"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Start Freelance Writing Now!

Get Writing Now to Get Paid Later

Hey all, first of all, thanks for the large number of supportive e-mails. This has been a very difficult year for my family, and the amount of personal notes wishing us well has been very touching. Second, this is going to be a pretty quick post because I have a full and busy week on my plate. So one question that keeps coming up no matter how many posts I write is this: How do I get started? What's the most important thing I need to know? I feel overwhelmed with information, what should I do?

These are all valid questions, and if my answer sounds harsh, I don't mean it to be. But these types of questions are symptoms of what seems to me to be a larger epidemic among writers and/or would be writers. A lot of people want to write for either a part time income, an emergency stop gap in this recessionary economy, or as a full time income. Freelance writing is hard, but it has a lot of allure. So here's my answer:


That's it. There is nothing more important than that bit of advice. Here's one of the things about writing online that I love: there's always an "edit" button. You learn by doing, and by failing, and by learning from those failures to become ridiculously good at making money and succeeding consistently.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't keep learning - but don't freeze up. Writing online is all about persistence, work, and time. If you want to know what you have to do to really get your online freelance writing career going, then here's your step by step guide to getting started by the end of today:

  1. Sign up for eHow, Constant-Content, & HubPages. If you're ambitious, consider signing up for Associated Content and Xomba, as well.
  2. Prepare ideas for 10 eHow articles (10 how to articles), 5 "normal" high quality articles on something you're interested in (for Constant Content), 5 "laid back" articles for Associated Content, and 5-10 articles for Xomba (or Xomblurbs - basically social bookmarking with a small original description you can use to earn with AdSense)
  3. Start writing and publishing. Don't ask another question, don't read another blog post, don't do anything else until you get those articles up and online.
There, now you're started. Yes, there are tons of things you will need to learn to eventually make a full time living online. Yes, you will need to learn stuff like SEO, keywords, passive income, how search engines work, online writing, and multiple income streams - BUT this should NEVER EVER stop you from getting started. Not to be crude, but it's like that old saying: if you wish in one hand and crap in the other, which fills up first?

Freelance writing, especially freelance writing online, requires work and time. The more you write now, the more you learn along the way, the better a writer you will become, and the more ability you will have to speed up your online income when you really figure out what you're doing.

Recently I wrote a post about getting started freelance writing in college, and I think that writing post topic will deserve a deeper delve soon since it no only applies to college students, but to online freelance writers in general. And this blog does provide a TON of information for writers and beginning freelancers, and I'm glad. I want to be a good resource.

But if you haven't started your freelance writing career already, bookmark this blog, sign up for those sites, and get writing. You can learn the rest along the way, but if you really want a chance to make decent money writing online and to start your own online freelance writing career, then get started today...as in NOW!

Thanks again for the kind words, and for those of you who I know have been making a killing on Constant-Content. More will follow soon, but don't let another day go by without doing at least one single thing to move yourself a little bit closer to success.


  1. The advice about starting "right now" is probably the single best piece of advice I've read regarding questions about getting started.

    It's easy to think of excuses as to why you can't do something. Getting over that mindset is the hard part.

    Regardless of how much time someone spends on SEO research, etc. at the end of the day they need some content to promote and drive earnings.

    Well stated.

  2. Shane--this is the first time I've been here, and GREAT SITE! Very useful information in this post and others. I do not think I could do what you do and be a full-time freelancer, but I'm glad you are rocking it.

    Hey, what's that novel's stack of rejections look like? 12 you say? Did you just directly submit it to small publishers, or agents, or big publishers, or what? Just curious.


  3. Hi John -

    Thanks for the comment. I look back and I spent months thinking about becoming a freelance writer when the best thing I could have done is just get started. At the time I didn't actually start until a car accident busted up my legs (ironically that was on my 25th birthday) and I had no choice. Amazing what people can do with their backs against the wall.

    Thanks again for commenting.



  4. @ Steve:

    Hey, man, good to hear from you! Really appreciate the kind words. John Terry, Ashley Cowger, and Justus Humphrey all sometimes comment, as well. It feels really good to get props from fellow writers I respect. Congrats on the mule farm story, by the way - always loved that one.

    Yep, pile of twelve hand written rejections, and another fifty form rejections behind them. About the size of most my novellas, lol.

    Basically in my case I submitted to agents, big publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, and small publishers all at the same time. I figured if a publisher or two was interested when I got an agent, that would only help. So close, yet so far away. I'm sure Gerri and David can probably give slightly better pointers than me, seeing as how they've both closed the deal before.

    But yeah, I shoot the manuscript out to all of them. This fall is going to be my last revision and submission for this work for now. I have two other novels being worked on, and if I can't get a bite by the end, I'm going to seriously look at self publishing.

    Hope everything is going well, bro. Take care.