5 Tips for Freelance Writing Online

by MasterDayton

There are many different opportunities for writers online, but caution is also needed. Read on to learn five helpful tips for freelance writing on the Internet.

Introduction to Freelance Writing Online

If you're relatively new to the world of freelance writing, you might not know all the possibilities that exist online.  Many experienced writers have talked about 2011 being a hammer of a year on online writers, and while this might be true, there are still plenty of opportunities online to make a good living as a freelance writing.  Whether you prefer a more traditional pay per job set up or if you're working in Internet Marketing to build a passive income, hopefully the following five tips will help you get started and seeing success as quickly as possible.

Online Writing Tip #1

Do Your Research

One of the most important pieces of advice you can follow when looking to break into the online writing market is to do your research.  Why is that?  It's because while there are plenty of major opportunities for writers to make money writing online, there are also plenty of scams and rip-offs.  Many sites are trying to recruit writers for $1-2 a page, which is way too little, and others have garnered a bad reputation from questionable actions in the past.

While the thought of having to search forums and do a lot of research can be intimidating, this is a step you should never skip.  It might seem tedious, but you don't want to dump 20, 30, or even more hours into a website only to find out later they don't pay you enough at all or they seize copyrights or do other shady plans.  A little bit of great research into online freelance writing websites ahead of time can go a long way in helping you make sure your time is spent wisely in your pursuit of becoming a professional writer.

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Newspaper, magazine, and web editors are desperate for new voices and anyone, in any field, can break in. So why not you? Over the last two decades, writing professor Susan Shap...

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Online Writing Tip #2

Don't Let Fear Stop You

This is a big one.  While you definitely want to do your research to make sure you're not getting roped into a scam or one of the shady "slave writing" sites, the single biggest thing stopping individuals from making it as full time freelance writers is their own fear and inability to get over it.  Sometimes this comes in the form of "I'll do it later" or in finding you've researched sites for 9 months but haven't made any moves.  That last one was the trap I fell into at the very beginning back in 2005 when I was getting started freelance writing online.

Fear comes in a thousand different forms, but at the end of the day the best education is doing.  You'll make some mistakes, you'll learn, and you'll get better and better as a writer over time.  That's how great freelance writing careers are built.

Online Writing Tip #3

Work on Active & Passive Sources of Income

If you're starting out as a true writer, you might not be aware that there are actually two forms of income.  There's the pay per article or pay per job model which is traditional for the old school writers.  However the proliferation of the Internet and online websites and advertising means that passive or residual income is more a part of an online freelance writer's life than ever before - and it's worth developing both.  Early on, it's easier to freelance on a per assignment or per article basis.  This gets you income, it builds confidence, and it helps pay the bills quickly.  Over time, you'll want to make sure to put in the work to develop a long term source of passive income.  Even if it happens slowly, being able to eventually make hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month on work you've already done in the past.  It's a great safety net, and it's a goal worth going after.  So don't forgo one in favor of the other: beginners need to make time for both.

Freelance Writing Stuff from eBay

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Online Writing Tip #4

When You Have a Good Thing, Run with It!

This writing tip is one that really helps get the ball moving and is all about momentum.  You need to do the research, and you need to do a lot of work, but once you see an opportunity, ride it.  Writers who poured their efforts out on eHow and HubPages might have eventually lost a lot, but they also in a very short time could make a small fortune.  At their peak, eHow articles and HubPages ranked first page almost instantly, and if you poured your efforts into them you could make a lot of income quickly.  The writers doing well now are the ones who put in the effort to take advantage of what these two platforms had to offer, and then once they had the money coming in they diversified.  The point is, if you see a great opportunity, seize it, make the most from it, and then as you're profiting spend some time to diversify and build yourself a safety net.  This is the way to really make it as a freelance writer and how to get the most out of your time.

Online Writing Tip #5

Trust Your Gut

The fifth and final piece of online writing advice is to trust your gut.  At the end of the day you probably have a good sense of when something's on the level, something is a little bit off, or when a deal sounds too good to be true.  Obviously you want to put in the research and avoid any scams, but trust your instincts.  Even if you can't find any "scam alerts" or "negative reviews" don't be afraid to stay away if something just doesn't feel right about the site.  There are plenty of other opportunities online that do pay their freelance writers what they deserve.

Other Helpful Freelance Writing Links

Master Dayton Freelance Writing Blog
My personal freelance writing blog all about trying to help beginners get into the world of online freelance writing.

College Freelance Writing Article
Good article on finding the time to write as a college freelance writer.

Squidoo Lens on How to Be a Freelance Writer
One of the first pages I made on Squidoo, even back in 2007 being focused on helping others get into writing!

Updated: 12/14/2011, MasterDayton
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MasterDayton on 12/15/2011

Thank you for the kind words! Nothing beats experience, but I'm always happy to give some advice out to help others!

Angel on 12/14/2011

This was a very helpful article. I am new to online writing and everything you noted is of use to me. Thank you.

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