What if you could review software you use at work every day and receive a $10 Starbucks gift card? A for REAL gift card, not “entered into a drawing” nonsense?
Well, you can! We were contacted by both Capterra and G2, two companies that let the real experts – namely you and I, who actually use products everyday – review various software programs. They use this information to give credible advice on what software to use, and in return, they’ll pay you in an electronic Starbucks gift card.
Make Money Reviewing Software
January 2019 Update: My original review of Capterra here has been removed as I’ve heard from more and more of you that they tend to shut down your accounts for faulty reasons and give you no chance at an appeal. I reached out to them for clarification and not only did it take them TWO WEEKS to respond (?!!) but they sent a form response that addressed none of the questions I’d sent them.
I personally made $70 from Capterra and had no issues, in fact they offered me $100 to send ya’ll their way, but know this – I will ALWAYS choose honesty over money.
Unfortunately due to their poor customer services skills and the fact that they randomly close legitimate accounts, I cannot and will not recommend them.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Why one blogger changed her honest review of @Capterra – #software #badbusiness #customerservicefail” quote=”Honesty is the best policy – choosing truth over payment.”]
G2 is more IT and HR oriented, so it’s conceivable that not everything you’ve got experience with will be something they need a review on, but it’s absolutely worth your time to check. Though you can only write 5 total reviews for G2, if they’re for under-reviewed software or something that is particularly important, they’ll pay you $10 for each one.
Like Capterra, G2 pays out in electronic gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks. It’s a nice way to get that coffee fix while you gear up for Black Friday shopping or sitting at home in your pajamas for Cyber Monday (which really depends on your personality, doesn’t it?)
The other benefit to G2 over Capterra is the turnaround on payout; G2 gets you your card in at most 48 hours. They process the reviews fairly but quickly and I love it!
Making money online is easy…making a lot of money, though? Ehh…that gets a bit tricky. This is why you see so many entrepreneurs, such as myself, running multiple income streams. Personally, I have my e-courses on marketing, I offer 1:1 consultant work as a blog mentor, I sell digital products, and I obviously run a blog (this one!)
Virtual assistants (VAs) do the same clerical work as their real-life counterparts, but their efforts are entirely online. Experienced VAs can pull in big bucks, so don’t be shy about tossing your resume in the ring, especially if you’re well-versed in social media marketing! VAs can make anywhere from $20-$50/hr. Join my Facebook Group to start making connections today!
Sell Your Old Media
Check out Amazon and see what your old DVDs, CDs, or even VHS might be going for!
Review Videos + Music
This is a fun one! Slice The Pie will pay you to review short videos and music; it’s a great way to earn some extra cash while on your computer.
Use Your Phone to Make Money
Some companies will pay you to test their apps. It’s not a bad way to make a little extra cash and I average about $5/month with SlideJoy – and I literally do nothing for it! Check out this post on other ways you can earn money using just your cellphone!
Telecommuting is the new normal in the world of data entry. Take advantage of this cultural shift and start working from home via Freelancer – BONUS $20 when you sign up! The best part about Freelancer is that it’s not just data entry anymore, but opportunities to ghost write, assistant in real life, and so much more!
Create, edit, update, design and stimulate activity for the social media accounts of companies, corporations, or even online bloggers like me! Similar to being a VA, managing someone’s social media for them can pay anywhere from $20-$100/hr.
Again this is one that I still do as a blogging mentor and digital marketing strategist. People are willing to pay for expert knowledge in a variety of fields. Best of all, these exchanges can be done entirely online, so you can even work in your pajamas if you’d like.
Make Money Using Your Computer
Do the links work? Do the images load? Become a guinea pig for web developers and test websites via UserTesting. This one is great because you can do it both on your desktop or on your mobile!
Become a Copywriter
Freelance copying can pull in big bucks for the dedicated. All you need are writing skills and a willingness to seek your own opportunities (or you can work through a “middle-man” using a site like Textbroker!)
If you really excelled in school you help someone improve themselves by virtually tutoring them in your favorite subject. Find a great opportunity on sites like Tutor Hub or Wyzant!
Make Money with Rakuten
Not only does Rakuten (what used to be Ebates) save you tons of money (now on in-store purchases as well!!) but you can refer your friends to join and make money, too. I’ve earned back over $700, there’s literally NO reason not to use Rakuten when you shop!! And if you’re still hesitant, read my guide on how exactly Ebates works!
Do you have a bubbly personality? Do you love making up stories? Perhaps your children are great at playing pretend? There’s definitely money to be made on YouTube, provided you provide consistent and quality work.
There’s great money to be found in property investments, but it’s hard to break into if you don’t yet have the cash to do so! If you can find properties selling at BMV (below market value), you can then recruit investors to help you buy the property for a percentage of the final sale after. This is a great book on how to get started flipping properties!
Making Money as a Creative
If you have a great eye for design and a decent grasp on website building, you could absolutely make a livable income by creating websites for other people! Personally I create my sites myself, but I’ve had clients pay upwards of $5,000 for someone to do their site for them – imagine the money you could make doing just one site every six weeks!
Design Landing Pages
This is similar to above, except far less time intensive. A landing page is what one uses to either A) sell a product/service or B) generate leads through e-mail sign-up. You can view an example of my landing page here: Blog Mentor Services
Work as a Graphic Designer
If you have an eye for design, consider becoming a web-based graphic designer. All you need to get started is Photoshop and you can start work through sites like Fiverr!
Create and Sell Video Series
If you have a talent to teach, create a short video series breaking down the different lessons and sell it online! Even if you put one together and only list it for $10, it can quickly add up and (depending on the niche) take little time to market on a regular basis.
Start a Blog
This is an obvious one, yeah? Domain names can be purchased for less than the price of a cup of coffee, so this is an investment that can be made quickly and painlessly for future gains. Blogging is what gave me MY freedom from my former career to then work from home full-time. Check out this article on how to make money blogging.
Your homemade scarves could turn a nice profit on a crafting site. If you can create it, there’s a market for it, so get online and start selling your wares via a site like Etsy! Even if you only make $100/month, that’s a good start, no?
This site requires you to download a browser extension, but that’s it! They then track what it is you search for via sites like Google or Amazon and you’re rewarded for it. Join QMee now for free!
Write an Ebook
Do you have a genius idea you want to share? Or maybe a unique take on a subject? Or perhaps you want to share a fiction novel you’ve been working on? Regardless of the topic, you can easily create your e-book using a free site like Canva and off you go!
You don’t need to be a professional photographer. There’s money to be made by staging and selling “stock” photos for websites that collect and re-sell them. Check out Shutterstock to get started!
You can always sell things you no longer need and if you’re a parent, you can be constantly reselling the clothes your children outgrow. Check out my article on how to get kids clothes for free!
There are ample opportunities for call center representatives who want to work from home. These jobs are typically by phone or through virtual “live chats.” Thousands of opportunities are typically available on UpWork!
Save AND Earn
As I said above, Rakuten is always a great option to save AND make money, but there are so many more, like:
Some companies will pay you to review their goods and services online. Many provide free products, but often times they’ll pay, too! One company I absolutely love is Blogging For Books, though they don’t pay, they do provide free books and hey, if you were going to spend money on ’em anyway…
This is another great way to earn cash on money you’re spending anyway; hook your grocery reward cards up and it’s a ZERO EFFORT money maker. Sign up for Ibotta and you’ll earn an automatic $5 bonus!!
Get Paid to Translate
You can find a lot of translation work on the web. Since it doesn’t require face-to-face interaction to get it done, it’s becoming a brisk online business. Check out sites like Gengo to get started!
Lend your tech support skills to companies who are looking for people to fix their websites, databases and cloud networks. It’s a job that can be done just as easily online as in the real world.
Online focus groups will ask your opinion on everything from products to politics. If you’re willing to share them, you can make this a steady side gig. Sites like SurveySavvyoften have great opportunities for this!
Do you use any sort of software on a regular basis? Of course you do! Mailchimp, WordPress, Adobe, and hundreds of more options for you to review! Check out sites like G2Crowd to get paid for your feedback.
On ClickWorker, businesses advertise services they need completed quickly – easy tasks you can complete from your couch! You’re able to choose which jobs you wish to complete and you’ll be paid via PayPal – sign up today!
You don’t need to physically travel to Wall Street to try your luck on the stock market. Email a financial adviser and get started with stocks, bonds, franchises and natural commodities whenever you’d like.
The world of self-publishing is growing by the day. If you have a story idea, put it online and see if you can become the next E.L. James.
If you don’t mind new and experimental search engines, you can pull in some money by testing them for their developers instead of automatically directing your queries to Google.
Search Engine Testing
Speaking of Google, they’re willing to pay people to test their algorithms and judge their search engine results pages (SERPs) for accuracy and relevancy. Turn it into a full-job time for maximum cash.
Design and Sell Your Own T-Shirts
If you’ve got an eye for design or a flair for fashion, perhaps you could create and sell t-shirts via a site like Hanes Ink!
Do you have an ear for dialogue? Become a transcriber and lend your services to blogs, businesses and closed-captioning companies. Personally, I’ve paid for one myself a time or two when I wanted to convert video to text and I loved it – such a time saver! Check out Rev for transcription and closed-captioning work!
Teach an online course
Are you an expert in something? Do you enjoy sharing that knowledge with others? With sites like Udemy, you can easily set up your own course and make money (it’s how I made enough money to quit my 9-5!)
Did you know you can get paid to do someone else’s laundry? Check out Laundry Care for more info!
Are you tired of the piles of flyers, circulars and coupons that wind up in your mailbox? Start gathering and selling them on Ebay for extra cash.
Yep, you read that right – tweet! You need to have a decent following, but yes, it’s totally possible to get paid to tweet.
While it won’t buy you a house in the Bahamas, there are certain sites, like Viggle, that will give you cash, prizes, and gift cards for watching and reviewing their TV programs.
In the 21st century, Avon ladies are digital. Direct sales might be a good fit for you if you enjoy challenges and self-made opportunities. There are so many options, from Norwex to BeachBody to the aforementioned Avon!
More Ways to Earn Cash
Companies are always looking for the next big thing. Sell your ideas to others for a portion of the proceeds.
Your spare bedroom can be used as a landing pad for travelers all around the world. Advertise the space online; book people’s appointments online; open your doors in the real world.
Take a step up from selling your cookies on a personal blog. Become a caterer and arrange full-scale meals for parties, weddings, conferences and sports events.
This is another job that will require you to leave your house, but since you’ll book these engagements entirely online, it’s still considered a virtual career. Check out Best Mark for some amazing opportunities (including ones you can do with just your phone!)
If you like creativity and spontaneity, consider becoming an “odd jobs” specialist who builds a reputation for completing any digital task no matter how small or unusual it is (err on second thought, maybe set SOME limits…maybe…) Did you know Craigslist even has an “odd jobs” category? Easy peasy to get yourself on there!
It’s not just for teens! If you’re planning to spend your Friday/Saturday night at home with the kids anyway, why not offer up your services to watch someone else’s kid, too, and get paid for it? BONUS: Maybe all of the kids will place nicely together and you can actually enjoy an evening watching something other than Octonauts. A gal can dream, right…?
Create, design, sell, manage and flip apps for interested parties. It only takes one great idea to become a sensation.
Do you have knowledge of programming languages like C++ and SQL? Use them to become an online web designer.
My Favorite Ways to Earn Money Online
Of the 50 listed above, my top earners (and favorite to use!) are most definitely: ShareASale for affiliate marketing Rakuten – you get an automatic $10 when you sign up! Ibotta – $5/referral + a $10 bonus to those who sign-up; I average $50 earned back each month! Discover Card – The only credit card I recommend – $50 bonus for anyone who signs up through the link plus double your cash back at the end of your first year!
Looking for ways to earn quick money this month? I’ve got you covered!
When I first launched this blog in November 2015, I didn’t think I’d become a professional blogger and therefore knew I couldn’t add any blog-related expenses into our budget, especially since I was only earning $2.67/hour after paying for daycare. So I decided to look into how I could earn some “extra” cash without sacrificing too much of my time – i.e. nosurvey sites that are a waste of time!
While I now earn my living as a blogging mentor, these five opportunities are a great way to help pad your budget or earn some bonus spending cash!
Make Money Quick in a Month
Take Stock Photos
With cellphone cameras getting better and better, there’s no doubt you already have the tools necessary to take stock photos that you can then turn into cash. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to make money from this, simply check out Shutterstock to get started!
Spend & Earn
I remember one time when I was around eleven years old, I’d gone shopping at Kohl’s with my allowance money.
When my dad picked me up, I gleefully exclaimed “I save $57 today!!”
“Yeah, well you would have saved even more had you not spent anything,” he replied.
What a sourpuss, right??
It might seem obvious to say you can earn by spending, but so many people think it takes too much time, that the money they save won’t be worth the time they spend, but that’s SO far from the truth!
For example, if you’re not yet signed up for Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates), you really NEED to be. It’s quite literally free money, beyond the effort it takes to click the mouse a couple extra times. Oh not to mention, you get a bonus $10 for signing up!
Don’t shop online all that often? You can still use Rakuten and do in-store pick-up! It’s a great way to save time and money (plus you avoid impulse purchases!)
Another great way to spend and earn is by using a credit card with a quality cashback program. Personally, the only credit card I recommend is Discover Card. Sign up through my referral link and you’ll earn $50 PLUS double your cash back for the first year – potentially earning yourself hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars!
iBotta is also a seriously great way to make money, especially if you’re not quite as big an Aldi addict as I am. iBotta is a great way to earn cash back on purchases you make, such as groceries and alcohol. Just like with Ebates, it’s totally free to sign up and there’s no catch. Connect your cards with this app and you’ll have to do NOTHING extra to earn money back. I average around $50/month with this app!
Freelancer is an amazing site through which you can easily work from home and find jobs suited to your skills and expertise. Whether you’re looking for data entry work, graphic design, virtual assistance, or other, Freelancer can help you find high paying jobs that you can do on your time. They’re also currently offering a $20 sign on bonus, so don’t wait – sign up today!
Drive for Uber
This one seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve found that a lot of people don’t realize just how much money you can make by driving with Uber, even if it’s just for a few hours during the weekend! In fact, did you know that they offer a GUARANTEE as to how much money you’ll make within a certain number of drives? This depends on your city, but it’s certainly worth looking into, as you could.
You know you’ve been meaning to declutter anyway, why not do it now and earn yourself some extra cash? Holding a successful garage sale isn’t as tricky as you might think! No time or desire to go through all that work? Check out your local Facebook re-sale groups! Clothes, furniture, art work, toys…all of these things taking up space in your home could be turned into cold hard cash!
So while I can’t guarantee each of these ways will earn you $500+/month, they’re certainly tried-and-true opportunities to get you started.
And if you’re like I was a few years ago, hoping to work from home as a blogger or online business owner, be sure to check out the many opportunities I have to help you grow as an entrepreneur!
Every day more and more people begin the adventure that is working from home. While I’d never say it’s “easy money” getting started doesn’t have to be a huge investment (of time or money!) When I first got started as a blogger, I found all sorts of different ways to make money online so that I could eventually invest in the tools needed tolaunch an e-course and today we’ve got Alexe Chasanov to share with us a few of her favorite ways to work online and make extra income from home.
Affiliate marketing is an easy job and a source of easy money. It said to be the art of promoting or advertising a companies’ product with the main goal of having a percent share in every product sold.
It is a stress-free job that you can look for online. Amazon is a site where you can find a job as an affiliate marketer. There are some guides on the internet how to sell products on Amazon. In selling a product on a network, remember that you have to be sure and settled about your choice of brand and after that join the affiliate network in order for you to sell more. Promote your ID and stay online, the affiliate gives you a link alongside your ID once you join the network. When they are checking through your link, then click and buy the product, and that’s it, you will automatically get a commission and earn.
One of the coolest ways to earn money online is by starting a blog. Be sure to keep on updating your blog site with interesting topics and latest happenings. If you are able to do it right, your blog will surely generate hundreds of viewers, and that will be the time you’ll start earning money out of it. If you are able to generate enough number of people, you can also incorporate affiliate marketing by using your own website instead of using Amazon or any other related sites.
In doing this, you will earn money easily plus you do not have to work under pressure with someone who bosses you around. But remember, it is not that easy as it sounds as problems may arise due to competitors and the customer’s method of payment. And there are so many things you have to learn if you just started as a blogger, you have to familiarize yourself with the systems and the things you can and you can’t. Blogging is indeed a cool way of making money online while being comfortable in your home.
Work From Home Ideas You Can Start Today
Content writing can be an easy task if you do it with passion and if it is a product of your pure fancy. You can write an article related to any topic as long as you clearly know how to present ideas and efficiently use your experiences in writing as a freelancer. This job is highly in demand especially for businesses around the web, and you are lucky because there are a lot of different clients who need your service for their business and brands.
Writing articles related to random topics can help you in making money online. Here, you will be paid based on the number of words you used or based on the level of your writing skills. Content writing only needs your focused attention, a good reading habit, and hard work. But another challenging part of this kind job is balancing your time, trying to ignore distractions, and meeting the deadlines. If you have a strong passion for writing and you are simply good at expressing ideas, content writing is the best cool way for you to make money online from the comfort of your home.
A virtual assistant must be good in managing time, making a schedule, preparing online meetings, and planning. One must have strong communication skills that can be used in customer service duties, answering calls, and responding to emails. A virtual assistant should help the business owner since he or she has many tasks to do and must be responsible for keeping the owner on track and updated of what is happening in the business. So as a virtual assistant, prepare yourself on doing calendar management, telephone inquiries, booking of appointments or tickets, client follow up, emails of your boss and clients, and lastly is the database and file management.
A virtual assistant earns an average of $10 up to $30 on an hourly basis but this may vary depending on your expert level. And if you are looking for a job as a secretary while enjoying your home, the virtual assistant job will be the coolest way for you to earn money online.
Freelance jobs are the best job for people who wish to enjoy home while earning money. Due to advancement and high technology, it is not possible to have an online job offered by the virtual world. Freelance jobs involve providing a different kind of services asked by random people online. This kind of jobs let you work either full time or part time and it depends on your decision.
Another privileged of being a freelancer is that you will be the one to set the terms of your work and you have the freedom to arrange it in a way that it can let you work on different projects at a time. There are so many services offered by freelancers and it includes web developer, web designer, search engine optimization, article writer, and social media marketing.
Making money while home-based cannot be easier than this that is why you need to get started as a freelancer immediately. And in choosing what service to offer, think of any skills you have that may fit the jobs mentioned above, you can also try looking on the freelance marketplace and apply there or jobs. Remember that in looking for the best freelance job, align it to your passion and interests so that you don’t have to worry procrastinating in finishing your project and meet the deadlines.
Alexe Chasanov is an e-commerce community manager in California. She also works as a consultant for a start-up company to help them in their marketing and growth hacking efforts. She loves writing about fashion trends here and there, and on her free time, she loves outdoor sports and martial arts.
The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (GBT) is something you can’t help but run across right now – whether you’re a professional blogger, other online entrepreneur, or do it only for the fun of it, the GBT is everywhere.
Now the question stands: is it because A) it really is that awesome or is it B) because everyone and their mom (myself included) are affiliates for them?
Answer: Mostly A, maybe a bit of B…BUT I say that with the disclaimer that honestly everyone plugs GBT because it REALLY is that awesome!
What is the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?
The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is this amazing bundle of e-courses, books, trainings, and more, all neatly wrapped up and sold to you at a WILDLY discounted rate. Now if you know anything about my blogging mentor programs, you know that I don’t automatically equate low price with low quality, but c’mon now — nearly $7,500 worth of products for less than $100? How can that be??
Well if you’ve read my review on Ultimate Bundles before, you know that they’re able to sell these bundles at a low cost for a variety of reasons, namely that they’re VERY limited in the times that they sell them and also because of people (like me) who contribute their products in exchange for a higher affiliate commission fee. It’s a genius business model if you ask me.
My First Experience with the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit
I first bought The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit three years ago, before I was an affiliate or even knew much about Ultimate Bundles! Along those lines, though, I do want to mention again that I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles and therefore links within may earn me commission at no additional cost to you.
With that out of the way, let’s get back to my first experience with GBT —
I knew within moments of landing on that sales page that I was going to make the $97 investment because I immediately recognized SO many big names with courses I’d been dying to check out, but ya know…money and all. And guess what? Not only are there dozens of “big names” back again this year, but the bundle is nearly TWICE as big (and still only $97!!)
Will I Use Everything in The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?
The toolkit contains such a huge assortment of blogging related topics, from marketing your blog to avoiding burnout, and so much more. It can be pretty overwhelming at first, but believe me when I say it is incredibly fun to dive into. Now does that mean you’ll use each and every resource within the bundle? No, probably not. But that’s expected, right?
The idea isn’t that now you have 94 resources on your to-do list to work through. Rather, it’s that you have access to all the ones that make sense for you and your blog’s needs as you need them, but at a fantastic price. Some of these will be perfect for you immediately and others you might not come back to for a little while. But when you’re ready for them, you’ll be so glad they’re there. Plus, most people will find at least a few bonuses that are a great value for them, so that’s an additional perk on top of the products.
Genius Blogger’s Toolkit Review
Do I Lose Access to the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit eventually?
You’ll have these eBooks forever, and access to the eCourses for six months, so there’s really no rush. They also organize everything so well to help you figure out what to dive into first so you can focus in on the products that best meet your blog’s needs.
Isn’t all this information already out there for free?
While you can find some of this information from the various authors on their websites, in their podcasts, through their emails newsletters, and all the good stuff they offer for free, most content creators save their very best content for the products they sell (and understandably so).
For example, last year I was lucky enough to be selected to include my Automation Education course – something that I normally sell for $49.
Could you go through and piece together everything I have within my course? Maybe…but probably not. And regardless, it would literally take you hundreds of hours and MANY trial-and-error attempts to put together the strategies within my course. And that’s only one course.
Still not sold?
Oh hey, did I mention that not only will you get access to an absolute gold mine of information, but it also comes with a 30-day guarantee. If for any reason, you don’t feel the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is right for you, simply email the Ultimate Bundles customer service team within 30 days for a full refund. How amazing is that?!
STILL not sold? Okay, how about if I told you that not only do you get access to all these goodies, but if you buy through my link, you’ll also get ANOTHER set of bonuses — a pitch-free strategy session with me PLUS a copy of P3 (the MUST HAVE business planner pack for 2020)!! That’s right — you’ll get everything in the bundle (again, that’s nearly $7,500 worth of products!) for LESS THAN HALF of what it’d cost you to JUST buy P3.
But you know you need it.
Act fast – this sale ends on Monday Oct 7th at 11:59pm!!!
Being a stay-at-home-mom is a rewarding job, but the pay is garbage!
So what do you do when you want to remain at home with your children, but…
the money is tight…
the budget is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to the limit…
couponing is getting you nowhere fast…
and you just don’t have enough to go around…?
You start a business.
Today’s post is brought to you by Tiffany A. Ingle of Taingled Web –
I know what you’re thinking: “Me, start a business? I don’t have a degree! My kids need too much attention! I’ve been out of the workforce too long. I don’t have time!”
Listen, Mama – I understand how you feel. I’ve been there! But excuses don’t pay the bills. And I can assure you that, yes, even you can start a business.
To be clear – when I say business, I’m definitely not talking about joining some slimy MLM and selling to your warm market (a.k.a. harassing your family and close friends to spend their hard earned cash on overpriced makeup, oils, wraps, and shakes). Those businesses are founded upon an unsustainable model that is designed to enrich a tiny percentage of folks at the top while everyone else loses money more often than not.
What if I were to tell you there’s a skill you already possess that could earn your family an additional 4 or 5 figures every single month? Not only that, you already do it every day…for free.
If you guessed writing, you deserve a gold star.
The time you currently spend keeping boredom at bay at social media watering holes could be used to begin a satisfying and profitable business as a freelance writer.
Best of all, this is a business you can start with very little money. All it requires is the ability to string a decent sentence together, perseverance, the ability to research, and creativity.
The following is a basic guide to getting your freelance writing business up and running. If you put these steps into practice, you will be headed on the right path toward a brighter financial future.
1) Set your mind to it
Attitude is everything. Treat your business seriously from the get-go. You’ve got to make some mental adjustments in order to step into your new reality as a work from home mom.
First, audit your schedule! Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. While it is true there are some who can afford to buy more time in the form of hired help, even a mompreneur (that’s you!) can carve out time by trading non-essential activities for business building habits.
That reality show you use to escape the realities of never-ending housework? Out the window. Your favorite, addictive social media game? Kiss it goodbye.
Remember why you’re doing this. How would it change your life if you had an extra $1,000-5,000 or more each month? With hard work, this is how much you could be making with freelance writing.
2) Pick a specialty (niche)
Writers who are very knowledgeable about certain topics or writing styles make more money and find more work than general writers. The best specialties are those which pay high rates, draw upon skills you have, that you would be interested in learning about.
Were you a programmer before leaving the workforce? You could make a killing as a tech writer. Spent 5 years as a financial advisor? Ka-ching! That’s the sound of you cashing in as a freelance finance writer.
There are various writing niches you could explore, but I am focusing on business blogging in this post. Learn how to write in more technical styles and you can really cash in!
3) Develop your craft
You do not have to have a degree in English or Communications (or a degree at all) to be a successful freelance writer, but you do need to know how to write reasonably well.
Select a few top blogs in your niche to read daily so you will become familiar with the type of style you should use. Studying good copy will make you a stronger writer.
4) Re-purpose social media
Social media can be very powerful tools for business. Make sure you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and anywhere else your potential customers are likely to hang out.
Most importantly, set up a Linkedin profile. A Linkedin account is a must-have for freelance writers to connect with bloggers and business owners who will pay for your services. You could even find a mentor in the form of a more experienced writer who has been in your shoes.
5) Create samples
Once you have picked your specialty (or niche), it’s time to brainstorm various topics that relate to your field. Try to come up with at least 30 ideas for possible posts.
If you get stuck, try doing a Google search for blogs in the same field. Pay attention to the types of posts and other content being shared most frequently.
Whatever you do, don’t plagiarize! Take notes about what appears to work and try to incorporate those elements into your own writing.
Produce three samples that are 750-1000 words in length (the longer, the better). Does that number make you pause? I’m willing to bet you write more than that on social media or via text on a daily basis.
A word on how to format your samples:
Research how to write for the web. Make your pieces easy to scan. Use lots of white space, bullet points, section headers, and ellipses. Stick with simpler language and short paragraphs with no more than 2-4 sentences each.
Use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway to check the spelling, grammar, and readability of your pieces.
After you’ve written your sample, take a break from it for 24 hours. Re-read it out loud and listen to how the words flow. If anything sounds awkward while you’re saying it, it’ll be awkward for others to read it.
Get a second pair of eyes on your copy to catch anything you may have missed (your spouse is a good candidate).
6) Create your website
You’ve got to market your services in order to begin making money. Your own website is the best way to introduce the world to your amazing skills.
This is where you will end up having to spend some cash on your business. You can get away with a free option in the beginning but plan to save some money to have a proper website built for you or to purchase the tools you need to do it yourself (no coding required, unless you like that sort of thing). A professional website is not that expensive and it can go a long way towards getting you high paying writing jobs.
To start, a free portfolio on Contently or on WordPress.com will work. If you have a little money to spend each month, you may want to look into Squarespace.
7) Guest Post
Remember that list you made of blogs in your industry (see step 3)? Get it out again and check to see whether they are accepting guest posters. You are going to use your samples to showcase your abilities and land the writing opportunities you need to beef up your portfolio.
Aim for 3-5 solid guest posts on established blogs. When the posts are live, be sure to share your work on social media.
Now that you’ve got a nice portfolio with live, bylined posts, it’s time to pitch for paid opportunities. Set a goal to send 5-10 cold pitches daily during nap time. Make sure to include links to your best pieces and propose a piece you think would be great for the blog for which you’d like to write.
Important-make sure you’ve researched whether someone has already written about your proposed topic. Do a search on google for “[proposed topic]” site:[website.com]to find out. If someone has covered your topic, think of something else to write.
Keep track of where you are pitching and remember to follow up. Editors and business owners are busy people. Remember, today’s “no” could be tomorrow’s “yes”. Check in periodically with blogs that have turned you down in the past to see if there are current opportunities that are a better fit.
9) Improve Continuously
Good writers keep improving their abilities. You don’t need a degree, but you do need to develop yourself with ongoing training.
Get a library card and check out books on writing.Use that same library card to get a free account on lynda.com to learn skills you need to run a business.
Udemy has regular sales of courses for as low as $10. Subscribe to their mailing list so you can catch the next one. Try to pick up some (or all) of Shani Raja’s courses when they are discounted. Thank me later.
Some of the best writing courses for first-time freelancers also have pretty affordable payment plan options:
Take a deep breath. The journey to build a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and do it the right way.
Every business requires hard work and investment to grow. Ultimately, you will get out of this experience what you put into it.
The ball’s in your court! What changes are you going to make in your schedule to make financial freedom a reality? I want to hear from you in the comments!
Tiffany A Ingle is a content marketing strategist and B2B blogger for hire running the one woman show known as Taingled Web. She’s also a wife and homeschooling mother of two. She’d love it if you would say hi on Twitter@taingledweb.