Thank you so much for this information. I’m currently a massage therapist and pregnant with my first child. Knowing I’ll need extra income for baby expenses has me searching for alternative ways to make money before the baby arrives. I’ve always enjoyed writing and hope to finish my first book within the next two years so getting paid to write seems fabulous. From the tips you’ve provided, my first steps will be to google “publication pay submission”, check Craigslist and Sophie Lizard’s newsletter. I look forward to getting back to you shortly with an incredible praise report!! Thanks again!!


•The website has no contact information. A legitimate business has a way for you to reach them. Look for an "About" page that offers information on the company or CEO, along with a phone number, address, or contact email. (Try calling the number to see if anyone answers.) A website with only a contact form and no other way to get in touch with an actual human is suspicious.

This post has been SO helpful! I love it! Thank you for all your insightful tips and tricks! I am currently in the process of starting up my own website for blogging, and when I learned about freelance writing I knew I had to try it out! So I just have one question for you, would you suggest having a blog while freelance writing? Maybe as a way to provide a little extra work for clients to refer to as sample work from me? I was originally going to blog and go the advertising route to provide an income off the blog, but freelance writing seems much more interesting to me.
Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I’m so happy you are thinking about freelance writing! It really is a great way to work at home! As for your questions, clients won’t be bothered if you contact them in the evening. I work with clients in the UK, Germany, Tel Aviv and more! So, what’s my time is not their time! I would suggest though to try to wake up before you work to answer emails and pitch, even if for 30 minutes in the morning.
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?
What Employees Say: “The money is uncapped, and you’re honestly in the driver seat of your bonus. This is the best (and easiest) incentive package I’ve ever had in the work field! There are also so many other perks that come with the job such as great benefits, fun culture, and TONS of room for growth. Amex really does believe in you!!.” —Current Employee
“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.”
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.

Thank you for this post. I just recently got into freelance writing and I feel so stupid already. I found a blog that suggested odesk so I signed up with them and since I didn’t have a portfolio yet I applied for a job paying $20 for 10 articles due in one week. I’m halfway done but after reading this I don’t even want to complete the rest. I feel so cheated. I thought it would be a good way to get some experience under my belt but I have put so much time and energy in the articles I have done so far and it doesn’t even seem worth it. Should I even complete the job?


If working for yourself sounds like a major pain, don’t worry. There are still plenty of real work-from-home jobs in which you can work for an established company. These are more traditional jobs where a company hires you and pays an hourly wage. Typically, these jobs involve addressing customer questions and calls which are directed virtually to your own phone.
What It Is: Transcription essentially involves you listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. Easy enough, right? Companies usually hire transcriptionists without much experience, so some job postings might only require you to have a computer and keyboard to get started. Transcription jobs can vary from transcribing a college lecture to a doctor's medical dictation, while most companies allow you to make your own schedule.
I have been interested in writing extensively since a very young age, writing either poetry, novels, short stories etc. Eventually I ended up in the corporate sector writing business plans, marketing plans and various other corporate documents. But freelance writing has been in my blood, just never really had the inspiration to follow this dream of mine. I will apply your guidelines and intend to forge a new career path in freelance writing. I don’t think it would be a problem that I am living in South Africa since the internet has created a global community…

I hope this exercise helps declutter your tasks and responsibilities a little and allows you to see how much more time you can be saving for more important things. But, this is not the end of delegation. After you’ve sorted out the tasks that can be delegated, the next step is to determine who it should be delegated to. Besides people like your co workers, or spouse/family members, did you know that there is a whole delegating industry out there?
Starting your tutoring job is very simple and in fact, you've half way there by landing on this page. In just 10 minutes, you can create your online tutoring advert to give lessons locally and via webcam. The only thing we ask is a little goodwill when creating your profile, to give a short description of your past experiences, whether tutored before or not does not matter, and add a nice photo of yourself.
I read 10-20 books per year, write almost every day, but I am having trouble knowing what the next steps are to building my credentials, especially without a degree, prior payed experience, or a high volume of readers to my blog. I really just want one simple freelance gig, but I can’t seem to land one. I feel like I’m on a raft in the middle of the ocean!
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.
I vehemently disagree with you here. Content mills horribly abuse writers and make it difficult for people who have spent years in this field to get a fair wage due to the expectation that companies can pay less to get more. Also, writers who start out here often get stuck in a rut and can’t evolve past the oDesk stage. All around bad news and not recommended for anyone who wants an actual career in writing.
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more home data entry jobs. With that site, you can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. Every job lead is guaranteed scam-free, and it's the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and they are plentiful. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.
Hi Elna. Great post. I’ve been a freelance writer, and digital nomad for three years now. I, unfortunately, started out on one of the writing mills that pays very little. I made quite a bit on there, but eventually left as I was writing 8-10 hours a day for next to nothing. I’ve tried a number of your suggestions and the one I’ve had the most luck with, by far, was cold contacting. I’ll contact 10-12 websites a day and send them a sample of my work. I get a few new clients a week, plus all of my repeat customers. It’s gotten to the point I need junior writers to pick up some of the slack. For anyone out there interested in being a freelance writer there’s plenty of work out there.
Hi Elna, This was all very helpful. I’m a science writer by trade in the government sector and recently began searching for ways to make some extra income writing evenings and weekends and came across your article. Do you have any feedback about what type of contract I might be expected to sign. I interviewed over the phone for a non-science editing position yesterday and they expressed interest in hiring me as an independent contractor. Within the day I received an Adobe Sign editor’s contract with a number of my responsibilities to the Agency laid out, as well as expected pay and notice that I don’t get paid unless the Agency gets paid by the Client. So my question is, Is a contract pretty standard for independent contract writing jobs, in your experience?
Hi Elna, This was all very helpful. I’m a science writer by trade in the government sector and recently began searching for ways to make some extra income writing evenings and weekends and came across your article. Do you have any feedback about what type of contract I might be expected to sign. I interviewed over the phone for a non-science editing position yesterday and they expressed interest in hiring me as an independent contractor. Within the day I received an Adobe Sign editor’s contract with a number of my responsibilities to the Agency laid out, as well as expected pay and notice that I don’t get paid unless the Agency gets paid by the Client. So my question is, Is a contract pretty standard for independent contract writing jobs, in your experience?
You may not realize it, but online writing jobs can be found in a bazillion different places. Think about it, every website needs somebody to write content. From business websites to blogs, writers can find jobs at thousands of different online locations. While they’re not always the highest paying, online writing jobs can also be found on various job boards.
While you don’t necessarily need much experience to become a researcher, earning the best pay comes from specializing in an area you have some expertise in. And while you may find the research easy, know that you will likely have a set of guidelines to follow. Get the details on my Get Paid to Be A Know-It-All post, and see if the following are hiring:
I’m also interested in writing poetry and prose as well as short stories. Here is where my creative and adventurous spirit comes alive. In my younger years I created a belief systems that one could not be a poet and get paid. Now I release that limited thought and allow myself to express my creativity in abundance and receive in abundance. Are there any particular clients and sites to check out that focus on a need for the poetic and fantastical?

The company will provide you with guidelines to use when evaluating search results, and tell you what keywords to search for results review. The pay can actually be decent for these jobs, but you’re still an independent contractor and how much work there is available varies. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, check out my post with everything you need to know. Then see if these companies are hiring:
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