How to Make Money Online: Outsourcing and Freelance Writers
August 29, 2010 by admin
Filed under Article Marketing, Freelance Writing, How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer, How to Make Money Online, Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing and Article Marketing, Internet Marketing and Outsourcing, Online business, Outsourcing, Outsourcing and Freelance Writers, The Internet Marketing Quest Revealed, The Right Internet Marketing Program, Ultimate Internet Marketing
Outsourcing, Freelancing, and the Inability to Write
In a recent article entitled The Entrepreneurial Trilogy: Tweets, Texts, and the Lost Art of Writing, I discussed a very real problem we have in this country, and across the globe, with writers…or lack thereof.
Quite simply, there are too few freelance writers with the ability to write well and deliver quality products (i.e., articles, blog posts, sales letters, etc) on a regular basis!
When it comes to finding writers who not only write well but conversationally, and are able to deliver a quality product that I or anyone else would put their name on?
There is a real shortage.
In the article mentioned above, The Entrepreneurial Trilogy: Tweets, Texts, and the Lost Art of Writing, I talk about this problem; and, how so many freelance writers seem unable to write anything that even remotely approaches the kind of end product required of a professional, freelance writer.
I have attempted to outsource writing assignments on several occassions and have simply been unable to find anyone who measures up…and I am not alone!
So, I thought I would write an article to suggest that people who would like to make money online begin as freelance writers!
Yes, there is money to be made online as a writer. And yes, there are certain unscrupulous Internet marketers who will try to sell you a worthless ebook, and perhaps a worthless info product to go along with it.
However, all that is necessary to begin as a freelance writer is the desire to do so and some ability.
It really is as simple as that.
Providing, you know where to go online to find the businesses that need writers; and, are hiring. Additionally, you need to know the steps required, the steps that employers looking for writers expect you to take, and the answers you need to provide, in order to get to the front of the line.
So, I thought I would explain the steps here.
Because there is money to be made, good money, writing articles online; and, I know when I started out I didn’t have a clue and spent a lot of time, and lost a ton of money, writing articles for next to nothing when I could have been making a decent living.
Interestingly, the freelancer sites that are well known for being Internet marketing’s version of a chop shop for articles are terrible for finding high paying writing jobs. However, they offer a wonderful education.
Often and education is in what not to do and where not to go to secure employment…in this case writing gigs.
It is probably best if I do this is steps, so let’s get started.
How to Make Money Online as a Writer
- Go to GoDaddy and purchase a domain name. Make sure you have copywriting or freelance writing in the domain name…or some variation.
- Then go to HostGator and set up a hosting account. The best program is the “Baby Plan” for hosting. The Baby Plan is a middle of the road hosting program and will only cost you $7.95 per month. Very inexpensive and HostGator has the best service and support…period!
- Once you have purchased the domain name and the hosting, all you have to do it walk through the set up process and you will be up and running in a few minutes. I will make a short video on how to do that and you will find it here in the next day or so.
- OR you can set up free blog at WordPress.com and write a short bio about yourself and put it on your About page. Just be careful not to run your business from WordPress.com because you will find your account banned, quickly! While they are quite arbitrary in enforcing their TOS (terms of service), you don’t want to take a chance…especially with a name that is important to you. You will not get it back! So, take care and set up the blog as a demonstration site only. Once you are able to set up your own WordPress.org blog through HostGator? Do so! And then, you won’t have to worry about getting the rug pulled out from under your feet.
- The bio’s should contain everything an outsourcing employer will be looking for, not only so they can read it here but so you can copy and paste it as you begin to set up your online presence (your Internet image) across the Internet and at various outsourcing sites:
- Name – Businesses want to know who they are dealing with, period. So, don’t use a cutesy screen name, use your real name of the pen name you use and the use it consistently but tell your prospective employer it is a pen name and give them your real name.
- Country – This is very important for many employers who want the jargon, the spelling of certain words, and the grammar to match a given locale.
- Experience – I will get to experience below, so don’t worry if you don’t have any. But if you do have experience? Don’t be modest!
- Contact information – Some sites will allow you to post this and others will not so include it and you can cut it if you want. The more up front and the more you divulge, the more comfortable your prospective employer will feel.
- Education – Make sure you include how your edication pertains to writing; and, why it makes you a good candidate. Again, don’t be bashful and don’t leave anything out. If you were your high school yearbook’s reporter or editor? Put it in! Even if it was 30 years ago!
- Availability – Hiring writers is a pain in the #ss! Every outsourcer is looking for the writer who will deliver a quality product on task and on time. If you can write 2000 words a day, that’s 4 500 word articles, then say so…but you better be able to. If you can only deliver 1000 words a day but you can do it consistently? Say so! Most outsourcers are looking for honesty and a long term relationship so they don’t have to continually go back to the well every time they need a 500 word article written. Define how much work you can handle, how often; and, be precise. If you want to work 7 days per week, say so. If you can only work 4 or 5 days per week, say that. Just be honest, realistic, and straight-forward in your quote and during the selection process and you have a good chance of getting the job.
- Profile Description – Set up a short 75 character slogan and a short title. Then, create two descriptions. One description should be 500 words and the other 1000 words. Both should be matter of fact and perfect. The descriptions will often be the second thing most outsourcing employers look at, right after the bid…so make it good.
Once you have the About page built, write a couple of 400-600 page articles on something you know well and post them on the home page. Make sure the articles are about something your prospective employers may be interested in. Just a couple will get your started. You can add to it over time and I will explain how later.
- Make sure the samples are perfect!
- Read the sample articles out loud after you complete them. If they don’t flow? Meaning, if they don’t sound like you do when you are having a conversation, make the necessary changes.
- Use spell check and grammar check. Also, be sure to use simple sentence structure, nothing complex. Remember: K*I*S*S!
Now you are ready to set up your memberships at the various outsourcing sites. Some are better than others. I will talk about each and the advantages and disadvantages.
Guru.com – This is a good one for writers because the outsourcing employers pay a bit more to start; and, will pay a lot more for quality work once you prove yourself. I have had experience with writers I consider sub-par and they are still making a great deal of money writing articles. So, regardless of what level you are currently at, as far as your writing ability goes, you can make a decent living writing articles for Guru employers. Significantly, if you work at it and ply your craft daily, your writing will improve and the demand for your services will increase.
- Note: Set up several profiles for the subjects and areas you feel comfortable writing about or for. That is one of many reasons why you want to set up all of the initial profile information on your About page first. Otherwise you will be doing it one profile at a time. Why not have it all on one page that you can copy from and direct people to. You may end up with writing gigs solely as a result of the information on your About page…so do it!
GetaCoder.com – As the name implies, this site is thought of as a technical outsourcing site. However, outsourcing employers do look for freelance writers here and usually pay better than some of the Internet marketing chop shops pay. There are two levels and both will get you work. If you can afford it? The premium membership is the way to go. However, it is not necessary right off the bat. If you find you want to upgrade later? Go ahead and do so. If you have the extra money now? It is one I invested in because it does make you stand out a bit more and lets the outsourcing employers know you are a solid business entity and not just another name. Either way, this site is a must.
Scriptlance.com – Scriptlance is still one of the better outsourcing/guru sites for freelance writers. You will be competing with writers from developing nations, so the fees may not be as good right off the bat. You are going to run into that sort of cut-throat competition from the Internet marketing article and SEO chop shops in India and the Philippines here and on other outsourcing sites. However, stick to your guns, remain professional, and wait for those employers waiting for writers from the USA, the UK, Australia…or wherever it is you are from. You will find work!
- Note: Some employers just don’t care about quality. That kind of outsourcer will always pay bargain basement prices…so don’t concern yourself with them. You are interested in the few gigs that will pay you a little bit at first but offer the promise of bigger paychecks and a stedy income.
oDesk.com – oDesk can also be quite a nice resource and should be developed. oDesk does have a number of tests but if you are competent in English? You should sail right through them. You can also select to compete for work in other areas, under different categories. It is totally up to you but if you are going to do it? Do it right and set it up the first time! If it takes you the better part of a day to set all of this up? You can be working by tomorrow if you do it right.
- Note: Make sure you have set up the profile as stated above, it will make set up for this site a breeze.
Elance.com – Elance, like oDesk, requires a bit more of a time commitment to set up…as they also require a skills test. However, like oDesk, it is worth the little time it takes to set it up right. The more difficult it is to get into some of these programs, the more of a premium you can charge. This is not always the case. But remember, you are looking for long term relationships.
GetaFreelancer.com – GetaFreelancer can seem like what I referred to earlier as an Internet Marketing chop shop. However, you have to keep in mind that, while you are competing against freelancers from all over the world, some outsourcers are looking for quality writers they can count on long term…and that just may be you! However, you have to start somewhere and, if you need money right away, and have the time to spare, you can build up your portfolio and get some experience writing at a faster pace and for SEO. So, what do you have to lose? You can bid on better paying jobs while you are writing, gaining experience, and getting paid.
All in all, this is a process!
There are two more things we need to cover before we wrap this up.
The first thing we need to cover is the review. Reviews can make or break you efforts! So, make sure you work hard to get good reviews. Once you have a few decent reviews, you can ask for more money; and, you will certainly get more work. However, you must be smart about it and develop solid relationships with the employers you write for so they give you good marks.
Some things you need to do in order to get a good review:
- Maintain constant contact with the employer. This is crucial! Most of the employers you deal with have been outsourcing for some time, and many have have hired writers who have simply disappeared once hired, never to be heard from again. When you are contracted to write for an outsourcing employer, make sure the contact information is correct. Additionally, clearly define when you are to contact the employer. Please, be obsessive about this because not being able to get in touch with a writer is the surest way to a bad review…or fired!
- Make sure the terms of the contract are clearly defined…and then exceed them! I am not talking about writing 800 word articles if the employer asks for 500 words. In most cases, they don’t want that anyway. But you should make a point to finish the job early and DO NOT submit it until it is perfect. Check it, then let it sit for a few hours (24-48 hours if you have the time), and then check it again. Run it through a couple of different spell-checkers to make sure nothing is missed and use a grammar checker.
- Note: The best proofreader in the world will miss something occasionally, particularly if the proofreader is also the author. However, you must be perfect. So, check amd recheck. Ultimately, the best proofreading method I have ever found is to actually read the article out loud, to someone else. If there are mistakes, they will surface and if it fails to flow…the person listening to it will tell you.
- Remember, the employer is a person, so treat them with courtesy and respect and they will respond in kind. It will pay off when the review is due.
- Additionally, remember that the outsourcing employer is also a business person and will usually have their own deadlines and issues to deal with…so they don’t want to hear about your problems. DO NOT make excuses! They do not care about your sick grandmother or your brother in the hospital or whatever. They have heard every excuse you can think of, so don’t make them! Your employer wants the job done, one time and to specifications.
- Turn it in early, turn it in as close to perfect as humanly possible, and make sure you give your employer a good review. Remember the old reciprocity thing? It is tough to give someone an average review, or worse, if they have just written about what a great person you are to work for. So, even if you have to bite the side of your lip…be kind. It will pay off!
Two, you are going to have to write for less than you are worth, at least at first!
No matter how good you are, if you don’t have a track record? You have got to prove yourself. Additionally, one review here and another there does not equal three or four at the same freelancing site. Consequently, if you find you are getting jobs on a regular basis at one of the above mentioned outsourcing sites? Stick with them and focus on building up that bank of reviews.
Again, it will pay off!
Finally, once you have proven yourself and have a few decent reviews and maybe one or two repeat clients, it is time to begin to spread your wings and grow your business.
But for now, get started by building a solid base and a good rappore with a couple of outsourcers who are providing steady work!
Then, once you have something of a review bank and a clientèle, it is time to begin upping your price and improving your online image.
However! First things first!
Get started with the steps outlined above and let me know if you run into any snags. I will do what I can to answer your questions and provide you with some guidance.
Thank you for taking the time to go through this. Please, leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
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