So you’ve decided to be a freelance content writer?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

The low barrier to entry means that everyone with good writing skills and passion can become a freelance writer. And the sky is high for anyone with the grit and the determination to stick in this field. 

It is possible to become a full-time freelance writer and work from the comfort of your own home if you stick to the right approach and strategies.

But first, let’s look at who is a freelance writer. 

Who is a freelance writer?

A freelance writer is an independent contractor whose primary source of income is the written word. They may get employment with publications, websites, or both. According to the type of work they do, most freelance writers are paid by the article, the word, or the project.

Some freelance writers specialize in producing creative essays and thinking pieces for publications, while others (like myself) go into the marketing realm and work as freelance content writers. A content writer’s job is to create content marketing tactics that boost a company’s organic traffic, SERP standing, conversion rate, and brand recognition.

What is freelance writing?

A freelance writer is a professional writer who acts as a contractor rather than an employee of an organization. Freelance writers provide their skills to a wide range of clientele, typically spanning many genres and writing on whatever topic they are given.

Writers who work on a contract basis have the flexibility to take on a variety of projects for a wide range of customers. This may include writing feature pieces for newspapers and magazines, ghostwriting for websites, or even working as a copywriter or content writer.

Freelancing as a writer also allows you the flexibility to write on everything from cooking to cars to architecture. The freelance writing market is competitive, but finding your specialty might help you land more paying jobs.

How to become a freelance writer?

If becoming a freelance writer is something you are interested in doing, the following are the steps you should take:

Research the freelance writing industry

Learn as much as you can about the freelance writing profession before diving in headfirst. If you found this page by searching “How to become a freelance writer,” then you may have already taken the first step toward your goal. Pay a visit to the online profiles of well-known freelancing writers and read their works.

Numerous writers provide insightful commentary on what it takes to succeed as a freelance writer, including the practicalities of running a writing company, the methods they use to write, the places they advertise their services, and the fees they charge for their work.

If you’re interested in freelancing as a writer but don’t know where to start, check out these job sites dedicated to freelance writers. That will give you a sense of the kind of employment that are out there, the standards that businesses have set, and the pay that can be expected in the market at the moment.

Put together a portfolio.

Clients are typically hesitant to work with fresh freelance writers and will ask to see examples of your work in order to get a sense of your writing style. You should give a paid sample to the customer instead of giving it out for free. If they liked what they saw, they might hire you, and if not, at least you have something to put in your portfolio.

In order to succeed as a freelance writer, you need an updated and well-presented writing portfolio. Create a sleek online portfolio to show off your past work. Depending on your interests and expertise, you can choose to focus on a certain subject area or provide information on a wide range of topics.

Write the kind of content that potential clients will want to commission and show on your website if you don’t have any published clips. You may also create a blog where you can write related content to your interests.

Start pitching for jobs.

Finding new clients is your responsibility if you run your own freelance writing firm. You’ll need to constantly look for new freelance writing jobs to fill the time between assignments and keep your income steady.

Check out several job boards on the internet. Sending an email to the content director introducing yourself and reaching out to potential clients is a good way to get started. Establish connections with other writers so that they may send you work when they’re swamped.

You may also offer your skills by making a proposal to businesses or websites that you find particularly interesting. Some excellent methods of promoting yourself are listed below:

  • Create an engaging and succinct “elevator pitch” to explain your work in a pinch. Those in need of a writer might come from all walks of life, so keep your ear to the ground.
  • Get in touch with businesses you admire and offer to write for their blog or to feature their items in sponsored pieces on your own.
  • Get involved in local and online networking events geared at freelance writers. 
  • Contact print and online publication editors directly and propose potential article topics.
  • If you’re passionate about blogging, you should check out and contribute to blogs in your field of interest. In little time at all, you’ll have made connections with other authors with whom you might be able to share work and get inspiration.
  • Be sure to provide links to your published work on your LinkedIn and other social media profiles.

Writing content as a freelancer is risky since clients might suddenly stop paying. As a result, you should always be on the lookout for more recent examples.

Learn fundamental SEO skills.

A growing number of businesses want content that may attract people to their websites. They will require content marketing writers that are familiar with the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO) and know how to help their website in ranking well in search results.

If you want to be successful as a freelance writer, you need to have a fundamental understanding of how search engine optimization (SEO) functions and where to strategically insert keywords to drive online traffic to the company’s site.

Decide on your writing rates.

First things first: determine your freelance writing rates before you start reaching out to potential clients. Although it may be tempting to set your rates lower than what the other writers are asking for their services, I strongly advise against doing so.

Try to take an unbiased look at the level of your work and the quality of your writing to ensure that you are compensated for the time you will invest in a content writing project.

How to find freelance writing jobs

As a freelance writer, finding consistent work is a top priority but also a major challenge. Finding reliable freelance writing work and mastering this section may make all the difference.

There is no free labor in freelancing. If you want to be successful, you should treat freelancing like a real job. And you’ll need some serious business savvy to make it. If you don’t have the correct connections, your talent may go to waste since you won’t be able to land suitable clients and projects.

Here are some tried-and-true strategies for finding freelance writing jobs.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Leveraging your network is the most effective and efficient method for quickly finding possibilities to work from home as a freelance writer. The two greatest ways are sending an email to other writers or businesses and posting on LinkedIn about your availability to take on freelance writing job.

Send cold pitches

Send an email to potential clients advertising your writing services before they know they need one.

In most circumstances, you won’t receive a response to your cold pitch email, but if you send out 20 personalized emails and land just one project, it will have been worth it. If you’re a writer seeking freelance work, here are some pointers on how to send effective cold pitches:

  • You shouldn’t send generic emails to your whole client base. Do your homework on the company and the type of content they would be interested in, and only send along samples that fit the bill. Copy-and-pasted emails are immediately obvious and will have the opposite effect of what was intended.
  • If you want to know if your emails have been read, use a service like Mailtrack to do so.
  • Follow up with no more than three emails, waiting at least one week between each. 

Get in touch with other writers

Clients frequently reach out to writers with offers of assignments for freelance writing, which the writers may or may not be interested in taking on because they cannot take on more work at the moment. When faced with challenges such as these, the majority of freelance writers, including myself, work to put clients in touch with other freelancers who may be available.

Always remember that what you give out will eventually return to you. Because so many other freelancers have suggested me to their clients in the past, I make it a point to help other freelance writers in finding work by providing them with content writing help.

Take advantage of LinkedIn

If you’re looking for a content writing job, LinkedIn is your best bet.

If you want clients to know you are open to remote work, you should update your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile and employment history can be updated at any time. Connecting with clients about freelance writing opportunities is much easier if they can read some of your work that has already been published online.

As a freelance writer, you may expand your professional network and discover new prospects by creating a profile on LinkedIn. 

But don’t just update your LinkedIn profile and leave it at that. Try to show your expertise in your specific niche by publishing relevant posts. Why? Because this will ensure that you’re seen as an expert in your field; believe me, clients want writers who know their stuff.

Even when you think no one is looking, CEOs and content marketing directors, check out your LinkedIn profile and portfolio to see if you can walk the talk.

So get out there and get posting!

Make use of your website 

When seeking online freelance writing work, it is extremely crucial to keep up a personal brand and an online presence for yourself. You are able to publish information about yourself, your previous clients, and your portfolio on your personal website.

A website for your writing business will not only give your customers more reason to trust you and give them the impression that you are more professional, but it will also save you time. You may just provide the link to your website to your customers as an alternative to continuously copying and pasting the same information to them.

As a freelance writer, keeping up a website allows clients to see your work in a centralized location rather than requiring you to provide them with many links to different samples of your work.

Prioritize retainer clients or recurring long-term projects

A well-paid long-term project is worth more to freelance content writers than a high-paying assignment that is only done once since the former assures long-term earnings.

If you are just starting out as a freelance writer, you should concentrate more of your efforts on long-term jobs with ongoing requirements. You could give clients a small discount if they commit to working with you over the next few months. However, if the project is for longer, you should get a freelance work contract first. This will prevent clients from taking advantage of your discounted rates and ending the project without giving you any notice.

Guest posts on websites

Writing a blog article as a guest contributor is a great way to get your name and expertise out there. In most cases, you will not receive compensation. Having your name attached to the piece as an author is all you receive in return.

Initially, you might be wondering why you should provide your writing services for free. 

A byline is a significant perk of guest posting. All published guest pieces will include your byline. You may include it in your portfolio if you want.

One of the nicest aspects is how simple it is to find guest writing opportunities.

Look up the most prominent publications in the field to see whether they accept guest posts.

Try a Google search for [your niche + guest post] and see what comes up. You may find pages that compile such lists to identify sites that welcome guest posts. Or use the publication’s own listings.

Best practices and tips for a new freelance writer

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelance writer or have been at it for years, it can be frustrating if you can’t seem to build up enough clients to make it your full-time job.

Set objectives that are achievable. In other words, if you don’t have a book concept, don’t put “I want to get published by the end of 2018” on a piece of paper. Here are some ambitious goals for your freelance writing career:

Ask for more

Freelance writers, notwithstanding their experience, may occasionally be offered unfairly low rates for their work. To put it another way, some clients may insult you by claiming that you do not merit a raise. Unfortunately, you may never get one unless you actively pursue a raise.

Put your faith in yourself and your efforts. Get new clients to pay you more money. Some clients could turn down your offers, while others will gladly accept them.

Although increasing one’s rates is usually the primary objective of a freelance writer, I would advise you to focus on improving your worth as a writer before worrying about increasing your pay.

Asking for more money while providing the same level of service is really unfair to the client. They can’t afford to do that right now.

Treat freelance writing as a business

Freelance writers care more about their writing careers and their publication achievements than they do about their income. But keep in mind that writing is only a passion and not a profession if you don’t get paid for it.

When you’re self-employed, you’re free to set your own hours, location, and other conditions under which you get your job done. On the other hand, you must promise to approach your job seriously. You should act professionally at all times, including in making deliveries and sending bills, and you should also expect others to do the same.

Before beginning a job with a customer, have them sign a contract you’ve drawn up. Spend as much time and money as you can on developing your freelance skills.  Formalize your invoicing by sending out pre-made templates. Respect both your own and your client’s time.

Expand your portfolio and take on different content projects

You could feel comfortable managing solely travel and wedding-related pieces while working as a freelance writer. Not only that, but you avoid taking on any new work that is outside of your specialty. But if you refuse to market your services as a content writer, you will have a hard time finding clients and earning a living.

Instead, challenge yourself by taking on unfamiliar projects. Even if it seems challenging at first and requires a lot of study on your part, the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve successfully completed the job will be unparalleled.

Your writing assignments will introduce you to many different areas of study. White papers, which are lengthy, in-depth, research-intensive pieces of thought leadership content, may be assigned to you by a single client. Another business may pay you to post on their social media accounts. Someone else may hire you to write promotional materials. Both jobs are very different from one another, yet they will help you develop your writing skills.

Don’t submit average work

You failed to account for the time commitment involved, and now you won’t be able to get the job done on time. So you rapidly copy an article from the internet, rewrite it word-for-word, and email it over without bothering to check for errors.

The client will either utterly reject your work, or they will pay you anyhow but never use your services again.

Though turning in work that isn’t up to par may seem like a good way to avoid staying up late and getting things done, it won’t help you in the long run. In addition, when customers pay with their own money, they have high expectations for the quality of the service they receive.

If you’re getting close to a deadline and worrying that you won’t be able to turn in anything greater than mediocre, tell yourself that you’re better than that.

Create a marketing plan for your business

You can never have a steady stream of work as a freelance writer if you wait for opportunities to present themselves rather than actively seek them out.

It’s likely that you’re already using social media in some capacity. It’s not too different from establishing a business from scratch when you’re a freelance blogger. In order to gain traction on social media, you need to create engaging content and engage with your audience.

The use of social media helps bloggers in several ways:

  • Find subject matter experts in your niche
  • Get to know new folks from your field
  • Establish contacts
  • Talk to your ideal clients
  • Get the inside scoop from seasoned professionals
  • Share one’s original work

But which social media platforms are ideal for a blogger? After much trial and error (and talking to other freelancers), I have discovered that the best places are:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Slack groups
  • Facebook groups

Select a platform from the list above. Just start talking to people and sharing something that interests you. Soon enough, you’ll realize how useful social networking can be for freelance bloggers.

Clean up your act and get things done

Good organizational and time management abilities are essential for success in the freelance writing industry.

Have a clear method for keeping track of tasks that are in progress, completed, and pending, and stick to a regular writing pattern to get things done. Furthermore, you need to monitor the status of your bills, payments, writing pitches, job applications, and customer feedback. A growing list of writing ideas is something many authors keep so they never run out of things to write about.

Become a successful freelance writer today!

It’s a fantastic business opportunity to become a freelance blogger, and the greatest thing is that you get to be your own boss. It offers good pay, and you may earn money quickly while working from the comfort of your own home.

The most challenging aspect of any new undertaking is always getting started with it. Writing on a freelance basis is a fantastic creative outlet that, in addition to providing financial support, may also be enjoyable.

If you start doing freelance writing for clients right away, you’ll quickly discover the advantages of running your own online writing business.

Agnee Ghosh is a freelance writer for B2B SaaS, MarTech, and e-commerce companies. Her work has been published in Hotjar, Visme, AdEspresso, Red Points, ConvertCart, Salespanel, and Givz among others.

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