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How to Launch an Online Writing Business

freelance writing

Online business idea: Online writing business

Are you an avid writer? Do you enjoy the flexibility to set your own hours doing what you enjoy? You should consider becoming an online freelance writer.

Writing for an online audience has a number of perks. Online writing is one of those businesses you can get into without leaving your house.

Getting started as an online writer

What goals do you intend to set for your online writing business? Don’t launch your business before you can answer that question. As you start to figure out your goals, make sure you can answer the following:

1. What kind of writing do you want to get into?
There are many styles of online writing. Some writers provide SEO copywriting services to help websites drive their search engine traffic. Others writers specialize in writing engaging blog articles. Still others write sales copy. There is no reason you can’t write in a variety of fields. The important thing to do is find your own voice and know what works for you. The most important thing is to make sure that you don’t try to market yourself for writing services you don’t have the right skills for. Recognize your best talents so you can put your best foot forward with all your clients.

2. What topic do you want to write on?
You need to know what kinds of topics are going to work best for you. As a freelance writer myself, I have written on personal finance, entrepreneurship, news in the medical industry, internet marketing, online poker and a variety of other topics. You should obviously consider the topics you are familiar with or have some background in. However, you don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to these niches. You can easily educate yourself on a number of different topics and get started on amazing projects. Just make sure that you don’t pass yourself off as an expert in a regulated field that you don’t have the credentials for.

3. What can you offer your clients?
You want to be realistic about what you can do for the people you work for. This isn’t only a matter of practicality, but also one of ethics. When you market yourself, you need to focus on what you really have to offer. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.

Once you have identified what you want as an online writer, you need to get started.

Pursuing your career

Starting a career as an online writer is going to take a lot of work. You might find it is a little hard getting started, but you will definitely find it worth your while. You just need to have a little patience.

First, you are going to need to create a portfolio of writings samples. I got started by writing a few blog posts on other sites. Many sites will want to see samples of your work before even looking at a submission they don’t intend to pay you for. Often, the easiest way to get started is to create your own blog.

The bottom line is that you need to start your writing career by actually writing!

Once you have started your career as a writer, there are a variety of ways you can start locating clients. You can consider the following:

1. Go to online marketplaces such as elance or freelancer.com
I personally don’t use these sites, because they have a lot of clients looking to pay low rates for the work they are asking. However, many people have gotten good results from them.

2. Look at jobs boards at sites like Problogger
These sites offer a lot of great opportunities for bloggers and copywriters. The gigs tend to pay better and usually result in a long-term work project. When you applying for these sites, you want to have at least three compelling writing samples to showcase.

3. Start networking
One of the greatest ways to get in touch with other bloggers and sell your work is through networking. If you are working as an online writer, I suggest you start your networking process on social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the obvious places to start. You can also participate in blogging communities and engage with bloggers directly. Once you’ve established a firm connection with other great bloggers, you can pitch your services. You will need to take more initiative, but you can get many clients that aren’t asking for their services. Many great bloggers don’t waste their time posting on jobs boards or going to elance. They want great writers and will look for people within their own contacts.

Freelance writing can be an awesome business to get into. You will need to put in a lot of work and make sure you deliver excellent results to your clients. As with any business, you will get out whatever you put into it.

About the Author: Kalen Smith is a lifelong Internet entrepreneur and the Founder of Onlinerookies.com where he helps other entrepreneurs learn Internet marketing strategies. He has also developed a variety of Internet marketing research studies for entrepreneurs striving to grow their business.

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  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Ivan Widjaya

    Cheers for the tip, David!

  • http://www.disasterrecoveryplantemplates.com/ David

    on iwriter.com you can write as much as you can and earn some money. prices are very good and if you didn’t know about it before i’m glad to help you :)

  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Ivan Widjaya

    rachael,

    Indeed – but be cautious: Don’t let yourself stuck in price wars…

  • http://www.paperswritingservice.com rachael

    I totally agree with you. sites like elance or freelancer.com offer a good platform for writers.

  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Noobpreneur

    Amandah,

    Agreed. I my opinion, it’s all about mindset. If you want to be successful, then consider your freelance writing as a business; doing so offers leverages that pure freelancers and part-timers don’t enjoy.

    Ivan

  • http://www.Savvy-Writer.com Amandah

    I like how you added the word ‘business’ in your headline. Freelance writing is a business. The majority of newbies don’t understand this. Freelance writers prepare contracts, quotes, and proposals. Freelance writers are responsible for invoicing clients and collecting monies. Sales and marketing are a part of a freelance writing business. Newbies who don’t like to sell or market may not enjoy having a writing career. I think it’s important for people to speak with ‘seasoned’ writers before they embark on a writing career.

  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Noobpreneur

    Ken,

    Indeed – it’s a lot of work; but it’s well worth it!

  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Noobpreneur

    Johnson,

    Great tips. Indeed, many online writers I know are complaining that they now work for peanuts. Well, the key is – exactly just like what you’ve mentioned – positioning, via charging a premium price for your work. I’ve seen that worked really well: Premium laundromats, premium business service centers, etc. And believe it or not, valuing yourself high will attract clients who also value your services high – and will likely to form a long term partnership with you.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • http://keemarketing.com -Johnson.

    Launching an online writing business is one of those things that you just have to go out and do. I started it back out in 2009 and it ended up being one of my most successful online business ventures to date. Sure, I had a few one off customers, but I made more money than I ever did reviewing Clickbank products.

    Here’s another big tip to add to this post based on my own experience, if I may: don’t be afraid to charge a premium price. Here’s the story.

    I needed a break from all the writing. When I’d had a fair few months off and was ready to return to it, a long-time customer came back and asked whether I was still writing. I said, “yes, but my price is now $4/100 words.” He initially refused and then I told him something along the lines of, “OK then, best of luck finding someone else.”

    I was ready to walk away from a client and that ATTRACTED him to me. It is scary, but doing that one thing helped me make about $3,000 dollars in profit more than what I would have earned. He also referred me to a business colleague, who’s still with me. Value yourself highly and so will your customers!

  • http://www.thefreelancertoday.com Ken

    Great article. I really like the fact that you mention, “it takes a lot of work.” Online freelance writing is a great way to earn income from home. But it does take a heck of a lot of work to get started. Don’t throw out one-off gigs either, as they can often add a little cash while you build up a steady client base.