For some people working as a freelance writer is an occupational choice, for others the current economic situation has made it necessary to look at alternative jobs and for some writers it is merely a hobby. Whatever approach you have to writing there are many outlets available where you can earn money through writing.

The Internet has thrown up many different opportunities for writers to succeed. Your first consideration needs to be given to the kind of writing you are interested in, enjoy or of which you are capable. Chances vary widely from copy writing for products and services, features and articles on blog sites to offers of translation services if you have knowledge of another language.

These days most companies have a website and many opt to use social networking like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with customers. Other businesses have website forums and discussion boards that require updating, interaction and comment. All of these processes require written articles, fresh content and customer responses. Therefore a whole industry has developed around providing a steady stream of new and interesting articles written for the Internet.

The biggest challenge is actually finding work but there are plenty of job sites on the internet that advertise opportunities for Freelance Writers. Content sites that canvass companies for projects, travel website, blogs and magazines constantly crave destination information. Website design companies are another source of work, as they need fresh articles and new pages for their customers.

A problem many Freelance writers just starting out discover is the sheer level of competition; not only in numbers of people but also the clamour over rates of pay. There are many companies offering work at $1 an article and just as many happy to work at these rates. English being a universal language means you will face bidding competition from countries all over the world, where lower cost of living and cheaper rates of pay leads to intense bidding wars.

One sure way of attracting better-paid work is to promote yourself, create a website or WordPress page where you can publish your own articles and showcase your talent. It is then important to promote your work using Twitter, Facebook or use social writing sites such as Hubpages or Squidoo. Shameless self-promotion is a sure fire way of bringing you to the attention of potential customers and increased workloads.

What you will find as a Freelance Writer is that, as much importance needs to be attached to promoting yourself as goes into creating your well-crafted articles. To successfully earn a living working for yourself you will have to tirelessly canvass and advertise your services as well as write your finished pieces.

As you gradually build up a portfolio of work and become confident and familiar with the environment you will find work starts to come knocking at your door. Although to reach this stage you do need to put in a lot of time spreading the word. At the end of the day however, it’s well worth the effort.

Jim Dean is a freelance writer who works for companies such as Ulster Bank who offer regular savings accounts.