How to Become a Freelance Writer – Easy Guide
Freelance writing can Earn You (from 0 to $20,000 per month)
So you’re interested in learning how to become a freelance writer? What exactly is it, and how does one go about becoming a freelance writer? Frequently, I receive emails from people who want to know how to get started as a freelance writer. No matter where you are in the world, the steps to take to become a freelance writer are the same everywhere else in the world. It’s a terrific way to earn some extra money and perhaps make a livelihood from it, so I decided to publish a tutorial to assist new freelance writers in getting their business up and running quickly.
This post is for you if you’re interested in learning how to become a freelance writer so that you can earn a fantastic income from the comfort of your own home. Imagine being your own employer, earning an almost limitless amount of money, and being able to work from the comfort of your own home. Instead of spending your days slaving away in a cubicle, you rely on your creative abilities – as well as your unwavering work ethic – to build the life of your dreams.
You are free to take as much time off as you want because you do not have an employer to answer to. While that independence allows you to take many family trips, it also makes it easier for you to be a better parent — the type who shows up for parent breakfasts and patiently waits at the bus stop each day – for your children. You’re appreciative, but you put in the effort. Because, no matter what happens, you will never be able to imagine working for anybody else again. Failure is not an option in this situation. Either you will succeed or you will perish in the attempt!
What is freelance writing?
You might be wondering, what exactly is a freelance writer. Read on to find out. And, for that matter, what exactly is freelancing? An independent contractor (also known as a freelancer) is someone who is self-employed who contracts their services out to individuals or businesses on a temporary or ongoing basis. You will therefore often work with individual clients, agencies, businesses, and newspapers to whom you will contract your writing services on a project-by-project basis as a freelance writer.
A flexible and potentially lucrative way to generate money online is through freelance writing, which may be done as a side hustle, as a full-time career, or as anything in between. It’s true: freelance writers have complete control over their professional development, including the ability to choose their own schedule, who they work with, what projects they take on, where they work, and so on. What a fantastic experience, huh?
Also worth mentioning is the fact that there are numerous distinct types of freelance writing you can pursue, resulting in a diverse range of specialities and project prospects at any one time. Let’s take a look at the most prevalent forms of freelance writing you’ll need to be familiar with.
Content writer on a freelance basis
A freelance content writer creates online content that is intended to enlighten, educate, or entertain readers. A great content writer must have the ability to communicate effectively in a range of different tones and styles, and he or she should have a strong understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). Blog entries, web pages, video scripts, white papers, and other sorts of material are some of the types of content that they make.
Copywriter working as a freelancer
The difference between copywriting and content writing is that copywriting is primarily concerned with persuasion; copywriters use a strategic, data-driven approach to writing that is intended for the purpose of convincing people to purchase a product or service. SEO and social media ads, slogans and taglines, website landing pages and product pages, email marketing campaigns, and other types of content are all written by independent copywriters working from home.
Columnist who works on a freelance basis
A freelance columnist is someone who works on a regular basis for a certain newspaper, contributing journalistic articles that are filtered through their own personal beliefs and worldviews. Columnists frequently contribute to a certain area of a newspaper, magazine, or online, such as a cuisine section, sports section, or politics section.
A Ghostwriter who works on a freelance basis
Freelance ghostwriters are individuals or businesses who create written work on their behalf and credit it to the person or company who hired them. Ghostwriters frequently collaborate extensively with the people for whom they are writing, adhering to their voice, style, and other demands to the letter. Freelance ghostwriters can work on a wide range of assignments, including fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, internet articles, manuals, and speeches, amongst other things.
Academic writer working as a freelancer
As the name implies, freelance academic writers create academic writing that is based on empirical evidence and factual information. As a result, academic writers must possess great grammar and research abilities, as well as an awareness of several referencing styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian, to succeed in their fields. Articles, scholarly journals, and class materials are some of the most typical types of content that freelance academic writers create.
Create a portfolio that is suitable for a “beginner.”
When it comes to starting started as a freelance writer, many aspiring authors are unsure of the initial actions they should take to get started. Without a portfolio, it’s difficult to land writing gigs, but you can’t construct one without a steady stream of writing assignments to your credit. For any freelance writer, one of the most critical “first steps” is to put together a “starting portfolio,” which includes a few online samples that potential clients can browse through.
You can usually start creating a beginner’s portfolio by guest posting for free, which is a great way to save money. You don’t know where to submit a guest post? Reaching out to bloggers in your niche is the most straightforward method of obtaining a guest post. One of my first “major writing projects” was for a website called GetRichSlowly.org, which was one of my first “large writing jobs.” They ultimately recruited me after I submitted a number of guest blogs that they were willing to publish for free. While you don’t want to write for free indefinitely, writing for free (even for a short period of time) can be quite profitable!
Research About Freelance Writing
When I initially began out as a freelance writer, I spent a lot of time doing research. Finding other freelance writers, reading their blogs, visiting their writer websites, and soaking up as much information as I could about this career was a priority. I had no idea how to compose a blog post or what kinds of work were available for freelance writers when I first started out. I occasionally emailed freelance writers and requested things such as how to determine my rate for a certain job. In order to begin started, you need visit the following websites to learn more about freelance writing:
Become Familiar With the Writing Skills and Tools Required
Now, I realise that I stated that you could start a freelance writing career from scratch. However, if you want to have a higher chance of succeeding, it is generally a good idea to master a few skills and tools to help you along the way. Some of the abilities you should have for freelance writing are as follows:
Ability to Work in a Team
Maintain meticulous records of all your projects, billing information, client information, pitches sent, and content schedules for your blog and, on occasion, for the blogs of your clients, among other things. You’ll also need to establish a writing regimen in order to keep your articles or blog posts organised.
What are the stages involved in gathering information for your pieces? What method do you use to outline your blog post? Having a project management system in place is critical to the success of your organisation. You don’t want to make a blunder or forget to complete an assignment. For me, I have a few of notebooks handy where I can scribble down content ideas for my blogs, as well as a task list of things I need to get done immediately.
Expertise in Blogging
The majority of my writing is focused on blog posts or digital marketing materials, such as a lead magnet. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to blogging when I first started. I read a lot of blog posts, but I never paid attention to the formatting. When I first started blogging, I didn’t realise how important subheadings and white space were until I really started writing. Writing for an internet audience is very different than writing a term paper for a college professor in a traditional setting.
You must understand how to capture a reader’s attention with your title and introduction. In addition, you must cite credible sources to back up your assertions and facts. Additionally, you must include subheadings, bullet lists, or numbered lists, and most importantly, you must provide actionable suggestions. More information can be found in the following three posts:
Content marketing is something that every new freelance writer should be familiar with. Understand how a company uses content to sell their products or services is essential to succeeding in this field. They may employ white papers, a lead magnet, case studies, and an email list to assist them in generating prospects. When you start out as a freelance writer, being aware of this marketing technique will help you land writing projects such as white paper writing for business clients.
Placing yourself out there and attempting to secure writing gigs may be really difficult. A client may walk all over you or you may be turned down for a job because of your lack of experience. To be a great freelance writer, you must have self-assurance and be able to overcome your anxiety of pitching. I understand that you might not have it right immediately. That’s fine with me. But, sooner or later, you’ll have to take some sort of action.
As a result, you may find yourself applying for positions for which you are not particularly qualified. It may entail submitting a pitch that isn’t quite flawless. The point is that you have to just get up and go do it yourself. In addition to these fundamental abilities, you must be familiar with the instruments of the trade.
Program for Editing Photographs
Some of your freelance clients may request that you create images to accompany their material. Alternatively, if you are learning how to be a freelance writer, you may want to include it as part of your services. As a freelance writer, knowing how to add text to blog photos is critical knowledge to possess. It demonstrates to prospective clients that you understand how to blog. Many individuals use a free editing application such as Canva or PicMonkey to enhance their photos.
Photoshop is the programme that I personally use for all of my photographs. What’s nice about learning how to create photos is that you may offer this service to your clients, or you may find that prospects approach you and ask you to design their images. I actually have four freelance writing gigs for which I provide photographs, and all of them approached me because I am not advertising my services in any way.
App for Editing
Make use of editing software such as Grammarly, Hemingway, or any similar programme to ensure that your work is flawless. I personally go through a thorough editing procedure before submitting my work to clients. A subscription may be required, but it is well worth the investment if you intend to turn your freelance writing into a profitable career.
Put Your Writing Skills to the Test
You no longer have to be the best writer in the world in order to be a successful one. However, you must know how to construct words and communicate your ideas effectively! What if English isn’t your first language? What should you do? The fact is that there are many successful freelance writers who do not speak English as a first language and who make a livelihood by writing for a living.
Consequently, it is doable, but you may have to work a little harder to demonstrate to prospective clients that you are more than capable of writing for them. If, on the other hand, you are a somewhat competent writer, you should work on enhancing your writing. Practice adding sensory details, reducing unnecessary words, and perfecting your skill until you’re satisfied with the results. This can be accomplished by creating your own blog. Make certain that you understand the distinction between blogging and content writing. Not only will this assist you in becoming a better writer, but it will also assist you in marketing your freelance writing business as well.
I have gained several clients as a result of my blog, and I am well aware that my blog only serves to increase my credibility as a professional writer. Reading is also an excellent approach to expand your vocabulary and have a better understanding of the world. I try to read blogs in my niche on a regular basis, and when I have the opportunity, I will pick up a real book or two to read in my spare time.
Create a Writing Portfolio of Your Work
The majority of job advertisements you will see will request to see your work. They would like to see examples of previously published work. If you’re a new writer, you won’t have any published work on your resume — unless you already have your own blog. So, how can you demonstrate to potential clients that you can truly write? You can also develop writing samples in addition to launching a blog.
Produce several items and either upload them as a Google Doc or publish them on Medium after they have been completed. Check out this page for instructions on how to generate samples from the ground up. Guest posting is yet another method of obtaining writing examples for your portfolio. These are blogs that accept contributions from other writers. If you get published on one of these blogs, you will have a link to share with potential clients to demonstrate that your writing was of high enough quality to be published. Using Google, you may easily find blogs that accept authors in your writing niche plus the words write for us.
Start Pitching to Jobs
It’s time to start actively looking for freelance writing work from the comfort of your own home. How do you go about it, and where do you go from there? In the beginning of my freelance writing career, I used Problogger and Freelance Writing Jobs to find clients.
These job boards post new positions on a daily basis, and the positions are frequently of high quality. I steered clear of freelance marketplaces such as Upwork because the tasks were of low quality, and I never did land an employment on one of their platforms. In the event that you come across a position that you are interested in, the most essential thing to remember is to be one of the first few to apply (so check the boards before night and when you wake up) and to make sure your pitch is memorable.
You’ve Got to Work Hard.
Being a freelancer means you have to work extremely hard to find job. However, this does not imply that you must always work hard. The ultimate goal is for clients to seek you out. However, when you are first starting out, firms and periodicals aren’t aware of your existence. As a result, you must sell your services and establish a presence online. What is the best way to go about it? There are numerous options, but to get started, try these two:
Sign up for social media – This isn’t for socialising; it’s for networking purposes only. Sign up for Twitter and LinkedIn and begin networking with and following other authors as well as businesses that you are interested in working with.
Guest post – Guest writing is not only a great way to expand your online presence, but it also helps you grow your portfolio. It’s also a good approach to promote your name in front of more people. When you submit a guest post that is accepted and published, you will be given an author bio that includes connections to your writer website as well as your portfolio and social network profiles.
Initially, I simply had a Pinterest account and a Facebook page, which were my only social media accounts. However, I realised I needed to be more social, so I created Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and began networking my tail off. And I can tell you from my experience that Twitter and LinkedIn have been the most effective tools for bringing in new clients through social media.
As a novice freelance writer, one of the most important things you can do is to keep learning. Whether it’s writing tips, business tips, or pitching tips, learning from people who have gone before you will help you improve your abilities. This is exactly what I did when I first started freelancing, and it is also something I do now to improve my digital marketing writing skills by listening to SEO podcasts or reading books about social media marketing.
Improve your writing skills.
Building a freelancing profession that will last the test of time necessitates having adequate or excellent writing skills. The most effective strategy to become a better writer is to consistently develop your talents – that is, write on a regular basis whether or not you are being compensated. Eric Ridenour is a course participant who has increased his monthly income from $1,000 to $1,500 since enrolling in the course. What is his trade secret?
Ridenour reads and writes constantly in an effort to improve his writing and reading abilities. Ridenour advises writers to write every day, no matter what. “If you are unemployed, you should compose pitch letters. If you are tired of producing pitch letters, then try free-writing instead.” Are you sick of it? “Put some thought into your Facebook postings or write some Amazon reviews,” he suggests. Ridenour claims that when he initially started out, he used some of his greatest Amazon reviews to build his writing portfolio on his website. It appears to have worked.
Make an investment in yourself.
Ben Luthi began blogging four years ago and eventually secured a writing position with Nerdwallet. He subsequently enrolled in my course when he was ready to transition into the freelancing world. He is now able to earn approximately $5,000 per month by writing in his leisure time. What is the secret to Luthi’s success? He describes his approach as “relentless self-improvement.”
Because he had no prior writing expertise when he began blogging, he encountered a significant learning curve at the outset. “After a few months of that, I began to receive freelancing assignments, and I worked with some wonderful editors who provided me with genuine feedback,” adds Luthi. “I took it all in and put it into action right away,” says the author. As an alternative to simply listening closely to any comments that comes your way, you can enrol in a course that will teach you everything you need to know in an easy-to-understand format.
You’ll have to spend money, but it’ll be worth it in the end. When Luthi launched his blog four years ago, the $300 he spent on it was a significant financial burden. However, looking back four years later, he claims that first investment sparked his writing career, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in additional income. “The same may be said for Holly’s writing course and other investments,” adds Luthi of the situation. It may seem like a lot up front, but if you’re diligent and passionate about writing, the return on investment may be incredible. ”
Pitching is a skill that must be learned.
It’s essential to locate new clients when trying to establish a portfolio that will support your financial needs. The majority of freelance writers achieve this goal by “pitching” their services to potential clients who may compensate them for their work.
This method, however, will only be effective if you know what you’re talking about and are prepared to pitch frequently enough to land important work. Aja McClanahan, a professional writer and course participant, says she spends a significant amount of time pitching and attempting to secure new work. “I aim to pitch at least three to four times every week,” McClanahan says. “I also have my own blog, which has a large following on social media.” This method has proven to be extremely successful for McClanahan. She is presently earning between $3,000 and $4,000 per month from her freelancing efforts, but she aims to more than quadruple that amount in the near future.
- Develop a succinct, effective “elevator pitch” so that you are constantly prepared to explain what you do to someone. You never know who you might run into who might be looking for a writer.
- Inquire with firms whose items you admire and offer to write for their blogs or to generate sponsored posts about their products for your own website or blog.
- Joining networking groups, both online and in person, will help you to make relationships with other independent writers. In these communities, it is typical for available occupations to be divided among members of the community.
- Pitch online and print magazines directly, contacting the editors with ideas for specific articles you may be able to write and submitting your work.
- Look at freelance marketplace websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.com – there are often writing possibilities available on these sites, albeit they may not be the highest paying positions available. Choose the professions that interest you and utilise them as a stepping stone to bigger and better things if you need to.
- If you enjoy blogging, take the time to read and comment on other blogs in your niche. You’ll rapidly become friends with other writers and may even have the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with them.
- Employers will be able to notice your published work if you keep your LinkedIn and other social media sites up to date and include links to your published work.
Network, network, and more networking.
As an online freelance writer, you are not required to network in person, but you stand to earn a great deal by reaching out to other authors and website owners in your area of expertise. The greater the number of individuals you know, the greater the number of occupations you may learn about. I usually recommend building online portfolios on places like as LinkedIn and becoming a member of online freelancing communities. Writers from EarnMoreWriting.com collaborate on a Facebook page where they discuss advice and work opportunities.
Maintain a record of your earnings and set new objectives.
Every writer, in my opinion, should have a daily, weekly, and monthly earning target. If you don’t have a clear aim in mind, your freelance income is like flying blind. A daily target, on the other hand, makes it much easier to meet your revenue objectives.
Consider the following scenario: you wish to earn six figures as a freelance writer. Without a clear objective in mind, earning $100,000 a year may seem impossible, and you may struggle to earn even a fraction of that amount.
Once you break it down further, you’ll discover that it’s not quite so insane after all. Having a monthly income of at least $8,333 is required to earn six figures in a given year. If you are able to work 20 days a month, you must earn at least $416 per day in order to live comfortably. That is a significant amount of work, but it is not insurmountable. After all, I regularly earn between $600 and $1,200 each day in my current position.
Never give up on your dreams.
A person’s ability to persevere through repeated setbacks without giving up is critical to achieving success in any endeavour in life. It takes time and work to establish a successful freelance profession. At initially, you will encounter a great deal of setbacks and hear a great deal of “noes.” If you want to make it across to the other side, you must concentrate on your “wins” and disregard your losses at all costs. Ben Luthi may be earning $5,000 per month (on top of his full-time work) now, but his first writing customer only paid him $10 per article when he started out in the business. He admits that it wasn’t spectacular, but he took use of the chance to enhance his writing talents and approach.
Over time, he attracted more clients who were willing to pay more, and he rose up the ranks. That is exactly how I created my career, and it is most likely how you will build yours as well. While I started out earning roughly $75 each piece, I worked hard to improve my abilities and move up the ranks until I was ultimately at the top of the heap. Even though I faced numerous failures and stressful situations, I never let the difficulties deter me from achieving my objectives.
If you want to work as a freelance writer, you must build a thick skin and make the decision that you will never surrender.
Success is achieved by those who never give up, no matter how long the process may take.
Explore freelance writing job opportunities
Discovering what types of freelance writing possibilities are already available is the most effective method to get started in this field. If you’re looking for work online, there are numerous freelance marketplaces to choose from, with thousands of job openings listed every single day.
To mention a few prominent options, Upwork, Contena, and Freelancer.com are all good places to start. You can find out more about the finest sites to look for writing jobs online by visiting this page. It is recommended that you begin with an online platform rather than attempting to build your own website and do your own networking from the beginning.
By beginning your freelance writing career in an established marketplace, you will be able to secure paid writing assignments and establish legitimate business relationships almost immediately. Upwork is one of the platforms I frequently recommend to people who are just getting started.
Because of the abundance of writing chances available there, it’s an excellent place to gain a sense for the freelance writing market and, ultimately, to start your professional writing career. Begin by scrolling through some of the job advertisements and making a list of the requirements that clients are requesting. Here are a few specifics to keep an eye out for:
position title etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology etymology et (blog post, social media copywriting, etc.)
Rates that are being offered
Industries that are well-known
Problems and objectives are discussed in detail.
Competencies wished for
Through this process, you will learn about desirable possibilities that are available to you, as well as how to position yourself to be attractive to people who are posting them. As a result, rather than picking a niche from the beginning, as many people recommend, use this study to inspire and lead you.
You might be surprised by what is currently in demand. And, as you’re conducting your study, you should start thinking about which of your existing abilities and hobbies are compatible with the opportunities that are currently available. The message from this is that it is critical to first gain a full understanding of what clients are looking for in order to avoid wasting time creating an inappropriate profile, pitch, or portfolio. Gaining a thorough understanding will provide you with a clear sense of where you want to go from here.
Create your freelance writing site profile
Following your thorough understanding of what freelance writing clients are looking for, it is time to develop your own profile on the internet. After taking a few minutes to sign up, there are three elements in your profile that we will focus on to help you stand out from other freelancers: education, experience, and skills.
Your photo has been submitted.
In your job description, you state that you are a
Your high-level summary
I’ll walk you through each of these steps to ensure that your profile is the one that attracts clients to you.
When selecting a photograph for your headshot, a wonderful tip is to choose one in which you are smiling and your teeth are visible. This signals to others on a subconscious level that you are a pleasant and even trustworthy individual. Furthermore, a genuine smile makes you appear more approachable, which will encourage clients to contact you when they feel comfortable doing so. Having clients come to you should, of course, be the ultimate goal!
Instead of stating what you believe your position to be, create a job title that directly addresses the needs of your clients. In place of “Freelance Content Writer,” you might use a headline such as “Blog Content That Gets You More Traffic,” which would be more descriptive. The concept behind this is to put yourself in the shoes of your target client and speak in terms that they are actively considering and searching for. Consequently, you will demonstrate to them that you may be a viable option for solving the problem they are attempting to solve, thereby prompting them to take a deeper look at your profile and maybe hire you.
Your high-level summary
A similar strategy should be taken in your profile overview, which should be geared toward the needs of the client. This is an opportunity for you to go into greater detail about what you can do to fix your client’s concerns and how you will go about doing so. So, rather than focusing on yourself, where you like to go on vacation, and your cat, Greg, modify your profile summary to focus on the needs of your clients, offering yourself as the solution to their issues.
In light of your previous research, you should have some particular ideas about problems that clients are currently experiencing, as well as what talents or experience you have that can assist them in solving those problems. Let’s take a closer look at Alex’s profile, which you can see in the image above, to get a better understanding of what a terrific profile looks like on the internet. The formula for success that he describes in his overview is something you may follow as well. Using bits from his overview as examples, I’ll break down this formula for you:
Provide a description of the client
It is necessary to describe who the target client is before you can begin to write your summary. Give them a clear picture of themselves so that they may recognise themselves when they read your words. By communicating directly to them, you will be able to develop a strong relationship with them from the start. For example, “If you’re like the majority of my clients, you understand that effective content marketing and compelling copywriting are critical to the success of your organisation.””
Describe the discomfort they are experiencing.
Then outline the issues, difficulties, and annoyances that your target customer is experiencing. It is via articulating these discomforts that you will begin to enhance your already formed relationship with them. If a client can relate to the issues you’ve raised, they’ll recognise that you understand their situation and are more likely to offer assistance. For example: “…You’ve been frustrated with your traffic and conversions so far, but you’ve put off doing anything about it until now because you have an overwhelming number of things to do.”
Describe the benefits they desire.
The value that a client is looking for from a freelancer is referred to as “gains.” Once again, you’ll demonstrate that you’re the most qualified individual to assist them by putting the results they seek into their own words. As an illustration, “You need content that is so valuable to your target audience that they are almost obliged to share (and consume) each and every piece…”
Make a case for yourself as a solution.
Now is the time to inform clients directly that you are the exact solution to their problems—that you are the answer to their specific requirements. “This is where I come in…,” for example. Imagine increasing sales by using copywriting that is so effective that your customers would thank you for making them an offer…”
Provide evidence of your claim (testimonials and results)
It’s a good idea at this point to present evidence to support your statements with supporting documentation. This will aid in the establishment of trust and can be extremely effective in winning over a potential client who is on the fence. Examples of validation include receiving a wonderful recommendation from a former client or providing evidence of positive outcomes achieved by your team members or clients. As an illustration, “Alex performed an excellent job on this project.” Not only did he provide excellent work, but he also contributed additional value and ideas to the project! The team is fantastic to deal with!”
Finally, make a call to action (CTA)
Finally, make sure to include a call to action at the conclusion. True or not, people enjoy being told what to do—or, to put it another way, they enjoy having a clear choice that says, “choose this, and you’ll get exactly what you want!” Exactly what a CTA is may be summed up as follows: Good call-to-action (CTA) letters help to guide a potential customer from inaction to action—and, above all, to encourage them to collaborate with you.
CTAs are typically written in the active voice, speaking directly to the reader and providing precise directions on what to do next, as well as emphasising the benefits that would result from taking action. A CTA might be something like this: “call me today” or “get more conversions now;” for example.
However, there are a variety of ways you can experiment with it in order to express your own personality and make a statement (like Alex does). As an illustration, “…I guarantee that you will be delighted with the results – or I will not charge you a penny.” To relax (at least for a moment), take a deep breath and close your eyes.
Make your freelance writing portfolio… while you apply for writing jobs
Once you’ve completed your profile and gained a thorough grasp of what clients are looking for, you’ll be ready to embark on the most exciting aspect of the process: pitching yourself. At the same time that you begin sending out proposals, you will be putting together your first portfolio sample to show potential clients. Yes, I recommend that you wait until you are actively seeking for jobs before putting any work into developing a portfolio.
Why? Because in this manner, you will be able to determine which content is currently in demand with real, paying clients, and you will be able to develop a tailored sample that is relevant to the specific job you are going for. This concept is referred to as the MVP method, which stands for “Minimum Viable Portfolio.”
You will construct an effective writing sample that is aligned with what a customer is looking for in their listing, rather than spending your time coming up with odd ideas, such as “101 Ways to Perform Underwater Basket Weaving,” which may or may not be useful to anyone. And the best part about the MVP method is that it requires you to spend no more than half an hour or so producing one extremely efficient 200-400 word example, as opposed to spending days or even weeks creating multiple extensive portfolio samples that may or may not have any substantial appeal.
It’s a practical application of the age-old adage “quality over quantity”: you’ll be giving your target client a little taste of what they may expect when you’re working with them. Keep in mind that your sample should be just similar enough to the listing to be related to the topic and content type indicated in the listing, but not so accurate that the customer could steal your work.
For example, if a client is seeking for blog articles on dog care, you might make a sample article on “3 Simple Tips to Survive Bathing Your Cat,” which would be appropriate for that client. The likelihood of a client hiring you over a competition increases dramatically if they notice that you have writing experience that is similar to their requirements. If you don’t win the job this time, you’ll still have the advantage of having an established portfolio sample to your credit.
Even more advice on becoming a freelance writer
There you have it: the first five steps to becoming a self-employed freelance writer are complete. That wasn’t all that horrible, was it? Your understanding of how to launch your freelance writing job should have improved significantly by now. Let’s go over the steps we went over earlier one more time:
- Examine your options for freelancing writing jobs.
- Create your profile on a freelance writing website.
- Create a portfolio of your freelance writing work… while you are applying for writing positions
- Take one or two courses in freelance writing to develop your abilities.
- Create your own marketing funnel to help you grow your freelance writing career.
This framework will assist you in getting started right away and will guide you through the process of winning your first paid gig and growing your freelance writing business in record time. It’s inevitable that there will be a learning curve while beginning a new career, so take it one step at a time and enjoy the process.
As time passes, you’ll continue to improve and develop your skills. Whether you’re still undecided about whether writing is the right path for you or would prefer a more general overview of what it’s like to get started as a freelancer in general, don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.
Consider starting with a staff job
Yes, I realise that finding an editorial post — or any employment, for that matter — is easier said than done. But bear with me. However, websites and journals do recruit writers, and landing a full-time work will provide you with two incredible, irreplaceable benefits: an instant stack of clips, as well as a world of hands-on experience that you just cannot obtain anywhere else in your life.
A daily collaboration with editors and other creatives will make you a better writer, period; and if you work for a digital publication (which is likely), you will almost certainly receive some SEO training and other specialised knowledge in the process. I am certain that my stint at The Penny Hoarder, whose managing editor — Alexis Grant, who also founded this website — practically handed me a writing career in a bag when she hired me, is responsible for my current level of achievement.
Get out there and start pitching
It works like this: you sit down at the keyboard and type one word after another until the job is finished. It’s that simple, and it’s that difficult.” Neil Gaiman is a writer and author who lives in the United States. Finally, the only way to become a successful freelance writer is to simply begin writing. That necessitates taking a risky step: you must begin pitching publications and applying for work right away, even if you don’t have many clips to your credit.
After all, everyone starts off as a complete novice. Even if you have never had a piece of professional writing published, there are other avenues you can take to demonstrate your writing abilities. Have you written a fantastic short tale that hasn’t found a place yet? Perhaps you have an exceptionally well-written college essay on your hands? I submitted an application to The Penny Hoarder with a brief memoir I wrote in grad school and — I kid you not — notes from a wine tasting. The majority of employers and clients are more interested with whether or not you have the items in hand than with where you managed to procure them.
Showcase your work on the internet.
The effectiveness of your pitches will be greatly enhanced if you include a link to an online writing portfolio where editors may review your work. It is not necessary to have anything elaborate! It is sufficient to have a static website, even if it is constructed using a template. In terms of building a portfolio, I recommend using Contently as a starting point. Non-only is it an attractive and straightforward digital portfolio, but it also has the potential to land you lucrative work: the platform pairs editors with writers and other content providers based on certain beats and skill sets. I’ve made literally tens of thousands of dollars simply by deciding to use it.
If you want to take things a step further, you might want to try beginning your own blog. Consistently writing is an excellent method to improve your craft, and you might even develop a following for your work. An editorial blog also provides editors with more samples to analyse when they visit your website from your pitch; each blog post serves as an example of the type of work you produce.
The fact that you have a blog does not imply that your writing must be flawless, but editors will look to it for insight into your ability and inventiveness. And finally, having a website will give you a much more professional appearance. (Be aware that Impostor Syndrome is a real phenomenon in this industry, so be prepared!) Oh, and while you’re at it, make sure your social media pages are portraying you in a positive light as well. Any excellent editor will look into those to find out more about you and your work.
When it comes to networking, I’ve always considered it a four-letter word for me because I’m a severe business introvert. It’s true that I was lured to freelancing in part because it allowed me to get away from the stressful and congested office setting. Nonetheless, my first large client — the one who made it feasible for me to quit my day job and whose work continues to account for a significant portion of my income — was an opportunity I obtained in part as a result of a mutual connection.
I’ve also produced online copy for gym acquaintances, friends, and family members, which have proven to be profitable ventures both financially and in terms of increasing my professional knowledge and skills. Jessica Lawlor, managing editor of The Write Life, writes a blog on how she landed her first freelancing client, as well as the clients she went on to find after that. Whether it’s sorority sisters, Twitter buddies, or existing business contacts, networking plays a role in practically every single storey told. As an example, don’t disregard any of your current social spheres when it comes to writing prospects, and be prepared to work hard to expand your opportunities as much as possible. Everyone requires the written word from time to time!
Figure out how you’re going to get paid.
This may seem like a basic point, but it might be difficult to remember when you’re just getting started. Once you’ve acquired a client and completed the service you promised, you’ll need a mechanism to transfer money from their bank account to yours. Fortunately, there are several options available. Many freelancers have abandoned the use of physical checks and instead rely only on internet payments. Creating a PDF invoice and emailing it to your client will suffice if you’re just getting started as a freelancer.
After that, you can request payment through an easy-to-use method like PayPal. Not sure what to include in your first invoice? Here are some suggestions. We’ve got you covered, trust us! Learn how to write an invoice and see an invoice example in this tutorial. Once you are certain that you will continue to work as a freelance writer, it makes sense to invest in software that will prepare invoices for you and assist you in tracking payments and expenses. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective invoice generation solutions for independent contractors.
Keep in mind that the labour is not always glamorous.
When I tell people I’m a freelance writer, they often assume I’m just publishing in glossy magazines with names that are one word or less. This is not the case. So far, the closest I’ve come is Yahoo!, which has a byline that I’m quite delighted with but whose patented exclamation point does not exactly scream elegance or sophistication.
However, the majority of my earning work is far less illustrious, but it is crucial to the health of my bank account. Despite the fact that website content, SEO work, and listicle-style blog entries aren’t exactly what one imagines when one feels the pull of the pen, they’re some of the most dependable ways for freelance writers to make ends meet and pay the bills. Many firms can supply a consistent stream of this type of work, serving as the anchor clients around which you can construct a semi-reliable income.
In order to survive, you should take on as much of this routine job as you can, and then use the rest of your time to pitch those exciting projects you’ve been dreaming of for a long time. It can be difficult to strike the right balance, yet even the most uninteresting writing serves as good practise. Your craft will be honed, and you will earn your keep, all while gathering more clips — and greater chops — to show off when you are pitching to the big guys. Then you can gradually go to working exclusively on better-paid, more interesting content as your experience grows.
Before start writing as a Freelancer Consider following steps
Choose your niche
First and foremost, deciding what you want to write about is critical to your success. By focusing on a niche that you are passionate about, you will discover that you can write well without having to spend hours researching – and that your enthusiasm will flow through in your work. It is possible to select one of the prominent niches listed below, as well as your own favourite pastime or interest.
- Fitness and diet
- Health and wellbeing
- Family, relationships and parenting
- Yoga and meditation
- Cooking and nutrition
- Finance and budgeting
- Leadership and careers
- Crafting, knitting or other creative hobbies
Set up a website or blog
If you wish to pursue a career as a freelance writer, you must establish an internet presence. To accomplish this, starting your own blog is a simple solution that provides a location for you to create, share, and receive feedback on your work. You can create a blog for free using WordPress or Wix, or you can post on a platform such as Medium. Alternatively, you may like to create your own website, which can serve as a space for blogging as well as an online resume and portfolio that you can share with prospective customers when appropriate.
Write great sample work
Before you can proceed any further, you’ll need to create samples of your work, which will serve as the basis for your portfolio. Many writers get their work published online, either on their own blogs or as guest writers for other blogs and online publications.
At this point, you should share your work with relatives and friends in order to begin receiving feedback and building a readership. When you begin to submit pitches for paid work, you can use your sample work as a résumé to demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.
Check writing job boards
For those seeking more high-profile and well-paid writing work, specialist job boards are an excellent source of leads.** Writers’ communities can also be a great source of ideas and information on websites and blogs that you might be interested in connecting with. To get you started, take a look at the following job sites and resources:
Collect testimonials from your clients
It can be really beneficial to obtain testimonials from former clients as you begin to establish your brand and reputation. Request a few words from your clients about their experience working with you, either via email once a job is completed or using the testimonial option on LinkedIn. Client testimonials should be posted on your website so that potential buyers may discover what you are excellent at.
Three suggestions for increasing your earnings as a freelance writer
It will take time to build your freelance writing job and make the connections you will need to begin earning money, just as it will take time to build any new business. However, once you get your business up and going, it may be a terrific source of additional income – or even a full-time career if you so desire. Some pointers for pushing your freelance writing to the next level while earning more money along the way are as follows:
If you’re writing for pleasure, as a second source of income to supplement your full-time employment, or as a potential future career path, the appropriate goals will depend on your situation. However, having some goals in writing is the most effective approach to ensure that you continue on the path that is right for you. For example, you might want to write a certain number of pieces per week, get published in a specific publication, or earn a certain amount of money each month. Working as a freelancer means you have complete control over your schedule.
Despite being a fantastic benefit, it can also mean that you spend longer than you realise doing some tasks or that the lines between work and leisure time become blurred. Tracking your time is the most effective approach to ensure that you are charging the correct amount for your job, and it may also help you identify opportunities to earn more money by concentrating on the writing that pays the most per hour.
To make a living writing, you’ll need to pitch new clients on a regular basis to ensure that you keep getting additional work. In order to do this effectively, it is recommended that you set aside a definite amount of time every week or month to search out new leads and build your network, pitch potential clients, and develop new company ideas. Treat this as a critical element of your working week in order to ensure that you have a steady stream of work to complete on a consistent basis.
When you initially begin writing, you may decide to charge a somewhat low cost for your services in order to develop your talents and establish your portfolio of work. However, you should periodically assess your pricing and raise your prices as necessary to ensure that your firm continues to expand. Use your internet network or ask friends who operate in the same field as you to get an idea of the market rates they charge and to make sure you’re pitching at the appropriate level for them.
Grow a global client base
Writers who operate as independent contractors can choose to work for clients located anywhere in the world. Don’t be limited by your geographical area, since you may be able to establish a clientele base in another country. Start your search in English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand, as this is the most straightforward option. Nonetheless, because it is customary for businesses in Europe and abroad to require English-language blogs, website copy, and other content, marketing to clients in countries where English is not the first language can be beneficial.
Through the use of a smart multi-currency account, such as the Wise borderless account, you can invoice clients in their home currency, making it easier for them to pay you quickly. This makes working with an international customer no different than working with a customer in the United States of America. You can also prepare and send bills using our free invoice templates, which are available for download.
You can also discover an independent contractor agreement template to help you formalise your business. As you get more experience as a freelance writer, you will become more adept at writing and chasing invoices, as well as managing your finances. If you’re working with clients who are based in other countries, it’s a good idea to establish a bank account that makes it simple to receive payments in foreign currency. This will allow you to invoice clients in their native currencies, which will save you time and money. To see how simple it is to accept payments in international currencies, open a Wise borderless account and see for yourself.
You can receive payments in major currencies such as the British pound, Australian and New Zealand dollars, and euros without incurring any fees if you use your own local bank details. The mid-market exchange rate will allow you to hold dozens of different currencies in a single account at the same time and move between them whenever you wish. So there are no hidden expenses to be concerned about; instead, you will be charged a minimal, straightforward price to convert your money back to dollars.
Understanding the Types of Freelance Writing
The first thing you’ll likely notice when researching how to become a freelance writer is the sheer number of different types of freelance writing opportunities available. A great deal of work goes under the umbrella term of “freelance writing.” I get that it can be a bit much, right? Let’s get that out of the way first. As a beginning, you will encounter a wide range of instances of freelance writing, such as the following:
- Writing for search engine optimization
- Technical writing is a specialised field.
- Writing for the B2B market
And that’s only the beginning. The great thing about being a freelance writer is that there are a plethora of opportunities for you to get started. Not only is this due to the fact that there are so many distinct writing styles, but there are also so many different niches to write in. Let’s take a quick look at each of these, which goes beyond the SEO writing that we discussed previously. If you are still interested, you can find out more about SEO writing by visiting this site.
What is the definition of copywriting?
Copywriting is another another prominent type of freelance writing that is becoming increasingly popular. This often pays more because it is closer to where the money is, i.e., where the people are buying their goods and services.
And by the way, that’s a fairly decent rule of thumb to follow when it comes to freelance writing. The closer your writing comes to convincing someone to purchase a product or service, the more probable it is that you will be compensated for it. Copywriting, like blogging, requires more practise than the latter. It necessitates the development of sales abilities as well as a more specialised style of persuasive writing, making it a more valuable investment.
Copywriting is a field that is accessible to beginners. Your initial success will be determined by how naturally you learn and how motivated you are to continue learning. As a result, it may take a little longer.
What is Technical Writing and how does it differ from ordinary writing?
Technical writing is concerned with the documentation of procedures. In the fields of engineering and information technology, you’ll see a lot of technical writing. It used to be that a significant amount of time was spent developing things like user manuals for equipment, systems, and parts. Yes, that doesn’t exactly come across as sexy. However, it is a rising area of writing, and if you are able to master it, you will be in excellent financial shape.
Technical writing has evolved to include a greater range of tasks, such as writing reports and summaries, as well as white papers. It can also cover a wide range of other issues, such as software and social media. In other words, if you have some technical background and are meticulous in your attention to detail, it might be something to consider.
What exactly is business-to-business writing?
I’ve already written a lengthy essay on how to break into the B2B writing field, so I won’t go into that again here. B2B writing, on the other hand, is more business-oriented. Generally speaking, this type of writing involves corporations communicating with one another. Location Rebel’s blog is a B2C (business to consumer) site, which means it caters to the general public. You are the customer, and we are the business.
The opposite is true for companies like Xerox (or any of your favourite office supply brands), which will have a division dedicated to creating material that speaks directly to other businesses that are their clients and who purchase their products to use in their workplaces.
Okay, did you get all of that? You can begin with any of these forms of writing, and, to be honest, a lot of them tend to blur together. In the same way that you can blog for a technical software company, you can also be a B2B blogger or a B2B copywriter. I’d also recommend checking out Jennifer Gregory’s writing blog as an additional resource. It’s my personal favourite site, other from this one.
(You can also learn a lot from her book, which I’ve recommended on a number of LRA Office Hours phone conversations.) Okay, you’ve come to this page because you want to learn how to become a freelance writer, so let’s get started.
How to Earn a Living as a Paid Freelance Writer
When it comes to getting noticed on the internet, some of the finest advice I can give you is to think about things from the perspective of your prospective clients. So think about what they are looking for in a writer when they are trying to recruit one (i.e., someone who is knowledgeable about the subject, who can deliver high-quality work on time, and who isn’t a giant PITA).
It also implies that you need to consider what they are typing into search boxes on Google, LinkedIn, and other sites, among other things. What are the essential terms that they are looking for? Make certain to highlight those in each of your profiles. Search engine optimization is no longer reserved solely for search engines! Increasing the visibility of your freelance writing business
Some people despise this aspect of freelancing as much as they despise the rest of the job. When I used to see the word “marketing” at the top of my to-do list, my reaction was generally something like this:
As a result, I understand where you’re coming from. This type of behaviour simply does not come naturally to a large number of people. A lot of it is based on self-belief. However, this does not absolve you of your responsibilities! You can learn how to embrace marketing if you put in the effort. I know this because I’ve been there and done it. When I see marketing on my to-do list, I immediately think:
Continue reading, and I’ll take you from Ellaria Sand, who is watching the Mountain smash Oberyn’s eyeballs out of his head horrified, to Maverick, who is ready to buzz the tower cool as a cucumber marketer as soon as you finish reading. Here are the hard facts: marketing your services on a consistent basis is critical to your success as a freelancing writer. Because, well, you know what? When you work for yourself, you are in the business of selling products or services.
At the beginning, you have to sell yourself and your abilities all of the damn time. You should then begin to receive more customers who come to you through referrals and word of mouth, reducing the amount of time you spend selling. But, at the end of the day, keep in mind that no one, and I mean no one, is going to promote your products for you. You must complete the task yourself.
Why You Need to Think Like a Business
It took a long time for me to get into the appropriate frame of mind about running my own business. The process is ongoing, and I am investing a significant amount of my hard-earned freelancing bucks in an exceptional business coach who helps me get out of my mind and into the world! This is exactly what you need to do as well — except that you don’t have to pay anything to me (except maybe your eternal gratitude when you become a freelance writer).
One of the most important factors in achieving success in building your business is to quit thinking of yourself as “simply” a blogger and instead consider yourself a small business owner. When you begin to think like a business, you will begin to conduct your affairs in the manner of a business. Furthermore, it requires establishing a focus, acquiring the appropriate clientele in that sector, and convincing them to pay you in actual cash (rather than $.10 per word) for the content you provide.
Summary – How to Become a Freelance Writer – Easy Guide
It takes time and work to establish a successful freelance profession. Everyone would do it if it were possible. The ability to create a career out of thin air and then persevere even when success appears to be out of reach requires a strong-willed personality.
However, for those who muster the bravery to see their dreams through to completion, the rewards are well worth it. Not only can you achieve the kind of career flexibility and autonomy that most people only dream of, but you also have the ability to earn an almost limitless amount of money.
I am addicted to the lifestyle as a mother, and I will go to any length to ensure that our high quality of living is maintained in perpetuity. Aja McClanahan, who writes for a living while also homeschooling her two children, can be said to be in the same boat. Having the flexibility to work whenever and wherever she needs to is important to her, she says. “On top of that, no one has the authority to terminate me or place a limit on my earnings.” What if you had an unlimited income and the flexibility to live your life on your terms? Once you’ve learned how to become a freelance writer, the sky’s the limit for your career opportunities.