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People often ask the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”

The answer depends on many factors, and individual client needs.

First, freelance writers must educate clients what freelance writing is.

Some clients equate freelance writers with web designers wanting various languages such as Perl, Drupal, Joomla, building shopping carts, and more, this is programming, not freelance writing.

Other clients may request knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Adobe Pro, Quark, CRM, and CMS software, to name a few.

Newcomers to freelance writing will find it hard to acquire clients if they are not up to date on the various software programs listed above, and the software clients may be using in their business.

Freelance writers must have a working knowledge of copyright infringement, plagiarism, and the latest FTC rules if they work in the United States.

The quote below posted with permission from Tim McGuinness during a discussion about the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”

As a business that hires writers, you all need to understand the nature of the business models that now exist. When content became universal, it also lowered its value – not to me, but to the ultimate publishers of that content. In retail for example, the norm is to scrape content from other websites – retailers who consume vast amounts of content are not willing to pay much for it. If they can get duplicated content put up for $1 they will, until they get in trouble. What you all also need to understand it that a writer is just a part of a process – content production requires coordination, production management, quality assurance, and delivery mechanisms. These are all fixed costs, thus the writer makes less. There are still boutique projects out there, but increasingly, writing is a commodity job. You make as much as you produce. Sorry for the bad news, but this is the reality of the job now.”  ~ Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.

Second, some clients specify work for writers in India, Philippines, and other non-native English countries around the world if you attempt to find jobs on the various job boards, which are content mills and can hurt reputations.

Competing against non-native English countries accepting low wages for assignments, do not quit your day job until you can continue living the lifestyle you are currently living.

It could take decades for you to become an overnight success as a newcomer to freelance writing and establishing a reputation as a quality writer.

Established writers have spent years building their reputation, many while working a day job and writing part-time until their writing could pay for their lifestyle. Established writers have credentials newcomers do not have, and must build by writing.

Building a portfolio of work takes time, hard work, education, writing, and patience.

Call me harsh, pessimistic, or overly critical, I prefer realist learning daily, while working on my PhD from the University of Hard Knocks.

Freelance writers must commit themselves to writing daily, learning new software, applying the rules of perfect grammar and punctuation in their writing to establish themselves as quality writers.

Freelance writers are entrepreneurs who must embody honesty, integrity, and quality along with transparency and authenticity in all they do.

A new form of marketing is building a business platform, networking, and building a following.

Writing is a business! One must spend the time and energy required to grow it into a successful enterprise. There are no short cuts if writers desire acceptance as serious writers of quality. 

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning ethical Marketing
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If you need help making your writing better or have any writing questions, please use my contact form and we will work together making your writing the best it can be.



Many people offer PLR (Private Label Right) eBooks, reports, and more for rebranding to build lists and build a business.

As a writer, in my opinion, this is plagiarism and I never use it. I also don’t rewrite articles or use article spinning or submitting software of any kind.

I do use the program WordWeb Pro on occasion when writing. It’s a dictionary program where you can highlight any word on a page and get the definition and more. If the word isn’t in WordWeb Pro, the program allows Web search to find it. Not being the world’s best speller, when in doubt I check a dictionary. WordWeb Pro is handy since it’s on my computer.

Book cover (Dust jacket) for the 15th edition ...

Book cover (Dust jacket) for the 15th edition of the The Chicago Manual of Style (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Close by is a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style 15th Edition, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition, and The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2011.

For further reference are copies of Writing for the Web, Managing Content Marketing, and various article writing guides. Being a writer means there is always homework required.

Writers have their own way of working; my philosophy is and shall remain 100 percent original quality over quantity. Each piece of copy must be better than previous copy. It is a contest against my other copy. All writers should strive to improve their writing with each new piece.

Although each writer is free to use any material they choose, ethically using PLR or rewriting articles is ultimately their choice. Personally doing this type of work isn’t work that follows ethical standards for a business offering 100 percent original copy to all clients.

This may be a limited view, as a freelance writer who signed a Business Ethics Pledge, quality over quantity, prohibits the use of PLR.

All businesses, which include writing, should operate based on honesty, integrity, and quality.

Robert Medak

Published Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Marketing 

Has quality writing become outdated?

Recently I’ve read posts about the subject of quality writing in today’s publishing environment.

Another point mentioned is the greed of publishers for the lower quality writing published today.

Is self-publishing, vanity publishing, or POD (Print on Demand) the problem?

The ones I blame are writers and readers. I will tell you why.

I’ve reviewed over 100 books from various publishers, mostly Outskirts, Lulu, Xlibris, and personal publishing by authors. This is because publishing houses can’t handle the amount of books submitted, including manuscripts that are not what publishing house print.

No on to the books I’ve read, many of them break some fundamental rules of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word choice. There are two quotes by Mark Twain that bring this home to e for everything I write, they are, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” and “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” These two quotes speak volumes to me as a writer, as they should every writer.

It’s my position, no matter what, writers should always write their best to get the words down, then edit the work or have someone they trust edit it for them, be they professional or not. Only with honest feedback can writers improve. Writes need to write to improve their art as Mary Heaton Vorse said, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.

Readers should never accept less than excellent writing from authors. There might be a problem created in the printing or formatting of the book or eBook.

It is up to the author to look at a finished copy of their book and ask for any errors corrected before it is ready for public consumption.

Who am I to say this?
Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Editor/Reviewer learning marketing, and working on my first book.

The opinions expressed are my own and you are free to disagree.

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