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
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.
You make your own decisions. There are no unrealistic deadlines and nobody telling you how much to work. You get to decide how much you work, part-time, full-time or OVERTIME. Earn Up to $500-$5,000 every month making a better than average income doing what you want, when you want. Get out of the rat race today! You get to decide because you have the freedom of working for yourself.
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.
Your blog post has been extremely helpful, thank you so much! I’ve been doing some freelance writing on Upwork for a while now. I don’t take any gigs that pay anything below $10/100 words, but it’s often difficult to find clients that appreciate your work there. Most of the gigs are the “$0.5/100 words ABLE TO WRITE 3000 WORD A DAY AT LEAST” type which is sad. I’m gonna run with some of your suggestions here and see how it goes.
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.
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.
Curiosity is great for learning about the world – and when you make your curiosity into work, you get to call it research and charge a fee! If you enjoy just researching and learning new things, you can find remote jobs that will pay you to either do research and compile data or answer specific questions their clients have. You can do general research or get hyper-specific – for example, in the right location, you could become a court researcher.
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 sharing this. It gave me a lot of ideas on how to start off. I have always been told that my writing is very good if not excellent. But thats mostly with term papers and things of the sorts. I have also won a couple of essay contests. I have never done freelance before and the only writing samples I have are some short stories, term papers, and research papers I’ve done. I also have some poetry. Do you think I could really blossom at being freelance with the little experience I have?

Ugh. I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re not the only freelancer to have gotten lured into one of those sites. My rule of thumb, even as a newbie, was never to accept less than $10 for every 100 words, unless it was a fantastic gig that would get me good exposure. Even if you don’t have a portfolio, you should only take on projects you’ll be proud to show to other people when they ask what you’ve done. It sounds like you are creating good work right now, but unfortunately, it’s for a client who totally doesn’t deserve it.
Hello, I'm looking for a high quality ghostwriter to write a gripping, page-turning urban romance story. It will be ~50,000 words in length, and please be familiar with urban/AA/interracial romance and their tropes. You will also have to sign a contract/NDA to assign rights to the work. I'm reasonable and flexible when it comes to deadlines: I understand that real life can happen and I always strive to preserve a business relationship where possible. I'm also an author and I get it. Please apply to this job if you think you would be a good match. I will have to see an example of your writing, preferably in this genre. Get paid to write what you love!
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.
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.
As usual another great post, I didn’t know there where so many places that newbies can find work. That is a great list and I will be putting them to work very soon, or as soon as I finish your course. I may be contacting you soon to look over your shoulders as you are teaching us from your great course “Write Your Way To Your First 1K”. I can’t praise it enough, keep up the good work Elna.
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.

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.

At Superprof, we offer more than 1000 subjects across dozens of categories (sports/ academia/hobbies/music/etc.). You don’t necessarily have to be a qualified tutor to be an effective educator. For example, a professional pianist is obviously qualified to give piano lessons but teaching involves much more than certification. It requires passion; love for your craft, enthusiasm and the ability to foster these attributes in your students. A piano teacher does not necessarily have to be a concert pianist, but they must have good ideas on how to become one and how to master the instrument and the music.
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.

He is 5 and attends school in College Station. after school care isn't working out. We need someone to meet his bus at 3:00 and watch him until 5:00 most school days Monday through Friday through the end of the school year December 21st. Light Housekeeping: Just tidy up whatever mess he makes during the time you are together. Pick-up or Drop-off: Possibly, not anticipated. Comfortable With Pets: Must be comfortable with dogs and cats. Meal Preparation: Light snacks. Has Own Car: Reliable transportation is a must. You will have to meet the bus every day after school. Homework help: He usually has a reading assignment each day.


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!
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What It Is: What better way to alleviate your travel bug than to work as a remote travel agent or consultant? Whether part- or full-time, spend your working hours dreaming up itineraries, flight plans, hotels, and activities for clients looking to travel far and wide. Then, take advantage of your discounts (hey, perks of the job) and go wherever your heart desires, whenever your heart desires.
The first are tasks you don’t enjoy doing. These are things that you know how to do, but don’t enjoy. Second, are tasks you shouldn’t do. These are things you know how to do and may even enjoy, but may not be the best use of your time. Third, are tasks you can’t do. These are things that need doing, but you don’t have the skills or expertise to follow through with them at this moment.

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Hey Elna! I am currently working towards breaking into the field of freelance editing and your advice has helped me immensely. I’ll be finishing my degree this year and I’ve been feeling anxious about future job opportunities (and lack thereof). After reading this, I feel so much more at ease. Do you have any tips for students who still need to gain experience?

It’s funny because I find myself editing books that I am reading, ALL of the time!!! I wonder how these people got their jobs as editors, when I, the measly reader, can pick them out so quickly, without even trying and it drives me CRAZY to feel like I have to proofread books that I am paying over $20 a book for! I have so many stories and poetry and even a couple of novels that I have written or started writing and I always joke that when I die, someone will find my writing and only then, will I get famous for my writing. I, as the writer, would never turn something in, to have it read by anyone, without proofreading it myself either. I also want to remind everyone that often times, when we are just writing a comment, we may often accidentally hit the wrong key and submit our comments, without proofreading what we have written… it doesn’t necessarily make anyone unintelligent… thank you for a lot of good info on here
I am a first year student at college, and while I’ve always loved writing, I’ve been wondering whether I have the skills to work in freelance writing. I just got out of high school last year, and while I can write essays for school, I don’t know how I would transition to doing freelance writing work, especially since the type of writing required is so different. My main concern is that right now my writing might not be “good” enough. I don’t have any sample content to show clients, aside from academic essays. What tips would you have for starting out?
Holly fell into freelance writing on a whim. She submitted several pitches for guest posts and ended up landing a few clients. After roughly 6 months of freelancing on the side, she was making enough money to replace her income and work at home full-time. Now, she makes over $200,000 a year from writing alone. Not bad for a home-based business, eh?
Hey Elna! I am currently working towards breaking into the field of freelance editing and your advice has helped me immensely. I’ll be finishing my degree this year and I’ve been feeling anxious about future job opportunities (and lack thereof). After reading this, I feel so much more at ease. Do you have any tips for students who still need to gain experience?

How to Get It: You can apply directly through companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010, who is always in need of stylists. A few others include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website — all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.

Hi, not trying to being rude or anything, but if you’re planning a career in writing, you might want to check your spelling and/or grammar before putting it out there. Just saying…again, it trying to be rude or mean. I wish the best of luck to you! I too, am trying to get some writing gigs, and just starting out. I have no idea where to even begin. With that said, I think constructive criticism is a good thing, that if we take need to, can help us out in the long run. If anyone has any constructive criticism or constructive advice for me, please comment. Thank you!
Although the demand is expected to decrease over the next decade, the opportunities are still there for travel agents who can harness the Internet to earn clients and help them plan their adventures. According to the BLS, job prospects may be best for travel agents who offer expertise in certain regions of the world, have experience planning tours or adventures, or who focus on group travel.
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