To make a living as a freelance writer, you must learn to think profit. Freelance writing is a job. It requires self-control, dedication, a business plan, and personal goals. If you are not willing to labor long hours for little pay, you are not likely to succeed as a freelance writer. If you are not willing to study, learn, and apply the rules of grammar, you are not likely to succeed as a freelance writer. If you do not practice self-editing, you are not likely to succeed as a freelance writer. If you are only willing to write what pleases your inner muse, you are not likely to succeed as a freelance writer.
Two Types of Free Articles
Setting aside the special conditions that pertain to novels and short stories, this article focuses on Internet related content writing. Furthermore, we will temporarily ignore the interests of Search Engine Optimized (“SEO”) writing goals. Thus we are left with only two types of free Internet article materials:
1. Self-promoting. An author sometimes writes to enhance his personal and professional reputation. The speed of article output is directly proportional to a writer’s knowledge in the given subject area. Data research costs time and money. Yet a wise professional will post on a wide range of subject matter. This helps establish an expanded skill level. Self-promoting articles should display your adaptability as well as your authoring skills.
2. Passion writing. In heart, I am a Christian writer. I post Christian articles with the single goal of furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with profit, status, or personal reputation. Passion writing promotes a subject that is dear to the heart of the writer. Although a passion article can provide income, the writer truly creates the material merely because it reflects who he is.
A note before moving on: I use the word “free” to describe any material that receives a pay rate that is less than one cent per word. Even at permitting “one cent” to be a mark of income, I am stretching the definition of paid writing.
Avoid The Scams
The freelance writing field is litter with scam artists. Unless you are deliberately publishing through an article submission site, and this only as a means of more quickly reaching your name recognition goals, avoid any site that ask that you pay for leads, pay to be published, or pay for promotional help.
Also look out for the Private Label Rights (“PLR”) group, especially those who are claim they can teach you how to write four and five hundred word articles in five or six minutes. Run-of-the-mill materials will not establish a lasting reputation for quality. Rather than earning a living as a professional freelance writer, you will end up trying to manage a website that sells PLR overloads.
Finding The Income
Article marketing is a profitable business, but it has a huge downside: The Internet is bloated with writer job-boards that are patronized by a low-paying customer base. Many of the writers who seek work through a bid-based job site will end up working for less than free. Sample article requests are a standard job-board scam.
Several professional, writing service sites also populate the Internet. These are pay-per-article websites that do not include any form of bidding or guesswork. Customers place an order, and any freelancer that is linked-in to the writer service has an opportunity to select and write that job. Writer service websites normally offer a varying payment plan that is based upon the accepted professional quality-level of the author. The entry-level pay may be as low as ½ cent per word, but if a writer can produce consistent excellence in product, it is possible to make five to ten cents per word through an article service platform.
As a final method of finding the income, consider establishing your own writing service website. This is a time consuming task, and it will require that you produce and publish many free articles for the non-paying and the low-paying author websites. However, if an author can establish a sufficient reputation for quality and service, the customers who respect successful work will seek you out, and they are willing to pay for quality.
Building A Reputation
The following tips are presented without explanatory side notes. If you do not understand these tips, use them as research pointers. Let the training begin. To produce a successful article you must:
- Write useful information that answers relevant questions
- Eliminate all fill material
- Trim out any unnecessary words
- Avoid a passive writing voice
- Control the article length.
- Use photos, illustrations, and web links only when and where they fit
- Write effective and compelling SEO content
- Identify, track, and write about popular topics
- Setup a personal blog
- Identify the article sites that match your focus, and then post often
- Include a link to your blog, and your name, in every article resource box
- Practice resource box switch-ups
- Write fast, write often, but never sacrifice quality.
Remember: starting up a freelance writing business requires hard work and dedication. Freelance opportunities exist for web content writing, resume writing, copy writing, and more. Some fields, such as medical and legal, are more lucrative than other fields. They are also more difficult to learn and master.
Find your author’s niche, expand on it, and then start earning a living in the world of freelance writing.