There are a variety of online jobs that one can do. In this article we are going to teach you on how to become an online freelance writer.
History of Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is nothing new. It has been around for as long as the newspaper and book industries have existed. Writers continue to work as independent correspondents for different media houses across the globe. Coming of the internet brought about a new industry for writers: online freelance writing. As the internet grows, so does the demand for content. Approximately over ten thousand new websites come to existence on a daily basis. These websites need content. Here is where an online freelance writer comes in.
The internet as we know it was created in the 1990’s and has taken baby steps to be where it is. 90% of the information on the internet today was not there ten years ago. It is constant Google algorithms that has helped weave this information. These algorithms introduced competitiveness among websites that sort to rank first on search results. It takes a lot of work to get a website to rank. One aspect of the marketing strategies to rank a website is through content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
According to Contentmarketinginstitute.com, Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The need for fresh content all the time is what has given birth to the online article writing industry. An online article or content writer composes content for websites. A writer gets paid based on the agreement they have with the website owners.
Types of Content
Websites need different types of content. Below is a list of different types of content:
- Press releases
- Blog articles
- Short stories
- Product reviews
- Academic papers
- News articles
The type of content a site needs is normally defined by the audience targeted. A writer’s job is to come up with content for a given topic within a stated period of time.
What You Need to Become an Online Freelance Article / Content Writer
The word freelance means working remotely from any part of the world. This can be in a cyber cafe, comfort of your home, school, recreational park or office. Working as a freelancer has no limitations in terms of time or location. You are your own boss and it is up to you to define your working environment.
To be a freelance article writer, you will need tools and skills named below:
- Impeccable English grammar
- Access to a computer installed with MS Office Word and internet connection
- Proof reading tools to check for errors, grammar and structure of content (Click here to get a grammarly.com account)
- Concentration, patience and discipline is key
- Training & guidance from a mentor (Ajira Digital offers free online jobs training)
- Bank account/ Paypal/ Mpesa (Ways to receive payment)
How To Get Writing Jobs
Being new in the field, you need someone who has been in this industry for a while to hold your hand. You can get a mentor by joining freelancing groups on the internet. One recommendable freelancing groups on Facebook is Online Article Writers Kenya. You might be charged a fee by some mentors to guide you as you learn the trade. Some mentors prefer giving low paying jobs as you learn which is advantageous for newbies.
As your writing skills grow, so does your knowledge about the industry. Once you are ready to stand on your own try some of these websites for work:
These are just few among hundreds of reputable freelancing sites available. Each of these freelancing websites have their own rules and regulations which you have to be aware of. There are brokers who sell freelance writing accounts. Newbies in this industry are not advised on buying accounts since they come with many hurdles. Rather start a freelance account from scratch and build it right up as your reputation grows.
If you feel confident of your writing you can reach out to website owners and offer them your services. You have to write emails to hundreds of websites to get promising leads. Advantage of reaching out to website owners is that you get loyal clients once they find your work satisfactory. However, you need to have built a reasonable portfolio that you can present to them as proof of work. Website owners tend to pay more than working for a mentor or a freelance site since the middle man is cut out of the deal.
How Much You Can Earn
When it comes to earning, 3 factors play out:
- Work turnover (normally defined by a person’s creativity and typing speed)
- Type of client (Website, sub-contractor or direct client)
- Command of English language
Just like any other industry, the writing industry has levels that range from a novice to a pro writer often referred to as experienced writers. How much a person earns depends with where they fall on the ladder. Those at the bottom of the ladder earn the least amount due to lack of writing experience. The higher the climb the ladder, the more a writer earns.
Usually, a writer is paid per words written. The most common measure is amount per 500 words written. A novice can make between Kshs 100 – 250 per 500 words, while a pro can make anywhere between Kshs 300 – 1000 per 500 words. The more your writing improves, the more your services grow in demand and the more a writer can make!
An article of 500 words takes between 15 mins to 1 hr to compose depending with typing speed and creativity. The more articles a writer manages to submit, the more money they make.
Online jobs have been around for a while now. In Kenya, online jobs started taking root around the year 2008. Today, online jobs put food on the table for over one hundred thousand Kenyan freelancers. Online jobs also contribute to our economy by earning the country millions of dollars. Working online can give you the financial and time freedom you need. In fact, online jobs suit almost everyone. You can do online freelance writing as a part time or full time job.
For those who own computers or laptops, you just have to invest around Kshs 1,000 to get started. Those without computers can start working online in a cyber cafe.
If you feel online jobs is a good business idea, then click here and get the right tools to get started today. You can also share this article with friends on social media to let them in on this business secret.