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Online Freelance Writing: Skills Needed to Land These Types of Gigs

  • By Yuwanda Black
  • Published 02/16/2011
  • Writing for the Web

Many have lost jobs over the last few years. As a new year is just getting under way, quite a few have turned their attention to finding new careers. And, one of the most popular type of work-from-home jobs is online freelance writing. And, no wonder. It has a lot going for it, ie: 3 Reasons Online Freelance Writing Is Such a Popular Career Choice It’s Easy to Start: Know how to read and write? Know how to conduct online research? Have access to a computer? This is just about all you need to get started as an online freelance writer. It’s Cheap to Start: If you own a laptop or computer (or even just access to one), and you have access to the internet, you’re good to go. No office supplies, business license or certifications are needed. It Can Be Started Quickly: You can literally be up and running a day. If you know how to design a simple website (and there are plenty of free tools on the web to show you how) and compose a few writing samples, you can literally be up and running in less than 24 hours – really!

I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993 and have received tons of email from newbies who’ve landed clients right out of the gate

(eg, within a few days or a few weeks). Now that you know why this work-from-home career appeals to so many, let’s take a look at some of the skills needed to be successful as an online writer. Online Freelance Writing: Do You Have What It Takes to Succeed? Research Skills: As an online writer, you’ll be asked to write on a variety of topics. I’ve written on everything from ski resorts to wedding cake toppers, to how to make wire jewelry — all in one day. You must know how to write on topics you know nothing about. As long as you know how to conduct research, you’re good to go. Organizational Skills: When you’re juggling 5, 10 or a dozen clients or more (which is entirely possible in online freelance writing, you must be super organized because you’ll have to keep track of things like deadlines, rates, client specs for each job – and a whole lot more. Good Typing Skills: If your typing sucks (eg, you type less than 50 words/minute), it will slow you down and inhibit how much you can earn. So get, that speed up if this is a weak point for you. All it takes is practice.

There’s tons more that goes into being successful in online freelance writing, eg, what to charge, how to market, but if you have these three skills, you’re on your way.

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