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Working From Home As A Writer

Updated on September 19, 2016
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Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

This hub is in response to the question "How many of you are full time hubbers?" by the hubber YvetteParker. The question went on to ask several sub-questions which I found very interesting. These questions I decided to answer as best I could especially since I am now working from home online doing nothing else but writing. Please see below for the subsequent questions asked by the hubber and my response to them.

I must also point out that this hub was originally published on my secondary account "Emerald Strachan". However I have moved all my hubs from that account to this one.

Why did you choose to write fulltime?

I chose to write full-time because this is my first love and my passion. Since I was 8 years old I have fantasized about nothing else..well not totally true...but career related it's writing all the way.

The first person who pointed out my potential was my high school librarian. She was the first person to give me a book on "writing" and the first to read my stories and offer tips. My essays and compositions in school were always getting high marks but writing fiction was different. I found that I had a very wild imagination and it felt great to get those fantasies on paper.

My writing then as a teen was influenced by Mills&Boon, Harlequin and Barbara Cartland so some of my first real stories were romance. I started writing in the first person and my mentor explained to me the limitations of first person and that third person was more widely read.

So I chose to write online full-time because this has always been my dream

Some tips to keep in mind when Freelancing

  • Always do your best work. Make sure each new article you write for a client is better than the last.
  • Multiple check your work for typos and grammatical mistakes. If at all possible, have someone in your home read it in print and highlight your mistakes. Use more than one spell checkers.
  • Make sure you know from where your client is, so you don't make the mistake of using the wrong English version. UK English is different from US English and your work can be denied if you submit the wrong version.
  • Think of your client as your boss and you must impress them, no matter how cheap or small the job is. On the other hand you can also think of your client as a customer that you want to come back to your store or place of business, so you must treat them well.
  • See each job as an experience to place on your resume or portfolio.
  • Leave a feedback for your clients, make it as honest as possible, however, if the feedback is too negative it is better not to leave any at all.
  • Never break a contract unless it's life and death. If you must skip out on a project, explain your reason to the client and offer a refund for any payments made in advance.

What are the obstacles or challenges of writing fulltime?

Some of the obstacles are being paid on-time, finding work on-time, making HP work for full time salary; so you have to stay focused and push away the frustration and discouragement.

  • Managing your own time can be challenging because you are at home and there are people, things and chores to distract you. It's easier getting dressed each morning and going out to work, but that is so boring!
  • Finding suitable work. Online work can be cheap so you have to make up your mind if you can accept the pay. What I did was start small and build my portfolio. I have found that clients with high paying jobs will hardly hire a newbie without the portfolio to show their experiences. After doing some smaller cheaper jobs and gaining 5 stars I am now in higher demand. The truth is I don't remember the last time I actually applied for a project. For the last few months all my projects have been by invitation.
  • The fear of not being paid or being scammed. Some months ago I wrote two articles for a client. I was a newbie and I was not the first choice. The client had three people before who he claimed to have done poor or unusable articles. I was anxious and took the job but the client paid me for only one and said the other was awful and un-usable. Another client took the article and loved it. When working online, one of my fears is that I will spend my time researching and writing and the client will take my work and not pay me. I believe that client scammed the four of us

What are the advantages and benefits of fulltime hubbing?

I write online and am hubbing full-time which I hope will pay off in the long run. So far, I have not been making the money here on HP as I had hoped but here are the benefits of full-time hubbing on HP.

  • Having people read your work. This gets you known by people and might be recommended when someone is looking for a writer.
  • It creates a discipline that you can carry out what you set out to do
  • You know that in the long run you will see the results.
  • You will be earning from all your efforts
  • You get to meet a lot of people
  • Your work is being published for the world to see
  • You set your own work hours
  • You don't have a boss to answer to
  • Working projects pay more than salary
  • You get to fulfill your dream of writing for a living.

To join Hubpages sign up here!

Did you begin hubbing fulltime or did you progress to a fulltime status?

I write online full time, splitting my time between Hubpages, my blogs, websites, Elance, Freelancer, oDesk, and private clients. For me it all started gradually because I joined HP, started blogging and searching for freelance work online while I was working as a personal chef. I lost my job in July 2011 and had to speed up my job hunt. I found Elance and oDesk while I was working but never made use of them. I then made Elance my primary place to find work and recently I started working on oDesk as well.

I intend to make HP my primary source of income so am writing quite frequently, updating my blogs and websites and doing my Elance projects. My days are full and I am happier than I have been in a long time.

Here is the deal for people who want to write full time online!

Writing full time online takes time, determination and patience. You also have to do your research to know how to write for online audiences, research keywords and what people are looking for.

Writing on HP is not easy, you have to make sure you are publishing within the guidelines and again publish evergreen subjects that will last a long time.

Making money online takes a lot of work because you have to find sources where suitable jobs are posted or where your writing will sell. You must also take time to update and edit your work frequently, or modify here and there to make sure you are making the most of search engine traffic.

It will take some time before you earn a good sum from HP but it can happen. In the meantime do a couple blogs and freelancing to help supplement your income until HP pays off.

Good luck and happy hubbing.


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    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Hi PDX, what the clients are more concerned about are the US and UK English tests, so you can complete the others when you get the chance. Not doing the tests shouldn't stop you from being awarded projects.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck with Elance.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      great emerald, thanks. Between school and a few private clients, I haven't had a chance to finish my tests on e lance, but I have posted my portfolio.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Thanks again Rastamermaid.

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 6 years ago from Universe

      Great hub!

      Great info that will be used to the fullest!


    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Hi PDX, thanks.

      Yes I have. The more jobs you do they more you build your portfolio and gain recognition. It has been great so far. It will take some time to get off the ground but once you do everything will get better from there.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      this is good advice. I just signed up for e lance. Have you found success with them?

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      You are right Cyndi, the discipline is probably the hardest part because you have to learn to tear yourself away from HP to make money Seriously, if you don't watch your time and what you do, you will end up doing little or nothing for the entire day.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Thank you Stephanie. You will get there if you really want to. Basically, when I lost my job I was relieved and I just jumped right in. Keep at it and it will happen.

      Thank you. :)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      Good article. Freelancing = hard work and discipline, but the emotional reward is great. I must admit, the discipline is something I must constantly work on.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I think it is awesome that you can write full time online. Maybe I will be at that point one day, but for now, I will keep splitting my time between my studies and all the other things I love. Thanks for all the information based on online writing.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Jen, when writing for HP it is totally different than writing for clients. In most cases clients will give you ideas and you do the research. So long as you can write generally or for SEO then you can freelance. Writing for HP requires your own writing style and people can tell when you know a subject from when you just make up something. So writing what you know is a start while you research other items of interest.

      You know food but you may love volleyball but know nothing about it. Write about and learn about volley then write about volley ball.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      Hi Emerald,

      I think that is key, to take on projects with some personal interest involved. I have found that trying to bid for just anything that is shows in my effort or interest. I guess you could say my niche is the food and restaurant arena, looking for writing jobs in the culinary arts is challenging at the moment, but thank you for the confidence booster in my ability to write. Rejection sucks to say it boldly.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Hi Chuck, very well said. That's exactly what I have been doing. HP also helps to build your confidence as a writer so you can branch out. I remember when I just joined Elance, I was so scared. It took me months before I bid on a project and then as I got more projects my confidence grew.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Chuck I really appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Hi Colleen. Elance has tightened ship. I also only bid on projects that are payment verified. So far I have had only one problem and it was with a client not Elance.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Thanks adopted mom. I sure love it here and want to make HP my primary source of income. It was never really my dream to freelance so the more I can compact my income the closer I get to doing what I really want to do and that is write fiction.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Hi Sinea, I wanted to wrote on different topics like cancer and personal development, most of the hubs here are on both. I write on so many topics from my other account that I wanted to keep these separate and it also will give me the opportunity of two income sources.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Thanks MT. That's one of the best advantages. You can run to the store and come back and your job will be waiting for you. Most mornings I am up at 2AM and work until 4:30AM so that I can have the day to do other stuff.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Eddy, thanks a lot for that inspiring comment. Have a wonderful day.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Danareva, your dream can come to pass with hard work and research. Finding your niche is one of those things that will also pay off.

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      This was a very good Hub. While I am only a part-time Hubber, I agree that writing for HubPages or any other type of online or freelance writing requires hard work and good time management. However, also like any other job, the hard work and good time management can pay off with a good income and job satisfaction.

      For those who write part-time and don't have the confidence or courage to strike out on their own, HubPages and other online writing jobs not only offer the opportunity to make some additional money but also serve as a partial safety net that will keep some income coming in should you find yourself downsized out of your present full time job. Also, as your writing skills and income increase you have the opportunity to convert your writing from part-time to full time.

    • Colleenmt profile image

      Colleenmt 6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Great hub, awesome advice. I'm trying to start freelancing, and I was on Elance but then I heard that some people got scammed. Maybe I'll go back - I guess that's the risk you take? Thanks for this great article.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      Great information and encouragement. I love writing here on hubpages. It is nice to know you have been able to make a living doing what you like.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Great hub, Emerald. May I ask why you've elected to have two HP accounts? Just curious. I'll be following you on both, that's for sure! :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Great information here, Emerald. One of the great joys and challenges of being a full time writer is that you can set your own hours and manage yourself.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      So vey inspiring Emerald and thank you so much for sharing.

      This is going to benefit so many including me.

      Thank you again and here's to great success to you in whatever you do.

      When writers like you share you experiences with others this is true inspiration and somehow makes it all seem so in reach.

      Take care;


    • Danareva profile image

      Dana De Greff 6 years ago from Miami

      This is also a dream of mine, to write full time, and it was great to read your hub for advice. I hope to get into food writing and am always striving to produce high quality work. Voted up!

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Jenubouka, I figured by some of your hubs that you were a chef yourself. I think you can write for a living, you just need to find your niche and make sure you get paid. It's not easy to begin with but it does get easier with practice.

      I am in love with my computer and writing so working all day doing the things I love makes handling my task pretty easy. The hardest part is working on projects because I want to be my own boss who writes what I want to write. Projects you take because of the money but they still take a little of your freedom. I want to get to the point where I just do my stuff and get paid and stop freelancing.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Ghaelach, thank you so much. It's a learning process for all of us and the more we learn the more our writing improves.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      Truly inspiring and wow, to learn you were a personal chef gone professional writer gives me hope! I have been in the culinary arts for the last 15 years or so, and aspire to write for a living, an affordable and comfortable living at that.

      I am astounded you can manage two hub accounts, blogs, websites, and freelance gigs. How do you do it!

      Awesome, Awesome Emerald.

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 6 years ago

      Hi Emerald.

      Well put together. You give us a lot of info, tips and tricks to help us get going.

      I love what I do but there are a lot of things I must become more proficient at before I could take on writing projects.

      Thanks for sharing.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Thanks Flint. :)

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Agreenworld, thank you so much for the comment. Yes, it's hard work just like anyother business. You have to build your reputation.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 6 years ago

      Hi Yvette, thanks for reading. I must also point out that this is not my primary account. I have another HP account that is one year old, 150 hubs and hubberscore 97. I think I'll place that in the hub so people don't get

    • Flint54 profile image

      Flint54 6 years ago

      A very interesting piece of information and advice. Thanks for sharing.

    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 6 years ago from CT-USA

      Time, determination, patience and skill. I like your article because it gives a realistic view of the work from home professional. It is not always easy but enjoyable. And as you said, rewarding in various ways.

      It will pay off, especially when you build on your reputation with HP. Thanks for this.

    • YvetteParker profile image

      YvetteParker 6 years ago from AUGUSTA, GA

      Oh, how I so enjoyed reading what you did with my questions, Emerald! So wonderfully written! Love your writing style, graphics, interesting perspectives & advice on this subject! Thanks for the encouragement, as well!!!