the Internet to Freelance
we present the first of a series of articles from Robert
Anthony, author of a wonderful new book, Freelancing:
Using the Internet to Find a Job and Get Hired. The book
presents a fantastic overview of how to break into various fields in
freelancing. Additionally, it explains the role of high-technology in
freelance work today and it offers reviews of 30 of the internet's best
world is going digital.
The Internet is a part of our daily lives, and the ability to transmit
virtual megabytes of information and data (that's writing work) simultaneously
throughout the world at very little expense has a tremendous implication
on your future as a writer. Like a Star Trek transporter come to life,
time and distance are no longer an important factor in a world that
is intertwined and united in a virtual reality. This revolution (or
is it an evolution?) in commerce provides you with tremendous opportunities
for low-cost communication with those who need your writing services,
with little or no significance of geographic separation. Some of my
best writing contracts these days are, in fact, with people and firms
that are far away, completely across the country. On any given day,
I may complete an educational writing assignment for my largest client
in New York, New York, followed by another for a marketing client in
The work I do for Fred Damsen is a typical example. I love to work with
wood. That is, when I'm not writing. Fred, who is the owner and operator
of The Japan Woodworker in Alameda, California, and The Japan Woodworker
Fine Catalog of Tools, hired me to write and develop his marketing and
public relations materials and writing projects for the media. As his
freelance writer, located almost 2,500 miles away, the work that I do
for Fred is delivered to him online via e-mail and e-mail attachment.
"I use a writer online because it would be hard to find someone
locally who is a marketing specialist, and a good writer who knows woodworking
equipment," says Fred. "Online I was able to find a marketing
and writing specialist to help me develop my marketing and public relations
material for my specialty woodworking tools. The fact that he is half
way across the country makes no difference, because he delivers his
work to me online. He prepares press releases for me to send to woodworking
editors throughout the country, and writes marketing material for me.
When we have to include photography in our releases, we simply send
file attachments back and forth. So, online we are able to accomplish
as much or more than we could otherwise."
Kristen Keets, a freelance writer from Michigan, also works for a client
in California. "That's almost 3,000 miles away," she says.
"We've never met, but he's become one of my steadiest customers."
Kristen initiated a relationship with her client off his Web site via
e-mail, and has facilitated their work relationship entirely by e-mail
and over the Web. Kristen's rates for online contract work are $65 to
$150 per hour, depending upon the nature of the work she's completing.
Still, her rate is significantly lower than what her client could obtain
locally in California.
If you plan to write professionally in the future, expect to work online
from the convenience of your own keyboard. Life online is grand, isn't
So why would a writing client be willing to hire your work online? Because
there's a serious shortage of good quality writers these days, that's
why. And, believe it or not, the demand for independent, freelance,
or contract writing services will not reduce, but may even rise significantly
as the result of a bad economy. It's a freelance phenomenon (because
freelancers are phenomenal!). Even in a soft market the demands for
writing work online remain high. A recent McKinsey Quarterly report
entitled The War for Talent confirmed that even in a tight market, American
businesses precariously need freelance talent. Many firms, which have
already been forced to reduce payrolls and employee ranks, are already
contracting freelancers to complete online project work. Salary.com
reports that the annual earnings for these online freelancers range
from $42,000 to $77,000. Get online and start sending cyber queries
for writing work, because there's going to be a lot of it on the Net
in the coming months and years. If you don't have a computer, get one.
New Work Order
It's a new work world out there with a completely new organizational
structure. Regular jobs are increasingly becoming project work and the
outsourcing and contracting of freelance writers and workers online
is becoming a main stay business practice. Certainly so in the writing
game, and that's opportunity virtually pouring out of your monitor.
Today's careers are becoming paid-by-the-job, online professions. Online
vocations that are being driven by the ever-increasing need for hiring
freelance people and there's an infinite line of buyers from around
the world waiting to contract your services. Ninety percent of all companies
seeking to obtain contract work in 2002 will do so online. Low cost
and speed are their primary reasons. As a writer, you will want to become
familiar with these new organizational models and acquire the necessary
tools that are needed to maintain your competitive and creative edge
in this virtual New World Work Order.
If you've not yet done so, working online can be an exciting, thrilling,
and high-paying experience. You can visit and write for people and institutions
from all over the world, and deliver your hard work at the click of
a mouse. Using the high-speed connectivity of the Internet, you can
find writing work while significantly reducing the time you spend looking
for it. You can spend more time doing what you like most-that is, writing,
without leaving your home or even making a phone call.