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To steal a little from Ramit Sethi, even speaking English is a skill! The next best place to look for your writers niche is where you spend your money. As I wrote about in this article , you can look at:. Are you the kind of person who takes Thai cooking classes?

Food blogs might be calling your name. Then maybe a life of SEO writing is in your future. This could look like:. The final step is to drill your niche into its relevant sub niches and where you can write for them.

Each niche has a tree that looks a little like this:. And if you want to write in internet marketing — much like I did — you might find a breakdown like this:. Each niche and sub niche will have businesses, blogs and podcasts associated with them. This is where you begin to really see all of the opportunities in your niche and where you can begin to look for jobs. Although, those niches probably need freelance writers too. In fact the more niche you go, the more money you can make for blog posts, because writers are few and far between.

If there are businesses in your niche selling products or services or information, there is an opportunity to make money with them. On their site there is a section about Adventure Tours:. Think of how many pages there are like this across the internet that you could get involved with. For every product you can find here, there are blogs and niche sites and businesses making money from them.

And, all of those sites need copywriting to sell those products:. Not sure of the opportunities here? Just about anything that involves writing and can help sell a product. Then explore the niche a little bit deeper; what products or services need you to write for them? Are there bloggers, product reviews, industry websites, news sites et al. But as early in your career as possible you should get into the habit of checking job boards, content sites and classified ads.

These are the easiest types of job to find because they come from clients who are actively seeking your services. They should be used as a tool to help you build your business and not as the lifeblood of it.

However I have found lots of clients here and built long term relationships with them, that have grown both of our incomes over time. Freelance writing jobs boards are the place to find mid-range job with established clients.

You just need to be good enough to get paid. The rest are normally rehashed links back to the pages here:. They all compile freelance writing jobs that have been posted there, or direct you to jobs posted on classified sites giving you the cream of the crop. You can just start bookmarking freelance writing jobs that you like the look of. All you need to do through a site like this is set your filters, find a search that suits your needs and then choose their update option.

Like this email subscription box here:. Classifieds are an underrated job search tool, but they can be highly effective. There are even services like FreelanceWritingGigs. Content sites are a great stomping ground for beginners. You can get a lot of experience, and get paid for it because of the sheer volume of jobs. I wrote about all of these sites more in depth in my huge article about all the ways to make money online.

But, here they are in short for you:. Take social media, for example, there were a two options open to me:. And, to me landing an epic blog post spot on Buffer:. Think of how you can apply the same to your niche.

What do the different parts of your niche break down to? And from all of those you can break down even further, like if you were to look at retailers for the travel niche, that could be:. There are probably hundreds more options on top of that. Dive deeply into your niches and find all of the options of companies that will need writing in some form, as you looked at before.

From there you can add them to your list of people you can write a cold call email too. But, I can show you how to get around that in the next section. Referrals are one of the most powerful ways of landing a client. Because you come with a guarantee, from someone they know, that your work is of a high quality. I regularly send out emails like this to clients, asking if they know of anyone who is looking for a freelance writer.

And, sometimes you land a winner. Just cast your mind out to all of the people you know and all of the people that they know. There is an endless supply of people who could hook you up to a new client. The list goes on and on and on. Two of my first ever corporate clients came this way. A Training Company and a Language Interpretation service that operated across the hall from each other. There will be hundreds of businesses in your local area that other writers have never even thought to pitch to, either.

While they search the furthest reaches of the internet, why not walk into their building and request a meeting? There is no substitute for meeting people in person. You can find a whole host of these events on MeetUp or pay attention to local publications and magazines. There are some really easy other ways of finding clients, too. Take a look at one of the online magazines or blogs in your niche. And, find for times that a freelance writer has contributed. Right in front of you right now there is a full database of potential clients that are open to having freelancers work for them.

Oh, and stay tuned for a niche little tip on pitching later on, too. This process is a similar to the above. But, with a little twist that you can guess from the title. You do it on LinkedIn instead. Once again, find yourself a freelance writer on one of your favourite publications in your niche. Then, instead of looking for them on Google, go ahead and search them on LinkedIn:.

From there head down the page to find their Freelance Work Experience. This will either be under the tab of their company name, like it is for Kristi here:. Unadvertised freelance writing jobs take some searching; but you can use methods like The Website Hijacker to find companies that are open to working with freelancers. Referral clients come from asking the question and generating warm leads from people that you know. This can be a great method of automating your marketing. Writing is far too subjective for someone to determine what makes a good writer and what makes a bad writer.

You can see it for yourself in literature. K Rowling is still out there making a fortune. But you do need to do need to be able to showcase your work to people, in order to land the client. Your portfolio is where you can show people your work and let them make a decision for themselves. This portfolio from Copywriting Is Art is simple, but really effective. Simple imagery gives it authority and is easy for people to see that there is an endorsement of his work.

When you follow the links through the image you get a comprehensive breakdown of the work done, too:. This portfolio is my own personal one at JamesWritesThings. I use screenshots of my posts, with headlines that link directly to them:. This final portfolio comes from Erin at The Travel Copywriter.

She again uses visuals — much like the graphic I showed you at the start of this post — to create a sense of authority:. Just create a space — using a site builder or WordPress or your own domain — and put your work online. There are two steps to it. Start a blog about your Niche and start writing it. You can have it on a private link for all that matters.

But you do need to give people an opportunity to see your style in the context of your niche. I used to use this method a lot when I first started writing. Because, it gives you something more tangible to work with. Head to one of the freelance writing jobs boards or content mills and find a job posting. Look for one with a pretty specific description, like this one:. Then just go ahead and create an article or piece to that specification and stick it on your blog.

This process has two benefits:. Anything that gets you noticed from the other freelancers that are entering the field. It gives you valuable experience working with someone who will publish your work. For example, the guest post on Buffer that I mentioned earlier has brought me a tonne of emails like this:. And having written for sites like Addicted2Success and Lifehack and got a decent amount of shares showed that I could write for a big, well developed audience too.

Landing guest blog posts is a whole topic within itself. Testimonials are powerful pieces of information. So these glowing endorsements from people can play a huge part in this. You can build a portfolio yourself by just writing blogs for your niche , or by finding jobs and writing them for your own site to gain experience. Testimonials can come from anyone who has seen or used your writing and can be built up over time.

The sooner you get someone to write one though, the better. Pitching is a numbers game — more on that in the next section — but you can create pitches that grab attention. This is an important question because it can make or break whether you get spoken to or if you just get lost being passed around between departments in a company. There are three points of contact that you need to look for:.

Considering freelance writers are a group of individuals paid to write things…you suck at writing pitches. Because pitching is hard. That usually means your pitches go on far too long. They miss the point. It goes like this:. Put the most important information at the top and put the least important at the bottom.

Because newspaper editors cut the information from the bottom of the article. The exact same rule applies to pitching. You know, write more than is necessary. It comes with the nervousness with a pitch. A good pitch should be like a skirt; short enough to be interesting long enough to cover the subject. If you disregard everything else you learn about pitching in this article please remember this simple rule:.

Specific requirements that will affect you getting the job or not. The most common form of this is them asking you to put something in the pitch to prove that you read it. Like this job pitch where I had to put two specific words in the subject line:. So make sure you go through everything with a fine tooth comb before you send anything. Copy and pasting is great, but not if it loses you a job. You can edit this however you want but it is a sure-fire template that will help you land clients:.

Toy around and find your own unique stamp. People are pitching to your potential clients all the time so you need to craft pitched that make you stand out from the crowd. Ask questions in your headline, or reference the job listing, to get the best open rates. Because, regardless of the arguments for and against what your prices should be, it comes down to you. But do remember you have to put food on the table and you need to respect your time. One of the best lessons I learned came from the team at Nifty Marketing.

In this post they share how they set themselves a minimum that they refuse to budge on to attract the calibre of client that they wanted. Set a minimum price that you will not go under by any stretch of the imagination. Respect yourself and be proud of what you will work for, as well as what you wont.

Always be open to negotiation. But also be open to negotiations on different things. This can chop and change depending on the client, too.

Also, the payment in that niche is lower. But if you have a really niche, in-depth topic, that requires a lot of research — like SEO or Engineering — you would charge more. The price per hour is also dependant on your experience. I use it for almost all of my articles, especially on those longer articles — like this one — because it often works out fairer for you and the client. I use a similar system to the above for working this out. This is a standard pricing package for small businesses and copywriting clients.

For example, when I created the copy on this training company website, I set a fixed price for all of the content:. So, it pays to have a flexible option where people can talk to you and you will flesh out a price together for the work that needs to be done. This works on a per-client basis.

There are a number of ways you can get paid, too. This is usually when you bill out when you receive money:. Clients are sometimes flaky. Not all clients are like this, but there is always a level on inconsistency.

But there is a way you can make it more consistent and guarantee yourself an income. You just need to employ a subscription model. That way you are definitely getting paid and you have guaranteed work every month.

Setting the right price is personal to you. There is no right or wrong price to charge. In this step I want you to explore some of the ways to improve and refine your business. And, learn about other technical aspects of the job. Every piece of work will come with a brief. Sometimes that can be professional and in the shape of guidelines, like this:. Point out what it is you believe you should be delivering and if that is in line with what the client wants.

There is nothing worse — for you and a client — than going in blind and hoping you hit the target. Ask as many questions as you need to and go into as much detail as possible. The clearer the picture the better the end product. You do have to pay attention to what the client is saying and offer some changes based on what they ask for. More than just slapping what you did and your price on a sheet of paper or in a document and sending it across.

But I highly recommend using a service like FreshBooks to manage your invoices. You can just input the client data, send it across, and the rest of it is taken care of for you. They also come with a tonne of different payment options too:. Contracts will sometimes be sent to you to be signed, others will be be an email correspondence or done through a Skype call. And, there is a good chance you will never have to enforce a contract, but you should have one in place.

They cover your back; make sure you get paid the right amount for the right amount of work; cover your client and make your business more professional. Much like a project brief, be clear in:.

I hope by now you have a clear picture of what it takes to be a freelance writer and how to start your business the right way. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it really is as simple as choosing one of these steps and taking action until completion. You can sign up here. Very detailed and awesomr guide. If someone is into Article writing then this is a best guide anyone can see.

What do you say on offering a little extra or something a bonus the client isnt expected? It always worked for me. Whats your take on it? I would add some references link or some more evidences as a backup to prove my stance. This thing alone can give you a lot of trust which can result in into big businesses. If you follow the above steps and try to build a strong business relationship, I believe thats the best strategy for long term and big business.

After you finish an article contact the client and ask them how they liked it. For example lets say if someone post a job as a client there for words. A writer put his hard work and submit the article for apprval and client Rejects the article intentionally.

I worked with iWriter and I experienced or knew others who experienced intentional rejection. I mean clients who never intended to accept the article they requested, so when you submit it they reject it with no valid reason.

Regardless, I enjoyed the tutorial by James, and will be using it to further my freelance writing. I reject articles frequently! For new writers, try it at your risk! I feel there are more sustainable ways of building a Freelance Business. I find Upwork difficult to pitch on at the moment as I think there are lower paid jobs on there. The other writing job boards like ProBlogger have better quality adverts. Thanks so much for providing such a valuable information at one place Matthew.

Keep up the great work! James — what an epic blog post! Thank you Matthew for commissioning James to put together what should be considered the defacto guide to freelance writing online. As someone who is now trying to make a real go at being disciplined in writing at least 5, words a week for my own blog this post is super useful and motivating.

So for example I always open with a what you will learn section, and then the results of what they are about to learn before teaching how to actually do it. Hey James, Nice article. You did very good and deep research for this topic. Whenever I came on this blog, I always got some nice piece of information. Hats off to you guys.. Just a brilliant article that really opens up many more doors in the world of freelancing than I first thought were available. This is a great piece with a lot of great info.

As someone who is sick of the grind, this will surely be an article that i come back to again and again as I start down the trail of freelance work. This is an an awesome article with lots of valuable information and insight on the nuts and bolts of freelance writing.

Very encouraging for someone looking to be independent from a standard job. Thanks James for sharing your experiences and tips on freelance writing. Freelance writing comes with a lot of perks and challenges. If you want to succeed in this field, you have to get familiar with the ins and outs of the trade. You also have to make sure that you have all the required resources for producing great content for your client such as computer, reliable internet connection, etc.

This was such an epic article that I had to have two bites at it. Just this past week I had a change of circumstance which has forced me to choose a path. This has given me a lot of confidence. Age and family is an excuse, just roll your sleeves up and get started. Getting started is the hardest part but it can be done in less than a day! As someone who has been grinding on Upwork for a couple of months fairly successfully and figured there must be a better way, this article is incredibly helpful.

I began as a freelancer just this summer and found a lot of low-pay cruddy stuff. I wrote a blog on my experiences and it offers tips, tools and help.

My fist post may be helpful to you as a beginner: I am a writer and have a manuscript I am trying to get published. My manuscript has been accepted by two companies, but It cost a lot of money to do that, so I thought I would try to make money this way.

Should I go further with this, and if so, can you help me along and teach me the ropes? Outsourcing and exporting work over-seas occurred in my former profession by the Medical Transcription Services, and it seems a fact of life in my 2-month stint as a content article writer.

The content mill has an author forum which is helpful for learning the ropes and venting! I did apply to The Writers Hub, and was surprised when they asked what my per page rate would be?

I am hoping to network locally with a non-proffit in the coming weeks and eventually find a content article opportunity that pays decently, desires my talents, and provides a reasonable degree of work or referrals. Perhaps that is what the majority of us want here. I am very grateful for this site, thread, and posts! How so many missed that only to find a chance to criticize is troubling.

I thought it was just auto-correct showing its butt again. Why is this so? I have, as of yesterday, begun exploring the opportunity of writing for income. Therefore, with no qualifications save my own, self-perceived ones, I say this: David, you should write to the editor of MedicalExpo e-Magazine and propose your journalism services.

Take a look at the magazine first emag. I know the editor and they pay well. My girl came across this site, after I told her about losing a comment posting gig. I appreciate the time you took putting this together. My international clients hate all the extra fees. You might want to consider keeping your eyes peeled for spelling errors if you want writing jobs…. On the western side of the pond, we would look at some cross-eyed if they used that term seriously.

Spelt is definitely the way it is spelled and pronounced in Britain. My daughter reads and watches many British books, shows, and movies, and she spells and pronounces it that way because she has become so accustomed to it. She had one English teacher criticize her until she showed said teacher that it is the British way to spell it. It is not incorrect.

I have so many stories and poetry and even a couple of novels that I have written or started writing and I always joke that when I die, someone will find my writing and only then, will I get famous for my writing. I, as the writer, would never turn something in, to have it read by anyone, without proofreading it myself either. One of the posts reads: Any sites you can recommend off the top of your head for someone starting out as a freelance academic essay writer?

Should pay well too. Science-Fiction Writers of America, which I use as a guideline, advocates for no less than six cents a word as professional rates. Most good clients who hire freelance writers will pay considerably more. Most of the content mills I have seen pay about three cents a word.

Just saying…again, it trying to be rude or mean. I wish the best of luck to you! I too, am trying to get some writing gigs, and just starting out. I have no idea where to even begin. With that said, I think constructive criticism is a good thing, that if we take need to, can help us out in the long run.

If anyone has any constructive criticism or constructive advice for me, please comment. Hi Donna and others, The online writing lab at Purdue University has resources on the Chicago Manual of Style and the APA manual, as well as many articles related to English grammar usage that are user-friendly!

Just type owl purdue university in your fave search engine and it should appear as a result. I got a fairly good rating but not tops.

Glad to have joined this particular thread and sooo thankful for the supportive content on here. Smiles to all, David. And hopefully a movie. It is called Zombie Revelations and has the old with a real touch of reality.

I hope it can save some writers from going through the penny-a-word phase too many of us went through at one point! I would add staying away from Yahoo! Good for you for approaching businesses directly! Thanks so much Kelly for taking the time to research and put together this list. It will get some good use here! 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.

I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so. I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated. One client said that he already had words. When I looked at what he wrote, it was on a sixth-grade level.

No research, statistics, compelling copy, SEO keywords, etc. So I had to start from scratch. I ended up acting like a tutor. Another client loved my work but kept disappearing. I asked for her website address, information about her company, etc. She let another week go by then disappeared again. I could go on and on. I think that clients who use the content mills do believe that they can get stellar writing for peanuts. I believe these incidents are blessings in disguise.

I follow top-notch bloggers and copywriters and hone my skills continually. It is up to the freelancer to determine his standards and ultimately his worth. Hello Denita and others, I am thankful for this site, thread and continued posts including yours. At present I am an IC with Textbroker International, and try to look at most the jobs as blessings in disguise. Generally, I am a better conversationalist since starting this in late September, agree with you about developing writing skills, and have kind of found my subject niche as it were.

The big picture tells me I have it pretty good, given local opportunities and employment services for those of us who have a handicapability are inadequate in my place of residence. I hope your experience is dynamically different, but you sound quite capable and willing to improve where need be which says a lot favorably concerning what you bring to the proverbial table.

All the best to you Denita, enjoyed the chance to talk shop! Avoid sites like Researchwritingcenter. I think the better question is, what kind of writing do YOU want to do? What topics interest you? What style are you most comfortable writing in?

Freelance writing is a huge industry, and you could be everything from a lifestyle blogger to a marketing copy writer. You need to determine what niche fits your skills and interests best; that will make it much easier for you to locate specific, nitty-gritty advice. I am based out of India. I would like to write short stories. Could anyone guide me as how I should go about it. Please recommend sites where I should register myself. I have registered myself in Freelancer.

You can find them here: This article was quite helpful and the comments were too. I am just about to finish my English MA and I am broke as joke, living at my parents, and finding writing work online is my priority for the time being.

Best of luck to everyone trying to survive out there! Thank you for this post. I just recently got into freelance writing and I feel so stupid already. I feel so cheated. Should I even complete the job? Is it possible that the work she is doing for oDesk would at least provide a portfolio for her future use? I am brand new to the writing game.

Love your words of encouragement to stay true to writing and get properly paid for your talent. I love writing and have been caught up in content mills since I decided to write online about a month ago. I must admit the pennies I have received for my time, talent and dedication has been great to encourage me to seek something better. Are there any books or articles you recommend for beginners looking to earn a living writing online? The Write Life has actually put together a great list of resources to check out.

You can find it here: This article was an actual eye opener. Once again a big thank you for now I know what to expect and whom to deny.

Thank you for the tips. I am handicapped and a fairly new mom at 41 to our 9 month old first and only son. Can anyone give me additional tips on the best way I could start a blog aside from wordpress or blogger please? First of all, congrats on your new baby! Second of all, my thoughts are with you and all your friends and loved ones — are you located in the Philippines yourself? Third, The Write Life has put together a great list of resources you can check out.

First off, congrats on your 1st son! Sounds like you come central Visayas too like me, am from Bohol Phils. Yolanda Haiyan and the quake that hit our country — and the economic woes they brought are really challenges we need to hurdle.

You see, I am more comfortable in writing articles than blogs. Also, writing websites that work like a vendo machines like Xoobiz, in , but now seems closed where writers can draw writing jobs from a queue — will also help, as we need not waste time in pitching for jobs. Thank you for the great tips. I also get money writing for Bubblews and I I also write for sendmeglobal where they only give award to a writer each month.

I was able to win it once. You have opened my eyes to other relevant targets. There is soooo much info out there and this article has saved me from contentmills, not to mention wasted hours-thanks very, very much!! I guess you your words of wisdom are meant for US-based writers, knowing how much it costs to live there, this makes sense … well, kinda. If you were writing for a while before delving into the freelance world, i.

However, taking those low-paying gigs is what you really need if you got no clue what your niche is, and want to get experience. Since I write for my own amusement and because Jennifer Oh dear Jennifer who gave me my first writing gig! At least for the sake of getting good at your craft before pitching to high-paying clients.

Speaking of High-paying clients, I stumbled upon your post as I was looking for them, but all I could find is advice, and advice only. It just takes time to sort through and separate the wheat from the chaff! I vehemently disagree with you here. Content mills horribly abuse writers and make it difficult for people who have spent years in this field to get a fair wage due to the expectation that companies can pay less to get more.

All around bad news and not recommended for anyone who wants an actual career in writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alicia. To each their own opinion — some people, like Talal said, enjoy using sites like oDesk because it works for their needs and goals.

The pay is sustainable and you are able to begin your career well. Being a young, I started on Elance some weeks ago while at the same time trying oDesk. What is your advice for me? I think Elance is good for building some portfolio and acquiring experience, but naturally I want to move on to something bigger and better. Hi Matteo, thanks for your comment! We actually have a post coming up on what to look out for when using outsourcing sites like Elance and oDesk.

Keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks! Usually to make a change in life its quite scary but your post is so straight forward and well written that it makes anyone feel ready to take on the world! Thanks for this post and some of the other ones as well about freelance writing. Thanks for the kind words, Grace! I hope TWL can help motivate and support you in your career change. I will be graduating with a Professional Writing degree in May. I just signed up to write articles on Hire writers.

I was a technical writer before becoming a s-a-h mom. Whatever you do, when first out of college, it can take a long time to build up your experience. It can be a long, frustrating climb, but do have patience and try not to get frustrated when you keep hearing that you need experience to get the job. So where can you find freelance gigs? Journalism Jobs While most of the postings are you guessed it again! FlexJobs One of the top job boards for telecommuting, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs.


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You need a reliable writer who can turn in crisp, compelling copy for websites, features, ads, direct mail, newsletters. You want an easy-to-brief journo on the end of the phone who understands keyword vocabularies, and social media. Freelance writing is a huge industry, and you could be everything from a lifestyle blogger to a marketing copy writer. You need to determine what niche fits your skills and interests best; that will make it much easier for you to locate specific, nitty-gritty advice.