make money blogging

What is Freelance Writing?

by Jonathan on May 21, 2011

One of the best ways to improve your writing skills and earn immediate online income is through freelance writing. What is freelance writing? At times early in my blogging career, I would depend on freelance writing to “fill in the gaps” when my blogging income was not producing as consistent as I would have liked. Freelance writing means that you are an independent writer who works from home with several different employers at the same time. Companies and individuals alike are looking for competent writers who can produce quality content for their sites. These projects can pay you up front for the content that you write. The best past is that you can choose to write in areas of passion, knowledge, and interests.

Where to Find Freelance Work

There are more and more sites popping up everyday it seems. This list of freelance sites is not exhaustive. In fact, I am only going to mention sites that I have personally used and earned income from in the past. In the future, I plan on writing detailed guides on exactly how to use the following sites to earn income from home.

  • ODesk - You can open up an account, search through the thousands of writing jobs that are available, and bid on the assignments. Just do not sell yourself short just to get the work. More jobs are added all the time. Be patient.
  • Elance - Another great place to find nice writing gigs. This site has even higher paid writing assignments than others in my opinion. It is not unusual to find assignments such as creating a whole ebook as a ghost writer for a working professional or business.
  • Our Job Board - We recently launched a job board that has many paid blogging and freelance writing gigs listed.
  • Demand Studios- There are pros and cons to being a writer for Demand Studios. The pros are that once hired, you have access to thousands and thousands of titles and you can earn as much as you want. They pay twice a week by Paypal so you can get paid quickly. In the past, I have put in extra hours and effort when I know that a vacation was coming up. The downsides are that the pay is less than you can make elsewhere (average $15 per 400-500 word article), but if you write fast you can make up for the time spent. I average about 30 minutes per article ($30/hr).
  • Text Broker – The writing assignment are easier for the most part. However, these are writing orders placed by individuals so you do need to pay attention to the individual instructions that are being given. Still it is a great freelance income bucket when you want a different pace of writing. They pay by Paypal twice a month.
  • Freelance Writing Gigs – There are always new jobs going up on this site. If you are really interested in making a go of freelance writing then this site will give you the know-how.
  • Craigslist – You need to be careful of who you are dealing with here. Still, I have found a few great writing jobs here. One project paid me $100 week for a writing assignment that only required about 2 hours of my time a week.
  • Guest Posting – Build relationships with other bloggers along the way. I started by just trying to promote my blog by reaching out to other blogs and doing a free guest post. Some of those relationship over time turned into regular paid blog posts averaging between $30-$75 per post.

Hopefully, this has opened your mind to what freelancing is all about and the opportunities that exist. I do have one word of caution for you. Use freelance writing as a filler. It should support your blogging endeavors and not the other way around. In the end freelance writing, just creates a job for you. There is no leverage like owning your own blog can create. Although the supplemental income is nice. Do not take you eyes off the prize.

Question: If you have participated in freelance writing, what sites have you used in the past?


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  • Kathy

    Hi Jonathan!

    You mentioned getting paid via PayPal in your article. I have a few questions about that process.

    Does PayPal report to the IRS? Do you have a separate PayPal account for each blog you own or do you just lump it all into the same account?

    Obviously, I have no idea how PayPal works to receive money….I’ve only used it to pay for things on Ebay! Your insight would be most appreciated.

    Kathy

    • Jonathan

      Hi Kathy,

      Great questions. The place you freelance from will send you a 1099 so you can claim on your taxes. Usually this is only needed if you earned over $600 for the tax year with them. I use wave accounting because it is free and I can hook Paypal into it to keep track of everything. Hope that helps.

  • http://blogmobilepro.com Ikenna (BlogMobilePro)

    Guess the paypal thing is why I’ve been reluctant with freelancing. That seems to the most used form of payment and I can’t get one. Do you know of any reliable freelance site that pays through debitcard?
    I enjoyed reading your post. Will have to come back for more.

    • Jonathan

      Hello Ikenna,
      Probably the best route for you is to work with independent clients. They can pay you however you want. Look on sites like craigslist.org, ProBlogger Job Board and freelancewritinggigs.com. These are individual site owners who want articles written and can work with you on payment options.

  • http://blogmobilepro.com Ikenna (BlogMobilePro)

    Thanks Jonathan for the prompt reply. I’ll have to consider your advice. It’s quite reasonable, since the employer can be more flexible with payment options.
    BTW You don’t seem to have comment subscription check box to your comment form. I think I’ll be nice to give readers the option of following the discussion. Just thinking anyway..

    • Jonathan

      Great point! I will add that soon. Thanks for the idea.