Make Money Writing Online, One–Freelancing: The Dream

So, you’re ready to learn how to make money writing online. 

Me, too. 

No, just kidding I really am going to share everything I know about this with you in this series of posts that is going to become an ebook.  (You can read the introduction here.)

I want to start by talking about the dream of freelance writing.  Why are writers drawn to the freelance life?  Because, lets face it, anyone who enjoys writing has probably dreamed of chucking the day job and going freelance.  Do any of these reasons ring a bell?

  • Independence
  • Prestige
  • Meet cool people
  • Write about interesting topics
  • Make your own schedule
  • Flexible lifestyle
  • Work as much or as little as you want

All of these, and more, are excellent reasons to turn to freelance writing.  Isn’t it a wonderful fantasy to see yourself getting up in the morning and heading to your computer to work in your jammies?  To not have to fuss with work attire, or hassle with the commute?  To work at a career where you can choose how much or how little time you spend on the job?  Or what topics you can write about?

Freelance writing can give you all of these benefits. But before you quit your day job and cash in your 401k, you might also want to consider if you are suited for freelance writing.  Think about the following:

  • Do you have money stashed away to live on while getting started?
  • Are you a self-starter?  Can you work on your own?
  • Are you organized?  Can you keep track of things?
  • Do you have room in your home for an office?
  • Are you flexible?
  • Do you have a curiosity about the world?
  • Do you have basic writing skills?

Possessing some or all of these attributes will help you in your freelancing career.  But if you don’t have any of them, you might want to just look for a better full-time job.  Freelancing is not for everyone, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart.  (Ask anybody in my family, who will tell you first hand how often they’ve heard me complain about waiting for a check or a paypal payment!)

Now I’m going to get specific, and make the distinction between a traditional freelance career and a career writing for online markets.  The good news is that the internet is a hungry, hungry beast, and what it is hungry for is words.  Pages and pages of ’em.  Somebody has to write those words, and why not you?  So the good news is that there is a huge demand for online writing.

You knew there was bad news, right?  Well, here it is: some online writing is so poorly paid that you might as well work in a sweat shop or iron clothes for a living.  I’m not kidding. 

However, there are ways around the pesky matter of low pay, and I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about them we go along.  And, let me tell you right here, right now, there are also benefits that set a career writing online apart from a traditional freelance writing career.

I’ll talk about those benefits in the next post, when I look at the reality of a freelance writing career.  Where does the dream actually intersect with the reality?  Where does that fantasy bubble get burst?  Why focus on internet writing as opposed to traditional print media? 

Stay tuned.  And feel free to post questions or comments.

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