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.
What Employees Say: “Company is comprised of hard-working individuals who are extremely passionate about what they do. We have done wonderful things for communities through foundations, IBO’s and our own employees giving back. It is exciting to be part of a growing company that has allowed me to use my knowledge to help build my department. I am proud to see how far we have come..” —Current Employee
I’m 17 (living in the UK) and I really love the idea of being a free lance writer or something similar. However I’m concerned that I should have different aspirations? I mentioned it to my friend but she said that I should be thinking about a job that is a bit more stable. I still live the idea of free lance writing though as writing has always come very naturally to me. I’m in my final year of collage ( what you guys would call high school?) And I’m not sure what the most useful thing for me to do next would be. Do you have any ideas about what kind of degree I could do at university or useful stuff I could do in a gap year, or even right now? Thanks you!
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?
Thank you so much for writing this post Elna. It has been really very helpful indeed. I have been a part time freelance writer for about 6 months now but still feel like I am finding my feet. This post has given me a boost and some new options to follow up. It certainly seems like the strategy should be to go at it hammer and tongs and never, ever give up! Thanks again. I look forward to exploring your website some more.

Hi Elna, I just bumped into this post when I was just beginning to give up because finding freelance writing tasks that pay well has been the hardest task. I have been stuck with content mills for the longest time (I started freelance writing sometime in 2011), I have written tonnes of articles for very little pay usually $7 for 500 words. I look forward to revitalizing my writing career with ideas you shared. I’m taking up the challenge to find better paying gigs.


Most companies that hire for search engine evaluation have multiple projects available to work on, so the exact work you do might vary. However, search engine evaluation in the traditional sense involves analyzing queries that regular people like you and me might type into Google or Bing search and then determining the best possible results to match up to that query so that users have the best experience possible using a search engine.
How to Get It: GoFluent.com is an English training company working with 12 of the world's largest corporations. There are also jobs out there for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, which are more structured. Visit ISUS (iSpeakUSpeak.com), a placement and training company. While a degree in education or ESL is ideal, you are encouraged to apply if you are enthusiastic and articulate.
Ugh! Sheverley I was also rejected by Upwork…twice! And I have felt so disheartened over the last few days trawling through the dreadful propositions on Freelancer and Guru…truly nothing more than slave labour, and when I look at the profiles of the so-called Writers my jaw drops as they don’t seem to have even a rudimentary grasp of the English language. It seems quite obvious to me that most of those profiles are fake. Not that the “job” propositions are worded any better! In fact many of the jobs are clearly students getting someone else to write their research papers for them. Surely this is NOT okay?! This article is awesome – and I’ve read plenty! Thank you Elna. I will keep the dream alive and pursue ALL of the above.
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.
Thank you so much for writing this post Elna. It has been really very helpful indeed. I have been a part time freelance writer for about 6 months now but still feel like I am finding my feet. This post has given me a boost and some new options to follow up. It certainly seems like the strategy should be to go at it hammer and tongs and never, ever give up! Thanks again. I look forward to exploring your website some more.
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.
From my own experience, I’ve used Textbroker to make quick cash for bills. They pay every week on Fridays and if you work a lot every day, you can usually have a substantial amount accumulated by the end of the week — definitely more than the $10 cash out threshold. The only bad thing there is you never know how much work they’ll have up to grab from the order board. But I would say that for me Textbroker has been an excellent source for getting bill money together when I need it quick. Amazon Mturk is another idea. You can cash out there at just $1 and it transfers to your bank account. There is an entire sub-forum about Mturk over at the Work Place Like Home forum where people discuss the best tasks to accept to make the most money. Mturk has a reputation for being just an extra money option, but I know for a fact there are some people making more than just extra money over there.
At the end of the day, you are just one person, and you have a limited amount of time. So, you have to do things that are meaningful to you. While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones needed to get there may be meaningful. Because we all have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, not every task will be enjoyable or all fun & games. Some simply require pure willpower and discipline to grind through. And that is where delegation comes in.
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?

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.
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.
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?
The great news is, there are viable alternatives that fit most if not all of these criteria, and the pay is substantially better than data entry. They might require a tiny bit of brainpower and the faster you can type, the better you’ll do — but neither of these should be hurdles that are big enough to stop you from pursuing your work-at-home dreams.

While it may seem like these sites are your best best when you’re a newcomer, they’re largely a crapshoot when it comes to winning a project. These sites are a rush for the lowest bid, and you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other desperate freelancers prepared to sell their firstborn for the chance to write someone’s 250-page ebook. (Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork, but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen.)
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 love working for TTEC@home, I’m a single parent who moved to a new state where I had no family or friends. I started a job where I felt like I was working just to pay daycare for my four-year-old son. My son hated the daycare and I never had time to spend with him. I was referred to TTEC and I'm in love with it. Now, I put my son on the bus and log in for work. By the time I get off work, my son is almost home. It’s wonderful!”
I just discovered your blog and want to say how right on you are about the above. I’ve reached a dead end with freelance writing and after reading some of your posts, I have learned some of the reasons why, like not having an online presence for example! You’re also absolutely right about bidding sites (which was in another post). I’ve tried them before and they weren’t helpful. Anywho, I wanted to ask about #10. It seems like a great tip! But am wondering how open the web design companies are to providing writers with a list of people in need of web content? I definitely want to try this out.

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.
What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.

10. Working Solutions – Working Solutions periodically offers work that involves data entry. In order to work with them, you’ll need to fill out an online application and follow it up with taking some assessments. They’ll contact you afterward – their website says this step can take up to 2 weeks – with acceptance or rejection. Once you’re an agent, you will have the opportunity to review and put yourself forward for programs you think match your skills. Each program pays differently, and payment is made either via direct deposit or mailed check.


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!
Also keep in mind that communication with a telecommuting team requires an extra layer of crystal clear clarity. Since almost everything is done via email (and there are no facial or body clues to read), you’ll need to make sure that you mean what you, um, type. I’ve found that shorter, more succinct sentences go a lot farther than long-winded soliloquies.
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.
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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 It Is: Students in countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype — sometimes at night, because you're working with students in different time zones. You need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and can work as many as 35 hours.
In conclusion, please note that survey sites are another great source for extra cash paid regularly. There aren't exactly online jobs that pay weekly, but you can only get paid as often as you have money pending. Even though the cash out threshold is low on these, you won't be able to cash out if you aren't getting survey invites and qualifying into the surveys. But if you have money in your account, the potential is there to get the money almost as soon as you need it.
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