freelance guide

There is no glamorous way to break into freelance writing, nor is it the way to instantly be rolling in cash after a few projects. However, for content writers who don’t have the contacts to start a freelance career booked with projects, the following websites have served me well in helping bring in the funds needed or have shown to be reliable sources for job listings. The second group is a list of sites I have not personally had success with, but they still seem more than worthy of consideration despite that.

My Success Started Here

This site was my jumping-off point, straight into the deep end of content mill work. While I wouldn’t advise depending on this site to bring in millions, it is reliable and has made some writer-friendly changes since I started writing there. Instead of two payment dates each month, now pays weekly. This site requires a short writing test to divide writers into star levels. Writers can then complete work in any of their chosen categories at their level or below. In order to advance to higher levels, where the higher paying jobs are, it is necessary to complete a number of jobs at your level satisfactorily. Each article is rated, and if the average of your previous five articles is a rating higher than your current one, you improve to that level of stars.

Once a writer is level 5, they can set their own prices and receive that payment. For writers below a level 5, the jobs have a set rate. Once a writer has $10 in their account, the money can be scheduled for a transfer to a Paypal account.

This site can definitely be a moneymaker, and it would be easy to base a career on projects via this site. You must have work samples for a portfolio or be willing to work for low pay at first to build up some samples in your work file for this site. Previous work is a big factor in jobs awarded.

If you happen to have significant experience in a particular niche, you will greatly benefit from a profile on Elance. The work will come to you. If you do not have a particular strength other than writing, you can still build a reputation with the site.

There are also skills tests that can be taken and showcased on your profile to show prospective clients your level of knowledge in that particular area. Elance is not only for writers. It also provides job opportunities for IT, Sales and Marketing, Admin Support and various other career fields.

It does seem to take a year to build a reputation and begin receiving the nod for more projects. The key is simply to personalize the proposal and work up to the rates you deserve. As previously mentioned, this isn’t the most desirable way to get your career up and running, but it is a reliable method.

Elance even offers a blog with posts that offer tips, techniques and information on the current trends in freelance work. This blog is helpful to any level of freelancer.

Similar to Elance, this site has not been running as long and the clientele seems to be a mix of legitimate businesses you would want to work for and scam artists. However, there is the potential to find reliable jobs through this website as well as Elance. There seems to be a constantly changing list of jobs available on oDesk, and responses from clients who are interested in hiring you seem quicker. This is based on my experience, however, and not on a poll of a number of writers who have used the site.

oDesk, like Elance, has a number of categories where work is available. Their payment method is still twice per month and a bit different than the way Elance payments are handled.

There are also skills tests that can be completed and showcased on your profile. This site could be a very lucrative place to find work for the savvy individual with a focus on improving their career, even if that takes time.

The Potential Job Landing Sites

The jury is out on this site, as I have seen freelancers report fraud when they completed projects through this site. I have also seen freelancers who have had no issues with this site. Like Elance and oDesk, Freelancer lists projects in a variety of categories. Search the ones where you have the most experience and submit a bid for that project.

This site is an impressive list of jobs at prices that appreciate the writer. Unfortunately for me, I seem to be drawn to the jobs posted in Britain that are for writers in the United Kingdom only. I hope to break into a job or two on this site in the future. If I do, I’ll be happy to share my secret of success.

I personally have not landed a job found via LinkedIn. However, I have seen a number of nationwide jobs listed that are in-person positions and telecommuting opportunities that are for big-name companies.

LinkedIn is a great site for networking, and this in itself can lead to a job. The job postings are only an additional benefit to an already strong resource where it’s helpful to have a profile created.

For content writers, job hunting can be simple and successful with the search of one website, like Elance or Freelancer. It can be sites like Blogmutt, which I had not even heard of until doing the research for details to share with you on websites where I have yet to find success (note the optimism though!). It can also be complex and a constant perusal of all of the sites listed above, similar sites I did not mention and even Craigslist. Blog posts like this one may be a gold mine of sites you haven’t tried yet, or more likely, a site that may add one more site to the list you already check on a daily basis. Hopefully though, with determination and hard work, we can all reach our target annual income in a reasonable amount of time.

Focus and get to writing!

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