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.
If there’s one course I’d recommend to anyone starting out as a freelance writer, it’d be yours. It was exactly what I needed when I started out and it’s helped me immensely over the past few months to put things into perspective. This post is just a teaser of what to expect from Writeto1K, but then again, all your blog posts are packed with the most useful tips you can find online. I can only say thank you for sharing them with us!
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.
How to Get It: Begin with sites like UserTesting.com, YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you're in the system, you'll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you're one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren't expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.

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.
I hope this exercise helps declutter your tasks and responsibilities a little and allows you to see how much more time you can be saving for more important things. But, this is not the end of delegation. After you’ve sorted out the tasks that can be delegated, the next step is to determine who it should be delegated to. Besides people like your co workers, or spouse/family members, did you know that there is a whole delegating industry out there?
Your article is helpful, and I plan to try some of these. Over the last couple years I’ve inadvertently picked up some writing jobs by good fortune that have paid .30 – .50/word, but writing was always a sideline. Now I want to do more of it – but searches are yielding abysmal and depressing results. My content is rarely and minimally edited (by professional editors)and I turn it in on time with solid grammar and syntax. I’ve been looking and finding gigs at .01/word or less. No wonder so much of the writing I read on the web is crap, including articles written by those who don’t know the difference between “less” and “fewer.” I hope your tips will help me find some quality gigs. After all, my name is attached to it even if there’s no byline.
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?

4. Clickworker – Clickworker allows you to sign up and become part of a pool of folks who complete tasks for Clickworkers’ clients. Data entry is one of those tasks, and others include proofreading, copy editing, web research, surveys, and more. Once you sign up (for free), you fill out your profile and complete short assessments to demonstrate your abilities. The number of jobs available to you depend on how well you perform, and providing excellent work means your earnings will increase. You work your own schedule, they take care of invoicing, and you’re paid either monthly or weekly through PayPal.


•The website has no contact information. A legitimate business has a way for you to reach them. Look for an "About" page that offers information on the company or CEO, along with a phone number, address, or contact email. (Try calling the number to see if anyone answers.) A website with only a contact form and no other way to get in touch with an actual human is suspicious.
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!
Hi Elna! Thank you for the insightful post! I am just starting out with freelancing and your article has provided a lot of useful informations! I have one question though; in order to sign up as a freelancer in websites such as Upwork or other related sites, do you have to be a US citizen? (Because I am not!) If yes, does that mean you can only apply for freelancing jobs in your own country? I hope to hear from you soon!
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?
While most of these companies advertise that you can earn upwards of $18 or so an hour, the reality is that you're not going to make that much once you figure in your gas expenses and wear and tear on your car. Also, work may not always come in consistently. I would recommend doing more than one of these if you really want to make it worth your while.
Even if you’re brand-spanking new to the game, no one deserves a gig that pays one cent per word. And chances are if someone is looking for the sort of writer willing to write a word a cent, they’re not going to be the best client to work for. Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re new. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you.
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.
OK, if you’re really, REALLY hungry and need to make ends meet that month, and that’s all you’ve got currently, I’ll allow it. But otherwise? Your skills and time are worth far more, and there ARE clients out there who will recognize and honor that. Hold out for the good ones. (See: my upcoming article on how we writers need to learn to value (and insist on the value of) our own talents higher than we often do.) 🙂

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.
Thanks a lot for the article. Am a journalist by profession. I was writing for major print newspapers in Kenya East Africa plus online news agencies before I moved and settled in the US in Seattle together with my family. I haven’t written since 2014. Your article comes at the appropriate time for me since I have been looking for ways to break into fulltime freelance; copy writing, web content, editing and proofing. Back in Kenya I was writing about climate change, environment, agriculture and other related topics. Now I want more of a niche area and that is why I will look at your course to start. Thank you.
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
In addition to large tech companies like Apple and Dell, at-home jobs for technical support representatives are available from any number of large companies who sell products with any type of technological component to them. Keep in mind that technology isn’t just limited to electronics. Companies selling any type of product with working parts may need technical support representatives to help customers with problems operating the product.
Hi Justin. I have lost count on the no of your videos I have downloaded on my laptop. I lost my job early this year and am looking out seriously for an online opportunity to cushion the effect on me pending the time I get another job. I am Adewunmi from Nigeria west Africa. But Justin I would like to ask you something which I have asked before but you didn’t reply or approve it. I will like to ask if you are aware of the numerous barrier of payment processing bedeviling we in Africa that engages in legitimate online business. Few years ago PayPal started operation in some African countries including Nigeria but it wasn’t helping for the fact that we can only send payments and not receive payments. So I will like to ask if you could help out on how we in this part of the world take the advantages opened for other citizens of the world. Thank you. You could also reach me via email. I sent Twitter at you sometimes ago also no response. Please try and always be of help because I believe that’s the reason you are doing all this. To touch and affect lives. God bless you real good. Cheers and I will be expecting a quick response.

What It Is: Many companies pay online testers to make sure websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. "You basically follow the instructions you're given to check out the website," says Anna Thurman, founder of RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com, a site that has reviewed more than 500 online work opportunities. "It usually only takes about 15 minutes per test." Thurman recommends registering with 10 to 12 different companies since the opportunities to test these sites are doled out first come, first served. "There are people who make $100 to $200 a month by staying on top of those tests," Thurman says.
I appreciate the idea behind this, but I’d like more information on where these jobs can be found. I am a writer and would like to do freelance writing work, but while you mentioned that there are such jobs available, there wasn’t much to say where to find those jobs. I’ve tried to seek them out before, and done writing for places where I got paid (usually not very well), but many of those have dried up or weren’t much to begin with. Are there suggested places to go to do some freelance writing? I’d love to ditch my poorly-paying job, where I have to spend a lot of time away from my family, and do something I actually enjoy doing. Thanks.
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.
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.
This past year has been a roller coaster ride for me. I want to give freelance writing a try. I did get accepted to a content mill site, but the jobs on there go so fast I can never get a chance to grab one to work on. 🙁 I do not have a portfolio and I’ve never made one. I also do not blog anymore. So, how can I get into freelance writing? How do I build up a portfolio or show my writing? Free hosting is all I can do now, and I’m sure that is going to be a turn off to a client. Any tips would be great. Thanks.
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:
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.
Because lawyers are seeking people who match the profile of potential real-life jurors, online jury companies ask detailed questions of applicants. You should never disclose your Social Security number or credit card or banking info. Companies typically pay $10 to $60 to online jurors. Since most online jury companies won’t need a lot of jurors, signing up for multiple companies gives you a better chance of getting picked for “jury duty.” 
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