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!


For example, if you type in “banana bread recipe,” search engines should pull up recipes from major sites first. Posts from smaller blogs or recipes for other, related dishes—like zucchini bread—should fall toward the end of the list. As a search engine evaluator, you’ll be asked to enter specific words or phrases into a search engine, then assess how appropriate and informative the sites it pulls up are.

A wide range of businesses need workers to enter various data into their systems, whether that data are used to track inventory or shipments, create business plans, or measure performance or output. And since a computer and typing skills are the most important requirements for this job, many data entry workers are able to work at home, and on a schedule that fits their lives.
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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: 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.
Thank you so much for writing this post Elna. It has been really very helpful indeed. I have been a part time freelance writer for about 6 months now but still feel like I am finding my feet. This post has given me a boost and some new options to follow up. It certainly seems like the strategy should be to go at it hammer and tongs and never, ever give up! Thanks again. I look forward to exploring your website some more.
I appreciate the idea behind this, but I’d like more information on where these jobs can be found. I am a writer and would like to do freelance writing work, but while you mentioned that there are such jobs available, there wasn’t much to say where to find those jobs. I’ve tried to seek them out before, and done writing for places where I got paid (usually not very well), but many of those have dried up or weren’t much to begin with. Are there suggested places to go to do some freelance writing? I’d love to ditch my poorly-paying job, where I have to spend a lot of time away from my family, and do something I actually enjoy doing. Thanks.
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.
It’s no secret: getting out of bed to go to work in the morning is hard. Traffic jams, metro delays, and the daily grind of an office routine can all seriously detract from our excitement to show up at the job every day. But what if you didn’t have to show up at the job every day? What if you didn’t even have to get out of bed in the morning in order to be a productive contributor to your company?
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.
A few other things I plan to try: 1) buying cheap advertising in some niche publications where writing services aren’t usually advertised but the need is high; 2) adding an online content store to my author’s website I’m developing, so I can sell ready-made content directly to clients (kind of like Constant Content but without the middle man); and 3) pitching to website developers who might want to offer content services as a package deal to their clients. I have no idea if any of these strategies will work, but it’s always better to do something than nothing, right?
Thank you so much for the detailed information given. I no longer feel that I am in a maze and will carefully follow your advice. I live in Nigeria and I am particularly interested in Relationship issues, Abuse as well as Parenting. Can you advice on where to look for writing opportunities in my areas of interest? Especially taking my location into consideration?
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.
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.

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!


Thank you so much Elna for these 20 tips. I am new to freelance writing and have recently read Writer For Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger, and would recommend it to anyone, but was still feeling that I needed more. A quick google search led me to this blog post of yours which has given me the extra boost I needed. Many of my ‘How do I get started?’ questions have been answered. I am taking one of your free courses and am planning on taking your ‘Write To 1K’ course very soon. The price for your course is very reasonable and I can’t wait to start. A quick scan of your blog has assured me that I have found a goldmine of resources and I want to thank you again for taking the time to share your learning curve and your experience with us all.

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!
Home-based work can be broken down into two separate categories: jobs where you work for yourself (and have unlimited income potential) and jobs in which you work for somebody else (with an income ceiling). Neither type necessarily requires you to work full-time. However, these are all online jobs – which means you’ll need a high-speed internet connection in order to work from home.
If there’s one course I’d recommend to anyone starting out as a freelance writer, it’d be yours. It was exactly what I needed when I started out and it’s helped me immensely over the past few months to put things into perspective. This post is just a teaser of what to expect from Writeto1K, but then again, all your blog posts are packed with the most useful tips you can find online. I can only say thank you for sharing them with us!

I think you have the potential to be a freelance writer. I would start a blog or create samples on Medium or LinkedIn. Start writing posts that you want to get paid for. So finding a niche like business writing, digital marketing writing, parenting, gardening etc.. and then creating content around that. Then finding the clients that want that content! Good luck!


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.
How to Get It: GoFluent.com is an English training company working with 12 of the world's largest corporations. There are also jobs out there for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, which are more structured. Visit ISUS (iSpeakUSpeak.com), a placement and training company. While a degree in education or ESL is ideal, you are encouraged to apply if you are enthusiastic and articulate.
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.
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.
Even better, the national median wage for web developers was $66,130 in 2016, with the top 10% earning an average of $119,550. And you typically don’t need an advanced degree to begin working in this field. All you need is some postsecondary education, applicable experience, and a portfolio of successful sites you’ve built and managed. There are even intensive coding boot camps designed to teach programming skills in just a few short months.
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!
I noticed that you suggested creating health content for a client. I am a retired medical practitioner with a secondary degree and experience in areas related to public health and safety. I believe I could be helpful by writing content for, or at least editing for, medical science or public health entities. I’m willing to cold-pitch but don’t know where to find these. I’m not even sure of whether cold- pitching is best for the sciences or public service. Please advise?
As a transcriptionist, you will transcribe either video or voice recordings into written words. Although medical transcription is what usually comes to mind, the fact is that there is now far more need for general transcriptionists. With businesses and bloggers turning increasingly to podcasts and video to reach their audiences, these mediums are often turned into written content for marketing purposes or training materials.
I noticed that you suggested creating health content for a client. I am a retired medical practitioner with a secondary degree and experience in areas related to public health and safety. I believe I could be helpful by writing content for, or at least editing for, medical science or public health entities. I’m willing to cold-pitch but don’t know where to find these. I’m not even sure of whether cold- pitching is best for the sciences or public service. Please advise?
It doesn’t take much for equipment to get started. Your home computer must be able to play audio files and most companies use transcription software that is available for free. Having a good set of computer headphones will help you better hear your audio files. Some positions additionally recommend a foot pedal which can help increase your production, but this can usually come later.
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