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November 2017

    Freelance Writing, Getting The Job

    25 Sites That Pay You to Write

    Want to get paid to write an article for popular sites? As freelance writers, we know that content is king. The Content Marketing Institute actually projects that 55% of companies will be increasing their content marketing budget this year alone. This is great for us but doesn’t change the fact that finding jobs can be tough. Some weeks the work is pouring in, and some weeks it barely trickles in at all. That’s why it’s so important to have a pipeline, a list of places that you can go to find work when it’s just not finding it’s way to you. It doesn’t have to be scary either, there are tons of sites out there that WANT to pay you for your work. You just need to know where to look.

    TVC put together this list of 25 sites that will pay you to write for them. Real, legitimate sites that want your voice to represent them. There are tons of great opportunities here. Pinky promise that there is something for every niche, so jump in and start making some money!

    Also, make sure to check out our 15 Best Job Sites for Freelancers for more job opportunities!

     

    1. Cracked – Cracked is a humor site looking for list-style articles and infographics. They don’t require that you be experienced, they want writers with a knack for creative and funny writing. Sign up for their writer’s forum, create a profile, and submit your work. If it fits their criteria, you’re in! Cracked pays $50-$200 per article accepted. 
    2. College Humor – College Humor is one of the most well-known humor sites out there. They give a great list of examples for articles that do well on their site and accept pitches through email at Articles@collegehumor.com. They pay $35 for a one-page article or $50 for a multi-page article. 
    3. Funny Times – Funny Times pokes fun at relevant topics such as politics, news, relationships, technology, and much more. As a site that does not use advertising, they have free reign to post whatever they like. Payment is upon publishing not acceptance, and they pay $60 for each story. 
    4. A Fine Parent –  A Fine Parent is a popular site that helps people concquer parenting issues, seek support, and learn from other parents. They are looking for in-depth articles about personal parenting experiences, or something that readers will connect with. At the beginning of each month, they list article topics for you to write about and you are paid once the article is excepted. They pay $100 per 1000-3500 word article. 
    5. Listverse – With over 15 million readers a month, Listverse is the authority of list sites. They are always looking for lists of 10 on unique topics averaging around 1500 words per post. Listverse pays $100 per list. 
    6. The Penny Hoarder – The Penny Hoarder is a popular finance blog that boasts insight on great ideas to make money from side hustles and unique jobs. They are looking for articles written from personal experience with advice on saving and earning money. Ideal articles are evergreen with 700-900 words and they pay up to $75. Article payment depends on a lot of factors, so emailing the editor to talk about payment may be helpful. 
    7. A List Apart – ALA features articles on all aspects of web design. They have 3 tiers of articles including feature length (1,500-2,000 words for $200), articles (600-1,500 words for $100), and mini-articles (500-600 words $50). They have high editorial standards, and once the article is submitted ALA has their editing team help you fine-tune your work if needed. 
    8. E-Commerce Insiders – E-Commerce Insiders is the hub for content focused on news and trends in the retail industry. They are looking for unique articles that fit that niche ranging from 400-600 words with payment of $75, or articles above 600 words for $125. 
    9. Photoshop Tutorials – Photoshop Tutorials is looking for unique (you guessed it) Photoshop tutorials. They accept anything from quick tips and tricks up to full-length tutorials. The pay ranges because of this and is anywhere from $50 – $300 an article. 
    10. Treehouse– Treehouse is a great site focused on education in coding, web design, and more. Their blog ranges in topics like web designs, freelance, and productivity to name a few. Treehouse pays between $100 – $200 for accepted articles. 
    11. The Layout by Flywheel – If you are a WordPress wiz, The Layout is perfect for you and your skill set. Writers need to apply, and they will be given a list of topics to pick from. Topic pitches are also accepted. The Layout pays up to $150 for articles.  
    12. Compose – Compose has recently launched a blog called The Write Stuff, where writers can contribute articles that touch on ideas and issues about databases. They are open to giving new writers a chance, and also accept experienced writers. For payment, they offer a combination of $200 cash and $200 Compose credit. 
    13. Blackbelt Magazine – Blackbelt Magazine focuses on the core principles of Martial Arts, techniques, training methods, and fitness. They are looking for articles that strategical or technical skills and historical or philosophical matters in martial arts, and no longer than 3000 words. Articles pay $150-$300. 
    14. Linode – Linode is looking for technical writers and topics to add to their comprehensive tutorial list about Linux, Linode, and Cloud Infrastructure. Their site lists topics that need to be written about, and pay is up to $300 per article. 
    15. Gripped – Gripped a well known and loved climbing publication. They are looking for quality content for features, northern faces, area profiles, and reviews. Articles are maximum of 2,500 words and pay up to $250. 
    16. Family Fun Magazine – As one of the longest-running family publications, Family Fun Magazine focuses on families with children ages 2-12. They get over 2 million views a month and are looking for articles that provide tips and tricks to life’s most memorable moments. They pay up to $1.25 a word for articles. 
    17. Lies About Parenting – Lies About Parenting is a great parenting blog hell-bent on debunking parenting myths and annoying advice. They encourage raising happy and healthy kids and are looking for writers who can share their stories. They have a rigorous editing process, but if you are open to criticism it’s a great opportunity. They pay $50 per article. 
    18. Sports Fishing Magazine – Sports Fishing Magazine is a renowned publication in the saltwater fishing world. They are looking for articles to be written in both the feature department and several categories. They have a submissions guideline page that should be studied before submitting a pitch. They pay $750. 
    19. The Travel Writer’s Life – The Travel Writer’s Life is about getting paid to travel. They are accepting articles about how to make a living traveling through writing, photography, tours, etc. Depending on the article type, they pay between $50-$200. 
    20. Dorkly – Dorkly is a pop culture site that features articles about video games, movies, television, and anime. They have a specific submissions guide that you should check out before submitting work. They pay $75 per published article. 
    21. Two Plus Two – Two Plus Two is a site that posts articles about playing poker, biographies of popular poker players, and engaging interviews. They have a submission guidelines page that lists high priority and low priority topics that they seek writers for. Pay is $200 per published article.  
    22. 5 Best Things – This click-bait list site offers readers reviews and list posts with 5 items in each. They accept a variety of articles on many topics and varying word count. SEO knowledge and execution is required in each article. They pay anywhere between $10-$100 for articles. 
    23. LiisBeth – LiisBeth describes themselves as “a reader and community supported zine that examines entrepreneurship, start-up culture, and the innovation eco-system through a progressive feminist lens”. Their submissions guideline page spells out the kind of articles they are looking for and what their readers gravitate to. Pay ranges from $100-$2000. 
    24. Polygon – Polygon is the holy grail of all things video gaming, including artists, fans, and culture. They have a great page instructing writers on how to pitch them and direct contact information. Polygon pays $0.25 a word for each article. 
    25. The Motley Fool – The Motley Fool provides financial advice and helps investors make the most of their money. They pay $100 for articles that are “analytically sound, thoughtful, and well-written.” Writers who publish multiple posts may be approached for a long-term contract. 

     

    There ya have it, folks! Told ya TVC wouldn’t disappoint! Who did I miss? Have any suggestions? Share baby share! Good luck and get writing!

    Find Your Niche

    Why You Need to Choose A Writing Niche

    Sound the trumpets and gather the crowds, this weekend I did something BIG! After months of research and avoiding implementation altogether, I finally picked a niche for my freelance writing business. I hear you all cheering out there, and some of you diverting your eyes because you’re doing the same thing I did. Guess what happened when I finally committed? I. DIDN’T. DIE. Imagine that my friends. 

    Picking a niche for your business, whether you are focusing on writing, building a profitable blog, or working in the SMM world is a huge step that will do nothing but help you grow. 

    “But Marina, won’t that limit my customer base?” I hear you over there, and I was in the same seat for way too long! That’s the FOMO (fear of missing out) talking. Don’t let it get into your head! In fact, let’s talk shop for a minute and I guarantee by the end, you will be itching to choose your niche and begin working on it too!

    How to Choose Your Niche

    This is a daunting task, I know because I avoided it for longer than I should have. There is a real FOMO that surrounds announcing to prospective clients that you are an expert in ONE. SINGLE. FIELD. You’re not crazy for stressing over it, but don’t allow that to be an excuse to just never choose. You can do it!

    Focus on these two things when choosing a niche: 

    • A field you are an expert (or at least knowledgeable) in.  This doesn’t mean you need to be formally schooled. You can teach yourself almost anything, my friends. I’m beyond passionate about preaching that. There are so many great ways to educate yourself online. Take courses on LinkedIn, Udemy, or Coursea. Google the hell out of everything. Sign yourself up for tutorials or training courses that are related to your niche.
    • Make sure it’s something you like. This is huge. I’ve read so many posts that instruct people to go for where the money is. Here’s the thing, if you are GOOD and you are passionate, you will make money. There is a niche for EVERYTHING out there. Today I came across a site dedicated to different kinds of artificial turf. It’s apparently a pretty competitive field. Pick a niche that houses your passion and that you don’t mind working in every single day. Make yourself a master of that niche. The money will come if you work for it, and you won’t have had to sacrifice yourself to get it. 

    Passion + Expertise = Niche! 

    Why you need to overcome niche FOMO

    Picking a niche is essential to growing your client base and establishing you as a someone who is treating this as a business instead of just a hobby. Plus, it makes it easier for potential clients to find you! There is nothing better than the feeling of not having to rely on cold emails and searches, but knowing that people will approach you. You’re a bad ass, you are overflowing talent, and you should be searched out. Defining your niche makes it easier for this to happen. Let’s talk examples:

    John Doe wants some content written for his affiliate marketing website. He hops on LinkedIn to browse. Which description do you think he chooses?

    1. Freelance writer

         2. Freelance content writer

         3. Freelance affiliate marketing content writer 

    Pretty much a no-brainer! John is going to pick the freelance writer that has a concentrate on affiliate marketing content. It’s exactly what he needs and he knows you know your stuff. 

    Clients are hiring you to help them in their field, they want that to be your focus as well! 

    Picking a nice will not stop you from getting jobs! It will narrow the search field and make you more appealing to higher paying clients! Since narrowing my niche on LinkedIn my page views are up over 90%. In a few days. That’s not a loss in my book! 

    Get it? I knew you would! 

    So, my challenge for you today is narrow it down and choose a niche. It’s not like you can’t change it if it doesn’t end up being your cup of tea! Just do it! Commit to something and start marketing it! Cool? Cool! 

    Make sure to comment below and let us know what niche you chose and how it’s changing the game! We can’t wait to hear!

     

     

    Build Your Brand, Social Media Management

    Here’s Why Engagement Still Trumps Following on Social Media

    A chunk of every morning is spent scouring through job leads and potential clients. The quantity of jobs out there for Freelancers is skyrocketing, but the number of people looking for the promise of gaining huge followings is alarming. It seems to be all anyone cares about anymore. Bloggers boast about how they have found the perfect formula to boost followings on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Take a course, study the formula, and reap the rewards. The glitz and instant gratification have us shelling out buckets of money in hopes of a brilliant return on investment. If you don’t have 10K on Instagram, are you doing it all wrong? 

    It’s understandable, so many virtual entrepreneurs are looking to build their brand. They want to work with affiliates, make a passive income, and harvest a glowing reputation. The numbers matter, but do they matter enough to sacrifice genuine and organic interaction with our followers? This is something I struggle with constantly. The need for big followings vs. the benefits of actual engagement. 

    We are spreading ourselves too thin, of that I am sure. 

    Start a Pinterest for blog traffic, grow an Instagram to become an influencer, make connections on Twitter, and start a budding Facebook group. Then manage them all, engage as much as possible, provide enticing shareable content. It’s a job in itself to market across each social channel, so we outsource and hope for the best. This is great for those of us in the SMM field, however, it also leaves us with impossible tasks to complete. We can’t guarantee a following of real substance. We can market our hearts out, but if the content isn’t strong, or the engagement is spotty, followers lose interest…FAST. Think about it like this, if you have a following of 100K on twitter, but your tweets produce zero engagement, how much value is that huge following providing? The light bulbs are starting to go off now, right? You get it.

    Now onto the real challenge, which in most of our cases is this: How do we convince our clients that in the world of brand building that customer engagement trumps big fan followings? Here are a couple of key points to help clients understand why engagement is still king of social media.

    More engagement equals more shares

    Your client wants to sell more product. They see their following growing and the dollar signs light up in their eyes. More followers must be a direct route to more sales, right? Not exactly. If the engagement is lacking, the chances of that following actually seeing your posts is decreased dramatically. The key to more visibility is actually shares. Shares are one of the most important forms of engagement as far as brand visibility. 

    Social algorithms are always changing, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the changes. One thing that stays constant is the consumer sharing content that they enjoy, or find helpful. They share things they want their family, friends, and co-workers to check out. They want it to produce a dialog between themselves and others. This gives you a new angle on your social media marketing plans. Ask yourself “is this something the target consumer would want to share with friends and family.” According to The Associated Press, when Americans encounter news on social media, how much they trust the content is determined less by who creates the news than by who shares it.

    Build better relationships

    Building a good relationship with prospective customers is important because trust is what gravitates them to you vs. the competition. Imagine the edge that you get when you actively engage with customers on a daily basis? Look, there is nothing wrong with using scheduling apps to make sure content is posted at the best times, without having to run your life around it, but that cannot be all the social media that’s done. Let’s use TVC as an example. On our Twitter page as of current, we have 299 followers. In the world of social followings, that doesn’t seem like much. Many of you probably chuckled a bit when you saw it. However, aside from our number of followers, we have incredible engagement. In fact, messages like this show up in the inbox more often than not:

    This client has seen us engaging all over Twitter, they know our name and find value in our work. All because they keep seeing The Virtually Creative pop up. We didn’t even have to search out this client, they came to us. This is what you want, and in turn, this is what your client wants too! They may just not realize it yet. 

    Building relationships without engagement can feel like a constant sales pitch. Your name shows up in the inbox of a customer you have never connected with. They don’t know you from a hole in the wall and immediately they brand you a salesperson and ignore whatever information you are trying to get through. Bah humbug, you think, and we get it.

    Imagine how differently that situation would go if this person recognized your name from recent shares or comment interaction on their tweets. Maybe you are into Tweetchats and they happen to contribute to the same one, every Monday like clockwork. They see your name in their inbox and immediately know who you are and have a good feel for what you do. All of the sudden, the communication gates are opened. That outcome wins every single time.

    A real-time indicator of how your audience responds to your content

    Social algorithms are designed to show relevant content. Facebook, for example, identifies what the audience is into based on the amount they engage. If they do not like your content or it doesn’t resonate with them, it takes 2.5 seconds to hide you from their timeline completely. We have all used the hide from timeline method. It’s the “leave you on read” on social media. That person is still in your follower count but is, in fact, receiving NONE of your content. Womp womp.

    Actively engaging with the audience, finding out what kind of content they respond to, will help you create content that will draw them in instead of pushing them away. Ask questions real time, and be available to engage as the answers roll in. Yes, you can schedule all the posts you want, but you NEED to be available to real-time engage as well. It’s pretty much non-negotiable. 

    Check out how your competitor’s engagement is. What are they doing differently than you to get people talking? Not saying be a copycat, there is way too much of that out there. Use the cues to measure what your ideal customer is actually interested in, and then figure out how to produce content that will capture them. 

    Hopefully, your client is not only open to what you’re saying but is now looking at you like an educated bad ass! Now it’s time to put your plan into action! Engage, engage, engage! 

    Bonus time! 

    The Virtually Creative is jumping on to the TweetChat train! Every Thursday night at 7:00 ET join in the discussion using the hashtag #VCreativeChat.

    What are your thoughts on engagement vs. following in the social world? Share below in the comments!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Getting The Job

    15+ Best Job Sites for Freelancers

    The freelance world is calling your name, and you’ve made up your mind, isolated your skills, and now you’re ready to get working. Hold up though, where exactly do freelancers find gigs?

    Do not let this little hiccup become a roadblock, because no matter what level of experience you have, there are TONS of freelance job sites out there to find great clients and begin your freelance journey. The best news? I went ahead and researched them for you, so all you need to do is choose which is the right fit for you and start building a profile! Not a bad deal, right? Below, there are 15 of the best freelance job sites out there, as well as a separate Twitter job board list, and a few of my favorites from LinkedIn. Remember when I said I would never leave you hanging? Boom!

    Before we jump into the lists (I know, I know, I’ll be quick), let’s talk about a couple things that you should have figured out BEFORE you begin applying!

    • Figure out what you want to be doing. Don’t jump in without a game plan. Applying to any and every job just because is a waste of your energy! Focus on your niche or area of interest.
    • Set your rates, or at least have a pay range. You know what you’re worth, and you will be surprised at the number of clients who know it too!
    • Have a portfolio put together so that you can showcase past work. If you have never freelanced before, use your website. It also never hurts to ask around to friends and family who own businesses. See if they need any help, and use them as a starter to your portfolio.

    Ok, now the good stuff!

    15 Best Freelance Job Sites 

    Upwork– Upwork is the pinnacle of all Freelance job sites. It is easily the most popular “bidding” site, with hundreds of new jobs posted daily. As a freelancer, you bid on the job you want with rates, a proposal, and a great hook to let the client know why you’re the perfect fit. There is a lot of competition here, and you are generally bidding against 10-20 other freelancers for one job. Keep in mind that you won’t win every job, but if you stick with it and bid regularly, it pays off. Check out my Upwork guide here

    Freelancer– Freelancer has a HUGE database of clients and freelancers. You have the ability to bid on jobs, enter contests, and locate jobs local to where you live. With over 12.6 million jobs posted, there is something for anyone who is qualified. Again, this site is competitive but stick with it and it will pay off.

    ProBlogger– ProBlogger in itself is an awesome resource, but the job section is the bread and butter! There are tons of reputable companies that post freelance writing, editing, and proofreading jobs daily. Be prepared to submit an application with a catchy, well-crafted pitch. It’s worth putting in the effort though, as a lot of these jobs offer long-term engagements and higher pay. 

    Fiverr– Fiverr is another super reputable site, and it does things a little different. On Fiverr, you set up a freelance shop and clients come to you. There are no bidding wars to be had, and no proposals to write. This doesn’t mean that beginners will struggle, jobs pay anywhere from $5-$500 with enough work to go around. 

    People Per Hour– People per hour is a great resource for those looking for writing, web designs, and web development jobs. There are over 1 million people looking to hire, and freelancers from around the world, there is more than enough work to go around.

    Guru– Guru is an excellent site for newbies, because of the way they tier jobs. You can specifically look up fixed jobs for entry-level freelancers, and with lower fees than Upwork, it is less of a hit in your pay. They have several paid packages to choose from but also include a free membership. Unfortunately, you get significantly fewer bids per year with the free account, and they charge you to take skills tests. 

    CloudPeeps– CloudPeeps has an extensive application process, but it’s worth taking the time to go through it. They offer a really cool community of like-minded freelancers, called Freelance Friday. They have several different ways to connect with clients, but above all else, I love the workplace and supportive vibe they promote. It’s hard to find a community that really wants you to succeed, as opposed to looking at you as just the competition. 

    FreeeUp– FreeeUp does things a little different than most freelance job sites. Instead of bidding, they pair you up with a client based on the client’s needs and your skill set. There is an application process before you are accepted into the community, but for the opportunity to spend less time bidding and more time actively working, it seems like a no-brainer to take the time and apply. I actually just discovered FreeeUp through researching for this post and will be applying as soon as it’s published! 

    Freelanced– Freelanced calls itself “The freelance social network.” It’s a great resource for beginners to start out. I like the way they show the exact number of applicants bidding for each job, making the bidding wars less of a mystery. They also offer a broad range of jobs, from web design to painters, there is a taste of everything. 

    Toptal– Upon first look, Toptal is a bit intimidating. They only hire the top 3% of freelancers worldwide. Don’t let that scare you away if you are confident in your skills but lack the experience on paper, it’s still worth putting through an application. Toptal works with big-name companies, including Airbnb and Pfizer, which speaks a lot about their reach. 

    Crossover– Crossover, like Toptal, works with a higher class of freelancer. They have a rigorous application process, but the promises of getting matched as 1 of 5 options to a Fortune 500 company if you are accepted, is pretty enticing. They are trying to vet out the under qualified and make a more lucrative job field, offering higher pay and long-term engagements. 

    Hubstaff Talent– Hubstaff Talent is free for clients to post jobs, and they have a pretty good turn around daily. Great place for beginners to start. 

    99 Design– 99 Design is the hub for graphic designers, web designers, and all the fields in between. They also have a feature called “Projects” where past clients can request you specifically for a new job. That’s not something offered everywhere, and excellent for growth and client connections!

    Freelance Writing Jobs– Freelance Writing Jobs is one of the largest online communities for freelance writers, and rightfully so. They offer thousands of job postings in a multitude of different areas. Content writers, bloggers, proofreaders, and editors will definitely get a lot out of the offerings here.

    Jobspresso– Jobspresso offers a host of jobs in fields across the boards. Whether you are customer service focused, or a seasoned artist, there is a job posted here for you.

    Whew! Did ya’ll absorb all that juicy info? Like I’ve said before, there are so many great resources out there. Someone asked me recently if I believe the freelance field is becoming oversaturated, and I just laughed. No one says that about bank tellers. Seriously, there are more than enough jobs to go around, you just have to know where to look! 

    Bonus time! I am a Twitter lover to my core, and I don’t care what anyone says! Twitter has brought me awesome job leads and great connections, more than Facebook and Instagram combined.  I’m a huge believer of mastering one social network at a time, and Twitter has been my choice since the beginning of my TVC journey. Shameless plug (come follow me friends!) and follow these accounts for daily remote and freelance job postings!

    @remotelyawejobs

    @workingnomads

    @nomadlist

    @weworkremotely

    @wfhio

    @jobspresso

    @write_jobs

    @freelanceWJ

    We covered a lot of super helpful information here, and I hope that this makes breaking into the Freelance game a little less scary! Did I miss any? Is your favorite not on the list? Leave a comment below and let us all know! Happy job hunting!