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  • How to Start Working As a Freelance Writer From Home

    Keep these tips in mind if you’re considering to be a freelance writer work-at-home mom.
    by Martine De Luna .
  • Freelance moms who work from home are a breed of their own. Working from home provides some moms with a rewarding sense of dual accomplishment: the opportunity to earn income while caring for the children. As a work-at-home mom myself, I have experienced the satisfaction of earning my own keep, watching my son grow and learn day by day, being able to cook healthy meals and fix up my house—all while doing a job I love most: writing.

    Freelance writing in the Philippines

    Working as a freelance writer from home is relatively easy to begin with. However, it requires experience and a commitment to learn about the ever changing Internet landscape to become a lucrative occupation, especially here in the Philippines. Here are some tips to help you get started in this line of work.

    Check out the available freelance jobs 

    Most start-up freelance writing jobs on the Internet involve ghostwriting or writing for other websites. Others require more expertise, such as white paper-, essay-, and report writing. To give you an idea of how in-demand writing is as a profession, search Google using the query “work at home writing”: You’ll find over 200 million results pointing you towards sites on freelance writing. To get started, sign up for free accounts at freelancing communities such as Elance.com, oDesk.com or WAHM.com (Work at Home Moms) to get an idea of the kind of writing work potential clients are looking for. There are also a number of local companies that are open to work-from-home writers, including Smart Parenting Online!

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    Decide on a niche

    Some freelance writers write for a specific niche, be it expertise, be it a writing medium or an industry. Some stick to one niche, such as a particular industry. For example: Let’s say you decide to write for legal clients. You will write everything for them, from direct mail and brochures to sales aids and video scripts, so long as it is about anything legal. Some, on the other hand, write for a niche by medium. They make a particular medium of writing their specialty. For example: You can write for all types of industries, but you only write white papers or annual reports. Choosing a niche, in the end, is about knowing what you’re comfortable with, and most importantly, what you particularly like!

    Learn basic Internet writing techniques

    Internet writing, unlike writing for print, is more about content rather than wit. While it takes a knack for writing to be able to do any type of work-at-home writing job, it does take a lot of unlearning as well. The best way to learn about how to write for different types of clients all over the Internet is to tap freelance writing resources which are specifically for work-at-home mom writers. A great resource is wahm-articles.com, which is an online community specifically for work-at-home mom writers. You can browse through articles which are written for Internet readership, learn how to write purposefully for the Web, and even sign-up for a work-at-home writing job. Another helpful site is michaelfortin.com, which is packed with insightful lessons on copywriting (which, incidentally is a highly in-demand writing need among clients.)

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    Hone your writing skills through a blog

    Blogging is an excellent platform for you to enhance your personal writing skills. Maintaining a blog that’s tailored to your work as a work-at-home writer can showcase your work as a journalist, copywriter or article writer. It also gives potential clients an authentic look into your personal writing style. You can easily begin a blog on free platforms such as Wordpress.com or Blogger.com. Eventually, you can even post your resume, sample works and references on your blog; it’ll be like your online portfolio.

    Skiff for scams

    There are lots of work-at-home opportunities out there that are nothing but scams. Since many work-at-home writing jobs are offered by offshore clients based abroad, mommy writers can easily fall prey to scammers who take advantage of the Internet’s convenience. Before signing on with a client for a writing job, make sure the person or company you are dealing with abroad is legit. You can use the tools on sites such as the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/) or the National Fraud information Center (http://www.fraud.org/) to check if your U.S.-based clients are truly registered businesses. If you decide to work-from-home for locally-based clients, you can always request for a legit business address and name, which you can verify with the Department of Trade and Industry.

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    Determine your rates as a freelancer

    Some clients will tell you upfront what they will pay you for a job; others will ask you what your rate per word is. Determining your rate depends greatly on how much experience you have as a writer; still, a good way to determine how much you can charge for a job is by calculating the value of your time based on the number of hours it takes for you to complete a writing task. 

    Being a freelance mom can be very rewarding once you learn basic writing techniques and how to juggle several writing jobs all at once. In the end, whatever niche you choose or medium you pursue, remember that writing for a living from home should be something that enriches you and empowers you as a mom.

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