I've recently decided to bite the bullet and really give this a shot. What, you may ask? Freelance writing, like the title says. If there's one thing you can say about me, I'm good at titles. Right?
Since beginning this journey, I've found out several tid-bits of information:
1. There are many scams out there in freelance land.
2. It's not quite as difficult as I imagined it would be to find legit work.
3. People really, really need freelance erotica writers.
4. There are loads of other people trying to do the exact same thing I am.
It would be awesome if I could make money solely doing freelance writing, but I know that's not a reality at the moment. I still plan on pursuing some other ideas, all while slowly transitioning my white desk with crap all over it into my home office.
I've only been doing this one month, but I've found several skills that are really important to longevity:
If I scan some listings and say "All these jobs suck" then I might as well not even try freelancing. Yes, there can be some work that's not very attractive, but if you're patient and do a lot of research, you can find diamonds in the rough. Patience is key.
Some jobs may require extensive revision. You have to be willing to be flexible to do what the client asks. I've always been a relatively flexible person so this works out in my favor.
3. Good Writing Ability
Notice I didn't say "awesome" or "Shakespeare-level" writing ability. Writing is a skill that requires precision, but it doesn't have to blow anyone's mind. Just do your best. If your best is not enough, then keep trying. The worst that can happen is someone rejects your proposal.
Judgment is very important to both preserving your precious writing time and not wasting someone else's time. If you're not willing to put in the effort on a particular topic, avoid that topic. Your disdain will shine through in your writing. Having good judgment when picking clients is also very important. If you get a bad feeling about a client (seems like they're sketchy about payment, ask for weird requests, etc.) then severe the relationship immediately. You can find other work, just keep grinding.
I like to think of freelancing like a Final Fantasy game. If I keep grinding levels, the game will be much easier.
That said, here are some places I've been using that I think work pretty well:
oDesk: This is one of the big freelancing sites. It takes a while to get set up, but there are loads of jobs available. They do a "bidding" style, so you'll be competing and interviewing against other writers, but there are so many jobs, some that need work done immediately or very quickly that others may not be willing to do. I've found some interesting jobs on here so far, but haven't committed myself enough to it yet to actually secure work.
Textbroker: I've actually been paid through Textbroker and I like the way their system is set-up. You can get Direct Orders from clients or you can view Open Orders and just write what you find. You're not going to become a millionaire by any means, but you can make extra money to go towards bills or spending money.
Constant Content: Another one I've registered for, but haven't used much yet. This one is similar to Textbroker, but you can also just write articles and put them out there for people to view. If someone likes your article, they'll offer to pay you for it.
Some others I haven't used yet, but have heard good things about or seem to pay well:
Demand Studios: They're connected with several websites, including eHow.
Craigslist: Avoid scams, but can find good work I've heard.
You can do your own research for some of these, but I've heard various opinions throughout the internet about them.
I may be popping up at several of these places over time. So if you see me there, say "Hello!"