Pretty much every sector of the economy has seen a sharp downturn in demand during this pandemic. But there are exceptions. I argue that the Content Industry still operates at full throttle. Being a freelance writer myself I expected a drop in demand from my clients. But what I see is almost the opposite. I puzzled over this surprise a couple of times and have decided that webmasters are reluctant to ease up on content for fear of being outranked by competitors. That is the only logical explanation to the continued demand on freelance writers despite a global house arrest.
If you have good writing skills and you are bored to death sitting in the house, this article can be of help. Boredom isn’t the only reason you should consider passing time in a more productive way. The extra cash you can make writing online will not only take care of some small bills or even big ones but also keep you busy from remembering your own problems.
But like with all other tasks, freelance writing has its own drawbacks – the biggest of which is finding clients who’d acknowledge the value of your skill and are willing to pay well for it. People are getting greedier to the extent many are not ashamed paying peanuts for high-quality contents that bring them thousands or even millions. Unless you have no other option, avoid tight-fisted clients like the plague.
In this article, I’ll discuss ten ways you can earn by writing online. Some will focus on ways to get clients while others will just list some of the popular online platforms for writers. We’ll start with how to find your own clients because, in my opinion, that is the best way to get paid what you deserve.
1. Check Out Online Forums
Visit some of the most popular online forums in your country and try to find people looking for freelance writers. Most general forums should contain sections where people can request certain services. It is a good idea to have some samples ready in case a prospective client requests to see samples. If you don’t have a sample, you can write a couple of articles on topics you like most. Hang out on these forums as often as you can. Some have separate sections for job adverts while others combine everything together. You need to be able to use the right keywords when searching for a writing job. You also need to learn to do some X-ray search of a site through Google, because some sites have poor internal search features.
Some clients will request that you communicate via WhatsApp and others will leave their phone number or email address. It is possible also that you may have to reply to them through the online forum. Whatever is the case you will know from their message. You should read every message to the end and also note if there is mention of payment. If it is something you can do and the person is offering good pay, then contact them.
2. Contact New Website Buyers on Flippa and Similar Platform
People buy and sell websites on platforms the most popular of which is flippa.com. Your job is to find these platforms for buying and selling websites and businesses and then locate the ones most recently sold. People buy websites for different reasons.
While most will buy websites for affiliate marketing, there are businesses and individuals who buy websites related to their trade for SEO purposes. These businesses and individuals would usually want someone to keep the content flowing to the site. And that someone could be you if you contact them early enough and they like your writing. Most websites sold can be categorized into a specific niche. If you are comfortable writing in that niche, then it may be a good idea to contact the buyer.
You can’t find their contact in most of the marketplaces for websites. But you can see the URL. Just visit the site and go to the Contact or About Us page. It is possible to find a contact form or email address. I recommend contacting them through the Contact Form as opposed to an email address because the email address may belong to the former owner. But when you contact them through the Contact Form, the new owner will see the message.
Many writers have found clients through Flippa and similar marketplaces. The secret is to keep trying until you find a high-paying client. Sometimes, just one client is enough for you. Also, select websites carefully. Some sell for less than $500. I generally avoid those sites as the buyers may not afford to pay well for content, though you can still find some good clients through them.
3. Become a Self-Published Author
Amazon Kindle, PayHip, Gumroad, and a host of other platforms are willing to help writers advertise their work to a large audience for free. The writer gets paid a percentage whenever the book sells. This is a great passive way to make money by writing, and many writers have made hundreds of thousands by selling books on these platforms. If you are good at what you do and can write well particularly fiction, these self-publishing platforms can offer a lot of opportunities.
4. Reach Out to Webmasters and Bloggers Directly
The internet is full of webmasters and bloggers looking for talented writers. And there are uncountable niches out there. Do a couple of searches on your favourite niche and note the websites and blogs that turn up on the first 10 or so SERP (search engine result page). Contact these site owners directly through the contact forms on the websites or their email addresses and offer your writing service. If there is a way you can include samples in the offer, that’ll be better. You may have to try many websites before you land a high-value client. Do not be discouraged if you are unsuccessful in the first few attempts. You may send up to a hundred applications before you land that precious client who will pay so well and give you so much work you won’t need to look elsewhere.
Some websites and blogs have a “Write for Us” or similar sections. Doing a precision search on google for these specific terms should turn up websites that say something about people wishing to write for them. Websites that appear successful are more likely to pay higher than those who are just starting. But do not dismiss the low-ranking new websites outright. It doesn’t hurt to try.
5. Offer To Work With Already Established Freelance Writers
There are a lot of writing agencies and small businesses online who have their own websites or blogs through which clients can find them. You can look up such services and contact them for a job. Sometimes you will find agencies that can accommodate a new freelancer. If they like your writing, it is very likely that the pay will be good. Always keep a record of websites your apply to so that you don’t repeat an application. Every repeated application is a great waste of time, and may even reduce your chances of landing a job.
6. Start Blogging
You can start a free or paid blog on may platforms and write about your passion. Depending on a number of mainly controllable factors, you can attract a large fan base that gives you a chance to monetize. You can then advertise your writing services, sell relevant products, or advertise for others on your blog.
7. Sign Up On Freelance Sites
There are many freelance marketplaces you can sign up with and bid on jobs. Most of these sites are free to join and readily available in almost every country. Fiver, Upwork, and Freelancer are a good example. They have thousands of buyers who always come there to hire freelances. If you are really good at what you do, it shouldn’t be difficult to find clients if you do the other small thing right.
These websites normally rank sellers or freelancers according to certain parameters. Finding out what these parameters are and abide by the site’s terms of service is the best way to improve your visibility to clients. Some sites will vet you before you are allowed to place bids. During the application process, there should be a complete guide on each step regarding what you should do. Try not to skip any step even if it is optional. If you get confused or don’t know how to make the best of any section of the application process, do a google search for some help. If it is an established freelancing website you will find many results that will help you towards completing the application correctly and therefore, increasing the chances of getting accepted.
You will also need to do some keyword optimization of your profile on any freelancing market place that allows it. Poor description and use of keywords are very likely to affect your ranking. You can also share your service on social media that will drive people to your profile page. A very important ranking factor for freelance marketplaces is the number of jobs you complete and how well you certify customers. So making some efforts to generate an external source of the traffic to your page is worth the reward.
Also note that for some websites like Freelancer.com, you may have to pay to appear in the top ten or so for a particular service. If you are a good writer with a strong portfolio, you should consider paying to appear on the first page. Once you secure a valuable client, it will more than cover for whatever you spent.
8. Sell Articles Online
This is new to many aspiring writers. But there are websites via which you can sell articles online. Such websites would typically give you some kind of a test before allowing you to sample articles for sale. If you are finding it hard to find clients to write for and you are an expert in a particular field, it may pay dividends to look up trending topics in that field and then write insightful articles on such topics. If a person buys your article once and likes what you write, it is very likely they will come back for more or even hire your service.
9. Offer to Become a Virtual Assistant
If you can write very well, and your writings have great potential for getting the reader to take the desired action, there are clients out there who’d be pleased to hire your service. All you need to do is locate them on various freelance marketplaces by advertising your services to detail. You can offer services like running their blog, social media page, email marketing campaigns and many more. If you can deliver well on these services, then it is very likely you will land a lucrative client as you keep searching – cos a lot of business owners just don’t have the time for handling all these important aspects of modern commerce.
10. Sign Up with Writing Services
There are hundreds of writing services online hiring clients from all over the world. Many will request some sample article you must write. Sites like iWriter do not request sample articles, but instead, utilize a particular grading level to promote or demote writers. A simple google search should turn p many such sites. One thing to note is how much the site pays and what their payout method is.
Four (4) Writing Sites You Should Apply to
As there are thousands of websites online for freelance writing, it is not possible to list all. What this article tries to achieve is to educate you on ways you can find freelance writing jobs that pay well. Applying to already established websites like iWriter and Textbroker is easy, but finding work is competitive as that is the way most people go. Plus, they often pay a flat rate for any kind of writing task regardless of the challenge. If you are able to find a client independently, you are likely to earn more. You and your client won’t have to pay commission to anyone.