While this blog is going to be full of positives, I need to start with a little bit of negative. As a struggling freelance writer, there is nothing that irks me greater, then seeing content mills paying a cent per word. Please let me appeal to your inner Shakespeare and tell you, that you are worth more than such an extortionately low pay. Do not contribute to this segment of the industry by working for so low. By continuing to accept freelance work writers at such shallow return, the vicious circle will continue, and we will never be given the value that we deserve. You got to love my chutzpah right.
OK, complaints aside, we have some suggestions for some good sources of freelance work. This is based on my experiences, and I would love to get feedback from other writers who have used the same, or different platforms.
Constant Content has writers divided, but my experience has been only good. It is a Canadian based company that acts as the middle man between writers and clients. Of course, it takes a healthy chunk of the freelancers earning for allowing them the pleasure of working through them; healthy being a rather large 35%. Before you choke on your pen, I must point out that some of the projects are well paid, high in volume and would not have been possible to write for in any other way, other than through the Constant Content platform.
Joining the site is by way of writing a test piece, and once accepted, you can begin applying for jobs. My biggest success has been through project work which I have been lucky enough to be invited into. Often the content is stiff enough; think repetitive product or location descriptions, but it is a good little earner, and work you can bank on. You do need to be comfortable with white hatting, in that you are never going to get credit for such work. So, if it’s your name at the end of an article that gets you going, this type of work is not going to satisfy you.
Pretty much like the Constant Content format, Upwork is another popular option, and was re-branded in 2015. Previously it was known as Elance, which you are forgiven for remembering as being one of those low paying content mills I mentioned. Well, it has come back bigger and better, and whilst the unsavory pay rates can still rear their heads, the clientele, and in turn, the pricing, seem to have vastly improved.
If this website was a place, it would be an art gallery. And the people in it, a dedicated group of creative souls, swirling brandy on the rocks, and complaining about the insipidness of the new sculptor. I mean this all in a wholly positive way! Pedestrian TV is a pit stop for music, fashion and art lovers, and it also the home of a jobs board, which is brimming with writing and freelance opportunities. I once secured a cool internship through Pedestrian, writing for a fashion and beauty site. If anything, I was most delighted with that fact that someone trusted me to write on clothes and makeup. Clearly freelance blogging has no face!
This website is a little ambiguous and the jury is still out on it. It is a cool travel site that screams out for travel writer wannabes to contribute them. At $40 an article; where do I sign up? Of course, there is a catch; one of the stipulations is that you must set up a blog, as per their specifications, which costs about $15. Still $25 up, so not bad and they do pay. However, beyond the initial article, there is great mystery around how one writes any more for them. I have visited many forums to investigate, and everyone who has discussed the topic have one thing in common; they were never invited for further writing tasks.
This well-known website is one for the masses, primarily targeting women. Content varies from fluffy to confronting; I guess it is a bit like the TV show “The Project”- but online. They pay $50 per opinion piece; but be warned, the standards for acceptance are high, and the waiting list is very long. With no guarantee of your freelance piece being published, it is a risk, but who doesn’t love a good challenge.
I think everyone has heard of the Huff Post. In fact, I reckon a chunky size of the population has been tagged in a Huff Post article on Facebook. These guys don’t pay for contributions, but what they do offer is exposure. While I generally don’t agree with writers being asked to contribute for free, sometimes I think the benefits outweigh the cost, or lack thereof in this case. With such a large readership, Huff Post, among other big news sites can offer you a very large platform to write for. And with great articles, comes lots of likes and shares. Which can bring opportunity knocking on your door. Paid opportunity hopefully.
This website is Australian born and bred, and probably more high end. Not only is it a community for professional writers to utilise the different learning tools and resources; it is also home to some good job opportunities. The site also details writing competitions with cash prizes. If you are top of your game, this could be another valuable source of revenue.
We hope you have gained something from this freelance focused blog, and it directs you towards some profitable work. Next week – more about monetization.