Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Elance--Making Money as a Writer
So is it me or does the economy really suck with a capital S right now? My real job is as a writer, but the job paying the bills (at least for the moment) is that of a teacher. Unfortunately, I live in an area where teachers are getting the axe due to our state's budget and the ginormous amount of debt we are all under.
Now don't start to fret. I'm not going to turn this into a political commentary. At least not today.
What I am going to talk about are job possibilities for the writer trying to keep their head above water in these tough times! Most of us aren't making any money. We sit at our computers and sweat over whatever imaginative gem we're currently working on because we love the muse. We love the act of creation. We love, love, love to write. I mean, you have to love something to keep doing it even though there's no money!
A few posts ago, I talked about being a ghost writer. It's a surprisingly lucrative job. Being a ghost writer doesn't mean you have to be writing a novel for someone either. It could be as simple as writing some one's blog post, allowing them to take the credit, and getting paid for it. If this is something that interests you, check out Elance.
Elance is a place where people in need of writers go to find them. They post jobs in categories from web design to blog articles to resume writing. As a writer, you go there to help these people out and earn a little extra money on the side. Typically, every job posted lists a time frame for completion of the job and what the client is willing to pay.
If you work from home, are a fast typer, and have a lot to say, check Elance out. It's easy to get set up with them, too! Once you've filled out the basic information and listed your skills, just peruse through their job listings until you find one that meets your time frame and capabilities. The next step is to bid for the job and state how much you want to get paid to do it. The client will either invite you to take the job or not.
I've been working with Elance for a few months now with success. Sometimes there is lots of competition for particular projects, and other times, you'd be surprised at the things people pass up. The beauty of it is that if a job doesn't tickle your fancy, you are not obligated to accept it.
Of course, writers never get paid what they're really worth. Sometimes the clients obviously have no clue how much time it takes to write something awesome, and they don't want to pay that much. Only apply for jobs that fit what your time is worth. In the beginning, you may want to do a few jobs without great pay just to get your foot in the door, but ultimately, you need to stick to your guns and charge what your time is worth.
If you are looking into life as a freelancer, Elance is a good place to get your feet wet and see what's out there.