you’d like. Even better, some companies might actually provide you with benefits.
6. The Smart Crowd – The Smart Crowd is part of Lionbridge, providing their registered workers a pool of available microtasks – many of which revolve around data entry. You work when you want and as much as you want. Pay rates vary and are advertised both as competitive and corresponding to your productivity. To work with them, register on their site for free: they evaluate you and then match you with tasks that fit your skills. Payment is issued once a month.
9. Amazon mTurk – Amazon Mechanical Turk is the lion of microtask sites and you can find data entry work among their thousands of available tasks. Once you register with their site, you can select HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) that sound interesting to you; sometimes, you must complete a qualifier to land the task. You’re only paid if your work is accepted. There can be some shady tasks listed on mTurk, so be careful and don’t pick up any HITs that feel wrong. Payment is made via Amazon gift cards or through bank deposit.
Although very little data are available for this work-at-home job since it is relatively new, thousands of listings for social media managers can be found on sites like CareerBuilder.com, SimplyHired.com, and Upwork.com. If you have a demonstrated command of social media and a sizable following, you might even be able to get started by reaching out to companies directly and asking if they need help.
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Thanks so much for this amazing list. I am new to the “leap off the bridge” mindset that is doing freelance writing for a living. I have made my living in the past in management and small business ownership (aftermarket automotive parts store, a NAPA to be precise). I have a BA in Sociology and I have also worked in non-profit management and social work but my dream has always been to write. So after selling the business I decided to follow my dream of being a writer. I have done some blogging and have a novel I’m working on along with a few academic papers that were published while in college. I also have written curriculum for young adults that was published by a Christian publisher some years ago. However, even with some marginal knowledge about writing for a living, I found the amount of information out there to be overwhelming and much of it is people simply promoting scams or trying to sell you on their program. Your post is a breath of fresh air compared to much of the other “content” out there about freelancing. Thank you for taking the time to share

As a TTEC@Home associate, you'll use our technology to support and assist customers with a variety of customer service and technical needs. This could include helping customers over the phone, via chat, or on social media. Best of all, you can do it all while wearing your slippers or flip flops! (To get started, you’ll need internet access and a home phone. Bunny slippers are optional.)
LeapForce and Appen Butler Hill are two major firms that hire search engine evaluators. (Appen also hires social media evaluators, who analyze the relevancy of a company’s social media news feed.) Appen has potential employees complete an application (project-specific screenings and language proficiency tests may also be required), and LeapForce asks candidates to take and pass a three-part qualifying exam. Both companies also require that you have a new computer, smartphone, high-speed internet, anti-virus software, certain operating systems and be a little internet-savvy.
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!
One of the prime strategies in business today is to outsource work wherever possible. Many employers, particularly small ones, don’t have enough work to warrant a full-time job. But they may parcel that works out to virtual assistants. You can become a VA with just about any type of skill. Administrative skills are most in demand, and usually involving working on very specific projects. Many times, those projects will be assigned because the business owner either lacks the time or the skills to perform them.
You may hear this term a lot in the business or corporate world; it’s an effective way for managers to distribute (or sometimes avoid!) work. But, that’s not what I’m referring to. Instead, delegation means leveraging time from an outside source to give you opportunities to increase your quality time. By outside source, we simply mean that it’s not your own time that you’re spending.
Hey Elna, thanks for all the advice and jam-packing this article with so many resources! Thanks for asking what I plan to do to start finding jobs! I’ve shared your article on FB while letting my friends and family know my endeavors and joined a few writer groups. I even cold pitched to my client today whom I’ll be catering a private event for! I plan to make use of all the tutorials and online courses you shared to learn me into a high paid freelance writer and will start free guest posting on blogs asap, peruse the job board sites and start making pitches. Right now I’m networking with other experienced freelance writers ;)!
Some of the “gotcha” job offers from the past include check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping, medical billing “jobs” that require you to purchase expensive computer software, and craft-making jobs that ask you to pony up the cash for materials before you get started. And let’s not forget about the famous envelope-stuffing scam that was nothing more than a pyramid scheme designed to siphon money from as many people as possible.
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.
It should be that simple…and 30-40+ years ago it was. We’d see “right” spelled as “write” and “peeled” spelled as “pealed” and know instantly what was intended. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that errors in every type of writing…ads, serious magazine and book writing, the news that crawls across the TV screen, etc….are so common that it’s as though everyone thinks they’re being paid to make errors.

That’s great you want to start freelance writing! I hope your husband is on board with this 🙂 As for your blog topic, remember that your personal niche is different than your freelance writing niche. I blog over at TwinsMommy.com and that’s my passion and personal niche. I talk about being a work at home mom, working at home, having twins and making money blogging. But this blog is geared towards writers. For you though, you can pick your paying niche (freelance writing niche) and pick a personal niche (this can be a lifestyle niche where you blog about several topics). So let’s say you pick the pet industry as your paying niche, then your writer website would reflect copy for a Pet Writer for hire. Then you can have your lifestyle blog if you want and blog about pet life, motorcycles, personal growth etc.. Make sense? You can also have a writer website that’s all about pet writing, have a portfolio with pet writing and then link to your lifestyle blog. This is what I do for my writer website. I link to THIS blog on my writer website even though it has nothing to do with my niche (digital marketing). Make sense?
Also, I personally have a membership to FlexJobs. It's $14.95 a month, but you get access to carefully curated, guaranteed scam-free work from home job leads. It's not for everyone, but I've overall been impressed with the site. It may be worth signing up for a month just to see if you think it will benefit you in your job search. Canceling is very easy if you don't think it's for you.
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