There are many, many ways to make a living as a writer online. You can start your own blog, write e-books, work as a ghost writer (selling post or e-books for someone else's blog), or supply articles for content portals. With the changing face of the media industry, you can also write articles and editorials for online newspapers and magazines. However, working from home as a freelance writer requires a lot of discipline and determination if you are to become successful.
Create a Schedule
Working from home presents a number of temptations that can derail your productivity. Pretty soon, the flexible schedule that enticed you to work at home becomes so "flexible" that it is non-existent. Stay on track by creating a schedule, and stick to it the same way you would if you were punching a clock. Your schedule doesn't have to be from 9 to 5, nor does it have to be the same every day. Plan your weekly schedule according to the work you know you have to do and the personal commitments you expect.
As a freelance writer, your reputation and credibility are key to your success. Ensure that you maintain a good reputation by delivering work on time. Keeping a schedule can help you meet deadlines. In addition, be sure that you don't over commit. It can be tempting to say yes to every offer that you get -- especially since the nature of freelance work is so erratic, and you never know when you will get your next job -- but don't accept work if you don't time in your schedule. Even if you're able to finish it on time, the quality of the work is likely to suffer, which will also hurt your reputation and your ability to get more jobs in the future.
Set Appropriate Rates
When you're just starting out, it can be tempting to set your rates very low so that you can get more work. Though you won't be able to start out charging $30 an hour, you should take a comprehensive look at your expenses and determine a reasonable rate -- both for you and your clients. Determine your living expenses and decide on a yearly salary. For example, if you want to make about $30,000 a year -- a modest salary -- you should divide that by 52 weeks, then divide that figure by 40 hours. Your rate would be just about $14.50 per hour. Keep in mind that as a self-employed writer, you are also responsible for paying your own taxes, purchasing your own health insurance, and saving for your own retirement plan. Keep all these things in mind as you set your rate. Over time, you will be able to raise it.
Always Look for Work
Even if you have a full schedule, always look for work. Many jobs that you find will be temporary in nature or will be on a project basis. You don't want to wait for those jobs to end before you start looking for new jobs. The availability of work is too erratic to count on finding a job as soon as your last one ends. Always be looking for new opportunities.
Do you work as a freelance writer, either full-time or part-time? What are some of your tips for success?
Tracy Sitchen is a veteran coupon clipper, stay at home Mom, and aspiring writer. While she loves shopping, she loves the chase of the deal even more! She’s recently been writing about City Museum coupons along with McDonalds coupons over at her blog where she shares deals and discounts to help every day people save money.