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Top 3 Ways to Make Money Online as a Freelance Writer

Updated on August 13, 2011

I have been freelance writing for nearly 2 years now and I've learned a few tricks along the way which I'd like to share with you. However, I am by no means an 'expert' at freelance writing but I've made my passion for writing into a viable freelance career so I think I could certainly help you get started with making money online with your own writing.

Here are my tips and tricks for the top three ways to make money online with freelance writing.


1. Client Work

The most lucrative line of freelance writing work comes from landing personal clients which pay you, directly, for your writing services.

Client work is difficult to start with, at first, but in time you begin to build up a list of clientele that can fully support your freelance writing career. Setting your own rates or your work is the greatest benefit of having clients; you could be as cheap as possible and have dozens of clients or set your prices high and only have a handful - it's your choice.

To get started, begin sourcing clients through websites like Elance, Freelancer, Monster, Craigslist and more. Browse through the job search websites to discover listings for freelance writing positions such as copywriting, ghost writing, blog posts creation, article writing and other niche opportunities.

Seek out clients on the job search websites and provide the best possible work you can which will leave a great impression and could lead to future work from each individual. Repeat your work process time and time again to build up your client list. In time, raise your rates because of the stellar work you provide so you can begin to cut back on the amount of time you invest while writing yet still have the same amount of income.


2. Freelance Marketplaces

The second suggestion I would like to give you, when freelance writing, is to diversify your income by selling articles on article marketplaces. Think of article marketplaces like Ebay or Amazon, you can use the marketplace to sell articles but share a small portion of your revenue to the website owner. The benefits of a marketplace is that you don't have to do the promotional work for selling your articles which saves you a lot of time and resources that could go toward your writing.

I recommend starting with marketplaces like, and

When writing for marketplaces, don't expect to sell your work immediately. Think of it like setting aside your work to pick up your earnings in between the active writing for clients.

One tip: Set the price for your articles at a respectable rate. Don't sell yourself short. Many website and business owners are seeking high quality articles and if you set your prices too low than you'll get low-baller buyers that never want to pay for the quality work you provide.


3. Paid-to-Write Websites

The third option that I would recommend for making money online with freelance writing is what are known as paid-to-write websites.

Paid-to-write websites are named as to which they apply: you are paid to write articles or there are opportunities to make money through the website such as advertising, affiliate promotions, Amazon Associates and more.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Hubpages (of course)
  • Squidoo
  • Helium
  • ViewsHound

There are dozens of these websites around the web but not all of them give you the greatest opportunity at earning a living from your freelance writing. You'll start off very slow with PTW websites but the more time you put into them - the more you get in return. You can't expect to make a load of money over night so it's important to 'keep your head down' while you plug away at writing.

Personally, I would recommend PTW websites to those that are looking for platforms to share information that can't fit their creative writing into other area. A client may not want to purchase an article about cats and it may not fit on your website but it could certainly make its way onto a website like Hubpages.

Most PTW websites will give you options such as revenue sharing, Adsense sharing, Amazon Associates and the ability to add your own promotional links to products on affiliate marketplaces.

Add PTW to your freelance writing portfolio and you'll have a nice distribution of your online income.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Freelance writing is tough - at first.

The first few articles you create probably won't bring in a lot of money; you'll often write for pennies on the dollar but what matters is your dedication to writing and business.

Over time, your writing will improve, you'll land clients and build up a great portfolio which will all add up into a great online income but it DOES require work; freelance writing is not a 'get rich quick' trick.

In my opinion, get started with writing for sites like Hubpages and eventually move to writing for clients. In between your PTW and client writing, place a few articles onto marketplaces which can add to random earnings in between your work (which is always a bonus). Keep at it and you'll eventually get there!


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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      Helpful and useful hub. I've heard of some of these sites but not all. Is Elance better than oDesk? About I've heard of this site before but hadn't checked it out yet. It's good if we can set the prices of our articles. But I was wondering if we can easily remove our articles from the site if we decide that we don't want to sell them there anymore?

      I've never heard of Is it like Can you also delete your articles from this site if you want to? Is ViewsHound similar to HubPages?

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 5 years ago from England, UK

      Very useful hub. Many online freelance writers are making real money doing what they love, writing. Great sites you've listed here. Voted across and shared.

    • retired06 profile image

      Leona J Atkinson 6 years ago from Oregon, USA

      Very interesting and helpful information. Thank you.