I can’t begin to explain how much of a positive impact freelance writing has had on me — both personally and professionally. That’s why I’m always eager to help others navigate the road to freedom via freelance writing.
Granted, it’s not always the easiest road but it can be done regardless of your background or experience. In fact, one of the reasons freelance writing is so awesome is that you really don’t need any professional writing experience to get started. Seriously. None.
So, what’s the problem? Why aren’t more people freelance writers? I find that people interested in pursuing a freelance writing career find it difficult to get started or lack the confidence to make the first move. And that’s completely understandable. When you’re new to a profession, you have more questions than answers which makes it difficult to jump in.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, this page is for you. Here, you’ll find a roundup of all the most helpful freelance writing posts I’ve written here at Work from Home Happiness (with a few extra words of wisdom thrown in).
There’s a lot of helpful ideas and practical advice to help you go confidently into a freelance writing career. Ready? Let’s go!
What is a Freelance Writer?
In a nutshell, a freelance writer is someone who gets paid to create content. The content they create can be just about anything. Some of the most popular types of freelance writers include bloggers, copywriters, and ghostwriters — but really, if someone pays you to write something, you’re a freelance writer.
Freelance writers can work exclusively for themselves so they can pick and choose which projects they work on. Sometimes, freelance writers opt to contract with larger companies who have a long list of clients that require tons of fresh content on a near daily basis. And then there’s those freelance writers who tend to piece together a living by using freelance marketplaces and content mills to make ends meet, one word at a time.
What Does it Take to be a Freelance Writer?
It’s a lot easier to say what it doesn’t take — it doesn’t take any experience or special degree to become a freelance writer. However, you do need to actually enjoy writing. If the passion just isn’t there, you’ll quickly burnout, lose interest, and abandon the dream of being a freelance writer before you ever had a chance.
It’s also beneficial if you have a good understanding of English including spelling, grammar, and syntax. If you struggle in this area, acquaint yourself with Grammarly. While not a catchall, it does help to spot errors that you may have otherwise never noticed. And did I mention you can use it for free? Get Grammarly here and make sure you use it as part of your freelance writer’s toolbox.
How do I get Started?
As I noted, often getting started is the hardest part. That’s why I created this Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Writing. In it, I discuss how I left my well-paying job in favor of a career as a freelance writer — even though I had absolutely no experience.
As a beginner, it’s comforting to hear someone else’s journey as they start from scratch. And I make sure to share as many details as I can in the guide in the hope it answers your questions and spurs you into action knowing that it’s okay to do what makes you happy even if others think you’re crazy :-).
I’m Ready to Apply
Hooray! It’s a big first step putting yourself out there. Now you have to make a decision as to how you want to get started. Confused? Don’t be. Freelance writers have a lot of options — which is a good thing. This means you can turn to any number of sources to find work at any given time.
Maybe it’ll help if I tell you how I got started. For me, it all started with a content mill. Granted, not glamorous nor what I had in mind when I declared I would become a freelance writer. But it nonetheless gave me tons of practical experience and helped boost my confidence as a writer. I personally started with Textbroker and detail my experience with the site in this full review.
If you do decide to go the content mill route, keep in mind you don’t have to do it forever. I always tell people with little to no experience to go into writing for a content mill with a positive attitude and to look at it as a freelance writing internship. This is especially true at Textbroker where the editors will actually provide you with constructive feedback that helps improve your writing. Plus, content mills are known for paying quickly (usually once a week) which is great in the weeks you need money like yesterday.
It’s no secret that I frequently recommend Upwork as the perfect platform to launch any kind of freelance career. But I think Upwork is particularly great for freelance writers. Why? Because there’s a ton of work available for content curators, like yourself.
Getting started with Upwork can take some time. You’ll need to fill out your profile completely and start applying to gigs like crazy. It usually takes quite a number of proposals before you actually start landing any gigs. But fear not, I’ve put together the Ultimate Guide to Upwork Success which is full of helpful hints including best practices when it comes to writing a pitch that helps you get more gigs than your competition.
What Else Should I Know About Getting Started?
The best advice I can offer to any new freelance writer is simply this: Pick a niche. A niche is a particular area or subject matter you focus on as a writer. There are endless possibilities to choose from when it comes to picking a writing niche. That’s why I wrote this Freelance Writing from Home: Get Started Guide. In it, I discuss the importance of picking a niche, how to go about choosing one, and the benefits of niching (hint: more money!).
Freelance Writing Training
Even though you don’t necessarily need any kind of experience or special training to begin a freelance writing career, it can be beneficial to take a freelance writing course, especially if you’re starting out from scratch. At Write Your Way to Your First 1K, Elna Cain will show you everything you need to do, step by step, to help you earn your first $1,000 as a freelance writer.
As a mother to twin toddlers, Elna Cain was able to launch a successful freelance writing career and is now sharing her secrets to success with you. I had the privilege of taking this course and found it to be filled with tons of helpful advice and actionable ideas that all new freelance writers will benefit from.
Anything Else I Should Know?
That should do it! Remember, your freelance writing journey will be unique — so don’t compare yourself to others or despair if you feel like you’re not finding success fast enough. If you’re ever feeling “stuck” make sure to check out these 5 Things You Can Do Today to Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career. Every option is very simple and will give you that extra push you might need to start making progress.
It’s also a good idea to download the Kindle App so you can start reading e-books on freelance writing. There’s a lot of helpful titles like:
- Freelance Writing Bootcamp
- Freelance Writing on the Side: From No Experience to a 4 Figure a Month Business in 30 Days
These titles (and many more!) are available to read for free through Kindle Unlimited.
If you have any questions, please let me know! You can reach me directly at email@example.com.
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