Becoming a freelance writer is a career move that's filled with a lot of different options. As a literary mercenary you can basically call your own price and accept whatever contracts you feel that your skills and your time allow you to take. However, there is a question that all freelance writers will have to ask themselves at some point in their career. That question is; revenue share or up-front payment?
Let's compare these two options, starting with up-front payment first. Up-front payment is usually the sort of payment that most workers, and especially freelancers, are familiar with. As the name implies, up-front payment is when you accept a contract to write a certain project for a set fee. For instance, if you write a newspaper article and the paper pays you $45 per article, that's an up-front payment. You get your check, you give the article to your employer and you're done, contract's over. You don't get any additional money for the assignment, and once you turn it in you're done. Some assignments you have to sign over all rights to the piece you write, and others you get to keep the rights, but that's between you and the employer.
Revenue share payments function in a way similar to royalty payments, and they come in a few different varieties. There's adshare, such as the type used by Google Adshare, which states that you get a payment every time someone clicks an add found on one of your web pages. If you write an article about pocket watch tuning, and someone clicks the add for a pocket watch, then you can make a penny or so per click. A tutorial on how to use Google Adsense may be found at http://www.infobarrel.com/How_to_Use_Google_Adsense. Another method of revenue share is the pay-per-thousand clicks that some websites will offer freelance writers. For instance, if you write an article the website will track it and for every 1,000 page views your content receives you will get a payment (typically between $1.50 and $3.00). This sort of assignment may have a small up-front payment, or none at all, but it has the potential to pay off in the long run if you build up a library and you can keep up the regular page views by creating Internet backlinks and choosing proper SEO keywords.
As a writer it's important that you try and balance your work. For instance, it may be attractive to only accept up-front payments so that you know how much money you have coming in and you can judge the value of a given assignment. However, if you want to take time off then you should build up a library of revenue share articles as well, so that way you have money coming in even when you're not regularly working on something or when you're between assignments. Every writer is different though, and it's important that you find a balance that works well for you and which works well for your work.