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Choosing the Right Freelance Writing Jobs

Updated on May 1, 2016

Freelance writing jobs can usually take anywhere between a couple of hours to several weeks. For a successful freelance writer, it’s essential to manage their time and plan ahead. Choosing the right tasks is a big part of that.

Long-term tasks provide long-term gains.

Writing a couple of short articles at a competitive payment rate can seem appealing, but the key to real freelance writing success is securing several long-term work opportunities that you can do simultaneously. It ensures that you receive the benefits of a constant workflow that usually comes with full-time occupation while enjoying the added freedom of self-employment.

Keep new jobs flowing in.

As long as you keep in touch with several potential customers at once, you’ll never run out of jobs to do. Even if an employer stops sending you tasks, enough of them will remain for you to continue receiving weekly paychecks as usual.

Declining tasks can be as profitable as completing them.

When you spot several well-paid writing tasks, it can be hard not to get ahead of yourself and only later think about how you’ll manage to find those extra 12 hours in a day to complete all of them.

Learn to say 'no'.

Knowing just what you can and what you can’t manage to do is the true art of freelance writing, but to avoid the aforementioned unpleasant situation, you don’t even have to master it. Whenever freelance jobs are concerned, accepting more than you can do is much more harmful than accepting less.

Once you've said 'yes', there's no going back.

When you agree to complete a project for a freelance employer, it’s not just the money on the line. It’s your name and your reputation. The outcome of even the smallest task can make or break the game for you, so be extremely cautious when doing multiple projects within a very short time frame.

You are the boss (of you).

One of the precious few benefits that freelance writing provides over other types of employment is the ability to choose what work you’ll do. Having realized that, do not settle for less than you are worth.

Low-profile employers and the so-called 'content farms' often accept any kind of writing they can get their hands on for a very low payment, usually less than 1 cent per word. This might seem good enough when you factor in the little time it takes you to write up those lower quality pieces, but you’ll be lucky if you pull off $5 per hour, at best.

Stay clear of half-measures.

Even if you feel like you should take a break from difficult tasks that require hours of research and are ready to plunge into easier assignments, don’t take the bait. If you want to rest, then use the time you have to actually rest. When that's done, go back to real freelance work and real payment.

Know how much you’re worth.

An accurate representation of freelance writing success.
An accurate representation of freelance writing success.

Be patient and set 1 cent per word as your minimum payment if you’ve just begun writing and 2-4 cents when you’ve made a steady progress, maintaining a solid track record of completed assignments.

Strive for better tasks and greater payment.

Setting these limits will push you to improve and be at the top of your game when negotiating a potential new project. Your patience will impact your freelance writing career for the best and can eventually result in a minimum income of $500 a week.

Money means a lot, but certainly not everything.

Doing easier (and less profitable) work is not a good idea. Writing something that’s less boring than your usual product review pieces, however, is a safe bet for continued and enjoyable freelance writing success.

Turn dreams into long-term goals.

If you like writing reviews for movies, don’t avoid tasks that are not related to that, but steadily work your way towards making money from what you really like. If you devote at least 10% of your time to looking for new leads and promoting your review writing skills, for example, you’ll eventually be able to transition all your work into the fields that you actually enjoy writing about.

After all, the best freelance writing jobs are the ones you get loads of cash for, but would do for free anyway.

How about you? Have you been lucky enough to catch any of those?

Share your experience in the comments!

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Choosing the Right Freelance Writing Jobs with the correct choices of writing jobs one can succeed and daily writing does improve ones skills

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      Another great article, with lots of real world advice. I voted it up and useful.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      This article is Awesome, Useful and Interesting. It's so full of great tips, I think the only thing you left was the names of the publishers we should write for. lol Great hub thank you very much for the information.

    • TheRelisticChef profile image

      TheRelisticChef 5 years ago from Michigan

      Your information is very helpful and I appreciate the time and effort you have placed upon it. I am just starting my blogging experience here and really wish to do some freelance writing. Thank you so much

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I'm new to this and really appreciate your points! Thanks for sharing. Take care, Kelley

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      This information is very helpful for me today! It is a lot to take in, but so helpful! Thank you for writing this! Voted up and shared!

    • DeanSexton profile image

      Geofferson Dean Sexton 5 years ago from Nowhere Land, Ontario, Canada.

      Thank you very much for this post, it was very insightful.

      I've been an independent author for years, the basic starving artist type and I've heard from a lot of my friends I should be freelancing as a way to make a steady income.

      Your post has given me some valuable information to use.

      Thanks again!

    • jeanihess profile image

      jeanihess 5 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      Thanks. I have been thinking about this kind of work:)

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Thanks for the follow Andera - appreciated.

      I really enjoyed this hub and it was great timing for me as I've started freelancing with a couple of sites on the internet. It is, as you say, so tempting to go for the very low paid jobs and take as many as you can get, but when you calculate how much you will actually earn, it's peanuts!

      Your article made a lot of sense and will be very useful to other writers like myself who are branching out into other fields.

      Voted up!!

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Thanks for this hub, Andera, and for following me. I'll do the same. I think I could learn a lot from you, as I am about to embark on a freelance writing experience after being on hubpages for several months.

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @Andera...Congratulations on this informative and well-defined Hub!

      This is a beginners' pocketbook lesson!

    • Tillie's Tales profile image

      Tillie's Tales 5 years ago from India

      Useful information and advice Andera, for old and new alike. You have put into words and sorted out the various confusions and issues that existing and would be writers need to think about. Thanks for putting things into perspective.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Andera, this is a great hub. Thanks for the great advice and helpful information.

      Welcome to HubPages.

    • traslochimilano profile image

      traslochimilano 5 years ago from USA

      Useful Hub. Very helpful to all who want to start his/her career as a freelance writer. Thanks For sharing it.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Andera, and what an excellent hub this is. You're right, we should "learn when to say no."

      Voted up and away

      John

    • Andera profile image
      Author

      Andera 5 years ago

      Angelme, thanks for the encouragement. I'll do my best!

      KDuBarry, you've got the right idea. HubPages is a great place to start! I wish you the best of luck in your writing career.

      Bravewarrior, it's great that you got the energy to pursue your dream, even when there isn't much time to spare.

      I believe that your past copywriting experience will prove useful online. If you spin it right, it could even become an advantage.

      I've only been at it for the past few months and a day hasn't passed without me learning something new or seeing things differently.

      With so much information at their disposal, modern copywriters already know so much about the craft and are able to learn more every day. However, their knowledge lacks the depth that only comes with experience, the ability to set that vast pool of information right in your mind.

      I suspect that even the people who exert authority in this field, who may be talented, are not experienced. And how can you claim any sort of experience when any whim of a single search company can send online 'sciences' flying?

      It's an industry where everyone's catching, every day.

      So good luck on your way!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      Very interesting. I am still 20 years old, still in college, and I am starting off my writing career. I was looking into different freelance jobs and found hubpages for a good start; however, your points are definitely well worded and I'll definitely keep them in mind.

      Thank yu for this information!

      -KD

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Good advice and thanks for the follow, Andera!

      I work full time and have very recently ventured into the freelance internet market. Although I have copywriting experience, it was decades ago - before the internet. I wrote TV/print/radio ads. The internet world is much different!

      I'm now grappling with exactly how much time I have for my freelance endeavors. Basically, it's a couple hours each night and most of Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, I'll find my groove and, over time, be able to quit my day job. My dream is to write full time.

      How long have you been free-lancing?

    • Angelme566 profile image

      Angelme566 5 years ago

      Very informative hub , i will jot down all good points in here , i guess all we need to do is have a little patience , for now, small things we are receiving who knows one day will wake up big amounts on the way..as big things starts from small beginnings .

      Best hub you got , write more and welcome here ...Voted up , beautiful and useful !

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I have written for print for more than 12 years, online is my recent discovery. I'm always looking for upfront payment for writing assignments.

      I will remember your points.

    • Andera profile image
      Author

      Andera 5 years ago

      I appreciate the kind comment, Global-Chica!

      A good place to begin your search would be Freelancer, Elance, oDesk or any similar website. Some might not like them, but hey, they're just tools to look for employers, so what's the big deal if some of them are no good?

      Alongside low-paying tasks it's possible to find one that really appeals to you and from there on build a network of employers that will supply you with long-term work.

      Just stay true to the general principles I outlined in this Hub. Know how much you're worth and don't hide the price tag!

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Great advice! I'm new to online writing and I'm really curious about finding freelance work that pays per word. I really enjoyed your hub.

    • Andera profile image
      Author

      Andera 5 years ago

      I'm glad you found the information useful.

      Thanks for stopping by Cyndi!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Andera, This was very valuable information. I learn more about the business every day, I especially learn from writers here at Hubpages. I like your philosophy about money, as well. Thanks for the information.

    • Andera profile image
      Author

      Andera 5 years ago

      With a solid foundation of values and principles to rest upon, I bet you're living up to that name, Mr. Happy!

      I know I've had moments when money proved a deciding factor in things I wish had gone down differently. It taught me to admire people who manage to live by their principles and strive to become more like them.

      On the other hand, money can drive your freelance career forward and helps put things into perspective. For example, what an hour of your work is really worth to the world and what you can buy for it.

      Money only creates problems when someone's trying to measure the wrong things with it. To me, wealth isn't the same as success and happiness can't have a price tag on it, or even a bag tag.

      I welcome money in all my decisions, as long as I have the last say.

      There are certainly a lot of things freelance writers need to balance out in their work. Greed and ambition urge them forward, while laziness makes even your office seem like a nice place to take a nap. There's more at play here, but I guess that's a topic for some other article.

      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

      Good luck with your writing! Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "When you spot several well-paid writing tasks, it can be hard not to get ahead of yourself and only later think about how you’ll manage to find those extra 12 hours in a day to complete all of them." - Good advice in my opinion. Greed is detrimental.

      I never knew about the idea of charging per word. That is pretty interesting. I used to charge ten dollars per page in highschool when I wrote essays for other people. I suppose now I would take in consideration how much time I spend on research, who the client would be, etc. (If Dick Cheney wanted to hire me for example, it would run him an easy ten grand per page and he would not be guaranteed to get what he wanted either.)

      As You well mentioned: "Money means a lot, but certainly not everything."

      I like how You talked about writers as being their own boss in terms of being able to chose what they work-on. Very true for me: I am so picky, haha!! (That is probably why nobody would ever hire me to write - I have too many rules and principles by which I live my life and none have anything to do with profit.)

      Hmmm ... Another good point You made about: "After all, the best freelance writing jobs are the ones you get loads of cash for, but would do for free anyway." - I think this is what I was thinking but I have never put it into words: I don't care that much about money. Money is a tool in my opinion. I care more about my values, morals, etc. Money comes anyway if You love what You do.

      Thanks for putting this piece of writing together. I enjoyed your perspective on the topic of freelance work for writers. All the best!