Perhaps you’ve always had the ambition of becoming a full-time freelance writer. Maybe even your mother, family, and friends have told you about your great writing skills, and you are looking to monetize them. You are surely on the right path.
Going into freelance writing is great for several reasons. First, it makes for a great side hustle. You can generate a sizable income writing for others. Furthermore, it is great for flexibility. When you establish a writing practice, you are essentially your own boss. You do not answer to anyone, and no one gets to dictate your work hours. Eventually, you could even integrate it into your regular day job. Also, when you start freelance writing, you will be making time to focus on your personal writing career.
Writing work, just like every other endeavor, requires expertise and experience. Furthermore, you will have to deal with competition, finding ways to be spectacular and apart from the horde. Thankfully, the internet has made everything easy. You can kickstart your freelance writing career any time, even if you are a new mom recuperating after having your baby.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to become a freelance writer. We’ll discuss everything you need to know to be successful in your freelancing endeavor. So, if you are looking for how to become a freelance writer, hop on and let’s get started!
How to Become a Freelance Writer
Becoming a freelance writer is difficult, and at the same time, it is not. Whether your expertise is writing short stories, articles, essays, or project work, you need to get started at some point. Eventually, as your experience and writing skills grow and people get to know you more, you could start getting requests even from social media. However, since you are just setting out and beginning your writing career as a freelance writer, here are a few tips and tricks you can apply.
The great thing about joining the league of freelance writers is that the bar of entry is really low. You do not need to have taken writing as a specialty in college. Furthermore, you can kickstart your freelance writing career at any point. Yes, it is possible to be doing a regular 9 to 5 job one day and the next day, branching fully into freelancing. This is because of the nature of writing and freelance writing specifically. You can learn all you need to know on the job. Thus, while in the field, you can be learning from established freelance writers. This will improve the more you practice and put into use all the feedback you get. Make no mistake; there is nothing wrong with a formal learning process. Thus, if you can, do take a writing course or two. A writing course introduces you to the mechanics of the job. However, if you do not practice by actually writing a blog post, articles, etc., the writing course will be a waste.
To get everything together, here are the preliminary steps to take when looking to learn and join freelance writing. First, find out all you can about the business, especially if you are not familiar with the terrain. Decide on a specific writing niche, although that is not compulsory. Some people write everything and anything, as long as they get paid for it. Then study other freelance writers in the field. Have them share useful tips and suggestions with you. Finally, as already stated, if you are interested in taking a writing course, that is great.
Create a Portfolio
In learning how to become a freelance writer, you should think of it as a business. No one will be willing to give you any job if you do not have freelancing writing experience. People want to trust that the freelance writers they hire are good and will give them good returns on their investments. However, showing experience can be hard, especially if you are new to freelance writing. To get ahead of others who may be jostling for the same copyediting jobs as you, you could create a portfolio.
A portfolio may include writing samples, previously completed jobs, articles, essentially the whole lot. When a client questions your skill as a copywriter or generally with freelance writing, you could refer them to blogposts you did in the past or even previous jobs for other clients. Your social media is also one arena that helps you generate clout. All writing is important when it comes to showcasing your skills. Thus, you should be deliberate about the posts you make. You want each word you put out to be a true reflection of your skills as a writer. You may so want to create writing samples in anticipation of future jobs.
Basically, the writing samples can be on anything, although it is usually advisable to create writing samples that fit into the jobs you want. Take your time to craft a befitting writing sample. Produce it whenever you are pitching for a job.
Become an Editor
A crucial part of writing is editing. When learning to become a freelance writer, your editing skills can make you more marketable. Hence, you should try to learn how to edit as part of your freelancing journey. Basically, you learn to edit the more you write and read. However, you can also pick up tips from editing apps such as Grammarly. Pay attention to the corrections the app makes to your work and try to avoid them in the future. You can also share your work with other writers. When they review them, you can learn where to improve. This way, you will be of great use to any client that requires your services.
No matter how much effort you put into learning how to become a freelance writer, you will not break even if you do not pitch. Bear in mind that as a freelancer, writing jobs will not fall on your laps. Furthermore, people will not know the skill set you possess except you pitch your services to them. This is the reason freelance writers put themselves out there, continuously talking about their services and working to convince people to patronize them.
There are different places you can pitch to. The first includes writing companies that employ folks that are into freelancing. You may also open an account on freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. There, you can pitch your services to prospective clients and hopefully land a few jobs. Pitching also helps you develop your craft. Feedback from people will help you know where to work on and what to improve. More so, each job you take will not only enhance your experience but will help guide you towards a specific niche.
Do not make the mistake of pitching off of the top of your head. Develop a short pitch guide. This way, you have something to work with, even in emergencies. When you have become proficient, you then have the freedom to pitch and accept jobs at a moment’s notice.
Create a Website
As part of your efforts in learning how to become a freelance writer, you could also consider creating a website. A website is one way to establish an online presence. Your website gives you the freedom to put up whatever you want. Furthermore, it will have a contact page where people can reach out to you concerning any job. A website will make prospective clients take you seriously. It shows that you aren’t just a stay-at-home mom with a lot of time on your hands. Rather, it sends the message that you are a professional freelance writer who considers their work seriously enough to have a website dedicated to it. If you are looking to present a strong image, a website is one way to do so.
Try Out Blogging
Just like owning a website, having a blog is one way to get your writing work into as many spaces as possible. Your blog posts should be about what you care about. You should also mention that you engage in freelance writing so that anyone visiting will notice it immediately. Blogging does not require much from you. You can create free blogging sites using various platforms. Furthermore, making blog posts will take no more than what you’d normally do when doing your usual writing.
However, you may want to take out some time to learn about growing your online presence organically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing, and how to integrate your blog with your social media profiles. In addition, you may want to liaise with other bloggers. You can offer to make guest posts for anyone you settle for. A guest post is a great way to advertise your skills because you get to insert links back to your own site.
Build Your Network
You cannot learn how to become a freelance writer in isolation. You need to actively cultivate and nurture relationships with people who have made a success out of freelance writing. Of course, you have to be mindful of the competition. However, in the vast majority of cases, there are enough jobs to go around. Thus, intentionally seek out those who are into freelance writing like yourself. You will definitely find them on social media.
In addition, there are writing groups and communities online. Apart from creating relationships with writers, these groups can move jobs your way. You never know how much a good word from a fellow writer will do for you. Furthermore, you can also collaborate with other writers on a given job. When you begin freelance writing fully, you may discover that you will be unable to finish some tasks on your own at some points. Passing on the job to another freelancer, or collaborating with them, will then be the only way not to disappoint your client. In any case, be intentional about seeking and finding freelance writers to collaborate with.
Conclusion: Becoming a Freelance Writer
Success in freelance writing takes time. You will need to be patient to gather momentum and begin getting the writing jobs that catch your fancy. However, at the start, you have to be content with writing an article or short story once in a while. Thus, it might be smart to keep your day job while you go about finding writing jobs. Make no mistake, learning how to become a freelance writer encompasses much more than hunting down writing jobs or learning the best ways to write an article.
You also need to learn how to get and write excellent guest posts, the basics of content marketing, and all other aspects of freelance writing beyond just the writing part. Thankfully, this article is an excellent eye-opener on how to become a freelance writer. If you pay attention to and follow the tips here, getting writing jobs will be the least of your concerns.