Skylance Freelance [working title]

I am unofficially a full-time writer. That is to say, I’m no longer a full-time engineer, or an engineer at all, in fact. Today was my last day in the office, which consisted of being wished the best of luck,supplying leaving baked goods and sending one final sarcastic email (“many of you have been a pleasure to work with”).

I’m not a full-time writer quite yet. I’m probably 50% occupied with regular work from repeat clients, and I’m hoping to secure some more one-off projects as and when. I’ll throw a bunch of applications out there and see who bites.

Freelancing’s dope. The long term plan is to be able to pull in my own, high-quality clients, but until then upwork has been a great place to find work. I’ve just passed the $1000 earnings mark, which has meant I’ve been highlighted as a ‘Top Rated’ freelancer, apparently bringing greater visibility and more offers.

More recent highlights:

Wrote a ton of poems about cats for $50. That was cool, because I did a lot of the writing while chilling on holiday in Morocco. Hardly counts as work. Few of them are online so far, sadly. The same client also asked me to write a round-up of the Sydney Build Expo, a big construction show, which was odd, but I did that too.

I’ve been writing a lot of website copy for various companies. It’s interesting, it’s lucrative, it’s not quite poetry but still.

Omg. You should already know I love ultimate. It stands to reason that writing about it would be my dream job. This. Not the best pay ever (I might angle for more as my posts are amongst the most popular on this fledgling site) but I’m writing about ultimate. Still can’t believe it.

HR articles, a crowdfunding campaign for an artist, copywriting style guides, brainstorming blog names with a fellow metalhead (look out for Megadepth becoming a big player in the metal music blogosphere soon), it’s all been going on…

I would genuinely encourage anyone who loves writing and is half-decent at it to give freelancing a go, you’d be surprised how possible a career is.

I hope.

 

Upwork Update

How I made $400 in my spare time in just 7 weeks!

^ This is the sort of stuff people will pay you good money to write, it turns out: attention-grabbing copy. Poems less so. But still a bit…

Hi all!

Welcome to the next edition of my posts on upwork, the freelancing platform I’ve been trying for the past couple of months. In it, I’ll be talking you through…

Sorry, doing it again. Marketing voice.

Anyway, what have I been up to? I’ve come a long way since my first job on green tea…these were my next few gigs:

  • I’ve written a couple of poems that have since been released for sale on Amazon. The lovely Erica collates pieces for anthologies from poets all over the world. I wrote one on the death of a loved one, and t’other on giving up on a relationship – cheery hey? I also recommended a friend of mine to Erica, and he joined upwork and got hired as well! The pay was pretty basic ($12.50 for the two) but luckily I can bash out angsty poetry in record time (I’m well-practised), so that was fine.
  • I’ve written content for a card game, soon to be printed, for a charming American called Wade. I’m even appearing as a character in the game! I actually have no idea when it’s getting made… This was a really interesting job, but it took ages! I think we both underestimated the scale of the task, which just meant I didn’t have as much time for other things. It was a fixed price, $100 job but I put in so much that my hourly rate ended up tanking. Just doing this for experience though so it’s all dandy!
  • I wrote a couple posts about ketosis diets. They’re ghostwritten so I obviously won’t link you to them but they were remarkably similar to this article. I felt a bit conflicted about this as some of my research suggested that they weren’t altogether safe… in the end, I figured the best thing I could do was write a really good article that would explicitly state the risks and advise checking everything with a physician.
  • That early job I applied for, with a startup online mag, got back to me weeks after I’d forgotten about them, offering me $25 for a previously-published short story – I didn’t feel I had the time right then to write a $50 original. It only took a few minutes to send them Auto-neuroticism, previously published here of course! So that was easy money. Win.

And more! I’ll save the next ones for another post – there are cats, and construction shows, and my actual dream come true.

What it’s been like? I’ve been writing in my spare time most evenings and over the weekend as well… It’s addictive, especially browsing and applying for jobs! There are tons of crazy success stories as well about guys who’ve made $100k in 9 months and will share their secrets in this course they’ve crafted… I’ve taken everything I can out of their free emails and blog posts and ignored the signup links.

In my experience so far, it’s a great way for anyone to earn a bit of cash. You have to play it smart – for example, you can’t undercut the masses of third-world workers on price – but for talented people I think the work’s there.

Anyone else tried it? Let me know!

 

Skylance: Professional Writer

It’s official. Sort of.

Remember my previous post about my first foray into Upwork? Well there’s been an early and surprising development: green tea and Korea.

This is a blogging job I was invited to apply for within a few hours of joining the site, and on a whim I did just that, admitting my limited knowledge of the area but stating also my passion for writing and willingness to research as much as necessary. And also offering to take less payment. Who knows what swung it…

AND I GOT THE JOB!  Chris Grant from Wooree Tea, a New Zealand based company selling Korean green tea, got in touch with my first assignment, a piece about pairing green tea with dark chocolate, and its two week deadline. Milestones were created through Upwork, and funded (such that when they’re completed, the money is released) and I started work!

This being my dream and all, I got a bit excited and wrote the piece that day, after several hours of research (I’ll be honest, in my euphoria, I had started reading up on green tea and the company before I even got the offer). Chris approved, and on Monday my piece was published on Wooree Tea’s website. You can see the article (it has my name on it and everything!) here: Green Tea and Dark Chocolate.

I’m hoping this is the start of a longer-term working relationship with Wooree Tea, but regardless of whether things go further, I’m very grateful to them for giving me my first break! As such, if you might like to try the finest green tea that Korea (via New Zealand) has to offer, or want to read some of the interesting articles they have on Korean culture, and tea, please check out their website.

I have a couple more irons in the Upwork fire as well, so I’ll be sure to update you again soon (probably after my imminent holiday!). Muchos love to all my readers (I get very affectionate when I’m happy and I’M HAPPY BECAUSE I’M A WRITER)!

P.S. The image for this article is my Upwork profile pic, with resizing frame and all!

Finding my dream writing job on Upwork

Upwork – My Latest Venture

Evening folks! I’m excited to tell you about a step I’ve taken towards the dream of actually legitimately being a real-life paid-up writer person: I’ve signed up as a freelancer.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out for me, and hopefully I’ll be able to share some tips and pitfalls along the way that might help anyone else out there wanting to do something similar. So a quick breakdown:

Why
I want to be a writer. I’m currently an engineer. It pays well, it can be pretty interesting, but it is not what I love. I love writing. I’ve been looking at writing jobs and, unsurprisingly, employers want professional experience, so I’m going to get some.

What
Upwork is a site that connects freelancers to projects all over the world. There are fields for programming and web design and blah blah but more importantly writing! From editing and technical copy to poetry and blogging, there are people everywhere who are willing to pay me to write. Oh my.

How
Signup is simple, and free, and pretty quick. I set up my profile – picture, short bio, list of skills – last night and have started looking at jobs today. When you find something interesting, you message the project/owner/employer/tasker and if they like you, you get the job! You agree a rate, do the work, get paid. Apparently.

So what have I done so far?
Wrote a bio.
Added my skills  – for me that means fiction, blog writing, poetry, editing etc
Chose a nice cheerful photo.
Added some work details (about my irrelevant engineering job, and how that has helped me communicate with barely-literate, scientifically-minded people) and about the student magazine I edited at uni. Gotta start somewhere!
Set my hourly rate
^^ What?? This really threw me – I’d just signed up and was expected to state how much my time was worth. I had no idea and agonised for a while, but in the end just went cheap (I’m not doing it for the money after all) for now and for each job you agree on a rate anyway.
Took a creative writing test! Upwork has a ton of tests to cover all the skills you can list on the site. The prospect terrified me a bit but it looks good to verify your skills so I went for it. This test was 40 questions, multiple choice, about publishing, plot, characters etc. I did pretty well thankfully (in the top 10%) so that will look good.

and lastly…

Applied for some jobs! Within a few hours of joining the site I was invited to apply for a job writing short stories about green tea and Korea… neither are areas I know much about, but I explained that in my application (why not, hey?) as well as my passion for writing, my low rates and my willingness to research green tea and Korea and make a decent hash of it! We’ll see where that goes. I’ve applied to three others as well (applying costs credits called Connects of which you have a limited number each month) to which I wasn’t invited (being invited means a free application!) which are proofreading, a rewriting of a novel into natural English (from a non-native author) and short story writing for an online magazine startup. Not heard back yet, but I’ll be sure to check in here when I do, and I’d love to hear from any of you who have tried similar endeavours!