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Beginner’s Guide to Online Writing Jobs — part 2

Writing is a way of expressing yourself, you can do it for yourself or for others. If you have this skill use it

By Cosmin ChildPublished 2 years ago 11 min read
Beginner’s Guide to Online Writing Jobs — part 2
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

What You Need to Know to Get Your First Paycheck as a Writer

As a result of this information, you now have a list of places where you can get free writing experience.

After that, we have a detailed plan for finding a job.

It’s based on my own work, down to the smallest detail. So I went from being an inexperienced writer to someone who now makes his or her living solely from writing.

Just keep in mind that this isn’t a one-time event, and it’s not linear. Writing is not a good career choice if you’re unwilling to pay your dues!

1.Get Yourself a Book

Being a voracious reader is an absolute requirement if you want to pursue a career in writing. “Read a lot…write a lot — is the great commandment,” writes Stephen King in his book “On Writing.”

Following that advice in the following manner is more specific: Get familiar with the content you want to create by reading a lot of it (we discuss various different types of writing work shortly).

As an illustration, let’s look at this: Assume you’re a car enthusiast who wants to write for automotive-themed blogs. If so, keep reading! There’s a good chance you’ve already read a few. A better understanding of how these articles are written and constructed will come to light as you read more of them.

Every type of writing is the same. For the best results, you need to immerse yourself in the subject matter on a daily basis.

2. Refresh Your Writing Skills by Brushing Up on Your Technical Knowledge

When learning about your trade, you should also learn about its science. AP style knowledge is a common requirement in job postings for writers. Learning the intricacies of how to use punctuation and capitalization, as well as how to spell out numbers, is a part of this.

An understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) is helpful for many online writing jobs. Consider taking a course or reading a book to brush up on that.

You should also read up on the latest trends in content, and there are a number of excellent books on the subject.

Those were the days when I used to soak up all of this knowledge like a sponge. It helps you get into the mindset of a writer. Another sign that you’re thinking about a writing career for the wrong reasons is if you don’t find any of this fun or worthwhile.

3.Consider Using A Content Mill As A Resource.

Instead of writing about content mills, which is a topic I’ve already covered extensively, I’d like to focus on something else entirely.

On the other hand, I’m outlining the steps I took to break into the world of freelancing writing. Also, I did some work for the content mill. Dull, draining, and unrewarding, it was a waste of time (although, at times, I found pockets of work that were easy to complete and paid reasonably well).

For many of us, content mill writing work is a sort of rite of passage. I believe it has the potential to be a worthwhile educational experience, but many others disagree with me.

Check out our reviews of TextBroker and Copify and see how you feel. It’s not a requirement, but it’s possible that this will be your first writing job.

4.Create a Portfolio of Your Work

When your first clients ask to see samples of your work, you’ll want to prepare something for them.

Options such as blog posts, guest articles, and work you’ve done on the side have already been discussed. To learn more about how to construct a writing portfolio, read this article.

5.Set Up Your Upwork Account (or Another Freelance Job Board)

On Upwork, you can find thousands of freelancers (and there are some other alternatives here).

It is possible to search through thousands of available freelance jobs and submit proposals if you have a profile on Upwork. There are many aspiring freelance writers who find their first jobs and begin their careers on Freelancer.”

In order to help you navigate Upwork, we have a wealth of resources available. Some examples are as follows:

  • An in-depth look at Upwork.
  • Upwork’s application process is explained in detail here.
  • Tips for using Upwork.

A full module on Upwork is included as part of my Freelance Kickstarter course on freelancing, which also includes lessons on finding the best clients and jobs, as well as how to set your rates. This is where you’ll find it.

6.For your first few gigs, you need to make a good impression.

It’s time to put yourself out there and apply for a job in the field of your choice.

On Upwork or one of the many other sites I recommend below, this generally involves sending a short message to the client to express your interest and demonstrate your abilities.

7.Make a Focused Effort

Most clients don’t want “generic” freelance writers, as previously stated. When they are, they tend to be at the lower end of the pay scale.

It’s possible that your first few jobs will require you to write about a wide range of topics. In order to keep your head above water, you’ll need to take on as much work as possible.

However, as you gain more experience, it makes sense to try to carve out a distinct area of expertise. The ideal situation is that this is a topic you enjoy writing about, but that isn’t always the case. I’ve done a lot of technical writing over the years because of my background in technology. As far as I can tell, this is more about the intersection of knowledge and money than a genuine interest in the subject matter.

Although it doesn’t really matter, the key here is to focus on one or two areas of expertise. It’s a good idea to become an expert in a particular field so that you can attract clients.

8. Expand Your Horizons.

We’ll go over where to look for online writing jobs later on in this guide.

At some point, you’ll need to expand your search area and look in new places. You never know when or where you’ll find that ideal customer who pays promptly and consistently. On Upwork, a friend of a friend or someone from ProBlogger Jobs or LinkedIn could be your next client.

There are more than one regular client needed for a successful writing career. Things change, people leave, and trends and world events can cause a sudden drop in business from a single client. It’s best if you can find as many crates as possible to use for laying your eggs.

9.Rinse and repeat until you’re satisfied with the results.

Once your writing career is established, there is no secret formula for furthering it. To complete the process, simply follow the steps outlined in the flowchart below.

A flowchart illustrating the first steps in becoming a freelancing writer for those just starting out.

Most of the time, a client will ask you to write a single piece for them. If they’re satisfied with your work, they may ask for five more articles right away or a commitment to x articles per week or month going forward if you’re successful. A lot of freelance writing gigs like that.

Just keep doing the same thing over and over again until you’ve worked with a lot of different clients and earned a lot of money.

Numerous jobs that started out as a quick $50–100 article have turned into regular, well-paying positions over the years. In essence, you repeat the same action over and over again in order to improve your skills.

For how long does it take to make a living writing?

To answer the question of how long it takes for new freelance writers to make a living from writing, there are simply too many variables at play. To begin with, the concept of “living” is subjective and subject to wide interpretation. To a similar extent, so does the ability and willingness of each writer to hustle for more work.

For the most part, it takes months (if not years) to earn enough money from writing to be considered “job-replacement material.” Even after you’ve made a name for yourself, work may come in spurts (which is true of all freelancing).

If you want to become a full-time writer, it makes sense to have a well-thought-out strategy in place. There are a number of ways to get started, including working a part-time job, writing side gigs, or waiting until you have enough money saved up to get through the tough times.

Trying to sugarcoat the fact that this takes time is pointless. It’s likely that anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to upsell something.

There are many different kinds of writing jobs available.

There are a wide variety of online writing jobs available today. Some writing jobs will seem more suitable for you than others because they call for specific qualifications and experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which people make a living as writers. Let me be clear up front: this is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination.

Writing for a Blog

Blog article writing accounts for a large portion of today’s online writing work.

Dog training, fitness, dieting, home working(! ), cooking, travel, antiques and collectibles, and a long list of other topics can be the focus of a blog. Blogs on business websites also discuss topics related to the products and services they sell.

Despite the fact that “blog writing” can mean a variety of things, blog articles tend to have a few things in common:

  • They’re written in short, snappy chunks, with simple sentences and short paragraphs.
  • They’re designed to be useful and actionable.
  • They don’t use a lot of flowery language to describe things.

Blog posts aren’t always brief despite what we’ve said so far. Google, on the other hand, prefers content that is long and detailed. You’re currently reading a “blog article” that’s over a thousand words long.

Academics, in particular, may have a hard time getting started with blogging because they’re accustomed to writing academic papers.

Most modern blog posts are written in a snappy, attention-grabbing style that runs counter to what many people are taught to write in college. For academic papers, long, flowing paragraphs that introduce, explore, and conclude a topic in one go are ideal, but for blogs, they’re the exact opposite.

Observations and Summaries

The best budget coffee makers or the best email marketing software for small businesses are just two examples of product reviews and roundup articles that can be written by freelancers.

Why is there so much work? It’s because articles like this are the foundation of affiliate marketing, in which website owners are paid commission for recommending products and services that customers go on to purchase..

The best way to land this job is to be an industry expert in a specific product niche and have the ability to thoroughly research products and services.

There’s always a need for the type of writing I do in this area, and I’ve done a lot of it. In addition, it’s a form of writing that frequently results in repeat business. Rather than just one review or roundup, these sites typically publish a slew of them. If you do well, there will likely be more opportunities for you in the future.

Publicity Announcements

My wife is an expert in the field of press releases. They might be a good fit for you if you have experience in marketing or public relations. It’s a job that can pay well and isn’t difficult to do if you have the right skills.

Public relations writing is all about creating compelling statistics and soundbites that journalists will find interesting. Clients benefit from this coverage and exposure because of it.

Press release writing is a highly specialized skill, and one that you either have or don’t. Your releases are typically only a few hundred words in length, making your work appear to be quite “minimal.” They do, however, usually follow a predetermined format.

It is possible for press release work to evolve into pitching stories and working more closely with journalists, but this is not a topic for this article.

Merchandise Text

Only a select few people are naturally talented at sales copywriting, which can be extremely lucrative.

Sales writing is all about persuading people to buy your product or service. An email campaign or sales page could be used to promote a new product or service.

This style of writing is heavily influenced by the psychology of the target audience. Depending on what you’re hawking, it could come off as shady. It’s so lucrative because you can see the fruits of your labor right away. For example, if your work on a client’s sales page results in a 30% increase in sales, your client will be happy.

Writing a speech

Speech writing appears to be on the rise as life returns to normal. In 2020, imagine all the weddings and corporate events that were canceled because of the government shutdown.

Writing for Business

A wide range of topics and styles fall under the umbrella of business writing. Many businesses rely on blog posts, which we’ve already discussed. Some examples include website copy, case studies and white papers.

Even large corporations occasionally turn to freelancers for this type of writing because they lack the necessary in-house resources. From pizza restaurants to estate agents and IT companies, I’ve written entire websites for a variety of businesses over the years. Case studies are in high demand as well.

This is a good fit for new writers with a corporate background.

Creating Stories for the Publication

As you can see, I’ve pushed this one to the bottom of the priority list.

It’s a fact that there isn’t a lot of work for fiction writers out there at the moment. Even though there are many ads for ghost writers (many of them in the erotica category), most fiction writers do their work in other ways than those mentioned above.

You could also try self-publishing (check out my self publishing guide). Another option is to look for a publisher the old-fashioned way. There are also a number of writing competitions that allow you to submit your work in the form of fiction.

Online writing jobs for beginners don’t usually refer to fiction writing. The business world is where the majority of the paid work is located. Quite a few people I’ve spoken to have expressed their disappointment at this fact.

Creating an eBook

eBook writing is another type of writing work that is in high demand. Amazon Kindle books are sold on many websites, and some entrepreneurs create large numbers of eBooks to sell on Amazon.

If you enjoy working on large, time-consuming projects, you might want to consider becoming an eBook author. However, this is an area in which many clients demand the entire planet for a pittance. It may take some time to sift through a lot of ads if you’re interested in this type of writing.

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