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How Do I Become a Freelance Typist?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Individuals looking to become a freelance typist should evaluate the needs of the position before taking the leap into self-employment. Those hoping to become a freelance typist should possess excellent typing skills, understand the current marketplace, and be comfortable seeking out new client relationships and opportunities. Self-employment also requires drive, commitment, and the ability to weather the ups and downs of business cycles.

Entering the self-employment ring requires a basic level of business competence. Individuals need to have completed a basic level of education, often a high school diploma, to secure the knowledge needed to succeed in the business world. Some college level coursework, such as classes focused on business administration, accounting, and business law, can help those looking to become a freelance typist. A college degree in journalism, communications, or business can further prepare someone who wants to become a freelance typist.

Knowing how to type is perhaps the most basic qualification for those thinking about starting a freelance typing service. In the competitive marketplace, knowing how to type isn’t enough, and freelance typists must have a certain degree of skill to meet accuracy standards and produce documents in a quick and efficient manner. Those hoping to become a freelance typist should work on increasing their typing speed while limiting errors.

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Identifying potential clients requires the ability to gauge the current marketplace and capitalize on trends related to the business. Businesses and private clients may hire freelance typists to fill in on a temporary basis or may have long-term work. In addition to the basic client pool, freelance typists need to identify any niche markets that develop. This can include offering additional services, such as resume writing and brochure or publication development.

Freelance typists need to be comfortable selling their skills and negotiating with clients. A certain degree of confidence is required to win over potential clients and keep the business growing over time. Negotiation skills are essential when determining pay rates and setting deadlines.

Self-employed individuals, including freelance typists, must be able to motivate themselves to get work done in a timely manner. Without drive and commitment, full income potential will not be realized. With dedication and commitment, freelance typists can focus on growing a business over time and make a decent living. These skills and personality traits will help dedicated and educated freelance typists weather any dips in business activity and reduce the anxiety that can accompany owning a business.

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OeKc05
Post 11

I always wanted to become a writer, but the business is really hard to break into, unless you know someone in power. So, I decided to become a freelance typist instead. That way, at least I would be helping other writers get their creations formatted so that they could be printed and read by others.

I often have long lapses in between book jobs, so I supplement my income with resume writing. Ironically, a lot of my clients for this are the very authors whose books I type. It’s a tough business, and most people just write as a hobby while slaving away at something else.

lighth0se33
Post 10

It seems that a lot of people in my neighborhood either hate to type or don’t have the time. Word got around that I had started working as a freelance typist, and before long, I had enough work to keep me busy for weeks.

It’s not hard at all for me to stay motivated. I know that the less work I do, the less money I make. So, it is actually harder for me to quit at the designated time than it is to resist temptation to quit earlier.

I work each day until I have met the goal I set in my mind. Then, I stop and make myself leave the work alone until the next day.

Oceana
Post 9

@shell4life - I majored in English in college, and it is really hard for me to leave a grammatically incorrect document as it is. I have run into this in my work as a typist as well. Unless the client has specifically instructed me not to alter anything, I usually make the corrections and hope they don’t notice.

I never ask them beforehand if they want it edited or not. I am a natural editor, so I just do my thing. If they tell me to put it back the way it was, I will do it. As a freelance typist, I can’t afford not to, because I have to keep the clients happy.

backdraft
Post 8

It seem like a lot of internet based freelancers work on their own for a while and then start businesses through which they hire other freelancers to do the work that they used to.

Freelancing is a stepping stone to small business ownership for a lot of people. It lets them practice a skill and test a market without making a huge investment of time and capital. When and if they decide to start contracting out others they have a pretty good idea of how to be successful.

I know this is the case with a lot of freelance writing and graphic design. I would assume it would be the same across industries. In general the freelancing experience is about the same for everyone.

shell4life
Post 7

My career as a freelance typist began when my friend approached me about typing his manuscript. He had written a novel, but he was terrible at typing, and he needed my help. He paid me generously, and I enjoyed the work.

He wrote several more books rather quickly, and he got me to type all of them for him. I also helped him with some grammatical changes.

Now, whenever I talk to a client for the first time, I ask them if they want me to proofread and edit the document as well as type it. Most of them do, but I have had some who would prefer I type it exactly as it is written.

chivebasil
Post 6

@golf07 - Great point. I used to do some freelance web development from my home and I found it really difficult to get motivated and directed every day. I would always end up getting distracted by the internet, or playing a game or calling a friend or making a snack or on and on down the list. I never actually got that much web development done.

I really needed the structure of an office and the pressure of having a boss breathing down my neck. I had to give up freelancing after about 6 months and I got a job with a mid size company. There are things I miss about the freelance life but I get a lot more done now and I can actually pay my bills.

tigers88
Post 5

I have wanted to be a writer for a long time and for about a year I have been hunting for freelance writing jobs. There a few different sites on the internet that I check out almost daily. Now, most of the jobs are related to writing or content producing, but there are more typist jobs on there than I ever would have expected.

A lot of these involve transcribing different audio files but there are lots of different opportunities with a range or focus. If you can speak a foreign language you will have tons of opportunities. It would probably also be helpful to be a wizard at Microsoft office. There is a lot of resume formatting kind

of work.

So these jobs are out there and probably not as competitive as you might think. Freelancing is a funny thing but definitely rewarding. Good luck to anyone trying to find jobs out there. We are all in this together.

sunshined
Post 4

If you are a good typist, there are many opportunities to make money at home. Many companies are looking for virtual assistants because it can be a positive situation for everyone.

When I was looking for a way to make some money from home, I contacted local businesses who were looking for some extra administrative help.

The hardest part was finding the first few clients I would work for. My first client was an attorney who was looking for some help, but didn't want to hire a full time office person.

Once I began working for him, finding more clients became much easier. There are a lot of advantages of being a freelance typist. It helps a lot if you are disciplined and keep good communication between yourself and your clients.

golf07
Post 3

I think there is much more involved with becoming a freelance typist than just the ability to type quickly and accurately.

You have to be self motivated to find clients and to get your work done. Being a freelance typist is a great way to make money from a home, but you also have to be disciplined to get your work done.

I have worked from home as a typist for a few years, and I love the flexibility it provides. It can also be frustrating if I don't set boundaries for myself, my friends and family.

Just because I am working from home doesn't mean that I can goof off. I set specific hours that I will sit down and work and stick to those hours. This is the time I concentrate on work only and not personal email, phone calls, laundry, etc.

mutsy
Post 2

@Icecream17- There are a lot of fields that really need a typist. I think that if you specialize in medical transcription or legal transcription you can really earn a lot more money. I have looked into legal transcription and many court reporters earn a great salary and have lots of opportunities.

Some of these legal transcriptionists work in a court room while others may work at home transcribing taped depositions. It seems like an interesting job, and the training is less than two years. The only problem is that you have to type at least 225 words per minute in order to pass your certification exam.

I don’t think that I could ever type that fast no matter how much training I got.

icecream17
Post 1

I know that there are a lot of virtual assistant companies that need a typist for projects that they have coming up for various clients. The nice thing about a field like this is that you can stay at home and make money while you work.

Some of these companies offer training and many have qualification tests in order to see your level of accuracy as well as your typing speed. They also offer flexible schedules as long as you meet the deadlines.

There are also clerical staffing companies that offer temporary work at home for many of their clients as well. Work at home jobs are becoming much more common and easier to find than ever before.

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