Don’t pay for opportunities: It is sometimes worth making investments in your online business – such as taking courses or paying for extra bids on freelance work platforms, but you should run a mile from anything that requires you to pay to work, such as survey sites that promise to offer lucrative opportunities but only if you pay for a subscription. With very few exceptions these are scams.
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 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.
“Join my team” pitches – There are plenty of real ways to be your own boss and work for yourself. Unfortunately, these opportunities are often drowned out by the “join my team” pitches common at multi-level marketing jobs (MLMs). While not necessarily a scam in all cases, many of these companies require you to buy product, which means you’ll end up spending far more money than you’ll ever earn. If there is more money to be made by recruiting others to join your team than there is than by actually selling the product, it’s probably an MLM and best to just stay away.
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.
I recently came across some of your posts after searching for new ways to find and pitch freelance writing clients. While I’ve been working as a freelancer for a few years now, it never hurts to look for ways to expand my business. There’s a lot of crap out there on the Web that offers the same old suggestions for locating writing clients (usually accompanied by a heavy sales pitch to sign up for an expensive workshop). This article offered fresh ideas and unique details about the standard job sources–I was really impressed! Thank you! I am going to put some of these ideas into my business plan this month.
If you enjoy writing, you could earn six figures from the comfort of your home as a freelance writer. Freelance writing is like any other type of client-based creative work business. You need to develop your skills, build up a portfolio of your work, and find writing gigs. It can be lucrative but you won't be making a full-time income immediately – that takes time but it's certainly available.
Hi Elna! Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, informative article. I am a full time paralegal with a B.A. in Journalism. I’m about 5 years away from retirement…and would like to shift from full time paralegal work to freelance writing. I’ve been writing a column (“Throwback Thursday”) in the local paper for a year now, for free, but of course I get the bylines from those which is how I’ve built my portfolio. How would you reccomend I transition to freelancing. I’m interested in writing about legal topics for lay people…such as how to find a good attorney…and small community life…and parenting.
Spelt is definitely the way it is spelled and pronounced in Britain. My daughter reads and watches many British books, shows, and movies, and she spells and pronounces it that way because she has become so accustomed to it. She had one English teacher criticize her until she showed said teacher that it is the British way to spell it. She also says (and spells) “learnt” instead of “learned.” Being an Anglophile myself, I have no problem with it. It is not incorrect. Americans changed English. If anything, we’re the ones who mispronounce words!
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!
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.
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.
College students make money online in all kinds of different ways, and the ones doing surveys aren’t going to be millionaires any time soon. That said, anyone with the time to sign up to two or three survey providers and answer all of the surveys offered them should easily clear an extra $30 (£25) or more each month. Taken in the form of Amazon vouchers, this is a good way to keep up with those essential reading list purchases.
7. SigTrack – SigTrack works with independent contractors to record whether petition signers are voters or to process voter registration and other forms. Since this work revolves around the petition season, they only hire at certain times. Pay is per work unit based on accuracy, and they require that you maintain at least 98% accuracy to satisfy your contract and also peer review others’ work. They pay via PayPal. This position is only available to U.S. citizens and you’ll be required to do a short Skype call during the interview process to establish identity. Equipment requirements are pretty standard, but note that they require dual monitors.
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
How to Get It: Visit companies such as DarwinsData.com, PineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search "surveys" on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment. There are many survey services out there that are fraudulent.
Sound up your aisle? Fill out an application through the site, which pairs brides and bridesmaids based on personality and location. You could make between $200 and $2,000 per month, says Glantz, working anywhere from a few hours a month to a couple of hours a week, and you'll generally handle everything on nights and weekends. Most projects—er, weddings—require between 3 to 11 months of your time.
Although there are thousands of legitimate work-at-home jobs available, it’s always a good idea to proceed with caution. There are plenty of less than stellar opportunities out there, promising big results with little or no return. While some of these are just bad gigs, others are straight up scams, looking to prey on dreams of those looking for a real work-at-home jobs.
Also, I personally have a membership to FlexJobs. It's $14.95 a month, but you get access to carefully curated, guaranteed scam-free work from home job leads. It's not for everyone, but I've overall been impressed with the site. It may be worth signing up for a month just to see if you think it will benefit you in your job search. Canceling is very easy if you don't think it's for you.
In Canada (and the States I think) you can run a small business under your own legal name and you don’t have to register it. If you were running a dog grooming business or something, you’d need a formal “business license” but even with a home-based business you may still need one, but it’s unlikely and it’d depend on your city’s policy. Even if required, I’m sure many people unknowingly skip this step and life goes on!
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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.
The level of experience required for online jobs varies based on the type of job. Most sales reps do not require a college degree, but some companies that sell specialized equipment ask that applicants have a degree in a specific field. Many online writers and editors have a high school diploma or its equivalent, but some companies require that writers have a degree in journalism, communications or a similar field.
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?
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!
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.
What an informative and fun article. While I’ve been writing for years, I’ve never had the courage to venture out because I haven’t got a degree, and feel very intimidated by a lack of formal education. But, when I say I’ve been writing for years, I mean I have been asked by everyone to write almost everything…including breakup up letters, condolence cards to the family of a murder victim, return texts in the middle of a text-fight (those are fun) and even an anonymous letter to a woman who’s best friend spotted her husband with another woman. (Not fun.) I’ve written proposal letters for house-hunters, eulogies, on and on and on….and I love it. I’ll write anything (within my knowledge base) and be happy doing so. Finally, after my last request from a long ago former coworker, to write a plea to Salvation Army for assistance, I decided to try to finally do what I love and learn to profit from it.
I forgot to also share that I will be starting work with On Point as an Advocacy Coordinator too. It sounds like a great job that helps our fellow Americans keep informed about political issues. On Point is the voice of the average citizens that may have an opinion to share with their politicians but have no way of knowing how to contact them. On Point makes sure those voices get heard. In orientation the trainer said she will be hiring agents again around the middle of June. If you have good writing skills and are a good conversationalist then you may want to check it out. It also seems like if you put forth a little effort, you can make decent wages with them and they do pay weekly. I’m not big into politics but excited about this new venture.