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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to: Make Money Freelance Writing.

freelance writing

Some of you guys emailed me after reading this post and asked where I find freelance writing jobs.

I want to be clear that I am not a freelance writing genius.  I have not been able to quit my job and write all the time. I am still riding the struggle bus.  However, I have learned a lot about freelancing lately, so I at least have a few good tips on how to get started. 

I've tried several outlets to find freelance jobs, but Elance is my favorite for a few reasons.

how to use Elance

You're protected. This is by far the best thing about Elance. When you're hired for a job, the client has to pay Elance before you start working, and Elance will pay you after you complete the job. That means that if you agreed upon $100 for a job, they can't come back after you completed the work saying they only want to pay you $50, because they've already paid Elance in full. 

Everything happens through one site. Everything that is exchanged is through the website. This means that if a client does try to not pay you or change the terms of your agreement, you can file a complaint with elance. They will then be able to see everything about your job and determine whether or not the client is breaking an agreement. 

You can sort by category. Elance is a website for all kinds of freelance jobs, not just writing. There's a writing category, but it's split into several other categorties: creative writing, technical writing, ghost writing, etc. This makes it easy to see what's available in your area without sorting through thousands of jobs you have no interest in. 

get paid to freelance write

Apply for a lot of jobs. Don't just apply to one job a week and expect that to go anywhere. I would say that for every ten jobs I apply to, I get one. Sure, that's a lot of work for one job. But it's a job! 

Read the entire job before applying. When you apply to so many jobs in one place, it can be tempting to just scan the details before applying. Since so many people do this, a lot of clients will place a "secret phrase" somewhere in the details that they'll ask you to write at the top of your application to ensure you read everything. 

Reference the specific job in your application. If you only say, "I've attached my resume, I look forward to hearing from you!" then you're no different than the rest of the applicants.  Instead, say something like, "I am interested in this job because ____. I believe my previous experience ____ qualifies me because of _____." 

Treat every job like it's your dream job. You have no idea what a tiny copywriting job could lead to. Make sure all of your work is your best work. Meet your deadlines, be professional, and turn in work that you would be proud of if a famed publishing house was reading it. 

Send a thank you email. Most of the people who hire through Elance are going to come back and continue using the site. If they already know they like working with you, they can save themselves the time of looking through applications and resumes for future jobs. Why not leave a good impression and remind them of that? 

Freelance writing is almost always going to be hit or miss. It's a lot of work for what may turn out to be a bunch of one time gigs. However, it can also lead to repeat jobs. The first six months of using Elance, I just did little jobs. And then one day, a client liked a little job I did, so he offered me a bigger job. Now I write for him every week, and I never would have been able to do that without sticking out the little jobs first.  So stick it out! 

Do you do any freelance writing? Have you ever used Elance?

29 comments:

  1. Elance sounds like a great service! I have mostly done freelance work for local people, but I will definitely give this a try. :)

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  2. I've never used Elance but now I might. :) Thanks for sharing your experience and these helpful tips.

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  3. Thank you for posting this! I read your blog yesterday and I was wondering! I appreciate you sharing this information!

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  4. Thank you for sharing! Great tips!

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  5. This is fabulous, thank you. I was thinking of asking you the other day where you got freelance jobs and then I forgot! I have a regular business resume but I need to write a writing resume. I'd love to hear your suggestions on that!

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  6. Thanks fir the tips! I did some freelance writing several years ago but it's a good idea to do as a side job if I need some extra $$. I've heard elance is great to use.

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  7. Thank you so much for these tips, I am def interested in freelance writing and I would have had NO idea where to even begin looking.

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  8. That is really neat, good for you girl! I've never heard of this before, thanks for sharing :)

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  9. awesome, helpful and informative post!!! thank you for sharing!

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  10. fabulous! i was very curious, so thanks for sharing. i have lofty dreams of writing a book one day but i really dont think i am a good writer, and i have no idea where to start, so i'll just follow along as you rocket to stardom, lol :)

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  11. thanks for the tips! this is something i'd love to look into!

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  12. So, I think we've talked about this. I tried Elance for freelance editing, and it was the WORST. At least 10 of my editor friends tried it too and had a similar result. It sounds like it's better for writing than editing, but people will work for insanely cheap, so no one was hiring anyone who bid over like $3/hr. Um, no. I'm glad you're having success with it, though! It is a great concept, and the couple of jobs I did get went really smoothly.

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  13. This is such great advice, Chelsea! I haven't dove into the world of freelancing but it sounds totally enticing :)

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  14. I'll have to look into this, I've been wanting to make a little extra honeymoon money.

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  15. I've always toyed around with the idea of getting into freelance writing. Thank you for providing helpful tips!

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  16. Thanks for this! I'm trying to get my freelance career off the ground and I have an elance account but I haven't put in for any jobs. I need to just take the plunge and do it!

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  17. I haven't used Elance, but I think I might give it a try. Finally. Thank you!

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  18. Ohh I have been wanting to do some freelance writing! I can't wait to check this out!

    Nikki
    thefashionablewife.com

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  19. I've never heard of Elance but thanks for the heads up girl!

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  20. I'd never heard of Elance before now but I'm really entrigued by it all and I think I'll have to have a look!
    Sarah x
    http://www.saraheliza.co.uk/

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  21. Great post! Thanks sweetie! I’m Jenna btw, I’ve got a little blog about positivity and all things motivational, self-help, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. I would love if you checked it out! :)

    http://www.livenpresent.com
    x Jenna

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  22. Oh man! This is so intriguing! I would love to check out Elance, and I think the tips you gave are awesome;)

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  23. Thanks for the great advice! I am currently rebranding my blog and going into a more full time platform while holding a job in PR. This might be a great outlet to make some extra cash on the side. Thanks again for sharing!

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  24. Thanks so much for the advice! I'm definitely going to check out elance. Do you have suggestions on how to put together a resume for freelance writing? Especially for those of us just starting out.

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  25. I've been wanting to look into freelance writing and now that I've taken a new job that I'm much happier in, but took a big pay cut for (totally worth it, though) I'm really serious about finding freelance writing jobs. So thank you for this post! I've actually looked at Elance but I always like hearing from people who have used a resource to see what they have to say so this was very helpful and informative!

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  26. I've always wondered about this because we get a handful of emails asking about freelance writing for our site.. but we never had anything set up for that. We asked one of the writers what they did and how they made money because we were curious, but we got a really vague answer. Good to know! :) And the thank you email is good for any job.. or handwritten note.. even better!

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  27. Ive always wanted to hop on the Elance boat but haven't yet. I'll def be using your tips when I finally get to applying!

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