Freelance Writing Online

As a freelance writer, I find myself constantly mystified by the number of posts on forums and discussion boards by people complaining that they can’t find work for freelance writers. If you’re one of these people, and you want to be paid as a professional freelance writer, this article is for you.

No matter what your specialty is, you can find a home for your writing; and the Internet has made our lives as writers that much easier. Take the time to subscribe to databases created for writers, like Writer’s Market Online (http://www.writersmarket.com). This site alone has all the information you need to get paid for your writing. A quick search on the topics that interest you will give a list of guidelines; a typical guideline will tell you about a publisher’s target audience, what rights they want, how to submit, and how much they pay for accepted work.

Have you subscribed to ezines for writers yet? Most writing ezines carry market listings in them, and they’re delivered right to your email. Sign up for enough newsletters and their listings will keep you busy writing for weeks on end. One website that constantly offers market listings for writers is Poets & Writers (http://www.pw.org).

You might be wondering what those things have to do with freelance writing online. The answer is quite simple; you can’t find the jobs if you aren’t looking for them.

Before you start digging in and querying, you can save yourself some time and hassle by doing 3 things:

1. Develop a profile: A majority of the online resources you will find to publish your work requires some kind of profile. Associated Content carries profiles for all of their writers; just click an author’s name and you are brought to a page that shows the author’s profile, published works and a link to the author’s affiliated website. It’s not easy to write a profile that everyone will want to read, but it is better to take your time and polish up a paragraph or two that describes you beforehand. Then, you can just copy-paste as you need to and save yourself a lot of time.

2. Discover your interests: Most freelance writing is non-fiction. What this means for writers is that, while you might be able to write about anything under the sun, you will be most successful writing about things you already feel passionately for. When you are an active participant in something, whether it be chatting online or scaling mountains, you develop a mind-set that is particular to whatever activity you’re performing. This mind-set is brought out in your writing and makes you a much more successful author. Take a few seconds to jot down 3-5 things that you know you can happily write about, confident that you can discover new facets of the subjects week after week.

3. Devise a schedule: It doesn’t matter if you can only devote 5 hours a week to your freelance writing – make a schedule, and stick to it. Many of us juggle a family, children, and regular jobs. Finding time to write can be hard, and no one will argue that. Think seriously about the current schedule you maintain outside of writing, and determine which time of day is best for you to set aside. Then, write down on a calendar your schedule. Think of it like a “regular” job schedule if you need to; if you’re serious about getting paid for writing, you will follow the schedule you create. Let your family know what times you have set aside for writing, and they will usually respect that time for you.

Now that you’ve tackled the nit-picky things that will make writing easier, it’s time to âÂ?¦. well, have you done the first two things in this article yet? Seriously, subscribe to an ezine or two, and get access to some market listings. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. Until those listings start coming in, though, here are a few resources for finding online freelance writing jobs that I can recommend without hesitation.

Freelance Writing (www.freelancewriting.com): This website is a total haven for freelance writers. Their online freelance writing jobs database is almost without equal, both in size and scope. Also offered is an Idea Lab and dozens of articles for writers.

Sun Oasis Jobs (http://www.sunoasis.com/jobpostings.html): A very clean website with hundreds of jobs for writers updated every day. Updating is a huge task for webmasters of sites like these, but when you find one like Sun Oasis, definitely bookmark it. There’s nothing more frustrating than replying to an exciting help-wanted ad only to find that it expired several months ago.

Writing For Dollars (http://www.writingfordollars.com/Guidelines.cfm): Easy-to-use and great results, this website offers a searchable database of writer’s guidelines. Enter a phrase or subject you are interested in writing about, and it’ll pull up some great results.

Writer’s Weekly (http://www.writersweekly.com/#jobs): Remember my urging about writer’s ezines? Here is one that you definitely want to take a look at. This really well-done ezine offers writer’s courses, articles, and a constantly updated writer’s market – even a forum for interacting with other writers and gaining some truly helpful insight, and a few good friends along the way.

Writers Write Paying Markets (http://www.writerswrite.com/paying/): There’s not much to say about this website other than what its title already does. A very comprehensive listing of paying writing jobs online, free to access and use. This website also offers a really amazing guidelines directory that is fully searchable by topic, subject, or phrase (http://www.writerswrite.com/guidelines/).

Telecommuting Jobs (http://www.tjobs.com/index.shtml): Up to this point, every resource I’ve recommended was intended solely for writers. This website isn’t. There are jobs and articles here for every type of telecommuting (working from your home via the internet) job imaginable. Which, yes, includes writing; and, unlike most sites of this type – this one is free.

These are only a few of the many, many resources available online. I’ve chosen these ones because they don’t cost to use (hey, I’m a writer too – I know what being broke means) and because they are honest, good resources.

As you start feeling your way around and become active in newsletters and forums, the biggest tip I can give is this: write! Even if you’re just writing in a forum, you never know when the next person reading that post might be an editor, a publisher, or someone who knows one very well. Yeah, things like that do happenâÂ?¦

Writing is about following a dream. Getting paid for freelance writing online is an even bigger dream, and if you’re willing to work for itâÂ?¦ well, there’s simply no limit to what you can do.

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