If you are a writer, you are fortunate enough to have the ability to work from home as a freelancer.
In fact, freelancing is such a popular career path now that it has resulted in a whole slew of websites whose function is to help you find jobs.
But with all the jobs and websites out there, it can still sometimes be difficult to find work.
Well to put it simply, it is because you aren’t the only one that likes the idea of working from home.
Freelancing is a competitive market, but here some tips you can apply to your trade to help earn jobs and start making money.
Dedicated Freelance Websites
Remember that every hour you spend scouring the internet for jobs is an hour that you aren’t getting paid to do the thing that you love.
A freelancing website is an excellent way to find jobs quickly that fit your exact skill set or even interests.
To be fair, there are pros and cons to using a freelancing website.
They are highly competitive, most of them limit the number of bids you can do a month, and once you do find work, they take a cut of your earnings as a service fee, which is usually not that much.
No one likes the service fee, but they need to make their money somehow.
That said, if you find a site that you are comfortable doing business with it may very well be worth it.
Using the right website (the three listed above are very good, but there are other decent ones out there as well) provides the freelancer with a nice safety net.
Most freelancing sites require contracts with new clients to begin with an escrow.
In other words, the client pays for the work that they want to be done upfront, and the website holds onto it until you have finished the job.
Using this system, the client can be sure that they are getting what they are paid for, and the freelancer can be certain that the money they are being promised actually exists in the first place.
I think this is the best method and it works great for both parties.
Freelancing sites also usually offer mediation services.
Of course, you never want a contract to go south, but occasionally it happens.
Perhaps the client doesn’t want to pay, or maybe you’ve done what they asked and now you just can’t get a hold of them.
Trust me, it happens and it can be very frustrating.
Disputes don’t happen all that often with freelancing sites though (the escrowed money usually ensures that clients stay interested in the project) but sometimes things happen, and when those situations arise it is nice to have the help of a mediation service.
Freelancing sites also help you keep all your clients in one place so that it is easy and much less time consuming to send work messages, view projects and so on and so forth.
If for whatever reason using a freelancing site does not appeal to you, there are other ways to find work online, which we will examine now.
Searching the Web
Searching the web for freelancing jobs entails exactly what you would imagine it does. Usually, you are just one google search away from a plethora of blogging gigs.
They are posted on job forum sites and all other matter of listings that serve as the digital equivalent of a newspaper’s wanted pages.
Just like on the freelancing sites some of these jobs are long term while others are one offs.
The good news is that when you take one of these jobs you generally get to keep one hundred percent of your earnings.
Once you start getting a lot of work you will definitely appreciate that—fees for busy freelancers can often climb to somewhere in the neighborhood of a few hundred dollars a week—but of course you also aren’t getting the same protection that you get working with the big websites.
Fees aren’t awesome but getting ripped off is even worse so be careful when you chose your jobs.
If it looks too good to be true, it almost always is.
If you receive a reply instantly upon applying, and the messages contain broken English and poor grammar, there is a fairly good chance that you are dealing with a spam bot, and not a real person.
Working freelance online requires a lot of caution and vigilance but if you find the lifestyle appealing it is well worth the effort.
However you decide to go about getting your work, there is going to be one constant that you can count on: the cover letter.
The cover is a lot like a job application.
It is essentially how your potential employer gets the opportunity to get to know you.
In it, you will as succinctly as possible explain to them who you are, what your background is, and how your experience makes you qualified to write for them.
Try and be brief, friendly, and professional.
Chances are your potential client is receiving a lot of bids which means that they are also getting a lot of cover letters.
They don’t want to have to read a page and a half of you going on and on about yourself, so leave the part about your love of chocolate out of this one.
Tell them what they need to know, but in a way that respects the fact that they are on limited time.
It might just help you to get the job.
Treat it Like a Real Job…Because That's What it is
Being on the hiring end, I have seen way too many people that looked like the perfect candidate and then all of a sudden I can't get ahold of them.
Don't do that.
With these big name freelance sites, they offer apps that can help you remain in contact so there's no reason as to why you can't be reached.
You are applying for a job you know and if you aren't in constant contact, you probably don't want the job that bad anyways.
Be persistent, respond in a timely manner, and always, always, follow up with your potential employer.
The beautiful thing about freelancing is that once you get one job, you will find that it becomes relatively easy to find new work.
Just like anything else out there, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Being able to show potential employers that you have previous experience can go a long way towards helping you to land more jobs.
Unfortunately, until then it might take you a little bit of time to find your first job.
That said, if you write a good cover letter, and make good use of one of the above listed sites, you might have better luck.
Make no mistake, working as a freelance writer can be hard, but if you like the idea of making your own schedule, and working from the comfort of your own home, then it is well worth it.
Personally, I think you should really create your own blog as it is a lot more profitable, but do what you feel you can handle.