Thank you so much for this information. I’m currently a massage therapist and pregnant with my first child. Knowing I’ll need extra income for baby expenses has me searching for alternative ways to make money before the baby arrives. I’ve always enjoyed writing and hope to finish my first book within the next two years so getting paid to write seems fabulous. From the tips you’ve provided, my first steps will be to google “publication pay submission”, check Craigslist and Sophie Lizard’s newsletter. I look forward to getting back to you shortly with an incredible praise report!! Thanks again!!
“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.
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 more companies shift from traditional sales models, the number of online sales jobs will rise. The same thing applies for online content writers, especially as newspapers and magazines shut down their offline publications and rely on online content. At the same time that there is an increase in Part-Time Online Jobs, the number of offline jobs will decrease. From 2012 to 2022, traditional advertising sales jobs will decrease by 1 percent, which means that the field will lose approximately 1,000 jobs.
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.

It should be that simple…and 30-40+ years ago it was. We’d see “right” spelled as “write” and “peeled” spelled as “pealed” and know instantly what was intended. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that errors in every type of writing…ads, serious magazine and book writing, the news that crawls across the TV screen, etc….are so common that it’s as though everyone thinks they’re being paid to make errors.
This is very informative. I have always had a passion for writing and recently started a self hosted blog. my goal is to really get my name established, since I have no published work…yet and actually start doing what I am passionate about. This list gave me the tips I need to start on the right path. I will definitely subscribe and get the email course.
For example, let’s say that your washing machine at home broke down and you need to fix it. Instead of calling the handyman to come, your husband decides he’s going to fix the machine. He ends up spending half a day figuring out the machine, and does eventually fix it. He did however have to make a trip to the tool shop to buy some extra tools and parts for the machine. Now, if you had called the handy man, it would probably have taken the handyman much less time, and he would have all the necessary tools and parts already, because that is his job. So in this instance, was your husband’s time and effort worth it? Oh, and because he took half the day fixing the machine, you now had to take over his duties of dropping the kids off at soccer and swim practice.
I have, as of yesterday, begun exploring the opportunity of writing for income. However, as writers go, I’m extremely confident in my abilities and I believe that as a writer I still not only write on an intellectual level on par with the best, I also FEEL my writing. Therefore, with no qualifications save my own, self-perceived ones, I say this: do not lose the spirit of writing looking too intensely at the writing itself.
Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. With his wife Holly, Greg co-owns two websites – Club Thrifty and Travel Blue Book. The couple has also co-authored a book, Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love. Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ClubThrifty.
I am building a website and an app to allow people in a community to dynamically carpool and will need someone to help with the contents. English isn't my first language, however I do write it quite well. I will work with the writer on each step of the development to get to the objective as quick as possible by providing him or her any information needed on a timely manner. All content in the app as well as content for the website will be done by whoever is hired. However, what I need right now is just a few pages for the prototype. The full website development will ensue as ideas get validated. Prices can be negotiated along the development. less more
Thanks so much! So glad you are interested in learning more about freelance writing tips! As for your question, if the site no longer exists you can’t promote that piece unless you have the raw copy. Then you can add an annotation to it and upload that to your blog or Contently. As for your passions, you can skew that to more of business writing or even productivity for businesses writing tips? Explore that and look online for that type of business (even if it’s office supply businesses or some form of business supply app like ShoeBox).
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/
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!
Thanks so much for this amazing list. I am new to the “leap off the bridge” mindset that is doing freelance writing for a living. I have made my living in the past in management and small business ownership (aftermarket automotive parts store, a NAPA to be precise). I have a BA in Sociology and I have also worked in non-profit management and social work but my dream has always been to write. So after selling the business I decided to follow my dream of being a writer. I have done some blogging and have a novel I’m working on along with a few academic papers that were published while in college. I also have written curriculum for young adults that was published by a Christian publisher some years ago. However, even with some marginal knowledge about writing for a living, I found the amount of information out there to be overwhelming and much of it is people simply promoting scams or trying to sell you on their program. Your post is a breath of fresh air compared to much of the other “content” out there about freelancing. Thank you for taking the time to share
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.
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!
Elna I have to say, your writing is truly the most informational! I kept reading, thinking wow! This is awesome information! I can’t wait to comment and let them know how much I loved this article. But, I didn’t realize who wrote it until the end… I guess I was just so into the content. But then I realized no way Elna again!!? You always have the BEST articles! Another article I loved! I hope to freelance write soon and do it well like you! Well done Elna! I only came across your work about 1-2 months ago I think but since I found you, you are always inspiring me! I’m definitely a big fan of yours! Its no surprise people want to work with you! You are great at what you do!! Thanks again!

Thanks so much! Yes I like warm pitching, but sometimes I have better success just using job boards. I’m a bit impatient 🙂 and have a million things on my plate so when I can, I’ll do some warm pitching. I’m finding for me, the best chance of my landing work is via referrals. Once you have those awesome clients, there’s a goldmine more clients and more money!

These little jobs are done by people who log on to a company’s site and choose tasks, which could be as simple as clicking a link. Amazon's Mechanical Turk is one of the most well-known sites of this type. Also, there are crowdsourcing projects, which are similar to data entry, where companies engage an army of virtual workers to each do one small part of a larger project.
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