Right now, 82% of the total number of working freelancers are freelance writers.
With this recent explosion of freelancers in the workforce, 24% of those freelance writers are making $50,000/year from their writing niche service.
Is that mind-blowing for you?
Did you think that writers could truly make that much money?
With this information, maybe you are NOW thinking about whether or not freelance writing is the best online business to start with.
You might have this perception that being a freelancer is made up of a feast and famine cycle and that they can’t possibly make a living, but I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to happen for you.
Let’s go over five reasons freelance writing is the best online business to start with (make sure to pay attention to the last reason!) from an actual writer like me!
1. Days are Never the Same (And I Like That)
Let me guess:
When searching for freelance writing topics, are you inundated with pictures of a woman or man on a beach with their laptop enjoying life?
I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want sand on my laptop, and if I’m at the beach, you bet I’m relaxing and NOT thinking about work!
Other places use these images as a way to show how flexible being an online writer is.
And, it is, but the reality is – for me – freedom and flexibility means I can go on school field trips with my twins, set up a road trip over the summer, or decide to have lunch with my husband at 2 pm on a Wednesday.
Every day is different for me, but one thing is always the same: my freelance writing business.
I can check my email, write my to-do list and get to work at 9 am or 3 pm.
And this might be highly appealing to you.
These are the things I hear from my email subscribers:
Sheridan says her job kept her trapped,
“I used to feel really trapped and unhappy thinking that I might end up being stuck in some 9-5 job for the rest of my life, until I learned more about freelance writing and realized that I might actually have a chance at making some money in it.”
Heather says her job is soul-crushing,
“I am so inspired and definitely ready to step away from my soul crushing 9-5 job.”
Nikki knows that freelance writing is the answer and says,
“I’m still stuck with my 9–5 job. I know applying for your course would move me forward towards my writing career[.]”
With my flexible schedule, I can decided when to work, what to work on and for how long.
Currently, this is what my schedule looks like for my freelance writing business:
- Monday: Topic research for a client and blog post outline for my SEO client
- Tuesday: Continue writing the draft for my SaaS client and pitch topics to the client
- Wednesday: Source HARO quotes for my SaaS client piece
- Thursday: Review draft, edit draft with Grammarly, and check email for topics to write about for my clients
- Friday: Day off!
2. I Don’t Have to Look at Prices (But I Still Do)
The other reason I decided to become a freelance writer is the freedom I will have in my life.
I’ve been doing this so long that I can’t imagine getting a job and working a 9-5.
It would be awkward and restricting.
Because of my client income and other income streams, I don’t have to look at the prices when I go shopping.
I mean, I still do since I have a family to take care of and plans for more renovations, but you get the picture.
With the creator economy booming since COVID-19, this lifestyle will be the norm and is the perfect time to get started before the influx of freelancers.
While I’m not a digital nomad, my freelance writing business has provided my family and me:
- a beautiful house
- A road trip to Winnipeg
- Extracurricular activities for our twins, like hockey, soccer, swimming, and gymnastics
- The ability to pay for dental work and the like (we have a kitty and just bought pet insurance)
As I said, it’s not a lot, but this is the life we want for our children.
They are not spoiled, but they realize that if they want something, most likely will get it (barring they do their chores and are helpful around the house).
This wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t start freelance writing in 2014.
When I think about it, I would probably live paycheck to paycheck like 63% of Americans do.
The sooner you start, the quicker you can have the freedom and flexibility freelance writing will give you.
3. In One Year I More Than Tripled My Freelance Writing Rate
The income potential for your online writing is up to you.
And for me, in one year, I more than tripled my freelance writing rate. When I did this, I almost immediately landed two new clients at my new rate.
One of my freelance Writeto1k students, Carter Kilmann, mentioned in a Medium post that he started his rate at $.35/word. And when he did that, he gained lots of work!
This excluded a lot of potential opportunities — I’ve turned down more work than I’ve accepted.
When you are your own boss, you can set your rates and feasibly land writing jobs at that rate.
4. Freelance Writing Can Lead to Bigger Things
Because of my freelance writing business, I was able to start several websites like Twins Mommy and FreelancerFAQs.
I was also able to create digital products like courses, eBooks, and printables.
This has allowed my husband to stay home and work with me on my business.
And it was all possible because I landed writing gigs!
If you think that can’t happen, let me tell you that some of my Writeto1k students have grown their businesses past freelance writing.
For example, Mariam Tsaturyan was a lawyer who became a freelance lawyer when she enrolled in my course.
She then started to create contracts for freelancers and bloggers as there was a need for legal templates, and now has a cool business out of freelancing!
There are other students as well, but the point is to see that being a freelance writer doesn’t have to end there; it’s just the beginning of your journey!
5. You Can Effectively Start as a Freelance Writer for Free
Have I convinced you yet?
If I haven’t, maybe this reason will convince you that starting a freelance writing business is the best decision: you can practically start for free.
All you REALLY need is the following:
- A professional email address (Gmail is acceptable)
- Writing samples (You can use GDocs)
- A Portfolio (Contently is free, Medium is free, and LinkedIn is free)
- Internet (you CAN use the Library or your college)
A Professional Email Address
As a freelance writer, you will use your email often, and it’s best to create a professional business email for your client work.
Make sure you use your name or a variation of your name for your email address.
Using something like, “[email protected]” isn’t going to bode well with your clients. It’s not professional, and businesses usually get dozens of emails from freelancers.
Instead, opt for something related to your freelance writing business. Something like, “[email protected].”
While Gmail is acceptable, having a domain-specific email address is preferred.
It means you have a writer website, and are serious about this. Freelance writing isn’t a hobby for you.
Potential writing clients need to see your writing ability.
This is like your resume; if you don’t have online writing, it will be hard to land online writing jobs!
But you’re in luck – it’s now easier than ever to create a writing sample using your blog, Medium, guest posting, or even in GDocs.
I used GDocs when I started but quickly moved to guest posting as a better option.
Again, this isn’t as professional as having something published, but it’s a start, and I want you to get out there and not have any barriers!
A portfolio holds the best collection of your writing samples to show potential clients your niche expertise.
Potential clients also want to see that you’ve been published, and your portfolio can show this.
You can create a free portfolio on Medium, LinkedIn and Contently.
If you don’t have internet you can go to a place with free access like the Library or your college.
With the internet, you can search and apply for freelance writing jobs, communicate with your clients, and complete your writing projects.
The point is to not make this difficult for you.
That’s basically it.
These are free ways to start your freelance writing business.
But can you really make it with only that? Yes and no. It’s dependent on YOU.
The Skills You Need to Freelance Write for a Living
Any online business will depend on your strengths and skill level. For freelance writing, that means you need to know how to write online, research credible stats, work with online tools for your business, and be able to run your business.
1. Write Online
You might have noticed that writing online isn’t like writing an essay for your college class.
When you write a blog post or social media post, you only have 8 seconds to hook a reader and keep them interested in your content.
That’s a tall order, and good clients know that and will pay top dollar for those types of writers.
Check out my video for some online writing tips, and please subscribe to my channel!
2. Research Skills
You’ll find out pretty fast that a lot – or most of the writing online – is entirely derivative.
It’s our job to find sources and things other people have said and reword them for our client articles.
Of course, clients out there want original or thought leadership content, and this is a type of research skill you also need to know.
Either way, know how to find credible sources for your blog post writing. This means creating a swipe file and adding journals, websites, and articles that hold stats, quotes, and information that would be helpful for your writing.
3. Work With Online Tools
Are you familiar with project management tools?
How about the best accounting software for freelancers?
Or the apps you need to help you write better?
From Grammarly to Evernote to Convertkit and more, it’s a good idea to start trying out these tools for your freelance writing business.
I started with Google Drive, then moved to Trello and Grammarly.
Later I started using SEO tools to help me with my SEO writing.
So, Is Freelance Writing the Best Online Business to Start With?
Well, I’m a little biased, but I think it is 🙂
This is a sustainable business where you can work with various companies from B2C to B2B to eCommerce, solopreneurs, and more.
There are many types of writing jobs you can do for clients, like writing bios or infographics, writing an Instagram caption, or even writing a blog post like me!
The one thing you do need to know is that in the beginning, you gotta hustle hard.
This means pitching ALL.THE.TIME and being diligent with following up and putting yourself out there.
Once you have a few clients under your belt and you have a full schedule, you will notice a switch.
This switch means clients will hopefully start coming to YOU for writing.
I teach this method in my comprehensive course, Write Your Way to Your First $1k.
Time to Get Ready!
Are you persistent? Motivated?
Can you hustle?
Can you market your business and know where to find online writing jobs?
You will probably make mistakes – as I did – and it might take a while, but it can happen.
I hope you found this post helpful on your journey to becoming a paid writer!
Let me know in the comments your plans to become a freelance writer!