Working From Home As A Writer
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.
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, Guru.com 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.