The Complete Guide to Getting Started Freelance Writing From Scratch

So, you want to learn how to be a freelance writer?

What’s it all about and how to become a freelance writer? I get a lot of emails from people asking me how to get started as a freelance writer and no matter where you are in the world, the steps to take to becoming a freelance writer are the same.

It’s a great way to earn extra cash and actually make a living from it, so I thought I’d write a guide to help new freelance writers jumpstart their business.

The Complete Guide to Getting Started Freelance Writing From Scratch

Because there’s a lot of wrong advice out there – like how you need formal training to write online. Anyone can be a freelance writer. You don’t need any experience or degree.

It’s the perfect business for bloggers, stay-at-home moms or those just fed up with their 9-5 job. And it’s profitable. Ashlee Anderson of Work From Home Happiness quit her secure job to pursue freelance writing without having any professional writing experience.

She currently earns a full-time income from freelance writing.

And I do too.

How to Become a Freelance Writer – My Story

stay-at-home-mom

It’s been several years since I started freelance writing.

When I first learned how to become a freelance writer, I made the mistake of finding work on iWriter, which is a content mill.

Content mills provide cheap content jobs and they usually batch orders. Their goal is to get a lot of content for cheap. After I earned a measly $2 from my first writing job, I gave up.

This wasn’t for me.

My time wasn’t worth that. I had twins to take care of and a house to run. I almost quit for good back then.

But, I didn’t. I re-grouped and started fresh. I started a writer website, searched for freelance writing jobs and over time was able to land high-paying clients. Okay, I glided over the important parts, but I’ll break it down for you in a moment.

*Check out my super simple, tech-free step-by-step tutorial to start a blog for your business (there’s even a video to show you how to start your website).

With persistence, motivation and hard work I now am able to have freelance writing jobs from home! Learning how to be a freelance writer doesn’t have to take a thousand steps.

If you want that for yourself, here are the steps on how to become a freelance writer you need to get started.

1. Research About Freelance Writing

When I first started freelance writing I did a lot of research.

I found other freelance writers, read their blogs and looked at their writer website and learned as much as I could about this business.

I had no clue how to write a blog post or what kinds of jobs there are for freelance writers. I sometimes emailed freelance writers and asked questions like how to set my rate.

To get started visit these websites to learn more about freelance writing:

And here are some posts on my blog to help you learn more about freelance writing:

2. Become Familiar With the Writing Skills and Tools Required

skills-and-tools

Now I know I said you can start freelance writing from scratch. This is absolutely true, but if you want a better chance of succeeding, it’s probably a good thing to learn a few skills and tools.

Some skills you should definitely have for freelance writing are:

Organizational Skills

You’ll have to keep track of all your projects, billing information, client information, pitches sent and content schedule for your blog and sometimes for your client’s blog.

You’ll also need to develop a writing routine to organize your articles or blog posts. What are the steps to gather research for your pieces? How do you outline your blog post?

Having a system in place for your projects is key to growing your business. You don’t want to make a mistake or forget to do something.

For me, I have a couple of notebooks to jot down content ideas for my blogs and a task list of what I need to do right away.

Blogging Skills

I primarily write blog posts or digital marketing material – like a lead magnet. When I first started, I had no clue how to blog.

I read tons of blog posts but never looked at the formatting. It wasn’t until I started this blog that I actually paid attention to subheadings and creating white space.

Writing for an online audience is different than writing a term paper for your college professor.

You need to know how to captivate a reader with your headline and introduction. You also need to back up your claims and facts with reputable sources.

And you need to include subheadings, bullet lists or numbered lists and above all, provide actionable tips.

For more help, check out these three posts:

Content Marketing

One thing a new freelance writer needs to know is content marketing.

This means understanding how a business uses content to market their products or services.

They may use white papers, a lead magnet, case studies and an email list to help them gain leads.

When you become a freelance writer knowing this marketing strategy can help you land writing projects like white paper writing for businesses.

Confidence

Putting yourself out there and trying to land writing gigs is tough. You’ll get rejected, turned down or you may have a client walk all over you.

To be a successful freelance writer you really need confidence and lose the fear of pitching. I know you may not have it right away.

That’s okay. But, eventually, you’re going to have to take action.

This might mean applying to jobs even though you aren’t that qualified for. It might mean sending off a pitch that isn’t perfect.

The point is, is you have to just go and do it.

Besides these basic skills, you also need to know the tools of the trade.

Task Management Program

Since you’re running your business on your own, you need to keep track of everything.

I personally use Google Sheets and the Productivity Planner for Freelance Writers to keep track of my projects and income. I also use Trello to keep track of my to-do list for the week.

A page from my freelance writing planner

You might find Asana is a better fit for you or even Microsoft Excel. Find a program that you like and start creating a system for your projects, finances and if you want, your blog content or pitches you send.

Image Editing Program

Some of your freelance clients may want you to do images for your content. Or, you may want to offer that as part of your services when you learn how to be a freelance writer.

Knowing how to add text to blog images is important to know as a freelance writer. It shows prospective clients you know how to blog.

Many people use a free editing program like Canva or PicMonkey. I personally use Photoshop for all my images.

What’s great about learning how to design images is that you can offer this to your clients or you might find prospects are asking you to do their images.

I actually have four freelance writing jobs that I do images for and all of them asked me since I’m not advertising this service.

Editing App

It’s a good idea to have your work edited with Grammarly or Hemingway or some other editing app.

For me, I go through an in-depth editing process before I submit my work to my clients. You might have to invest in a subscription, but it’s well worth it if you plan on making freelance writing a business.

3. Practice Writing

Now, you don’t have to be the best writer to be a successful one. But, you do need to know how to write sentences and get your thoughts across!

What if English isn’t your first language? There are many freelance writers who don’t have English as their primary language and they are making a living freelance writing.

So, it is possible but it might just mean you have to work a little harder showing prospects you are more than capable of writing for them.

If, though, you are a fairly good writer, work on improving your writing. Practice adding sensory details, eliminating filler words, and honing your craft. You can do this by starting your own blog.

Make sure to know the difference between blogging and content writing.

Not only will this help you become a better writer, but it will also help you market your freelance writing business. I have landed many clients from my blog and I know my blog only makes me more credible as a professional writer.

Reading is also a great way to improve your vocabulary and world knowledge. I try to read blogs in my niche and when I can, I actually pick up a real book or two to read on my downtime!

4. Create a Writing Portfolio of Your Work

create-portfolio

Most job ads you’ll apply for will ask to see your work. They want to see samples of published work.

If you’re new, you won’t have any published work – unless you already have a blog.

So, how do you show prospects you can actually write? Besides starting a blog, you can create writing samples.

Draft up a few pieces and either upload them as a Google Doc or publish them on Medium.

Check out this post on how to create samples from scratch.

Another way to create writing samples is with guest posting. These are blogs that accept guest writers. Get posted on these blogs means you will have a link to show prospects someone thought your writing was good enough to be published.

You can quickly Google your writing niche + write for us to get blogs that accept contributors.

Here’s the result for spiritual blogs that accept guest writers.

Spiritual websites that accept guest writers

5. Start Pitching to Jobs

pitch-to-jobs

Now it’s time to actively search for freelance writing jobs from home. But where do you go and how do you do it?

When I first started freelance writing, I used Problogger and Freelance Writing Jobs.

These job boards list new jobs daily and are often good quality jobs. I avoided freelance marketplaces like Upwork because the jobs weren’t high quality and I actually never landed a gig there.

When you find a job you are interested in the important thing to remember is to be one of the first few to apply (so check the boards before bed and when you wake up) and make sure your pitch stands out.

How do you do this?

Show your credibility with guest posts or testimonials.  Or, you can relate a fact or story with the business in question.

To help you with pitching check out these posts:

But, are there other ways to find freelance writing jobs?

Yes!

There are tons of ways. Actually, here are 20 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (As a Beginner).

6. You Gotta Hustle

gotta-hustle

Being a freelancer means you gotta hustle for work. But, this doesn’t mean you ALWAYS have to hustle. The goal is for clients to come to you.

But, when you’re new, businesses or magazines don’t’ know you even exist.

So, you have to market your services and get your name out there.

How do you do this? There are many ways, but to start try these two ways:

  • Get on social media – This isn’t for socializing; it’s for networking. Sign up for Twitter and LinkedIn and start connecting or following other writers and businesses you want to write for.
  • Guest post – Guest posting is not only a way to build your portfolio. It’s also a way to get your name out there. For every guest post, you write and is published you receive an author bio with links back to your writer website, portfolio, or social media profiles.

When I first started, I only had a Pinterest account and Facebook page. But, I knew I had to be more social so I signed up for a Twitter and LinkedIn account and started networking my butt off.

And I can tell you from personal experience that Twitter and LinkedIn have landed me the most work from social media.

7. Continue Learning

writing

The best thing you can do as a new freelance writer is continue to learn. Whether it’s writing tips, business tips or pitching tips, hone your skills by learning from those who have done it before.

This is what I did when I first started freelance writing and even today, I hone my digital marketing writing by listening to podcasts about SEO or read social media marketing tips in books.

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Over to you – are you interested in freelance writing?

Remember to please pin me!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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245 Comments

I’m so excited!! I bookmarked alot of your links and can’t wait to get started on learning the process to becoming a paid writer. I literally have no earthly idea where or how to start, I just know this is what I want to do and it’s what I’m meant to do so right now I’m all about research, research, research. Wish me luck. I’m going in head first!!Reply to MJ
Hi MJ, So glad you enjoyed this post on how to become a freelance writer. As an expert on freelance writing jobs I know a lot about how to gain clients, wow your clients and make money with your writing! Good luck and enjoy researching!Reply to Elna
Wow Elna, you really know your stuff and you make it so easy to understand. Everything is concise and professional and you really present it in a way that eases the stress and insecurities that often comes along with the beginners journey and I applaud you for that. Thanks a million Elna…!!!!!!!!!!Reply to Mark
Hi Mark, You’re welcome! Thanks for that! I try my hardest to help as many writers as a I can and I know fear and doubt plagues new writers constantly. Heck, it even does for me at times (like when I start a new service). Thanks again for being a loyal reader. I can tell you are absorbing what you are learning and trying to apply it! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, thanks for all of your tips, I’ve been thinking about starting as a freelance writer for years now, but I’ve never really started out mainly because I don’t know if I’ll do well as a writer though I write well. I’ll do well to adhere to your tips and maybe one day grow to be a better writer… If you’ve got any more tips, please keep sharing. And I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you this, you’re doing a great job, your articles are fantasticReply to Innocent
Hi! Thanks so much! The best tip I can give you is to trust your gut and know that you are worth it! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I love your posts. Your site is the primary place I go to answer all of my freelance questions. I have been freelancing for about 4 years now (I started when I was a junior in college). I’ve managed to find clients, but freelancing is something of a side hustle that I want to make a full-time job out of. I was wondering what your advice would be about starting a personal website to showcase my writing. If I do that, what kind of content should I publish on my site that would attract high-paying clients? I would like to start my own website, but I don’t want it to fail because I don’t know how to set it up properly.Reply to Ash
Hi Ash, A website a great way to showcase your knowledge in your niche topic. You can start one for your freelance writing niche. So if you do personal finance writing, you can start your own personal finance blog. What I would do, though, is to make sure your audience is different than your clients’ audiences. So for your clients, if their audience is other marketers or business owners, for your blog audience you can just blog to other moms, or college students or working millennials. That way the topics may vary and the tone will change and writing all about personal finance over and over again won’t burn you out. I write digital marketing content for moms over on Twins Mommy but I can infuse other topics and direct my writing to moms, not to marketers in the B2B niche. I hope this helps. I do have a budget friendly course to help you start your writer website here: https://courses.profitablecreative.com/p/wwiwReply to Elna
Hey Elna, Great post! You mentioned being active on various social media platforms and getting one’s name out there. Would it be possible to become a freelance writer under an alias writing name? I’m not comfortable with the idea of my personal social media accounts being connected to my writing or having my specific life details/name on a public blog. I know that would probably not be attractive to potential employers but curious if it would be at all possible. Thanks for your time!Reply to Kc
Hi KC, As long as your online presence is with that pen name it’s fine! I do have a post on that topic here: https://elnacain.com/blog/pseudonym-using-pen-name/Reply to Elna
Hi, I’ve been thinking about freelance writing for months now, and I didn’t know how to start. Also, I’ve been trying to find my first client, and it’s been difficult. So this article has given me a ray of hope.Reply to Jacqueline
Hi Jacquline, I’m sorry you are having difficultly finding clients but glad you found my post helpful! Go ahead and enroll in my free course or check out my Youtube channel for more help!Reply to Elna
Hi, I’ve been thinking about this since I left my job to look after my ill mother. So far this is the best article I have read! The trouble I am having is when looking at jobs or even writers, they all mention SEO and I’m having a hard time understanding this and what you need to be able to do to advertise this yourself?Reply to Dean
Hi Dean, Thanks for your kind words! I love helping all new freelance writers πŸ™‚ Regarding SEO, I guess businesses now are really focussing on their online audience since the pandemic. This means they need SEO to help them rank in Google. As a content writer you can provide this type of writing to help that business rank for certain phrases or keywords. I do have a budget-friendly starter course on this called The Fast Track to SEO Writing here: https://courses.profitablecreative.com/p/fast-track-seo-writingReply to Elna
This is an outstanding article! I have been “dabbling” with this idea off and on for years. This is best most organized most clearly written guide I have came across this far. I’m 41 and my children are grown. I could feel a room with my writings just for myself over years. I think it’s time I do something with it. It’s my turn now the kids are grown. Lol I struggle with ADHD and I’ve always been too overwhelmed by the format and content of most information blogs..and their OVER LOADING affiliate links and peddling(for lack of a better word) for much more than I’ve had to start anything raising two kids! lol This was clear and to the point and streamlined! I’m excited for my new adventure and proud to be a new fan and follower of your work! Great job! And Thank you so much!Reply to Gina
Hi Gina, Wow! Simply wow! Thank you so much for your kind words. I take pride in my work and want to make sure that my writing is easy to read, relatable to the person reading it and above all, provide help and inspiration! Thank you for telling me that my formatting is streamlined. This is important to me as I know what you mean about other sites and their flashy ads and marketing material plastered everywhere. I’m a writer and want to showcase my writing! I hope you found these steps easy to implement and thank you for supporting me! Make sure to sign up to the free course where I give you the steps you need to make this work (in the same format as this post).Reply to Elna
WOW! What a great read, I really wish I had come across your article sooner. I am a mom of two and a enthusiastic writer but I have NEVER been able to make the latter workout out. I have made a good first, solid step having read your blog. Thank you 😊Reply to Katt
Hi Katt! That’s wonderful to hear you want to be a freelance writer! I think it’s the perfect gig for moms. I just got an email from a student in my Writeto1k course and she just landed a high-paying gig in the pharmaceutical niche without any medical experience! To say you can start freelance writing without experience is totally true!Enjoy the blog and I hope you become a student!Reply to Elna
Hey Katt, Oh thanks so much! Love meeting moms that want to be a writer or freelance writer! It takes a good plan to become a freelance writer and I can totally help you with that!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this! I already have a wordpress blog, but it’s sat there for a couple of years as I didn’t know what the heck to write in it. Now that I’ve been writing my novel for a few yesrs and in the process of this reading writing articles I have a good idea what’s missing in the advice out there. So I that’ll be a good place to start. Wish me luck my income dropped 90% due to pandemic issues. I’m going to give all here. Have a great day.Reply to Jessica
Hi Jessica, That’s great you figured it out! Good luck with your book and you can always become a freelance writer on the side to earn some extra income while your write your books!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna, thanks for your great ways about being a freelance writer..and you are very helping with your tips..I am really hungry to become a blog and freelance writer ( I’m very fresh to social media). I want to earn from content writing jobs.. I just quit my Admin job and need a sure income!Reply to P.
Hi! Thanks for stopping by! So happy you enjoy my freelance writing tips to help you become a freelance writer! Congrats on quitting your job! Good luck with finding some freelance writing jobs and content writing jobs!Reply to Elna
thanks for your helpful tips! I appreciate your candidness. More power and happy freelance writingReply to Pablito
Awesome write up, thank you very much for the valuable information!Reply to Angel
Hello Elna, First and foremost, thank you so very much for doing this, and if words can carry a feeling, I hope you feel the sincerity within these words for I and I think it’s safe to say, others appreciate the helpful information and tips you have provided, whether it’s here or other places, so thank you. Sincerely, E.G. RobinsonReply to Eyton
Hi Eyton, Thank you so much for your kind words about my freelance writing blog! Glad you enjoyed this post on how to become a freelance writer! I’m here for you πŸ™‚Reply to Elna
Hey Elna! I just wanted to say that I genuinely don’t know much about how to start but by the links given by you I’m sure I’ll do something good. Thank you πŸ™‚Reply to Priyanka
Hi Priyanka, Well, welcome to my little blog! You will learn a lot about freelance writing here πŸ™‚ Have fun exploring!Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna for your great work,well I’m new to freelancing and Iam really very eager to learn and i also start the journey,well I would also want to know whether it’s a must to have the website in order to start the freelancing or not? ThanksReply to Loling
Hi, Thanks for stopping by! Great question about starting freelance writing from scratch! Honestly you don’t NEED a website to START freelance writing, but to be a freelance writer for years to come, you DO need a website and online presence. If all you want to do is do writing jobs on the side as a side hustle then ad hoc pieces, submissions or magazines might be your best bet than recurring freelance writing jobs that I do for clients, brands and small businesses!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much for this helpful post, Elna, and for making it your mission to help out others who are starting out in your profession. I’m planning to start freelance writing and eventually make that my full-time job. I know I have a lot to learn, and I look forward to making use of more of the resources you provide. Thanks again!Reply to Craig
Hi Craig, Thank you so much for your kind words. I love helping as many people as possible to learn how to become a freelance writer! It literally changed my life and my family’s life! It is possible to freelance writing on the side and turn that into a full-time writing gig for sure! Good luck and I’m here if you need help!Reply to Elna
Hi, thanks for the helpful breakdown on how to get started. Can you give any suggestions for how one gets paid? For example, if you pitch a story and the editor accepts, and you agree to a fee of $500, then what happens? Invoice on delivery? Ask for a deposit? Are you expected to supply a contract?Reply to C
Hi! That is discussed prior to submitting your post. Get the info first! Usually I get the PayPal address and then invoice them once they accept my post and gave me feedback. Otherwise I bill monthly.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I just want you to know how helpful and inspiring this guide is! Thank you so much for sharing this information. IΒ΄m really uncertain and scared to enter the freelance writing world but hopefully i will get more confident as i follow these steps!Reply to Meli
Hi Meli, Thanks so much for sharing your story! It’s normal to have fear and doubt when you try something new! Freelance writing and being a freelance writer is a new thing for you! Take it one day at a time. I do have a lot of help on this blog and on Youtube and Instagram!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I’m really motivated by your blog up there.I’m ready and willing to start freelance writing from scratch.I have been discouraged by so many people who are already in this business but fortunately, your blog has fully inspired me.Reply to Simon
Hi Simon, That’s great to hear! So happy you want to start freelance writing! Enjoy writing and getting paid!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thank you very much for the blog above, for all the information and advice you are offering to us. It is a very useful material, especially for beginner writers, like me.Reply to Emese
Hi Emese, You’re welcome! Glad you found this post on getting started as a freelance writer helped you!Reply to Elna
I’ve read a lot of blogs about freelancing. I found this site very helpful and encouraging. Thanks a lot!Reply to Lyn
Hi Lyn, Thank you so much! Glad you enjoy my freelance writing content!Reply to Elna
Hi, am interested in becoming a freelance writer. Can you help me?Reply to Esther
Hi Esther! That’s great you want to be a freelance writer πŸ™‚ Have you taken my free email course? This can help you land your first client!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I love reading your blogs and discovering new things about you that you write on different niches on different blogs/websites of yours. I aspire to be a mommy blogger. I am a mother of two too, one 2 yo baby boy and another 6 months old baby girl. I want to focus my freelance writing on this specific niche only and intend to start blogging once my number of blogs become 30 in number. Please guide me I want to make an outstanding portfolio to land freelance writing work first of all but my work has nvr been published before. How should I craft my portfolio? Is it worth it if I start blogging on parenting niche as there are already a number of mommies out there already doing the job and excelling at it like you?Reply to Sadia
Hi Sadia, That’s great you want to become a freelance writer πŸ™‚ My suggestion is to publish your work! You can start a writer website easily (here’s my post on that: https://elnacain.com/blog/how-to-start-a-blog/) or you can use Medium to publish your content! (here’s my profile: https://medium.com/@ecainwrites) Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi, What kind of people and, companies do we need to target to hunt for content writing opportunity? People I mean to say – CMO, Content Manager and so on. I really appreciate if you can revert me on my email so I ask few more things personally.Reply to Vicky
Hi! You have to figure out your ideal client. I would focus on business owners and from there the head of their marketing team!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna I’ve been looking into freelance writing. This has helped me gain insight. I have already written and self-published a book. I have tried to start a blog, but topics don’t come to me easily. I’d like to start freelance writing but, with all sites that offer me to pay to start it’s hard knowing where to start without wasting money.Reply to Kandace
Hi Kandace, I know what you mean. You need to trust the writer behind these courses. I do my best on this blog, on Youtube and in my email list to answer each and every question from new writers. I truly want to help anyone become a successful freelance writer! That’s great you’ve published a book already! That’s an amazing accomplishment that not a lot of other freelance writers have done! Thanks for reading this post on getting started freelance writing and check out the free course I have on getting paid to write!Reply to Elna
hello Elna, There is no doubt about that you have covered each and every aspect of freelance writing so well. But the most amazing part of your’s is that you have set an example for all the mothers out there. its very encouraging to work being mum , i am also a work from home mum and every time i got stuck i review your articles about tips and tricks in freelance writing. again i must say you have covered each and every aspect so well. God Bless youReply to Hibee
Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me <3 Working from home is hard! As a mom to twins it's difficult each day. My house is a constant mess and I'm scrambling to figure out what's for dinner! Ha! But, I wouldn't have it any other way! I am living the live I want to live and my twins are seeing that with their parents! You got this!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Great post. I am a graduate in pharmacy. Its quarantine time now. So i have like 4-5hrs remaining daily after study. I like writing and reading much. So i am trying to get into any content writing job. I am a total beginner but i have great research skills and speed learner. Help me in this by telling what should i do first.Reply to Vishal
Hi Vishal, That’s great you found freelance writing and want to be a freelance writer during your spare time. It’s a great side hustle and you can get started with little investment! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Elna, thank you, thank you, thank you for an inspiring post!!! I’m a single mom, tight budget/income who’s had it pretty hard in life. I want to start something new and fresh and get us on a new path in life. You have inspired me when all seemed doomed. Going to read, study, learn, and hopefully progress. Thank you!!!Reply to Cindy
Hi Cindy, You can do it! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post to get started freelance writing! Do this as a side hustle or when your child is sleeping! It can be done because I did just that!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, great post! I’m coming back to freelance writing after some time away and trying to get my sea legs back. I’m looking forward to rereading this in the morning and putting it into action.Reply to Belinda
Hi Belinda, Thanks so much! So happy you are coming back to become a freelance writer! Yay! I hope the post for beginners to be a freelance writer was helpful!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thank you for another phenomenal blog post! I’m hoping to start building my network through social media. I have a question for you – if I ultimately plan to expand my freelance business to become an agency (have others work for me) do you recommend setting up profiles (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) with my business name versus my personal name? Thanks!!Reply to Emily
Hi Emily, Thank you so much! Great question! I would personally use your business name for your social media profiles if you want to start an agency as a freelance writer!Reply to Elna
Very interesting article, in fact I read it all. I think I’m a competent writer but I’m not really that confident or experienced with social media. I’m worried this would trip me up. Saying that I’m going to do some more research as this career change would be very appealing to someone like me. As a photographer I would love to blog that way or through Instagram in some way.Reply to Steve
Hi Steve, That’s awesome and thanks for reading it straight through! As for social media, take your time learning these platforms. I would Google how to use specific social media platforms to get started!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I like how you outlined the steps and gave many tips from your experience – thank you. I’ve been doing some research to determine if being a freelance writer will pay off. From many testimonials and people offering courses it seems like it’s possible, but with so much marketing content out there it’s hard to tell. I think I’ll give it a shot anyway. I started a blog 5-6 years ago writing about my multicultural experience and thoughts… do you think this is a good starting point, and should I build content from there as a portfolio (I’ve shared the link)? I also had several lifestyle articles published in my college newspaper and written for a class (also around that time) — do you think that’s something I can also use as samples, just generally speaking? Finally, do you think that being multilingual pays off in my quest to establish myself as a writer? Does it ever happen that clients want the same piece written in multiple languages, for instance? Appreciate any advice you can give, and thanks again for these posts!Reply to Anya
Hi Anya! Great questions. I’ll do my best to answer: 1. Your portfolio should showcase the niche you want to get paid to write in. Check out this post for profitable niches https://elnacain.com/blog/freelance-writing-niches/ 2. I don’t think your lifestyle content would show well to potential brands and clients unless your ideal client is big on Instagram and are seeking that type of writer/blogger. 3. I would stick to just one main language – English as most companies want an English writer.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I am a teacher that is trying to break into freelance writing. Until I read this particular article, everything I had come across for start-up tips and processes seemed like a scam. Thank you so much for actually writing helpful information! I have about 6 months to get my business up and running, so I appreciate this!Reply to Gina
Hi Gina, I’m so sorry you had to read those types of posts regarding freelance writing and it being a scam. I’m a mom to twins and I’ve been doing this for five years and it definitely isn’t a scam! I’m so glad you FOUND this post and it helped you see the truth!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this, Elna. I’m going to spend my whole weekend devouring as much content as I can and making my first writer website. I’ve done a handful of jobs from Upwork that pay a penny or two pennies per word, and I’m ready to move on to the next stage of my freelance career. I was feeling absolutely helpless. Now I’m feeling like there’s some hope.Reply to Jennifer
Hi Jennifer! That’s great news to hear! Yes, stay away from Upwork for sure! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna, your advice here is so real. I am from Asia and although I have studied English however I always felt shy or scared to write because I am afraid of making grammatical error. There’s many types of schools in my country and that can be divided into – Malay School, Chinese School, Indian School and international School. In general, if you’re from a Malay or Chinese or Indian school, all the books are written in the main language of your chosen school with only one subject of English. It is therefore a common fear for people to make a mistake in English grammatically. I will start my blog I guess. What have I got to loose. Thanks again for your valuable piece here.Reply to Brenda
Hi Brenda, So happy you want to start freelance writing! Yes, writing in English will be more successful I feel! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thank you very much for this blog. I will explore this opportunity because the regular job market does not allow a worker to gain financial security and freedom of choice to have a stable sustainable income. I want to explore my own talents and manage my own future.Reply to Doris
Hi Doris, So glad you are interested in starting out as a freelance writer! Yes, freelancing in general is a great side hustle or full time hustle. There is financial security and freedom for sure in this profession! I’m here if you need more help!Reply to Elna
This is exactly where I should be. Thank you for sharing this kind of information. People like you are angel send from heaven. I will definitely head back to you for my success in freelance writing. Thank youReply to Ummusalma
Hi! Aww thank you so much for your kind words! So happy this guide on how to become a freelance writer is helping you! I’m here if you need more help!Reply to Elna
Elna! This article and the plethora of included links have been super helpful. I am just getting started blogging and exploring freelance writing as a career and this info is all great to get me going. Thanks!!Reply to Ashley
Hi Ashley, That’s awesome to hear! So glad this post on how to get started as a freelance writer was helpful! There are a lot of moving parts to freelance writing and I wanted to break it down into manageable parts and tasks for new writers!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna I agree with every word and tip you give here. Especially, here in India, most writers make the mistake of searching the clients and pitching them doing no research beforehand. I did the same 3 years back and had to struggle a lot. However, now realise the importance of research before you pitch to the clients.Reply to Dr
Hi! Thanks for your input! Yes, I find a lot of new writers do this a lot. Learning about your ideal client can really help you with landing some freelance writing jobs!Reply to Elna
How do i prevent the client from using my sample content if they are not employing my services? Lot of clients ask for relevant sample content pertaining to their business. In the case they do not wish to employ my services, but still use whatever content I sent them, my efforts feel wasted.Reply to Tharani
Hi, They aren’t allowed to do that! Plus, you should have a portfolio page with varied content that you can provide to these businesses instead of generating a unique sample for that business. If a business asks you for a sample just for them, then charge for it!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this article. This and many of the others I have found on your site. It has been very helpful as I take the first baby steps to becoming a freelance writer myself.Reply to Erin
Hi Erin, You’re so welcome! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post to get started as a freelance writer! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much for your informative article on how to become a freelance writer. It has been very helpful.Reply to Loretta
Hi Loretta, I’m so happy to hear this! That’s awesome you want to be a freelance writer πŸ™‚ I’m here to help you every step of the way!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thank you for sharing such a great Post – it’s a real treasure trove of information that I will be putting to good use. I have “wanted” to write for a living since my youth, but have never been in a position to give it serious consideration. Recently my circumstances have changed and I have been presented with a small window of opportunity to take some action – and reading your Post has definitely provided the inspiration I have been looking for. Thank you once again. ScottReply to Scott
Hi Scott, Thank you for your wonderful comment! I love hearing from new readers that my post helped them find some ground as a freelance writer! That’s great you are inspired to write and maybe get paid for your writing too with freelance writing jobs! Have fun learning more about freelance writing!Reply to Elna
This is great and gives me hope. I have a blog on something else I’ve done for 16 years but would like to do this too. Thank you!Reply to Lori
Hi Lori! That’s fantastic to hear! You can definitely start as a freelance writer on the side of your blog! Have fun!Reply to Elna
After watching some of your YouTube videos, I submitted my first post to Medium to build up my portfolio. Unfortunately, I am not happy with the stats of my first article that was submitted on 09/25/19. My stats are: 38 views, 10 reads, 26% ratio, and 1 fan who gave 50 claps. Now I’m discouraged and reluctant to finish my next article which I started on. Is Medium the best platform for beginners? Or should I just wait to see what happens in a month before giving up. Because of the above stats, I wonder if my writing sucks and needs improvement. I worked super hard on the first and subsequent drafts and edited about five times. Not sure what to do at this point. Any advice??Reply to Charlene
Hi Charlene, I use Medium to hold my samples, not for others to rate my writing or views. That isn’t why I write on Medium, but some people do for that reason. Try LinkedIn to publish your articles for more views. Ideally guest posting will give you the most views!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for your wise advice. It is much appreciated!Reply to Charlene