Versatility is one of the best things about being a freelance writer, and while the uncertainty in income may be a foremost concern, the massive earning potential is there. One of them being self-publishing. [Read more…]
Working as a freelance writer sometimes means writing extensively on topics you have little passion for, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, many writers have parlayed a special talent or interest into a nice stream of income. This kind of transformation is ideal for individuals like musicians who work part-time writing about the industry, for athletes, and for people who love cooking or baking.
If you’ve got a knack for kitchen experiments or if you have discerning taste buds, there may be a writing career in it for you. Here are a few ways you can break into food writing by taking advantage of the culinary skills you already have. [Read more…]
How much have you put into your freelance writing career? How much money have you invested? Have you eaten into your savings? Do you have existing mortgages and loans?
While many freelance writers are not in dire straits, the possibility of facing bankruptcy is something to think about – especially if you have put invested financially in your business. Additionally, you want to have a financial cushion in case unexpected expenses arise. Freelancer or not, having a rainy day fund is always a good idea.
If you already have more than enough work on your plate, then you can file away the following ideas to make more money freelancing for when you need more work. If you think you can handle a bit more – or you actually really need more – then consider the following jobs to make more money freelancing.
Closed captioning still involves writing, but the most important thing in this line of work is speed and accuracy. It involves the captioner watching and listening to a video – it can be TV or a movie – and writing down what’s being said. The result of your work are the subtitles you see when watching a TV show or movie.
If you have an amazing typing speed (say 200+ wpm), you may want to consider closed captioning as it pays really well.
Here’s a good resource on where to find closed captioning jobs.
Transcribing is similar to closed captioning but is more focused on audio files. Transcriptionists are in high demand these days. You probably already know all about medical transcription jobs as they are the most popular. Other business professionals and companies hire transcriptionists on a regular basis as well. Just like closed captioning, you turn audio into written form and typing speed and accuracy are of utmost importance.
Search for transcription jobs here.
Mystery shopping is one of the best ways to earn a little cash on the side. It may not make you rich, but it does have its perks.
The idea is for you to visit an establishment and evaluate it without the owner/workers being aware. Before you can work as a mystery shopper, usually you will need to go through a rigorous screening process. Mystery shopping companies want to receive feedback that’s as accurate as possible, and they want to ensure that their shoppers are discerning and reliable.
You can even use mystery shopping as a way to earn money while you’re on vacation! Read this article for more tips on this topic.
Teaching ESL (English as a Second Language)
While not all freelance writers have experience teaching English, I think we can all agree that we have a firm grasp of the language. With this qualification, it is relatively easy to find remote work as an ESL teacher.
There is the valid argument that while one may be a good writer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he can be a good teacher. That is true, but I know for a fact that teaching skills can be learned relatively easily. A solid understanding of the language and firm grasp of grammar, however, is built on years of learning and experience. If you’re patient enough, even without a lot of teaching experience, you can help foreign language speakers learn English.
Here’s another article you might be interested in:
All kidding aside, LolWot may very well be the solution to remove a huge degree of uncertainty in your freelance writing career.
Uncertainty in terms of work and income is one of the biggest issues freelancers face. That is why we’ve talked about topics like getting new gigs even if you already have existing clients.
That’s where LolWot comes in handy.
LolWot is a promising new platform for freelance writers of all sorts. Now, you may be shaking your head thinking that it’s “just another of those content mills that pays pennies”.
Not exactly. Nor do you have to rely on page views and ads to make money.
More than adding a new stream of income, the platform can also serve as your online portfolio.
Let’s see how it works, shall we?
The How and the Why
Getting started is simple. You only have to visit the LolWot page and sign in with Facebook. You don’t have to worry about the service publishing posts on your Facebook wall without your knowledge, though.
But why should you even consider joining LolWot? Because it really does have interesting terms for freelance writers.
- Registration is free. You know how much we advise against paying to join a network so you can earn!
- There is no minimum work required, neither is there a maximum limit. You can write for LolWot when you want to. You can work for other clients when you want to.
- You can choose your own topics to write about – no forced writing here!
- They pay via PayPal and have a reputation for paying on time (every Monday).
A Closer Look at LolWot
To give you a better idea on how you can benefit from the LolWot writing platform, allow us to show you its inner workings.
Sign in page and dashboard
As you can see, you only have to click one button to get started. You’ll then have to authorize your account.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be redirected to your dashboard.
From your dashboard, you can immediately start choosing jobs.
There are three kinds of jobs you can pick from:
List – pays $2 per item
You can choose what topic you like, craft a catchy title, write an introduction that will hook readers, and add list items one by one. You can even add an image for each item to make your article looks great.
The interface has been designed to make it easy for writers to enter information so you don’t have to worry about formatting.
Video – pays $5
Writing a video article is even easier. Just enter the YouTube URL and then write the title and description. You can’t just write about any video, though. LolWot’s guidelines require videos to:
- be shocking
- wow readers
- have the potential to go viral.
News – pays $5
Have you stumbled upon breaking news that you know will absolutely spread like wildfire? If so, this is the job for you. The key here is that you choose a topic that is fresh and that appeals to the general population. Niche topics won’t cut it.
Making sure you get paid
LolWot does pay, but you have to ensure that your articles get approved first. While this may raise red flags with those of you who have had bad experiences with this kind of system, you don’t really have to worry.
The platform wants quality articles, so they give their writers everything they need to ensure approval. If you look at the screenshots above again, you’ll notice that there is a notification block that reminds you to follow their Guidelines.
Their Guidelines page is comprehensive, providing tips on how to write for each type of job. It also gives examples, so you know exactly what the LolWot writing platform wants.
If you follow the Guidelines, then your articles get approved, and you’ll get paid.
LolWot can be an excellent source of income, just like your bread and butter client. We know that some of you may have higher rates, but if you think about it, you are not strictly bound by word count and deadlines with LolWot. More so, you have control over how much you earn for list posts.
Even if you have lots of clients, having LolWot as a regular option gives you a sense of certainty that you will always have work when you need it.
Why not give it a try, and sign up now?
Let us know how this works out for you!
Editor’s note: This post was written by Brie Weiler Reynolds, the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs and a contributing writer for 1 Million for Work Flexibility. FlexJobs is the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible jobs, listing thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. Brie provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.
If you’re a freelance writer, you’re familiar with common jobs like subject writers, copy editors, technical writers, journalists, and the like. But if you’re looking for something a bit different, there’s a variety of unusual and interesting freelance writing jobs to seek out.
The following freelance writing jobs will all utilize your writing skills, but may also give you the chance to use or expand related skills, and may tap into other areas of interest. Here are five surprising freelance writing jobs to consider.
Production Editing Assistant
Television production companies and related firms that work with live televised events rely on the help of experienced writers for media management duties. In this type of freelance job, the writer edits content for live events and manages databases of related content for pre- and post-event use. Because of the nature of live events, the work environment is fast-paced, high-pressured, and exciting. This is an ideal freelance job for someone who has excellent organizational skills and is looking for short-term, temporary projects.
Websites from all sorts of industries and topics now manage community areas to engage their audiences. And because so much of the interaction that takes place in online communities is done through writing, it makes sense that freelance community managers are professionals with backgrounds in writing, editing, and written communication. Community management jobs are a great option for freelance writers who enjoy social networking, engaging with audiences, building relationships, and who can write excellent content and responses quickly and cleverly.
Many freelance writers specialize in one or more subject areas, and curriculum writing jobs are available for people with this sort of expertise. Online and brick-and-mortar schools across the country hire curriculum writers to develop content for subjects ranging from sociology to calculus, history to math, and everything in between. If you happen to have teaching experience in addition to your writing credentials, all the better.
Can you write well in more than one language? If so, consider freelance content translator jobs. Companies from industries like education, web development, and online content hire content translators with strong writing, speaking, and editing skills to translate and write for a variety of audiences. This type of work is highly independent, and requires attributes like organization and self-management.
Encyclopedia Content Writer
Though paper encyclopedias aren’t nearly as prolific as they were in years past, encyclopedias still exist both online and in print. Experienced technical writers are hired to research and produce high-quality content for these collections of knowledge. In these types of freelance jobs, your ability to research a variety of subjects is as important as your writing skills, so be sure to emphasize both your research and writing experience.
As the web continues to grow, writers will always be needed to create new content and edit existing text, but they’re also being called upon for surprising jobs like these. If you’re looking for a unique freelance writing job, consider the five options above, or branch out and look for even more unique ideas. Whether you’re a specialist or a generalist, your skills will be put to good use.
A recent study conducted by the freelancers’ resource site Elance.com showed a very encouraging trend for the world’s freelancers. According to the survey, which was conducted last September 2012, 57 percent of the 3,000 independent contractors who participated in the study reported an increase in their income, with 67 percent sharing that they expect their income to increase some more in 2013. [Read more…]
If you’re like most writers, you enjoy the part of your job that entails putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). You’re probably, however, somewhat less fond of marketing. Many of us squirm at the idea of cold calling or attending networking events.
That’s why it’s so important to have a strong professional website. Once it is up and running, it can bring you a steady stream of referrals with little or no further effort you your part.
These are features that will help your website attract customers [Read more…]
The popularity of social media in today’s job market has made everybody believe they can talk their way to a job. It gives them an excuse to visit their favorite social media site and say they are doing it as a part of their job search. While freelancers and job seekers can find jobs on social media sites, it needs to be handled carefully to be successful.
When looking for freelance writing gigs, it is important to let people know you are open to receiving new clients. One of the benefits of social media is the people you are associated with know others and those people know more people. You never know who you can reach within your network on a social media site just by telling people you are looking for a freelance position. [Read more…]
Being a successful freelancer requires that you acquire and maintain the latest information, tools, tips and skills in order to stay successful among the many people setting out on their own in the professional world. While there are tools available to all freelancers via the invaluable resource that is the internet, the physical disconnect between you and your colleagues and customers often leaves something to be desired.
On that note, as a freelancing professional looking to add to their current skill set, there is no better way to combine valuable educational opportunities with the ability to rub shoulders with the best and brightest in your niche than the many fantastic freelance conferences taking place around the world each year.
In the interest of spurring you forward towards exciting experiences and new opportunities, here are five freelance conferences to visit in 2012: [Read more…]
Last week I wrote a post critical of revenue sharing sites. I maintained that, generally speaking, writing for sites like Associated Content, Bukisa, ListMyFive, Infobarrel and the like yielded a poor return on a writer’s investment of time and energy.
Some commenters argued that revshare sites were a credible “first step” for new freelancers. A few maintained that it was possible to generate a sizeable passive revenue stream via revshare contributions. I’m still convinced that my position is correct in most cases and I may eventually get around to answering some elements of those objections in future posts.
This post, however, will address another set of comments. More than one reader remarked that it would be nice to hear about some alternatives to revshare operations. I thought that was a more than valid request. While a pure critique may have value, it’s almost always better to combine one’s attack on one option with a workable alternative.
So, if you think I might just be right about the limited utility of revenue sharing sites, here are a few things you might want to do instead. Consider these options the next time you’re about to tap out another article in hopes of capturing a percentage of someone else’s ad revenue.
Build and Improve Your Own Writing Property
If you don’t have your own website, you should. If you’re serious about establishing yourself as a credible freelancer, you should have some presence on the web. Obviously, the quality and scope of that presence will be even more important if you plan to focus on ‘Net-based markets. Your site is a means by which people can find you, learn more about you, discover your skills and contact you. It’s important.
Consider spending some of the time you’d otherwise dedicate to revshare contributions to building or improving your existing website and related elements of your online presence. Admittedly, these efforts don’t directly generate revenue. However, they do create the foundation you need to secure better gigs. In the longer term, it’s a much better investment than revshare work.
Build and Improve Your Own Other Properties
Instead of funneling your awesome articles to a non-appreciative revenue sharing site, keep ’em for yourself. Build a site or blog dedicated to whatever non-writing topic that happens to trip your trigger or in which you have expertise. If you’d love to be a subject matter writing specialist, hone in on that subject area.
You can buy a domain for under ten bucks. You can get hosting for under five bucks per month. It’s free to install and use WordPress if you’d like. It’s a teeny tiny investment that can really pay off. Even if you’re not interested in aggressively promoting and monetizing the site, you can still point potential clients to your work, making it a showcase for your writing skills and knowledge base. If you do put forth a little effort, you can probably start earning just as much from your posts to your own site as you can with your revshare submissions.
Spend the Time Marketing Yourself or Pursuing Paying Gigs
Tom Chandler, the head honcho at The Copywriter Underground, recently commented on a post at my site. The rant in question objected to the way people automatically tend to make assumptions about one’s position on all freelance writing issues based on one’s position with respect to a single topic. I illustrated my complaint by referencing some of the comments left at my anti-revshare post. In his comment, Tom made a point about the world of lower-paying gigs that certainly applies to writing for revenue sharing outlets:
I firmly believe that investing the same time spent writing $10 articles in new biz development (cold calls, client searches, etc) offers better ROI down the road.
He’s right, too. In most cases, the return on smart self-marketing has the potential swamp the value of revshare contributions other lower paying gigs. If you’re ready to give up on collecting fractions of Adsense clicks, you might want to spend your time working to secure more substantial opportunities.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I think lower-paying options are a mistake for all people under all circumstances. That will probably become clear as I keep moving through my list, but I just wanted to point that out.
Take a Crappy Writing Job or Two
The alternatives presented thus far don’t directly put cash in the coffers and I know that’s an issue for many people. If you’re ready to give up on the revshare game but aren’t ready to wait to bring in at least some cash, reach out and take a few gigs that don’t pay particularly well.
If you do, you’ll make some money. Not much, but it will be as much as you’d make with revenue sharing contributions in the short run (actually, it will actually be a little more). Plus, it will give you something you don’t get by writing for the revshare sites–a real human contact on the other end of the transaction.
If you’re completely new to the game, the process of working with an individual will help you get experience with client communication, invoicing and all of the other processes that will become a part of your freelance writing business. That low payer may be willing to spend more money with you when he or she sees how damn awesome you are. He or she may spread the word to others who could use a writer. He or she can certainly write a positive review or testimonial you can use in your own marketing efforts. The nickel and dime material you write will show up somewhere, and you’ll be able to point future prospective clients in its direction. And trust me–those articles will carry as much, if not more cache, with future potential clients than something tossed up at AC or Infobarrel.
A few el cheapo gigs can put a foot in the door while dropping a little change in your pocket. The gigs at the shallow end of the rate pool may not be what you want in the long run, but if you need a few quick bucks and something that passes for experience, they’re probably better than an article at Bukisa.
Those low-pay gigs aren’t hard to find. If anything, they might be too easy to find. The Internet marketing forums are crawling with potential clients and Craigslist is overflowing with “I need ten articles about _____”-style clients.
Work for a Slightly Better Mill
Instead of writing revshare articles, you could always write for a content mill that pays you a little more than the potential of future money. It will only take you about thirty seconds to find a year’s supply of articles and blog posts decrying sites like Demand Studios and other pay-per-piece content mills. I’m not interested in answering the complaints. I’m not interested in defending this option, either.
This option and snagging a few lower-paying gigs may not be great ideas for everyone. Some folks may benefit more from some of the other ideas. I’m just saying that it makes more sense than writing for most of the revenue sharing sites.
Volunteer Your Talents
If your goal is experience and an opportunity to create materials you can use to prove your competency to others, consider volunteering your writing talents to make the world a better place. Offer someone engaged in a charitable pursuit a little pro bono copy.
No, it doesn’t pay. Then again, revshare doesn’t usually pay much. You’ll be trading a little hunk of dough for a much heftier hunk of feeling good, I guess. Oh, and pointing others toward this material will undoubtedly work better than showing them your ListMyFive posts.
I was going to put “Try Your Hand at Affiliate Marketing” on the list, but decided it wasn’t a great fit. Even stripped down versions of so-called “bum” article marketing strategies require a great deal of non-writing work. It’s a credible option for those who want to learn how to make it work, but it just didn’t feel like it was part of the same world, so to speak. That applies to a few other online moneymaking plans that involve content production, as well.
Well, there you have ‘em–a few alternatives to writing for revshare sites for new writers. I think they’re all credible alternatives to using your professional skills to supply user-generated content to sites willing to pay you only a fraction of the ad revenue they generate and that have so many other shortcomings.