I absolutely love this article Elna. Thank you so much for providing your top techniques on how to start as a freelance writer. I think I have read so much content from numerous bloggers about writing content, starting blogs, making a living writing, etc. but have not yet come across anything quite like your article. I was already familiar with some of your techniques, but this was only a few. The first thing I am excited to do is take your course. I am a stay at home/work at home wife and mother. I was laid off from my job of 7 years almost 3 years ago and have been struggling with contributing to my household after my last pregnancy. I have written for pleasure most of my life and want to be able to continue being home for my family. I never thought that I would consider cold pitching but the way you put it just makes so much sense. Literally reading your article I was in such awe and had several “A-ha” moments. Again, thank you for sharing.


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.
I hope you would agree, that it would have been ideal to delegate this task to the handyman. That would have saved you time and effort, so that you and your husband could focus on doing other things that were more important to you, like being there for your kids or spending time with each other. This is just one example of how we often impose busyness on ourselves without us even realizing it.
Oh! That sounds horrible and there are so many “promising” sites that should be trashed. I started out writing for a website, not quite as bad as that one, but making just a few dollars for rather long articles and no byline. The amount of time I spent researching and writing meant that I’d make a dollar or two an hour. Ha! I was young and desperate though – would never do it again ! I’m the managing editor for ArchiExpo e-Magazine now and spend part of my time researching freelance journalists. The website needs to be catchy and informative, with writing samples easy to access. I always advise my friends, who wish to get into freelance writing, to create a great website and put forward their experience.
Freelance writing is a writing career in which you work as an independent contractor, developing written communication for various clients. The client usually lays out specific objectives for a project. Your job is to meet those objectives by generating copy matching the tone and style that they want. Freelance writing is usually not about your creative expression as much as it is about writing in the voice your client desires. Your writing must be technically accurate as well since poor grammar and structure can detract from what your client is trying to say.
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?

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!
I vehemently disagree with you here. Content mills horribly abuse writers and make it difficult for people who have spent years in this field to get a fair wage due to the expectation that companies can pay less to get more. Also, writers who start out here often get stuck in a rut and can’t evolve past the oDesk stage. All around bad news and not recommended for anyone who wants an actual career in writing.
What Employees Say: “VIPKID pays between $14-22 an hour, plus more in incentives some months. Most kids are fun and well behaved. You create your own schedule and work as little or much as you want. The materials are already provided, you just have to review them beforehand and plan out how you want to teach the materials and which props you want to use.” —Current ESL Teacher

To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work.


Online tutors are needed for a wide variety of subjects. Some jobs require you to tutor high school or college students in what can be considered “standard” subjects. Other tutoring jobs, like Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), require interaction and instruction with students from around the globe. These types of positions are more specialized and may require additional training.
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.
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.)
Being an at-home call-center rep requires a computer and may require specific software or equipment. A great phone voice helps as well, as does any experience in customer service, data entry, retail sales, or management. Dozens of sites list job openings for call-center representatives, including Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, and SimplyHired.com. However, you may also find listings offered by local businesses in your local newspaper.
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 Elna! Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, informative article. I am a full time paralegal with a B.A. in Journalism. I’m about 5 years away from retirement…and would like to shift from full time paralegal work to freelance writing. I’ve been writing a column (“Throwback Thursday”) in the local paper for a year now, for free, but of course I get the bylines from those which is how I’ve built my portfolio. How would you reccomend I transition to freelancing. I’m interested in writing about legal topics for lay people…such as how to find a good attorney…and small community life…and parenting.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
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…
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.
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