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The Online Writer's Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer

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Every year, millions of writers struggle to find work, and most don’t to make more than spare change from the assignments they land. With the expansion of the online freelance marketplace, anyone with the right skills can learn to thrive and build a fulltime career as a freelance writer. Author P. J. Aitken shares with readers what those skills are, the same skills that ha Every year, millions of writers struggle to find work, and most don’t to make more than spare change from the assignments they land. With the expansion of the online freelance marketplace, anyone with the right skills can learn to thrive and build a fulltime career as a freelance writer. Author P. J. Aitken shares with readers what those skills are, the same skills that have earned him high levels of success on Elance, oDesk, and other online freelance platforms. His tips include: Creating the perfect profile Writing winning proposals when bidding on writing jobs Garnering the rating system that will bring recognition and new clients Establishing long-term clients Outsourcing for the most efficient results Blogging—for pay! And more How to Be a Successful Online Freelance Writer is an unprecedented and indispensable guide for aspiring writers and authors of various materials and backgrounds, from bloggers to professional writers, students to retirees, and can even touch freelancers in other trades who want to hone their skills. By learning to navigate a myriad of websites for freelance writers, readers will finally have the knowledge to succeed!


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Every year, millions of writers struggle to find work, and most don’t to make more than spare change from the assignments they land. With the expansion of the online freelance marketplace, anyone with the right skills can learn to thrive and build a fulltime career as a freelance writer. Author P. J. Aitken shares with readers what those skills are, the same skills that ha Every year, millions of writers struggle to find work, and most don’t to make more than spare change from the assignments they land. With the expansion of the online freelance marketplace, anyone with the right skills can learn to thrive and build a fulltime career as a freelance writer. Author P. J. Aitken shares with readers what those skills are, the same skills that have earned him high levels of success on Elance, oDesk, and other online freelance platforms. His tips include: Creating the perfect profile Writing winning proposals when bidding on writing jobs Garnering the rating system that will bring recognition and new clients Establishing long-term clients Outsourcing for the most efficient results Blogging—for pay! And more How to Be a Successful Online Freelance Writer is an unprecedented and indispensable guide for aspiring writers and authors of various materials and backgrounds, from bloggers to professional writers, students to retirees, and can even touch freelancers in other trades who want to hone their skills. By learning to navigate a myriad of websites for freelance writers, readers will finally have the knowledge to succeed!

44 review for The Online Writer's Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer

  1. 4 out of 5

    C. Clark

    No doubt this book contains serious, straight talk about freelancing. It opens without a lot a fluff and a lot of substance. Aitken names sites, goes into details about experiences, and in no uncertain terms, tells you where to go and how to start earning a living as a freelancer utilizing the tools and sites available online to you. If you are wanting to earn a living as a freelancer, and are ready to dive in, no doubt this book will help you do it. Easy reading and clear advice. I love a book No doubt this book contains serious, straight talk about freelancing. It opens without a lot a fluff and a lot of substance. Aitken names sites, goes into details about experiences, and in no uncertain terms, tells you where to go and how to start earning a living as a freelancer utilizing the tools and sites available online to you. If you are wanting to earn a living as a freelancer, and are ready to dive in, no doubt this book will help you do it. Easy reading and clear advice. I love a book that doesn't spend half the pages with generalities and definitions, and just goes right in and makes its point.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Brownhill

    As someone who is currently working as a freelancer, I have found this guide positively invaluable. I found hearing about P. J. Aitken’s success as a freelance writer very inspiring, as part of wanting to be a writer or an editor is having to accept that finding a stable job in this profession is hard to come by. It had never occurred to me that earning a six-figure salary through freelancing would be possible and it has been motivating to learn that Aitken has found the key to doing this. Heari As someone who is currently working as a freelancer, I have found this guide positively invaluable. I found hearing about P. J. Aitken’s success as a freelance writer very inspiring, as part of wanting to be a writer or an editor is having to accept that finding a stable job in this profession is hard to come by. It had never occurred to me that earning a six-figure salary through freelancing would be possible and it has been motivating to learn that Aitken has found the key to doing this. Hearing about his experiences with different websites, different clients and different modes of payment made me feel a little less clueless to the whole world of freelance and very much like I had a companion there to guide me. I previously found freelancing websites incredibly daunting. This was perhaps due to a lack of confidence, and upon beginning this guide my upwork profile was stagnant and sadly half finished. Reading through Aitken’s sections on the vast potential of freelancing, and how to make your profile stand out on upwork, I found myself editing my profile as I read. Finding out what to avoid on your profile and when searching for jobs was very helpful and I genuinely feel much more confident looking for freelance jobs via this website now. Rather than being a strictly informative guide, Aitken writes in a style that makes you feel as though you are a friend he is confiding knowledge to. Many of the chapters have the potential to be dull how-to guides, but the Online Writers Companion avoids this by including stories about Aitken’s personal experience with each of these topics. I particularly liked that there is quite a lot of humour in each chapter, making it an easy read. It really does become more of a friend, rather than a simple guide. At the beginning, it states that you are free to delve into the Online Writers Companion if and when you need the information, but the best way to read it is from start to finish. I thoroughly agree that you should read it from the front page to the last, as this way you can understand all the little hints and tips Aitken has discovered on his path to success. However, if you find yourself short on time, each chapter is summarised at the end in helpful little bullet points. This has the added bonus of displaying what is in each chapter if you find that you need to go into a little more detail. The guide also provides multiple graphs that display information precisely and clearly. I found the chart displaying what price you should set yourself at infinitely helpful as this is not something I had given much thought to previously. I am certain that I will pick this companion up more than once during my time as a freelancer and I would certainly recommend it to anyone starting out. Not many people give away their keys to success, but I believe Aitken has immeasurably helped the freelancer community by providing an insight into his. I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Montserrat Bray

    P. J. Aitken has written an extensive and wide-ranging book to help any prospective freelancer hoping to make a living. The “Online Writer’s Companion: a complete guide to earning your living as a freelancer” is a comprehensive and clear book that does what it says on the tin. The book covers the freelancing websites you should use or avoid, setting up and managing your online profile, and dealing with jobs, deadlines and clients. Aitken has condensed what has been a two year journey for him, in P. J. Aitken has written an extensive and wide-ranging book to help any prospective freelancer hoping to make a living. The “Online Writer’s Companion: a complete guide to earning your living as a freelancer” is a comprehensive and clear book that does what it says on the tin. The book covers the freelancing websites you should use or avoid, setting up and managing your online profile, and dealing with jobs, deadlines and clients. Aitken has condensed what has been a two year journey for him, into a clear and useable book for fledgling freelancers. Aitken has broken up a dense book into 4 parts, and then into chapters and subsections. This makes the book much easier to read and extremely useful for freelancers in need of help on a specific issue. All topics are covered in a table of contents, and each chapter ends with links to relevant sections elsewhere in this book. Aitken’s aim with this is for prospective, or established, freelancers to read the book in full first, and then to utilise the book when necessary, following all relevant links in order to answer your question or help with a query. Fact boxes embedded in the text gives the reader more statistics and figures to further their understanding. Figures and diagrams are also useful ways of presenting important information. The accessibility of the text means that Aitken’s wish that this book be used more than once is granted. Aitken has made it clear that this book is a product of, and in part thanks to, his work as an online freelancer. He is honest with his experiences and gives his frank opinions about freelancing in general, freelancing sites, clients and jobs. This will be useful for new freelancers as nothing is sugar coated. While Aitken does not beat around the bush, he genuinely seems to want to help other freelancers and offers up his own advice based on personal experience and from talking to his long-term clients and to other freelancers. Aitken’s advice could also be applicable to the world of work in general; do not be rude to your boss (in the online freelancing world that would be your client), do not make excuses and always meet the deadline. However certain guidelines could be seen as unethical: the suggestion of writing articles and saying they have been published when they have not, for example. On the other hand ‘CV padding’ is not unique to online freelancing, but is universal and perhaps understandable. There were two sections of the book that I found to be the most illuminating. The first was the section on clients, where there were testimonials from clients that Aitken has worked with, or is still working with. As most of the book is based on his personal journey as a freelancer, it was interesting to hear someone else’s opinion. The same is true of the “Horror Stories” chapter in which Aitken has got in touch with other freelancers, both ex and current, to demonstrate examples of when warning signs were not read, or acknowledged, and the freelancer had to face the consequences. This is helpful in terms of what not to do, and also in reinforcing Aitken’s guidelines and advice: if you follow it, and use common sense, you cannot go far wrong. I received a free advance review copy of this book and all ideas and opinions are honest and completely my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    There are many positive things to say about this book that I don't know where to start. It's incredibly detailed and honest, and PJ has gone above and beyond in this guide. You simply won't find a more comprehensive book about freelancing out there. PJ has lived the life of a freelancer and quite selflessly shared his experiences, and the lessons to be learned from them in the case of the clients from Hell. I read this book in two sittings, such was the flow of the writing and how it effortlessl There are many positive things to say about this book that I don't know where to start. It's incredibly detailed and honest, and PJ has gone above and beyond in this guide. You simply won't find a more comprehensive book about freelancing out there. PJ has lived the life of a freelancer and quite selflessly shared his experiences, and the lessons to be learned from them in the case of the clients from Hell. I read this book in two sittings, such was the flow of the writing and how it effortlessly blended the chapters together, in itself like a story. Only you can make your own career as a freelancer, but having this guide by your side as you forge it will give you a head start over the rest. I have dabbled in self-publishing for a while and not really made it, but you know what, I have a second-to-none work ethic and reading this made me believe in myself. It's hard, hard work I have no doubt but it could also be one heck of a great adventure and a fun rollercoaster of a ride to be involved in. There are a lot of self-help books out there calling themselves 'complete guides', but unless they live up to this gold standard in guides then they are not fit to hold that title.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cheyenne DeBorde

    This book is blunt, poignant, and pulls absolutely no punches - it doesn’t sugarcoat the real insider secrets or being a freelancer. It provides detailed charts on how to structure a cover letter/proposal, how to gear your attitude, how to become a client and hire writers, and more. Better yet, this guide grows with you. I journeyed through my first three years in a couple of chapters, was staring my current status in the face, and then gained new advice for the steps to come. This book will def This book is blunt, poignant, and pulls absolutely no punches - it doesn’t sugarcoat the real insider secrets or being a freelancer. It provides detailed charts on how to structure a cover letter/proposal, how to gear your attitude, how to become a client and hire writers, and more. Better yet, this guide grows with you. I journeyed through my first three years in a couple of chapters, was staring my current status in the face, and then gained new advice for the steps to come. This book will definitely be staying on my desk.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    A detailed and thorough guide to starting a career as a freelance writer. You can tell that this author knows what he's talking about and he gives you an insiders view of the ins and outs of the field. He makes it clear that it's not a path to easy riches but if you build your brand from the ground up and apply yourself you can create a good career path. An excellent resource! Thanks for the review copy. A detailed and thorough guide to starting a career as a freelance writer. You can tell that this author knows what he's talking about and he gives you an insiders view of the ins and outs of the field. He makes it clear that it's not a path to easy riches but if you build your brand from the ground up and apply yourself you can create a good career path. An excellent resource! Thanks for the review copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    There's some very useful information here if you're a complete newbie to online writing. He covers pretty much everything I would ask or need to know at this point. I found his chart and advice on pricing to be especially helpful. I loaned the book to someone just starting a somewhat related online business and at first he was reluctant to 'waste' his time 'just reading' - now he's gone out to buy his own copy because he says there is info there that he'll want to have at hand for some time! There's some very useful information here if you're a complete newbie to online writing. He covers pretty much everything I would ask or need to know at this point. I found his chart and advice on pricing to be especially helpful. I loaned the book to someone just starting a somewhat related online business and at first he was reluctant to 'waste' his time 'just reading' - now he's gone out to buy his own copy because he says there is info there that he'll want to have at hand for some time!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ember August

    My favorite part was the breakdown of clients, freelancing sites, and a guide on how to set my rates. Blunt, funny, and honest, it’s a solid look at how to handle bad clients, where to get started, and finally – finally – how much I should charge for my work. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make $100 an hour, but hey, I’m hopeful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Poppy Jennings

    From the very beginning of The Online Writer’s Companion, P. J. Aitken gives us a glimpse into the struggles and successes he faced when looking for freelance writing work. By opening his book with personal accounts of his life and career, it gives you the right idea that you can achieve the same success. Going on to read more of the Writer’s Companion was immediately more exciting, because if he can do it, then why not you? With Aitken’s matter-of-fact approach to his own successes, he makes the From the very beginning of The Online Writer’s Companion, P. J. Aitken gives us a glimpse into the struggles and successes he faced when looking for freelance writing work. By opening his book with personal accounts of his life and career, it gives you the right idea that you can achieve the same success. Going on to read more of the Writer’s Companion was immediately more exciting, because if he can do it, then why not you? With Aitken’s matter-of-fact approach to his own successes, he makes the prospect of a writing career seem more attainable. Aitken provides a useful and detailed list of freelancing websites and highlights both their faults and benefits. Because of his thorough account of the services, it means a lot of writers can avoid the disappointment of bad service through those websites and focus their attention on the ones they are more likely to get paid on! Not only does he give personal accounts of his experiences on each site and with jobs in mind, he also provides recommendations based on the benefits and weaknesses that would impact a freelancer’s job search. The chatty style of the Writer’s Companion makes it very easy to get through, each chapter staying strictly to appropriate topics, but done so with a light and understandable narrative. It couldn’t have been easier to grasp the advice that P. J. Aitken’s gives provided through each stage of his book and I found it incredibly intriguing to read. He even goes to the depth of helping you put together a professional profile and tells you how to best avoid the cringe-worthy topics that you probably wouldn’t know to leave out. When he moves on to discuss his preferred site for freelancing work, the detail he provides for each aspect of the sign-up and job search process was incredibly beneficial, and I understood so much more about the industry from his analysis. He told me what jobs to avoid, what descriptions to look out for, and how to separate the good from the bad when looking for freelance positions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a career in freelance writing. Aitken doesn’t hold back on criticising websites that he feels aren’t going to benefit the writers as much as the clients. His intention of the book is clearly to make the industry better for the freelance writers as much as those they work for, and it comes across well through his in-depth analysis of so many popular freelancing websites. I received a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

  10. 5 out of 5

    Arlian

  11. 4 out of 5

    WhatStaceyReads

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tim Wakeman

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pennye McKneely

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shana Thompson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  17. 4 out of 5

    Noa

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laureen (Ms. Bibliophile)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Piper

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gabby-Lily Raines

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ezy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Adams

  27. 4 out of 5

    Terrence

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Rollenhagen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  32. 5 out of 5

    Renee' Booker

  33. 4 out of 5

    Carol McFarlane

  34. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  35. 5 out of 5

    Edgar Connell

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  37. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  38. 4 out of 5

    Christine Zibas

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Taylor-Cruz

  40. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

  41. 4 out of 5

    Eric Railine

  42. 4 out of 5

    Carole

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jae

  44. 4 out of 5

    ed Lucas

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