Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Better Places to Find Freelance Writing Work

So, if not the standard places to get freelance writing jobs, then where? There are countless ways to go about finding better paying work. These examples comprise a combination of company work and getting your own customers. That means steady work from a variety of sources so that losing any one client doesn't mean living on beans until you find a new one.

Bidding Sites
I wrote a fairly long review about most of the freelance bidding sites and their potential for making money. The potential for a higher price per article is excellent with Elance and Guru and even RAC to some extent. These sites sometimes get bad mouthed by freelancers. Why? Because many of the people who run sites full of freelance jobs have a vested interest in doing so. If you're on bidding sites you won't be combing their sites for jobs. It's really as simple as that.

Using these sites is extremely lucrative and can get you as many regular customers as you want. It is also much, much less time consuming to get projects through these sites than by applying over and over again to those long lists of gigs. There is far less competition for these projects and there are always new ones being posted.


There are also a number of companies that hire hundreds of writers and pay them a per-article rate. One such company is WRG. They hire writers and editors periodically and are usually in the market for someone who is serious about getting articles in. If they aren't currently hiring, you might inquire about when they will be. The company has several projects, none of which I am allowed to mention specifically. The main one right now is very short articles that pay $10 apiece. That may not sound like a lot, but the articles are half sized, making them quick and pretty easy to write. The work is pretty much unlimited with no maximums. There are many people who make thousands a month with them.

Demand Studios is another company that has several projects requiring quick articles. They reportedly have maximums, however. For some people this probably works out well, though, as they don't feel like they're slacking for not writing hundreds of articles a month. It just depends on how many you want to write and how much you need to make. I'm told that this site does pay a little more than WRG on a per-article basis.

Love to Know
is another company that pays per article. They reportedly also have maximums and they are fairly limited as far as topics. There is always a list available of topics that need writers.

There are countless other companies out there that pay per article- doing a little searching may help you to find more. I used to write for one that bought short articles about insurance for $12 apiece but I can't think of that sucker's name right now. So, they are out there. Having one or two companies that pay regularly is a great safety net for slow times.

Freelance Portfolios
If you have a portfolio on Freelance Portfolios, people will come to you. It's free to put a portfolio together and it does bring in the traffic. I've had quite a few people contact me through there. And, the people who look for writers through this site aren't usually the type that don't want to pay for writers. If they contact you, they already know what you are capable of and whether you are a native English speaker or not. You can also set a pay rate right there on the portfolio if you choose to.

Your Own Website
Having your own website is a great way to get business. People can contact you through contact form or through an email address that you post on the site. A few writing samples and a bio is generally enough to show what you do and what your skill level is. People can contact you directly and you can negotiate from there.

Job Sites
Mainstream sites like have some writing jobs that are available for telecommuters. It may take some digging to find them, but since the site charges companies to post these ads, you know they are serious about paying. They will not be people looking for the cheapest possible writer. If they were so concerned about their pennies they would place a free ad somewhere else.

There are a number of other places that people find work that pays a decent wage. These are the ways that I generally get clients. I also get word-of-mouth clients who were told by other marketers that I was good and reliable. Word of mouth clients are great because they already know what you charge and come to you willing to pay it. It can take some time to get those types of clients, but it's certainly worth the wait.

If you want the ultra-high payers, there are many sites that pay much more than these. Of course, they will not pay for 200 articles from you and they may want story pitches first. I do know of people that go this route. They are certainly proud of the $800 article they wrote for an ultra mega site. Of course, it took days of pitching to get it, the article took quite a while to write and then there were revisions that needed to be made. And, that site was just one of many that were queried with story pitches, most of which were rejected. The whole process may have taken weeks.

On the other hand, my articles are mid-priced but they are always there. I made more than $800 last week and will this week as well. It's all a matter of what kind of income you need. Some want the prestige more than the money, and that's fine too. If you want to make a living at Web writing, eventually you have to make this type of decision.


Russell Cavanagh said...

I really really like your site and the stuff you are doing. I used to do some freelance writing for the national papers in Scotland - live in England now - and after 12 years working in law I am getting back into writing for a living. Early days yet but I have a financial website (not mine!) to do some more writing on and am carrying out some marketing/media release work.
Do you think it is possible to make much money from Suite 101? I read in your blog that you have earned a lot of respect from them at least.
I quit my law job and am fully my own man as of now - scary but exciting! - and your site provides some inspiration. Don't stop!
Below is the url for my blog that I started a couple of months ago in case you are at all interested.
Good luck with your work and keep your passion burning.

L. Shepherd said...

Thanks for the kind words! It is possible from Suite101, but it takes time. It took me several months to start getting a check every month, but the checks are getting bigger every month. I think that within another couple of months it will quite worthwhile. People who have been there for over a year apparently have good-sized checks coming in.

You know, I was in Edinburgh years and years ago and I stumbled upon The Scotsman office. I went in and asked if there was a reporter in there I could talk to, as I was finishing up a journalism degree and thought it could be an interesting exchange of ideas.

I was turned down because they were approaching deadline. I had no idea at the time that this was a huge newspaper, and a national one at that. I thought it was just some tiny paper that I had stumbled across. Kind of embarrassing, really...

Russell Cavanagh said...

Edinburgh is my original home town and The Scotsman gave me my very first commissioned article (!).
I'm trying to get my head sufficiently round HTML coding - links within pages and stuff - so I can have more control over my work.
Any ideas? Bet you've written as "how to" about it .... (lol)


L. Shepherd said...

I'm not that proficient with HTML so I only use hosts that have some type of page builder to make it easier. Most of those have a simple way to make the links to put the pages together. It's possible to make extremely nice sites using some of these hosts, but I don't because I don't know how. Mine are all plain and simple, but they get the job done.

I've actually gotten compliments from people saying that it's refreshing to see a site that is so straightforward. They were probably trying to be polite, but I don't think that my lack of coding skill has held me back so far.

Russell Cavanagh said...

Thanks for that. I agree that simplicity is best - anything else (including toooooo many links) gets in the way of the message. I had some work where the para headers were also to be bullet points at the top of the page and the idea was that clicking on the bullet point took you to the relevant para on the page. They kindly let me do it in Word and put in the links themselves (though I think it can be done in HTML view on Word). It's all very techie I suppose and like you all i want to do mainly is write. However, the idea of having a little more control ... if ti isn't too difficult ... !
Anyway, I'll let you get on. Thanks for all the responses and maybe speak again. You are on my bookmarks in Firefox 'cos I really think your site is a wee treasure.
All the best.

L. Shepherd said...

I appreciate it and enjoyed talking to you. Thanks!