Agents for Freelance Writers
As a freelance writer, you might want to consider hiring an agent to help you publish books. Agents for writers do take a significant cut of your money, but on the plus side, you're much more likely to get a publishing contract if you have an agent. In fact, some publishing houses don't even accept submissions from individual writers - they only work with agents.
Do you need an agent to find success? No. However, finding a good agent allows you to free up your time to write.
Your agent will also negotiate contracts, and many help you book tours, generate excitement about your book, and get your foot in the door with major publishing houses. Having a book agent is kind of like having a real estate agent. Sure, you can purchase a house without a real estate agent, but the process is a lot harder if you've never done it before. Agents do this for a living, so their experience is your gain.
If you are going to write shorter pieces, you generally do not need an agent. Few contract writers have agents, though some work with lawyers to help them create solid contracts for big jobs. As an online entrepreneur, you may not want an agent, but most good websites have a public relations director of some sort, so as your site grows, you might want to hire others to make sure your day-to-day operations run smoothly. You don't need an agent, whether you're writing online or offline, but having one might mean the difference between your manuscript being made into a best seller and it collecting dust, unread, on a shelf in your office.