Hi Elna, I just bumped into this post when I was just beginning to give up because finding freelance writing tasks that pay well has been the hardest task. I have been stuck with content mills for the longest time (I started freelance writing sometime in 2011), I have written tonnes of articles for very little pay usually $7 for 500 words. I look forward to revitalizing my writing career with ideas you shared. I’m taking up the challenge to find better paying gigs.

I appreciate all the information that you have given us. It’s something that I have been thinking about doing and I plan on going through the different steps you have here and putting myself out there. I love writing. Even if this was only a part time thing for a while it would still be great to write for people. I read an article about becoming a blogger too and she suggested even starting out as a ghost writer. What are your thoughts on ghost writing?

That’s great you want to start freelance writing! I hope your husband is on board with this 🙂 As for your blog topic, remember that your personal niche is different than your freelance writing niche. I blog over at TwinsMommy.com and that’s my passion and personal niche. I talk about being a work at home mom, working at home, having twins and making money blogging. But this blog is geared towards writers. For you though, you can pick your paying niche (freelance writing niche) and pick a personal niche (this can be a lifestyle niche where you blog about several topics). So let’s say you pick the pet industry as your paying niche, then your writer website would reflect copy for a Pet Writer for hire. Then you can have your lifestyle blog if you want and blog about pet life, motorcycles, personal growth etc.. Make sense? You can also have a writer website that’s all about pet writing, have a portfolio with pet writing and then link to your lifestyle blog. This is what I do for my writer website. I link to THIS blog on my writer website even though it has nothing to do with my niche (digital marketing). Make sense?
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Do you think the market place for freelance writers is saturated. I tried signing up with Upwork but my application was rejected. The reason for this was they already have a vast amount of writers with the same skills as my own. Their advice was to apply again once I had acquired further skills. I registered my skills as – SEO article writer, blogger and proofreader. Do you think I should have included a nich?
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Thank you for this informative blog. This indeed enlightened a writer like me to be extra cautious as to what sites to visit. I have been writing as freelancer for barely a year now. Lately, I have been hired by a private client through a website not included in the ones you have mentioned. In just 5 days, I have written 22 articles/blogs for her but unfortunately, I was not paid. Worst, she became inactive on skype and on the site where we both are members. What disheartened me more was that I have found some of my blogs already posted online on different sites. Coming across this blog, I now have several options as to what sites to visit and what to do as well. Thanks again. By the way, I am a stay-at-home mom too.
Hi Elna. Great post. I’ve been a freelance writer, and digital nomad for three years now. I, unfortunately, started out on one of the writing mills that pays very little. I made quite a bit on there, but eventually left as I was writing 8-10 hours a day for next to nothing. I’ve tried a number of your suggestions and the one I’ve had the most luck with, by far, was cold contacting. I’ll contact 10-12 websites a day and send them a sample of my work. I get a few new clients a week, plus all of my repeat customers. It’s gotten to the point I need junior writers to pick up some of the slack. For anyone out there interested in being a freelance writer there’s plenty of work out there.
Hi Elna, This was all very helpful. I’m a science writer by trade in the government sector and recently began searching for ways to make some extra income writing evenings and weekends and came across your article. Do you have any feedback about what type of contract I might be expected to sign. I interviewed over the phone for a non-science editing position yesterday and they expressed interest in hiring me as an independent contractor. Within the day I received an Adobe Sign editor’s contract with a number of my responsibilities to the Agency laid out, as well as expected pay and notice that I don’t get paid unless the Agency gets paid by the Client. So my question is, Is a contract pretty standard for independent contract writing jobs, in your experience?

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Thanks for sharing your story. Even though you want to be more creative, if you want to get paid for your writing as a freelance writer, you need to realize this is a business. I would rely – in the beginning – with what you are good at and have expertise in. This, for you, is health and exercise science. I would form my freelance writing business around creating health content for a client. From there you need to figure you our ideal client. This post may help you out: https://elnacain.com/blog/ideal-freelance-writing-client/ From there you can hone your copy on your writer website to attract that right client as well as market your business!
Involving influencers in your content creation can add credibility to your content, with the influencer’s credibility creating a halo effect around your brand. And some influencers double up and function as subject matter experts if they play in a particular niche or industry. Some influencers May even have existing relationships that make it easier to get earned placements with publishers.
Hi Elna! Thank you for the insightful post! I am just starting out with freelancing and your article has provided a lot of useful informations! I have one question though; in order to sign up as a freelancer in websites such as Upwork or other related sites, do you have to be a US citizen? (Because I am not!) If yes, does that mean you can only apply for freelancing jobs in your own country? I hope to hear from you soon!
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Name recognition is important. Social media puts everything you need within your grasp. Build your audience, meet publishers and talk to industry experts. When your writing is published, the fun has only just begun. The more active you are on social media, the more likely your followers will be to recommend your content. Successful content writers are active, public and friendly. #article writing tool
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