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.
What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.
Also keep in mind that communication with a telecommuting team requires an extra layer of crystal clear clarity. Since almost everything is done via email (and there are no facial or body clues to read), you’ll need to make sure that you mean what you, um, type. I’ve found that shorter, more succinct sentences go a lot farther than long-winded soliloquies.
Even if you’re brand-spanking new to the game, no one deserves a gig that pays one cent per word. And chances are if someone is looking for the sort of writer willing to write a word a cent, they’re not going to be the best client to work for. Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re new. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you.
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Una pregunta. Question – does having a college degree give me an advantage and are there any avenues that I can use this to grab higher paying jobs? As I begin to create a portfolio and resume, how can I use my instagram pages to attract clients and jobs? Please take a look and get a feel for what I have to offer (links are in my bio on my rawsalvaje instagram)!
Haven’t much advice to give you on blogging – except join as many writers’ forums at LInked In, if you haven’t done yet. You see, I am more comfortable in writing articles than blogs. I have heard (from joining a lot of LI writing forums) – of a lot of successful/well-paid bloggers there who might be able to help you – to name a few – Francesca Nicasio, a US-based Filipina blogger, Carol Tice (US), Bamidele Omnibalusi (Africa), and more.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010, who is always in need of stylists. A few others include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website — all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
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?
I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so. Far too often we get treated like the “red headed step children” of the creative industries and many of us allow it. I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. One of them even said outright that we should be grateful to make five dollars an article (for well researched, 1,000 word pieces) and how their last writer was far too “uppity” for his tastes. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. LOL. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated.
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.
If you enjoy writing and have great grammar skills, this one’s an easy online job for sure – all it takes is time. One of the best parts of building your online career on writing is setting your own rates and choosing what you want to write about. Or even what type of writing you want to do – you can write grant proposals, nonfiction articles, and manuals or you can ghostwrite books or blog posts. You can even get creative and write fiction or start your own blog.
Almost every big business has gotten on the social media bandwagon as a means to reach their customers directly, and without paying heavily for television, print, or radio ads. But not every big business has someone to manage their social media accounts, which is why more individuals have begun marketing themselves as social media managers and helping businesses grow their online following and expand their reach.
Hi there, I was wondering if you could offer any advice. I have now submitted two heavily researched health/medical articles for a popular body building women’s magazine, one article (two page spread 1000 words) was published last week, and the other (3-4 page spread 1500 words) is due for publication in the next month. How can propose to the editor, to transition me from doing this for free, to freelancing in a paid role? I have a medical degree and am writing about medical/health related content. I would love to continue writing for the magazine, but equally, I would like to get paid for the many many hours of research, though synthesis and data collection I put into these articles. Any advice is kindly appreciated.
Hey, Elna! I appreciate your input more than you can imagine. I graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment, and while my focus is mainly writing scripts for film and commercials, I also blog. (Mostly for my own entertainment.) Still, it’s good to know there are ways to get going. Believe me, I’ve tried. But being a graduate with two kids and no hubby makes the task a bit daunting when I’m a “lone pilot.” Thanks again for your inspiration.
I read a lot of blog post about freelance writing but yours is the most helpful. Thank you a lot for your help. I have a bit of a problem. I would be happy if you tell me if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So I have a masters degree in creative writing and I have a pretty good portfolio but the problem is, it is not in english. I am Bulgarian and I wonder if that would be a problem for the blogs and online magazines out there. I would be really happy if you share your opinion on the matter.
For experienced musicians, aspiring computer scientists and sports coaches, Superprof’s platform is a great way to meet students and develop your home tutoring companies. By creating your tutor ad, you’re increasing your visibility across the UK and our sites around the world! Collect testimonials from past and present students and watch your lesson requests sky rocket.
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.
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.
Elna, this was such an incredibly helpful wealth of information for someone (me!) who’s just dipping their toe into the water of freelance writing and hoping to make a full time career out of it. I can’t thank you enough for putting this together. This article is the first time I’ve ever heard of your blog or had the pleasure of reading your work and I’m so impressed and inspired! Honestly, I hope to be as skilled and successful as you one day. Thank you so much for giving back to up and comers like me with this article. Love love love it! Thank you!
Well-fed freelance writers stay out of “content farms” and bidding sites, where you compete with hundreds of other writers for the same projects and get the gig if you under-quote yourself enough. To be a well-fed freelance writer, you need to go out there and market yourself to your target audience – usually, marketing managers – like any other business owner.