How to Make Money as a Beginner Freelance Writer in 2020

Girl in front of laptop with the words, how to make money as a beginner freelance writer in 2020

With the large wave of furloughs and layoffs that have occurred this year due to COVID-19, 2020 is definitely the year of exploring side hustles and alternative ways to make money. I’m guessing if you’re a blogger, you’ve considered ad revenue. However, ad revenue can be quite difficult to make for a beginner. Even if you’ve been blogging for a long time, ad revenue depends on not just the number of views, but also getting views from the right audience. WordAds, the advertising platform for WordPress, has said ad revenue tends to be higher if you are getting views from North America, including the USA and Canada. If that is not your target audience, then you might be out of luck. Luckily, there are other ways to make money from freelance writing even if you are a beginner. These are my top three tips.

1. Join a freelance writing website

Freelance websites connect freelancers with clients for a commission. The great thing is that they are completely flexible – you only have to work if you apply for a particular project. Some of these freelance writing websites pay really high rates. For example, Writer Bay claims that their top writers’ profits in the last month are between $2,000 and $3,000. Of course, it will take a while for you to become a top writer, but even if you are a beginner just starting out, you should be able to get a decent rate – about $300-600 per project.

Be aware that Writer Bay is particularly for academic writers, and so you don’t necessarily need to have professional writing experience, but you do need to have a Bachelor’s degree. As you can expect, the application process is a little bit vigorous – you need to take a grammar test, respond to a writing prompt in 15 minutes, write a sample essay of 275-350 words, and upload a CV. But I definitely think it’s worth it based on the high rates they offer. If you think Writer Bay is for you, you can sign up on their website: writerbay.com.

If you want something less vigorous, you can apply to other freelance websites like Fiverr and Gigesy which pay a minimum of $5 per task. $5 might not seem like a lot, but you can set a higher rate if you choose. I would however recommend setting a fee of $5 if you are just starting out, to increase the likelihood of you getting an order. Moreover, $5 does not necessarily mean $5 per writing task. You can set your own fee rate – for example, $5 for 100 words, so if someone wants a 1,000-word document, that would be $50.

I strongly recommend Gigesy for beginners, because it is a new site and so it is less competitive than Fiverr, which has been existing for a number of years. I think it is almost impossible for a beginner writer to get an order, or at least make significant money, on Fiverr when there are already so many freelancers on there that have built a reputation over the years. If you join Gigesy now, you can be part of the early writing freelancers and so it is easier for you to get an order. Gigesy might just blow up and be the next Fiverr – who knows?

Of course, Gigesy pays way less than Writer Bay, but the application process and the tasks given are usually also easier. If you are interested in Gigesy, you can sign up using this link.

2. Write sponsored blog posts

If you have a blog, you can write sponsored blog posts for clients and get paid. I strongly recommend Intellifluence for this. Intellifluence is an influencer marketing plaform and, like freelance writing websites, it connects you to clients who are looking to promote their goods or services on a blog. You can earn between $55-100 just for writing one sponsored blog post. Sometimes this involves inserting an external link(s) in your blog post; sometimes it involves writing an entire blog post of 800-1,000 words dedicated to the company. I don’t know about you, but I think $100 for about an hour’s work is a good deal!

The great thing is that you don’t need to have tens of thousands of subscribers on your blog to write a sponsored post – I have written sponsored blog posts on Intellifluence with less than 200 subscribers on my blog, so I think it’s perfect for beginner freelance writers! If you are interested in joining Intellifluence, you can sign up using this link.

3. Guest write for a website

Some websites with large followings accept submissions from guest writers if they like your work, regardless of whether you are a beginner or not. Some websites that reportedly pay guest writers really well are: Book Riot (everything related to books), Bustle (fashion and beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment), and Rattle (poetry only). Keep in mind that it might be difficult to get your work through – you have to really impress them.

If you want something on a smaller scale, you can also try RindX. They pay less, between N2,000 and N10,000 ($5-25) for a post of 750-1,000 words. Paid submissions are on hold on RindX for now, but you can check their website regularly to find out when it will be back: rindx.com.

Do you have any further tips for making money as a beginner freelance writer in 2020? Let me know in the comment section!

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