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Freelance Writer: Make Your Living Writing Online

Updated on September 23, 2014
Use your computer to generate income from online writings
Use your computer to generate income from online writings

There's no doubt, earning reliable income from online writing is difficult...... but not impossible. While regular and high earnings from residual payments, such as advertizing clicks or page views, are difficult to build in the present climate, writing for page views, Google search and advertizing income does have a place for any freelance writer, although should not perhaps be the main thrust for writers planning to earn a full time living from their craft.

Generate Reliable and Regular Income from Writing

If you plan to earn a full time living from writing you need to generate regular and reliable income from a number of sources. No matter where you are located in the world you can find agencies offering payment for written work. One of the earliest such sites was CloudCrowd, offering a variety of different writing and editing tasks which paid at different rates.

When you work for sites such as CloudCrowd you'll find the levels of available work can fluctuate immensely on a daily basis, as well as types of written or editing works you can access. Much of the work on sites such as this is for catalog companies, needing short product descriptions or marketing copy and it's easy to get into the habit of writing on a daily basis and rewarding to watch earnings begin to mount up. One of the best features CloudCrowd offered was daily payments which hit the bank in the early hours of the following morning, UK times.

A variety of similar sites operate from various geo-locations and very often writers/editors only require a PayPal account in order to begin earning. If you're based in the UK or Europe you could check out TextBroker UK or Textmaster. It only costs time in applying to these sites and although earnings levels can be pretty low initially, they do rise as writer ratings increase. When you apply to Textmaster you'll need to submit a short piece of descriptive prose detailing information from a pictorial source, with TextBroker you'll need to submit a piece of written work for assessment. Your TextBroker assessment determines your writing level and the rates of pay applicable to submitted work. The benefit of working with TextBroker is the opportunity to apply to work for teams, often paying far higher rates, and opportunities to get direct orders from clients impressed by submitted works, again these jobs may offer higher rates of pay. Progressing up the ladder with both sites is reliant upon great writer scores, opening up jobs with higher rates of pay.

Writers based in the United States will find TextBroker in the US offers similar opportunities.

Where freelancers are limited by geo-location, sites such as Freelancer could be the way forward.

Some freelancers make successful writing careers pitching for jobs on sites such as People Per Hour based in the United Kingdom, though putting pitches together can be very time consuming for writers just starting out and clients seem to expect newbie freelancers to virtually give work away in the first instance, purely to obtain good feedback scores. You need to be aware when pitching to jobs on sites like this that you're in competition with freelancers from around the world, some of whom will be prepared to work for very low rates as costs of living may be low in their country of origin.

Freelance writers can find many viable earnings opportunities when they begin to publish writing online
Freelance writers can find many viable earnings opportunities when they begin to publish writing online

Generating Ad Income & Page Views for Writing

Some writers focus purely on writing for residuals, however this seems a little misguided in the current climate. The days some writers could expect regular income of $3,000+ per month from a couple of hundred or so articles, that have been professionally keyworded and targeted to Google Search readers, seem to be long gone. That is not to say writers cannot achieve regular income from posting articles to content sites, however they should be realistic with their earnings expectations.

One major "jackpot" for writers posting content on sites such as HubPages is the thought that articles could go viral if they are picked up by large numbers of FaceBook users, etc. This is possible, however should not be the major thrust of any freelancers earnings targets or plans, as viral articles generating earnings of $5,000 or so seem to be a pretty rare occurrence and it seems impossible to gauge when or if an article will ever go viral.

Sites such as HubPages offer writers a number of earnings opportunities, via Google Adsense clicks, nominal page view income and income via Amazon or eBay sales. Where writers are committed to building a large following of readers and also conduct regular keywording of article content, there is potential to generate regular earnings.

The most important benefit of content that generates residual income is that writers can rely on regular income from articles posted several months, even years, previously. The drawback to this being that Google is still the major search engine and regular Google updates have targeted content providers at various times since 2010.

Google penalized content farms publishing cookie cutter content aimed at generating ad click income
Google penalized content farms publishing cookie cutter content aimed at generating ad click income

The $$$ earnings sums mentioned above are examples plucked from my own experiences of some high achieving writers' earnings levels and are not an indication that all writers earn these amounts from monthly residual payments. It is possible to achieve regular monthly income at corresponding levels when writers exercise their "writing muscle" on a daily basis working via agencies, such as those mentioned, while also posting articles for ad click income and residual payments.

© 2014 Dawn Denmar


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    • Dawn Denmar1 profile image

      Dawn Denmar 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, it is a flexible way to work as a writer but I have never seen income levels to match efforts put in. I guess it's because I started in 2009, just as content farms started to be targeted. Writing content to order can be tedious but it's great for me as it gives me some discipline and ensures I write regularly and earn regular too!

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 3 years ago from West Kootenays

      So many worked so hard and then saw so much income vanish.

      For myself, I do not care to spend time bidding on jobs, nor having to come up with an article for a client, so content writing offers a flexibility that is not possible with the other scenarios.