Saturday, 3 September 2011

How To Win and Make Money With Freelance Writing For Non-Native English Speakers

By Josh

The internet is increasingly becoming a platform of choice for many freelance writers.  There are many people who earn big money by taking contracts online on freelancing sites like eLance, Vworker, oDesk, Guru just to name but a few. 

The range of topics available for those seeking writing jobs vary from technical writers, SEO writers, bloggers, article writers, business writers, medical writers, research writers, academic writers - the list goes on and on.

For many first-time seekers of these opportunities, finding a writing gig could be a nightmare, and even seem like chasing a mirage, but this need not be so. There are plenty of writing and freelancing jobs, if you know how to land them. We cannot obviously ignore the fact that the competition for these jobs gets stiffer each day as more and more people join in the internet job searches. But on the flip side, so do the providers willing to trust the online workplace to get them qualified contractors to do their projects on terms and cost they can afford.

The challenges seem to be especially stacked against the non-native English speakers, whether or not potential employers expressly ask for native speakers or not when they post jobs.

It might be this kind of hurdle that makes the dominant outsourcing workforce to be largely from certain countries. These countries are either the native English speaking countries, or world renowned outsourcing hubs such as India, South American countries, or West European countries.

So, how do the rest of the workers, with impeccable written English, and perfectly capable of doing what their global counterparts can do, find their place in this freelance culture that appears to pay them little attention?

The trick lies in the way you market yourself. And am not talking about building a fake profile, it's plainly in the way you market yourself: your skills, your credibility, your availability through the communication channels, and possibly your past work experiences.

You need to look at the situation from your potential employer's perspective. He/she my not know anything about your country. On the internet, it is probably listed as a non-English speaking country, and it has a barely noticeable reputation freelance writing or outsourcing world. You need to prove to your employer that you can communicate properly in English, are easily available through email or even phone and have some kind of academic qualification.

Do not take it for granted that the as a contractor, the would-be employer will assume your ability to communicate effectively and frequently; they will need an assurance, it should even be part of your personal statement. After all, communication is the backbone of any kind of business, especially over the internet where you have to work with people from anywhere in the world.

Showing that you have skills to communicate, the means to communicate, and are consistent and reliable in your communication precedes many other requirements. In addition,  being specific about your areas of expertise are and demonstrating your understanding of what the client wants will have them looking for you, not the other way round; I know this from experience. 

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