Online freelance writing jobs can supplement or even replace your full time income. Writing is one of the few legitimate work form home jobs out there. It's likely that you'll be producing content for the internet. Here are a few tips on how to find the best gig for you.
Learn about SEO. Even if you majored in English in college you'll still have a lot to learn about the online writing word. Even if your piece is grammatically perfect it doesn't matter if it doesn't bring in search engine traffic. Set a goal to learn a new skill every week or devote a certain amount of time to your technical education everyday.
Don't discount passive income. You can earn residuals off of pieces that you write for sites like Infobarrel. At first you might just bring in a few cents and then think that it's not worth your time. On the other hand you'll often hear success stories of the top earners and wonder what is wrong with your writing? You have to do a lot of experimenting to find the right balance for you. At first you'll probably need to go with passive sites and article sites that pay you upfront. It may take you a year or two to really build up your residual writing income to the point that it's significant.
Get used to rejection. This is a reality in most any online freelance writing job. You might not even be accepted for the site. Think about how things work in the offline world so you don't become discouraged. You wouldn't expect to be hired for every gig you apply for right? You might be competing with people all over the world for just one position. The trick is to keep researching and applying for jobs until you finally get chosen.
Build up your portfolio. In the real world you would probably have to get an apprenticeship or internship before you started making big bucks. The same can be said of online work. Even if you're a great writer you'll need to gain experience before you put in applications. You might want to start your own blog or work at residual sites. Most places will want a few samples of your work. It helps to read through the TOS and view other articles on the site before you send in the samples. This way you know exactly what they are looking for and whether or not you can fit into the mold.
Decide whether you are going to work for yourself or for someone else. The advantage to working for yourself is that you get to write what you want and how you want. The disadvantage is that it can be difficult to get a blog or small website to rank high in the search engines. You might not be able to generate the income you need by solely writing for yourself. You'll find more stable work at writing companies but you'll also have to abide by their rules. They usually have the keywords or topics chosen for you. You may want to try out both ways of writing. You might even just have to write for companies until your own site or business takes off.
Learn how to work well with others. Again this can be tedious and disheartening a lot of times. You may have to work with multiple editors, some of which are hard to please. Again, just like in print media there will be rejections, rewrites and revisions. Instead of becoming discouraged make a note not to make that mistake again and keep working. It's also important to remain professional on forums because rude behavior can reflect negatively on both the writer and the site. Sure, working online with people from all over the world creates a relaxed environment. You might not even know what the other people look like. Remember that while it's a very casual work environment, it's still a work environment.
Decide the lowest amount you'll work for. You will probably find a lot of opportunities that look fun and great until you get to the actual price the user is willing to pay. Some smaller sites and blogs like to outsource their work and they can often find people to do it for just a few dollars. You may have to increase your typing speed so you can earn a decent hourly wage. You need to draw the line right from the beginning as to what you will and will not write and what payment is acceptable.
Treat it like you would any other business. You might have to work after your kids are in bed or set up a separate home office. The quality of your work will probably go up in a calmer environment where there aren't a lot of distractions. A lot of writers just expect to work a few hours a day and earn a full time income. While this may be nice and even possible it's not the norm. You might have to keep regular office hours just to earn a decent wage. You may even need to work weekends.
Another key to success for online freelance writing jobs is to diversify. This may mean that you end up writing articles that are out of your preferred niches. Most writing companies allow you to work at several places, or even in different roles in the same company. If you are really depending on this for income keep relationships with as many places as you possibly can so you always have a steady stream of work.
Learn to mange your money. You may get really excited by your new writing gig and quit your day job, only to have the work disappear in a few months. The key to becoming successful and turn it into a full time job is keeping a budget. If you make more than expected one month put it aside for leaner times.
Online freelance writing jobs can change the way you live and work. You may have to balance a variety of gigs and learn to live on less money. In the end it can be a refreshing change from the corporate world, but these jobs still have their downsides.