I agree with some of the information others have provided, but not all. I still accept some work via Upwork. However, a word of caution, even if you are a beginner, your time and work are valuable. Don’t underscore yourself by accepting payment that is pennies on the dollar. Know what your time and work are worth. Writer’s Market is one resource that covers average pay for professional freelance writers. Also, I highly recommend using Carol Tice’s website, Make a Living Writing, often. She has some wonderful resources for freelance writers, new and established. I love her website and I read her articles almost daily.
Now, back toUpwork. When I first started writing for pay, I started with Upwork. Well, actually, back then it was called oDesk and Elance…and I had an account with both. Here’s my rule: Never put all of your eggs into one basket.
In other words, while I do recommend trying Upwork (it’s free) and bidding on jobs there, I don’t recommend using them as your only source of work. Also, don’t accept a job that pays pennies on the dollar. I would never (knowing what I know now) accept a job that pays, $5, $10,or even $15 per article. You’d have to literally write gobs of articles just to make ends meet. No one has that much time - nope! Not worth your time.
Consider the amount of time you’re going to spend on each article and I’m not talking about just writing it, either. You have to research the topic - find highly reputable resources…not blogs or etc. You have to read through the information so you can write intelligently about the topic. You have write the first draft. You have to self-edit, make corrections, and write in some changes. You have to re-edit and proofread the final draft - always read your work back to yourself aloud, it makes a difference. Finally, I like to run my work through a grammar checker AND Copyscape as an added checkpoint before I submit the final draft to the client. ALL of this takes valuable and precious time. If I’m doing piecework, I never charge less than a bare minimum of $50 for a basic 500 to 800-word article. Never! (Carol Tice also recommends that, by the way). Often, I charge more.
Another way to find work is to learn howto pitch an article, blog or other content idea to a website, business, or magazine. Carol Tice also covers this or you should be able to find a good how-to video on YouTube. Or, you can Google howto write a pitch. Here’s a great article that covers it.
When learning howto write a pitch, it’s equally important to understand what NOT to do as well. Don’t forget to always read and follow any submission guidelines before you pitch. You can usually find them under a “Write for us” or similar tab on the top or bottom of the web page. These are crucial. Make sure you follow them closely and make sure you pitch ideas that align with what the website or magazine publishes, but offer a fresh, interesting slant on it.
For places to start pitching, you can Google “Write for us Paid” and you’ll get a ton of search results.
From here, you’ll have multiple lists of sources (usually websites and online magazines) that will pay writers to write for them (guest posts, articles, blogs, etc.). So, research their websites well. Get a feel for what they publish, who their content is targeting (Millennials, professionals, general audience, women, men, etc.). Again, read and follow any submission guidelines and learn howto pitch your brilliant ideas to them. Good luck!