How to get started with Freelance Writing

United States
December 14, 2008 12:21am CST
I'm trying to get started with freelance writing, but so far when I search online it's just a lot of scam sites or low paying jobs. Someone mentioned Writer's Market, and I found that online but I'm confused what that is exactly. It says it, "gets you the contact information of publishers." What do you do after that? Just start submitting a ton of articles? Couldn't I get the publisher information on my own? I have started writing for Associated Content, but it takes so long to find out if you get approved, and there is no set amount for how much you make. I might be willing to do a $2-4 per 400 word article, but how do I know if the company is reputable? I have read a lot online about people posting in free job classifieds (or even paid ones, depending on how much profit they can make off of people writing quick articles) to pretend they are looking to hire. Than they go and resell the articles that were submitted on sites like Associated Content. So, does anyone have any ideas of where I should start? What kind of qualifications do I need? I have a Bachelor's Degree and used to do really well on essays, (don't mind my grammar in this post, as I'm just trying to make this quick) but I don't exactly have a portfolio built up for this sort of thing. Thanks for any help!
4 people like this
7 responses
@celticeagle (123958)
• Boise, Idaho
15 Dec 08
I think that starting small and working your way up is the way to go. I started on Helium, Ehow, and AC back in the Spring and figure as i hone my skill and get my confidence up then I will try my hand at submitting something to a magazine. I will have a portfolio of my best work and alot of experience to back me up. I am also a member of a great writing site where I get alot of input and help. So, again, I think that starting small and getting experience is very important. Any of the sites mentioned are great for this. And how can you miss by making alittle money at it as you go? Can't ask for more I'd say.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 08
I agree. Those small sites will build the portfolio, give her experience, and keep the money coming in.
• United States
14 Dec 08
I was also wondering the same thing. It seems like it would be a nice way to make some extra money from home. I already work full time, but this would be great for when I get home in my spare time. Thanks for all the advice! Happy mylotting!!!
• United States
15 Dec 08
Starting a blog with the idea of making money from it is a long-term project. Every source of income depends on your blog's having a lot of traffic. If you want income now, that's not the way to go. Associated Content is a good start because it not only pays upfront, but you will build a portfolio of aarticles that will continue to collect page views. There are ways to make much more than AC pays, but there are many ways to freelance, and you need to eventually decide what path you want to take. I found a freelance writer on AC, and have been reading her articles, on her site and blog, and on AC, and they will give you a good beginning education about freelancing. http://inkwelleditorial.com/ A freelance blogger who I've learned a lot from is here: http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/ (Freelance Writing at Home.) I've read an enormous number of articles and blog posts trying to decide exactly what I want to do, and I'd say that those two have probably taught me the most. And because they each have so much useful information, you can save a lot of running around the internet. Once you have a better understanding of freelancing and what it involves, and what opportunities there are, you'll be better able to make choices about what sites to write for, if any.
@wheel416 (1019)
• Canada
14 Dec 08
As, others have already suggested I am a member of helium.com, is another online site for writers. It is quite a different concept then here at Mylot. Over there to earn revenue you must submit magazine quality articles. This means, proper grammar, punctuation and spelling are a must. I find that I get very helpful and constructive feedback from other writers there that improve the quality of my writing. Helium.com is a great site to start looking at becoming a freelance writer as they have a section called "the marketplace" where publishers looking for articles can team up with writers. Oftentimes this is a great help to those of us who do not have credentials or have not been accepted by a publisher previously. At Helium every writer is encouraged to write an article for submission to the publisher. They will evaluate each article on its merit not on whether you have been published previously. That's just my personal opinion. I have heard others complain, that everyone is just too picky over there. I think what they're referring to is what I stated earlier. In order to earn revenue at helium.com quality counts over quantity. Your article will fall to the bottom of the pile even if it has the best information, if it has not been properly edited, formatted and proof read. I personally like this, as it cuts down on the amount of silly or one line postings. Helium.com is where I found my opportunity to explore freelance writing. There may be other places out there that are just as good! Good luck to you, and if you're interested in sharing or having someone read your things you may add me as a friends and message me. I'm definitely interested in working with other serious writers! Good luck to you and in the meantime, Happy Mylotting!
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
14 Dec 08
There is a big difference between writing for a place that pays pennies and real writing opportunities that Writer's Market might list. When you're trying to write for a magazine or other legitimate publisher, you need to follow the directions/writer's guidelines. Sometimes they want you to mail a hard copy of your writing and it often has to be done in a particular font/style/size. Other times they only take email submissions. Some want it in the body of an email. Some will take attachments. You have to follow directions, and for these kinds of writing opportunities you can expect to be paid from $25 to $500 or more. Some of these kinds of publications require only query letters and don't want you to send your stories or articles until you've been approved to send them. Even then, they may or may not buy your articles. And when they do, there's usually a contract that spells out how you'll be paid, when you'll be paid, and what, exactly, the publisher is buying from you (one time rights to publish or all rights to publish, meaning you can't sell it again). Freelance writing - the real freelance writing - is often complicated, and takes real dedication. There are certainly other places like Associated Content that pay pennies and I'm sure there are some people here who can point you in that direction.
@paid2write (5202)
14 Dec 08
I have built up a portfolio of articles at Helium.com, and these earn money for me every day in revenue share, because I have some rating stars. I also have writing stars that qualify me to get a small upfront payment for each new article I submit. Helium also has a marketplace where publishers set out their guidelines. I have sold a number of articles through Helium, and for each article I have been paid between $16 and $48. There are also opportunities to write longer assignments paying up to $200. When an article is accepted, the publisher pays Helium, and the money goes straight into my Helium account, and I withdraw my earnings once a month by PayPal. If you view my profile you will see links to some articles about freelance writing and a banner link to my page at Helium.
@shemah (841)
• Malaysia
14 Dec 08
Hi there, Personally, I used to be doing myLot about a year back until I started blogging and also getting paid for writing paid posts. It does pay quite a bit.. the minimum usually pays about $5 for a 200 word article but in order to do that you need to start up your own blog first. Anyways, come over to check out my blog (listed in my profile) and keep in touch if you have anymore questions. You can check out Today.com too. I heard you get paid a dollar for each posting. Not sure yet how that works. Was just about to go find out too. :)