May 7 2008

The Bloggers Guide to Freelance

Hi, my name is BobbyT. I will be sharing with you on how to earn money freelance writing.

I started blogging this year on February 2008 on the Blogger free blogging service. Yes, you can definitely start blogging without investing any money at all. However, money can be handy if you intend to improve the look of your blog and its ranking as well as market it better.

There are indeed many ways to earn money online, some require initial money investment, while others do not. I don’t have initial money to spend, so I decided to earn money from one of my better skills: writing.

Starting up is one of the most difficult phase of any endeavors. I think if I were to offer my writing services in the commercial world, I will be ignored till today. Instead, through the wonders of Internet, I am immediately hired for several projects and have so far made about $60 after freelance writing for 1 month.

How did I advertise my service?
The internet is not a miracle marketplace. An excellent product or service will still be ignored if it is not advertised at the right place. As for my writing service, I decided to advertise it on bloggers and webmasters’ forums. I even left note about my service in the signature of my profiles. The response has been good and I usually conduct business through PM or I might give out my email to trusted customers.

Was it really that easy to get started as a freelance writer?
Yes and no. It all depends on your final aim. If your aim is to be a full time freelance writer, I will say that you are looking at a hard long road ahead of you. Unless you already have an excellent portfolio as a writer, you cannot expect to earn good money starting as a freelance writer. As for me, my initial aim offering writing services in forums is to establish myself as a competent writer in the market and create exposure to my service. Therefore, the strategies I employed is offering cheap but quality articles and also discounts for customers who are willing to give testimonials to the quality of my work. If you are willing to set your initial targets and rates lower, there will be no shortage of interested customers. I personally think that if you want to start freelance writing and charge high rates, you will face a lot more difficulties.

How to be successful at freelancing?
First you need good communication and networking skills. Negotiation is key to conducting successful business transactions. You also need to have adaptability. Initially I only plan to write about blogging topics, later on I began to write about other topics such as beauty care, technology reviews, celebrities, etc. You can of course insist on being the expert of specific niches, usually experts can charge more steep prices, that is if they managed to set sail at the beginning. I took the easier way out, by being a jack of all trades. Finally you need to have a business mind: think like your customers, what are their needs and expectations, try to fulfill them, make an offer that they can hardly resist.

What are my future plans?
I currently charge about $0.005 per word. I intend to increase the rate after I am more established, somewhere around $0.02 per word (finally I hope to achieve a rate of $0.1 per word, which is standard for a professional writer). I am also planning to set up a professional site soon to promote my writing services and showcase my portfolio. If all those turn out well, I will probably look at the possibility of expanding my role from a writer into a content provider, which means accepting projects from customers and delegating the work to some writers that I hire. A fair percentage of revenue earned shall be shared between me and my writers.

Have you considered a career in freelancing? How did you start freelance? Do you have tips to share to ensure freelance success?

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11 Comments on this post

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  1. Jay said:

    BBBOOOO!!!! Get this BobbyT guy outta here! lol just playing man.

    Actually, I heard you are a great freelance writer, though, I’m still waiting for you to get on MSN at the same time as me!

    Jay

    May 8th, 2008 at 9:57 am
  2. BobbyT said:

    Thanks Jay! Yeah but we could actually communicate via email or Bloggeries PM feature :) Or you could tell me when you are usually online, I will try my best to meet you on MSN.

    May 9th, 2008 at 3:32 am
  3. Cathy D said:

    <>

    Whoa. Are you kidding me? If you have any talent at all, you are way undercharging. One DOLLAR per word is standard for professional writers, and even that is low. Many magazines and publications pay much more than that. I’m sorry, but you are undermining your own efforts and those of all other freelance writers. Value your own time and talents, and charge accordingly. Don’t give it away.

    May 9th, 2008 at 1:14 pm
  4. BobbyT said:

    Thank you for the advice Cathy. I will keep it in mind and strive towards getting myself a better pay :) But I don’t think many writers could claim to be paid 1USD per word, unless they have really impressive portfolios and a string of writing awards, achievements, etc.

    For professional writers who earn good money, perhaps they are valued by their rate per hour (I mean 1USD per word is too much, it can be done in 1 hour, but not many dare to charge 500USD per hour).

    May 12th, 2008 at 10:42 am
  5. Cathy D said:

    Honestly, I know a lot of writers. All professionals, but not necessarily the top-top tier. Solid working writers. And not one of them would work for less than 50 cents a word. I don’t know anyone who charges 10 cents a word and under.

    I’m really curious. What kind of articles are you writing for such low pay-per-word, and what is your average fee per article? Are you actually making any money at this?

    Have you ever looked at The Well-Fed Writer? Great book on freelancing and getting paid what you are worth. Also, the ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing is very good.

    I only say all of this because freelance writing IS a great way to make a living, and it IS entirely possible to make a decent living. I like to see others do well. I think you’re just selling yourself short. :)

    Cathy

    May 12th, 2008 at 3:17 pm
  6. BobbyT said:

    Hi Cathy,
    I am just establishing myself as a writer and this is my first experience making money online and I don’t do this full-time, still a student here. I intend to increase my fee very soon :)

    The topics that I write are varied (I have mentioned the niches in the article), and they are mostly articles for use on the web. So far I have earned close to $100. Sad to say but writers who sell articles online are mostly underpaid, unless they are really expert in some niches.

    I will check out those 2 books you recommended. They are books, not ebooks, right? Might even use the money I earned to order them, hehe.

    Thanks Cathy for all the advice. I appreciate it :)

    May 12th, 2008 at 9:10 pm
  7. Cathy D said:

    Yes, both are actual books, but there are also related websites. http://wellfedwriter.com/ and http://www.asja.org.

    Best of luck to you!

    May 13th, 2008 at 9:37 am
  8. 2ThePoint said:

    Hi BobbyT

    Thanks for this post. It was honestly written and I’m sure some readers will gain from it.

    One area where I beg to differ is on price.

    I think your perception is your reality. Maybe you should consider doing a bit more research on what people are earning from their writing to give you an idea of what is possible.

    I started freelance writing a month before you and I never charged $0.005/word. Actually, I tried $0.01/word for one or two gigs and felt sick, so I started at $0.02/word. I now charge more than that.

    The difficulties I’ve faced are: valuing my work enough to charge what I’m worth and managing my time, but finding clients who are willing to pay more than $0.005/word hasn’t been a problem for me.

    I wish you well.

    take care…

    May 18th, 2008 at 5:49 am
  9. BobbyT said:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the support. I am also starting to feel sick with the current rate at which I am charging, so I am increasing my rate next month onwards.

    I feel that I am entitled to increase the price of my articles now because so far I have only written original and unique articles with full rights sold to the buyer. I think these 3 factors are important in determining the price of articles.

    I wish you well in your writing career too, by the way, you have a curious blog name hehe! :)

    May 18th, 2008 at 12:19 pm
  10. 2ThePoint said:

    Blog name? What blog name? ;-)

    Good luck with your writing and what you decide to charge.

    take care…

    May 25th, 2008 at 6:43 am
  11. BobbyT said:

    I meant your “getpaidtofart” domain name hehe.

    May 25th, 2008 at 7:10 am

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