How to Become a Freelance Writer-Step-by-Step Guide
Are you juggling hard to start your career as a freelance writer? Then you have reached the right place. Here we will provide a step-by-step process on how to become a freelance writer.
Over the years, a vast number of people worldwide have joined the freelance industry. Out of which, writing is one such profession that is growing at a tremendous rate.
Here are some of the statistics which prove the same:
According to Writer.com, there are more than 1 million freelance writers globally. The number is constantly increasing year on year.
According to one study, around 38% of freelance writers work for 10 hours or less. On the contrary, 25% of freelance writers work for 11 to 20 hours.
As per Glassdoor, freelance content writers make up to about $15 to $80 per hour on Upwork.
Content writing is one such industry that is not going to die anytime soon. That is why you can join this industry without scratching your head a lot.
If you have decided to join the freelance writing industry but are confused about where to start, then you are at the correct place. We have made a streamlined process to ensure that you enter the freelance writing space without any hindrance.
Before we move on towards the main thing, let us consider some of the basics:
What is Freelance Writing?
Freelance writing is a profession in which the writer works on his/her own terms. These writers either work part-time or full-time from anywhere. They work for multiple clients or one big client who continuously provides them the work.
What Does a Freelance Writer Do?
In general, freelance writers work as a generalist. They write content for various publications and many channels. These channels can be websites, blog posts, press releases, guest posts, newsletters, proposals, and more. However, there are other kinds of writers known as specialists. These writers have mastered writing for a particular channel or industry.
Also Read: Skills required to become a freelance content writer
Is Freelance Writing a Good Career?
Yes, freelancing writing is definitely a great career. You may have a question, Why?
There are a lot of benefits when you become a freelance writer.
- You can get the writing work from anywhere provided you have an internet connection.
- You can make your own schedule and work as per the need.
- Writing is an outstanding way to prompt creativity. In addition, you can make people aware of various exciting topics on different things.
- You can take breaks when required.
- The work entirely depends on you. You can spend as much time as you want and earn money accordingly.
- Find work on many websites online and choose with whom you want to work.
- You can save a lot of money on commuting, eating out, and various other things.
- Ensuring that your work gets accepted by others is a great feeling.
- You can build better connections with other fellow writers.
- You can do different types of content writing as required.
- Opportunity to have a good work/life balance.
Also Read: What is the scope of freelance content writing?
9 Steps to Become a Freelance Writer
Here is the step-by-step process you need to follow to become a freelance writer:
1. Choose Your Niche
First and foremost, you need to decide on which category you love to write. When you choose a proper niche for writing, you can get started with the topic without investing a massive amount of time in the research. Moreover, you will write more effectively on the topic.
Here are some of the popular niches in the industry:
- Finance & Stocks
- DIY stuff
The list doesn’t end here. Here, you have to choose a niche considering its demand now and in the near future.
2. Invest in a Good Content Writing Course
You need to have a good understanding of industry-demand skills to start your career as a freelance writer. One of the best ways to acquire these skills is to enroll in a content writing course.
By doing this, you will have a complete understanding of different aspects of content writing. For instance, types of content writing, tools required to become a great writer, connect with like-minded people, and more.
Here, we recommend you to go with the IIMSkills Content Writing Course. Why?
The reason being, this course offers various benefits:
- You will get 16+ hours of live training for experts.
- You will get 10+ hours of assignments to learn & implement things practically.
- On completing the course & exam, you will get a master certification from IIMSkills.
- By enrolling in this course, you will learn different types of content writing. It includes blog writing, article writing, E-book writing, Press Release, Video Script, Emails, Brochure, and more.
- It is a comprehensive content writing course that teaches various aspects of content writing. You will learn many additional skills with content writing, such as web development, UI/UX interface, content marketing, keyword research, etc.
- You also get an opportunity to do an internship with IIMSkills.
- Learn how to use various essential content writing tools available in the industry.
- You will get placement support from IIMSkills on completing the course.
- Get lifetime access to the entire course material.
In short, the course teaches you how to become a freelance writer efficiently.
Do read IIM Skills Content Writing Course Review and apply for a free demo.
3. Study Hard to Become a Great Writer
To become a great writer, you need to constantly remain updated with the things revolving around in the industry.
Here are some of the things that you can do to become a great writer:
Read Blogs: You can subscribe to some of the best newsletters in your industry. You can also subscribe to some well-known blogs in your niche.
Further, you must read all those blogs and newsletters regularly to remain updated with the latest trends.
Watch Videos: You should watch videos of the latest things in your industry on YouTube.
4. Build Your Portfolio
Your prospects want to know your writing style and your overall quality of work. Therefore, you must make an online presence. You can start a blog for free on WordPress or Wix. If you do not want to start a blog, you can post content on Medium.
Besides this, you can also build a website and start blogging on your niche. You can later showcase your blog in your resume as well as the portfolio.
One of the other effective ways to build your portfolio is to submit your writing samples to a guest posting. These are mainly the blogs that accept guest writers. You will get a link when your blog gets published. Further, you can showcase these links to your prospects.
To find the guest posting websites in your niche, search for writing niche + writes for us. You will instantly find various blogs that accept guest contributors.
5. Pitch Yourself Wherever Possible
One of the most challenging parts of becoming a freelancer is pitching. You have to start pitching to publications and print magazines that provide guest opportunities and paid projects.
Several sites will not give any money. However, some of these might provide some money. But, in the end, all of these will help you to make your portfolio better.
Here are some of the methods you can apply to reach broader people in the industry:
- Create a persuasive pitch that you can directly share with anyone who wants a freelance writer. You might get work from a great organization.
- Pitch to well-known sites and print magazines directly. Contact the editors and share unique ideas on which you can write for them.
- Join various networking groups on social media sites and build good connections with many freelance writers. You can pitch yourself to these groups and get a good opportunity.
- You can also reach out to the freelance marketplaces, such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.com. By doing this, you might find some good opportunities there.
- Always keep your LinkedIn as well as your social media accounts updated with the latest pieces of content.
- Reach out to the companies that you like and write for their blog. Apart from this, you can create a sponsored post that highlights their products on your blog.
6. Check Out Various Job Boards
Exclusive job boards are an effective source of leads if you are searching for high-quality paid work. Various experts share details about many sites, magazines, and blogs that help you get paid work. Here are some of the popular job boards you can dig into to get started:
- Freelance Writers Den
7. Start Pushing Yourself
After you have pitched yourself, the next thing you need to do is start hustling. However, you do not always have to push yourself. The core purpose is to reach a position where clients come to you.
As a newcomer in the writing industry, this might be challenging as your name is not mentioned anywhere. Therefore, you need to market your content writing services.
Here are some of the ways you can start to market your services:
Social Media: You have to use social media for networking. Signup on leading platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Further, connect with various freelancers and businesses on these platforms. Join some of the content writing communities on Facebook and network with other fellow writers.
You can further reach out to the website owners in your niche. They might like your services and provide you a project.
Guest Posting: Apart from building your portfolio, guest posting allows you to market yourself. Whenever you submit a guest post, you get a chance to put an author bio. In this bio, you can insert the link to your website as well as social media handles.
Apart from Twitter and LinkedIn, you can make pages on Instagram and Facebook. You can use these platforms for marketing your services and sharing trending things revolving around the industry.
8. Take Reviews & Testimonials from Clients
The next task after completing some projects is to ask for testimonials from the clients. You need to request clients to provide testimonials via email or on Your LinkedIn profile. Getting good testimonials will help you gain more clients in the future.
9. Always Move Forward
After you have jumped into freelance writing, never look back. Initially, you will face a lot of challenges in your career. Moreover, you might be getting less money for your work. But, do not stop.
Here are some of the things that can help you move forward quickly:
- Start honoring new skills every month.
- Polish your existing writing skills.
- Increase your charges every year.
- Diversify your services. Start offering different services like whitepaper writing, SOP writing, Email writing, etc.
- If you are unable to complete tasks on time due to workload, then hire someone.
Check out these career-specific professional training programs from IIM SKILLS
Frequently Asked Questions about Freelance Writing
How do I become a freelance writer with no experience?
To become a freelance writer, follow the steps that we have shared above.
- Take a content writing course.
- Make your visible by posting on various leading websites like Medium.
- Publish your work on Linkedin.
- Build your own blog and start publishing on it regularly.
- Showcase your portfolio to the clients to get projects.
Is it hard to become a freelance writer?
It is challenging to become a freelance writer if you are starting. However, as soon as you start getting an idea about the market scenario, you should build your skills. Doing this, you are good to go as a freelance writer.
Can you make a living as a content writer?
Definitely, you can make a living as a content writer. It means you can find clients easily and work effectively. However, this thing requires some time and patience.
How can freelance writers charge for their work?
Freelance writers mainly charge for their work using two ways:
- Charge per work
- Charge per project
Depending on your skills & experience, you can choose to work on any of these models.
How much do freelance writers charge per hour?
A good freelance writer charges $30 to $100 per hour. However, a beginner charges anywhere between $1 to $20 per hour.
Freelancing writing is one such career whose demand will increase like never before in the coming years. If you have decided to enter the freelance writing industry, then follow the steps we have shared. Initially, the journey would not be like a walk in the park. When you become aware of things required for a freelance writer and continuously implement them, you can achieve great success.
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