How to Become a Freelance Writer

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Do you like writing? Do you want to work independently? If yes, becoming a freelance writer can be a great career choice for you. There are plenty of advantages to working as a freelance writer whether you want to do it full time or as a side hustle. For instance, you can choose to work according to your interest, eligibility, and favorite time. Moreover, freelance writers earn more money comparatively.

According to Forbes, the freelance industry is growing at a rapid pace. As of 2019, freelancers were contributing more than $715 billion to the U.S. economy. 

So, if you don’t want to do that 9 to 5 job anymore and want to become a freelance writer, read this post till the end. In this post, we will make you aware of all the necessary steps to become a professional freelance writer. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

How to start your freelance writing career in 7 easy steps

Step: 1 Plan Your Finances in Advance

When you first start freelancing, you might have to cope with financial difficulties. So you should be prepared for all the funding-related challenges in advance. Being a freelance writer, you may come across the following situations:

  • A client is not paying his/her invoice on time or denying to pay at all
  • You’re getting irregular work
  • Payment processing issues such as chargeback, fraud, etc.

All of the above issues result in the same thing, i.e., not getting paid. So, being a freelancer, you must look for ways to secure your finances. Before you jump into freelancing, eliminate all your debts, and strive to save for living expenses as a reserve fund. It will help you survive when circumstances become out of your control.

Step 2: Enhance Your Content Creation Skills

Before you dive into a freelance writing career, polish your content creation skills. Remember, clients, don’t hesitate to pay the highest rates to writers who know how to write quality content according to readers as well as search engines. Focus on creating content that gives readers a good user experience.

Below is what you can do to improve your writing skills.

  • Become well-versed with the basic principles of grammar & spelling. For the same, you can invest in a professional grammar checker tool.
  • Read popular yet professional blogs to find out what effective writing should look like
  • Take professional writing classes
  • Join workshop and meetups to enhance your skills

Step 3: Determine Your Niche

Most freelancers don’t prefer to define their niche as they think it will narrow down their scope of getting writing assignments. Indeed, this is not the case. When you set your niche as a freelance writer, it provides you with a lot of opportunities because your potential clients find you professional. By defining your niche, you can market yourself as an expert in that particular subject. You may follow the below steps to find your niche.

  • Determine your area of expertise
  • Find out what you are passionate about
  • Look for a profitable niche in the market

Step 4: Create an Engaging Portfolio

Remember, your portfolio is proof for your potential clients that how good you are at what you’re doing. So, make sure it is convincing. In the beginning, you should focus on taking on small projects to build up your profile. You can request your clients to publish articles with your name and author biography on their websites.

To boost your credibility, you can showcase your top-performing articles. If you have some articles published on reputable websites like Huffington Post, Lifehack, or Forbes, showcase them into your portfolio. Also, don’t forget to share the search engine ranking results of your top-performing posts.

Step 5: Write an Effective Pitch

Along with building an impressive portfolio, you also need to learn the art of pitching. Since you don’t have the luxury of a guaranteed monthly income as a freelancer, you will need to make some efforts to get regular jobs. And for that, you need to create a perfect pitch.  

Here are some quick tips to craft an excellent pitch that will improve your chances of getting the right clients.

  • Make sure your subject line is as compelling as your pitch.
  • Determine the needs of your potential clients and speak accordingly.
  • Establish credibility by sharing the links of some of your best work.
  • Don’t forget to follow up. Wait for at least two days before you reach out again.
  • Last but not least, pitch to the right person. Don’t waste your time and efforts by pitching to the irrelevant customers in the company. 

If the job posting asks for a resume, make sure you have formatted it correctly. Check for any grammar issues and typos.

Step 6: Find Freelance Writing Clients

Find Clients on Upwork

Upwork is one of the most popular platforms where you can find ideal freelance writing clients. For beginners, Upwork is a great place to build your portfolio. However, since the competition is high, it is crucial that you write a proposal that can catch the attention of your desired customers. 

Until you have a strong profile on Upwork, you may have to face some proposal rejections. So, don’t feel sad about it. Instead, focus on creating a winning Upwork profile. 

Set Your Freelance Writing Rates Right

Since you are a new writer, it is advisable to agree on writing at a lower price. It will help you get regular clients and eventually build up your reputation on the platform. Remember, when you will start adding writing pieces to your profile with continuously good ratings and feedback, you will begin getting writing proposals from clients.

In general, you should follow these guidelines when setting your freelance writing rates:

freelance writing rates - rate per word
Freelance writing rates by writing level

Try Other Freelance Networks

Apart from Upwork, there are many other renowned platforms where you can update your profile and start getting writing assignments. These include Freelancer.com, ContentMart, TextBorker, and more.

Step 7: Manage Your Time Well

Managing your time is the key to becoming a successful freelance writer. When you are prompt and responsive, not only you boost loyalty among customers, but you also get more time for leisure and recreation. If you work from home, find a place that is free of distractions and make sure your space is optimized for working from. Read about our best working from home tips.

Map out daily activities for the week in advance; it will help you stay organized and productive throughout the week. Also, turn off all the possible distractions such as your phone, doorbell, and unnecessary internet pop-up ads. Look for web apps to get a distraction-free writing experience.

Final Words

In the last decade, there has been significant growth in the freelance industry. A survey reveals that around 56.7 million people in the United States are freelancers, and this number is going to grow at a rapid speed in the coming years. So, if you want to become a freelance writer, it is a perfect time to join the community of freelancers. 

We hope this post gives the best tips on becoming a freelance writer. For more such posts, stay tuned.


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