While you don’t necessarily need much experience to become a researcher, earning the best pay comes from specializing in an area you have some expertise in. And while you may find the research easy, know that you will likely have a set of guidelines to follow. Get the details on my Get Paid to Be A Know-It-All post, and see if the following are hiring:

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.
Thank you for the post! I’m a bit overwhelmed at the wealth of content I am about to scour on your site. Hours of learning, here I come! I received my first two clients a month ago (one from my dad who is a web developer and the other upon referral from my first client). I am serious about gaining more clients and setting out as a full-time writer, but the process of finding new clients has always intimidated me. I am excited to apply your advice. Congratulations, you just won a new “stalker.” 😉
You’re welcome! So happy you found this post helpful for you living in the UK! For me, I was a stay at home mom so I didn’t work at that time. I was a bit bored with the day-to-day of taking care of twins…you know diaper changes a million times a day, and cleaning up messes just as much. I needed a creative outlet so I explored work at home stuff online and my husband told me about freelance writing and being a virtual assistant. I immediately gravitated towards writing!
Thank you for the post! I’m a bit overwhelmed at the wealth of content I am about to scour on your site. Hours of learning, here I come! I received my first two clients a month ago (one from my dad who is a web developer and the other upon referral from my first client). I am serious about gaining more clients and setting out as a full-time writer, but the process of finding new clients has always intimidated me. I am excited to apply your advice. Congratulations, you just won a new “stalker.” 😉

5. DionData Solutions – DionData Solutions is currently looking for Data Entry Professional Operators who type 60 WPM with a high degree of accuracy. You should be proficient with computers, able to handle Internet, email attachments, and both downloading and opening files. You’ll be working independently, so you should have a high degree of self-discipline. They also expect their data entry specialists to work on multiple projects simultaneously while sticking to deadlines. U.S. citizenship is a requirement for the position.
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.
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.
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!
What It Is: Transcription essentially involves you listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. Easy enough, right? Companies usually hire transcriptionists without much experience, so some job postings might only require you to have a computer and keyboard to get started. Transcription jobs can vary from transcribing a college lecture to a doctor's medical dictation, while most companies allow you to make your own schedule.
I’ve been rigorously studying freelancing for a while now (I plan on getting started after school ends in the first week of April) and I have to say your bog has been very helpful, especially this post. I thought cold mailing and job boards were the only places to find freelance writing job, and that it would be quite tough finding a job given the competition, but after going through this list, I think finding a job would be easier.
Thank you for this post. I just recently got into freelance writing and I feel so stupid already. I found a blog that suggested odesk so I signed up with them and since I didn’t have a portfolio yet I applied for a job paying $20 for 10 articles due in one week. I’m halfway done but after reading this I don’t even want to complete the rest. I feel so cheated. I thought it would be a good way to get some experience under my belt but I have put so much time and energy in the articles I have done so far and it doesn’t even seem worth it. Should I even complete the job?
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.
With so many businesses operating mostly, or even completely, online, it’s no wonder that many hire virtual assistants to help keep them organized and complete administrative tasks. According to the International Virtual Assistants Association, these workers are “independent contractors who (from a remote location, usually their home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.”
I need someone to pick up my 4th grader after school (3-4 afternoons per week) from the neighborhood school, bring her home, and work with her on improving her reading skills, completing homework assignments, practicing for spelling or other tests, etc., until my husband and I get home from work. My 4th grader is often eager to please, but on occasion (like if she needs a snack or her ADHD meds have run their course), she can be a bit of a challenge. She loves sports and singing and dancing so a willingness to entertain little study breaks is a must. The 8th grader may need a little help in pre-AP classes.

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?


Many ESL tutoring sites provide everything you need in the way of lesson plans, and you just follow along. In order to teach, you’ll generally need a home computer that can do video chat along with noise-cancelling headphones with a microphone. Some companies require you have a college degree. Find out more in my Teach English Online post, or click through to see if these sites are hiring right away:

One of the posts reads: “You are SO write about valuing your work. I’m actually writing a post on that to appear here soon, so keep your eyes pealed. Undervaluing our work (especially when we’re just starting out) is a huge problem for freelance writers.” Hopefully the author has already been advised of the, shall we say “typos,” and not “senior moments”? I am referring to “write” and “pealed.” Maybe Rule Number One for a writer would be to proofread first?

Like virtual assistants, proofreaders can find jobs with almost any business that publishes content online. They provide a second set of eyes for publishers, and can help them create content that looks more polished and professional. Those with specialized skills, like transcript proofreading, can also find work proofreading transcripts for court reporters.
I’m also interested in writing poetry and prose as well as short stories. Here is where my creative and adventurous spirit comes alive. In my younger years I created a belief systems that one could not be a poet and get paid. Now I release that limited thought and allow myself to express my creativity in abundance and receive in abundance. Are there any particular clients and sites to check out that focus on a need for the poetic and fantastical?

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These are all great ideas. The problem, which I haven’t heard anyone address, is that all these places want to see a portfolio of your work. If you’re just starting out, it’s not likely you have one. In my case, I did extensive technical and creative writing for my previous company but it was all considered intellectual property for them, thereby preventing me from including it in any personal portfolio of mine. How does one build a portfolio if you already need one to get started?
Transcription doesn’t require a lot of technical skill — you’re essentially just typing up what you hear. Every now and then you may need to take a critical ear to what’s going on if it sounds garbled, and the better you’re able to do this, the better your transcriptions are. But it’s not usually too challenging, and there’s a transcript “code” you can include in your transcript in any section that’s too garbled to understand.
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.

With that said, there are certainly a few tricks to getting your foot in the door. Our friend Kayla’s new course called “$10K VA” teaches you the exact steps she has used to make a consistent $10,000 a month. She covers topics like pitching clients, creating efficient systems, pricing your services, and more. It’s a great opportunity to hit the ground running by learning from one of the best VAs around. Learn more about the $10K VA course here.
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.
I’ve been rigorously studying freelancing for a while now (I plan on getting started after school ends in the first week of April) and I have to say your bog has been very helpful, especially this post. I thought cold mailing and job boards were the only places to find freelance writing job, and that it would be quite tough finding a job given the competition, but after going through this list, I think finding a job would be easier.

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.

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.
As a TTEC@Home associate, you'll use our technology to support and assist customers with a variety of customer service and technical needs. This could include helping customers over the phone, via chat, or on social media. Best of all, you can do it all while wearing your slippers or flip flops! (To get started, you’ll need internet access and a home phone. Bunny slippers are optional.)
This is my foot in the door and I’m following some of your other tips in order to get myself out there even more. I’m an introvert, so this is new and difficult for me. I have questioned myself countless times and am feeling a bit impatient, but I’m trying to trust the process and take it one day at a time. The warmth and encouragement that come through in your writing have helped keep me going. Thank you Elna!
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.
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!
Whatever you do, when first out of college, it can take a long time to build up your experience. It can be a long, frustrating climb, but do have patience and try not to get frustrated when you keep hearing that you need experience to get the job. It really, truly is character-building and most of us (whose dad doesn’t own the company!) have to go through it. Best of luck!
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.

3. Birch Creek Communications – BCC periodically looks for people to do data entry; when they do, they’re looking for independent contractors just like everyone else. Pay is by the job and your performance, with their uppermost pay range going to those with consistent near-perfect accuracy. You can set whatever schedule you wish with them, but it looks like work is most widely available Monday through Friday on a corporate schedule.
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