melanie johnston writer

Looking For A Freelance Writing Job: A Quick Guide For Beginners


Freelancing is a brave new world: millions of people are ditching their day jobs to write on their own, for pay. How can you get in on this booming market? Here are some tips for finding writing jobs.

  • Choose a site that works for you. There are a lot of freelancing websites out there, so it can be hard to decide which one will work for you. You can create accounts on multiple different platforms, but it may become hard to keep them all in order once you start getting hired. Familiarize yourself with a few of the “big names” and look for a platform that is easy to use, offers helpful features for you, and has reasonable fees. If you have multiple accounts and find that you consistently have better results on one, consider moving all your work to that site.

  • Weigh the money versus effort. Every job that you see, you need to weigh how much money they are offering versus the time and effort it will take you. At first, you may be tempted to take the first jobs you are invited to, regardless of how much they are paying. But, if you wind up doing a lot more work than you’re getting paid for, you probably would have been better off using that time working to look for a gig that will actually pay you reasonably! That being said, you can expect to be underpaid for a while before you can start charging what you really deserve. Just make sure you’re not taking too much of a hit!

  • Know that it can take a while to build a reputation. As I just said, you may need to under-charge your clients when you get started. Hopefully, they leave good reviews and even tell their friends to hire you. Until you have a reputation on a site, you will likely find yourself overworked and underpaid. Just keep on going, though; there is a promised land!

  • Start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself with multiple jobs, or one huge job, at first. If you’ve only ever written short stories, don’t immediately agree to write a novel. Don’t automatically agree to five different jobs. You need to pace yourself and figure out a schedule that works for you: unlike an office job with set hours, you can work as much or as little as you want as a freelancer. Don’t overextend yourself so that you’re up all night every night and wind up turning in poor-quality work! Instead, dedicate a lot of time and energy to your first few jobs, providing amazing writing that will get you re-hired!
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