These 6 Freelancing Opportunities May Save Your 2020

by Christina Ward 14 days ago in list

Writers and would-be writers are taking career risks that can pay off

These 6 Freelancing Opportunities May Save Your 2020
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The pandemic has us all scrambling for new ways to bring in some extra income. Freelancing opportunities are great ways for even a mediocre writer and creative person to bring in a little extra cash in these uncertain times.

2020 is Terrible--But You Can Make Something of It

The year 2020 will go down in history as that one year we all hated. Earlier this year when my 10-year relationship took a nosedive, I found myself unemployed, dead broke, and living with my mother. I needed income and I needed it fast. Nursing some chronic health problems and driving around in my $400 car (yes that was the total price) put me in a delicate position for trying to find work outside the home. Plus, you know, there's a pandemic.

I'd been writing on Medium.com for about a year and a half and had a lot of writer friends. I'd been doing a bit of freelancing work as well, but the few hundred dollars a month were certainly insufficient to support me. In July, I launched Fiddleheads & Floss Writing services and turned my meager income into a few thousand a month. The bridge from writing as a hobby to writing for a living was paved with sheer determination and a bit of skill.

Here's how I managed to monetize, find work, and create a full time writing career for myself, quickly becoming a highly sought after writing professional. Yes, you can do it too!

Full Time Writing Work You Can Get Into TODAY

Fiverr

Fiverr is an online platform for writers and creative professionals. You create a profile, design "gigs" to sell your services, and wait for the orders to come in. A bit of advice; have someone you know place a few orders even if you have to privately refund their money. Why? Because to get your Fiverr going you will need some nice reviews.

The Pros:

  • Clients come to you
  • Fiverr handles the payment process
  • You can go "out of office" if you are busy
  • There's plenty of work to go around
  • You control the services you offer and the pricing
  • You can earn your way to Level One, Level Two (etc.) seller status which gives you greater perks
  • The sky is the limit for earnings (A friend of mine made over 22K last month!)

The Cons:

  • It is a bit hard to get those first clients
  • Clients can place orders with you without your preapproval; you must complete them to keep your seller stats up
  • Fiverr takes a cut of your pay (up to 20% which adds up, especially on those big orders)
  • You have to be available. You get "dinged" if you don't respond to clients right away
  • You have to compete with people willing to work for pennies
  • It takes some time for your earnings to become available for withdrawal

Here is a step-by-step guide for how to get started on Fiverr.

UpWork

UpWork is similar to Fiverr, but you will create a profile there, cruise the job boards and apply for the jobs you want using "connects" that you purchase from UpWork. The competition is fierce but you can find real-life writing work here. Once again, you start on the bottom rung and work your way up.

The Pros:

  • There are a lot of work opportunities and some pay very well
  • UpWork handles the payment process
  • You can work within a niche, build a profile to your strengths, and do the jobs you want to do
  • The sky is the limit for earnings if you work hard
  • Clients can invite you to interview for a position
  • You can find ongoing jobs easier on UpWork than on Fiverr

The Cons:

  • It is a bit hard to get those first clients
  • You have to pitch yourself for jobs and compete with other applicants
  • UpWork takes a cut of your pay
  • You have to compete with people willing to work for pennies
  • It takes some time for your earnings to become available for withdrawal

Freelancer

Freelancer works much like UpWork, though I have less experience on the site. You can pay a monthly fee to give you more opportunities to apply for work. The job board gives you a wide variety of work for which you can apply very much like a "pitch" for your services.

The Pros:

  • There are a lot of work opportunities and some pay very well
  • Freelancer handles the payment process
  • The sky is the limit for earnings if you work hard

The Cons:

  • It is a bit hard to get those first clients
  • You have to pitch yourself for jobs and compete with other applicants
  • Freelancer takes a cut of your pay
  • There is a monthly subscription fee (variable tiers)
  • You have to compete with people willing to work for pennies

Medium

Medium is not a job board or a job site like the three previously mentioned options, but a social blogging site that offers you a monetizing program called the Medium Partner Program.

It is super easy to set up your own profile and begin writing, but do a bit of research on what works well for the site. Should you choose to monetize your work, you can put your piece behind the paywall (in the MPP program, eligible for earnings) and then promote your work to get as many "reads" as possible. The payment program works by paying you a portion of the monthly subscription fees of other readers based on the length of time they spend reading your work.

The Pros:

  • The MPP program allows you to get paid for your work
  • The social aspect of Medium is overwhelmingly positive. It is a great place to meet people and find leads for other potential work
  • You have full control over what you write and where you publish (the site is a collection of "publications" which are like mini-magazines within a larger web structure)

The Cons:

  • The competition for readers is fierce
  • You have to aggressively self-promote your work
  • Some countries are not served at this time by the MPP program due to the lack of Stripe or other payment options
  • There's a lot of hype about making "big money" on Medium, but only the top 5% of Medium writers earn over $100 a month and even fewer make a living with their earnings on the platform
  • The site often functions as an "echo chamber" with most of the reads coming from other writers on the site (defaulting writers to write for other writers)
  • The site leans left politically and socially (some may find this uncomfortable)
  • The site makes changes often and sometimes these changes cause glitches in the system

Private Clients

Without questions, private clients are the bread and butter of freelancing work. Use your connections on other sites like the ones mentioned above to get your name out there and build credibility.

Securing private clients requires you to negotiate your fees, agree on the terms, and possibly create a contract.

You can also be hired as a freelancer for larger companies that provide training and pay reasonably well. LinkedIn is a good place to search for and apply for these types of positions.

Create a portfolio of your work to have ready to send to potential private clients.

The Pros:

  • The pay can be comparatively better
  • You can develop an ongoing professional relationship with your clients
  • You can negotiate the terms of work and your fees
  • You can take the clients you want to work with and refuse those that make you uncomfortable

The Cons:

  • It is a bit hard to get those first clients
  • You have to pitch yourself for work and pursue potential clients
  • You must keep records of your work for tax purposes
  • You have to compete with people willing to work for pennies
  • You have to invoice people and collect your fees from them
  • Private clients can be very demanding of your time

Pitching Your Work

A large portion of writing for a living is pitching your work. This involves some heavy research, but there are many magazines, websites, and journals that will pay you for work that fits their audience. These payments are widely variable.

Here's how to pitch

  • Locate paying venues for the niches you want to write in
  • Find their submission requirements
  • Send your pitch following their requirements exactly

The Cons:

  • Research takes a lot of time
  • You have to keep track of your pitches and "hold" a piece while you wait to hear back
  • It may take a long time for them to respond (entangling your work for weeks or months)
  • Sometimes they do not respond to works that do not catch their interest, leaving you to wait out the allotted response time before publishing or pitching your piece elsewhere
  • It's hard to get "in"

If you are looking for ways to dig your 2020 out of the doldrums and give your career a boost, give these freelancing opportunities a try. I have tried them all and had reasonable success, some more than others. Collectively, they have provided me a full time living without having to leave my home.

Best of luck to you!

Christina M Ward

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Christina Ward
Christina Ward
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