Make Money Freelancing Writing

Pencil paperYou don’t have to be a master novelist or a grammar nerd to build a profitable career in freelance writing–you just have to be motivated to make it work. In fact, many writers stumbled upon their freelance career while in pursuit of other work. There are countless newspapers, magazines, website and blogs waiting for someone like you to put your thoughts into publishable content, so why wait? Instead of using your free time to catch up on the latest DVD releases or watching seasons of old TV shows, sell those discs on musicMagpie and start a rewarding and well-paying writing career.

1. Pick a niche. If you want to make it in the wide and varied world of publishing, the most important skill you’ll need is not writing or editing but expertise. If you’re really passionate about television, become an entertainment writer. If you like to fix cars, become an automotive blogger. Or if you love to travel, start your own travel blog. No one wants to read material written by someone who doesn’t actually know the subject matter, so start with a niche. Writing and editing can be taught, but a thorough knowledge of your topic must be cultivated first.

2. Write for free. It sounds counterintuitive to write for free if you plan to make money from this career. But to start, give certain web sites and publications an idea of what you can actually do with your writing skills. Start your own personal blog, or volunteer to guest post on sites that get a lot of readership. This kind of “pro bono” work gains you a following, which is how you can monetize your writing. Once you have loyal readers, they will want access to your work no matter where it’s published in the future, which makes you valuable to editors.

3. Get social. Joining social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have several advantages for writers. These networks can help you find new publications to pitch your writing to. They can also help you attract more readers as online users find your profile. And they might even prove to be a great source of information while you conduct research for your writing.

4. Read other writers’ work. To make sure that you keep a competitive edge as a freelance writer, it’s important to know what’s going on in the industry for which you write. Develop a list of websites, books, magazines and writers that you should be reading frequently. This will help you develop new ideas and generate more topics to write about, which in turn will encourage editors to seek you out.

5. Sign up for online marketplaces where writers and editors meet. These sites have a wealth of posters in search of freelance writers, but they won’t do you a whole lot of good if you don’t develop all the other skills you’ll need first. Once you master the first four steps, however, sites like Elance and ProBlogger could make a big difference in sustaining your writing career.