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I'm looking to try freelancing to do technical writing so I can pay for college classes over the summer.

I'm a Biomedical Engineering student and have experience writing and explaining technical concepts to my classmates and also people unaware of the topics being covered.

I've created STEM curriculum for middle school - high school international non-native English students and I've been able to talk about my work on a digital signal processing - linguistics overlapping project to fellow engineers who had no background and industry representatives.

I've also written a History Conference paper and taken an English class for English majors- which I got an A in.

I haven't done blogging before, but I realized I have a lot of thoughts I've been repeating and then remembered some people blog about those things, and that you can get paid to do blogging for sites that already exist.

Suggestions on what a reasonable rate is? And how to get started?

Any comments will be much appreciated.

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  • Appreciate all the answers, ended up closing my Upwork account, because I had to work on other things and had a in person job that was in line with things I was interested and had skills for. Was really just confused on how to use the site. – ThermoRestart Aug 7 at 17:28
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Based on your credentials, I would probably venture to say simply look up companies within your field and approach them directly and pitch your services - you are entirely too overqualified to put yourself in the position of being sucked in to the rat race that is Upwork/Freelancer/Guru - or worse yet::shudder:: Fiver (Don't EVER go there, for the sake of your self-respect and sanity).

You don't need some penny pinching unreasonable client who is already getting what you would typically expect to charge $100 for $10, yet wants to keep adding additional tasks on top of that with no additional money, and is somehow more needy, demanding and high maintenance than your top tier customers. Yes, there are a million of those clients on those platforms - to be fair there are some great ones (I still use Upwork for a reason after all) but frankly, that would seem beneath your pay grade.

To answer your question directly, when I first started I always bid between $15-18/hr - it took me a couple of weeks to gain any traction, largely because I wasn't willing to bargain-basement price my labor. But I did get work and built traction, after accumulating thos first few 5-star reviews, and I continue to get steady work over $25/hr

If you DO go the route of a freelance marketplace platform - the best advice I could possibly give you is DO NOT give in to the "race to the lowest price" mentality - you're worth more than $2 or $3 per hour - that is inexcusable.

Best of luck

  • This is good advice, once got a dataentry gig that really underpaid and the person basically tried to get a workhorse. – ThermoRestart Aug 7 at 17:30
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If you already know sites that might be interested in what you have to offer, the easiest way is to pitch them.

That means, identify a number of topics that you think would be a good fit for them, create a title and short description and send them over. Tell them who you are and that you would be more than happy to write those posts up for them.

If you have done your homework, many sites welcome the initiative and would be more than happy to pay you to write for them. Plus, if you do a bang-up job, there might be repeat business in it for you. (I have done all of the above and now writing is my full-time career.)

As for the rate, as a beginner freelance writer, asking for $0.10-$0.15 is appropriate in my opinion. However, make sure you (over)deliver great quality. Hope this helps!

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