Freelance Writing: a passion and an income – MMO Series

Freelance Writing Online

Freelance writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was just a little one, my parents attempted to bring me to a day care. Being the nervous and anxious child that I was, I cried the entire time I was there. My mother has told me time and time again of how she saw me looking out the window crying as she left. When she saw me, she couldn’t leave. After that, she began working as a freelance writer so that she could stay home with me.

As I grew up, I remember her freelance clients (mostly resumes and grants) coming and going from our home. I loved that I was able to stay at home during the summers and not attend camps and day cares like my friends did. We all got used to people coming in and out of our house and knew that when they were in the office, we weren’t to disturb or interrupt them (though I can’t say we always listened).

Yet as we came about the twenty-first century, the freelance writing industry has certainly changed. No longer do people need to visit an office, call, or fax about writing inquiries. Instead, we can hop online and find a freelance writer in less than a minute from anywhere around the world.

Related: Paying off debt & saving money

I followed in my mothers footsteps, so-to-speak, and do some freelance writing online on the side. See, when my wife and I decided to make paying off our debt our number one goal, we realized that we needed to make some sacrificing and really skimp on our money. We cut down expenses like crazy, formed our cash budget, and have been living off of as little as we can.

Related: Frugal living at its finest: the No Spend Challenge

However, we also realized that simply saving money was not enough. With almost $200,000 in debt (read about how we racked up so much debt HERE), we knew we had to go even further if we wanted to pay off our debt as soon as possible. So, we began finding ways to make money online. Thus came  the series you are reading about right now!

Here’s today’s post for our Make Money Online Series.

Freelance - make money online

If this is your first time viewing our Make Money Online Series, please read this section.
-if not, feel free to skip ahead!-

The Make Money Online Series is a compilation of blog posts and guest posts discussing how it is possible to make extra cash online. When I first started my journey to pay off my debt fast and become debt free, I searched every possible nook and cranny to find options to earn extra money – in fact, I’m still looking! I scavenged the internet searching for options and signing up for everything that I possibly could.

Of course, this led to a bunch of spam and horrible programs that lie and do not actually help to make money online at all. SO, I’ve developed this series to help debunk those programs so that those of you who are in need of some extra cash, whether it’s because you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, want to pay off your debt fast, or want to find a way to support your family as a stay at home mom, won’t struggle to find tried and true methods to earn money online.

We’ll cover topics ranging from freelancing to blogging to direct sales to micro jobs, etc. and posts will be made every other day – so keep checking back for more or sign up for our weekly newsletter! For a compilation of all topics that have already been posted, click here (HERE).

If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, or a topic you would like to guest post on, let us know in the comments below! Thank you!

Freelance Writing: a passion & an income

Freelance writing can be a great way to earn a little extra money on the side – especially if you enjoy writing. When I was young, I would spend hours writing ‘books’ and stories: I loved it. As I grew up, the love of fiction stories never ended and I began to add poetry into the mix. At the start of college, I was positive I wanted to be a music teacher – orchestral specifically. However, as the years moved forward I fell back to my true passion once again: writing.

In fact, I even loved writing research papers (as silly as that may sound). I would put them off purposefully until the last minute just to challenge myself and see how quickly I could write them. I would brag about how I once researched and wrote a 26 page paper in less than eight hours while still coming in top three for highest grade in the class. I would even beg my friends to let me edit their research papers simply because I loved doing it. I was a weird student.

Anyway, when my wife and I realized that we needed some extra funds to help us to reach our goal of paying off almost $200,000 in debt aggressively, I decided it was the perfect time to put my skills to work. I set out looking for any freelance jobs I could get and began writing furiously for many differing companies. Through my freelance writing, I managed to pull in a good chunk of money. In fact, due to my writing and our side job here in town, we will not have to spend any money on Christmas gifts this holiday season!

So far, in the last 10 weeks, I have pulled in a couple hundred dollars freelance writing. I work roughly two hours a day at it (or less, depending on the day) and take weekends off. It’s been a great gig for us and it has helped us to keep our budget tight and pay off our debt quicker.


How to get started freelance writing

Where to look:

  • Some great places to look for freelance writing jobs available now are:
    • ProBlogger
    • UpWork / Odesk
    • Craigslist
    • Ask your friends and family to spread that word that you are offering your freelance services, you never know what may turn up.
    • Or ask the companies yourself! Send a query letter to a company that you believe may be in need of a freelance writer.

What to expect:

  • Freelance writing jobs range from product reviews to article submissions and everything in-between. While I can’t necessarily explain exactly what to expect, I can tell you a little bit:
    • Don’t be afraid to accept a job that is a little out of your comfort zone if you are ready to put in the work and learn how to do it right.
    • Don’t expect to make a ton right away. In order to get to the high paying jobs, you have to accept the shit jobs first – similar to most career paths.
    • Be ready to work hard to get the job. You may send 50 queries before you get a few jobs, but that’s okay! Your hard work will eventually show through.

What to avoid:

  • Content mills. If I can impart any wisdom on you at all through this blog post it would be this: do not sign up to work for a content mill. A content mill is a company that focuses on producing high quantities of content for businesses. Most of this content is low-quality. A good rule of thumb is this: if they are offering 1-3 cents per word, don’t do it. Take this advice from someone who has been there – it is not worth your time. Content mills force freelance writers to create high loads of content for very little money – often asking for a 500 word article, with research, for only $5-8 (sometimes less!). Stay away from content mills.

Do you have to be an expert to make money freelance writing?

  • Does your writing have to be perfect? No & no, you can do freelance writing without any experience. As you continue down the path, you will gain experience and earn more money. It’s as simple as that. If you have a basic knowledge of writing papers and articles, you’re set to go!

Types of freelance writing gigs:

  • Articles
  • Ghost Writing Novels
  • Content Writing
  • Blogging
  • News Updates
  • Niche Specific Writing (Sports, Cosmetic, Food, Finance, Wedding, etc.)
  • Copywriting
  • Curriculum Writing
  • Research Editing
  • And More!

As with all positions, freelance writers need to be ready to work hard and consistently improve themselves in order to make any money or gain skills. If you are interested in becoming a freelance writer, I encourage you to go for it! It’s a wonderful way to earn an extra income while following your passion for writing. 


Thank you for sticking around for our Make Money Online Series. A new post will be coming out soon – don’t forget to check back in!

If you have topics you would like to contribute or would like us to cover on how making extra cash is possible during our Make Money Online Series, please let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

35 Replies to “Freelance Writing: a passion and an income – MMO Series”

  1. Another great post from this series. Is there any chance of publishing them at the end and paying off the rest of your debt (if there is any left) from the royalties as I would definately buy a copy.

    1. Thanks, Tori! I think I may just find a way to publish them. It sounds like a great idea and I’m excited to try it. Thank you for the encouragement and the compliments! 🙂

  2. Amazing content Cassie! I love freelance writing too and I really enjoyed writing my college papers. I felt like I always learned something new after writing a paper and I was really good at it too so that helped me to enjoy it even more.

    I would love to write a post for your series on Making Money as a Virtual Assistant for Beginners.

    Let me know your thoughts, thanks!

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, Amanda! We are very similar in the area of writing – that’s for sure. It’s just such a fun thing to do. 🙂 Yes, I would love to have you guest post on being a Virtual Assistant! I’ll send an email your way now. Thank you for your comment!

  3. I would add that you should never assume a big company is going to act more professionally/be a better client than some mom-and-pop business you found on Craigslist. I have been majorly screwed out of payments from companies I thought were “safe.” Lesson learned.

    1. That’s a great point to add, thank you, Rica. It’s truly unfortunate, but it happens. It’s important to keep your eyes open and document any work and communications you have.

    1. Thank you, Jenni! I agree. When I began this series, I didn’t think that I would find so many, but the more I go, the more I realize that the possibilities are endless. Making money online is entirely possible. I’m glad you enjoyed this post! 🙂

  4. Perfect!
    Great post and site! I found you on FB TBL page. Let me know if you’d like to collaborate, be a guest writer with links back to your blog (or vice versa), or get together to do a giveaway with some other bloggers, just support each other in some way.
    All the best,

    Heather Well done!

  5. Perfect! There’s a lot of great info here. Thanks for putting it together. I was looking for something like this. Will pin it for reference.
    Great post and site!

    All the best,


  6. Great post! I do product reviews but I have been thinking about taking freelance writing to the next level…so this was really helpful for me! Thank you!

    1. I hope you find some good sources of side income! It definitely is hard when you want to stay home with your kids, but also contribute financially to the family. Thank you for your comment, Shann

  7. I have been using Upwork to freelance on the side but it’s been a struggle between work, blogging and grad school to fit any time in for freelancing and it sucks.

    xoxo, Jenny

    1. It definitely can be a struggle to find time! I totally understand – I also work full time, blog, and am in grad school, so there isn’t much time for freelancing for me either. Thank you for your comment!

  8. Very good blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping too start my own site soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform or
    go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that
    I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Teddy. Actually, I have a post coming out on Monday for my Make Money Online series about how to start a money-making blog – so stick around!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kaz. I would also love to write a book one day – wouldn’t that be fantastic? 🙂 2 years of blogging is wonderful! I’m excited to have almost 2 months – haha. Keep up the great work!

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