Make Money From Writing

How a Single Mom Supports Her Family Working From Home as an Online Freelance Writer


I've put this website together to guide you through the steps I took to avoid putting my two young children in daycare. When I started as a freelance writer, I was married and had a baby. In my first 12 months online, I matched my husband's income. Now, circumstances have changed. I have two children and have recently become a single mom.

As a single mom, it's up to me to make sure we have a roof over our heads and food on the table - and getting paid for online writing jobs has given me that and so much more, like:

My writing business has not only made it possible to afford our living expenses, but has provided a number of opportunities I never thought possible. Writing has taken me to Sydney, Australia to speak to a group of several hundred internet marketers about outsourcing their writing, and a mini-vacation on the beautiful Gold Coast in Queensland....

The family has traveled to a really fun amusement park in Pennsylvania to meet with two other writers and their families last summer...

I'm home everyday with my kids - and have never had to pay for daycare or babysitting services. When asked at the school's career day what his parents do, my six year old proudly announced "Mommy plays on the computer at home while I'm at school..."

Everyone is talking about our economy. People are either losing their jobs or worried they're next to be laid off. Despite this constant discussion of a declining economy, my writing business remains steady and I haven't had a decline in writing jobs yet. I realize the times are tough - I see it in the news every day. Let me help you get ahead, make money writing from home and avoid having to pay for daycare or rely on that job that might not be there tomorrow. Forget about the 25 cent pay raise you're in line to get this year, and give yourself a new career with much bigger potential.

Here are some examples of writing I've done that has paid my bills and given me opportunities to travel, meet new people, and avoid daycare. These are articles anyone could write and get paid for it:

 

There are 6 basic steps to getting your first couple paid writing jobs, and then some ongoing work that you'll need to do to establish yourself as a successful freelance writer so you can get paid for writing online.

Being successful can be whatever you want it to be - but for me it means freedom: flexible schedules, more time with the kids, and opportunities for travel.

  Here are the initial steps to getting that all-important, first project - and how to keep getting clients:

  1. Prepare Yourself and Your Workspace
  2. Establish an Online Reputation
  3. Set up A Process to Collect Payment
  4. Get The First Project
  5. Beyond the First Project
  6. How Much Money Can You Make?

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Step One: Prepare Your Workspace and Yourself

While it's ideal to have a separate area within your home dedicated as your office, you can do just fine with much less.  If you're on a tight budget, you can start your freelance writing business today with nothing more than a computer, a reliable internet connection, and a telephone.

Ideally, you'll also have a desk and storage space for files that can be kept separately from your personal paperwork and some paper and pens for taking notes by hand.  A computer printer is helpful.

You'll want to create accounts on the following sites:

You'll also want to familiarize yourself with Craigslist.org - you can search any state and city under jobs for writing and editing work. Many of the jobs posted here are telecommuting and/or contract positions that can be done from home.

Preparing yourself for a freelance writing business may actually be a bit harder than setting up your initial workspace.  If you're new to working from home, you may find it more challenging than you think.  If you have young children at home, you are faced with additional challenges - but the good news is once you've established a routine, you'll be able to balance both work and home under the same roof. Writing from home gives you the flexible schedule you need to attend your children's school events and sports activities.

Before you jump in with both feet and without a plan, take some time to figure out what your work hours will be.  One of the nice things about becoming a freelance writer from home is that you are able to be flexible with your schedule. You will need to have an idea of how many hours each week you have available to devote to your business, but you can pick the hours you want to work around the needs of your family.  When you're starting out, it's very important to be consistent to help build momentum.

"Thank you for basically coming to my rescue."

Debbie,


I want to thank you so much for all the help you have given me so far. I recently lost my job (b/c of the economy) and have four lil ones to support (the youngest just turned 4 months old). I really want to work from home, and I have been searching for a stay at home job for weeks.I was so excited when I stumbled upon your website. I have always enjoyed writing and wondered how I could make a career out of it. You have inspired me to start up writing again. I want to thank you for all your support and important info!!!

I feel so much better knowing that there are still some scam-free work at home jobs out there! Thank you for basically coming to my rescue. When I lost my job I thought it was the end of the world, and now I have something to look forward to.

~Van~

sent in an email to info@makemoneyfromwriting.com on February 6, 2009

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Step Two: Establish an Online Reputation

There are a number of ways you can get your name in the spotlight online. Type “Debbie Dragon” into Google to see some of the things that have put my name out there.  My name will often come up when people search on finance or debt related topics, because I write about it a lot. Having several ways to find me online has helped new clients locate and contact me – these are the best kind of leads!  When people search for you and make contact, they're already qualified and obviously looking for a writer so it becomes a lot easier for you to secure the work.

You'll want to start sprinkling your name around the internet in places your potential clients may come into contact with it. And lucky for you- it's free to do this!
  1. If you don't have one already, set up a blog. You can use a free service, like blogger.com, wordpress.com, or set up your blog under your own domain name (recommended).
  2. Start writing articles and posting them to your blog on a regular basis.
  3. Create an account on ezinearticles.com.  Use your name (or the pen name you plan to use for the majority of your assignments) as your username and author name as you are setting up your account. (See Video for How to Use EzineArticles.com)
  4. Write articles on a topic related to the information you provide on your blog, and in your author resource box, include a link back to your personal blog.
  5. Contact blogs owned by other people, and offer to write a free article in exchange for an author's resource box that includes your name and a link to your blog.

There are other ways to establish an online reputation, but these will allow you to get your name on a few pieces of writing rather quickly, and at no cost to you. When someone searches for your name using Google or another search engine, eventually they will come across these articles and your blog.  It also gives you examples of your writing that you can refer a potential client to, even before you have a portfolio of writing samples available.

I Made $14,000 in 6 Months

“I had wanted to work at home in order to keep my daughter out of after-school care.  I always had the intention of going into business for myself but I really had no idea what I wanted to do or how to begin.

            I was always good at writing but couldn't fathom how I could earn a living from it without first selling a novel.  I met Debbie via an online job posting she had done to recruit subcontractors.  I started working with her part-time and within 6 months I had made over $14,000.  Not only was Debbie instrumental in helping me find work; her patience, knowledge, and ambition has really inspired me to keep moving forward.

I am in my second year of business and have already doubled my profits from last year.     I have learned that there is a whole new world out there that I love working in.  It is wonderful to be a full time writer.  The flexibility, the creativity, and the opportunity is just beyond  what I could have anticipated when I started out with Debbie and her system for online freelance writing.  It is not an impossible dream!”

Tisha Tolar
Freelance Writer & Owner
www.thehelpyhelper.com

Preview Tisha's novel online: www.genxthenovel.com

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Step Three: Set Up Process to Collect Payment

Working as a writer online means you need to have a way to collect payment from your clients.  Some writers allow clients to mail a check or money order, but when you are first starting out, cash flow is important.  To improve your cash flow and receive payments quicker you should set up an account with www.Paypal.com.

The majority of people who hire freelance writers online will expect to pay with Paypal. Most of the freelance job sites offering an escrow service will also release your payments to a Paypal account.

(Escrow is a legal arrangement in which an asset (such as cash, real property or other tangible assets) is deposited into safekeeping (e.g. a bank account) under the trust of a neutral third party (escrow agent) pending satisfaction of contractual contingency or condition. Once the condition has been met, the escrow agent will deliver the asset to the party prescribed by the contract.)

It's free to create an account with Paypal, and you only need to have a regular bank account available to connect the accounts.  Basically, the Paypal account will allow people to send you payments, and then you can transfer the money you earn to your regular checking account or savings account.

Paypal also makes it possible for you to accept credit cards, without the need for an expensive or complicated merchant account.  Some writers will choose to obtain merchant accounts as their business increases, but for beginning online freelance writers, Paypal is the easiest and least expensive option for accepting payments from your clients.

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Step Four: Get The First Project

For new online freelance writers, I find the easiest and quickest way to getting paid work is to use the freelance bidding sites.  In Step 1, you created accounts with two of the most popular sites and the two that I used when I decided I wanted to get paid for writing, and began finding your way around Craigslist.

On each of these freelance sites, you can browse the available projects.  These are like job listings.  Individuals and businesses come to these websites and post details of work they need someone to complete for them.  You'll want to look in the categories for Writing, Web Content Writing, Tech Writing, Sales Writing and Copywriting.

On Craigslist, you browse the jobs category for writing & editing positions and apply to the ones that appeal to you.

When you see a project that looks like something you could do, “bid or apply to it.  Put in some details about yourself and your experience, point them to some of the blogs and articles you've published in Step 2, and indicate a price you'll accept for the work.  A good rule of thumb is to look at what the person posting the project has indicated as their available budget and place a bid accordingly.  Since you are new to the freelance site and do not have any “feedback” from other site users that indicate your reliability or the quality of your work, you will not want to be the highest bidder. 

A new freelance writer may need to accept the first few projects at lower rates in order to gain experience and a reputation within the freelance sites.  Consider it like paying your dues” and before you know it, you'll be able to demand higher rates based on your reputation, ability as a writer, and experience.

Note: I am not telling you to work for pennies per hour! If you want to demand $100 for a single page article right out of the gate though, chances are you will find it hard to compete with writers who are more established in their careers than you are. You can certainly choose to hold out for higher paying assignments, but keep in mind you will be offered less work (at least at first) than if you agreed to write a single page article for, let's say... $15 or $25.

I had 12 projects in the first 2 weeks...

I enrolled in ‘Make Money From Writing’ early last summer, (2008). It was the best decision I ever made. For years I believed I had the ability to write. Debbie Dragon gave me that badly needed push in the right direction. She showed me that writing online was possible and her class gave me step-by-step instructions on how to become a successful online writer. I acquired 12 projects in the first two weeks of class. Seven months later I am now the Editor and Senior Writer for a Poetry on Video Site. . PoemVidz.com.

I would encourage anyone who has the desire to be a writer to enroll in Debbie Dragon’s class. Thank you Debbie for all your help and advice.

Will Curl
http://www.youtube.com/poemvidz

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Step Five: Beyond the First Project

Most people would not be able to sustain themselves just by obtaining work from the various freelance job sites.  It's a great place to start out, and a terrific place to come back to whenever you find yourself with less work (or less income!) than you require in any given month. But it probably will not become your bread and butter.

The reason we use the freelance bidding sites at all, is to give your business and name a boost and find clients initially.  Whenever you complete an assignment through a job site, you are given contact details of the client.  You'll want to add their email addresses into a database so that you can continue to market to them on an ongoing basis.  The next time they need a writer, they will probably skip posting the project online and sorting through a few hundred bids and simply contact you directly.

Other places to find online writing work include:

Without Debbie, I Would Still be Working in Food Service

“ Without Debbie Dragon, I would still be working in food service.  Her honest advice and her incredible depth of knowledge were THE DRIVING FORCES behind getting my writing business off the ground. 

Even now, 2 years later, I still look to her for advice on running my business which has grown from a simple writing service to include Web and Graphic Design, and even radio commercial production.  She'll probably disagree, but I owe much of my success to Debbie.”

Braden Russom
Copywriter, Graphic Designer, Songwriter

www.bradenrussom.com

 

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Step Six: How Much Money Can You Make

One of my favorite things about my freelance writing business is I'm not limited to a specific salary.  When I worked as an administrative assistant for a busy couple who owns 20+ Dunkin' Donut stores, I was limited to earning the amount they felt I was worth to their business.  When I worked for a local town government's utility department as a billing clerk, I could only make the salary that everyone else in that position makes, regardless of my efforts and ability.

When I became a self employed freelance writer, though, I basically broke through the ceiling that had been placed on my earning potential.  You can do the same.  You can make a few dollars a day OR you can make a few hundred dollars per day.  Much of what you earn depends on you:

  • How long it takes you to write a one-page article
  • How much you charge per page, per word or per hour
  • The number of articles you write in a day
  • Your flexibility and ability to write about a wide variety of topics
  • Whether or not you choose to branch out and write other things, like ebooks, technical documents, sales copy

My suggestion for everyone looking to turn online writing into a career is to decide what they'd like their annual income to be.  With that number in mind, you can then begin to plan out your strategy for making that income. 

Here's a snapshot of my Paypal account showing income for a two week period:

The Easier Way

I fumbled through the above steps on my own, until I discovered how to put everything together for a successful freelance writing career.  If it all seems a little overwhelming for you, and you'd like to skip over the trial and error associated with starting a new business- there is an easier way.  For just $39 per month, you get access to my mentoring program that will guide you in detail every step of the way and eliminate most of the mistakes a new writer makes when starting a writing business. Plus, you'll have access to me via email and phone to answer your questions, give you some suggestions based on my personal experience, and point you in the right direction.  To find out more about the mentoring program, please click here.

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Here's How You Can Become Financially Independent Through Writing:

By clicking below, I'll show you my comprehensive program for people just like you who want to make money writing from home. I've spent the last six years of my life developing the information and processes I teach in this program. They are the same techniques I've used to achieve financial independence and not have to rely on my husband (particularly important now that I'm a single mom!)

If you're ready to:

  • make money writing from home
  • have more opportunities to travel
  • avoid putting your kids in daycare
  • have more quality time with your family and friends
  • stop relying on your partner's income
  • stop living in fear that the economy is leading you out of a job...

Would you like some one-on-one hand holding by Debbie? **this program is currently closed to new members. Please visit www.debbiedragon.net to contact me with questions or to enroll in the next mentoring program.

Good luck!

Debbie Dragon