If you you want to be a writer there are plenty of freelance writing jobs for beginners that pay really well. Unfortunately beginners often take the first gig they can get without understanding what they’re really worth.
Writers are in high demand right now, don’t sell yourself short. Follow my advice here and go earn the money you’re worth.
Since I’m saving the best for last, I thought it would be best to start here.
Odesk and Elance
These two are probably the most popular sites for new freelancers. I listed them both together because they are very similar in almost every way. They do have their differences but they are both terrible. I advise you to avoid them if you can.
However, if you cannot find work anywhere else then you might want to try one of them. In my first month trying to make money online I made a little working for these sites.
The problem is, there are tons of freelancers to compete with at Odesk and Elance, it’s very difficult to get paid what you’re worth.
How it works
The ‘client’ goes to Odesk or Elance looking to hire a freelancer to complete a task for them.
They create a post outlining the task and details about job. They include the duration and the budget they have for the job.
When they’ve finished, that post is available to every freelancer that wants the job.
You’re basically in a bidding war with every other freelancer bidding on that job and you’re competing over pennies.
The ‘client’ almost always chooses the lowest bidder, which means you’ve just wasted a lot of time for nothing.
The competing bids are usually so low you can’t even come close to the price they’re offering.
Elance and Odesk allow freelancers from any country, which means 70% of them can survive on a fraction of what you need.
That’s why I say it’s not worth it to try either one of these. There are much better options.
There are tons of these on the web now. For many clients (and freelancers) the Odesk/Elance model just doesn’t work.
So they go to content mills where lots of freelance writers are waiting for fresh orders.
How it works
You create an account and complete a sample article.
This sample is what the content mill uses to rate your quality of writing, usually between 1 and 10. The higher your rating, the more money you earn per word.
Each mill has its own rating system and some of them are way off the mark. Some consider you to be a great writer based on speed, others base it solely on client feedback.
Some won’t give you a rating better than ‘1’ until you pay them to move up.
Once you get your rating (this can take days or weeks) you are allowed to start accepting assignments from a pool of orders.
It pays to be a fast clicker here because good orders get snatched up quickly.
The amount you can earn from content mills varies depending on your “quality rating”, and of course the mill itself.
Some mills pay better than others but most pay very little.
Some writers don’t mind pumping out 20 or 30 articles a day about plumbing parts, those are the writers who make decent wages at content mills.
If you don’t mind doing that for a while, you can earn a little cash. You will probably earn $5 to $10 per article, which is nothing compared to what you should be making.
Here’s a list of some of the better paying content mills.
- Text Broker
- Constant Content
Just to be clear though, content mills are not ideal. They take advantage of new writer by paying pennies and demanding odd “quality guidelines”.
If you’re just starting as a freelance writer, I think fiverr is one of the best places for you. If you use fiverr the right way you can create a consistent monthly income.
Fiverr (if you don’t know) is a website where you can offer to do a ‘Gig’ for five bucks. A ‘Gig’ is whatever you want it to be.
You wouldn’t believe some of the crazy stuff you can find there.
You can find someone to create a logo, sing you “Happy Birthday” or be your “FaceBook girlfriend” all for…you guessed it, five bucks.
Lots of people go to fiverr everyday looking for writers.
If you set up an attention grabbing profile there, you can get constant work almost immediately.
How it works
At fiverr, you set up your gigs however you want. If you only want to write 300 word articles about butterflies, then that’s how you set up your gig. You can write as little or as much as you think is fair for five bucks.
Once you reach level two (about 20 gigs) you can start making add-ons to your gig. So for example, “I will write an extra 50 words for $20.”
Now, that five dollar gig has turned into $25 and you’ve only written 350 – and on a topic you like to write about.
It’s not the best pay in the world but it’s certainly not bad for a beginner.
Believe it or not, Reddit is a great place to find freelance writing jobs. For starters, the entire reddit community is pretty engaged.
Anywhere you find a community that’s engaging with each other, you can find plenty of freelance writing jobs.
But reddit has an area devoted to nothing but freelancers.
How it works
Reddit is home to lots of communities that are like forums. It has a community for just about everything you can think.
The communities inside reddit are called ‘subreddits’.
The subreddit called r/ForHire is specifically for freelancers looking for work and people with work looking for freelancers.
You can go to r/for hire and create a post that outlines your skills and the type of work you’d like to do. People will see that post and contact you through reddit.
But the best thing is to search through the posts already created at r/forhire. Businesses and website owners post new jobs there often and they’re waiting to hear from freelancers.
Unfortunately most new freelance writers don’t know about query letters but they are the most effective way to get new writing jobs.
A query letter is simply a ‘pitch’ that you send to the blog (or whatever) you want to write for.
How it works
First you need to find a blog (or whatever) you want to write for. Ideally you already know a little about them – what they write about, who their target audience is, etc.
If not, read some the content and comments there to figure it out. Once you’ve done that, come up with an idea for an article or post that would fit their needs.
Don’t write the post yet, just come up with the idea.
Once you have that idea find a way to contact the blog owner or editor and send them an email outlining your idea for the post.
Make sure you tell them how it will help their readers and why you want to write it specifically for them.
Not all query letters will be accepted – most won’t even get a reply. Don’t get discouraged though, this is just the nature of being a freelance writer.
The more you know about the blog , the more likely they are to accept your pitch.
Ready to Earn Your First $100?
If you’re a new freelance writer then you probably haven’t landed many gigs yet. I know your pain.
When I started freelancing I had no money and tons of overdue bills. As a single out of work dad, I had to find a way to make money quickly. It didn’t take long before I figured out how to do just that.
If you want to learn what I did, sign up for the free 3-week course where I share all my best tips for getting started quickly.
In the free course you will learn everything you need to know to build a writing based business.