Recently, I have been receiving quite a bit of mail in my mailbox asking for advice on how to make it as a freelance writer. I’m not sure I’m necessarily the right guy to be asking; there are more than likely any number of writers here making more money than I, but I do know that anyone who is dedicated, has the time, and is a good writer can make $30,000 in the next twelve months without even leaving their home very often.
First the ground rules. In order to make $30,000 a year as a freelance writer-and of course, the potential is far greater than that-the first thing you have to have is time. Even if you are the greatest writer in the world, if you don’t have the time to commit to becoming a successful freelance writer, you are out of luck. As an example, I will use myself. I have a wife and children that I love to spend time with. Other than that, I don’t really have any issues with time management. I’m a professional loner so I don’t go out with friends. I follow Groucho Marx’s instructions on never belonging to any club or organization that would have me as a member. In essence, my time is my own. And since I would prefer to enjoy the little time I have left with my wife and kids, I choose to be with them rather than working my arse off trying to make more money to afford more crap I don’t need or a house I can’t afford to air condition or a fancy car that is going to break down just as much as my minivan. In other words, if I was unmarried and childless, I’d probably be writing this to tell you how to make $75,000 a year as a freelance writer. But I simply don’t want to work that hard. What I’m trying to say is that if you have the time to put into becoming a freelance internet writer, $30,000 should be viewed in terms of an average. Those want to pursue it as a part time career should be aware that they can pump up their annual income between $10,000 and $20,000 rather easily. If you want to be able to buy yourself a new car with the money you made in freelance writing this time next year you should be aware that it can be done, but you’ve got to treat it like a real job.
Now the second big question. Can you make $30,000 a year just writing for hubpages? Well, sure. I mean technically I can’t think of any reason why you couldn’t. It would just mean a lot of writing is all. In the past twelve months I have made over $9,000 just at hubpages alone, and I spend a considerable amount of time writing low-pay or no-pay opinion and political pieces instead of keyword-rich articles about MySpace and Fergie and thongs and other topics constantly at the top of the keyword tracker lists. And like I said, I have family responsibilities. So, I suppose if you had nothing else to do with your time it would be possible to make $30,000 writing for nobody else but hubpages. That’s a lot of content, however. And even I think I would have trouble putting out that much content for hubpages while still making it interesting and worthwhile.
Which is where other writing opportunities come into play. As I said before, I may not be the best person at hubpages to come to for advice on becoming a freelance internet writer. Those who have been in the business longer than I probably know any number of places to look for jobs. Some of them have written advice already, so look them up. But this is what I know and with this information, I know that a decent writer who is able to make a full time commitment to freelance writing can make at least $30,000 over the next 365 days.
Freelance for Hire sites.
You’ve got a talent for writing and other people need to exploit that talent. As a result, there are a number of web sites where you can register for free and then bid on writing jobs. While there is no upfront cost to you, you can expect to pay a commission on any job you take. Here are the most popular, and there are plenty more with which I’m not well associated:
Scriptlance. Get-A-Freelancer.WriterLance. Guru. Freelance Your Project.
Here’s the way these freelancer sites work. You sign up and choose the types of freelance projects that you are qualified to do. Some of them group all writing types into one category, while others allow you to choose if you want to be informed about copywriting, humorous writing, brochures, web content, etc. You can choose to be notified by e-mail when a job that fits your qualifications comes through and you really have to choose that to make these things work. Otherwise you have to have the discipline to check on the sites yourself. When you get a notification, you go to the site and place a bid on the job. Chances are you won’t be the only person making a bid and will be tempted to undercut them all by making the lowest bid. I advise against that. For one thing, you may wind up winning a job that eventually pays you three dollars an hour for your time. And for another, the only clients who go for the lowest bid are ones who don’t care about quality. Those who want quality writers are willing to pay the extra amount. Another word of advice: Read carefully exactly what the job description is. If you just casually glance over it, you may find yourself taking on a job that requires far more effort than you thought. Be aware that there are other freelancer sites just like these that do require a monthly membership free.
This is web site that should be at the top of your favorites. Here you will plenty of great advice for freelance writing, but more importantly you can find a terrific and constantly updated job bank. The leads you will find here set you on a path toward finding nearly every possible kind of writing job that exists, from writing for nationally known magazines to writing sexy stories for adult websites. (Of course, there may not be that big a chasm between those two.) Whether your writing can bring tears or laughter, you can probably find some type of job listing here today-right after you finish reading this article-that will be worth the time you put into pursuing it. The great thing about the freelance writing opportunities you can find here is that many of them are locally advertised jobs that just may exist in the city where you live. Of course, that might have the effect of deleting the “freelance” part from your job description, but many of you might prefer that. Remember always that making $30,000 a year as a freelance writer means having the job of not just writer, but PR man, advertiser, accountant, etc.
Constant-Content is a site that is kind of like those freelancer sites except you go ahead and write the content and offer it up for sale and wait for someone to buy it. Of course, you can forego this gamble by taking advantage of their “Requested Content” link and finding out what specific kind of contents has been requested by customers. I have sold quite a bit of content to this site and if I were a bit more motivated could probably sell a lot more. If you are the type of person who likes to write to order instead of having the freedom to write what you want, Constant-Content is a pretty decent place and could be a real boon to your bank account. It all depends on the type of writer you are.
I’ve written elsewhere about Shvoong, and it is nice place to write for when you’re just sitting around watching TV or at the doctor’s office. Basically, Shvoong is a place where you can write synopses of any kind of book. These little abstracts can be anywhere from 300 to 900 words, something that any writer worth his salt should be able to knock off in a half hour. You don’t get paid upfront, but rather through a pay-per-view type thing. Obviously, the more abstracts you publish the more you will make. It’s not a place to make a living, naturally, but if you could set aside an hour a day to punch out two or three, over the course of a year you might just find a way to get a little spending money each month.
You have to get yourself a web site and even a free one will do. If for no other reason than to have one-stop shopping area for all your writing. Linking back to your Hubpages page is fine, but it you start to build up a portfolio of work all over the web you need one place you can direct potential clients to that facilitates the ease of finding all your published work. I would also highly recommended Squidoo. Squidoo is great for allowing all your articles on a specific topic to be found on one site. For instance, I have Squidoo lenses that link back to all my articles about black & white movies, or The Simpsons, or my articles on the legacy of George W. Bush. The point is that you never know where a potential client may first come across your writing. The more places you can find to provide a link to something you’ve written, the better. Join a Yahoo group, or take part in Usenet discussions. Follow the etiquette, of course, but if you are allowed to link to something you’ve written without being blasted for spam, then do it. Once again, you have absolutely no idea where someone who may be willing to pay you to write will come across something you’ve written. So make sure you do your best always, no matter what the topic. Be much more diligent in proofing for spelling goofs than I have been. If you are willing to spend at least half the time that you spend writing in doing the pain-in-the-butt work of looking for job opportunities and making sure your work is getting out there and known, I guarantee you that you can make at least $30,000 a year as a full time freelance writer.*