I have been interested in writing extensively since a very young age, writing either poetry, novels, short stories etc. Eventually I ended up in the corporate sector writing business plans, marketing plans and various other corporate documents. But freelance writing has been in my blood, just never really had the inspiration to follow this dream of mine. I will apply your guidelines and intend to forge a new career path in freelance writing. I don’t think it would be a problem that I am living in South Africa since the internet has created a global community…
That’s great you want to get started freelance writing! Writing for school or university is different than online writing (this post lays out some tips: https://elnacain.com/blog/5-grammar-rules-every-blogger-must-know/). But in saying that, it just takes practice and reading online content to be familiar with it! If you have the passion and motivation you can become a freelance writer!

Thank you for the encouragement…It’s that first step that is the scariest! I have written and designed all too many things in my lifetime and going/doing this new phase of my ‘connecting the dots’ and reaching out to find my nitch and have fun again with words and thoughts….My oh my!!!! Infinite possibilities open-up!!! Onwards and upwards! Take care 😊
Facebook is the most obvious place to start. Create a page for your product or brand, invite all your contacts to join and come up with a contest with free giveaways. This way you will spread the word about your product and get your first fan base. You can also add a shop to your Facebook page or join Facebook Marketplace that enables buying and selling right in the app.
What It Is: Think Mary Kay (cosmetics), Pampered Chef (kitchenware), or Rodan + Fields (skincare) — over time, you build a base of clients to whom you sell a company's wares. "There are several reasons why I decided to become a consultant," says Rodan + Fields independent consultant Debbie Royer. "I had seen how much of a blessing the business had been to a friend of mine and my sister-in-law. Plus, everything can be done from my phone, and being a mom to a preschooler and an infant I don't have a lot of extra time to be sitting at a computer."
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.
8. Microworkers – Microworkers, as the name implies, is another microtask site. They offer a variety of tasks, and some of those may include data entry. Some of the jobs they offer actually pay better than similar jobs on other microtask sites. They also show you a percentage on each job that demonstrates how often that job poster has approved the work of previous workers. Your only paid for approved work, so that’s useful! Payment for completed jobs goes directly to your PayPal account once you hit their $10 payout threshold. Be vigilant against scam jobs offered through Microworkers.

Fantastic article! I’ll definitely add this one to my bookmarks! Although I’m not exactly “new” to freelance writing, I have decided to make this year “my year.” My year to get off the job platform sites like Upwork. My year to make more money from freelancing, my year to pitch to clients – both locally and nationally. My year to be more successful than I have in the past. Many of the tips you shared in this post were several of the ones that I had already planned to do this year to ramp up my business. But, you’ve also added several others that I hadn’t considered! Thanks for the great, informative post!


I am about to be 30 and never really learned basic math skills. I had trouble learning the material in school and teachers just passed me along to the next grade level, so I just fell more behind each year. I'm looking for someone who can show me basic math as a refresher and then focus on multiplication and division. Getting my GED is my main goal.
What They Do: “We’re on a mission to help people everywhere find a job and a company they love. In the process, we’re transforming an entire industry through the power of transparency.  At Glassdoor, you have the chance to be amazing at work and amazing at life. We know that professional success depends on personal wellbeing. That’s why we empower you with the tools and services you need to succeed in every area of your life”
#24 – Magoosh – If you are good at GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, and ACT, and tests, Magoosh is looking to hire online test prep experts to help students prepare for these papers. As a requirement, you must be an experienced BA or BS holder with high scores in GRE, SAT, GMAT. The standard pay for weekdays is $20 an hour and shoots up to $25 an hour over the weekends.

But even if you don’t burrow down into copywriting, freelance writing is definitely worth another look. If you’re able to type fast, you should be able put together a decent blog post in about an hour (once you get the hang of it, which typically doesn’t take very long). If you charge a client $50 for that blog post (which is a pretty typical beginner/advanced beginner rate), you’ve just made $50 for an hour’s worth of work. And the best part is, many businesses will want to hire a writer for recurring work, so it’s not like you have to find a new client every time you want an assignment.

Being busy is good, it’s better than not having anything to do and letting time slip away. But, what many people don’t realize is, being busy doesn’t always mean you’re being productive. The more time you take to complete something does not equal to more success. Many people end up falling into this trap as they pack their day with tasks and errands that may sometimes produce little outcome or output for the effort that they’ve put in.
SO happy I found this blog! I’m the owner of a brand spankin’ new MA in Literature, but can’t find a company I’m excited about for full-time work (and I can’t move…boyfriend’s work visa and all…), so I’ve started looking into freelance! It scares the hell out of me, but I’m motivated and you’ve given some great starting points and advice! Wish me luck!
I’m just now starting to explore the possibility of working as a writer and came across this article. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I think I’m fairly good at it, but I don’t have any specific training or education besides what I learned in my college English classes, and English wasn’t my major so I only took what was needed for GE requirements. In your experience, does one need any specialized training or education to be taken seriously in the writing world?

I appreciate all the information that you have given us. It’s something that I have been thinking about doing and I plan on going through the different steps you have here and putting myself out there. I love writing. Even if this was only a part time thing for a while it would still be great to write for people. I read an article about becoming a blogger too and she suggested even starting out as a ghost writer. What are your thoughts on ghost writing?

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
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.
That’s great you want to start freelance writing! I hope your husband is on board with this 🙂 As for your blog topic, remember that your personal niche is different than your freelance writing niche. I blog over at TwinsMommy.com and that’s my passion and personal niche. I talk about being a work at home mom, working at home, having twins and making money blogging. But this blog is geared towards writers. For you though, you can pick your paying niche (freelance writing niche) and pick a personal niche (this can be a lifestyle niche where you blog about several topics). So let’s say you pick the pet industry as your paying niche, then your writer website would reflect copy for a Pet Writer for hire. Then you can have your lifestyle blog if you want and blog about pet life, motorcycles, personal growth etc.. Make sense? You can also have a writer website that’s all about pet writing, have a portfolio with pet writing and then link to your lifestyle blog. This is what I do for my writer website. I link to THIS blog on my writer website even though it has nothing to do with my niche (digital marketing). Make sense?
Editor of Splashpress Media, Noemi used to be an English teacher before going freelance full-time. She has a penchant for words and likes to play around with them - the result of a lifetime of burying her nose in books. Having been bitten by the travel bug, she aims to discover more languages & places in the near future as she continues to do what she loves most - writing.

2. Axion Data Entry Services – Axion is one of those legit opportunities who rarely have openings, but it can be good to be registered in their database for when they do. They also only work with independent contractors. In order to qualify with them, you should have 2 to 3 years experience in data entry. They require a typing speed of 50 WPM (15,000 keystrokes per hour) with no errors. They pay by a flat rate by the page (or project) so it really does pay to be fast and accurate. Axion requires a nominal fee to keep you registered in their database in case of future openings – despite this, they are not a scam.
This is the first post that I’ve read of yours and I just want to say thank you for publishing such an informative piece! I’m currently entering my senior year of college and I have recently become passionate about getting started with freelance writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and would like to turn it into a career that allows me to pursue my goal of traveling to every country in the world (or most countries at least haha). I have no writing samples/portfolio and that’s where I’m kinda stuck right now. Im going to check out your blog for more tips on getting started! Thanks again!
Currently I’m working full time at a daycare and I’m trying to transition into writing freelance. It would be so amazing for so many reasons. Two reasons being writing is my passion and starting college I’m going to need a more flexible work schedule. My first question is do you think I’ll be able to, starting out at least, work nights? I can’t answer emails or calls at work because I work with children and I work long hours. Will companies want to work with me if I’m only available at night?
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.
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!!
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?
Oh, the joys of college! The only time where being frequently intoxicated and poor is socially acceptable. Indeed, getting through college is challenging enough—trying to take on work on top of your academic endeavors can be overwhelming. Here are the best online jobs for college students so you’re able to afford those kegs of Pabst and double pepperoni hot pockets.
That’s great you want to start freelance writing! I hope your husband is on board with this 🙂 As for your blog topic, remember that your personal niche is different than your freelance writing niche. I blog over at TwinsMommy.com and that’s my passion and personal niche. I talk about being a work at home mom, working at home, having twins and making money blogging. But this blog is geared towards writers. For you though, you can pick your paying niche (freelance writing niche) and pick a personal niche (this can be a lifestyle niche where you blog about several topics). So let’s say you pick the pet industry as your paying niche, then your writer website would reflect copy for a Pet Writer for hire. Then you can have your lifestyle blog if you want and blog about pet life, motorcycles, personal growth etc.. Make sense? You can also have a writer website that’s all about pet writing, have a portfolio with pet writing and then link to your lifestyle blog. This is what I do for my writer website. I link to THIS blog on my writer website even though it has nothing to do with my niche (digital marketing). Make sense?
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.
When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you telecommute, she’s just another email in your inbox. From letting her know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with her.
BizScript SEO is looking for some creative web content writers to join our team! MUST HAVES: -Strong knowledge of SEO and SEM -Strong writing and grammatical skills -Knowledgeable on WordPress -Is okay with helping upkeep our blog by posting one article a week on SEO or SEM -Very responsible and has GREAT time management skills Being a start-up, we are looking for freelancers with adjustable, low rates but who are interested in helping our business grow. We aren't looking for freelancers that just want to do one project. We want to form an on-going relationship with you and allow you to be part of our team. As of right now, we will only require your for 5 to 10 hours a week.
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.
Not only did you provide amazing information and helpful links but most importantly, you related to a wide audience. With that in mind, you maintained a positive outlook for all writers in different levels of their careers. I, personally, am just researching for ideas and ways to get started. Your article was not only helpful, but inspirational as it was honest and relatable.
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