August 5, 2010, 6:00 am

Make Money Online Through Freelance Writing

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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I wanted to touch upon making money online last week, and then move on to a new topic this week. That’s not going to happen. Making money online is often a topic that’s filled with scams and ways to “get rich quick.” However, due to the overwhelming amount of feedback/retweets of the post, it only makes sense to give you guys what you want by going into detail on the topics discussed. Today were going to talk about making money online through freelance writing.

First of all, why would anyone want to freelance? I can’t speak for all of you, but I will share a few reasons as to why I enjoy freelance writing:

Portfolio. You can easily build your brand by establishing yourself as an exceptional freelance writer. Whether your goal is to land a high paying gig with the New York Times, to promote your site, or simply just to land more paying gigs, freelance writing should be on your mind. It could be seen as your “resume” when you attempt to land future work.

You like blogging, but hate everything else. I love to help people get their finances in order. I love to learn from others. I love to share ideas. I’m not too fond of the technical/behind-the-scenes stuff that’s involved with running a blog. I don’t plan on quitting my blog, but I know of a few bloggers that have sold their blogs and stayed on as writers. Writing can be very fun, managing the business end of things can get redundant.

How can I become a freelance writer?

1. Showcase your work. Get your name out there. Write a few free guest posts to showcase your work. Start off on some of the super tiny blogs if you have to. Get your work across so that you have samples of your writing when someone may ask for it. If you’re having a difficult time finding work or gaining credibility, then start your own blog.

2. Reach out to bloggers. Most bloggers are moonlighting. Aside from a tiny percentage, the majority of bloggers out there have a full-time job, along with a real life (family, hobbies, and all that other stuff). As a result these bloggers are looking to free up some time. By offering to write quality paid articles for these bloggers you are essentially selling them more time. If you have a proven track record of writing quality articles, people will eventually become more than willing to pay for your services.

Just make sure you complete number 1 on this list before you begin reaching out to others. Speaking from personal experience, us bloggers receive a plethora of BS emails from supposed “freelance writers.” Stand out from the pack by displaying samples of your work.

3. Look out for opportunities. Whether directly or indirectly, the signs are often there. Some bloggers will flat out come out and openly advertise the fact that they are hiring a staff writer. Other bloggers will become consumed with real life. They’ll start posting less frequency because they simply have no time. This is the perfect scenario for you to present your services.

4. Check out job boards. Many of these come off as a scam. The only freelance writing job board that I feel comfortable with promoting is the one over at ProBlogger. There are many writing gigs available at decent wages. I personally haven’t use any job boards at all, but I have been informed that they can be helpful for new freelance writers.

Just please respect this service by only applying for relevant writing gigs.

What aspiring freelance writers need to watch out for…

Free/low paid article writing. I was really hesitant to discuss this topic for this very reason alone. There are many providers of cheap-to-free articles on the web. Don’t get caught up in this. You don’t want to kill your credibility by writing 300 word posts for 5 bucks a pop. You should try to avoid these services from both ends (as a freelance writer and as a blogger).

Payment in general. You need to watch out who you work for. Bloggers with strong credibility and even stronger reputation will provide you with a smooth experience. There are many shady “wannabe internet marketers” out there looking to build back links by getting freelance work done for them and never delivering on the payment. If you don’t have the type of relationship with the person that you trust them, a simple contract is usually recommended.

Any aspiring or current freelance writers care to jump in with some thoughts?

Img src: Just_Bernard

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Comments

I think that is an excellent way to put it, it is a venue that seems complicated to many but once contacts are done and things are set, you are good to go and can concentrate on the fun part, writing and improving at it!

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges of freelance writing?

by: The Financial Blogger | August 5th, 2010 (2:04 pm)

Hey MD,

I also had to be confident about what you write. In my experience, free to cheap article on the web don’t worth much. In fact, they usually sound something picked up on Wikipedia and doesn’t drive any reader to go further. If you are a good writer with an independent voice, you will find jobs as freelance writer!

Can you guys share some numbers i.e. price per post, hours worked, etc. That would make things more tangible.

thnx!

by: The Financial Blogger | August 8th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

@FS,

I’d say that a good writer can earn between $15 to $30 per post. There is also an hybrid model where you will earn a little by less ($15 to $20) as based salary and an additional bonus if your post rank high on google, earn money through affiliate or if it becomes popular and drive traffic.

As for the hours worked, I think it really depends on how fast and how good of a writer you are. I actually take 15 to 30 minutes to write an article for my blogs and then I have it corrected. I guess that a good post fully corrected can take 1hour (so $15-$30/hour is not bad to work from home!

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It’s funny because as soon as I wrote this post, a freelance writer emailed me offering his services at 3$/100 words.

@FS TFB is spot on. Post time is very subjective. Some people can pump out quality posts in 30 minutes, while others revise them for hours.

I like the topic. It really depends. I have seen some sites that pay $15 to $20 for a post and others that pay in excess of $100.

by: The Financial Blogger | August 11th, 2010 (7:38 pm)

@Mark,

I really wonder what is the point of paying $100 for post… unless you do it after earning $150 in affiliate commission ;-)

Useful and motivating post.
Additionally, people who can write well, can pickup free lance jobs for Social Media Optimization also, which can generate equal volumes of revenue.

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I think it’s important to note that you often have to make the first move to get a freelance writing gig. If you just e-mail a Website or a blog and ask if they need an extra writer (even if they never said they needed one), they often realize that they DO need an extra wrtier and things go from there. Taking the first step is really important instead of just sitting around and waiting for something to come up. :)

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