Question / Discussion Freelance writing for a beginner advice?

nate99

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Hey just thought it was worth asking on here.
Any advice/info for a beginner.
Looked at the Fiverr/Upwork.
Any other stuff I may have missed.
Hard to get consistent earnings?

Thanks

Nate
 

Jon

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Hey just thought it was worth asking on here.
Any advice/info for a beginner.
Looked at the Fiverr/Upwork.
Any other stuff I may have missed.
Hard to get consistent earnings?

Thanks

Nate
I would say sites like Upwork / Fiverr etc are great when you are starting out.

You do have to accept you may have to do 'lowball' offers while you build up experience but further down the line you can charge more.

Having a niche is always a good thing as well, what can YOU write well about that other's can't?

I know the likes of @Iain @EdibleDormouse and even our very own @katykicker does paid freelance writing so may have some advice
 
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EdibleDormouse

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I would say sites like Upwork / Fiverr etc are great when you are starting out.

You do have to accept you may have to do 'lowball' offers while you build up experience but further down the line you can charge more.

Having a niche is always a good thing as well, what can YOU write well about that other's can't?

I know the likes of @Iain @EdibleDormouse and even our very own @katykicker does paid freelance writing so may have some advice
Hi @nate99 - message me if you want advice. I mostly work on People Per Hour with the occasional dip into Fiverr (I only have one client there, but it is regular, it's a very niche subject - opera singer autographs and memorabilia - and it is very well-paid). PPH can be a strange beast (although it works for me!) so if you want help setting up a profile there and getting a start, let me know and I'll help all I can.

One thing I will say here, so everyone can see is don't be tempted to lowball to get the job. The standard rate for 500 words is £20-25, so stick to this. Don't be distracted by other writers bidding less - they're either trying to get their foot in the door (and going about it the wrong way!) or they're working for a churn farm somewhere for $1 per hour. You get to recognise the signs. You also need to factor in site and PayPal fees to make sure you're not earning below minimum wage.

You WILL speed up. I can turn out 500 words in half an hour or so if it's a topic I either know a lot about, or know how to research quickly.

PS: I've just done my tax return for 2019-2020, and I earned £7000 from PPH alone (and in the 'before times', I wasn't even remotely doing it as a full-time job). It's possible to make a good living if you stick at it.
 
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Jon

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Fatjoe and copify also hire writers endlessly
 
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nate99

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Hi @nate99 - message me if you want advice. I mostly work on People Per Hour with the occasional dip into Fiverr (I only have one client there, but it is regular, it's a very niche subject - opera singer autographs and memorabilia - and it is very well-paid). PPH can be a strange beast (although it works for me!) so if you want help setting up a profile there and getting a start, let me know and I'll help all I can.

One thing I will say here, so everyone can see is don't be tempted to lowball to get the job. The standard rate for 500 words is £20-25, so stick to this. Don't be distracted by other writers bidding less - they're either trying to get their foot in the door (and going about it the wrong way!) or they're working for a churn farm somewhere for $1 per hour. You get to recognise the signs. You also need to factor in site and PayPal fees to make sure you're not earning below minimum wage.

You WILL speed up. I can turn out 500 words in half an hour or so if it's a topic I either know a lot about, or know how to research quickly.

PS: I've just done my tax return for 2019-2020, and I earned £7000 from PPH alone (and in the 'before times', I wasn't even remotely doing it as a full-time job). It's possible to make a good living if you stick at it.
Wow good rate for 500 words - comparing it to the typical low Fiverr ones I see!
Thanks for the info
 

Iain

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@nate99 sorry but only just seen this post.

I got into this from a previous business that I had. I was writing blog posts on a regular basis for myself and my business partner.

My first venture into freelance was through Fiverr and then the likes of Copify. Copify starts off paying 1p per word so it is hard work to generate a decent income, but it gets you use to you writing for a variety of sectors and doing it under tight deadlines. You are usually given a few hours. Once you have done 25 articles for them, depending on the feedback you have had, they give you professional writer status. It has taken me from the 1p per word up to between 2p and, very rarely, 4p.

I have to say that the worst experience I had was on People Per Hour. By the time fees were taken into account, it worked out as less than 1p per word. It must work long term as people stick at it - I just found the initial rates a little insulting, but maybe that was down to me and my poor profile?

There are times when I can write 500 words in around half an hour. Other articles where it requires more research can take a lot longer so its hard to say what an hourly rate would be . I have had days where I have earned over £200 and others where I've struggled to hit £20. It all balances out in the end though.

I know Edibledormouse has already offered, but if you want to know anything else, feel free to send a message.
 
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katykicker

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I would say sites like Upwork / Fiverr etc are great when you are starting out.

You do have to accept you may have to do 'lowball' offers while you build up experience but further down the line you can charge more.

Having a niche is always a good thing as well, what can YOU write well about that other's can't?

I know the likes of @Iain @EdibleDormouse and even our very own @katykicker does paid freelance writing so may have some advice
My work really just comes from either word of mouth from other bloggers OR from businesses/brands seeing my 'work with me' page (or whatever I've called it!) and getting in touch! I charge a LOT more than UpWork / Fiverr etc BUT I think they're a great starting block for sure! Some people make 6 figures a year just from those sites (not me sadly!) - great if you can writing seller pages or have a niche.
 

MagicMonkey

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People Per Hour is definitely the best site in the UK for this type of work in terms of job board sites and just getting started....

But....there are a couple of other, potentially better, opportunities for you
1. If you've got specialist expertise or interests email the top sites in your niche areas asking if they are interested in articles produced by you - you can charge much higher prices if you're good on a particular topic and you'll have a lot more fun
2. Email marketing agencies (digital marketing agencies in particular) and offer yourself to them as a freelance copywriter. They tend to pay well and the work is fairly regular
3. Google "websites that pay you to write for them" - there are lots of big name websites out there who offer really good rates - and it's one of the best ways to increase your portfolio.

Hope that helps and good luck
 

OCTOPUS

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I'm another one looking to get into freelance writing. I'm doing a College of Media & Publishing Level 4 Diploma, its going well so far. Interesting what others have said about not bidding too low, I've heard this before and I could imagine falling this loophole easily. Thanks MagicMonkey for your advice as well. Dont know when I'm going to finish my course, but I'm hoping to be earning some money from copywriting by the end of the year.
 

EdibleDormouse

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I'm just going to jump in with a really good piece of advice I was given early on - don't say you're inexperienced, don't say you're just starting out, don't say you're trying to get your foot in the door. Just tell your clients why you can do a really good job for them (plenty of knowledge about the subject, writing qualification etc.) and get that bid in. If they ask for examples (which they almost certainly will), then it's up to you at that point how honest you are, or whether you want to tell a white lie that all your experience so far has been with a content mill (e.g. Copify and the like) and you can't point them directly to examples, or whether your previous writing has been done in house at a job (and ditto, because intellectual property, etc.).

Yes, you'll speed up as you do more and get more clients, but otherwise your writing style is pretty much your writing style. Have a look at a few company blogs for the kind of company you'd like to write for, and make a note of voice, style, content, length etc.

You might also want to think if there's anything you're not comfortable writing - either subject matter, or type of communication. I won't touch press releases, for example (they make me want to punch myself in the face and take me about an hour a word), nor anything that I'm not ethically on board with.

Good luck, all. There seems to be quite a lot out there at the moment, and with the vast majority of businesses still working remotely, I don't think there's ever been a better time to start.
 

Karonher

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I used to work on Freelancer but it could be very hit and miss. Once or twice I did not get paid and was sometimes told it was not the standard they wanted but the client would pay half. When I said not to bother I would sell it elsewhere, they paid the full amount.
 
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EdibleDormouse

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Ooh, just another thing that applies to People Per Hour in particular - don't start work until the FULL amount (or if it's a longer job, up to the first agreed milestone) is sitting in escrow.

Having been royally stiffed last summer for £200 by a client I'd worked for on two previous occassions with no trouble whatsoever (instant payments, perfect feedback etc.), I don't care who it is any longer, and whether it's a £10 "could you just proofread this letter for me?" or not. I now don't start work until there's an accepted proposal and the full fee sitting with PPH.

I'll stop spamming this board now.
 
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Jon

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of all the sites I always find Fiverr and PeoplePerHour to be the be the worst in terms of people putting up offers of wanting say 2000 words for £8 sort of rubbish

Though to be fair I see that a lot on upwork as well!
 

EdibleDormouse

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of all the sites I always find Fiverr and PeoplePerHour to be the be the worst in terms of people putting up offers of wanting say 2000 words for £8 sort of rubbish

Though to be fair I see that a lot on upwork as well!
You'll get the odd shirty chancer who'll be rude about you quoting £100 (minimum) for 2000 words when their stated budget is £8, but quite often it's because they simply don't have a clue about the amount of work involved. I know it's not our job to educate - there's money to be earned for a start! - but sticking to your guns and politely offering to be there to work for them in future pays dividends. Quite a few of my clients went with the cheaper option for their first job, then came back to me afterwards!

Upwork is a sewer. Got the first job I ever pitched for there several years ago, and the client did a runner.
 

Jon

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I would also remember that SEO copywriting and PROPER copywriting tend to be different things.

The former being 'rustle up 500 word blog post about cars and include this backlinks' with the latter requires a lot more research.
 

Jon

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Just a bit more advice.

As you go on your journey and you build up some good examples of content you've written make sure you share that with potential new clients so they understand the tone / topics etc you can write about with confidence.

I can't count how many times at Content Conga we've been asked to show articles of our work as it's a great way to show you are some sort of 'fly my night' content provider!
 
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MagicMonkey

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I would also remember that SEO copywriting and PROPER copywriting tend to be different things.

The former being 'rustle up 500 word blog post about cars and include this backlinks' with the latter requires a lot more research.
Sorry to contradict you a bit on this but SEO and proper copywriting are the same thing these days - the 500 blog post model with keywords hasn't worked for a very long time now. (Average position 1 ranking page is now 2000+ words)

Don't get me wrong i'm sure people are still trying this as they are firmly in the past but it doesn't work - the move now is definitely towards high quality, long form, keyword optimised content for both SEO and what you're calling PROPER copywriting. (I'm Head of SEO for a marketing agency).

If i was trying to stand out and earn good money i'd be looking to develop this skill set as the way to earn the most money as people who can do this style of copywriting are in high demand.
 
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