Who says you can’t get paid doing what you love? With increased consumer demands for services that are quick, convenient, and cost-effective, gig economies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (e.g. Uber, Lyft, UberEats, Grubhub). In fact I would say their popularity will continue to rise in the coming years as customers have more options than ever at their fingertips. Adding to that list of online services are writing gigs.
If you’re a writer looking to make a few extra bucks, writing gigs may seem luring. However what should you consider when choosing a writing service that offer such gigs? While this post is not meant to endorse one writing service over another, if you’re expecting to make money here’s what you might want to consider before diving in.
Types of Writing Assignments you want to do
This one sounds simple yet can easily be overlooked. When looking for a writing gig or service you need to consider what types of writing assignments are offered on the site. Is it mostly for those looking for editing or proofreading? Or is it geared towards writing web content for a webpage or blog?
The requests offered really depends on the clients that use the service and their intention. After all clients drive those requests. They will dictate the topic and how they want it presented. While the client may not script out exactly what you are to say you have to exercise your creative license within the framework of the request. Some requests may offer very little when it comes to creativity and instead expect you to write something factual and to the point. Therefore it’s important to choose topics that you are interested in or at least are knowledgeable about.
When clients are posting their gigs they are expecting someone that can speak intelligently and confidently on the subject matter. If it’s for a business or product you really need to convince readers why this product or service is important and how they (the potential buyer) can benefit. It’s much easier to sell the reader on the topic or brand if it’s something you’re already passionate about. Thankfully as the writer you get to decide the jobs you’ll pick.
When a client chooses you they expect to find someone that knows what they’re doing. This leads to the next factor to consider: your skill/experience level. This is another very important one I can’t stress enough. Considering such services are a big draw for all sorts of writers, clients also have the power to decide who they feel is a right fit for the job.
It’s one thing to know about a subject but it’s another story to convey it in a way that is clear, concise and accurate. Some services vet out potential writers by having them take an assessment to evaluate their skill set. After all before starting it’s expected you have a good mastery of the basics of writing.
I must say the assessment on Writer’s Access was quite extensive, testing a writer’s skills in grammar, punctuation, spelling, clarity and search engine optimization. The higher the score, the better your ranking which in turn increases the number of jobs you can get. Granted not all assessments will be as extensive as Writer’s Access, but expect some kind of vetting process (at least the reputable ones).
Such assessments can not only identify your weaknesses but also areas you may want to specialize in. Remember each specialty (copywriting, legal, technical, etc.) takes a certain skillset to excel at. For example a technical writer may not only need be familiarized with technical jargon but how to break that information down in a concise, logical manner. Whatever area you choose to focus on, keep refining your writing skills.
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This one is pretty explanatory why it’s important. Perhaps the main reason you are looking to do gigs is for the money. Some may want to make a few extra bucks to supplement their income. Some may pursue it as their main source of income.
Depending on what you intend to get out of it, you’ll want to definitely consider how much you’ll be paid per gig. This can be tricky as it can vary based on the specific job request. The most common ways pay can be divvied is:
- Flat rate – This is a base pay you can be expected to be paid out no matter how many words you write.
- Per word – Pay rate is determined at the word count level.
- Is the service responsible for the direct payouts or the client?
- Is their a secure payment method to transfer funds? (e.g. Paypal, Zelle, etc)
- Are refunds allowed? If so how is that managed?
Again there is no right or wrong way but if you’re looking to make a living off of writing gigs you need to pick jobs that will have a higher payout granted you have experience or have a good repertoire with past clients.
My last bullet point under payment arrangement bleeds well into my last important factor which is policies and procedures. Every service will have their policies on whose eligible to use the site and how agreements and payments will be worked out between the client and the writer. What is the expected turn around time for projects? What is the selection process? How do you contact clients and vice versa?
These are all important questions to consider. It’s important to read the fine print so you know what to do when things don’t go as planned between you and the client.
Overall when considering any writing gig you have to consider how much time and energy you’re willing to invest into it. Some projects may be for a one time basis. Others may be on an ongoing basis. You want to weigh out the client’s demands with other priorities you may have. Before accepting the gig you want to sure that you can commit to the full duration of the project and complete the work by the set deadline.
So as a review, if you’re choosing to go through a third party service you’ll want to consider:
- What writing assignments interest you
- Your skill level
- How much it pays
- Service policies
While these aren’t all of the factors to consider, hopefully this list gave you a better understanding of what to expect and how to choose a writing gig that works for you. If you want to skip the middleman and create your own gig platform that’s always a possibility too.