I've been looking around for different ways to earn a few dollars from writing articles. There are a lot of freelance job boards out there, and people are crying out for content for websites and blogs. But they usually pay peanuts, and you have to fight (or at least bid) to get those peanuts!
Then, if you do score one of these gigs, you'll often be committed to weeks of work because the requests are usually for scores, if not hundreds of articles. If you live in Australia, as I do, writing jobs like these just aren't worth it.
I don't want to sound like a protectionist whinger, but this is an unfortunate result of the global economy, as well as the brilliance of all this cyber-technology. Nowadays, it can be economically viable for someone in Pakistan to crank out oodles of content for a client in the USA for next to nothing.
Not only will this be low quality because of the nature of the demand (lots of it in a short pace of time), but there's the language factor as well. People in countries like India, Pakistan and the Philippines aren't native English speakers, so their writing quality will generally be lower. Yet business owners will still buy content from people in these countries (usually indirectly) because their work will still improve site SEO enough for the deal to be profitable.
So, you've got to look for other sites that have slightly different models to these big freelancing sites. Then you have a chance of earning better money, and on your own terms.
One of these that gets lots of good reviews is Textbroker. The site is completely focused on writing. They assess your work, then give you a rating. They have heaps of small, simple gigs that pay a few dollars each. You can crank out a few of those at your own pace and accumulate a nice little sum after a while, or get more serious about it and end up with big ongoing jobs. The big downside is that you have to be in the USA to join.
Then there's Constant Content. What I like about this is that it's much more writer-focused. You write something, decide on a price, then leave it on the site for someone to buy it. I suspect that if your work is half decent, you should be able to sell a fair bit of it eventually. The downside is that you have to wait, of course.
Still, I like this model. You can earn more money, and basically write whatever you want.
Of course there are many other sites for freelance writers. I'll post about them in future, too.
UPDATE: Textbroker has launched another site in the United Kingdom. This one accepts writers from all over the world. So, those living in Australia can join and make money through them after all.