If you have the knack for words, becoming a writer is an excellent choice. What’s more, you’ll find that the explosion of digital technology has made it easier than ever to earn a living at writing. Thanks to the Internet, you no longer need to worry about writing for a magazine or newspaper, or penning the next Great American Novel. In fact, you have a tremendous wealth of ways that you can earn money online with your writing skills.
Before You Start
Before you begin poking around on the Internet looking for writing jobs, we need to discuss a few things. Most people don’t really think that writers need much in the way of tools, but that’s not true. Once upon a time, all you really needed was something to write with, a supply of fresh paper and enough coffee to keep going. Today, you need more than that, particularly if you want to be a freelance writer who finds most of your work online.
You’ll most certainly need a computer. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to be capable of running word processing software and staying connected to the Internet. You’ll need a word processing program (Microsoft’s Word is the industry standard), and you’ll need a high-speed Internet connection (you really can’t get by with dialup these days). Those are the essentials. You might also want to have a printer and fax machine on hand as well.
Where to Find Work
The most frustrating thing for new writers once they make the decision to jump ship from their previous job is finding work. The Internet is a huge place, and finding paying jobs isn’t that easy if you don’t know where to look. However, there are some excellent places where you can find paying gigs in which you get paid to sling words.
One of the best places to start your search for jobs is Elance.com. This is the largest freelancing job site in the world, and you’ll find an incredible range of freelance positions on offer, from designers to marketers, programmers to engineering professionals. Writers can find a broad range of jobs here, working with clients from around the globe.
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Odesk.com is a similar site. While it’s not quite as large as Elance.com, it shouldn’t be ignored, particularly by first timers. You’ll find a similar range of skills in demand here, and the client base covers the entire world as well.
As a note, both Elance.com and Odesk.com are paid membership sites. While they both let new users try the system out free of charge, you’re going to have to pay for membership if you want to get all the benefits available. Don’t worry; it’s money well spent.
Of course, Elance and Odesk aren’t the only places that you can find writing jobs online. You can also find work at:
There are many other sites out there too, some dedicated specifically to writers and others that work more like Elance. They can all offer value and help you find work, but they’re not all the same. Sometimes, larger sites like Elance are better simply because there’s more work to be had and many clients are not as worried about taking a chance on a new, untried writer.
Originality and Plagiarism
Content is king on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean that just any content will do, particularly with Google’s new updates to their algorithm. No matter what you’re writing, from articles to blog posts to reviews and more, you need to ensure that you are providing your clients with 100% original content. Duplicate content (plagiarized work) won’t fly. Your clients expect and deserve original work, and not only is plagiarism bad for business, but it can land you in hot legal water.
Making money as a freelance writer online can be a great way to achieve more freedom and realize your dreams, and following the tips above will help you reach those goals.