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All you need to know about Online Freelance Writing

Updated on March 15, 2013
Bad Content!
Bad Content! | Source

Occupation - Freelance Writer

The internet is growing at an astonishing speed. There are more websites being added to the world wide net every day and guess what all these new websites need?

Good Content!

I'm not talking about content with no structure, that has terrible grammar and even more spelling mistakes than a fourth grader would make. What I'm talking about is quality content that adds to your knowledge when you read. Content which adds value to the website it found on.

Such content is what a good freelance writer provides.

Unfortunately the ease with which anyone can pick up freelance writing projects online has brought forward a large number of "wannabes". Some of them may be incompetent on the outset itself. Others may be good writers in their native languages but poor English language content providers. Few may be good at writing, but may not be reliable and may disappear halfway through a project.

So be a good writer and never be out of work.

The success of the online freelancer depends on providing good content constantly to a large number of employers. This is what you need to strive for. The process of freelancing is outlined below.

Writer's best friend - Notepad
Writer's best friend - Notepad | Source

Are you a Freelance Writer?

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Gems from my experience

Based on the different projects that I have handled as a freelance writer I have written a hub about all the different software that you will need to use as an online freelance writer. Access the hub through the link given below.

How to find freelance writing jobs

Becoming an Online Freelance Writer

There are a number of freelance market places on the internet where you can offer your writing services for sale.

Here I speak not of sites like Hubpages where a revenue sharing model allows the writer to earn from what he or she has written.

Instead I refer to those sites where you can sell articles that you have written to employers who commission them for a specific purpose of their own.

This purpose can be to develop content on a website, to use articles on other websites to get traffic to their websites, to send out emails containing pre sale information and a whole lot more. So how can you get in to this line?

The process is simple

  1. Join a Freelance Marketplace - The process is a simple registration like how you would sign up for an email id. There are different types of memberships on each website. Sign up for the free version at first to gain an understanding of how things work. There will be certain terms and conditions on each site and you need to understand the fee that they will take per project. Later if you are successful enough you can upgrade to a paid membership with more perks.
  2. Search for Projects - Now that you have entered the site, look at jobs that you can do in the projects that are available to you. These projects will usually match the profile you made in your registration process. So be careful when you populate the profile with data. Filter through the projects and pick the ones that you feel you can handle with ease. Initially don't go for large projects. Remember you need to take baby steps before you can run
  3. Bid on Projects till you are awarded one - One project at a time is a good idea for a new comer, so apply for no more than three projects at a time. There is a good chance that you will be hunting for a while before you get your first project. Don't lose hope. Keep bidding. One good technique is to offer a low price for your services initially to gain feedback and experience on the site.
  4. Complete work and get paid - Once you are awarded a project begin work on the project and make sure that you provide good quality work. Also ensure that you meet all the deadlines that your employer gives you. Keep in touch with the employer regularly and ask questions in case of ambiguity. Its better to ask a couple of questions first than to have to rewrite pages of work you have already finished.

To get a better idea of what I mean in terms of work assignments take a look at my hub titled What Skills does a Writer need? This hub will give you a good idea of the skills that you need to develop to work as a freelance writer.

Practice makes perfect

While I have been writing for ages, since school, it is only recently that I feel that I have gained the ability to write from different perspectives. This is an important skill for an online freelance writer. The only way to develop this skill and others that I share in my hub above are through practice. There truly are no short cuts to success.

Have you ever hired a freelance writer?

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3 Popular Freelance Marketplaces

Freelance Market Places
There's a number of freelancers waiting to be hired
There's a number of freelancers waiting to be hired | Source

Hiring a Freelance Writer

If this is your first time hiring a freelance writer you may like to look at the three sites listed in the table on the right where you can find freelancers.

If you need more detailed information please refer to this link to my hub titled "28 sites to make money online - Outsourcing, Micro Tasking, Cloud Sourcing and Revenue Sharing".

In case you have hired freelance writers before you will know that getting a good writer is much more than just the luck of the draw. Here are some points to consider before hiring a writer from a freelance market place.

Things to look for :

  1. Prompt Communication -
    When you post a project on any of the freelancer sites a number of proposals will come your way from freelancers who work on the site. Now you need to get someone who will respond quickly to your questions. So try and look for someone who typically responds within 24 hours to you. You may not be in the same time zone so it may be difficult to get a prompt reply.
  2. Good Work Sample -
    Look at the profile of the freelance writer on the site. There will usually be some work samples or links to written work on the profile. It would be worth the effort to see some of these samples to check if the freelance writer is capable of writing well. The more varied and versatile the good work samples are, the more experienced the writer is and the better the quality of your own written project is likely to be.
  3. Feedback received for past projects -
    View on the profile the feedback that has been given to the freelance writer by people he or she has worked for in the past. The general level of competence and proficiency is easy to gauge by the feedback that has been left for the writer. You can even get a fix on the writer's nature by reading the feedback that he or she has left for the past employers.

Don't assume that the cheapest bid is the best one. Remember if you pay peanuts, you are only going to get monkeys! Be prepared to pay the regular rate to a writer to get the best content. On average simple writing projects cost between $1-3 per hundred words based on the experience of the writer and the complexity of the project involved.

Need a writer?

That's both sides of the coin of freelance writing and outsourcing content development. In case you need a freelance writer for your blog, feel free to contact me :)


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    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from India

      Thanks Suzanne.

      Storytellersrus, I have scaled back my hours right now and am working only about 10 to 14 hours a week, so no right now I can't run the household on my income alone. However when I was working about 35 to 40 hours a week I could cover it.

      There are periods of time when you make a lot more than anticipated and others when you barely get a project off the ground. You need to be dedicated, self motivated and very persistent about making it work.

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      cashmere, do you make enough doing this to meet monthly payments? I am debating whether to dive headlong into freelancing or to look for a "real job". I have to get back to a daily writing practice if I am going to call myself a serious freelancer. Thanks-- great hub. I am heading to the other hub you mentioned.

    • justmesuzanne profile image


      5 years ago from Texas

      Great information and resources! Voted up and useful! :)

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from India

      Thank you everybody for the feedback on the hub. Okay here's a few answers to the questions you all have asked. Writerjj I have another hub to which I have linked here outlining a number of freelance market places, just take a look and pick the ones that suit you.

      Bonnie-Jean Rohne, that's why I prefer to work with sites that have escrow as well as mediation facilities available. That way the client has already paid the site for the work and just needs to approve your work, also the site officials can mediate in case of any problems you have with the client.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have been freelance writing for about a year now. You don't get credit for your writing, but you do get paid consistently. I also like to be able to choose the writing topic. There are numerous sites to choose from but I haven't explored most of them due to time constraints. Great advice in your hub. Up and useful.

    • Jmillis2006 profile image


      5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub, until a few weeks ago hubpages was the only site I submitted to but after reading another hub about freelance writing I decided to try yahoo contributors network to expand my network so far I have accepted, and completed a few assignments ,but only one with upfront payment. I do not believe I am ready for the types of sites you mentioned but they are great to know about for future use.

    • Bonnie-Jean Rohne profile image

      Bonnie-Jean Rohner 

      5 years ago from Williamson, New York

      I'm new to this process, and greatly appreciate your advice - to hirers as well as writers. I am currently doing a little work for freelancer and it has been a horror -- scams, ripoffs. Any advice on how to know if a client is reliable?

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      Wow, you've been at this since 1999. It's only been since 2011 for me, so I appreciated the info.

    • writerjj profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi cashmere,

      Great informational hub! Any suggestions of a great freelance marketplace? Am already a part of oDesk but would like to have any ideas of other good (and not scam) ones :)

      thanks in advance

    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago


      Thanks for the great advice on how to be a successful online freelance writer. Great work.

      Voted up.


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