It sounds like a fantasy to get paid to do things like writing jingles for money, or being able to nab one of the seemingly mythical greeting card writer jobs. Yet, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. says that there were more than 128k people working in that way back in 2012, and the number has grown since then.
They explain that the work of a “freelance writer” involves the creation of “written content for advertisements, books, magazines, movie and television scripts, songs, and online publications.” It can be done from anywhere the worker has a computer and good Internet access, and that it allows for one of the most flexible schedules imaginable.
What that means to me is that it could also become a very lucrative “side gig” that lets you work at any time, from home (or wherever else you fancy), and earn a substantial income doing so. If you are sincerely dedicated to paying down your debts, or eliminating them altogether, without also giving up your day job, finding one of the countless writing and freelance proofreading jobs from home may be for you.
Of course, you might have already realized that there are substantial differences between freelance proofreading jobs from home,writing jingles for money, and doing various greeting card writer jobs, among the many other ways to make money from your words. That means you need to begin your search for the right ways to make money writing or proofreading at home by deciding just what tasks you have the skills and/or desire to do.
Though you might think, “I’ll just offer ‘content’ for websites”, that can be amazingly wide ranging. Will you write blogs for stay at home moms? Maybe you can write DIY articles for mechanics? Will you emphasize scripts for YouTube videos for home chefs? You see where this is going…
To make sure you actually start earning money from writing or proofreading at home, you need to get specific. In other words, “don’t be that person who is ready to write about anything. Focus only on topics related to your industry because niche bloggers and writers are always in great demand.”
As a simple illustration, let’s say you are actually good at writing jingles and rhymes – you can put yourself on sites like Fiverr to earn a few fast bucks creating everything from rhyming love poems to commercial catch phrases. Yet, what if you are someone who is pretty adept with creative writing? You could use the exact same site to offer short stories, just be sure you know how many words you can offer for the five dollar limit that the Fiverr site requires.
Expanding on Your Strengths
Once you choose the niche (or niches) that are the best fit, you can then take one of two possible paths.
- You can write for individual clients, OR
- You can start submitting (and/or editing and proofreading) content for websites and blogs.
Which is right for you? Honestly, either can work out. If you have time to kill, you can go the first route, building an actual business, client list and reputation that enables you to start establishing a sort of “track record” that lets you enter that higher earnings bracket.
Websites like Upwork are great for this, but they are also pretty competitive. Yet, using it means winning bids on authentic projects, creating a good reputation with each project completed, and being able to earn top dollar as time passes. Even nicer is that this could actually be the way to work with words as a “side gig” while eventually making the highest possible wages doing it. The BLS said that an experienced freelancer is looking at more than $60k per year, or a rate of around $40 per hour, or more.
Keep in mind that it means creating strong proposals, understanding what to charge and even doing things like building your own website and having materials to submit as samples to get gigs. That’s great, but this article is emphasizing doing stuff like freelance proofreading jobs from home,writing jingles for money, and even greeting card writer jobs as a side gig.
In other words, you want work that pays quickly and without a lot of hurtles and hassles. The good news is that there are a few simple ways to do this.
Revenue Sharing vs. Pay Up Front Options
If you are serious about writing as a lucrative sideline, you can may want to consider articles. This is because there are sites that use a model known as revenue sharing, and this means you get a kickback for any “view or ad click from your post. This method can earn you some pocket money” and continue doing so over time.
I would not say they are ideal for long term earnings as you would have to constantly strive to get top ranking material, but it is a great place to start earning and discovering how to write best for the web.
What are the best sites of this kind?
Hubpages – One of the most famous of these revenue sharing sites, it describes itself as an “open community of passionate people…Interacting and informing. Sharing words, pictures and videos. Asking questions. Finding answers. It’s a rich and rewarding experience with a unique set of tools and resources to help Hubbers find and build an audience, easily create articles, and earn all sorts of rewards, from accolades to ad revenue. Over 41,000,000 million people explore The HubPages Network every month.”
You can use this to build your “brand” and earn income as you learn the ins and outs of freelance writing. It is ideal for those with a strong niche, but is also good if you like to research hot and trending topics and write concise and valuable content that emphasizes it.
Dailytwocents – An article site in which writers are able to share articles about anything in which they have knowledge, and get paid for it. Unlike Hubpages and other revenue sharing sites, those who contribute to this one do not need an Amazon or Adsense account in order to receive payment. They just get paid 1/2 cent for every view of their content.
ShoutMeLoud – Described as the site for those who want to become their own bosses through their writing, it is a unique space to post work. The site even says it has “changed the lives of over thousands of individuals around the globe. They are now earning money from their blog and have become their own boss.”
InfoBarrel – This site allows you to generate income via the use of the Google AdSense program and your work. It is a content submission site that accepts everything from articles to sound clips (i.e. those jingles mentioned at the start of this article).
Then, there are the pay up-front options or fixed rate sites. These may require an application and approval fee, or they may need to have editorial work done before they can accept something for publication. These are less of a revenue building opportunity, but if you are eager to create a solid reputation, they are good options.
iWriter – Earnings can go as high as $80 for 500 words and writers can submit as much are as little as they wish. You select the content and niches that are a better match to your abilities and develop a solid audience out of it.
Listverse – This site has a very simple “write and get paid” option that offers up $100 for each article submitted and accepted. Their terms are great and all you have to do is the leg work to find out what might be appealing to readers of the site at any given time, and then write a witty and appealing item to sell. Get paid to make lists! TopTenz is a similar site.
Pukitz – This site is a hit or miss option, but one to definitely consider. They take unpaid guests blogs at any time, allowing you to build an audience for free, and when they do buy new content, it is some of the most diverse imaginable.
TextBroker – This site is a lot like its name implies, offering up the best content at the most competitive pricing. It boasts clients like Staples and Yoast, which actually purchase the content freelance writers submit and it makes material available in up to 15 different languages. If you have a second language that you can proficiently write in, this could be a solid way to monetize it.
Dotdash – Almost everyone you know has visited one of their sites, and some of them rank in the top 100 most visited sites on the web each year. Becoming one of their experts does take a few hoop-jumping steps, but is well worth it as your work can show up on VeryWell, theSpruce, Lifewire, tripsavvy, toughtco, and thebalance. They were once known as about.com but have since expanded widely into some of the most heavily used content on the web.
Other sites that are willing to pay up front for articles submitted and accepted include TheDollarStretcher, ReverbPress (which is quite rigid on its policies, insisting that you submit on a regular basis), and the impressive CollegeHumor site that pays a hefty $25 for every post and offers bonuses.
There are always options for the pay up front sites, and you might do an online search for premium portals that pay contributors for articles and blogs. In fact, a recent article on Minterest.com indicated that there are more than three dozen sites willing to pay you up front for content, with some offering as much as $300 for a single blog. What that means is you want to make a point of doing at least one weekly search of sites eager to purchase content.
A Few Final Thoughts
Of course, if you are eager to do freelance proofreading jobs from home, you can do that too. As I said, sites like Upwork let you look for specific niche jobs, and you can simply type the words “proofreading” or “editing” into their search engine to find people looking for your skill set.
Should you work with websites that accept pitches and not completed articles? That is up to you, but remember that there are sites that are ready to hand you a share of the earnings or a flat out, fixed fee for completed works. If your goal is to refine your skills and build a career, there is much to be gained from working from spec – i.e. making a proposal and getting an agreed upon fee for the work. However, as I have already reiterated, this piece is looking at a side gig that pays for the time committed. There are many places to go if you need a quick $50 to $100 and have the writing chops to do it. In fact, the MakeALivingWriting website publishes an annual list of opportunities for writers looking to earn $50 and up without first submitting proposals or pitches.
Their most recent list proves that you can find opportunities in writing about finance, career and business, essays, parenting, health and more. The point is to get yourself out there and start writing. You will benefit greatly from a bit of market research, whether you are working with pay up front options or revenue sharing. It helps to understand what online readers are interested in learning more about and then offering an original and unique article, blog or other piece.
And you greeting card and jingle writers? There are many resources just for you. Try sites like Slogan Slingers and ever reliable Upwork to find jobs for those who write jingles and even greeting cards! The good news is that you can make money at home by writing and proofreading all kinds of fun and fascinating content.