It used to be that the opportunities for freelance writing were relatively rare. There were only so many magazines that would pay for freelance work. Then the internet came along, and there was suddenly an insatiable need for content to fill all of those websites and blogs.
But then there were suddenly millions of new writers, including myself. The result has been that the rate writers get online is generally much lower than in print magazines. But the good news is that there are more ways to make money from writing than ever before, and you don’t have to be a professional writer to get started. Let's look at a few of the opportunities and what you can make with them...
Fast and Not so Easy
What I call "top of your head articles" are pieces that have six to ten paragraphs or about 500 to 70 words, and don't require research. For example, if you had to write on ways to save money, you could think of a few without the necessity of researching the topic. You could also probably throw together a few travel tips, write an article on how to make a house safer for kids, and generally figure out something to say about a hundred other topics.
These are the types of articles that are bought for medium and low-quality websites and blogs, and you'll typically get no more than $10 for them. In fact, there are many people writing these for as little as one dollar each. Clearly you have to write very quickly to make anywhere near minimum wage with rates like that. These articles are bought with "full rights," meaning they belong to the buyer and can be changed, retitled, have another author's name put on them, and so on.
There are freelance platforms online where you can find buyers. You bid on the projects they post, and they choose among the bids according to price, experience and the details of anything else you offer as a freelancer. If you win the bid and complete the project the website handles collecting the payment for you. Here are two examples of places where you can sign up for free for this (although you pay a percentage of money received):
Ideally, once you have some practice and feel comfortable writing on many different topics, you can contract to write a dozen articles or more at a time. That way you can be efficient enough to make a decent paycheck for a day’s work -- and yes, with practice, you can write a dozen articles of this type in a day.