Let’s be honest, the #1 reason to start a freelance writing business is to make money. Right? Of course, you will enjoy a flexible schedule, be able to work from wherever you want, and pursue your passion of writing, but if it’s not paying the bills, then what’s the purpose?
As a freelance writer, it can be difficult at first to find gigs that pay, especially when you are first trying to build a clientele, and don’t have any repeat business.
In order to help you avoid wasting any time, here are some ways I do not recommend trying to make money. The reason I don’t recommend any of the following places is because they are either over-saturated, don’t pay enough, or are a scam. Here are ways to avoid losing money as a freelance writer.
1. Say “NO” to Penny-per-word Articles
Any place that is asking you to write for a penny/word is a total sham, especially if you are a good writer. This includes low grade SEO content, content mills, or hired-out projects that don’t pay well. Think of this, if you write a 500 word article, you’ll only make $5 on that article. In my opinion, you should make no less than $20 for writing a 250-500 word SEO article, and you should make no less than $50 for writing a high quality 500 word blog post. NO LESS! That means, that should be your low base.
The only exception to this rule is if you are just starting out and want experience, or if you can whip out a penny/word article in less than 10 minutes. If you can write 500 words of SEO content in 10 minutes, and work for an hour, then the math ends up being pretty good.
Just don’t sell yourself, or other freelance writers, short.
2. Content Mills Are A Joke
Another type of freelance writing gig I try and avoid is any content mill like Elance/oDesk, Guru, and the like. These types of sites are so over saturated with freelance writers that you could spend all day bidding on projects at low prices and never get a hit. Once you do get a project, chances are you will have bid so low that it’s not even worth it.
That being said, if you are looking to hire a freelance writer (say to help you design your blog), this is a great place to find someone to help, because…you can get high quality work from freelancers who use these sites.
Is that bad? Maybe it’s bad to say don’t use them, unless you want to hire a sucker to do some practically free work for you. Yikes. Well, whatever, it’s true.
3. International Clients Can Be Tricky
It may seem cool to drum up business from an international client, and sometimes, it really is. However, make sure you get full payment in advance from international clients, and that the conversion rate makes sense. Unfortunately, I learned this one the hard way. I have completed thousands of dollars of work for international clients, all for them to run and hide when it came time to pay the bill.
If you avoid these types of freelance writing gigs and avoid losing money as a freelance writer, you will certainly learn how to avoid losing money as a freelance writer.
For more information on how to make money as a freelance writer, check out my eBook. You’re going to love it!