Work at Home Writing

The growth of the internet, especially over the last ten years, has led to a huge increase in the number of people turning to writing as a means of earning or supplementing their living. The ability to write a document electronically and deliver it online within minutes to the customer, has led to an explosion in the number of working opportunities available to writers. The flexibility that a writing career can offer when combined with working at home is attractive. As a result, competition is fierce, with more writers entering the marketplace every day from all over the world.

With this mind, it's imperative that you ensure your writing is of the highest possible standard to ensure you attract customers with your high quality output.

As well as good quality writing, you'll need to get a flavour of the market that you are aiming for. If your forte is fiction, you might target magazines that publish short stories. Alternatively, you may have a more practical and informative approach to writing and be more suited to technical writing, copywriting, web content or article writing.

Take a look at some of the yearbooks available through our Reference Books page, to help you assess your particular market.

Web Content and Copywriting

The term copywriting is actually applied to sales or promotional writing but is nowadays also associated with the writing of web page content. However you see copywriting, there's no doubt that the opportunities to produce web page content either from home or otherwise as a freelance writer are growing.

If you can write articles, visit constant-content.com. This is a hugely successful site where you can sell articles for use on websites either as unique content, for use only once, or as reprint articles for use on many websites. The site has good advice in the author forums on how to sell more articles, alongside some statistics that show if you have as few as five articles accepted, you have a 97% chance of making at least one sale.

Take a look at our web content writing page to read a bit more on this subject.

Commissioned or Uncommissioned?

If you are trying to sell an article without a prior commission, you will need to research your target publication or market. It's important to ensure that the article you write will fit with the style, type and subject matter of the publication's other pieces. The article will need to be something that the editor would want to publish, possibly related to some current hot topic or significant upcoming anniversary.

Whatever your specialist area, it's essential to understand what is saleable writing and what is not. If you are taking on a technical writing contract, the content, style and depth of treatment of your work should be entirely in accordance with your customer’s requirement and the commission you have been given. For this reason, you would generally not be able to produce a piece of technical writing and then decide who to sell it to.

If you have received a commission for work, this should specify the subject matter, the length and possibly the required style for the publication that has commissioned the work.

Two excellent resources, well worth perusing regularly, are online-writing-jobs.com and Poewar.com which both have comprehensive lists of job postings that you can look through.

Freelance Contract Sites

A booming type of site is the direct contact/contract site. These sites started out generally for software coders but now carry all types of work including content writing for websites and editing or proofreading contracts. Some of the most popular ones at the moment are:

You will notice that there is stiff competition on these sites especially from Asia and particularly the Indian subcontinent, where prices quoted can be much lower than those of equivalent specialists in North America or Western Europe. They are well worth visiting and watching though, as new projects are posted every day and the demand for native English speaking writers is very high.

You will be able to tell very quickly, looking at the pricing, whether or not this is a market area that you are willing to operate in.

Ad Revenue Related Sites

There is an increasing number of websites claiming to pay you directly for your ad-hoc writing these days. Unfortunately, the sums involved are generally minimal and are invariably linked to the website's page advertising revenues. Generally you will submit a piece of writing or an article which will be automatically published on a page within the website. This page will generate advertising revenue and you will receive a percentage of this revenue through time, based on the number of visitors to the page. The likelihood of ever earning significant amounts of money this way is very small. These sites can be helpful though, if you are looking for subjects to practice your writing on and get your name established on the internet. Three very popular sites are:

Note: Associated Content will only pay residents of the USA and so if you are outside of the USA, it's a waste of time.

More Reading

Read our Where, When and How and Getting Organised pages for more tips on how to approach freelancing and work at home writing in general.

Freelance Charges and Rates

Can't think what rates to charge your customers? Have a read at How Much Should I Charge as a Freelance Writer?

Click here for more writing related articles.

If you're interested in establishing a passive income through your writing, or if you want to find out more about passive incomes, take a look at Passive Writing Income.