Article writing is a profitable freelance job opportunity, but it's also highly competitive. Your goal should not only be to find freelance writing gigs, but it should be to keep them. With so many writers competing for writing opportunities, it would be foolish to think that once you land a freelance article writing job, you'll always have that as an income source. You also have to learn to manage your time, so that the money you earn for writing the article is worth your time. Here are some guidelines to help you with this delicate balancing act:
1. Write on the Subjects You Know About
The further away you stray from your area of expertise, the harder it gets to write articles. It takes longer too, which means you could lose money on an article, rather than make money. For example, if a writing assignment on a subject matter you're familiar with pays $15 and it takes 30 minutes to write, then you'll have made money. If you select a writing assignment on a subject matter that's foreign to you that pays $15 and takes 2 hours to write, then you're losing money.
When you're first starting out and have few choices for assignments, you may have little choice but to write those assignments to get money. What you need to do though is check the job boards every day and apply for jobs that fit your knowledge base.
2. Write for Upfront Pay Sites
There's a debate as to whether revenue sharing agreements benefit writers in the long run. The agreement between the company and the writer is that the writer will get paid based on page views according to the ad revenue generated by the article. The writer is hoping that they will make money from writing an article once, but get paid on a monthly basis. While few writers may have actually made money this way, it's not the best path for profitable article writing. Let's face it, you have bills, taxes, food to put on the table, rent and other expenses due while you hope and wait for some of your articles to be such a big hit that they will generate thousands of dollars per month. It's better to find freelance jobs offer to pay you for your time upon approval of the articles.
3. Minimize Rewrites
The more you have to rewrite articles, the less profitable article writing becomes. You'll soon learn which websites or clients to write less for or steer clear of, because of the many complaints from writers of unnecessary rewrites. It's sad, but some companies have it as their business model to send as many rewrites back as possible to delay paying writers. Once you figure out what you're dealing with, you can determine where to focus more of your time to minimize the chances of rewriting the same article twice.
4. Follow Editorial Guidelines and Feedback
Don't ignore writer's guidelines that a company or clients gives you to review. You'll write better articles and avoid the need for rewrites if you give them what they want. Pay attention to feedback, even if you're not asked to rewrite articles, and follow the editor's suggestions and guidelines. Your job is to be profitable in article writing, and that involves giving editors what they ask for, as long as it doesn't conflict with your ethics.
Once you learn profitable article writing, and make money doing it, you can consider building a small writing team. You may be able to stop writing and work on project management and editing instead.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.