How to Make Money Writing Online as a Freelance

How to Make Money Writing

To make money writing can be a very rewarding way of using your creative skills. Freelance opportunities provide flexible employment, while the research and imagination involved in writing can be highly enjoyable.

That said, If you’re looking for a great way to earn some money online – maybe even sufficient to quit your day job – one option is to offer writing services to other marketers.

Even though you only consider yourself a half first-rate writer, there are mainly lots of opportunities available in the market so that you can make some money.

As the adage goes, Content Is King, however, not everybody is comfortable or even able to create that content.

They are always looking for approaches to create high-quality content for their websites or blogs, and one of the pleasant ways to do this is by means of hiring a creative writer to create the content for them.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the ways that you can earn money by writing, including some of the most effective places to get buyers for your work.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Benefits of Writing as a Business

There are a couple of several big benefits of venturing into the “writing business.”

First, writing gig is very lucrative and is in demand. There are many marketers who are looking for high-quality content for their websites than there are writers providing it.

One thing is certain, it’s easy to find writers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. However, if you’ve ever tried doing this yourself, you’ve probably experienced the lack of quality that many of those writers offer.

Some of them are not native English speakers, while some just have a poor work ethic – but the fact is if you provide high-quality content.

And you’re conscientious about the work you’re doing, you will immediately distance yourself from 95% of your “competition.”

The next thing to do is research and learn about the markets. I refer to this in the plural because you can learn a lot about internet marketing itself, as well as any markets that you are interested to write about.

If you provide high-quality content and do so reliably, you will often be able to work with some successful – and maybe even well-known – marketers.

They will often have you write on topics that they’re involved in, and you can gain a lot of knowledge by watching how they do things.

Believe me, the first time you write an ebook or report for someone and they take something they paid you $250 for and turn it into a $5,000 payday, it’s going to open your eyes to the potential that’s in the market.

Along the same lines, you can often leverage these working relationships into further partnerships. Successful marketers understand that writing is often a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

If you work with a marketer by writing for them, and later you graduate to creating and marketing your own products.

That marketer is much more likely to partner with you as an affiliate or joint venture because they know you and they know the quality of your work.

Types of Writing

There are numerous types of writing that marketers are normally looking for. You can offer any or all of the following types of content:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Reports
  • eBooks
  • Copywriting
  • Autoresponder Emails
  • Spinning

A few of these are more specialized than others. Copywriting, for instance, will require you to have a certain skill set that is not common to all writers.

Articles and blog posts, on the other hand, can generally be handled by virtually any writer (provided they are familiar with the topic, of course).

These different levels of skill will also have a bearing on how much you can sensibly charge for your work. Article writers who are regarded to be “highly paid” may charge $25 to $50 per article, for around 500 words.

Highly paid copywriters, on the other hand, may earn $10,000 and up for a single sales letter, as well as a percentage of the sales in some cases.

If you’re just starting out with your writing business, you’re probably not going to be able to command that kind of rates until you’ve proven yourself, but it’s something you can desire to.

Most writers who can command top-dollar for their work started out at entry-level rates, just like anyone else.

Whilst you’re first starting out, articles and blog posts are typically the easiest work to find.

There are numerous places where you can market yourself as an article writer (which we’ll cover in the next section).

Also, there is a virtually never-ending supply of marketers and blog owners who are seeking for good content.

Reports and ebooks are also popular types of content for many writers. Both of these types of content are popular among internet marketers, and they are often looking for writers who can create them.

Reports and ebooks may be written to be sold, given away as bonuses for other products or even given away as an incentive to get people to join email lists or other lead generation methods.

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Many marketers are constantly looking for new products or giveaways they can offer their customers, so from your point of view as a writer there is a lot of demand.

Writing reports and ebooks can be an effective way to advance into larger types of content and larger projects with your existing clients as well, so don’t be afraid to offer your article clients larger projects.

We’ve already mentioned copywriting, and it tends to be one of the higher-paying forms of content, but in order to get paid well, you need to have a proven track record.

The first few sales letters you write may not generate the same kind of revenue, but if those sales letters convert well and you can build a bit of a portfolio of successful sales pages, it won’t take long before you can start charging more.

Autoresponder emails are another type of copywriting, in some ways, but they will vary depending on the ultimate purpose.

Many marketers don’t understand how to write effective emails, or they might not know enough about a particular niche to write them well, so by offering this type of content you can often get some fairly profitable clients.

Generally, marketers who are building niche email lists are working in more than one market. You may be able to get quite a bit of work by connecting with those marketers who need emails written for them.

Spinning is a bit of an unusual form of content, and not one that all writers are happy to offer.

Article spinning is a bit of a controversial topic in the internet marketing world. Some people swear by it, while others feel it is a “black hat” technique that they would never use.

Spinning is basically the process of taking a base, or seed article and rewriting it with multiple versions of each sentence or even word replacements, using a particular format for those alternatives.

Specialized software, called a “spinner” takes this “spun” article and outputs one or more unique versions.

The degree of uniqueness will be determined by how effectively the article is rewritten, and this is where a lot of marketers fail when using spun content.

If you don’t use enough replacements or you’re not careful about the words you choose, you can wind up with a variation that isn’t different enough from the original or worse, doesn’t make sense.

If you offer article spinning as a service, you can make a pretty good profit per article – provided you’re working with someone who understands the value you offer.

It’s not unheard of for people to pay $200 or more for a high-quality spun article. Even if it takes you four hours to create that single article, you can still earn a pretty good hourly wage this way.

Where to Sell Your Writing

There are numerous sites where you can sell your writing, some are more profitable than others. The first one that you should always consider is your existing clients.

If you’re just starting out, this one may not work immediately, but once you’ve got a few jobs under your belt. Then, you should have a list of clients that you can go back to whenever you have time available to write.

Along those lines, always make sure you capture your customers’ information – at least their name and email address using an auto-responder – so you can contact them in the future.

If truth be told, they’ll thank you for it – it’s a win/win situation for both of you.

Also, you’ll have a list of people with whom you’ve already worked for, and understand what they’re looking for, and your customers will have a writer who they know they can trust to deliver high-quality content on time.

Before you begin seeking for new clients, always get in touch with your existing clients to see if they have any work for you.

Another great way your existing clients can help you generate more business is through referrals. You should always ask your clients for referrals, even if it’s just a matter of letting them know that you’re available if they know anyone who is looking for quality content.

Marketers who need content and don’t have a writer they can trust will often turn to their friends and acquaintances in the internet marketing world for recommendations.

If your clients are happy with your work, they will usually be willing to recommend you to those people.

In fact, you can even offer referral bonuses to really entice your referrals. If you pay a “finder’s fee” or offer a certain amount of free writing for every referral an existing customer sends you, this can really help to push the process along.

If you are looking for new customers, whether because you’re just starting out or because your existing clients aren’t looking for any new content at the moment, there are several effective places to turn.

One of the best places to find new clients is through forums. There are many different internet marketing forums, and many of them have sections where you can offer your services.

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For example, if you’ve been involved in internet marketing for any length of time you’re probably familiar with the Warrior Forum.

There is a sub-forum on the site called Warriors for Hire where you can post an ad for your services. Or you could offer a special price on your writing services through the Warrior Special Offers section.

This is just one example, however – there are many other forums that have similar sections available to you.

There are a couple of caveats to forum marketing, however.

First, you need to take part in the forum and get to be known. If you rarely post or you join and immediately post an ad for your services, it’s unlikely that you’re going to find many clients.

People prefer to work with other people that they’re familiar with. Even if you’ve never met them in person, you can get to “know” people through a forum. Post regularly and interact with other people to become known.

The other benefit you’ll get from taking part regularly is that people will be able to see the quality of your writing from the posts you make on the forum. This can act as a sort of live portfolio of your work.

The second thing to be careful of when marketing on forums is choosing a forum that has a “cheap is better” mindset. Frankly, the Warrior Forum suffers from this problem in many ways.

The WSO section has trained members of that forum to expect to pay rock-bottom prices for highly valuable products. This can translate across into other sections of the forum as well, such as Warriors for Hire.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t find high-paying clients on these forums, it’s just a warning. You might get a better ROI by being active on other forums instead.

Another effective way to find new clients is through freelance websites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com. These sites serve as a “middleman” connecting freelancers and people looking to hire those freelancers.

They provide a certain amount of security for both parties, by moderating the jobs and acting as a sort of escrow service for the payments.

The drawback, of course, is that they charge a fee for doing so. That fee is taken out of the service provider’s payment (that’s you) so you’re essentially paying them to find new clients for you.

The most effective way to use these sites is to find new clients, and then once you have a bit of a working relationship with them you can move to working together directly.

You might even offer a slightly lower rate since you don’t have to pay the fee to the freelance sites.

For instance, if you’re paying them a 10% fee on every job you do, you could offer your client a 5% discount for working together directly and still wind up making more money.

Just be careful if you choose to pursue this option. Some of the freelance sites (such as [Fiverr.com] for example) have rules about trying to move offsite for future projects. You want to be sure that you’re not breaking any rules by discussing this with your clients.

Another interesting way that you can sell your writing is by creating PLR, or Private Label Rights offers.

Private Label Rights means that the buyers have the right to use the content virtually any way they like.

They can edit it however they wish, put their own name on it and generally treat it just like the content they had written themselves.

The disadvantage of PLR from a buyer’s perspective is actually one of its strongest advantages from the seller’s (yours):

Multiple folks will purchase the rights to the same content

From the buyer’s perspective, this means that there are other people who can use the same content – promote it, use it as web content, give it away, etc.

Which creates a certain amount of competition compared to having exclusive rights to the content.

However, from your point of view, as the seller, you can sell the same content many times over. This means you can charge less for it and still wind up making more money.

For illustration, assuming you’ve written ten 500-word articles. If you were to sell those to a single client and charged them $20 per article you would earn $200.

If you took those same ten articles and sold them as a PLR bundle charging only $10 for the entire pack ($1 per article) you would only need to sell 20 copies to make the same amount of money.

It highly likely that you could find more than 20 buyers if the articles were on a popular topic, and the quality is good. In fact, you might sell 100 copies or more, generating much more revenue with exactly the same amount of work.

There is another benefit to selling PLR content, however – you get your writing in front of a lot more people, some of whom might be looking for exclusive content as well.

If they see your PLR articles are well-written it’s quite likely that they would be interested in working with you on exclusive projects as well.

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Think of selling PLR as a “front end” offer, with your writing services as the back end “upsell.”

How Much Should You Charge?

This has always been the biggest question on many writers’ minds, especially at the beginner’s level, is how much to charge for their work. It difficult for many people to decide.

After all, they want to earn as much as possible and they may feel that their work is worth a lot. But until they’ve had a chance to prove themselves, buyers may not want to pay high-end rates.

Typically, the best way to charge for your writing is on a per-word basis. You could charge $0.1, $0.5 or more per word: for example, you can charge

  • $5 per 500-word article
  • $10 per 500-word article
  • $25 per 500-word article
  • etc.

The same calculations would be used for longer types of content. For example, a 2,500-word report would cost $125 depending on the quality of your work.

There are a couple of things you’ll need to consider when setting your prices. The first is what sort of competition do you have?

One of the forums I frequent has a “Writers for Hire” section where most of the writers’ charge 1 cent per word. If you were to post an offer there at 5 cents per word, chances are you wouldn’t get many takers.

The other thing to consider is whether or not people are familiar with your skills and the quality of your work. If not, you may need to start at a lower price in order to get some experience and to prove yourself to your potential clients.

A good strategy, in this case, is to make an “introductory” offer at a lower price than you normally charge, and make that clear in the offer itself. Let people know that it’s a special offer and any future work will be at your regular rates.

You’ll most likely get some buyers who only sign up because of the discount, but you’ll also probably get some buyers who continue to work with you at your regular rates once they’ve seen the quality of your work.

This type of offer can be a good way to get some more clients into your “funnel” whenever you feel the need to find new ones.

As your writing business expands, you’ll soon discover that you can only work with a maximum number of people at any given time.

Ideally, you want to have a few more regular clients than you can handle all at once. By doing this, you can often keep your writing schedule filled without any need to find new business.

Sites You can Make Money Writing Articles for:

Developer Tutorials:  $30-$50 for list articles, and $50-$100 for tutorials

Wow Women on Writing: $50-100

B. Michelle Pippin: $50 – $150

Funds for Writers $45 – $50 per article

Cracked.com: $100 – $200

Writers Weekly $40 to $60 for articles you submit

The Change Agent $50 per article

Ux Booth:  $100 for articles

eCommerce Insiders $75 – $125 per article

College Humour: $25 – $150

Sitepoint

Watch Culture: $25 – $500

Specializing in a Niche

The last strategy we’ll discuss in this post is specializing in a certain niche or certain topics.

If you are an expert in a particular market, you might want to consider writing exclusively for that market – especially if it’s a profitable one.

For instance, you might specialize in fitness and weight loss topics exclusively.

There are a couple of advantages to this strategy:

  1. It’s easier to write about topics you’re familiar with
  2. You can charge more because you’re an expert

When you opt-in on a topic well known to you, it will make the writing process much faster since you won’t need to do much research.

And the quality of your writing will generally be a lot better than if you’re writing about certain topics that you’re only superficially conversant with, from doing some basic research.

And because your writing will generally be much of a higher quality, you can charge more for it.

Your clienteles will be getting true expert content, so they will often be happy to pay you the higher prices.

Conclusion

Even with all the automation tools that are out there for building websites and populating them with content, the market for high-quality content will still be there.

If you enjoy writing and can provide high-quality content to your clients, you’ll have a virtually never-ending market for your skills.

Just know that getting started is the hardest part of this writing niche. Once you’ve gathered some level of experience under your belt and have some happy clients, you can leverage on that and venture into a full-time writing business if that’s your ultimate goal.

Remember – the internet revolves around content. That will not change anytime soon, so if you can help other marketers by providing quality content that they need, your services will be in demand for a very long time to come.

For your business writing and content development needs, kindly click here

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About Ini Patrick

Hello, I'm a freelance writer, Business analyst, and Online Business Strategist. The founder of Think Possible Community where I share hybrid information on Success and Entrepreneurship. My goal is to elicit greatness in you and inspire you to Think Beyond the Possible. Stay glue for your business tips, inspiring success stories and Healthy inspirational tips.

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