Online copywriting, particularly for the web, can be a great alternative to the nine to five. Imagine never having to commute anywhere, being able to spend more time with your family, being able to choose your hours, and having more control over how much you earn? If you have reasonably good writing skills and a realistic pay expectation, you may want to consider this as a full time option, and escape the rat race.
How it Works
As an internet freelancer, you pick up most of your work from online freelancer sites, writing forums, and just from networking. Many people find that once they have a relationship with a few good clients, they don’t have to look for new work too often, so there is more security than you might expect if you manage to impress people who have regular work to give out.
The Skills You Need
To make decent money and impress your clients so as to get reliable sources of work, you need very good English skills (or skills in the language you are writing in). You don’t need to be the next J K Rowling, as generally you will be writing factual pieces or sales copy, but you do need good spelling and grammar. Nothing annoys clients more than having to edit your work for schoolboy errors, so make sure you have all the tools in your word processing package that can help check your spelling (particularly if you are required to write in a version of English, e.g. UK or US, that isn’t the one you are most used to). You also need to be fast. To write enough to make a reasonable living, you won’t have time to spend days researching, drafting and tweaking each article. You need to find the perfect balance between speed and quality.
Although you will have to work to deadlines, you will essentially be able to choose the hours you work, so if you have to work around other things like picking kids up from school, or you just prefer to lie in in the morning, you can do that. It goes without saying that working from home is also, for many people, very relaxed. You can wear what you like, take breaks when you like, eat, drink and even smoke at your desk if you want to. Or, if you get bored at home, you can take your laptop somewhere else and work there while you get some fresh air or enjoy a coffee.
There are some negatives to home working as a whole, for instance if you used to work in a busy environment you may miss the office camaraderie a little, and you may find it hard to get motivated – you need a certain amount of self-discipline to make it work, and a good social life to stop you becoming a hermit. Another downside is that being self-employed, you don’t get any paid vacation or time off when you’re sick, so you have to save some of your income to cover the time off for these sorts of things.
Internet writing can be an excellent career for those who have tired of working for somebody else, but despite the freedom, you do need to make sure you have the skills and think you can handle being self-motivated when your income depends on it.