A freelance writer using their laptop

There’s a whole load of money that can be made online, and one of the most popular is places is Freelancer.com.

Freelancer is by far the largest freelancing site on the web, and it’s an extremely well-refined platform that’s easy to navigate.

It’s also very easy to find repeat work. Especially if you have employable skills.

  • Writing
  • Programming
  • Design
  • Similar computer-based creative skills

Signup to Freelancer

This isn’t a tutorial on how to signup to Freelancer, but, there are a few things that you should do.

Pick a professional username

First, when you get to the username input part the site, remember your username is public.

Choose something that fits with what you want to do, instead of “mynormalusernamehere”.

Highlight your skills

Next, you’ll end up at the skills area. Freelancer has lots of work for freelance writers so start by choosing skills in that area.

There are other freelance jobs on this site and if you have other skills choose them.

If you’re good at web design, graphic design, programming, etc., choose those skills as well. It will expand the portfolio of work that is available to you as you move forward.

Choose a good membership level

The last tip when signing up is on their membership levels.

To get a good start and land that job as soon as possible, you’re going to have to place some bids. I recommend starting at the Plus level. It will allow you enough bids to land your first few jobs. And once you get your first one, you’ll easily cover your costs.

Maintain a professional image

One last note before we get to your first piece of work.

When you create your profile keep it professional. Highlight any experience you have; for example, “I won a writing contest”, or “I wrote all of the content for x site”, etc.

Your profile is one of the first things buyers are going to look at before hiring you. Showcase yourself and tell them what you have to offer.

If you’ve got no relevant writing experience, you can always sell yourself as professional, or a native-speaker of a language, or committed to quality. You’re a good writer after-all, make it sound worth the buyer’s while.


Ways to make money with Freelancer.com

There’s a huge array of different opportunities for freelancers on this site, but I’ll cover some of the more common types.

Content Writing

With millions of websites, and most of the population not being able to write decent content, you’ll find hundreds of jobs writing content for people’s sites.

Article Writing and Blog Posts

Buyers will use your articles as extra content for their sites; and in some cases, to promote products and services.

Ghost Writing

You’ll find ghost-writing projects for everything from Fiction Novels to 200,000-word non-fiction pieces on various topics. These can pay well, but I do not suggest you start here. Writing something in the 50,000-word range is a whole different level of writing than a 400-word blog post.

Copy-writing 

Writing copy that sells can be very lucrative; sometimes paying as much as $1.00 – $1.25 a word for a 5000 – 10,000-word sales page (I can finish one these in a few days). These types of jobs include graphic design so you’ll either need to learn that or higher a designer to work with you. I wouldn’t take this type of project until you are experienced at writing to sell.

eBooks

Tending to be shorter than novels or non-fiction pieces. eBooks can be a good place to go when you’re ready to write some longer work. These can also pay very well if you find the right projects.

Specialist written projects

Scientific reports, case studies, law papers, and more can be found on freelance sites.


If you’re unsure what to do you; I recommend starting with content writing and articles/blog posts.

Writing jobs tend to be simple projects and can make you decent money if you build up your reputation.


How do you secure your first job?

Okay – so we’ve covered a lot of ground here. It’s time to get to work right?

Well, you’ll probably need to get some a sample piece. After all, the buyer will probably want to see that you can write. And at least get a feel for how good your writing is.

Get a few short samples to show off your skills

You may be bidding against people who have 5-star ratings on 200+ jobs. But if your sample work is better, there’s no reason why the buyer won’t go for you.

So, choose a topic you like and spin some concise, 500-word articles. You’ll use these to help land jobs, and the work you do on these will be able to sit in your portfolio for ever.

Keep in mind that the average adult reads at a “grade 5” level, so don’t worry about using academic writing or scientific writing as samples (unless you’re bidding to write that type of work).

With some samples saved – let’s dive in! Log in to freelancer.com, browse their projects and search for your first job.

To begin with, choose a simple job.

Choose a job that you’re confident you can complete

Do a smaller job that pays a small amount but it will get you your first rating on the site. Once you have two or three five-star ratings, it will be much easier to find work, and as you get more ratings you won’t need samples anymore, you’ll just bid on a few projects and usually get one of them.

With that said let’s talk about bidding.

First, find a project that you want to bid on. For your first project(s), I recommend that you find a topic you are interested in and that you have knowledge of. This will make it simpler for you to write your first articles, and you’ll likely do a better job.

Next, we actually bid on the project. The site is straightforward on how to do this, but there are a few keys points I want to share to help you get started.

  • Always tell them about your experience on the topic (if you have any) and why they should hire you.
  • When you’re new – always give a sample of your work.
  • Finish proposals with a question. It doesn’t matter what the question is, just ask one that makes sense. If you can open dialogue with the buyer, you are 10 times more likely to get hired.

Guess what? You just placed your first bid on a written project. You’re on your way to becoming a freelance writer.

Let’s finish with some final thoughts.


Tips for new freelancers

To end this, I just want to give you a few tips.

  • Don’t give up.
    • It can take a number of bids before you land your first job, but when you get it, do you best to get that 5* rating. The next job was easier to get, and the next one even easier
  • Build relationships, don’t just finish one job.
    • I always use the chat function on freelancer to let my clients know that they can come to me if they need any other work completed. This is step one in building on-going repeat business for yourself
  • Avoid huge projects when you start.
    • You’ll end up overwhelming yourself and have a higher chance of failing at completion
  • Pay attention to the currency of a project
    • Freelancer.com uses the buyers’ currency on each project. If the buyer is from India and they posted a 500 INR project, that is only 7.25 U.S. dollars.
  • Try to stick with topics you know about when you’re new to the freelance world.
  • Avoid tight deadlines until you’ve written enough to know how long a job is going to take you.
  • Never upload work that someone else paid you for as a sample.
    • As soon as you got paid, you sold the copyrights to that work and many buyers will view your upload as their invitation to use the content.
  • Most importantly, have fun
    • You’ve just started your career as a freelance writer. Congratulations!
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