You can write online and earn a decent living.
All you need is the ability to move people with words. Indeed, the internet has made it easier for you to work as a freelance writer. It connects you to clients from any part of the world. What’s more, it has also raised the demand for written content. Every day millions of new websites are going live online, and they all need content.
Business and individuals are seeking to engage visitors on these sites, but they are either too busy or don’t have the capacity to write online. And that is where you come in.
However, even with the huge demand, most writers don’t know where to start. They might type in search engines phrases like ‘Writing articles for money’ or ‘writing gigs,’ but the internet being a jungle, they end up at the feet of scammers. They part with money only for their supposed help to go mute on them.
This guide will not only point you to where you can make money writing articles, but also let you know how to get clients looking in your direction. This is without you spending a penny on anything more than your electricity and internet connection bills.
There are three places where you can find writing gigs online. These are:
1. Freelancing sites
This is where most online freelance writers start their journey. Freelancing sites are websites that match people with tasks they need to be done and those with skills and time to do them at a fee. The number of these sites is only growing. There are those that accept all kinds of jobs that can be done online. Others are for specific type freelancers such as writers.
The most popular freelancing sites with writers include the following:
Upwork is a multi-work freelancing site. You can find there any job from data entry, web designing to app developing. Nevertheless, it is also popular with people who write online for money. It offers a writer an opportunity to build a profile as well as a portfolio as an online freelance writer. You can even start an agency on the site where you hire other writers to work on the jobs you source.
On Upwork you work on writing jobs either as fixed or hourly rate projects. Whatever the type of project, if you play by the rules, such as not accepting requests to work outside of the website, your pay is protected.
The site has a rating system. Every client you work for can rate and write you a review, which clients who come next to your profile can see and use to determine whether you are a good fit for their writing projects.
Due to high numbers of people signing up to write articles for money, Upwork doesn’t easily approve new accounts for writers anymore.
This is another platform where you can write online and get paid. The site isn’t any much different from Upwork. You watch out for jobs that clients post and bid for those you think you can do. Apart from bidding, Peopleperhour allows you to create what they call hourlies. These are services you design to sell to clients.
For instance, you can create a hourlie that says, ‘I will write you 1000 word article for $30 and deliver within a day.’ Clients can then put orders for your hourlies and you will write them the articles they want. Peopleperhour does have a rating and reviewing system too. Moreover, it also hosts more than just writing jobs.
Iwriter is one of the sites that are specifically designed for those who want to write online and get paid. There are no other jobs on the site except for writing jobs. You sign up to the site you are free to pick titles and start writing. Even more, you don’t have to wait for your account to be approved before you start writing. All you need to do is to make sure you fill out the profile to 100%.
Also, there is no bidding or negotiating with the client. You just pick a job in your level and start working. Once you submit the article, the client will either approve or decline it. If the customer rejects the article, you don’t earn.
As you get reviews and rates, you rise through the Premium, Elite and Elite Plus levels, with each increasing your rate per article. The secret to succeeding on Iwriter is to consistently offer quality and thus receive positive reviews, which see your income per article rise.
Guru is another site you can go and make money writing articles and other forms of text. It is similar to Upwork and Peopleperhour. It hosts different types of jobs and writing is just one of the many. It is a place where you can build a profile and a portfolio to write online. It also depends on rating and reviews to weed out poor quality in project delivery. If you deliver quality work, you can acquire more work, command higher rates and grow.
On Fiverr, you can create writing gigs, which are similar to hourlies of Peopleperhour. In your writing gig you describe what kind of project you can deliver, how soon and at what price. Initially, you could only charge $5 for every gig you put out to sell. Now the platform allows you more room to determine the amount you want clients to pay for your services.
Apart from writing gigs, Fiverr hosts all other kinds of services. Even more, unlike most of the other freelancing sites, it allows easy transitioning from a buyer to a seller. You wouldn’t need a different account, for example, if you wanted to hire a professional editor to look at your articles.
All these make it a good place to write online and earn a living.
2. How to Attract Writing Jobs on Social Media
The role social media plays in our everyday lives is ever growing. If you someone told you a few years back that you could get a well-paying gig on Facebook they would have laughed at you. But that is what exactly you can get now on social media. Things have changed. Yes, if you develop the right networks and be in the right Facebook and LinkedIn groups, you stand to run into people with writing gigs.
Others like Reddit have what you can consider as job boards, where people seeking writing services advertise.
The writers who seem to succeed the most in getting jobs on social media are those that are into niche writing. That is because they connect mostly on these platforms with others who have similar subject matter interests.
Personally, I write mostly about financial technology (fintech). As a result, most of my connections on LinkedIn are fintech professionals, and I have joined several fintech groups, a situation that makes it more likely for me to run into people looking for a writer who understands the fintech space.
I also have very many fintech enthusiasts as my Facebook friends (I am also in several fintech groups) and Twitter followers. I also visit a lot of fintech subreddits to interact and debate with fintech enthusiasts, which also adds to my reservoir of knowledge in the topic.
From these social media networks, I have gotten quite some well-paying writing gigs. There is a risk though to this source of online writing jobs. You are not protected in case a client chooses not to pay you.
Freelancing sites protect you with features like escrow services. Before you start working, the funds are out of the client’s control, and they can do little to prevent the pay from reaching you. They can only launch a dispute with the website in case they think you didn’t meet your end of the bargain.
Therefore, you should be very careful when sourcing work from social media.
3. How to Write Online through Referrals and Pitching
You can write online and make a living of it by getting jobs through referrals. That means you do a good job for one client and they tell their friends or relatives about your services, and they too hire you. In fact, this is often the best sources of writing jobs since you are introduced to people you can trust. Also, often they know your rate before they get to you. Therefore, you hardly need to haggle and argue about the price.
On the other hand, pitching means you write a proposal to a publication telling its editor about an article idea you have.
However, you need to convince the editor why the idea is viable and most importantly why you are the right person to write it. It becomes easier for a publication to accept your pitch if you are an expert on the topic or you have any other personal connection to the story idea.
If the editor likes the idea and the publication has not carried a similar article in the recent past (mostly within six months), you will get approval to write and submit it for publishing.
How to Sign up and Build a Profile on Freelancing Sites
When signing up on a freelancing site, don’t treat it like Facebook, Twitter or other leisure online accounts. This is a professional CV you are building. The seriousness you put into it will show on the client’s end. It will say whether you are professional, competent and organized or not to write online.
If you take time to build your profile on Upwork, Iwriter, Fiverr or whatever freelancing site, your chances of landing a job even when you don’t have previous experience increase significantly.
Before you submit your profile for submission make sure you fill out everything that the site wants you to fill. Upwork, for example, will show you the percentage of the profile that you have filled. Make sure it 100% before submitting it for approval.
Even more, before you start filling the profile, make sure you read all the instructions the site support has made available. Upwork has a manual you need to download and read before you start working on the site. Make sure you read this guide. I even recommend you check other places online like YouTube for information on how to use the site you are applying for an account.
There is always a place for a bio. Make sure you write a good bio. Take time to work on it. This is the message that introduces you to prospective clients. Don’t say too much about yourself but more about the training, experience and hobbies you have that make you the right person to deliver well-written texts.
When you are done with filling the profile, do some tests. Some of the sites like Upwork have a mandatory one (the readiness test). Do that one and a couple more. What’s more, do only tests that are relevant to your area of work, in this case how to write an article that will enable clients to achieve their objectives.
How to Pick a Good Photo for Your Profile
You can do everything right on your profile, but the profile photo ends up harming you. While you need to use a photo that you’ve taken relaxed, informal clothing and smiling, that isn’t enough to know that it is the right one. To know that your photo is perfect, upload it on photofeeler.com and have it go through voting.
Users on the website vote will let you know whether your photo shows you as competent, likable or influential. Take as many photos as you can and upload them to the site. Use the one that scores high in competence, likeability and influence.
Where to Get Samples to Show Clients
Writing jobs aren’t like other jobs where showing your certificates and proving your past engagements are enough to give you a contract. Writing is always about ‘show me what you can do;. You need to show clients samples for them to gauge whether your writing style matches their needs.
If you don’t have samples, the first thing you need to do is start writing in the niche you want to pursue as a writer. There are many places where you can publish these articles. You can start a simple WordPress blog, which is free to sign up, and publish your articles there. You can use the publishing platform on LinkedIn, where millions of people are now using to share their ideas in articles and blog posts. Other platforms you can use, and which are free to sign up, include Medium, Steemit and even Facebook. You can also ask friends who have blogs to publish your articles.
Where you publish them notwithstanding, make sure your samples are well written and edited. Once published, you can direct prospective clients to them.
How to Write Killer Proposals
Proposals on freelancing sites are responses to job posts. They are applications you write telling a prospective client you are interested in writing for them. Often a worse writer than you can beat you at getting a job only because they know how to call the clients attention to their side through a good proposal.
Before you embark on writing a proposal make sure it is for a job you know you can do handle. Don’t be tempted to apply for a job you aren’t well prepared to handle, especially the subject or structure. That’s because if you get it, you will deliver a bad job, the client will leave you, and bad review and that will hurt your prospects.
After zeroing in on a job read and reread its post before crafting the proposal. Not skimming or scanning through, but reading. Pick out the pains that the clients points out in the job post and let them be the questions you will answer in your proposal.
For instance, if the client says they want an article that is unique, make sure you mention in your proposal that you will give them an article that is 100% unique. You can even say that you will run the article through a plagiarism checker like Grammarly or Copyscape to ensure there is no single plagiarized line.
That is because saying that they need a unique article suggests that the client in the past has had a situation where a freelancer submitted a plagiarized article. Therefore, that becomes a critical factor they will consider when hiring freelancers. Therefore, you mentioning it in your proposal and pointing out a solution makes you a perfect candidate.
Use your mention the skills you have, your experience, training and hobbies to answer to the pains the client rises in the job post. Make them know you are the person to deliver their project in the way they want it.
What’s more, don’t rush the proposal. Take time to write and make sure it doesn’t have grammatical, structural or factual errors. That is because your proposal is indeed one more writing sample the client will be looking at. An error in it says you can’t deliver an article or any other form of text.
Also never use canned proposals. This is using one proposal to reply to several job posts. For every job write a new one. That way you won’t miss the uniqueness of the client’s project.
How to Deal with Rejections
When you write online, create time every day to bid for work. Just like in any other business, looking for new clients is part of the business. Even when you have enough work, bid for more. In fact, when you have enough work is the best time to bid because you aren’t desperate and thus you will negotiate better.
When you have enough work, bid with rates higher than what you are working with. If you get jobs at higher rates, ask the clients you already have to raise their rate. If they don’t, respectively drop them and continue with the new clients. And the cycle repeats itself.
Finally, when you write online don’t take rejections personally. There more reasons a client might not hire you that have nothing to do with your qualifications. For instance, you can be their perfect match, but your price is way beyond their budget.
I hope this guide will help you write online and earn a decent pay.