Many people believe that to get involved in any occupation, you need some level experience. However, lots of freelancers start their professional life in a completely different field. So, it is entirely possible to start a freelance writing career with zero experience.
If you have no experience in writing, you can take a sigh of relief. There is nothing- except yourself- stopping you from becoming a successful freelance writer.
The steps to success, on the other hand, can be somewhat tricky if you do not know the industry very well. Luckily, with the constant presence of the internet, it is never too late to become the writer you aspire to be.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please read the full disclosure policy for more info.
Learn how to earn your first $1k as a newbie freelance writer! Taught by an experienced and successful freelancer.
What You Need Before Starting as a Freelance Writer
While experience is not a deal-breaker for freelance writing, you do need to have motivation and confidence. Most freelance writers work from home.
There are no definitive work times and breaks, so it is up to you to keep things organized and ready for the day. Additionally, if you don’t have the motivation to get into freelance writing, then maybe this is not the path for you.
To be a freelance writer also means that you have to have a level of confidence in yourself. You cannot be afraid to put yourself out there and be marketable.
Employers cannot see your talents if you do not show them. Be yourself, and be proud of your writing. The chances are that you’ll receive criticism at one point or another- but all writers do! Be confident in your abilities and your willingness to learn.
Aside from the personal traits needed to be a freelancer, some other steps in how to become a freelance writer are to possess basic technological supplies.
The most essential is a computer or laptop. Almost all of your writing is done on the computer. It is the fastest and most efficient way to write, edit, and share your work.
Along with this, you need an email address, if you do not have one already. Most occupations require an email, and being a freelancer is no different.
To keep motivation at a high level, experienced freelancers recommend having a designated work area to do your work. Utilize or invest in a desk. They make everything much more organized and less overwhelming. Plus, it is difficult to work where you also relax.
Tips for Creating a Freelance Writing Career
You don’t need experience to become a freelance writer. However, you have to start somewhere. It may be a while before you start to get paid on a larger scale.
Don’t let that discourage you, though. Most writers have to work without pay for a little bit before getting hired. Here are some tips to help you jump-start your freelance writing career.
1. Start Your Own Website or Blog
The easiest and cheapest way to showcase your writing is through a website. So, make your own! Use my step-by-step guide for creating a blog that walks you through everything.
You can easily set up a site that shows your writing style and more. Include a bio that shares information about you, making you more marketable to potential employers.
The best way to have a cohesive website is to pick a topic that you like to write about and then write about it! Plus, you can be as creative as you want with your site.
Include blog posts and writing samples that showcase your talents. It is an easy way to share your creativity and writing abilities.
Having a website or blog does not have to be costly either. There’s no need to purchase a fancy platform, but some freelancers recommend looking into buying a URL with your name.
This can establish yourself more officially as a writer. I go over all of the steps you should take here.
No matter what you do, having a blog is one of the best ways to get started in freelance writing.
2. Write Samples
Writing samples are an excellent way to build a portfolio and show potential clients your work. The easiest way to write samples is to write a blog post.
However, this does not need to have a connection with your online blog or website. Your samples can be their own entity.
Write about something that inspires you or makes you feel passionate. Find your obsession, write about it, and share it with future clients.
3. Guest Post
Aside from creating samples and adding to your personal blog, guest posting is another great way to establish a background in freelancing.
Guest posting is adding your work to another website. It is great exposure and a good chance for you to practice your skills. To find a website looking for guest posts, simply search the term “guest post” and the topic in any search engine.
You can find lots of sites looking for fresh, new content. Websites have different ways of sending in work. They may require you to submit several ideas for content, or they may ask for an entire draft. Either way, guest posting can open doors in freelancing.
4. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a great way to spread the word about your writing. It is not the most efficient way to showcase your work, but platforms like Facebook and Instagram are perfect for making announcements and sharing updates about your writing.
Now, it can be challenging to increase your following- because without followers, what’s the point? To gain followers, you should post about your work often.
Make your profile about your writing, but also think about the aesthetics. Lots of people follow others for the way they present the information. Be yourself, be creative, and have fun sharing your work.
Networking opens up so many doors and can help you get advice that you need- especially if you have no experience in freelance writing. Contact some successful freelancers and ask questions.
How do they set their rates? Where do they look for jobs? Networking can be very beneficial.
Additionally, companies and other employers look for freelancers based on recommendations. When a potential client asks a busy writer for work, the writer is more likely to recommend another. This is where you come in as a result of networking.
Networking can be an intimidating task, and others view it as an unfair way to gain leverage in an industry. However, it does not have to be that way.
Get involved in local writer’s groups or attend writing events. This can be a great way to meet other freelance writers and gain insight into the writing industry.
6. Accept and Appreciate Criticism
Almost, if not all, writers experience rejection or criticism. Going into the writing industry guarantees some form of criticism one way or another, especially if you have no experience as a freelancer.
However, being scared of criticism or rejection is worse than actually experiencing it. This is where that essential confidence comes into play.
While you shouldn’t ignore criticism or rejection, you should be open to learning from it. There is no one correct way to write; it is a fluid process that requires editing, critiquing, and fitting the needs of clients.
You are going to experience rejection or criticism, but the best thing to do is to listen and learn from it. This is how you get that experience and how you become the best writer you can be.
7. Understand that Success Takes Time
When you want to become a freelance writer and you’re low in the experience department, you need to understand that you aren’t going to find success overnight.
Even some of the most talented writers worked for a long time before finding real success. So, do not be so hard on yourself.
You may not get paid within your first week as a freelancer. However, when you start writing, keep writing. Your abilities and talents grow stronger as you practice.
So, stick to seeking out opportunities and stay dedicated to developing your website. Full time writing jobs come with dedication and hard work.
Want faster results and someone to walk you through the steps? Check out “Write Your Way to Your First $1k.” It’s taught by an experienced freelance writer. She’s making bank now but started out just like you.
What Is the Daily Routine of a Freelance Writer?
Not all freelance writing jobs are the same; that’s why they are freelance. You never know what to expect.
Some work part-time, and others work full time, and some work from home or they have a designated office. Despite the flexibility of being a freelance writer, there are similarities among freelancers and their routines.
Most freelancers start their day by going through emails and responding to clients. Contact through email is essential for freelance writers. This is how they conduct most of their business.
Another primary task is sorting out payment. You must keep all fees in order; otherwise, it is hard to make a living off of freelance writing. Contact clients to make sure they have their dues turned in on time, and keep track of how much you earn for tax purposes.
Freelance writers dedicate the majority of the day to writing. Whether its blog posts, articles, or interviews, there are so many ways freelancers can write. This part of the routine varies from writer to writer.
Since freelancers usually work from home, you must keep your own designated routine to prevent procrastination. Start your day and complete different tasks at specific times.
This keeps you in check and helps you stay motivated. Also, having a designated office space really helps keep a fine line between your work and home life.
How Much Money Can a Freelance Writer Make?
Your salary as a freelance writer depends significantly on how much work you get and how much you charge clients. There is no set salary that anyone makes in freelance writing.
To get a steady stream of money most efficiently, charge clients a flat rate for each project. Do not charge an hourly rate. If you are a fast writer, this serves you no benefit.
If you intentionally take a long time to finish projects, then you can have unhappy clients. Communicate with clients about how much you charge for every hundred words.
For a 1000 word blog post, you can start with charging $35. This is an easy way to track pricing and get the money you deserve. As you gain more experience, you can charge more from clients.
According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for freelance writers is $52,807 per year. This is an average ranging from $33,000 to $83,000 per year.
As you start in freelance writing, you are not going to make a lot of money. However, as you gain more experience and clients, you can earn a salary on the upper end of the scale. So, keep working, keep adding to your blog, and keep up the determination.
Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
There are several field specialties of freelance writing jobs. Beginners can look into speechwriting, ghostwriting, blog posts, and more.
Small businesses are always looking for people to save them time with writing. They often rely on freelancers to write in their blogs, write for email marketing, and other things that promote their business.
The easiest way to find beginner freelance writing jobs is through the internet. Start by searching “freelance writing jobs.” This can open you up to potential clients and businesses to work for.
Another source for finding work is to get Linkedin. It is an excellent social network to meet clients and interact with other professional writers- especially if you do not know anyone in the industry.
If you have a website, you can also include a contact page so that potential clients who read your blog can quickly get in touch with work.
Changing careers can be an intimidating and overwhelming step in life. So is trying something new without any prior knowledge. Luckily, freelance writing does not require an intricate background in the field.
You can get started as soon as today. Modern technology, like the internet, allows you to build a career from behind a computer screen. However, this does not mean you should hide there. Be open, be social, and network with other writers to learn.
Having no writing background does not mean you are a lost cause. No matter your age, you can always learn to be a great writer. With confidence, motivation, and willingness to learn, you can build a successful freelance writing career without any prior qualifications.