One of the easiest ways to make money working from home is to do some freelance writing, even if you don’t think you’re the next Hemingway. The average reading level of most internet articles is only a middle school level, so anybody can do it. Today, with all the emails, social media posts, and blog comments, you write more than you think. If you can put a sentence together, you can build on that and learn to make a little money on the side as a freelance writer. Let’s look at how you can get started.
I’ve broken down how to get started into five easy steps for you to follow.
How To Get Paid For Writing Articles
Step One: Ask what do you know?
Classic writing advice is to “write what you know,” and that’s a great place to start. Good at gardening? Know everything about collecting antiques? Got a degree? Whatever you know can become an article. In the world of internet writing and marketing, they refer to a focus like this as a niche, and it’s best to figure out what your niche is early. When you’re gaining experience and confidence, it’s easier to start with familiar topics mostly because you can write more quickly in those niche areas. So sit down and think about what you’re good at, what you’re into, and write it all down in a list. These can be your first topics because…
Step Two: Write some samples.
Before you get into the paying writing game, you need to get some practice. You’ll also need some samples to show potential clients. The best way to do this is by following your passion and creating a couple different articles in your niche markets. Try hitting a word count like 500 words, then write a longer article at 1,000 words. Notice how you need a different approach and pacing for each type of article. Try writing different types of articles as well. Pretend you have a business and write one that promotes it. Then write another one where you look up articles to support your point and put in the links. This practice will get you used to what you’ll have to do as a freelance writer.
Step Three: Read some articles.
I know this step seems out of order, but trust me. It’s important to read other internet articles. Now that you’ve tried a couple of your own, you know what went into those articles. As you read, pay attention to the formatting and how they break up the article with subheadings, pictures, and bullet lists. You can copy the article and paste it into an online word count tool to see how long professional posts are, too. Then go back to your samples and edit them with these things in mind.
Step Four: Find your internet home.
As well as samples, you will also need a portfolio and/or a blog. Just like the samples, you have to be able to show a client that you know how to write. An online portfolio should show your range, and a blog lets clients know that you understand how to write regularly and thoroughly about a range of topics. It’s also important to put a personal face on any business, and your freelance writing is a business, after all.
Step Five: Go get em, tiger!
Now’s the time when you start finding those clients and making some money! There are two kinds of websites to get you started: content and freelance. First, content websites get you to write on the site for a fixed price per article. You usually write around 500 words, include links provided by the client, and go through an approval process with the client. The website then pays you. A good example of a content website is Blogmutt. The second kind of website is a freelance website like Upwork. I recommend that beginners start with a content website. More on the other kind in another post!
The main thing to remember is not to be scared. If you’ve wanted to make some extra money and don’t mind sitting in front of a computer screen for a little while each day, you can be a freelance writer. Just work diligently and treat it like a real job. Good luck!