Get Paid to Write: The Quickest Way to Start Freelance Writing

Can’t get paid to write fast enough?

You’re struggling and overwhelmed by everything and all you want is to make money and start freelance writing. Your job sucks, or you lost your job or your husband did. Whatever the reason, money is super duper tight and you need to act now…fast.

You don’t have time to start a website, or read eBooks about writing and business. What you need is a quick action plan to get paid to write.

Get Paid to Write: The Quickest Way to Start Freelance Writing

For me, this is something I wished I knew sooner!

Well, here it is.

Step 1: Set Up a PayPal Account


You need a way to get paid. The best method is with a PayPal business account.

Once you sign up, you connect your PayPal account to your bank account. This is a safe and legit way to get paid to write online. All my clients pay this way and I’ve been doing this for three years now.

I haven’t had a client NOT pay me and doing this simple step makes you look professional.

Once you set up your PayPal account, you get paid by submitting an invoice to the client. You can use PayPal’s invoices, something like FreshBooks, or create one yourself.

Step 2: Create Samples in Your Writing Niche


For a lot of new freelance writers, deciding on your writing niche is the hardest part (and longest step). How do you find the niche you want to get paid for?

The best advice I can give you is to look at your experience and look at your passions. Try to merge those together.

Also, know that you can change your niche. When I first started as a freelance writer I picked education, health, and parenting as my trifecta niche topics. Those were passion topics and I was experienced in all of those topics too.

But, blogging is also a passion of mine, and the more I learned about blogging and eventually marketing, the more I grew to LOVE the digital marketing niche.

If you need more help finding that golden niche, check out James Johnson’s post over on FreelancerFAQs.

Once you’ve figured out your writing niche, start coming up with ideas for your samples. The most versatile sample is a blog post. But, if you are wanting to be an email marketing writer or a white paper writer, then creating those types of samples are much better than a blog post (that’s not relevant to your service).

So where do you draft up these samples?

If you don’t have a blog, then you can draft up your samples in Google Docs or on Medium.

Step 3: House Your Samples on Contently


If you don’t have the budget to set up a website for your services, you can get by in the beginning with a Contently portfolio. This is a free platform to host your samples. You can upload PDFs and your guest posts or samples on LinkedIn or Medium.

Link your social media profiles to your portfolio page and come up with a great author bio. All freelance writers should have a Contently portfolio because it’s one way to land a client.

Personally, I haven’t been approached by Contently, but I’ve read stories of other writers having this happen to them.

From what I can gather, if you are in the financial niche or business niche, then you might get approached from Contently to write for them or their clients (and they pay very very well).

I also suggest you house your samples on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s portfolio is like a resume, listing your job experience.

The more places your portfolio can be on, the higher chance you’ll get leads and get paid to write sooner.

Step 4: Develop a Pitching Strategy to Get Paid to Write


It’s time hustle.

You’re totally new and no one knows you’re a freelance writer or Pinterest manager. It’s time to get noticed and the best way to do this is with a pitching strategy.

With time, you’ll get prospects emailing you, but for now you gotta hustle!

When deciding on your best strategy, you need to figure out if it’s something you can do long-term (for at least a month at a time) and if it converts to paying work.

Let’s look at 4 pitching strategies you can start using:

Job Board Strategy

When I first started freelance writing, this was my primary way for landing work. It was fast and it didn’t take too much of my time.

But, what are the best job boards?

With this strategy, you’ll need to provide samples and a reason to hire you when you pitch to them.

When searching for a job, look at the ad and check out the company that’s posting it (if possible). Learn what they are about and check out their blog.

Cold Pitching Strategy

With this strategy, you’ll need to do a bit more research in finding suitable businesses in your niche. You can pitch to businesses:

  • With an established blog
  • Without a blog

Based on whether or not they have a blog, you’ll have to have a pitch that tells them about your services and/or starting a blog for content marketing.

Ideally, cold pitching is more effective when you have your own website to direct prospects to. This gives them more trust to hire you.

This is a great way to land work quickly. The only drawback is it’s time consuming. You’ll probably have to send many pitches every day to get a “call” back.

Social Media Strategy

A longer approach is to do some warm pitching and networking. This involves using social media to find clients.

Join some Facebook groups to get started. Also, start a Twitter profile and start following others and sharing other people’s content.

With all your social media profiles, make sure you optimize your bio so that it shows prospects what exactly you do.

Here’s my Twitter bio:

If you’re trying to land a gig like yesterday, then this approach probably won’t work. But, it is a strong strategy in the long-run.

Guest Post Strategy

Another very effective way to find work quickly is to start guest posting on other bigger sites. Other popular sites have more traffic, which means more eyes on that blog. When your post is featured there, you’ll have a greater chance at landing a freelance writing job.

Some big sites to pitch a guest post idea are:

With this strategy, you’ll need a strong author bio, or byline.

The added advantage to this strategy is that you’ll be building your portfolio while writing your guest posts, making your portfolio more effectively.

The drawback to using this strategy is that it does take a while to pitch, get accepting and then write the best post you can muster for that site.

Have a Clear Path to Landing Your First Gig

This quick action plan has different journeys.

The quickest path is:

PayPal account (10 minutes) –> Create samples in G Doc (3 hours) —> House in Contently (20 minutes) —> Pitch to Job boards (1 hour 2x a day) = get paid to write. Check out my infographic and I would love it if you Pinned me!

Check out my infographic and I would love it if you Pinned 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.

Leave a Reply


I love the suggestion to use Contently to get started, sometimes creating your own website can be so overwhelming and challenging!Reply to Anna
Hello Elna, I’ve been searching for an explanation, rather a blueprint, as to how I should approach freelancing my writing. I am currently a full-time student and have a minuscule amount of time for a traditional p/t job. My English professor suggested I try my hand at this and in my head I said, “Sweet. Sounds like I’d be a verbal ‘gun for hire!”. Needless to say, I’m sold. I just wanted to say, “Thank you.”. If you’re looking to farm out any work 😉 just let me know. Bye.Reply to Niko
Hi Elna, Thanks for this valuable post. I want to dive into the freelancing ocean very soon and I’m happy I found your blog. Your starter tip is simple and actionable. Keep it up.Reply to Kingsley
Thanks so much! Glad you found some freelance writing tips for beginners here!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this blog post, Elna! I’m working on samples for a niche I want to try out. I wanted to make sure I put my best foot forward so I’m glad I ran across this post on Facebook. Thanks for the ever-so-valuable tips!Reply to Lizzie
Hey Lizzie! You’re welcome! Glad you found some tips to get some gigs quickly!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna you are really a teacher and a mentor your advice and everything that you publish is just do actionable can wait to complete your course and land my firs client.Reply to aba
Hey Aba, Thanks so much! Glad you are enjoying Write Your Way to Your First $1k!Reply to Elna
Thanks I found this write up inspiring and helpfulReply to Lade
Hi Elna, I’ve only been toying with the idea of freelancing and came across your site. What a wealth of information! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. If I decide to do this, I will definitely take your course first.Reply to Lynnea
Hey Lynnea, <3 Thank you so much.If you ever need help just email me!Reply to Elna
Thanks alot !! To be honest i did not know a bit about Freelancing but you nailed the topic by the title and well described in the description section of the post. You helped me alot. Thank you so much and please keep sharing good work with us. Subscribed now!!Reply to Zeeshan
Thanks so much! Glad you found some good tips to get started freelance writing quickly!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, As usual, you nailed it. One key strategy that worked so well for me when I started out as a freelance writer before I finally settled to grow my blog was building relationship with bloggers using the comments section. When you comment regularly on a blog you want to pitch a guest post for starters, it registers your name in the subconscious of the blogger that it becomes hard for them to say, no. And if you are trying to reach a popular blog with not comment section, you can begin with establishing relationship with the editor(s). Doing this gives you faster access. Best regards. EmenikeReply to Emenike
Exactly! Getting on the radar of potential clients or guest blogs is important!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thanks for sharing this. Great ideas to start a freelance writing business. I am sure this article will bring out the freelance writing skill from many hidden talents. Cheers Reji StephensonReply to Reji
Thanks so much! Glad you found some good tips to start your freelance writing business!Reply to Elna
Heii Elna, I started for some time to be a freelancer just because I was not successful. Until I gave this wonderful blog and I started to take these tips into account! And I was really successful! Thank you a thousand times! Regards !Reply to Conqueror
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the post on how to make money as a freelance writer quickly!Reply to Elna
Hey, Elna, You write a great post indeed. I was a freelancer of Upwork and worked as an SEO specialist and content writer. After that, i started my own blog and now i write for my own blog. But, i learned about bio profile sharing on social media sites. I will implement it and share my bio on major social media sites. It’s a great trick. Don’t take it negatively, i don’t want to be a freelance writer again. But, this step will help me in SEO sector. Thanks for sharing these clever tricks. Many freelance writer can get the lesson from your post.Reply to T
Hi Elna, I loved this post! I have started freelance writing a couple of months ago but haven’t had much success with finding new clients. This post gave me some insights on what I can do to improve my chances of a successful pitch. Thank you! Loved that you are starting to make infographics now! I took a short lesson on how to make them last month, and yours look great! I’m becoming passionate about that kind of visual communication, haha!Reply to Andressa
Hey Andressa, Thank you so much! Crossing my fingers that you land your first client soon! And thanks for the nice compliments on my infographics. It’s something new I’m experimenting with!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, That’s a great way to kick start when you’re tight on budget for a self-hosted website. However, it will take some time to land your first client – a nightmare that a personal website can easily combat with. On the other hand, Contently portfolio option is not out of window, even if you have that personal website. Because that can sometimes land you an unexpected gig. Please check out my personal website, if you are free. Thanks, TaseerReply to Taseer
Hi! Thanks!Yes, a website is a great lead generator but if you can’t budget for that, Contently does just fine.Reply to Elna
Thanks a lot Elna. Helped me so much in setting up my website content. I just get overwhelmed sometimes with what should be included in the homepage and in the About page. which should carry substantial information that showcase your business? regardsReply to Shei
Hi Shei, In my opinion your home page is a snapshot of the best stuff you got and your About page and other pages dive deeper into what you offer! I hope this helps!Reply to Elna