10 Easy Steps to Start Your Freelance Writing Career
If writing relaxes you and you think that you have a talent for it, why don't you consider applying for one of the many freelance careers in writing? These days, freelance jobs are all the rage—and there is no time like the present to make the most out of your talents.
As a freelance writer, take on different projects, work with different employers, hone your skills, and have fun while doing it! The flexibility you will get from being a freelancer is both comforting and freeing. If this sounds good to you, the next thing you would think about is, "How do I do this?"
The good news is that you just stumbled upon an amazing resource that will help you out. Creating a reputation for yourself as a freelance writer is easy if you know what to do. So if you're ready to embark on this wonderfully fulfilling journey, let's begin!
How to Kick-Start Your Freelance Writing Career
The journey towards becoming a freelance writer involves a lot of learning and self-reflection. Just like any other journey, you might experience a few challenges along the way. The good and the bad are part of it, so if you would like to achieve your goals, it's time to start taking action.
To smoothen your journey and make it more enjoyable, we’ve done most of the work for you. Here are 10 actionable steps to help put things into perspective while preparing you for what is about to come:
1. Do your research
As someone who is new to freelance writing, you should do plenty of research about it. First of all, you must know what freelance writing is all about and what it means to become a freelance writer. Having a profound understanding of this unique career will help you determine if you're ready for it or if you need to improve your skillset first.
The more you do your research, the more you will get the whole picture of what freelance writing is. As you learn, try writing down some questions that you want to find the answers to. Then while you are going through different resources, try to find the answers to your questions. You will learn a lot through this step, but it is only the beginning.
2. Choose a niche to focus on
After you have learned more about freelance writing, it's time for you to pick a niche to focus on. As a beginner, this step allows you to write well and with enthusiasm without having to spend too much time doing research, especially when you are assigned unfamiliar topics.
Over time, you will gain more experience, and this will enable you to become a more versatile writer. But for now, you want to make a name for yourself—and the best way to do this is by picking a niche that you love. Each time you write an article or blog post in that niche, you will do so with enthusiasm. This, in turn, shows people that you're a skilled and passionate writer.
3. Learn the tools and skills you need for writing
While having innate skills will land you several remote writing jobs, you can improve yourself further by learning more tools and skills for writing. These make your job easier, especially when your business picks up and you start working with different employers on various jobs.
In terms of skills beyond writing, the most important ones to learn are organizational skills (this includes task management), blogging, and content marketing. Then you can use certain tools to help ensure that you always come up with high-quality, error-free content.
For instance, you can use online checkers like Hemingway and Grammarly. Or if you need to add images to your content, you can use images from royalty-free sites like Unsplash and Pixabay. Think about what you need to improve your craft and try to find ways to add these things to your work process.
4. Prepare by practicing your passion
Even if you are still in the process of doing research, you can hone your skills by practicing. Although writing for practice is very different from writing for actual ghostwriting jobs, the former will help you become more confident in the latter.
Here’s an example for you: let's say you were tasked to host a dinner party where you would have to cook all of the dishes. If you always cook because you enjoy it, then you would feel confident about hosting the party. However, if you know how to cook but you never practice, the mere thought of hosting such a party would be daunting.
In the same way, practicing by writing about topics that you love while you are still learning how to become a professional freelancer will make you more confident in the future.
5. Reach out to other freelancers who have experience
If you know anyone who has already established a career as a writer who does freelance work, reach out to them. This is a great way for you to learn new things and get real answers from your most challenging questions. You can even ask them how they started out or how they managed to build their reputation despite all of the competition.
6. Plan how you will accept payments
If you want to earn money for the content you write, then you should also come up with a way for employers to pay you. These days, there are many payment apps you can use to accept payments from employers.
For this, it's better to opt for apps that are well-known such as PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. That way, you and your future employers won't run into any issues because you are both familiar with the app.
7. Make your presence known online
Now that all of the basics are out of the way, it's time to focus on you. After you have done your research, honed your skills through practice, and found the right tools to help you out, it's time to make your presence known.
If you think that you are ready to start writing, create accounts and profiles on websites for freelancers—specifically those where you can find jobs as a writer. Make sure that all of your profiles are professionally made. Also, make sure to check your accounts regularly in case you get messages or job offers from employers.
8. Pitch yourself to employers
On the sites where you will create accounts, compose an intriguing bio for yourself, enumerate your past experiences, and upload samples for potential employers to see. If you have testimonials from past clients, you can add these too.
After setting up your profiles, it's time to start pitching yourself and applying for jobs. Typically, you would do a job search, look through different job postings, and send proposals for the jobs you're interested in. Then the waiting game begins.
9. Take an inventory of the skills you have right now
While waiting, you may want to do some self-reflection. As you learn all about the broad world of freelance writing, you’ll get a better understanding of what you need to succeed. For you to improve yourself, take an inventory of your current skills.
Make a list of your strengths based on what you have learned and what you know about yourself. Then make a list of your weaknesses to give you an idea of what you need to work on to improve your chances of success.
10. Keep improving yourself
With your inventory lists, create a plan for how to improve yourself. For instance, if you don't know anything about writing SEO articles, you may want to learn all about this, especially since employers are always on the lookout for talented SEO writers.
In this business, there is always room for improvement. Then when the ghostwriting jobs start coming in, you'll be ready for anything!
How Do I Get Paid for Ghostwriting Jobs?
If you're interested in becoming a professional freelance writer, this means that you would like to get paid for the content that you write. As a beginner, you might earn a couple of bucks for each article or blog post you write.
When you become a more seasoned writer and you have already built a reputation for yourself, you can start earning more. The potential to earn a lot of money in this career depends on the following factors:
Skills and Experience
If you're a beginner—and the employers know this—they won't offer you high rates. As you gain experience, you can start increasing your rates. But if you have real talent and skills, employers will see this. If you can impress them with your work, then they might offer to pay higher rates even if you don't ask for an increase.
If you can write about anything under the sun, your potential to earn will increase significantly. This is because there are specific topics that are highly profitable. For instance, knowing how to write technical topics or those that require special expertise can launch your career further.
Finding the Right Clients
To succeed in this business, you must learn how to find and choose the best clients. There are some employers who will offer you a higher rate than others for the same kind of work. This is why it's recommended to pitch yourself to various employers so that you can find the most lucrative ones.
You can also try applying to a reputable ghostwriting company where you can choose your own topics and get paid well for your efforts. Working in such a company also ensures that you continue learning and you always get a chance to hone your skills.
As a beginner, you shouldn't expect to earn a lot when you're starting out. Even if you have talent and skills, you have to prove yourself to clients and employers first. But as soon as your efforts start paying off, you will be on your way to happiness and success.
How Do I Start My Career in Writing With No Experience?
Even if you have zero experience as a freelance writer, you can still launch a career as one. As long as you have the passion for it, you have great ideas, and you have the knack for expressing yourself, you can apply to remote writing jobs after some preparation.
We have already shared the fundamental steps to take when kicking off the career of your dreams. But if you're worried because you have no experience whatsoever, you can still find success by doing the following:
- Set up a personal blog or website to showcase your writing talent.
- Come up with a portfolio of your written work in case employers ask for samples.
- Create a profile and search for job postings for beginners.
- Learn the art of networking to make a name for yourself in the industry.
- Invest in yourself by honing your existing skills and learning new ones.
- Never give up!
Don't allow yourself to be intimidated by the competition. Even the highest-paid writers in the market now started out just like you. Through hard work and persistence, they found success... and you can do this too.
Launching your freelance writing career requires passion, persistence, and positivity. As long as you follow all of the steps you learned here, you will find success whether you are a beginner or you've tried writing professionally in the past.
It might not be the easiest journey to embark on but when you can finally call yourself a freelance writer, all of your efforts will pay off. Then you can earn a living by doing something that you love and enjoy—something that most people strive for in their lives.