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Stop by to find many ideas to start a business from home.

Freelance writing opportunities from Home are a great way to make some extra money. Whether you write as a ghost writer for businesses, write ebooks, or articles and books, freelancing opportunities are a solid way to make money from home.


By Alice Accardi

“If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.” Lillian Hellman

Fortunately for me, I’m not going to presume to tell you about writing. But I am learning a bit about freelance writing, and the best way to learn more about something is to explain it to others. I’ve been freelancing for a grand total of three months, after the kids are in bed or while the older ones are in school and the two year old is taking a nap. In that time, I’ve been able to bank over $2000, with more coming in each week.

There, that got your attention, didn’t it? I’ve got to tell you, I’m not a professional writer (and I imagine you’ve realized that already!) I’m a former math teacher, home raising my three young kids. But I was smart enough to know my talents and limitations, and lucky enough to find the right freelance employers right off the bat. It is my hope that I can share some of that luck with you.

I think the most important part of starting to freelance is to spend some time figuring out what you know and what you’re good at. For me, that was fairly easy. I taught High School math for twenty years before the kids came along, and I was good at it. I know that, from the feedback I’ve gotten from my observations, from my promotion to department chairman, from the kids I’ve taught , and most important because, after a while, you know when you’re good at something. So while I wouldn’t presume to write about housekeeping or cooking or a multitude of other topics, I can do math.

Spend some time figuring out what you’re good at. Maybe for you, like for me, it will be a fairly easy process: look at the job or jobs you’ve held in the past and what you’ve learned from them. Look at your education and the other experiences you’ve had. Make a list of the areas in which you’re qualified to write. Think about the areas in which you give advice to friends—that may help point you in a direction. Maybe your background has prepared you in an academic area: you’re good at a branch of science or you’re a whiz at history. Maybe you’re a trivia buff. Maybe your talent is for research; given a topic, you can hit the internet and come up with a variety of sources backing up an idea. Whatever it is, you’ve got to discover what you know before you can write about it.

Your next step is to decide who wants to know what it is you already know. Again, for me the transition was fairly easy; there aren’t too many people out there who want to solve quadratic equations or do a geometric proof! I turned to educational software people. But whatever it is you know, someone else wants to know it too; you just need to find those people. So, if it’s academics you know, look to textbook and workbook publishers, educational software and online tutoring. If you’re good at research, look at the article writing sites—there are a lot of them out there. If you’re a great organizer, maybe you want to look at magazines. If you’re a great storyteller, consider children’s magazines. Maybe you’re good at developing children’s games or at shortcuts to housework. It’s going to take some thought, but the people you want are out there—you just need to find them.

You now have an idea of just which area you’re going to target. Decide on a descriptive term: “Children’s magazines” or “Article writing sites” and do a Google search. You’ll have to weed through a lot of extraneous material, but there should be a wealth of information there. Then change the description a bit—say “Children’s Literature” or “Children’s stories” and do it again.

Another thing to consider is teaching an online course. So, for example, if you’re incredible at crafts, think about teaching an online course in it. Go online and look for “online colleges.” Not all of them concentrate completely on academics; you might be surprised at the huge variety. You’ll have to prepare a syllabus and so on, but it’s certainly worth a look. Try “online colleges” on Google.

OK, you know what you can do and you think you know who can use it. Your next job is to contact the people. You’ll want a cover letter to introduce yourself to the potential employer and describe what you’re offering… sometimes it’ known as a “query letter.” If you need help writing one, go to some of the freelance sites and see if they offer hints. If you are thinking of writing an article for a magazine, go to their website and look for “submission guidelines.” Most don’t want you to submit an article; they would prefer a description of what you plan to write. Keep in mind that magazines prepare their issues long before they print them, so an article on Christmas Crafts should be pitched in July or August, not November. For the types of sites I visit, I look at the section for employment.

Some editors will be looking for samples of work you’ve already written. There are plenty of people willing to publish new authors, particularly if you’re willing to work for free at first. It gives you some practice at your new craft, and gives you a bit of a portfolio to submit to others. It’s a good way to get your feet wet, particularly if you’re hoping to work in the more competitive non-fiction areas. If you go to  there’s a section for low and non-paying freelance writing (as well as sections for paid writing.) It’s a great place to start.

Other sites you may want to check into are:  (they’ll charge you to join, but not to browse)  (they have a list of magazines submission guidelines)

Or you can just do a Google search: “freelance writing, children’s fiction” or whatever is appropriate.

The thing is, you’ve got to develop the confidence to present yourself as knowledgeable in your field. And you’ve got to develop a thick enough skin not to mind when what you have isn’t exactly what others want… you just need to keep searching for the people who do want it.

Alice Accardi lives on Long Island with her husband Peter, their children Brian, Julia and Kira, and their Chocolate Lab KoKo. If Lotto doesn’t intercede, she’ll go back to teaching in a few years when Kira is in Kindergarten. She can be reached at:


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