Confessions of an Online Freelance Writer
Forgive me, for I have sinned against Thee. I have committed but one capital crime of content which I have to admit to You. I am a freelance floozy. I write for money. I do it online. I even do it off line. I do it with poetry, nonfiction articles and some prose. Heck, every now and then, I may slip in a filler, some content for a content mill or article site, or even a greeting card full of catch phrases and flowery words.
I admit it. I confess.
Write for a Living... Or Live to Write
Making an Income in All Sorts of Ways
I am a firm believer in diversification. I believe that we all need to diversify how we make the money that we live off or live on day by day. You have to be choosy. You have to choose carefully. You just cannot get lost and caught up on a single source of income, especially these days.
I am writer. As a freelancer, I can get get hooked on strictly writing poetry. I will have to use poetic skills for contests, workshops, presentations, greeting cards, and other venues. I could even use some of my poetry by slapping a few one-liners to a t-shirt or bumper sticker, even a poster or a postcard. I have to get beyond scripting a haiku or a sonnet. I have to diversify.
You have to scour through the heaps of contest and grant announcements in your inbox and dig through the writer's guideline printouts scattered across your desk. There are some golden nuggets out there. They are buried amid the piles of worthless junk mail that contains rejection letters, query denials and straight-out submit-it-somewhere-else communications. I have added some resources here to ensure that you work your freelance writing career to the letter. Work it as well as you can, with all that you have to give.
To Freelance or Not to Freelance
In you experience, where have you found the most publishing opportunities?
What You Need to Start Freelancing
You need to have certain things in place in order to freelance like a real freelance floozy. If you don't have it together, then you are bound to be stuck out there with a whole lot of things hanging and dangling but not attracting a single soul. You need to position yourself to draw others to your writing and the sites and blogs where it is published and available for download.
Here is a list of things that you need in place:
- Paypal account
- Google Adsense account
- Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn
Test the Waters
If you have never written anything as a freelancer, I say test the waters. Take a stab at it. Try it out and see what you think.
WARNING: Go slow at first. Get a feel for it.
Try these sites to start out:
These are great for writers and offer plenty of info for newbies. They are some great opportunities to write and see your work published and gain some residual benefits over the long haul.
Register for Freelance Writing Sites
Write what you can and where you can. Do not limit your own opportunities. Keep your mind open to new ideas and innovations such as social networking and other technology that makes your writing more accessible to new communities of readers and browsers, even visitors and subscribers.
Help for the Freelance Floozy in You
To Publish Yourself
In recent years, self-publishing has grown as a segment of the writing realm. Many writers have ventured into self-publishing with many of the print-on-demand (p.o.d.) sites available online. Self-publishing can be a low-cost way to gain high profits, especially with e-books.
Writers do not have to wait on major publishing houses to scrutinize their work any longer. However, it is suggested that self-published writers have their work reviewed by another set of trusted eyes throughout the process. There's nothing as regrettable as having a grammar error in a published work.
Some p.o.d. sites offer higher percentages of profits, while others charge fees every step of the way, including conversion into electronic format. Be sure to get an understanding of all of the guidelines and fees involved in publishing your own work before you get started. Otherwise, you cannot call foul when you are stuck with a bad book deal on your own.
Freelance like Crazy
Get your feet wet! Launch your freelance venture with a high volume of energy and get started with some concrete goals in mind. You have to see where you want to go and how to get there. Search for a pathway that can lead to profits down the road. Make moves that make you money and set you up for success.
Find some freelance platforms that fit your goals and objectives as a writer. Your initial steps will reveal where you can find future success. Get comfortable with writer guidelines and editorial criticism. Rejection comes along with the whole thing. At times, you will have editors share how your work is not up to their site's standards or how your writing is sub-par, ranking at a measly three stars out of five. Don't stop! Keep going and keep getting better.
You are not the sum of your rejections. Freelance like crazy and see where it takes you. Fill the Internet with a portfolio of your work on a variety of sites and platforms. Let the muses loose and see where they drive you. Just freelance like crazy.