What Is A Freelance Writer?
Freelance writing is quickly becoming a popular earning opportunity. Do you have what it takes?
The “Great Resignation” has seen millions of people rethink how they define “work.” The days of the 9–5 are long gone — replaced with remote and hybrid opportunities. Many are fed up with the traditional workforce and are looking for opportunities to make money outside of the corporate world.
One such opportunity can be found in the brave new world of freelancing. From design and programming to marketing and sales, more and more people are embracing the freelance lifestyle.
The benefits are clear — you make your own hours, you’re in control of your workload, and best of all, you get to be your own boss. (While figuring out your own taxes, of course!)
An increasingly popular freelance option is writing. Whether writing sales copy as an industry copywriter or creating social media and marketing content, freelance writing can be a lucrative and fast-growing career.
But what does it really mean to be a freelance writer? What does the day-to-day involve, and is it as glamorous as it sounds?
If you wonder if a freelance writing career is right for you, read on for an insider’s view of what it’s like to be a freelance writer.
What Do You Do as a Freelance Writer?
As a freelance writer, you are responsible for researching and writing content on a variety of topics.
Your clients may include magazines, websites, businesses, or individuals.
The type of content you create can be just as varied: from blog posts and articles to ebooks and even marketing collateral.
In short, as a freelance writer, you are a one-person content creation machine — who gets paid to do what you love!
How Do Freelance Writers Get Paid?
There are a few different ways that freelance writers can get paid. The most common is by the word or article, which means you will be paid a certain amount for each piece of content that you produce.
Another common method is per project, which means you and the client will agree on a total price for the project before any work begins.
The final way to get paid is hourly, though this is less common in the world of freelance writing.
Hourly rates can be a great option if you are just starting out or if you prefer to be paid for your time instead of by the project — or if you are partnering with an agency.
Each style of payment has its pros and cons — the key is to ensure that you are getting paid what you are worth.
How much is that? It depends on several factors, including your experience, the type of content you are creating, and the length of the piece.
As a general rule, newer writers can expect to earn $0.01-$0.10 per word, while more experienced writers with a strong portfolio can command up to $1.00 per word or more!
How Do I Start Writing as a Freelance Writer?
The great thing about freelance writing is that you don’t need any formal qualifications — all you need is a passion for writing and a willingness to learn.
That said, if you are just starting out, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of success:
1. Build a strong portfolio.
When you’re first starting out, it can be challenging to get your foot in the door. One way to overcome this is by building a strong portfolio that showcases your best work.
Not only will this give you something to show potential clients, but it will also help you hone your skills and learn what types of writing you enjoy the most.
2. Find your “niche.”
There are a lot of freelance writers out there, so it’s essential to find your niche and focus on writing about topics that you are passionate about.
This will help you stand out from the crowd and attract clients who are looking for writers with your specific skillset.
3. Stay up to date with the latest trends.
The world of writing is always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends. This includes everything from new writing styles to changes in SEO best practices.
By keeping up with the latest trends, you’ll be able to offer your clients the most up-to-date and relevant content possible.
Do You Need Qualifications to be a Freelance Writer?
As we mentioned before, you don’t need any formal qualifications to be a freelance writer. However, if you want to increase your chances of success, a few courses you can take will teach you the basics of writing and help you build a strong foundation for your career.
One of the best ways to get started is by taking an online course from a reputable source, such as Udemy or Skillshare.
These courses will cover everything from grammar and punctuation to effective writing techniques and tips for landing clients.
Taking a course is a great way to learn the ropes and get started on the right foot — but it’s not necessary to be successful as a freelance writer.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have a passion for writing and a willingness to learn.
Next Steps to Becoming A Freelance Writer
If you’re ready to start your freelance writing career, there are a few practical steps you can take to get started right now — even while you are still stuck in your 9–5.
1. Find Gigs on Freelance Job Boards
One of the best ways to find writing gigs is by searching on freelance job boards. Websites such as Fiverr and UpWork are great resources for writers of all levels of experience, and they can be a great way to land your first few clients.
These sites will take a portion of your earnings, but they offer great ways to build a portfolio for larger client projects.
2. Pitch Clients Directly
Another option is to pitch clients directly. If you are of the timid variety, this can seem scary.
However, cold pitching can be a great way to land higher-paying gigs, as you’ll be able to negotiate your rate directly with the client. Plus, these clients can often turn into long-term partnerships!
3. Start a Blog
One of the best ways to attract clients is by starting a blog and writing great content.
This will not only showcase your writing skills, but it will also help you build a strong portfolio that you can show to potential clients. Writing every day is also a great way to boost your skills!
4. Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with potential clients and market your services. By creating a strong online presence, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and land more writing gigs.
Plus, you’ll get a feel for online content writing — which is a fast-growing writing niche.
The World is Your Notebook
Now that you know a bit more about what it takes to be a freelance writer, it’s time to get out there and start pitching clients.
You can build a successful career as a freelance writer with hard work and dedication. The opportunities are out there — you just have to go out and find them!
Take it slow and commit yourself to learning as you go — and pretty soon, you’ll be on your way to a successful freelance writing career.
What tips would you give an aspiring freelance writer? Let me know in the comments below!