Right now, at this very moment, we are living in a time when there is unprecedented demand for written content. Demand is so high that even a Third World native with a very basic mastery of English can make a good living from writing. As a native English speaker, you are going to have a major commercial advantage over the competition and can command a higher price for your work.
That may sound great, but who is actually going to pay me for my work?
Simply place “writer paid work” in any search engine and you’ll uncover a stream of offers, some pushing writing courses and some opening the door to a new career. I did this when I started out two short years ago, and I even parted with some money as well, but what actually has honed my skills so far has been getting my hands dirty and asking for work. You can short-cut a lot of the time you spend looking for a paying writing job by visiting Craigsists, GetaFreelancer (GAF), eLance and a host of other sites that require simple registration, no money and provide you with access to a swarm of projects that need someone to write English content. Finding work becomes rather simple – ask for it!
If you ask for work, you are almost certainly going to be asked for examples of your writing in return. If you have not a paid project yet, no matter, simply prepare some work on your own account. I prepared a few short articles on IT outsourcing because I worked in IT at the time and these served as my work samples. Buyers of your work are usually looking for something you will produce after they award a project to you, so you’ll need to research the piece anyway. What buyers are looking for in your samples is evidence you can spell, use the occasional comma and start a sentence with a Capital letter. At this point no-one has mentioned “style” – don’t even worry about it. So saying there are some things you should do such as proof your samples and get someone else to edit them. A golden rule is this, do not rely on a spell checker!
Paid work is readily available from websites and the promotional activities that run alongside them, especially blogging and the social networking sites such as MySpace. Most of the paid writing work available is used to promote links to a website as well as provide informative content for users. A website will get more visitors if the content is frequently updated and is interesting to the reader so this in turn generates a never ending demand for writers. My personal experience is that well over 90% of my own work has been for the web with only the occasional project that would be distributed offline such as a staff manual.
To answer the initial question, who’s going to pay you to write? The blunt answer is simply almost every website and business owner you can see. You will be offered paid writing work if you present yourself properly, take some time and effort to prepare a simple writing portfolio and ask for the work in a professional manner. Once you are paid, the issues that will start to confront you will be those that deal with improving your own writing ability, attracting more interesting work and improving your income while managing your time – stories for another day.