With new people around them and a new environment, college students are hard pressed to find time to do essay editing during college days. Endless streams of assignments, essays, midterms and final exams make finding extra time to see friends and relax difficult. The Internet has many websites that offer essay writing services, but what students really need is editing services.
I am proud to announce that the official Writers With Hats Article Writing Service is now open for business and taking content orders.
This is a big step for WWH as a business, but it also presents an exciting opportunity for publishers, writers, and anyone else who has a need for top-quality web content from professional American writers. We offer some very unique features with our writing services, including direct-to-WP posting and even guest posting. Continue reading
In my never-ending quest for valuable educational resources on the internet, I have stumbled across a gem that I thought I’d share with my fellow writers. It’s called Udemy, and it’s basically a website full of online courses that are uploaded (and taught) by the community. It’s not very formal, in fact the interface and ease of use are reminiscent of a social networking site instead of an educational site.
There is a lot of fantastic free content on Udemy, but a lot of it must be paid for as well. Prices range anywhere from $10 to several hundred for a course. Each course has a series of lectures, most opt for video format but others provide courses as powerpoints, text files, audio, and/or a combination of formats. The ‘instructor’ who uploaded the material can act as a real professor would- answering questions, having discussions with ‘students’, and helping people understand the content. It’s really quite novel, and for someone who doesn’t care about college credits and just wants some knowledge, it’s an awesome resource.
Udemy’s library covers a wide variety of topics and disciplines, in fact that is one of its main selling points. The more scholarly-inclined user can dig into some deep academic content on topics as complex as quantum physics and biochemistry while a more leisurely user can have fun with topics like piano, sewing, poker, and even bacon.
However, not all courses are made equal. While many lessons are taught by college professors and specialized experts, some are selling cheap content that you would expect to find in one of those scammy ‘expert’ ebooks being sold on one-pagers. Be sure to do your research before dropping any money.
If you have the skills and knowledge to create one of these courses yourself, there is a pretty penny to be made.
Here are some courses that I recommend for someone with an interest in writing:
Courses of note:
Build your own WordPress Websites - If you are a writer, you should really have a blog. And if you are building a blog, you should be using WordPress. It’s that simple- writers who learn WordPress really have a big advantage.
Interview your Heroes – For you folks involved with journalism, interviewing is an art form that you must have a firm grasp on. You need to be prepared to ask the right questions and know how to probe someone for interesting answers while respecting their boundaries, if you have little or no experience with interviewing then I would highly recommend a course like this one.
How to Teach English Online for Profit – Knowing how to speak English opens up many opportunities, so the demand is huge for non-English speakers who want to learn the language. Teaching English to someone is much easier than you think if you have a firm grasp on it, and it’s really a very effective way to make a lot of money if you get it right.
Introduction to Adwords - If you are involved with blogging or own a website of any kind, you really need to know about PPC and specifically, Adwords. There is a lot of misinformation floating around on this topic, so be sure to read up whenever you find something legitimately helpful.
Raising Capital for Startups – A course on how to attract investors, useful for writers who are involved with business (usually internet marketing).
One of the easiest ways to find clients as a freelance writer, especially for beginners, is to join one of the most popular freelance networks. These sites are essentially platforms that allow clients to post jobs in a variety of different areas (we will be focusing on writing, of course) and freelancers can apply to the ones they are interested in doing. Some networks and platforms are more competitive than others, some are more suited for beginners and others for experts, you need to find your sweet spot in terms of price point and competition in comparison to your credentials.
Generally, you won’t get paid as much for your writing if you work through a freelance writing network as opposed to finding clients on your own, but the process is much more streamlined and the time you save searching for work may be worth it. Working on these sites is great for beginners because it helps them build their reputation, skills, and portfolio while making money.
Here are some of the most popular freelance writing networks that I’ve used in the past and my recommendations on who they are fit for.
Their commission: 6.75 % – 8.75 % of the job price.
Elance.com is one of my go-to freelancing sites, it’s very popular with a ton of active clients constantly posting new writing jobs so there’s never really a shortage of work. My advice is to build up your profile and portfolio areas before you start putting in applications for jobs, clients will expect to see samples of your work. Posting a link to your own site with client testimonials would be a big plus as well and give you an edge over the competition.
Prices at Elance are better than most other freelance marketplaces, it depends on what the client is looking for. There are certainly a good amount of them who want some cheap outsourced help ($.01/word Filipino writers flock to those jobs) that would be a waste of time for you to get involved in, I wouldn’t write at Elance for less than $.02/word, and that’s for the most basic of article writing jobs. The amount of cheap outsourced work is relatively low compared to other freelance sites.
The downside to Elance is the limitations they put on contractors who don’t want to pay any fees, as a free member you’ll only receive 10 ‘connects’ per month. You expend one connect every time you apply for a job, so only put in applications for realistic opportunities that you have a good chance to get. When I was an active member I got by just fine on 10 connects per month, don’t waste them on ‘featured’ job applications- most job posters will read through each and every one, your portfolio in comparison to others will be the deciding factor, not a green border around your application.
All in all, Elance is a great place to get your freelance writing career off the ground if you can put together a good portfolio.
Their commission: %10
Odesk.com is quite similar to Elance in terms of framework, but there are a few notable differences in the communities that make them unique.
The biggest difference is that Odesk seems to have a much more prolific cheap outsourcing job community instead of a high-paying freelance writing scene, so don’t expect very impressive payment as a contractor. However, if you specialize in a certain format (ebooks, journalism, copywriting, etc.) then you can still find a good amount of well-paying jobs. For beginners who don’t mind working the $.01/word to $.02/word range for standard web articles, Odesk is a great way to make some cash.
The good thing about Odesk is that you can apply to as many jobs as you want, no monthly limit or fees like Elance. However, their cut of the dough is a bit larger at %10.
Now, these two sites hardly even scratch the surface, but these are the two that most of us are familiar with. Other notable networks for writers include Guru, Freelancer, and TextBroker. I’ll cover some of these other ones (as well as more advanced options like Demand Media and using Craigslist to find writing work) in the future.
What are your recommendations for freelance writing networks and websites?