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May 31, 2001
Working from Home
By: Kris Williams

I am a Domestic Engineer or rather a Stay-at-Home-Mother, of four beautiful children. My husband makes a decent salary as a Network Analyst; however I also wanted to contribute to the financial aspect of our family too! For years, I have sought the perfect at home business without any such luck, until now.

Actually, I treat this as a multi-home-business situation, because I didn't want to wait around for one business venture to get off the ground and because I have several opportunities to make money rather than one. I wanted a situation where I could work at home on the computer and/or the Internet and make some extra money. It seemed impossible; but with our oldest in school, I had to be able to leave in the morning and afternoons to drop off and pick up our son. My time also needed to be flexible for the other three little ones in diapers that I have at home too.

At first I found some programs that allowed me to surf the Internet and make a small amount of money. I found that these programs did pay out what they promised, however, it seemed that it was an awful amount of time being spent on my part for the little bit of money I received. It was not a get rich quick scheme, but I felt it made them richer than I found I was. Too much time needed to be spent looking at ads and surfing the Internet. I found places that paid me from $.20 cents per hour to $1.20 per hour. The most popular Paid-to-Surf programs were: www.Alladvantage.com, www.GotoWorld.com, and there are many more. I found that I needed something a bit more substantial than this. If you have the time and contacts, there is a way to make more money by referring friends and making money by having those referred surfing the Internet too. For some companies you can have several tiers of people that you referred to the programs and you make money if they surf. Some people are making a ton of money this way, but it just wasn't for me.

So, I began searching on my own, for a better way to make some extra money. Something I could be happier with and prouder for, for spending my time on the Internet. So next I tried affiliate programs. I spent some time learning how to create web pages and wanted a way to make money from them. So I joined some affiliate programs, www.cj.com and www.reporting.net. Affiliate programs are a way to have advertising on your web site and you earn money by a person viewing your page and clicking on the ad. You can make money different ways here, either by a person clicking on the ad, a percentage of what the person buys from the advertiser, or a specified amount for each purchase the person bought from the advertised site. This is also a take-the-time-to-make-money approach and I still belong to these programs, but have yet to be paid. So far I have reportedly made $9.56 in a two and a half month period. Some people can make money this way and I have heard of fantastic pay-outs, but alas it wasn't me making that kind of money. It was time to look for another way to work-from-home again.

This time I wanted something that I could be really proud of and get published with. So Freelance writing came to mind! I began an exhausting search into the field of writing for magazines. This by far became one of my greatest ideas yet! This process of Freelance writing has been a continuing effort and has really begun to change our family life and not just my own life.

I started out looking for myself and looking for contacts, magazines, places to get started, and more. As I took the time to really begin to focus on this for myself, I began noticing that my husband could also get into Freelance writing too and he actually could make a serious buck or two. So for a little while I concentrated on finding him the magazine contacts to get him started, as they seemed to be paying computer professionals the big bucks for articles. At first, my husband was reluctant thinking he could not write for technical magazines and he tried making excuses for reasons not to write, but as he got his first article published and he got paid a hefty sum, he too has changed his mind about writing. He continues to write to this day and has more magazines that he writes for than I do. I am very proud of him for trying something new and accomplishing something that he thought he couldn't do. In fact most women think they can't do this either, but I beg to differ, as I think they are wrong. I hate cliche’s however, “If I can do this, so can you!”

Back to My search for the writing assignments and getting started for myself again, I came across a couple of sites that I regularly use for finding the right places to submit articles to. I will share them with you as they have helped me and some of their links directed me to find even more writers markets. They are www.Freelancing.com and www.awoc.com. I hope they can help you get started as well!

In order to get started as a freelance writer to be paid, I needed to get my name out there and that meant getting started somewhere that would accept my work without being paid. I do not suggest places that post your work for a percentage of your next job, as I believe you can do this on your own and get to keep all the money for yourself. One of the first things I did was to submit articles to Non-paying magazines and web sites. Find your interest areas (for example, children, women, men, gardening, etc.) and then look for non-paying markets. Start submitting your work, as I did, to several places at a time. This will get your name out there and your work published. Some places will publish your work even if it has already been published elsewhere. Just check your guidelines first!

Once you have a few articles out there in cyber world, you can begin to make your writer’s resume. One of my first online pieces is sitting at www.productiveparent.com, as I wrote about a personal birth experience. I am not the most talented or gifted of writer’s, however, I do become more experienced with the more I write. Writing for Non-Paying markets, helps the beginner get established and noticed. Most of the High-paying Magazines want to see a resume or clips before you can even send in your work to them, so this is a way to get into a freelance writing career quickly.

I also wanted to get started in making some type of money for my writing too and applied to three places for becoming a guide or expert online. They are great for beginners and there are several of them out there besides the ones I have chosen. It meant I had to devote time per week uploading links and writing some articles, but I would have a few web sites devoted to my writing and I would be making money for my work! These sites are: www.Suite101.com and www.WebSeedPublishing.com. Both pay a nominal amount, but potentially you can make a sizeable sum. I have yet to see my first paycheck, but it sounds like a lot of fun and I can get my career jump started this way too!

My writing career has taken off after only 2-3 months of continuous daily determination with getting started. I have always wanted to write and just never knew how easy it was to become a writer. All it takes is a little time, creativity, determination, and of coarse, the computer! Spending the time at home doing a little bit more research into Freelance writing has given me the career I have always wanted: Domestic Engineer and Freelance Writer! And it has given me the extra money I wanted to make too!

Today I write for magazines as a Freelance writer and I have even been bold enough to start my own FREE ONLINE Magazines as well. They seem to be taking off like wildfire as I have over 13 freelance writers on board! Check them out when you get a chance and if you feel like getting your writing career off to a start, then try submitting to them, as they accept beginners in freelance writing: www.DataWorkZ.com/AlternativeIdeasMagazine and www.DataWorkZ.com/ChildCareMagazine.

My best suggestions to you, if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to do it! If you need any help or advice, I am available at Williams.K@Eudoramail.com and would be glad to help others get started in Freelance Writing.

Kris Williams is a freelance writer and owner of two online magazines:
www.DataWorkZ.com/AlternativeIdeasMagazine
www.DataWorkZ.com/ChildCareMagazine

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