Write Freelance Style!

Love to write and make money, try freelance writing.

To write or not to write. That is the operative question. Do you give up a lucrative regular job to be a stay at home freelancer or not? This is not always the easiest decision to make. The hunt for writing positions can be long. tedious and disappointing. Some pay really well, while others aren't worth reading the ad to begin with. Some are legitimate while others are complete scams and MLM schemes. Some provide fast and easy means to file your stories electronically while others require you to mail everything.

For stay at home parent's the decision can be easier since it provides a great way to make some extra money every month while still being home for your family. For those who are used to that guaranteed paycheck for their 40 hours of work it isn't always so easy since you have to try to make enough to stay afloat in a whole new ball game.

Since I have spent some quality time in the freelance work force, I am hoping this article will provide some tips to help you find what you are looking for and see if these types of jobs are right for you.

First off let me start by saying that the writing jobs available are so varied there is usually something for everyone. You don't necesarily have to have the greatest imagination for fiction in the world to make money. Remember everything you read on every webpage is written by someone who is more than likely making money for doing it. That means that you can find positions for anything from news articles to advice columns, from advertising copy to technical information.

One of the first things you need to decide before starting your job search is whether or not you want to be able to create your own assignments or whether you want a company that will assign the topics that you write about. Some companies let you submit your own proposals and if they find the idea useful and of interest to their market, they accept them and pay you upon completion. Other companies have certain ideas and topics they want to stick with so you may find yourself forced to turn down assignments because you aren't knowledgeable about that particular subject. If you are struggling to make ends meet, that might not be your best option.

Another decision you need to make is whether or not you want a contract job or occasional work. In a contract position you have a regular assignment and schedule so you always know when your paycheck is coming. For occasional work you don't always know when you will be working or not and this causes financial unpredictability. The occasional assignments can be good however if you are just doing this as a side line to a regular job or contract position. I usually do several of both each month so I know that I have a steady income plus a few extra bonus $$ here and there as well.

A good tip is to accept a few jobs at first even if they aren't the greatest so that you get published and polish up your resume a bit. Recent experience makes you more desirable for companies who want experienced writers. To get a job with decent pay rates, they are more likely to consider the resume with listings of experience first. Later you can pick and choose a little more. Some of your first assignments will probably require hours of work for peanut pay, but they will be worth it in the long run. A great idea is to stick with what you know when searching for assignments. If you know sales, then look for listings for sales or advertising, if you know teaching or parenting stick with those topics. These provide a safety net where you can earn your pay without spending hours researching topics that you know little or nothing about.

Perhaps one of the most important things to learn in this marketplace is how to tell scams from legitimate opportunity. A place that offers a few cents per click on a web page probably isn't worth your time since you have to spend hours promoting it to ever make a little bit of money. A legitimate offer will also never ask you to "pay" money to "make" money. If the company really wants your expertise they will gladly pay you for it and not ask you to invest anything other than the time you spend writing the stories or articles. It is normal however for companies to wait until they have your completed work available for their approval before issuing your paycheck. You will also want to avoid places that require you to refer people and get them to invest or sign up so you can make your money. Most of these are MLM's, gigantic pyramid schemes, which are mostly illegal and the only one who makes money is the person at the very top who managed to convince everyone else to invest their hard earned money. Also please remember that if a company took one of your articles without paying for it, then they aren't worth the time of ever sending them a second one.

When you are searching for job opportunities in this field, instead of searching under general terms such as writers or employment, try terms like "freelance" or "work from home". You will find many sites show up that provide specialty information for just these types of positions. And if a site wants you to pay a membership fee to view their job listings, don't bother wasting the money. You will find a dozen or so other sites that provide the same listings for free. Even the most popular job hunt sites will have these kinds of listings if you just put the right terms in the search box. If you are in doubt about a company and their offer, check out the writers forums available for free at many freelance job sites. The people there are not shy about letting everyone know who paid and was worth the time and who to stay away from. Other experienced writers will often be your best source of information. So don't be afraid to delay emailing that resume by an hour or so to take time to wait for a reply to your question.

Probably the best advice any of us who are already writing for a living can give to anyone just entering this arena is that if an offer seems to good to be true, then it is!

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