Want to make a few hundred or a few thousand extra dollars writing on your laptop? Getting paid to do what you love? Here’s how I do it…
Like everyone, you need extra money.
And like a few people, you love to write. And perhaps, like even fewer people, you’re actually pretty good at writing!
But you aren’t making any money at it. Welcome to the club!
Except…actually I do make a little side cash from my freelancing! I don’t do much of it; too busy on other little projects I’m working on, such as this website and my other site, Scum Hive. Plus starting in March I’m about to kick off my biggest indie project ever, and am bringing an assistance on board to help me this time. I’m calling it Mad English Laboratory, as a working title for now… But I’ve digressed. Let’s get back to how I make money freelancing!
The main way I make money from freelance writing is Upwork.
Upwork has got a lot of pros and cons, but in general I recommend it. Why? Because you can absolutely make extra money on the site, and it pays out through Paypal.
I’ve made over $3,400 from 32 jobs, all of which were done from my laptop, most of which were fairly easy, fun, and relatively quick (shortest was a few minutes, longest was several hours, but the average was around 2 – 3 hours per).
Most writers will start looking for magazines to pitch their stories or articles to, and may never hear back or they get a blanket rejection notice from the editor, like, a year later.
With Upwork, the customers are basically coming with cash in hand to the site and telling you what they want.
All you have to do is build your profile, then submit a cover letter and bid amount explaining why you are the best person for their job.
I say ‘all you have to do.’
It does take work, crafting that perfect profile to highlight your experiences, background, portfolio. But most crucially, perhaps, is making it stand out from the pack. That’s why I recommend reading other writers’ profiles! No need to reinvent the wheel. Read some, see what pops out to you, and don’t mirror it, but find a creative way to take those best elements and customize them to suit your style.
Once you’ve got your profile, do a few of the Upwork tests, so show you can prove your skills. I didn’t do many, maybe one or two. But in part that is because I came to the table with a decent background already… I have a MFA in Creative Writing, I’ve been writing governmental correspondence and guides for years, and also, for some jobs, it looks good that I have a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (that helps for clients who need ESL-related content).
If you want to see my full Upwork profile, you can visit it here…
Actually, before I continue, let me point you what is possibly the best article about making money on Upwork, by a guy named Danny Margulies, on his site Freelancetown.com. I am not in the same league as this man. Few are. And that’s not some affiliate link above; I never met or talking to him. But I read his article, and it’s amazingly helpful.
Here is another similar post by Jake Jorgovan, and he really breaks it down for you, step-by-step. My goal is to be efficient and not reinvent the wheel, so I am not going to spin their pieces here. Just go visit their sites! I’m not trying to suck anyone into a customer funnel here, and the only product I have for sale in my eBook, Why Are You Still Working?
So what they do is very different from what I’m doing, because I doubt they are still actually writing much on Upwork. Instead, it was a stepping stone for them, I believe. And it can be for anyone. I still use it, though, for little projects.
Here are the reasons why I freelance on Upwork!
For one, it keeps me engaged with a variety of clients and projects. You can really learn a lot from working with others, seeing what they are up to!
You get a security net to ensure you’re paid. I once had a customer kill himself before paying out my fee for the work I had submitted. It was tragic, and I found out only after Googling his name, since he’d dropped off the radar and wasn’t talking to me anymore. Prior to that, he’d been very communicative and friendly, so I was genuinely wondering if something had happened to him. Something had. He’d committed suicide.
That’s an extreme example, but the point is that Upwork ensured I received the payment from escrow.
It builds your portfolio. Unless you are doing a ton of ghostwriting, which I don’t recommend, you will start getting writing credits to beef up your personal resume. Looks good when querying those other magazine articles, to show you wrote for X, Y, or Z.
You can create long-lasting business contacts. Upwork does not want you to take your business offline, meaning if you met a client through Upwork, you are locked in by their terms of service to keep using Upwork for I believe two years. But of course they cannot keep you from talking to the person and sharing ideas, collaborating on topics which do not involve them paying you.
Here’s a screenshot of just a couple sample jobs sitting on the Upwork site:
The feed just depends on the filters you wish to apply, so that you’ll only see jobs related to what you want to do. You can also filter according to the price range. For example, if you don’t want to see any jobs under $50 or over $1,000, just filter it down.
Aside from Upwork, I do also offer my freelance services on this very site you’re reading!
Blurb from my eBook, Why Are You Still Working?
Have you lost your mind? You want to quit work and retire…at YOUR age? Who said you could do that?
Get up and go to work, you bum! Go every day until you die!
After all these years, aren’t you bored to death of the daily grind, of your boss, of the commute? Don’t you really, seriously think you could find SOMETHING better to do with that 40-plus hours of your week?
Hmm, you may be on to something.
Because you know in your heart, life doesn’t have to be like this; it SHOULDN’T be like this!
Don’t work yourself into the grave. We all deserve our freedom at some point… So why not now? Right now!
So many of us are MUCH closer to being able to retire than we realize. In some cases, we are capable of it right this minute…but we feel like we’re not prepared to make the leap. For me, it took a year to decide, but once I did there was no going back.
Here, in this book, is how I did it. There is no great secret to it. The only mystery is, what took so long!
At 44 years old, I left a good-paying job, packed up the family, and have been living a dream life on the Aegean Coast ever since…all the while NOT working, but instead focusing on taking things easy, spending lots of quality time with my family, and just plain old goofing off! (Yes, I did write this eBook in my spare time; I have lots and lots of spare time!)
You, too, have the ability to live life on your own terms, to ‘do it your way.’ But only if you really want it! You have to act; you must make it happen, because it won’t happen on by itself.
‘Why Are You Still Working?’ clearly outlines the exact steps I took to go from living and working in one of America’s most expensive areas to reassessing my priorities, downshifting and downsizing, and resettling in a place others only get to visit on vacation while paying the bills as a digital nomad with a pension. Not every tip will apply to every person; I realize that. Every situation is different. But most will apply, if we’re willing to keep an open mind.
In this updated version, I’ve hyperlinked to the new Why Are You Still Working website, which offers even more in-depth tips and insights. There’s no magic to it, and no schemes or tricks, and I’m not selling any over-priced online courses or trying suck anyone into a ‘customer funnel.’
It’s just down-to-Earth, common sense advice that any person can apply, plus tips to help anyone go from burnt-out employee to blissful beach bum… It’s easier than you think–the hardest part is just doing it!
The second hardest part? Sticking to it! But trust me when I say, every day of my mega early retirement is better than a day on the job!
But Why Are You Still Working isn’t only about retirement. It’s about independence!
Maybe you still want to work, but haven’t considered all the options…like working from home, working freelance, working online, working as a digital nomad selling your services and products on your own time, from anywhere on Earth! This book explores a few such concepts, and links to resources to dig in deeper.
Give it a try! You’ve got nothing to lose…and a whole new life to gain!