Freelancer: A Full Year of Writing for Other People.
A few days ago I realized that I had been a Freelance Writer for a whole year. There were no celebrations, no bells and whistles, because frankly there wasn't time for those things. I should explain why I got into this business in the first place...
On December 8th of last year I was fired from a new job, due to an accident that I did not immediately report. Did I think it was fair, of course not. Did I try to explain my side of things, yes...to no avail. I came home, had to get my wife from her job and explain to her what happened. She was not very happy with me, but this wasn't my fault and there was nothing that I could do about it.
So the next day, and for many days and weeks from that day into this year I looked for regular jobs. I'd always been a factory worker, it was all I knew. The short story here is that as I was trying to find work that I was familiar with, I had to do something else, so I took my experience as a blogger for the past five years, and started to write articles on another site that pays you after a client ( and I use the term "client" very loosely) accepts your article.
So, that was my beginnings as a freelancer. Today, I'm still doing it. I still get up, drag myself around my home and eventually get myself to my laptop and my wireless keyboard and mouse. I check three to four sites daily for new work. These four sites at the moment are my go to sites for work assignments, and I actually just found another while I was looking for just where I wanted to have this article placed as far as the proper category.
- So for those of you who are just getting into this field and are wondering if it can be lucrative..in a word "Yes" it can be...but you have to be prolific and you have to be persistent about it all. First let me share a few things that you will have to do in order to get yourself going:
- Apply to a few different freelance sites
- Take their writing tests
- Check your emails often
- Write as much as you can
- Learn the basics for writing articles
I would love to share some of the sites with you where I write aside from Hubpages, but I'm really not sure that that's allowed, so for the moment anyway I'll have to let you do some searching to find those places.
Take that writing test. Each of these sites has a writing test, so expect to have to take one. Do your best, because they'll grade you...and this is where those ratings can help or hurt you, because the higher the rating the better assignments your able to take. So if your rated as a four star writer, you can select from articles with classification between 1-4 stars. To rate a five, you have to either be a professional writer, or work very hard at getting your writing to that level.
At least two of the sites where I get work from sends out emails when new jobs are posted there, and I've seen these emails come at all hours of the night...if only I had a clone of me to do the work that I miss out on!
One thing that I've learned is this "write as often as you can write." There were a few times this year ( two to three times actually) where I actually had found work, and when I'd get home, I would be too tired to do any writing and have to try to get some writing assignments over the weekends. This really hindered me more than helped obviously, especially since I was also trying to build my content business, KeyWords Media. The more you write, the better at it you'll become.
The first thing that I learned about article writing for many of these sites was that there was a method to the madness. There is a definite difference between writing blog posts and writing an article for a client on one of these sites. So if you think you're a pretty decent writer, don't be surprised at first if some of these sites don't think so.
It can be a rude awakening, but do your best and just keep at it. And by all means read other people's work and learn the basics such as the "tone" of your articles, and learn about the type of "voice" that you should apply to an article that you're writing for someone. And one other thing...always proofread your work before you release it...I actually had to come back and edit this hub after it was published to correct a few mistakes that I had made.
I'll end this hub by telling you that this coming year, I'm looking to step away from these freelance sites and try to do some commercial writing, as well as do a lot more marketing of myself to get better paying clients and offer another service to attract a different type of client...it's not going to be easy, but then if you want success in life, it's never easy.
Lew Newmark is the owner of KeyWords Media, a business that's all about writing content that makes a business standout out from it's competition.