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How To Become A Freelance Writer: A Step-By-Step Guide

A lot of us have voices we wish to be heard. Sometimes, we just want to sit down, type on our keyboard, and post it on the web.

Actually, writing isn’t always limited to our personal thoughts.

Let’s say you’re an expert in hair products, DIY crafts, or IT. For sure, you feel like you could help others seeking guidance on this matter.

Knowing how to become a freelance writer means learning to share your knowledge and skills online. Think of it as a way to compel, engage, and inform millions of people by your words.

Even better, you’ll have the chance to earn a decent amount of income on the side.

As you read along, you’ll be amazed by how lucrative this freelance industry can be and how you can easily become a freelance copywriter with six simple steps.

An Overview of a Freelance Writers: A Primer

Freelance writing is a career that offers a unique work arrangement between companies and independent writers.

Unlike traditional employer-employee relationships, these writers are hired on a project basis, where they provide their expertise and skills to create various types of written content.

If you want to make money from blogging, this may be a lucrative career for you. It’s a flexible gig that allows you to showcase your writing prowess while working on your terms.

What’s more exciting is that your potential clients may come from different industries.

Whether you’re crafting compelling blog posts, informative articles, or persuasive marketing copy, your words can captivate readers and deliver the intended message effectively.

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Freelance Writers

To become a successful freelance writer, you must have excellent writing skills, be organized and able to meet deadlines, have strong research skills, and communicate with clients effectively.

Depending on the type of writing you will be doing, you may also need knowledge in a specific field or subject.

Who Should Consider a Freelance Writer Career Path?

A freelance writer career path is an excellent option for anyone who enjoys writing, is self-motivated, and has vital research and communication skills.

Additionally, it is a perfect option for those looking for flexibility in their schedule and the potential to make a good income.

Who Should Not Consider a Freelance Writer Career Path?

Freelance writing is not for everyone.

Those looking for a more secure job with a set schedule and income should consider other career paths.

Additionally, those lacking the writing and communication skills to succeed as freelance writers should reconsider their decision.

Is It Hard To Become a Freelance Writer?

While the path to becoming a freelance writer can be challenging, it is not impossible.

Those willing to put in the time and effort to build their skills and gain experience can succeed in this field.

Additionally, having a solid understanding of the industry, good networking skills, and a business plan can help ensure success.

What Do I Need To Become a Freelance Writer?

To become a successful freelance writer, you will need to have excellent writing skills, be organized and able to meet deadlines, have strong research skills and communicate with clients effectively.

Additionally, having a portfolio of your work, setting up a website or blog, and understanding the industry are all important aspects of becoming a freelance writer.

Requirements for Becoming a Freelance Writer

The requirements for becoming a freelance writer vary slightly from country to country.

Still, some universal factors need to be taken into consideration before beginning a career as a freelancer.

To start, you will need to determine your writing style and what type of projects you are comfortable taking on.

Freelance writers specialize in one or two areas, so it’s essential to know your strengths and weaknesses.

What Skills Does a Freelance Writer Need?

Freelance writers need to have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.

This includes the ability to express ideas clearly and concisely and to listen and understand what clients are asking for.

  • Excellent writing skills (grammar, punctuation, and spelling)
  • In-depth research skills (gathering accurate and relevant information)
  • Time management (managing multiple projects and meeting deadlines)
  • Editing and proofreading (delivering clear and error-free content)
  • Communication skills (communicating effectively with clients and editors)
  • SEO knowledge (knowing the basics of search engine optimization)
  • Creativity and originality (finding fresh ideas and approaches)
  • Marketing and self-promotion (knowing how to advertise your services)

What Education Does a Freelance Writer Need?

Most freelance writers do not need a college degree to be successful.

However, having some education in writing and communications can be beneficial.

Many freelance writers begin their careers by taking classes or completing some writing certification program.

What Experience Does a Freelance Writer Need?

Gaining experience in writing is essential for freelance writers.

This experience can include anything from completing projects on a volunteer or paid basis to interning with a writing or communications company.

Once you have experience and a portfolio of work, it’s time to start marketing yourself, including building a website, joining social media networks, and looking for freelance jobs online.

What You’ll Need to Start Freelance Writing

To get started with your freelance writing career, you’ll need the following skills and tools:

What You’ll Need to Become a Freelance Writer [& Associated Costs]

​​Do you think you’re ready to kickstart your successful freelance writing career? First, check if you have these items prepared before cold pitching and submitting your resume on a job board.

1. Tools of the Trade

You’ll require a reliable laptop or desktop computer equipped with a suitable writing program. Freelance writing isn’t a pen-and-paper type of gig anymore.

A sturdy and efficient machine is vital for creating content and including images as needed. A laptop can be as affordable as $700, and a high-end one costs $1,300.

But if you already have a working computer, you don’t need to buy another one.

  • Computer/laptop
  • Internet connection
  • Word processing software
  • Grammar/spell checkers
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Project management tool
  • Cloud storage
  • Invoicing/payment tool
  • Communication tools (email, messaging apps, or video conferencing)

2. Establishing Your Online Presence

Setting up a professional website is crucial to showcase your skills and attract potential clients. This will be your resume which you can send anywhere in the globe.

The cost of website hosting can vary, with options ranging from free platforms to as low as $2 per month for affordable hosting services. 

3. Building Your Portfolio

You must also have a portfolio of writing samples related to your client’s target audience. This includes blog posts, articles, or relevant written content showcasing your style and expertise.

In addition, creating a blog or contributing to reputable platforms can help you establish credibility.

4. Internet Connectivity

As a freelance writer ready to create online articles, you should always have an internet connection. It ensures uninterrupted client communication, seamless research, and timely content delivery. This can be between $20 to $100 a month.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Freelance Writer?

The costs of becoming a freelance writer can vary based on your specific needs and what you already have.

At most, you may shell out $1,500 to start this career, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do freelance work without spending anything.

You can slowly work your way up by utilizing what’s available to you and making small investments from time to time.

Is It Hard to Become a Freelance Writer?

Becoming an aspiring freelance writer requires dedication, time management skills, and the ability to hustle for gigs.

While the path may not be easy, anyone can start their journey in the freelance writing industry today, regardless of having a degree.

To succeed, develop strong writing skills and continuously refine them. Good writing forms the foundation of attracting potential clients and providing exceptional writing services.

Whether it’s technical writing or academic essays, honing your craft is crucial.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Freelance Writer?

The journey to succeed in online writing isn’t the same for everyone. But there are ways to help you achieve your goals quickly.

For instance, finding gigs involves proactive measures like utilizing job boards and optimizing your visibility through search engine optimization. Cold pitching can secure new clients and paid work. Networking with other writers and hiring guest writers can lead to collaborations and referrals.

How to Become a Freelance Writer in 6 Simple Steps

Ready to be seen in print magazines and social media? Here’s the step-by-step process to become a good writer.

Step One: Discover Your Writing Niche, Or Don’t

You can start by identifying your writing niche.

Do you want to be a niche writer tackling science, a technical writer who talks about investments, a professional writer for a legal institute, or a business writing enthusiast?

Determine the topics you’re passionate about and possess expertise in. However, it’s okay not to be tied up with a specific niche. You can explore different subjects and experiment until you find your interest.

Step Two: Build Your Portfolio or Blog

Creating a solid portfolio or blog is crucial for showcasing your skills and attracting clients.

Select your best writing samples or create new ones that align with your chosen niche and compile them into a professional portfolio.

Alternatively, start a blog where you can regularly publish high-quality content to demonstrate your writing prowess.

Step Three: Market Yourself Through Guest Posting

Consider posting on established blogs within your niche to expand your reach and gain exposure as a freelance writer.

Reach out to blog owners and offer to write a guest post in exchange for a byline and link back to your portfolio or blog. This increases your visibility and establishes you as an authoritative voice in your field.

Step Four: Utilize Writing Tools and Resources

Enhance your writing process and efficiency by leveraging various writing tools and resources.

Grammarly helps you polish your writing and eliminate errors, while project management tools like Trello or Asana assist in organizing your tasks and deadlines.

If you choose to create your blog, platforms like WordPress provide user-friendly interfaces for seamless content management.

Step Five: Find Freelance Writing Jobs and Pitch Your Work

The key to securing freelance writing jobs is active pitching and consistent effort.

Explore job boards and freelance marketplaces that cater to writers, such as Upwork or Freelancer. Craft compelling pitches tailored to the needs of potential clients and highlight your skills and relevant experience.

Don’t be discouraged by rejections; persistence is essential in this competitive field.

Step Six: Invest in Continuous Skill Improvement

To thrive as a freelance writer, never stop investing in your skills. You can take a freelance writing course to improve your writing techniques, explore different writing styles, and learn about content marketing strategies.

Continuously evolving as a writer will open doors to more opportunities and help you stand out.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Freelance Writer

In the gig economy, becoming a freelance writer brings countless advantages over a traditional full-time position.

Here are four compelling reasons why you should consider being a successful freelance writer:

  • Freedom to Work on Your Terms: You can choose when, where, and how you write. You’re not tied down to a rigid schedule, allowing you to pursue other interests and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Unlimited Earning Potential: Unlike fixed-salaried jobs, freelance writing work offers the possibility of earning more as you grow your client base and refine your skills. The sky’s the limit when it comes to your income potential in the gig economy.
  • Diverse Range of Projects: Freelance writing exposes you to various projects covering various industries and topics. From writing a blog post to crafting engaging social media posts, each day brings fresh opportunities to expand your horizons.
  • Endless Learning Opportunities: As a freelance writer, you’ll continuously learn and improve your craft. You’ll encounter different writing styles, tackle various subjects, and refine your research and communication skills, making each project a valuable learning experience.

Tips to Succeed at Freelance Writing

To succeed in the world of freelance writing, consider the following tips:

  • Specialize: You need to focus on one or more specific niches to showcase your expertise and attract targeted clients.
  • Build a Portfolio: Create a professional portfolio with your best writing samples to impress potential clients.
  • Meet Deadlines: Delivering high-quality work on time is the key to establishing a solid reputation as a freelancer.
  • Network: Connect with other writers, editors, and clients to expand your opportunities and gain referrals.
  • Constant Learning: Stay updated on industry trends, writing techniques, and new skills to remain competitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Clients Hire Writers Without Writing Experience?

Yes, there are opportunities for beginner freelance writers. You can start by offering your services to a small business owner or creating a blog to showcase your skills.

Do I Need a Bank Account for My Freelance Writing Business?

Yes, having a bank account is essential for freelance writers. It allows you to receive payments from clients conveniently and professionally.

Do Freelance Writers Own Their Work?

It depends on the client and the contract.

In most cases, the copyright belongs to the client if you are paid for a piece of writing.

However, there may be instances where the freelance writer owns the copyright.

How Much Do You Charge for a 500 Word Article?

This will depend on the client and the project.

However, many freelance writers charge between $50 and $150 for a 500-word article.

However, many freelance writers, with experience, are able to charge even more.

Wrapping Up

Starting a freelance writing career requires a lot of writing, editing, pitching, and more writing.

But as you hone your skill and gain bits of experience, you can build a portfolio that’ll be in demand for freelance writing clients.

Do you have tips for landing freelance writing gigs or questions about this industry?

We’re excited to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with your fellow writers.