Guest Post by Christina St-Jean
For every person with business dreams, there’s a person who’s struggling to figure out what they really want to do. You’d be hard pressed to find a Stephen King around every street corner, dreaming of going into business for himself, but there are a host of writers out there who dream of working at least part time for themselves. Ask any one of them if they’ve considered forging out on their own as businessmen and women, and they’d probably tell you no. But why not?
There are an increasing number of websites that other businesses are using to look for their public relations or correspondence needs. This is the perfect place for the writer wanting to get started as a professional freelancer; he or she can pick and choose the jobs they want and work – usually under a fairly tight deadline – towards earning their first dollars in their new business venture. All the websites are free to use, as well; all you have to do is sign up and create a profile.
ODesk, for instance, is an outsourcing company where writers can sign in looking for work in a variety of types of writing, ranging from copywriting to creative writing and translation. Job seekers can also sign on to be virtual assistants and apply for assistant positions. The bottom line is, as a freelancer, you have the freedom to choose the jobs you want to apply for. The problem is, there’s no guarantee you’ll be the one to be hired for the job, so pinning all your hopes on each job application may not be the best choice. There is a lot of variety, though, and the best advice is to keep applying.
MediaPiston, an ODesk-affiliated company, is another good place for the freelance writer looking to get a start in writing as a business. There are articles of varying lengths and varying subjects for freelancers to choose from and provided they are first to grab the job, it’s theirs. However, there are a couple of catches. You have to be able to write within very tight windows of time – usually only hours-long – and you have to be prepared to perhaps do more than a couple of revisions. It is, however, an excellent opportunity for writers wanting to get a start to make some extra money and get a broad spectrum of knowledge through a range of subjects.
Finally, TextBroker is another site that, like MediaPiston, allows writers the opportunity to sign on to write articles on a broad range of subjects. However, TextBroker ranks its writers as soon as they sign up, and writers are restricted to writing articles that are only rated for their writing level.
The bottom line is, it is possible to go into business as a freelance writer. It isn’t a traditional business, but it’s something that offers you the opportunity to learn and grow. That sort of growth can’t be taught; it’s learned, through personal experience. Writers looking for a way to stretch their writing muscles should consider being their own freelancing boss. They’ll be thankful for the opportunity.
Christina St-Jean is a Canadian teacher living in Ontario. She has been exploring the freelancing scene for the better part of six months and when she’s not writing or teaching, she’s chasing after her two young girls. She also contributes to Degree Jungle a college student resource site.