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You Can Have a Career as a Freelance Writer

By Edited Sep 8, 2014 7 10

If You Love to Write, You Can Now Become an Online Writer

Work anywhere


Many people dream of becoming online freelance writers. Thanks to the large number of resources available today on the internet, that dream can now be a reality. Writing opportunities are available through many different websites, some of which are listed below. As with many jobs, your success and the amount that you can earn, is almost entirely up to you.

It is important for people to know that being a freelance writer means that you are self-employed. There is no guaranteed income. You also receive no corporate benefits, such as insurance, paid vacation or a profit sharing plan.

However, there are other benefits to becoming a self-employed freelance writer. First of all, you can work your own hours. You decide when and where you want to work. You can write at home, or on an airplane, or while on vacation at an exotic location. Second, you can decide how much time you are willing and able to commit to writing. Freelance writing can be a good job choice for people who want a legitimate job working from home, such as stay-at-home mothers, or people who are looking for extra money to supplement their pension or disability income. Another benefit to being a freelance writer is that you can choose the kind of writing you want to do, and how you want to be paid … a flat fee, or residual income. What are some of the opportunities that are available?

Earn Residual Income as a Freelance Writer

The website this article appears on is called InfoBarrel. It is one of several online article libraries that allow individuals to join, write articles on topics that interest them, and earn a residual income from those articles each time someone responds to any of the advertisers that are listed on the same page. The residual income can continue as long as that article appears on the internet. This could go on for many years. Although you may earn less than $1 a month for any particular article, some articles will earn more, and your income can build rapidly as you add to your personal article library. A few hundred articles earning $1 a month can eventually produce a nice extra income.

Depending on the topic you choose and the amount of time you are willing to spend promoting your articles on social media and other internet sites, your article may continue to attract readers for years. Even when an article does not turn out to be popular, sometimes it is fun just to have a place where you can write about topics that are of interest to you.

Some writers try to find a balance between writing only about topics that interest them, and topics that have commercial value, such as reviews of products that they have used. Many of these articles have become real money makers for some authors.

The advantage of writing for companies like Infobarrel is that you can retain ownership and full rights to your articles. You can remove them from one site, and put them on another. You can turn them into a book. The articles are yours. This is the type of writing that I prefer. I enjoy having the opportunity to choose my own topics, earn residual income from them for years, and still retain the rights to those articles. I have many articles that have already paid me more than I would have ever earned from them on a flat fee basis … and they are still earning money!

If you are interested in becoming a member of InfoBarrel, and would like to try your hand at writing an article, click here, and you will be taken directly to the sign-up page.

In addition to InfoBarrel, new freelance writers might want to explore similar websites such as:





All of these are legitimate writing sites.  They do not cost you anything to join, and they share the income from your articles with you.

Earn Money Selling Freelance Articles for a Flat Rate

If you are more interested in getting paid quickly than building up residual income, you may want to write articles for a company that will pay you a flat fee up front.

One of the largest companies to do this is called Demand Studios. This site requires that you apply, submit a writing sample and be approved as a writer. It can be difficult to get approved.  However, once you are approved, you select a topic from a list which is posted on their website. You write the article, submit it and, if they accept it, you will be paid a flat fee, which can vary from about $15 to $20. Demand Studios will also let authors choose to write articles that pay residual fees. However, there is a big difference between them and other the websites, like InfoBarrel, that are mentioned above. With Demand Studios, you no longer retain the rights to that article. All future profits belong to Demand Media. However, if you choose to write articles that pay a flat fee, you will be paid for writing the article within a couple of weeks. This is a possible opportunity for people who need to earn some money in a hurry.

Earn Money as a Ghost Writer at a Flat Rate

Working as a ghost writer is similar to the Demand Studios situation listed above. The difference is that you do not choose the topic. Instead, you are hired to write a specific article to the specifications of the person who will be purchasing that article for their own use. They will use your article for their purposes, often promoting it as though they were the writers, not you. However, this type of writing can pay well.

There are a large number of companies on the internet which allow people who want articles written for them to find writers who would like to write those articles. You can find these companies, and many others like them, online:





I have used Textbroker and found it to be a good way to earn money and get paid within a couple of weeks.  I have been paid anywhere from $4 to $20 for an article and sometimes I have gotten assignments that have involved 10 or more articles.

The amount you will be paid per article varies greatly, depending on the length of the article, the amount of research you will have to do, how technical the article is, and your experience and reputation as a ghost writer. In many cases, you will be required to submit writing samples and apply for the different the writing opportunities that are advertised.

Writing a Blog or Creating a Website

Anothere popular choice is to write your own blog or website.  I have a website called:


It took me three years to build it up, but it now received about 15,000 views a month and I receive residual income from it.  If you have a unique interest, such a things you collect, crafts you create, gardening information, recipes, etc., you can start a blog on the topic, update it once or twice a week and, eventually, you could earn money from it, too.

Freelance Writer Income

Many writers, like me, are registered with more than one online writing venue. This allows them to write some articles for long term residual pay, and other articles for quick sale.

It is difficult to get exact figures on how much money freelance writers earn, because it depends so much on their experience, and the amount of time they spend writing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual salary of authors, writers and editors together and they show a median income of about $53,000 a year. However, most freelance writers who list their incomes online at various websites tend to earn $24,000 or less per year. Some are able to earn more than that. However, it appears that most freelance writers, even those who are committed to writing regularly, are only able to earn between $500 and $2,000 a month, often because free-lance writing is a secondary business for them. In addition, most writers earn much less during their first couple of years, especially those who only occasionally submit articles.

It can take a few years to build up a regular income, so writers have to be patient.

Because this work is often part-time, even this relatively small extra income can be very helpful to many people. For example, many freelance writers are college students, retirees, stay-at-home mothers or others who just want a little extra money to help their families or supplement their primary source of income.

Most people who are interested in writing are now able to earn at least some money at it, often with very little effort. One of my daughters wrote only three articles while she was in graduate school. She continues to receive a check for $10 - $15 every couple of months, even though she pays absolutely no attention to those articles anymore. Imagine if she had written several dozen articles instead of just three!

Get Started Now as a Freelance Writer

If you are interested in trying your hand at freelance writing, you can begin immediately by joining Infobarrel or one of the other sites mentioned above.  There is no fee, and no obligation or requirement to keep writing. You can stop, or try other websites any time you want. You can even write for more than one website at the same time ... although none of the sites accept duplicate content.  Write original articles every time.

If you are looking for other ways to save money or earn it, you may also be interested in reading these articles:

Deborah-Diane's InfoBarrel Earnings

How to Use Google Shortcuts to Save Time

Financial Advice for College Students

You Can have a Career as a School Paraeducator or Teacher's Aide

Photo courtesy of photoxpress.com

Here's a Handy Kindle Book to Help You

The Moonlighter's Guide To Online Writing For Immediate Income
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Sep 8, 2014)
Read as much as you can about online writing. There are many great writers who are willing to help you out.


Nov 14, 2010 11:10pm
Great realistic article about how to earn money as a freelance writer.
I am sure it will inspire many!
Nov 15, 2010 6:44pm
Great coverage on this topic. It might interest you to know that at Demand Studios writers can still select a residual payment option. But you are correct, they forfeit the rights to their articles no matter which payment option they choose.
Nov 15, 2010 7:05pm
Thank you for letting me know that Demand Studios does still allow residual income. It's too bad that they retain the rights! They are a reputable company, as far as paying their writers, and they provide another option for some writers.
Nov 21, 2010 2:04pm
Thanks for the information. I have looked at some different sites to earn quick money from individual writing jobs. I like the idea of residual income without having to constantly push out content, but getting paid for each article sounds good too. A good balance of both is what I will do into the future.
Nov 21, 2010 2:13pm
Thoughtful, in-depth article that provides great information! I'd like to add that writers can self-publish books for Kindle on Amazon or other venues and earn money that way if they promote their books well.
Nov 21, 2010 5:13pm
this is a very comprehensive article. thanks for this!
Nov 30, 2010 11:49am
Great info D-D!
Dec 3, 2010 10:55pm
Yeah, I think it takes time to see how freelancing really goes! But, Good info. Thanks.
Sep 3, 2012 11:21am
Hi: Great inspirtional and encourageing article--2 big thumbs from me.
Sep 3, 2012 11:46am
Thank you, Marlando! I plan to revise this article soon to add Amazon Kindle writer to the mix. I now have five books written specifically for the Kindle, and enjoy the extra money that brings in, too!
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