As an aspiring freelance writer, you can’t expect clients to start knocking on your door (or calling, emailing or texting you) out of the blue. You have to find online work on your own, and there are many websites for work out there that can be easily found. BloggersPassion lists a dozen to start with (there are many more!), but know that they all operate differently. You may or may not like using these sources to find online work, but understanding what each one offers is a good way to get started.
Freelance Websites for Work
Flexjobs charges freelance writers membership fees, which range from $6.95 a week to $49.95 a year. That can seem off-putting at first, but their premium plans have a 30-day money back guarantee. They also have services like email alerts to let you know about new opportunities and a personalized portfolio that you can upload your resumes and work samples onto. This can make it easier for potential clients to find you.
Upwork was the third one on the list, and they offer sales & marketing work and writing work, plus opportunities in other fields like design & creative, customer support and accounting. After you set up your account, you can search for topics you’re interested in within your field. Upwork also charges fees though: For up to $500 of work, they charge you 20%; for $500 to $10,000 it’s 10% and over $10,000 they take 5%. Guru is another place to find online work, and they charge 2.5% for processing your invoices and from 4.95% to 8.95% for transaction fees; you can get 3.5% cash back if you pay the fees with a wire transfer, check or e-check.
TextBroker hires U.S. based authors, and like some other freelance websites for work, their pay scale is based on writer ratings. You will need to pass a writing test, which will award you from 1 to 5 stars. The top star writers can earn around $70 for 1000 words, but one star writers would receive $13 for the same number. TextBroker also charges their writers 0.35% for every dollar earned.
Where Can I Find Online Work Without Fees?
The first freelance website listed here is Fiverr, which is free to join and provides a quick way to get experience. You will have to sign up before getting any information about the service, though. Once you are set up, you can offer your writing services and choose work to take on. They pay $5 an assignment and take out a 20% commission, so to make money you have to work fast and efficiently.
ProBlogger is another free resource that can help you find online work. You can search their available jobs before joining, and their job board has descriptive job headings that you can click on. These usually include the pay rates as well, and you will not have to pay any additional fees out of your earnings.
Another company that does not charge freelancers any fees is Crowd Content. They also have a pay scale based on a writer rating system, with opportunities to increase your rankings. It is free to join, and they do not take deductions out of our pay. However, your rating can get demoted if your work is not rated well by clients or if you miss deadlines. There is also a bonus system that can help you earn more money.
How Much Can I Earn?
This all depends on the website you sign up with. With Crowd Content, their starting rate for a one-star writer is 1.2 to 1.4 cents a word, and four-star writers can earn 6.6 to 7.6 cents a word. The higher numbers in the ranges include bonus pay. So as an example, for a 500-word blog you could earn $6 as a 1-star writer or up to $38 as a 4-star writer.
ProBlogger has a different kind of pay system for content writers. You will search and apply for jobs, and each one will show the pay rate in the job description. We found one for a fitness writer that was paying $60 for 1,000 words; this translates into 6 cents a word. Another listing for a remote software writer paid the same, but added that there is the possibility of a rate increase based on the quality of the work.
You may see that some of the listings are vague as far as their payment terms go. Some will claim that writers can earn from $1500 to $3000 a month, but do not detail the amount of work involved. Be sure to get clarification on that, and also be clear about any fees that might be taken out of your pay – some clients will not reveal that information until asked directly. Also inquire about the deadlines, and only take on as much work as you can handle. It is best to get all the terms in writing, and if they are not cooperative move on to the next opportunity.