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Freelance Online Writing as an Income-Generating Hobby

Updated on June 10, 2011

In this global economic recession, everybody is tightening their belts to combat the financial burdens associated with it. But is it enough to just tighten our belts? Does the simple act of crimping our pockets cause it to yield more to meet our daily needs?

Absolutely not, as it only enables us to stretch our budgets by putting limits to certain expenses. It does nothing to augment our income which is our primary weapon against economic crisis. And to do that, we need to have a sort of revenue-generating hobbies or part-time jobs on top of our main source of income.

Many people say that looking for extra income sources is just not that easy, as one usually has to have enough money to engage in it. That may be true, but there are other sources which do not require any initial cash outlay at all – and perhaps the most commonly engaged-in part-time job at present is freelance writing for web content.

Forms of Freelance Online Writing

Freelance online writing comes in various forms and involves every conceivable topic under the sun. The different forms of online writing you could choose to engage in, include the following:


A ghostwriter is a person hired by somebody to write something without getting the credits for the written piece. In other words, you remain nameless and faceless behind the articles you have written as your client’s byline, and not yours, gets to be published.

To be a ghostwriter therefore, you need to have a client first; and to find clients, yo have to register with websites that offer online ghostwriting projects. The most popular sites which you could sign up with include getafreelancer, elance, guru, and EUfreelance.

After signing up with any of these websites, you have to build your profile for prospective clients to see. Be sure to make it clear, brief and professional-sounding, but never put in false information just to attract prospective clients.

To be able to get a writing assignment, you need to bid on the open projects which you think you can handle. Never try to bid on a project that you are not sure to accomplish or complete within the time specified by the client. Before bidding on a certain project, make sure that you have read and understood all terms and conditions pertaining to it.

In order to win a project, you need to make your bid stand out from among the rest, as competition is quite stiff. The following pointers will help give your bid a winning edge over the other bids submitted for a project:

  • Carefully read the terms and conditions of the project you want to bid on. Should you need any clarification, send the project creator a message to raise your question.
  • Make your bid brief, precise and grammatically correct. The quality of your bid serves to reflect the type of work you will be rendering, so create a bid that's error-free in terms of grammar, spelling and punctuation usage.
  • Do not give unrealistic promises just to win a project.
  • Be open with what you can do to complete the project on time and in a cost-efficient manner, without giving false assurances.
  • You may haggle realistically with regards to pricing, and timelines, but be sure to do it in a pleasant and professional manner.
  • Do not forget to be polite and courteous in all your dealings with clients and prospective clients.

When you are chosen for a certain project, be sure to do everything you have promised and that's been agreed between you and your client. If he likes your work and enjoys working with you, he is likely to hire you to ghostwrite for him on an ongoing basis.

Online Writing and Publishing

Another form of online writing involves writing and publishing web content. This includes writing all types of articles, news items, as well as various forms of creative writing. Unlike in ghostwriting, this type of freelance writing lets you give your byline (whether you are using your full name or a pen name). Thus, you get the credit for every article you write and publish, and earn royalties for it as long as it is on the web.

To be able to engage in this type of freelance writing, you need to sign up with online publishing platforms such as HubPages, Associated Content and Helium. Although there are quite a number of websites nowadays that offer freelance writing and publishing, these three websites are perhaps the most popular and reliable in terms of readership.

Through personal experience, all these sites come with features which may either be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on one's preferences, interests, skills, and level of expertise. So try to navigate through these publishing patforms to help you decide whether you wish to sign up with them or not. Or you could sign up with all of them too to determine which one works for you best.

Greeting card writing

The advent of ecards have expanded the realm of online creatiive writing to a greater degree, as more and more websites offer this type of greeting cards. Publishers of ecards always require lots of fresh ideas and messages to feature in ther greeting cards, so most of them accept submissions from freelance writers.

The most popular ecard company that accepts submission from freelance writers is perhaps the Blue Mountain Arts, Inc., which incidentally offers free poetry contests that give $300 for the first place winner.

If you have artistic skills like sketching, drawing, or painting to go with your poetic inclinations, then a wider and more lucrative niche is waiting for you in the greeting card industry. Just be resourceful in your search for companies that offer the best opportunity package for your talent; be focused toward your goal, and come up with your best samples to make these companies hire you as one of their freelance writers/artists.


Blogging has gained significant popularity these past few years, that more and more people are engaging in it. There are lots of websites that allow you to create blogs for free. Once you have created a blog, you can then can apply for an account with Google AdSense to have them post their ads in your blog. You will then earn a certain percentage of the income generated by these advertisements posted in your blog.


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    • profile image

      Find Freelancers From Eastern Europe 8 years ago

      Your article mentions a number of freelance marketplace sites; however, all of them are not free and require a monthly fee. We should promote global talent by letting people know about free online resources that allow to find freelance jobs and highly skilled freelancers.

    • RobertHassey profile image

      RobertHassey 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very good tips on being professional about writing. Many people think writing from home lacks the formality associated with 9-5 jobs. But with some discipline and respect for the work, and the people who pay you, one could pull this off. You know, eventually, a good writer might want to earn from his website, assuming he can creatively use some niche-targeted keywords, and write enticingly. One could then earn from ads and affiliate marketing. If one could write on the side as a hobby, it's not impossible to slowly accumulate some works on a blog or site.

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Glad to be of help, Ethel. God bless you in your writing endeavors, thanks for dropping by.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for all that very useful information. I have written on Helium for a couple of years now and I am looking for other opportunities.

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi best-merchant-in, thank you so much for reading and commenting. God bless you too.

    • best-merchant-in- profile image

      best-merchant-in- 8 years ago from 6440 sky point st. las vegas nv 89131

      yes you're right... you can always make money out of your hobby.. Keept it up! Godspeed

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for dropping by, Ladilin. I am very new to blogging myself, and have not posted on my for several days now. Yes, basically, blogging is writing about your interest. For your blog to earn, you have to enrol it with google adsense too, just like here on HubPages. You may visit my blog listed on my profile, and you can decide to create a blog on that site too.

      Thanks. Please don't hesitate to ask for any clarification. You may also do a search on paid blogging. God bless.

    • Ladilin profile image

      Ladilin 8 years ago

      Hi Melody: Your article is very helpful. I've been looking for freelance work and did come across a couple of the sites you mentioned. But, blogging, I just can't wrap my head around this. What is blogging? Is it just writing about an interest, something you're knowledgable about? And, how does blogging enable you to get paid?

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you too, Cristina, for dropping by.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 8 years ago from Manila

      Thanks for this very informative hub on writing.

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Derek, Thanks a lot too for dropping by and for sharing this to your wife. I'm glad to know you find it helpful. Am sure your wife will find numerous opportunities as a freelance writer.

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you so much, Sheri, for dropping by and for commenting. Glad to find you here too.

    • profile image

      Sheri Fresonke Harper 8 years ago

      Terrific advice, very helpful :) Sheri

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Peggy,

      Yes, I have been ghostwriting for a year now. Actually, that was my first exposure to freelance online writing. Right now though, I only maintain one client who owns a health website, so I get to write only on health-related topics.

      I am presently connected with a pharma company, a part of the data management team handling clinical trials. For several years, i have been a medica indexer, so it has been a while since I was engaged in hospital nursing. Glad to find another nurse friend here, thanks a lot.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Melody, This is good information that you have shared. Are you ghostwriting for anyone? With your writing skills you certainly could be employed in that area.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What type of nursing are you doing? As a retired nurse, I am interested. 

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      Oh, thanks, Raj, glad to be able to provide relevant info.

    • Raj kamal profile image

      Raj kamal 8 years ago from Guntur, A.P., India

      Nice information