Simple But Powerful Tips On Becoming a Freelance WriterThinking of becoming a freelance writer? You’ve probably seen multiple posts on social media that say you can do it too — live the laptop life, write, and work when and where you want, and enjoy it, too.

Before you get too skeptical, yes, it’s possible. This very article is written by a freelance writer working from home, with a cup of chai tea steaming on my desk. But how did I get here?

For everyone who sets out to make freelance writing their career, the journey looks a little different but with certain similar milestones along the way that will determine success. This blog post will cover the steps to help you get there.

How Do I Start As a Freelance Writer?

Start with your mindset. Yes, I’m serious. There’s a reason why mindset in business is such a hot topic online — it determines your motivation, discipline, perseverance, confidence, performance, and your ability to convince clients that you can offer value for their money.

You need to decide upfront that you can do this if you put in the work. You need to decide that you can write for a decent income (not for peanuts, please). Got it? Good. Now let’s get on with it.

Write down why you want to be a freelance writer. What are the goals you have in mind? Do you want to pay off debt, earn extra income, build a business that will replace your full-time job, or fund a dream project or trip? Whatever the reason, write it down and put it somewhere where you can see it every day.

Next, write down a list of the following:

  • Everything you’ve been through in your life, good and bad.
  • Topics you are interested in such as those that form part of your current career, your hobbies, books you read, etc.
  • Topics you would like to learn more about.
  • Describe how you think and ask your friends for their honest feedback on what makes the way you think and communicate so special? You’re going to use the same unique skills to become a freelance writer.

Looking at all of this, what are the areas that overlap? For instance, as a freelance writer myself, the two main niches that interest me are health and wellness, and education. Both are informative, have to do with people, their stories, and things that improve their lives. That’s my sweet spot.

For you, it could be writing about travel, combined with an interest in different cultures and languages, or environmental conservation. Whatever your background, you have an angle to offer that is different from anyone else’s.

How Much Do Beginner Freelance Writers Make?

Beginner freelancers make about $30 an hour but let me tell you an important secret: You can make more than you think, even at the beginning. No, you won’t get a 5-figure writing contract within your first month, but you could reasonably easily make about 2-3k per month in the beginning. It’s about mindset, strategy, and putting in the work.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be a Freelance Writer?

Not as many as you think. You don’t need a degree in language or literature, you don’t need fancy glasses and stationery, or a massive library. You don’t need agency experience either, but that can be useful if you do take an internship or junior agency position in the beginning. You’ll learn more on the job than any other way.

Here’s what you really need:

  • The ability to communicate well in writing, but this comes from practicing a ton of both reading and writing.
  • The ability to think, evaluate information, research information online, and the ability to learn how to use tools to make your job easier.
  • A focal point to start with — choose a niche based on your knowledge and experience, or your interest (nothing wrong with learning about something new as you write about it, just pick something doable, okay?).
  • Choose a couple of types of content you’re going to start writing and learning about, such as blog posts, social media captions, newsletters, sales pages or landing pages, or website copy. It’s easier to master one skill at a time than trying to learn everything all at once. The sooner you get better at one specific skill and type of content, the sooner you can raise your rates for that service as well.
  • Get obsessed with learning everything you can about freelance writing, building a business, setting profitable systems in place, etc.

How Do Freelance Writers Get Paid?

Freelance writers are usually paid online via payment platforms such as PayPal or Stripe for international payments. Your local clients can do direct deposits.

How To Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

Wondering how someone will hire you if you have no experience? If you are new to freelance writing, the best way to get started and get your first few clients is to do some pieces for free or write up your own samples. This will demonstrate your ability to potential clients and give you a portfolio to start marketing with.

Next, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile according to the niche and type of content you’ve chosen in the sections above. Then you can start sending connection requests to people whose companies you’d like to write for.

Starting as a freelance writer (no matter whether you have years of experience or no experience) is about getting out there and asking for the work. You have more skills and knowledge than what you use in your normal day job. You have life experience that requires many other transferable skills and creative thinking too. Don’t hesitate to use your life stories that demonstrate that as part of your marketing tools!

How To Become a Freelance Writer on Fiverr and Other Platforms

If you’re struggling with your confidence in the beginning (don’t worry, it’s normal), start out on a freelance writing platform such as Fiverr, Contra, or Upwork. These platforms allow you to sift through different writing jobs, pitch, and get hired and paid for your work. Fiverr and Upwork both take a percentage of your earnings though, so be sure to factor that into your rates.

Once you have done some projects, it’s a wise move to venture off these platforms as your main source of income and start building relationships directly with your ideal clients. You can do this with cold pitching using phone calls and emails, networking on LinkedIn and other platforms. Just don’t use a one-size-fits-all recipe.

Look for companies whose values, service offering, and potential resonates with you, excites, and inspires you. Check out their social media platforms, their website content, and come up with something you can offer them. Pitch enough of your idea to book a call with them, and then set about negotiating an opportunity.

Freelance Writing Jobs For Beginners – 5 Basic Dos and Don’ts

Your first freelance writing jobs may include blog posts, social media captions, or website copy. As a beginner (and when you are more experienced), get used to certain basic rules for each job:

  • Always ask good questions that help you get as detailed a brief as possible with plenty of background information. This decreases your time spent on research and helps you get the work done faster. If the client doesn’t cooperate and then complains about the results, it’s a red flag…
  • Research the client online, as well as their competitors and companies who overlap with their field of service. This will give you a bigger overall perspective.
  • Research the format of the content you’re writing. There is no such thing as enough tips on writing website copy, social media copy, email copy, or ads.
  • Set your terms (including the number of revisions you will do and what that entails) upfront and always get a deposit or full amount upfront so you don’t waste your time.
  • Ask for testimonials and referrals!

A Last Word On Making Money As a Freelance Writer

If you offer real value customized to the client you’re pitching, you may get your first job and start a long-term client relationship that will pay you even more in the future. Solid client relationships are more profitable than quick gigs. That said, quick gigs also pay the bills and pay for coffee and pizza when you need some cash flow. Just don’t make it your main income. Work smart.

It doesn’t take a degree to make it as a freelance writer. If you’ve got some guts and a sharp wit and you like connecting with people, you can do it!

Author Bio

Heideli Loubser is a direct-response copywriter and marketing strategist helping health professionals and coaches grow their business while they focus on helping their clients get well. She is also a homeschool blogging mom of two kiddos. When she’s not wielding her powerful pen to help businesses and other parents, she enjoys gardening, painting, caffeine, and scrolling on TikTok.

By Published On: June 7, 2021Categories: Career Development, Becoming a Writer, Freelance Writing, Marketing Your Writing7.7 min read1522 wordsViews: 921