I want to earn extra money as a writer, "remotely".
November 25, 2005 5:55 PM   Subscribe

I want to earn extra money as a writer. I'm not bothered what I write, if it's a paying gig. But I'm "remote" in the sense that I live in Australia. There must be someone, somewhere in the world, who will pay me to write and submit stuff online?

I have a regular job which pays well enough, but I need to earn some extra money from home in my spare time.

I've written all kinds of things from fiction to a how-to on setting up a website to book/music/film reviews. I'll write whatever anyone wants written, be it porn or photcopier manuals or stories about magical pink ponies.

I know the local opportunities pretty well, and anyway, I can research them myself. Is there some way I can be contracted to write for money by someone in the USA or elsewhere in the world? Would the fact that we couldn't physically sit down together and discuss the work still be a barrier in 2005?

Is there a market for writers which isn't oversubscribed already, and which would offer me work "remotely"?
posted by AmbroseChapel to Work & Money (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Take a look at elance.com You can bid on freelance writing projects.
posted by Sagres at 6:04 PM on November 25, 2005

There are some very good answers in this thread, and my best crack at the question is there.
posted by jeffmshaw at 7:16 PM on November 25, 2005

And no, remoteness ought not matter for most jobs.
posted by jeffmshaw at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2005

Are you into video games? Video game journalism sites are often looking for talented writers/reviewers, and the location is near irrelevant. Try GameSpy.com. There may even be Australian sites that are interested.
posted by frogan at 7:31 PM on November 25, 2005

I'm still waiting for mathowie's cheque.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:39 PM on November 25, 2005

AWAIonline.com (a training org), or the general copywriting industry makes big bucks from writing junkmail letters.

You write advertising, persuading someone to buy whichever product it is. If you get good enough, you could sell a letter for upwards of $2,000. On top of that, the company would pay you a royalty for the per-copy number they mail out, say $0.02 per letter. If they send out 100,000 letters, you've got an extra $2,000. If they find your letter has done well with sales, they'll send the same letter out to new addresses in greater amounts, so you may someday receive a surprise check in the mail for $2,000+ still coming off that one letter.

AWAI trains you in special methods of persuasion, and gives you 50+ letters, as examples, that have been other companies' top-selling letters so you can see how the structure is made, the formulas, and stylistic concepts that sell more products. I'm currently in the course now.
posted by vanoakenfold at 12:24 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

You may want to check out "The Well-Fed Writer" by Peter Bowerman (I linked to the 2nd edition, "Back for Seconds"). There's an online discussion group wth good contacts and info -- folks from all over the world, although most are from the US, I think. He's based in Atlanta (as am I). It's a helpful group for new writers. Another good US site for jobs and advice is writersweekly.com.

I'm an information architect who writes web copy on the side. If you want to pick up lucrative corporate writing gigs for web sites, read a bit on IA and usability and web stats. Successful copy has to be measurably so, and even a little knowledge of how information design intersects with good writing will get you a long way.

best of luck--
posted by mdiskin at 9:05 AM on November 26, 2005

also -- focus on one or two types of markets (pink ponies, help documentation, in your case) and make sure you speak the audience's language (Oz >> US-speak, if applicable). Try local markets first, then branch out. Just my opinion, of course, but start with the easy stuff -- people and topics you know.
posted by mdiskin at 9:11 AM on November 26, 2005

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