3 Websites for Freelancers Looking to Cut Their Teeth
Depending on the source, there are over 53 million American freelancers working in the economy today, and many of those who freelance choose to do so as writers. Freelance writing is a challenging gig. Nearly 60 percent of freelance writers supplement their income with another job, and only 13 percent report incomes of $30,000 or more in freelance writing alone. Despite the challenges with monetizing their writing, freelancers nonetheless report being quite satisfied with their chosen profession. Fortunately, the Internet continues to open up more and more venues for freelance writers to find work and to have a better chance at making a decent living. Here are three great websites for freelancers to check out if you are trying to make your writing work for you.
WriterAccess is a great website for freelance writers who are just starting out. The company, started in 2010, currently supports over 20,000 clients searching for freelance writers to provide content for them. Freelance writers can apply to the site, and, after submitting a writing sample, are assigned a “writing level” which determines how much they will get paid. The standard levels range 1.4 to 7.6 cents per word, although there are higher premiums for writers who have unique qualifications. Writers initially can compete for one assignment at a time, though the number increases with experience. Payment levels can increase depending on a writer’s feedback from assignment to assignment as well. The challenge with WriterAccess is the relatively low pay scale; it is great for those starting out, but established writers may find the pay system too low and too rigid for their liking. WriterAccess also requires freelancers to have a PayPal account in order to receive payments for their work. Which we all know Due.com has the invoicing software of choice.
Textbroker is another website that has created a virtual market for freelance writers. Much like WriterAccess, the site requires you to apply to be a freelancer there, and provide a writing sample. The site also uses a “quality level” to determine how much a freelancer gets paid as well. However, unlike WriterAccess, TextBroker also allows you to operate in “direct order” or “team order” mode, where a freelancer and client can negotiate with one another directly to determine a payment for a specific project completely outside of the TextBroker pricing scale. Payment on Textbroker is also more flexible to schedule, although all freelance writers working on the TextBroker platform must have a PayPal account as well.
Upwork is another great virtual market for freelance writers as well. The site boasts membership of over 5 million clients who seek freelancers for a variety of services, including freelance writers (although it does offer a market for a wide variety of other services as well). Freelance writers can apply for and establish an account on Upwork, build a profile, then compete for the thousands of freelance writing gigs clients post on the site. Upwork applies a much more freewheeling pricing style than Textbroker or WriterAccess, with a client setting a base price, and interested freelancers bidding on it. Upwork boasts an excellent feedback system as well, which helps freelancers establish themselves and be more competitive when it comes to the more lucrative projects clients are offering. Unlike the previous two websites, Upwork does not require a PayPal account to register on the service or receive payment. Fees can be quite steep on the site, however. Upwork employs a “sliding fee scale” which it charges writers for every writing assignment they complete, which starts at a hefty 20 percent per article.
Freelance writing is a terrific, creative outlet that provides great satisfaction. Finding a good market where you can compete for assignments and get paid can make it a lucrative side gig, too. Whether you are just starting out, or are an established freelancer, all of these websites are worth a look. All offer a safe market to offer your services, and get paid for doing what you love to do.