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!
While most of these companies advertise that you can earn upwards of $18 or so an hour, the reality is that you're not going to make that much once you figure in your gas expenses and wear and tear on your car. Also, work may not always come in consistently. I would recommend doing more than one of these if you really want to make it worth your while.
This is the first post that I’ve read of yours and I just want to say thank you for publishing such an informative piece! I’m currently entering my senior year of college and I have recently become passionate about getting started with freelance writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and would like to turn it into a career that allows me to pursue my goal of traveling to every country in the world (or most countries at least haha). I have no writing samples/portfolio and that’s where I’m kinda stuck right now. Im going to check out your blog for more tips on getting started! Thanks again!
Editor of Splashpress Media, Noemi used to be an English teacher before going freelance full-time. She has a penchant for words and likes to play around with them - the result of a lifetime of burying her nose in books. Having been bitten by the travel bug, she aims to discover more languages & places in the near future as she continues to do what she loves most - writing.
How brilliant you are Elna. I went through your website and I could feel such positivity in your words. I really want to congratulate you on the kind of person you have turned out to be. There are very few people who sound as enlightened as you do. Your help through the words on this blog will definitely help me because if they don’t I don’t know what would. Keep it up Elna, go as far as the wind.
oDesk has put me under supervision based on negative feedback from clients even though my rating is 4.77. One client said that he already had 700 words. When I looked at what he wrote, it was on a sixth-grade level. No research, statistics, compelling copy, SEO keywords, etc. So I had to start from scratch. I ended up acting like a tutor. Another client loved my work but kept disappearing. I asked for her website address, information about her company, etc. She let another week go by then disappeared again. I could go on and on. I think that clients who use the content mills do believe that they can get stellar writing for peanuts. I believe these incidents are blessings in disguise. I’ve had my wake-up call. I follow top-notch bloggers and copywriters and hone my skills continually. It is up to the freelancer to determine his standards and ultimately his worth.
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!

I’m new at this and thought it would be a good idea to investigate and maybe find jobs,. I am a writer and have a manuscript I am trying to get published. My manuscript has been accepted by two companies, but It cost a lot of money to do that, so I thought I would try to make money this way. Should I go further with this, and if so, can you help me along and teach me the ropes?
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.)
Thank you so much for replying, Elna! Thank you for all of the information you provide on here. Your advice and posts have given me a lot to work with during this time of dead ends instead of beating my head against the wall trying to figure out how to get more work. I’m at the point where I am down to one job while the other is communicating less and less with me so it’s making me nervous. Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing this resource!
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?
To get hired, you fill out an application and take an exam to test your knowledge. “If you pass, you go through a mock session with an experienced tutor who assumes the role of student and evaluates your creativity, empathy and teaching skills,” says Cindy Hamen Farrar, Ph.D., senior director of academic tutoring at Tutor. “We look for people who know their subject matter and who can break it down and communicate effectively.”
That’s not to say that blogging isn’t a real work-from-home option. I personally know dozens of people who make more than six figures a year from their blog, including my own family. In fact, I’d highly encourage you to start a blog if you feel inclined. Eventually, it can be a great source of residual income. Just don’t go into it thinking you’re going to make a ton of money right out of the gate.

Thanks so much and I’m happy to hear you figured out why you weren’t succeed at freelance writing 🙂 As for your question, web design companies wouldn’t give you a list; you would collaborate with them. Usually the are contracted to do a site with site content and if their staff writer is too busy or not there, they may hire it out. That’s where you come into play!

If you have any type of education background, formal or informal, and a Bachelor's degree, you can teach English to Chinese kids on VIPKid. You don't have to be a former classroom teacher, you can have experience being a tutor or any number of less formal educational roles. The key is a comfort with teaching and when the students are kids in China, it's not as intimidating as you think.
Transcribe Anywhere is a great course for aspiring transcription professionals looking to turn their work-from-home dreams into reality. The course covers the essential technical skills every transcriptionist needs, including time-saving tools to boost your efficiency. You’ll also learn how to find work and build your at-home business from the ground up. Get started with a free introductory transcription course by following the link above.
10. Working Solutions – Working Solutions periodically offers work that involves data entry. In order to work with them, you’ll need to fill out an online application and follow it up with taking some assessments. They’ll contact you afterward – their website says this step can take up to 2 weeks – with acceptance or rejection. Once you’re an agent, you will have the opportunity to review and put yourself forward for programs you think match your skills. Each program pays differently, and payment is made either via direct deposit or mailed check.

What Employees Say: “Company is comprised of hard-working individuals who are extremely passionate about what they do. We have done wonderful things for communities through foundations, IBO’s and our own employees giving back. It is exciting to be part of a growing company that has allowed me to use my knowledge to help build my department. I am proud to see how far we have come..” —Current Employee

Being an at-home call-center rep requires a computer and may require specific software or equipment. A great phone voice helps as well, as does any experience in customer service, data entry, retail sales, or management. Dozens of sites list job openings for call-center representatives, including Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, and SimplyHired.com. However, you may also find listings offered by local businesses in your local newspaper.
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.
Students enrolled in an art program can use their creative skills to design logos and graphics for various companies. You may be able to find a part-time position with a single company to provide graphic design services, but it’s also possible that you’ll be able to make more with a more flexible schedule if you contract your services out to several different companies at once. Upwork and Freelancer.com are great starting points for this type of job.
5. DionData Solutions – DionData Solutions is currently looking for Data Entry Professional Operators who type 60 WPM with a high degree of accuracy. You should be proficient with computers, able to handle Internet, email attachments, and both downloading and opening files. You’ll be working independently, so you should have a high degree of self-discipline. They also expect their data entry specialists to work on multiple projects simultaneously while sticking to deadlines. U.S. citizenship is a requirement for the position.
This is my foot in the door and I’m following some of your other tips in order to get myself out there even more. I’m an introvert, so this is new and difficult for me. I have questioned myself countless times and am feeling a bit impatient, but I’m trying to trust the process and take it one day at a time. The warmth and encouragement that come through in your writing have helped keep me going. Thank you Elna!

What It Is: Students in countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype — sometimes at night, because you're working with students in different time zones. You need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and can work as many as 35 hours.


I’m just now starting to explore the possibility of working as a writer and came across this article. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I think I’m fairly good at it, but I don’t have any specific training or education besides what I learned in my college English classes, and English wasn’t my major so I only took what was needed for GE requirements. In your experience, does one need any specialized training or education to be taken seriously in the writing world?
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.
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.
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!
Just one day so far… I guess I figured that with in 24 hrs you would be accepted and ready to get started. Since so many people speak of how quick and easy it is to get going with them… I would like to work for them for years to come and find me another stable customer service job like my old one also that’s long term land consistent. But I also am looking for the quickest and fastest way to make real money now. Where would you suggest I start? Need fast cash for some bills right now as well….
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