Method #7: Become a Freelance
Writer
Before we get into this one, it’s important to keep in mind that freelance writing is
not for everyone. If, today, you don’t feel comfortable with your writing skills, then
using them to make money is perhaps not the best way to go. Even if you work
very hard, it is unlikely that you will be able to transform your skills significantly
enough to make money with your writing in the short run. In the long run,
however, this might be a viable strategy.
On the other hand, if you feel comfortable with your writing, then freelancing is an
excellent way to make money fast online. With that said, let’s take at your two
major options when it comes to sources of freelance writing jobs.
Sites for Freelancers
If you decide to become a freelance writer, there are two important sites you
should join: www.guru.com and www.elance.com. These sites allow freelancers
to post bids on tens of thousands of writing, translation, graphic design,
programming, and administrative assistant projects.
Although you can join both sites for free, you will quickly see why it is a good idea
to upgrade your account for at least one of the sites. Upgrading will enable you to
bid on more categories of projects and also to bid on more projects within each
category. It will also demonstrate your credibility to project posters.
If you decide to upgrade your Elance account, you may want to consider adding
the “writing and translation” category, as well as the “marketing and advertising”
category. Even though “marketing and advertising” includes many non-writing
projects, it includes things such as special report-writing, salesletter-writing, and
ad-writing. If you’re a good writer and have a background in IM, you’ll be
especially well suited to these types of jobs.
When using Elance and Guru, it is important to note that individuals with good
reputations tend to receive the most projects. And there’s a good reason for this:
they have the most credibility; and this is what project posters want in
freelancers.
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When you first start off, there’s little you can do to immediately project credibility.
So, if you want to compete, you will have to do it along other margins—namely,
price and completion time. If you can offer low prices and fast delivery times,
there’s a good chance you’ll get selected every once in a while.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you will not be selected for most of
the projects you bid on. In fact, when you start, you can expect to get rejected at
least 75% of the time. Don’t use this as a reason to give up. Instead, continue to
post on all projects that seem reasonable, given your skills; and get comfortable
with the idea that you won’t always be selected. As you complete more projects
and get more feedback, your acceptance rate will improve.
As a final note, it is always a good idea spend some time sorting through projects
before you settle on any one in particular. Personally, I would recommend
browsing through all relevant projects closing within 2-3 days. Each time you find
one that looks good to you, add it to your watch list. When you have completed
this process, go back and look at each project carefully. Take a look at the high
and low bids, the promised completion times of the other bidders, and the work
involved. Decide whether it’s something you can do well; and, if so, whether you
could complete it at a competitive price and within a reasonable amount of time.
If you decide that all of your criteria are satisfied, then bid on the project. By the
end of the process, you will probably bid on multiple projects at the same time,
but keep in mind that most will reject you, anyway, so this is unlikely to be a
problem.
If you want to ensure that your bids have a high chance of being successful, then
you should spend time reading the project description and writing a good, detailoriented
proposal. Most project posters won’t selected a generic proposal, but
instead will opt for a proposal that demonstrates that the bidder was paying
attention to the project, has the relevant skills, and can make a case for his being
able to do the work described.
Of course, there’s a lot more you can do with freelancing sites, but for now, I will
leave it at that. If you want to make cash with them fast, you should immediately
begin implementing the steps I’ve mentioned above.
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Craigslist.org
There’s no need for a detailed description here. Finding freelancing jobs on
Craigslist is relatively simple, since there’s no way to receive feedback or develop
a reputation through the site. All you have to do is search in the “jobs” and “gigs”
sections. Whenever you see something that lines up with your skills, email the
poster with a copy of your resume and a brief, but detailed proposal. Try to make
a strong case for why you would be the best candidate for the position.
Internet Marketing Forums
Since good marketing involves a lot of writing, Internet marketers often hire
freelance writers to complete projects. These projects include things such as ebooks,
reports, articles, salesletters, text ads, and site content.
There are a number of places where you can connect with Internet marketers to
find projects; however, one of the better places is probably on Internet marketing
forums, such as www.warriorforum.com. There, you will find tens of thousands of
Internet marketers, many of whom need writing done.
Of course, simply showing up and posting on the forum won’t necessarily result
in your getting jobs. Instead, you will need to make a reputation for yourself, so
that marketers begin to actively seek you out as a source for content.
For starters, a good way to get your name out there and circulating among
Internet marketers is to demonstrate that you can produce high-quality work in a
way that doesn’t cost them anything. One way you can do this is to post a special
offer in the trade/sales portion of the IM forum. Instead of simply posting a “good
deal,” offer something that is truly irresistible. For instance, you might offer to
write articles for half the going market rate for a limited period of time. This will
probably flood you with work, but will be worth it in the long run, as you may gain
may new clients.
Finally, remember that your success will be heavily dependent on word-of-mouth
advertising among Internet marketers. This means that if you do a poor job on
projects, you could permanently damage your reputation; and make it
exceedingly hard to get new projects. And, on the other hand, if you do good
work, it could reap dividends for years to come.
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