As many of you out there, I have been hit hard by the recession. I thought that I was one of the lucky few who had a job that was recession proof. As a teacher, I thought that I would certainly have a job next year. So when I was called into the principal's office and told that I was being let go due to financial and staffing issues, I was shocked. It turns out even public education has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn.
So, after allowing myself to be shell-shocked for a couple days, I decided to devise a plan of action that would allow me to make money even if I couldn't find another teaching job. I earned my first degree in journalism and I remembered my professors talking about freelance writing. I thought that I might as well give it a try. Little did I know that the Internet had made freelance writing extremely convenient and endlessly profitable.
I did a couple of searches for freelance writing sites and read a few blogs about freelance writing on the Internet. I started with a website called Ehow.com. Ehow allows writers to post articles about how to do just about anything. The articles earn residuals, that is to say that they earn money based on how many people read the articles and find them useful. The more articles you write, the more money you earn, and Ehow articles continue to make money as long as they are posted online.
I eventually went on to find more residual-based sites such as Bukisa and Suite101. These sites allow you to write about whatever you want. Writers earn more at Bukisa when they build their network by asking friends to sign up. Suite101 also pays residuals and a bonus of 10% once you publish 50 articles. The site provides excellent editor advice as well. By writing for these different sites, I am able to improve my skills and enhance my monthly earnings.
I also found some sites that pay up-front payments for articles. Demand Studios pays $15 for every article accepted. They also have a stringent editing process and many times they will ask for a rewrite of your article. If you have strong writing skills though, you will be able to make fairly decent money with Demand Studios. Demand Studios also provides a residual program but, in my opinion, I don't think you make as much money with residuals on Demand Studios as with other sites like Ehow. I also just signed up for Helium, but I haven't written any articles yet. I will report back once I see how that site works.
Anyway, I'm also starting this blog to let others know about online freelance writing. I will try to keep you posted of my trials and successes. If you are a freelance writer, I would love to hear your stories too.