For many reasons, more people are looking for ways to work online, and if possible, to work from home. Freelance online writing jobs fit the bill well in this regard for many people.
But is working as a freelance writer going to work for you?
The world around us is changing so rapidly. Perhaps it’s a new choice you could consider.
If you have good writing skills, let’s look at the options you have to make an income from writing online.
What is online writing?
Digital writing or content writing has unique qualities that set it apart from other forms of writing.
ThoughtCo published a terrific article defining the attributes of quality online writing.
Because online readers tend to scan, a web page or email message should be visibly structured; it should have what Jakob Nielsen calls a scannable layout. He found that frequent use of headings and bullets can increase readability by 47 percent.
The article also highlights the need to place the most important information in the headline and the first paragraph of an article.
Quality online writing is not only about words. It is about how you present it and how easy it is for people to read, understand and navigate.
It means that the liberal use of headings, bullet points, images, graphs, and even videos all work together to make an article or post both enjoyable and informative to read online.
People will read your writing on a computer, a phone, a tablet, or any other digital device with a screen. It is why it is called digital writing.
Online writing jobs can come in many forms. These can include writing blog posts, articles, reviews, messages, or email campaigns.
As a general rule, online publishing means that your writing is web content and will be available to read for free on the Internet.
If you’re reading this article, you are looking for options to make money from your writing skills. So how can you get started in making freelance writing your job?
Are online writing jobs for you?
Writing and publishing are changing at a rapid pace.
Change is the only constant when it comes to technology, the Internet, and social media.
Nothing stays the same, so the future for a writer is to adjust at each turn as change happens.
No one thought that Google+ would close down so suddenly or that Microsoft would close its ebook store.
No one saw the closure of StumbleUpon coming or the privacy concerns that now affect Facebook and how it limits the use of its API services for promotion.
There is no certainty online today, so having all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea.
The best way to protect your writing income is to take control and decide how, where, and when you distribute or sell your work.
But one aspect remains true all the time. Writing high-quality content for online readers is always in demand.
The only way businesses can gain traction is from high-ranking content appearing on search engines.
It’s the same formula for bloggers and content writers.
Do you believe you can write informative and engaging content that people, and search engines, will rate highly?
If your answer is yes, then perhaps writing a part-time or even full-time freelance writing job might be for you.
Find freelance online writing jobs
When you first start looking for work, you will most likely end up on job board sites like Upwork.
There are many similar sites.
But you need to be selective, however, because not all of these services pay well.
Here are a few links that might help you get started.
Writers Work is a service that helps you find paying writing jobs.
Another place to start is the ProBlogger Job board.
It focuses on writing jobs, and you can set up alerts for ads that could suit you.
The Write Life has a great article listing freelance writing jobs online that are worth looking at as well as some that you might want to avoid.
If you want the view of an experienced freelance writer, you can read this long article by Elna Cain.
It covers everything you would ever want to know about how companies hire freelancers and about getting paid to write.
In the end, though, making freelance writing your full-time stay-at-home business will be about building a regular and reliable client base.
Getting to know your clients’ needs and having them return over and over again is how you will generate a reliable income.
Pros of freelance writing
- No investment
- Work at your own pace
- No technical knowledge necessary
Cons of freelance writing
- High-paying offers are hard to find
- Can take time to find regular clients
Pro blogging for an income
Without a doubt, blog posts and online articles are where the money is for writers.
Setting up your own blog gives you the freedom to work how and when you want, and you are in full control of your writing.
You will definitely need a self-hosted WordPress blog, which will cost you less than $200 per year for hosting and domain name fees.
If you are not using a premium online grammar tool, then, depending on your choice, it will range from $60 to $120 per year for a license.
When you are more advanced, you could look at professional SEO software to help you get more traffic.
But it is quite expensive, so it is better to wait until your income is high enough to take the step.
It takes more time to set up a new blog than to find freelance work. But the long-term benefits are substantial.
Traffic is always king when it comes to making money online, and nothing attracts traffic more than a fantastic blog post or article.
You can target your writing to suit the result you want.
If you are promoting an affiliate link for fashion accessories, you can fine-tune your text to attract readers interested in your products.
It works similarly with Google Adsense PPC advertising. Google will display ads in your blog posts that are relevant to the topic of your article.
Because you are the publisher, you can choose what and when you publish. You can accept guest writers, sponsored content, or even pay writers to write content for you.
On the other side of the coin, you can still write and sell content to other sites.
When you are the boss and in control of your writing, the possibilities are almost endless.
Pros of blogging
- Regular income streams
- You can build a business
- Full editorial control
Cons of blogging
- Slow to establish
- Requires good technical knowledge
Write for free for other blogs
What? Give away my writing?
Yes, you can make money from free writing.
If you don’t want to invest your time and money in setting up your blog, you can offer to write for other blogs.
It’s the same way that bloggers make money; you can include affiliate links in your articles and have them published on high-ranking sites.
Another popular income source is to be a writing service. You write content for paying clients to promote their businesses on high-traffic blogs.
Many popular blogs are looking for free quality articles for their sites because it is so time-consuming for them to write a lot of new content.
You will always need to agree with the site owners on a topic and a suitable word count.
But it’s a win-win situation.
Pros of writing for other blogs
- No upfront investment
- Ideal for part-time work
- No technical knowledge needed
Cons of writing for other blogs
- You are not in control of your content
- It takes time to find regular clients
Can you make an income?
Yes, you definitely can. In my case, I decided to take full control of my writing some years ago now.
My income from online writing is now miles and miles ahead of my book royalties.
Yes, there are costs involved, but they are extremely low when compared to the total income.
Sure, it took time and investment as well as a learning curve at the beginning.
But now, my writing is earning an income 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Taking control of your online publishing is not for every writer.
Some writers are content to take their chances with publishing ebooks on Amazon.
But if you are an independent writer who has an entrepreneurial spirit, you have many opportunities.
The Internet is a vast place, so there are always new opportunities to find, consider, and develop.
All you need is the motivation to look and discover what might work for you.