Freelance Job Sites and Online Writing Jobs

I don't like freelance bidding sites. I think it's degrading to professional writers to have to undercut each other's prices to be the person who 'wins' and gets to write for the lowest amount of money. It's humiliating to watch seriously talented writers give away their words for $1.

There are much better places to search for work than these slave-labor round up sites.

Take a look at some of the higher paying freelance writing jobs available. So many writers convince themselves that they can't submit work to these places that it's sad. Yet many of them are so talented magazines would happily pay them several hundred dollars per article.

Stop playing with the low-paying sites and browse at some real high paying writing jobs.

Here are a few of my favorite Freelance Job Sites for finding online writing jobs to keep you busy for a while:

Online Writing Jobs
- This is a big site offering searchable databases of online writing jobs, online blogging jobs, freelance writing jobs and much more. I tend to take a look here if I haven't got much lined up for the next month.

WorldWide Freelance Markets
- Excellent searchable database filled with freelance writing opportunities. This is one of my favorite places to search for publications that might suit my style and niche topics.

Freelance Writing Jobs
- This privately run blog is just amazing. The owner posts links of jobs for freelance writers every day. Bookmark this blog. I've found some great freelance writing gigs from this one.

Freelance Writing.com
- This site offers writing submission guidelines to several niche magazines. If you'd rather see your freelance writing efforts published in a magazine instead of on the internet, take a look at some of these. The pay rates are just fabulous ;)

Absolute Write
- Find the forum and join in with this enormous writer's community. Filled with great markets, hints and plenty of writers to help you find your way.

Now you have some links to great freelance writing markets and online writing jobs sites, you have no excuses.

Get Writing!


Increase Freelance Writing Income With One Email

For the past year I've had a specific writing schedule. I write certain things on some days and do other tasks to keep my home business growing on other days.

(you can see my original freelance working-week schedule here: http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-often-get-asked-whats-normal-work.html)

But lately I've picked up more clients than I expected and they're all wanting more, more, MORE.

In an online environment where it's becoming more common for writers to drop their prices and try to under-cut other writers to win work, I did something completely different.

I raised my prices this week - and got more work as a result. What a bizarre twist of logic!

I was a little mystified by this outcome but I won't complain. You see, I emailed my current clients and gave them copies of my new rates schedule. The new clients didn't know my old rates so they didn't blink an eye when they received their copies.

Two existing clients responded immediately with bigger orders than they've ever sent before. Another two emailed back at once and congratulated me for being pro-active about my income in a depressed market place - and then ordered new work to be done.

The last one complained that I'm now getting a bit too expensive for his business budget. But he ordered more work from me anyway, grumbling the whole way.

I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple others. If my prices are outside their budgetary requirements, then they'll either find new writers or they'll end up paying my prices because they already know what kind of work I'm able to deliver.

So because I now have more work than I expected I have been forced to rethink my original work-week schedule so I'll have time to get them all done! If this keeps up I might have to start turning work away (ha! not likely....;)

I'll post my new work-week schedule on a new post or this one will just get way too long!

Get Writing!


Freelance Writing and Pseudonyms

Can you imagine what it's like going into a bank and hearing the girls behind the counter giggling about how my name makes them think I'm one of those romance writers? You know - the type who writes steamy bodice-rippers with guys like Fabio on the cover?

It happens more than you'd think.

With a name like Bianca Raven I know I've been tempted more than once to try my hand at one of those steamy, racy romance things, just to see how I'd fare with writing about a breathless heroine who can't possibly live another moment without feeling the sweet tender lips of her stunningly-gorgeous perfect hero who doesn't know she's alive yet, but she's swooning dutifully just in case he notices and ... and ...

Oh who am I kidding? I write fantasy. They don't get steamy or breathless just by reading a four page description of how good looking someone is. And neither do I. So the romance idea went out the window - and so did the idea of using my unfortunate name as a talking point.

My Italian-born mother named me Bianca Maria Catalano, after my grandmother. I have no idea what she was on when she decided it sounded like a "good Australian name" - but she didn't even get close. I would have preferred something seriously Australian. Like Sheila. Or Sharon. Or Tracy. All very common Australian names.

Even so, the name Bianca isn't so bad on it's own. People pronounce it in so many different ways it's funny, but overall it's still not a bad name.

Until I met my ex-husband, Jackson Raven. (I sure hope he never Googles his own name. I once promised him I'd never put his name on the net...)

Sigh. Thus I became Bianca Raven. I keep the name even though I'm now divorced because I want my daughter to have the same last name as I do.

When I first began freelancing I considered using a pseudonym. I wanted to call myself Jane Smith. I wanted a NORMAL name so badly. I didn't want to be the subject of people's bodice-ripper-writer jokes.

Writing under a pseudonym can have all sorts of legal implications. Did you know if you write a novel under a pen-name, you're not allowed to autograph that book? Otherwise you're signing someone else's name - even though it's really you. You're just not allowed to do it.

Another issue is the copyright thing. If I write something as Jane Smith can I really prove I'm the rightful author of that piece of work later if someone plagiarizes my stuff?

Publishers are good about writers using pseudonyms. They know the contract - and the check! - get written out to your real name but the work is published with your pen-name as the byline.

For me personally, I have an issue about reputation. I want to be proud of my work. I want others to know I wrote it. I want to be able to show my mom my work so she can see my name clearly on the mast-head or on that byline.

If I was to give in and write under a pseudonym, would I then begin to write work that's less than my best just because no one knows it's me? Who knows.

Pseudonyms can also be a great thing for some writers. Many writers publish work under a pseudonym for a variety of reasons. Some want to switch genres and not offend readers. In fact, many male writers write large amounts of romance under female names so their readers don't get confused. Cool, huh?

One of my good friends, Lee Masterson, is an amazingly prolific writer. She writes financial columns and features for several magazines, owns a couple of her own ezines, writes horror fiction and in her spare time she even writes romance and erotica under a pseudonym. She chose to separate her writing names because she doesn't want her horror fans picking up her romance stuff - and vice versa.

If you decide you'd rather be someone else when you write, then that's great!

But if you're going to write a romance-bodice-ripper, invent a fabulous pen-name like Stormy Summers or Windy Willows or .... Bianca Raven ;)


Build a Successful Freelance Business

I've had some people ask me how they get started earning money with freelance writing so I thought I'd put a post together with some options that should get your freelance business going.

Once it's going, though, it's up to you to keep it growing.

Before we start, here's a link to a post that might also help. I wrote this one earlier in the year on almost the same topic:

And there's also this one on creating a full time freelance income:

Now we've got that out of the way, let's get into finding some freelance writing work:

1) Create a Web Presence

Take your pick of free blog accounts (WordPress, Blogger etc) and set up your own blog. This is a quick, cheap way to get yourself a place on the net where people can find you. Introduce yourself. Chat. Get used to playing around on your online place.

Ask other like-minded people to link to your new blog so other writers can find you too. This is how search engines find your site quickly. It's important to keep links on similar topics to your own otherwise the link-bank importance drops in the eyes of search engines.

Then get some serious writing samples going and put them on there too. These will become reference links for future clients, so take care when creating them.

2) Finding Freelance Work

The type of freelance work you choose to accept is 100% up to you. You're the boss remember?

There are quite a lot of freelance job bidding sites around where you can sign up and bid for work against other writers. Places like http://www.guru.com/ or http://www.getafreelancer.com/ have thousands of job listings every day.

I don't like bidding sites at all - even though they are where I began when I first got online. I've learned that writers are silly about under-cutting everyone else's prices just to get the job. Under-cutting is insane because you're selling yourself short when you could be earning much better rates.

There are also plenty of job-boards around filled with people searching for freelance writers. Careful with these - they often want to pay ridiculously low rates so the work isn't always great.

Here's a link to a previous post outlining where to find high-paying freelance assignments:

3) Odd Markets

Who says writers can only write articles for websites or magazines?

What's wrong with writing jokes for magazines? Or recipes? Or naughty confessions stories? Or creating puzzles? Or getting paid to blog? Or writing fiction stories for periodicals or anthologies? Or podcasts?

You're a writer - be creative!

Go and browse at your local news-stand or news-agent and see what you can find. You might surprise yourself when you realize that almost every magazine in the world has a section right there in black and white saying "we'll pay you to send us stuff".

Here's a link to a set of posts about alternative writing income:

4) Away From Home

Who ever said you have to restrict your search for work to just the USA? There are plenty more opportunities in most English-speaking countries around the world, so broaden your search. I should know - I'm in Australia ;)

Paypal takes care of the currency exchange for you, so you're still getting paid in your regular US dollars. But does it matter from where in the world that money was sent?

Broaden your searches and who knows? You might soon be able to tell people you're published internationally.

5) Approach Potential Clients Directly

This is how I get a lot of my clients - I approach them directly and ask for their business.

Search engine optimization companies often require content writers to help with their SEO efforts on behalf of their clients. Web site creation companies also don't want to create their own content and so they'll hire freelance writers to do it for them.

Print magazines all need new, fresh, exciting stories on every topic imaginable. Never write a magazine article without writing to the editor first and discussing your idea. If the editor likes your idea then she will usually contract you to write the whole article. This means you KNOW you're getting paid (and how much!) before you even write anything.

Learn to write a query letter and a letter of introduction. Both should be really easy - you're a writer after all.

Then get hold of the Writers Market Guide. If you can't get the book, pay for the website subscription. It's worth the cost just for the amount of high paying markets listed there.

6) Create a Professional Portfolio

Editors will want evidence that you're able to write. This means you'll need samples of other articles you've written. If you haven't sold any writing before, don't panic. Simply write a few articles and load them to your blog. Voila! Instantly published.

These will be fine as samples to start you off. As your sales grow, so will your portfolio. Keep track of any links that show your published work and names of any offline publications as well.

7) Thank Every Client Personally

I always send a quick email to every one of my clients thanking them personally for trusting me with their business. Keep it short and sweet - no eloquent, soppy prose. Just say thanks. People remember gratitude and it's a simple act of courtesy.

I keep an accurate database of any client who has ever contracted my writing services. Keep your name fresh in their minds. I send Christmas cards to every client I've ever dealt with every year.

You'd be amazed at the amount of fresh assignments I get from old clients every December because of this reminder (no, I don't send out cards during other seasons -that would be over-kill).

8) Ask for a Referral

If you don't ask, you don't get...

In every thank you note I send each client I also make a brief reference to being open to referral business. This means I ask them politely if they would know any other business owners or editors who might benefit from my work.

Not every editor will refer other clients to me - but some do.

Referral business is always the best. They're loyal to you before they've even started working with you because someone else has done all the marketing and promotion for you. :)

9) Rinse and Repeat

Just when you think you have enough clients sending you steady work - go and find some more. You can be sure that not all clients will have a steady stream of work and some may be quite erratic. It's always safer to have too much on your plate than not enough. You can always ask for an extension on a deadline if you're falling behind.

10) WRITE!!

Writers write. If you're not writing something - anything - then you're not really into this whole writing thing.

Love what you do. Enjoy writing for the sake of writing. Have some fun with it.

Break up your day by writing the fun stuff in between the serious stuff. Write silly things and make up jokes. Play on writer's forums. Create new worlds and new people and lose yourself in them. Then jump back in and create more great articles.

Just WRITE !



10 Good Reasons to Work At Home

I've decided I love my job.

Of course I love my job most days, you already know that. I just love it more than usual today.

You see, I had lunch with a good friend today who still works at the same bank where I used to work before I became a full time freelance writer. She's tired and stressed all the time. She spends two hours every day of her working life in the car fighting with traffic. Her relationship is suffering under the weight of her long hours at the office and she's really worried that the bank might start cutting jobs to keep their profit levels high. She'll have no income if that happens and she's terrified about how she'll survive.

I offered her a lot of sympathy (after all, I remember feeling exactly as she does right now once upon a time) and that's when I decided I love my job more than usual today. ;)

My friend asked me why I like working at home so much and was curious if I would be bored or lonely - or going broke. Understanding that she's feeling kind of low right now, I only gave her my favorite reasons for working at home. But if she'd been in a better mood, I could have given her twenty.

Top Ten Reasons to Work At Home

1) Freedom

The enormous freedom of not having to sit in a stale office with people you don't always like is amazing. The freedom of not having to drive through hideous traffic jams for hours is heaven.

The freedom to take time off to go out for lunch with friends is great. The best freedom of all is knowing you're in charge of your own life.

2) Family

I have a four year old daughter. Before she was born I made the decision to spend as much time with her as possible. I wanted to be a part of her development and I wanted to be there for her young years.

I didn't want a baby-sitter or day-care worker to witness her first steps while I was at work in a job I hated. I wanted to see it for myself. I wanted to hear her first words, read stories to her, play in the park, involve her in the family chores instead of just dumping dinner in front of her - I just wanted to be with my little girl.

3) No Commuting

A few short years ago I worked at a bank in the city. It was almost an hour driving time for me to get there each day - and an hour home again.

The advent of the internet means I no longer have to travel to the city. Of course it means my work is no longer limited to just ONE city. I can now work in London, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong and Johannesburg without even leaving my living room.

And it saves me a small fortune in fuel costs and car maintenance bills.

4) My Own Hours

I love that I can work when I want to work. If I'm not getting anywhere with one assignment, I'll switch to something that interests me more and do that for a while.

If I can't sleep, I'll drag my laptop onto my lap and sit up in bed writing until I'm sleepy again. If I need a day off, I can take it without needing to justify what I'm doing to a boss. I can pick up my daughter from kinder and take time out to play in the park.

Being able to set up your own flexible hours is a great benefit.

5) Choose Your Own Work-Load

When I first began freelance writing, I would accept every assignment I could find. Even the bad ones. At the time I felt I had no choice. I thought I needed to take them all in order to make money.

I've since learned to only accept assignments that interest me AND pay me properly for my time. This way every day is filled with work that I already know I'll enjoy and I know I'll get paid well for my efforts.

6) Your Own Boss

I love being my own boss. There's no better feeling than knowing your freelance business is all yours and no one can dictate how you run it. If clients become difficult, get different clients. If money is tight, find better paying assignments. If you're tired - stop writing and take a break.

It's all up to you!

7) Cost Saving

This is a weird benefit that I didn't expect when I was still planning to work full time at home. I was so worried I wouldn't be able to make my mortgage payments or pay my bills and so I stayed in my horrible job for longer than I should have.

Once I took the leap and began staying home full time to write, I noticed my expenses were dropping very quickly. With less expenses, this meant I needed less income to survive - which made earning income at home a whole lot easier when you suddenly need a lot less money to cover everything.

I spent a lot less money on fuel and car repairs (of course). But I also spent less on silly little things, like buying lunch at the office, having coffee after work with friends at a cafe, buying bottled water - all the myriad of silly little things we buy and don't even notice.

The biggest cost saving was buying take-out after a hard day's work. After 8 hours in an office I was too tired to cook or bother with grocery shopping. So I'd buy expensive pre-packaged foods, or junk food take away.

I just don't do those things any more because I'm already here. It's actually easier to just throw something in the oven and let the buzzer on the timer remind me when I have to think about it again.

8) Choices

I like being able to choose what I'm going to do with each day. There's no boss to tell me what to do next. I get to decide what I'll work on and what I'll write based on the mood I'm in that day.

You can't beat having a wide range of choices of what you'll do next every day :)

9) Friends and Relatives

My old work friend was worried that I'd be lonely, tucked away in my house like a prisoner on my own all day every day.

Nothing could be further from the truth! I am more social now than I was when I worked in the office. Friends pop in for a quick coffee regularly during the day. Family know I'm home, so they'll call or visit often too.

I get to see my neighbors now - I didn't even know who they were when I worked in the city. Now we're great friends!

...and the top reason to work at home...

10) You're Not Stuck in a Job You HATE

This has to be the best reason to build your own freelance writing business and work at home when you want to work.

Have you ever been stuck in a job you absolutely hate but feel as though you need to keep just for the money? I have. Let me tell you - it's no fun.

If I had known working as a freelancer was so much fun - and such great money - I would have done it years sooner.

Now you know the primary reasons why I choose to work from home. If I had more time I'm sure I could list another ten reasons why I love it so much.

Have you figured out your reasons for wanting to do the same yet?


Freelance Job-Boards to Avoid - Digital Point Forums

Sigh. Here we go again!

I really appreciate it when other writers offer me suggestions for finding more freelance work. I've found some great new clients this way and even though I may already have a full plate of clients and content-creation companies supplying me with steady work, there's no harm in finding more just in case work slows down a bit.

So I always look at every recommendation other writers give me. That's how I ended up on Digital Point Forums - and I wish I hadn't.

Take a look for yourself: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/forumdisplay.php?f=102

This is the 'Content Creation' job board, where website owners advertise when they need new writers and writers flock to grab the jobs.

I guess I spent 20 minutes going through the posts. I spent the entire time staring at my monitor in absolute horror at the rudeness of webmasters demanding unique, quality work of 500 words and then offering $1 or $2 per article.

That's appalling! They want content so they can make profits from high keyword placements, increased ad revenue and high affiliate sale commissions - and yet they treat the people who will be making their profit for them like SLAVES!

I hope you're as disgusted as I am right now, because it gets worse.

Not only are the writing jobs advertised ridiculously insulting to writers - but the writers are lined up begging to be considered for these same jobs.

Yes, you read that correctly. Writers respond to these job boards begging to be given these low paying slave-labor jobs. They even start new threads trying to undercut each other for lower and lower prices.

If you plan on making a career out of freelance writing, then I strongly suggest you AVOID this site completely. You have far better options available to you that will pay you properly for your time and effort - as any professional deserves.

Enough said.



Freelance Writing Companies Insulting Writers


As much as I love being a freelance writer and being able to write every day there are times when I'm simply disgusted by the way some companies treat writers.

I've been having payment difficulties with a particular content-creation company I work for. I've been with them almost a year now and at first they paid us on time every time - straight into PayPal every Monday. Great.

Then the pay starting dropping to every second week. Then once a month. Now we're down to getting paid whenever we beg for it on their forum. It's humiliating and embarrassing.

After waiting and begging for 4 weeks, we finally got paid today - but that payment came with a direct insult to all their writers.

You see, the management posted a comment that basically told us that any writer suspected of being fraudulent had payments suspended. (um... that's all their writers, by the way).

I've been freelancing for more than 6 years. I wouldn't still be in business if I was fraudulent in any way. My customers wouldn't keep coming back and I wouldn't get so much repeat business if there was any doubt as to my integrity as a freelance writer. My content is always individually researched and written to a high standard. I haven't even had any complaints in the past! And now this...

To be accused of "suspected fraudulence" is just a slap in the face for daring to request the payment that was rightfully due to me after completing the work they wanted. I'm offended and I'm annoyed - and I'm choosing to write content for this company's direct competitor from now on instead of spending any further time with a company that first doesn't pay and then insults the writers who make their profit for them when those writers dare to ask for their payments!

What a shame.

You see, I like content-creation work. It's quick, simple work. If you can type fast then you can easily churn out 5 or 6 of thiese quick little pieces in an hour after the "real" article writing work is done for the day.

On a normal week I'll do 5 of these little pieces a day, spread across two different content providers. They'll never be my full-time gig. But they do provide me with a bit of extra income and they also give me a mental break from the intensive research of feature articles for magazines.

I guess all my content work will now be exclusively sent to just the one company that really does pay on time - every time.



Freelance Jobs to Avoid - DataEntryJobs.us

LOL :)

I just had a great laugh. It wasn't just a bit of a giggle. It was an actual long, guffawing belly-laugh.

And I didn't even visit a joke site. I'm still grinning while I type this - that's how amused I am!

I'll let you in on the joke so you can laugh a bit too.

I receive quite a few emails from people asking me about different freelance job offers they've seen on the 'net and when I get time I go and check them out. Some I close in disgust, some I investigate further and some.... well, some just make me laugh so hard it brings tears to my eyes.

Someone emailed me a "job listing" for a site by the name of DataEntryJobs.us, which I visited to check out further.

I started smiling on the very first page, but it wasn't until I reached the "Content Writer Jobs" page that I began laughing in earnest.

Here's a snippet of the joke... um... I mean sales spiel...

Content Writing Jobs - is one of the best content writing job on internet. People who really wants to spend there time in putting the best contents on internet here is the right place. All you've to do here is arrange the different contents from different companies database to their online server. This Job is no time consuming, No work Load, Nothing...

I'm giggling again. Seriously, this is a content creation website, offering their services to webmasters all over the world and this tripe is the standard of quality on their own site? Please. Spare me.

If you're not giggling as much as I am yet then maybe this choice little piece of quality writing will get your funny-bone active:

We designed, this Content Writing Jobs in such a manner, that you won't feel any type of work load, burden or not even you've to worry about the accuracy. Daily we get atleast 500+ content writing Job from world wide.

Now that's funny. Are you seeing the humorous side of this post at all yet?

This 'company' is advertising for new content writers with the promise of plenty of work. I'm guessing the testing for new writers won't be so difficult - especially when the webmaster can barely write legible English anyway! LOL.

Content Writer is the best Jobs we think. Its very interesting, and many cases we found that our candidates like you who did great content writer jobs are hired by different companies and now working for them as a part time and full time and making massive income. This content writer job, is very good and career oriented.

No, I didn't giggle at that last snippet. I couldn't giggle because I have no idea what it means. After all, it's not written in any type of English I've ever seen before!

You know what? I feel like I'm a presenter at a freak show. I'm giggling at the tragedy we're witnessing but at the same time I'm horrified and appalled. It's a bit like watching a train wreck happening in slow-motion.

Watch carefully....

Q) Is there any type of Accuracy going to be counted, or what If I see any spelling mistakes in the contents?
A) There is no accuracy here, as you gonna use the contents from their database, so even if there is mistake in it, you don't have to worry.
However, if you want you can make spelling corrections. But its all very rare things, 99% there won't be any mistakes,

LOL!! Stop laughing. This is serious. ;)

Of course I'm saving the best parts for last. The bit that really made me laugh out loud is on the FAQ page. If you intend on working as a freelance writer at all, then you'll have seen enough freelance job sites to know what's okay and what's laughably stupid.

DataEntryJobs.us definitely falls in the latter category.

You might think of it as the punchline in all this silliness - but it's worth it...

Registration Fees [Non Refundable]
Professional Content Writers (Pro Writers) - $ 55 or Rs.2000/-
Featured Content Writers - $ 95 or Rs.3500/-

Oh my, now I'm laughing uncontrollably again. They actually want writers to PAY them before getting any work? HA HA!!

Final word - DataEntryJobs.us is definitely a great candidate for the "Jobs to Avoid" bin.

Enough said



Non-Paying Freelance Clients

When you work from home and rely on clients paying you for work you've done, it really bites hard when they forget to pay!

So what do you do when you're faced with a client who won't pay on time?

Although I've only been faced with two clients in the past who haven't paid, I'm currently faced with my third client who is currently 3 weeks overdue with a rather decent sum of money.

I'm grateful I have more than one client with payments on the way in - so technically the loss of that one account isn't going to hurt me financially - but it's the principle that counts. (this is where having multiple income streams really helps!)

You see, this client owes me payment for twenty-two articles (yes, that's right ... 22 articles). Nice order huh? I thought so at the time too. Considering they paid for the previous 20 I wrote for them on time I felt quite confident in researching, writing and submitting this set of articles too.

After a week with no payment I figured I'd email them and remind them of my outstanding invoice. They responded saying they'd be a couple more days as they'd had problems with payment systems at their end.

When payment had reached two weeks overdue, I sent another polite email to the client requesting payment. This time there was no response at all.

Thinking maybe my email had gotten lost in cyber-space, I emailed again the next day. Again there was no response.

Getting a little worried, I jumped onto the client's forum and found several writers complaining of non-payment. More than worried, I did a Google search and found several other complaints of the same thing.


Before I was a freelance writer I was a banker. While I was working there I learned that banks are a business - just as a freelance writer is a business. A bank will happily charge a default penalty fee to clients for any overdue accounts - just as I do with my infrequent late-paying freelance clients!

I've now emailed my invoice to the clients again, along with a friendly reminder that the account is still outstanding and I've added a late penalty fee to the total they owe me. I've also added a gentle hint that the account will be sent to a collection agency if funds are not forthcoming within 5 working days.

Personally, I think the client is gone - with my articles! - but you can't blame me for trying.

From now on, before accepting any more assignments from clients I'll be sure to dig around on Google for any information at all!