Hi Elna, thank you so much for sharing!!! I have recently become interested with the idea of freelance-writing. Most of the things I have written, are in story form, and have never been read by anyone out side of my close group of friends. However, I have always been told that I have a gift, and I do enjoy writing. So, I thought, maybe, I’d try getting free-lance writing a shot. Thank you so much for these great tips!
I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so. Far too often we get treated like the “red headed step children” of the creative industries and many of us allow it. I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. One of them even said outright that we should be grateful to make five dollars an article (for well researched, 1,000 word pieces) and how their last writer was far too “uppity” for his tastes. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. LOL. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated.
Something else I recommend is taking the free 7-lesson mini-course on general transcription offered by Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere. This will help you to understand if you're a good fit for a transcription career, what you can potentially earn, and also where to get started. Janet also has free legal transcription mini-course if you're more interested in going that route.
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.
Hi Elna, This was all very helpful. I’m a science writer by trade in the government sector and recently began searching for ways to make some extra income writing evenings and weekends and came across your article. Do you have any feedback about what type of contract I might be expected to sign. I interviewed over the phone for a non-science editing position yesterday and they expressed interest in hiring me as an independent contractor. Within the day I received an Adobe Sign editor’s contract with a number of my responsibilities to the Agency laid out, as well as expected pay and notice that I don’t get paid unless the Agency gets paid by the Client. So my question is, Is a contract pretty standard for independent contract writing jobs, in your experience?
While you’re doing that networking, check out the Jobs section and sign up for email alerts when jobs are posted that match your interests. Many will be location-based, but who’s to say you can’t approach these employers with a proposal for freelance writing services? Maybe they need someone to fill the gap in the hiring interim, or maybe the job could just as easily be done remotely but they hadn’t considered that.

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!
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!
I just wanted to let you know that I have been hired by Maritz (Thank you Annie) and working with them for almost 30 days now (perfect attendance gets you a $.25 raise after 30 days too). The company has us calling customers from different businesses (banks, insurance co. etc..) and asking them to please complete a survey of how their customer service experience was between 1 (poor) and 10 (excellent). They pay you the minimum wage of your state weekly by direct deposit and pay on time. The staff is great and helpful and they make the job easy and enjoyable. Thanks again Annie and bless you for all your great and helpful information that you share with us.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more home data entry jobs. With that site, you can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. Every job lead is guaranteed scam-free, and it's the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and they are plentiful. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.
I’m so glad I found this article. I will be graduating with a Professional Writing degree in May. I’m trying to see what types of writing jobs are out there, because I’m nervous about the job market. I just signed up to write articles on Hire writers.com, but the pay is so cheap and I work really hard on the articles. I got paid more writing for my school’s newspaper than I did writing for Hire writers.com.
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.
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.
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.
One of the prime strategies in business today is to outsource work wherever possible. Many employers, particularly small ones, don’t have enough work to warrant a full-time job. But they may parcel that works out to virtual assistants. You can become a VA with just about any type of skill. Administrative skills are most in demand, and usually involving working on very specific projects. Many times, those projects will be assigned because the business owner either lacks the time or the skills to perform them.

I've made a list of online jobs that pay weekly, daily, or multiple times a week.  There are a lot of work at home opportunities that only pay monthly or twice a month, and getting paid that infrequently may not do much to help with immediate financial needs. Please know that this list isn't done and I plan to add to it continuously as I find things that meet this criteria.

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