Looking for a freelance writing career that’s a bit more interesting than chumming out carbon copy articles for faceless websites? Expand your freelance career by going into information brokering-researching niche topics for corporations, small business, entrepreneurs, and other writers
What Do I Need to Get Get Started
You’ll need access to the Internet, of course, but real-world research skills and opportunities expand your potential client base immeasurably. The public library, university libraries with Inter-library loan privileges, access to a law library, and expert interviews are all excellent resources in addition to the Internet.
How Much Do They Get Paid
Information brokers command $45 to $75 per hour if data is difficult to find, and perhaps $20 to $40 if you use only the Internet. Most Information Brokers produce reports, white papers, and databases; your fees for polishing or compiling data may be comparable to pure research fees or may be more. (Clients will want an estimate of how many hours you think it will take to meet their expectations. It might be helpful to establish a minimum so you’re well-paid for small jobs.
Marketing your at-home Information brokering business
Target potential clients through trade journals, business publications, networking conventions conferences, universities and business schools. Advertise in real-world markets and online. You may be able to find clients through freelance writing sites.
Essential equipment and software
If you’ll be producing final reports, charts and graphs, or web pages, you’ll need software to support those activities. If you stick to pure research, you won’t need any special equipment or software to get started.
Make sure you and the client are clear on what needs to be produced from your research. Help the client to zero in on the subject rather than leaving it too broad. Conducting research can be quite fascinating — don’t get caught up in tracking down an obscure bit of information that may be unrelated to the project at hand.
Legitimate Sources for More Information on Research and Information Brokering
Canada-based information researchers may want to contact the Library and Archives of Canada to be added to their list of freelance information brokers.
Simplyhired maintains a list of trillions of freelancing jobs across the world, including research and information brokering positions.
Elance Is a freelance writing site where you search for jobs in your area of expertise and put in bids based on customer expectations and your own bottom line.
Guru is similar to Elance, with some nice added value for both freelancers for hire and customers looking for researchers.
AllExperts is a volunteer-run website where you can ask any question on almost any subject and get an expert response. Volunteers are often available for extended interviews in their areas of expertise.
PubMed is an electronic databas of thousands of full-text and citation-only medical journals and articles. It’s maintained by the United States library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, so it is the premiere trusted resource for medical research.
The ERIC database is freely open to the public and contains thousands of full text documents for information brokers and researchers interested in education.
The ERIC database [erlc.ed.gov] is freely open to the public and contains thousands offull text documents for
information brokers and researchers interested in education.
Contact your local public or university library to get remote access privileges to the EBSCO, GALE, ProQuest, and JStor electronic databases.