So a while ago I went into social media comatose to focus on other aspects of life and came back to a whooping litter of ‘What is Freelancing’ and ‘Can I make money through writing’ messages. I was already working on such a post so it only seemed befitting I publish it sooner. It is critical to note that I am in no way the go-to person for all things freelance. Nonetheless, if you are just beginning to wonder how the guy in 4C who is always on his computer has enough money to buy Glenfiddich plus Hennessey every weekend is usually up to then kindly scroll on. Also, I will define freelancing as everything you do online that earns you money, though Webster will probably stick to a different opinion. As freelancing is broad I will begin with the easiest or cheapest section; freelance writing.
Academic Writing Assignment Papers
You know how in your final college year you paid someone to do your project for you, or remember that guy in high school you used to pay to copy their assignment because you were either too lazy or busy to do it? Well, they organized and legalized a system that lets them do this for a higher fee. Basically, academic writing is a form of freelancing where you work on school projects at different levels such as undergraduate, masters and high school. As an academic writer, you select a field of study you are comfortable with, such as your bachelor’s degree or hobby, and apply for jobs in that niche. As such, papers that require more technical skills such as engineering and nursing or those that employ software such as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Spreadsheets tend to earn a higher CPP (Cost per Page).
It is also in academic writing that you will come across referencing styles such as APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, and OSCOLA depending on the requirements and fields of study of your assignment. These styles are easy to crack and once you understand two (I recommend APA and Chicago) you are set to begin. Last year when I was getting back into freelancing I was lucky enough to find an extremely professional employer who was willing to train then employ me that I am greatly indebted to. Nevertheless, there are a variety of freelancers who train you for a fee. Facebook is a goldmine for such opportunities and any jobs advertising for newbies are your best bet.
Ghost Article Writing for Online Sites
Article writing is the creative side of freelance writing and it warrants its own subtopic. Product reviews, rewrites, news articles, launch posts, op-ed pieces, essays, how-tos, and trends all belong to this category. Sites such as iWriter, Upwork, and Freelancer have loads of such assignments. Whatever your favorite topic or hobby, article writing has a way of enabling you to write and earn money from it. As you are starting out though, the pay is way poorer than that of academic writing especially with Kenyan employers but as you establish yourself in your industry you can earn up to 20 dollars for a 500word piece. The downside is you give up full rights to all articles as you are simply a ghostwriter. Blogging gives you more voice and control.
Article writing is also more difficult to crack but having someone you look up to or acquiring proper training should ease the journey. I will not clearly, articulately and totally emphasize enough the benefits of a mentor as getting your articles rejected and accounts closed is a regular occurrence. This does not necessarily mean you are a poor writer just that different sites and employers have specific rules and such formatting issues are treated in a serious manner. Writers that do not adhere to such formatting special instructions are perceived as difficult to work with and get you lower ratings.
Guest Blogging for Publications
There are 59.3 million new posts each month on blogging sites with 1.97 million on WordPress alone according to Quora. These statistics already explain the existing untapped market that companies are gearing towards. Blogging involves writing your daily occurrences about your passions or activities. It assumes you are an expert in a specific niche in a precise industry. As opposed to blogging about your emotions or writing poems that will probably never get published (sorry), freelance blogging pays you to provide useful information to your readers. Of course, your mailing list may be full if you write funny stories and beautiful proses but it is difficult to monetize such a blog even if your subscribers would literally die for you.
That said, pick a topic you like even if it is poems about love and monetize it. If you have a loyal subscribers list you can get paid by corporates to advertise on your page. My favorite part though is guest blogging which typically refers to writing an article for a website that gets published on their site and adds money to your pocket. This sounds impossible, but I know, I did it. You can read the travel article am rambling about here.
Selling your own ebook
An ebook is literally just a soft copy book. as such you only need a topic and MS Word and you are good to go. An ebook can be a retelling of your life’s events or a tutorial or even just a compilation of poems. As a blogger, you have an advantage in that you can compile your blog posts into an ebook and sell it online. Most of them actually advertise it on their website killing two birds with one stone.
I hope this post answers your questions on ‘What is Freelancing’ and ‘How can I convert my writing skills into money’. Future posts on this category will delve deeper into other categories of freelancing such as tech-related ways and those involving audios and videos, so hold your horses. In the meantime connect with me on social media or comment below on areas you want to be featured in my next post.