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Friday, September 16, 2011

INSPIRATION THURSDAY: How to Find WAHM Writing and Editing Jobs

Again, I’m living one day behind. This is my Inspiration Thursday post that should have gone up yesterday. It was inspired by a comment that Charise from I Thought I Knew Mama left on last week’s Inspiration Thursday post. She wanted to know if I had any suggestions for working from home doing freelance writing.

Then I realized that there are probably a lot of women out there wondering how to be a WAHM so they can stay home with their kids but bring in some income. So I thought I would post it publicly. Maybe I can help one more mom quit her job and stay home with her babies.

I make about half of my income from writing and the other half from selling the products I make and teaching classes. The writing is my bread and butter, because I know I can make money doing it every day and I can dial it up if I need to.

Here’s the thing: As a mom, I don’t have a lot of time to write. I have trouble with large projects and deadlines, and I can’t guarantee that I can finish a long article in a short amount of time, because I never know how much time I’ll have. Little M may nap for three hours one day and not really nap the next, so I can’t make promises when it comes to freelance writing.

So I work for crowdsourcing websites. There are three companies I work with the most: Cloud Crowd, Textbroker, and MTurk. I go to their websites, where I can view all of the available jobs. They are usually presented in short chunks that can take anywhere from five minutes to one hour to complete. I pick a job, do it, upload it, and I usually get paid the next day through PayPal.

The nice thing is that I don’t have to commit to a lot. If I have more time one day, I can do more work, and if I know the kids are going to be needing me more one day, I choose shorter tasks to work on.

Here is more detail about the different websites I work for:

Cloud Crowd

This is the website I started on. It’s actually a Facebook app. I get money for referrals if you use this link, so if you do sign up, click here to do it:

There is all kinds of work on this website. It ranges from little data entry tasks that require little to no brain power and can be done in front of the TV or with a nursing baby on your chest. Those tasks don’t pay too much, though. They couldn’t be my bread and butter, but I did start out doing those tasks to get my credibility up so I could work on better tasks.

The higher your credibility, the more jobs you’ll have access to. When you do a task, other workers review it, and it is accepted or rejected. The more articles that are accepted and the fewer that are rejected, the more your credibility will rise.

You can also access better tasks by taking credential tests. There are tests to do anything from editing to writing press releases to translation. So you go onto the website and pick a task. I usually only look at editing, writing, and translation work now because it pays more. I can edit a 300-word document for $1.85. It takes me 5-10 minutes. Or I can translate a longer document that takes me about an hour but pays $25. They often have press releases available to write. Those take me 15 to 20 minutes and they pay about $22. Translation, writing, and editing work are not always available though. The higher-paying work comes and goes, but I average out making between $10 and $20 an hour, and I get to pick my tasks and stay home with my kids while I work.


Since the work on Cloud Crowd is not always consistent, I started looking for other places I could do the same kind of work. I found out about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (, which has a similar format, but thousands more jobs. They may have 200,000 tasks available at any given time, but most of them are really repetitive data-entry tasks that only pay pennies.

I look for writing work. There was a time where I did transcription, but that takes longer and isn’t as fun for me. My favorite client that posts jobs on that site is MediaPiston. It shows up as QuestionSwami on MTurk, so if you register and do a search for QuestionSwami, you can find all the jobs posted by them. They post tasks that require you to write short articles for internet content. The topics range anywhere from medical articles to TV character profiles. They pay anywhere from $3 to $8 per article. This sounds like measly pay, but if you pick a topic you know and love, you can write quickly, and you can end up making $10-$20 an hour.

After your work is approved, you’re paid, and the money goes into an Amazon payments account, where you can use it to purchase things on Amazon (like kids’ stuff or groceries) or you can transfer it into a bank account.

Textbroker is basically a job board where clients post articles they need written and you can select what you want to write about. You just click on the title of the article you want to write and read any detailed instructions from the client. If you want to write the article, you accept it. Depending on your writing level, Textbroker pays a few cents per word, so you’ll be paid between $5 and $10 for most articles, depending on the length. Textbroker pays you twice a month into your PayPal account.

When I first started working on these websites, I thought that the pay wasn’t high enough. I figured that if I wasn’t making at least $15 an hour, it wasn’t worth it. So I breezed through some editing tasks on Cloud Crowd, got rejected a bunch of times, got annoyed, and stopped. But whenever I didn’t have anything to do (back in the day) I would get back on and try some more tasks.

The more tasks I did, the faster I became, and I now can tell just from reading the instructions what I will be able to complete quickly and what will take me more time. Depending on the pay and how much time I have, I’ll either skip a task or accept it. I earn somewhere around $15 per hour on average, which isn’t all that much, but it’s all relative. I don’t have to drive to work and I can work while holding and feeding my baby. I can quickly get online during naps and bust out a few articles, and I only need to make about $30 a day to bring in enough extra income.

I've gotten additional work through these websites. I was contacted directly by Cloud Crowd to help write chapters for a book they are working on, and I was even quoted in an article about crowdsourcing in Fast Company. I write the blog for Green Baby Diaper Service, a local company, and I write internet content for some other local companies and websites.

So when you look at these sites and think, “I can’t work for peanuts,” consider the alternative: getting up, showered, and dressed, driving to a part-time job, doing something uninteresting and monotonous, and having to put your baby in daycare. For me, it’s worth it. I’m using my brain, I get to research all kinds of interesting information, and I don’t have to stick to anyone else’s routine.


Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said... Best Blogger Tips

You are awesome! Thank you again for all of this info! It is so helpful to me - and I'm sure it will help many other mamas out there.

P.S. I sold my first article this week :-)

Gaby said... Best Blogger Tips

@Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama

Ooh, congrats! That was quick! I bet you have some tips for other mamas as well! I know I would be interested to hear more about it :)

Becky said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for these resources! I will be checking them out. :-)

Matt in Perth, Australia said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm in Australia, and unfortunately Textbroker doesn't accept people from my country. (Nor does Mechanical Turk, as far as I know.) I've only just learned about Cloud Crowd, but I'm pretty sure that it does, which is good to know.

As well as these crowd sourcing sites there are others where you can list writing for sale. Constant Content is of course the main one, but there's another one called Ghost Bloggers which is new and looks pretty good.

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