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?


Thank you for the encouragement…It’s that first step that is the scariest! I have written and designed all too many things in my lifetime and going/doing this new phase of my ‘connecting the dots’ and reaching out to find my nitch and have fun again with words and thoughts….My oh my!!!! Infinite possibilities open-up!!! Onwards and upwards! Take care 😊
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/
The directory is broken up into category by type of work from home job, and when you click the link to visit a category, you'll see lists of companies that hire for work from home — some of which have been reviewed on the main blog and some which have not. If the company has been reviewed here, you'll see a link that takes you to the review. Each listing also has a little bit of information about the company next to it.
How to Get It: Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com), Tutor.com, TutorVista.com and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com) all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a background check before you are hired.
Think long and hard before shelling out any money: Some work-at-home jobs will require you to purchase materials or equipment to get started, and while that doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate, it should be a red flag. If you are asked to pay for equipment, make sure you understand what you’re buying, and from whom. Also ask about the return policy for your equipment if your new gig doesn’t work out.
Fiverr is a huge freelance services marketplace where you can offer practically any online service. It started with folks doing gigs for just $5, hence the name, but you are no longer restricted to charging just $5 per job. You start by listing your Gigs, which you fit into one of their many categories, and immediately can start selling. The categories include everything from Graphics & Design to Writing to Video to Music to Programming. It really spans the spectrum.
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.
You may have to release your inner entrepreneur to make this one happen, but it can be lucrative if you have an eye for an online bargain. Sites like Flippa.com list websites and domains for sale. You might be able to pick up a domain for $10 and sell it for $1,000. Or you might be able to buy an inactive website for $1,000, reactivate it, and sell it for $10,000.
Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.
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.

What Employees Say: “VIPKID pays between $14-22 an hour, plus more in incentives some months. Most kids are fun and well behaved. You create your own schedule and work as little or much as you want. The materials are already provided, you just have to review them beforehand and plan out how you want to teach the materials and which props you want to use.” —Current ESL Teacher
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.
Hello, I'm looking for help with tutoring my sons to help along their communication skills. They were born premature and are coming alone slowly as far as ABC, 123, colors, shapes and writing. They are 2 and 3 going on 3 and 4. The father and I work most of the time, and try when we can, but would like a little more help. Also we will fund trips to museums, and other informational festivities that you may have in mind! please be mindful of price range.
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!
Microjobs can involve a huge range of different tasks. Some are quite fun, others are bitterly monotonous. One day you might be categorizing YouTube videos, the next writing short product descriptions, and the next recording your voice over and over again to help train Siri-like recognition systems. Many people look for online data entry jobs, and some microjobs are along those lines.
Whatever you do, when first out of college, it can take a long time to build up your experience. It can be a long, frustrating climb, but do have patience and try not to get frustrated when you keep hearing that you need experience to get the job. It really, truly is character-building and most of us (whose dad doesn’t own the company!) have to go through it. Best of luck!

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.


That’s great you want to get started freelance writing! Writing for school or university is different than online writing (this post lays out some tips: https://elnacain.com/blog/5-grammar-rules-every-blogger-must-know/). But in saying that, it just takes practice and reading online content to be familiar with it! If you have the passion and motivation you can become a freelance writer!

Hi Elna! Thank you for the insightful post! I am just starting out with freelancing and your article has provided a lot of useful informations! I have one question though; in order to sign up as a freelancer in websites such as Upwork or other related sites, do you have to be a US citizen? (Because I am not!) If yes, does that mean you can only apply for freelancing jobs in your own country? I hope to hear from you soon!
You may have to release your inner entrepreneur to make this one happen, but it can be lucrative if you have an eye for an online bargain. Sites like Flippa.com list websites and domains for sale. You might be able to pick up a domain for $10 and sell it for $1,000. Or you might be able to buy an inactive website for $1,000, reactivate it, and sell it for $10,000.
Why is this so? An inadequate and/or failing K-12 public education system since about 1966 results in seriously adverse consequences. We can’t poorly or inadequate educate millions of children without ending up with millions of HS graduates with gaps in their knowledge and cognitive development. One of those consequences is an inability to write well and correctly, along with either a failure to care or the inaccurate belief in their own ability thanks to reforms after 1966 that had teachers giving students awards and praise just for breathing and failing to correct their work for fear of hurting the student’s self-esteem.
This is awesome!, I never thought of myself looking for “Freelance Writing” articles and tips but I just got laid off (truck driving), and it just happens that I purchased a book that it teaches about “How to fully fund your own worry-free retirement starting at any age”, well, in one of its pages it says that freelance writing is one of the several and a good way to retirement.
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.
One of the top job boards for telecommuting, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs. Select your categories (there are several under “Writing”), your preferred work schedule, your experience level and more to hone your search results down to those that best fit what you’re looking for. You can also set alerts so you’re notified when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.

In this increasingly digital world, there has never been a better time to work from home. At-home jobs are the perfect opportunities for those struggling to secure a local gig, need to stay home for health reasons, have to care for a loved one, or simply don't relish the thought of dealing with a hectic commute every day. FlexJobs reported in their The State of Remote Jobs survey that, as of 2017, 43% of U.S. workers now work remotely — even if it's just a part-time side hustle to supplement their income. For remote jobs, you'll need a computer, some basic skills, and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of remote employment areas that are booming right now, plus find even more ways to make money from home.
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!
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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.
What It Is: Many companies pay online testers to make sure websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. "You basically follow the instructions you're given to check out the website," says Anna Thurman, founder of RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com, a site that has reviewed more than 500 online work opportunities. "It usually only takes about 15 minutes per test." Thurman recommends registering with 10 to 12 different companies since the opportunities to test these sites are doled out first come, first served. "There are people who make $100 to $200 a month by staying on top of those tests," Thurman says.

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.
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