How to make money as a freelance writer

There are many services online these days that you can sign up for, and earn money as a freelance writer. This guide will talk about both angles or both perspectives: starting out from nothing, and earning an income online as a freelance writer – as well as how to earn money if you already are known, or have some exposure.

I’ve never written content before, or have written anything before in order to earn an income. Where do I start?

One of the best ways to get started is to start on a platform like Upwork. There’s very little requirements to get started here. The way to get going is to sign up an account, and then list yourself in as many categories as possible. Whatever you feel comfortable writing content about, you can write about it on Upwork. There’s two ways to work on Upwork. The first one is completing contracts. Contracts generally is where you’ll start, and it means that you write an article of X number of words, and for that work you get paid X dollars. The going rate is generally about 500 words for $20. This isn’t bad to get started. You’ll need to buckle down, and spend some time writing quality content. Be sure to use sub-headings, and make your content easy to read. Many webmasters now use WordPress, with plugins like Yoast SEO which will give a rating of how easy it is to read your writing.

Another note would be: don’t plagiarize. Everyone checks your content against copyscape – it’s one of the first things people do. If your content comes back as being even a little bit plagarized, you won’t get paid. All of the content you write has to be unique. You might get away once or twice with using plagiarized content, but sooner or later you’ll get caught. Not only will you not get paid, you might get kicked off the platform as a plagiarizer. Upwork is for website owners who want to get new content written at cost (and not have to write it themselves), as well as for freelance writers to earn a few bucks.

Finding a per hour job or long term career on Upwork

Yes, this is possible. Once you’ve written many articles and gained some good exposure, it’s possible that you may get contacted for hourly work, or to come onboard as part of a larger contract. A website owner may ask you to write 5 articles, or 10, or etc. Just keep writing good content, and this content that you write will basically speak for itself. Eventually, with enough popularity and good exposure this can certainly happen.

Many people develop a side income, or even potentially a primary income on a platform like this. However, it can take a long time of writing content before you get noticed. One way to approach it is likely to write content on multiple platforms. Putting all of your “eggs in one basket” likely isn’t a good approach. Like a search engine, the writers who show up on the first page or two of results are the ones who get the most jobs. So, getting those initial jobs can certainly feel like a bit of a challenge.

Initially, you may need to write articles on other websites too for free like Ezine articles. However, if you’re doing that you may as well get backlinks and consider writing content on your own websites if you’re going down that road. There’s certainly a lot to consider!