Do you wish to earn a full-time living through freelance writing? Or are you looking for a part-time gig to supplement the earnings from your day job?
Are you tired of waiting for monthly paychecks that disappear as soon as they come? Or do you wish to travel the world without worrying about reporting to work on a moody Monday morning?
If any of these sounds like your worries, you’ve come to the right place.
Freelance writing is the ultimate road to freedom. It’s the kind of job that lets you live the lifestyle you want, which is why more people are quitting their day jobs to become freelance writers.
Recent statistics show that 58% of non-freelancers are now considering freelancing in the future.
I recently quit my well-paying day job to become a full-time freelance writer and am enjoying the experience so far.
My main reason for quitting was that I needed a flexible work schedule that would allow me to spend more time with my daughter, enjoy her growth milestones, travel, and have a more vibrant social life.
Now, I go hiking every weekend, meet with friends I haven’t seen for years, and even have time to explore my entrepreneurial potential.
You see, the beauty of being a freelance writer is that you can work from anywhere, anytime.
You can work:
- At home in your pajamas
- From a restaurant while sipping coffee
- At the beachside, while watching the beautiful ocean waves
- In the comfort of a quiet office with no crazy bosses ordering you around
One thing you don’t need to become a freelance writer is a university degree. Thousands of people out here are making money from blogging without any degree.
You don’t even need to be an A-student in English. I’ve heard many people use that as an excuse – “I wasn’t good at English in school. Can I make a good writer?”
Crap! There’s nothing under the moon that you can’t learn!
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to get started with no experience
- Types of freelance writing you can specialize in
- How to master the art of article writing
- Where to find freelance writing jobs
- How to build your brand as a freelancer
Getting Started With No Experience: The 5 Essentials You Need
What are some of the things you need to get started as a freelance writer?
1: A willing mindset
The most important thing you need before starting freelance writing is a willing mindset.
You must be willing and ready to learn and grow steadily since freelance writing is no get-rich-quick scheme.
You’ll go through a process of learning, executing, prospecting, making mistakes, and still pushing on.
2: A laptop
A laptop (or PC) is an essential resource for freelance writing. If you don’t have a personal laptop yet, you can readily purchase a second-hand one if you have limited financial resources.
3: Stable internet connection
Freelance writing involves a lot of research.
Google is your best friend when you’re a freelance writer. You, therefore, need a stable internet connection.
4: A niche/topic of interest
What topic do you want to write about?
Choose a topic that interests you (e.g. something you admire), you’re an expert on (e.g. your professional field), or you’re passionate about (e.g. your hobby).
The figure below shows the most popular freelance writing niches you can focus on as a freelance writer.
However, you’re not limited to these niches only. There’re several other untapped blogging niches that you can specialize in and make a fortune writing about them.
Being a gym enthusiast, I started with health and fitness due to my passion and love for fitness and healthy living. Later diversified and added digital marketing, eCommerce, and freelancing to my niche list.
5: An online presence
An online presence is also essential for you as a freelance writer. This includes your personal social media profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, etc.
I find LinkedIn professional and easier to connect with like-minded writers. I’ve also optimized My LinkedIn Profile to enable potential clients to reach me whenever they want to hire me.
Select one or two social platforms that work for you and use them to connect with fellow writers. Sharing valuable content on your profiles will attract your clients in the future.
Types of Freelance Writing
As a freelance writer, there are various types of writing you can specialize in:
Blogging is often the starting point for most freelance writers. It involves writing blog posts for your blog, another person’s blog, or a corporate blog.
There are several ways to make money blogging in 2022 that you can start leveraging today as a freelance writer.
2: Article writing
Article writing involves writing articles for print or online media (e.g Newspapers, magazines, and websites).
Copywriting is probably the most profitable and most sought-after type of freelance writing.
It involves writing content to promote a product, a service, or a brand. The demand for copywriters is rapidly rising as more brands turn to eCommerce and digital marketing to promote their businesses.
4: Social media content creation
This involves writing content to promote a brand on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Most millennial freelance writers have taken up this type of writing due to its versatile, casual, and interactive nature.
5: Proofreading and editing
As a freelance writer, you can also focus on proofreading and editing already-written articles. This field will need you to be keen on details and have a critical eye to identify flaws in articles that look perfectly written.
6: Website content creation
This type of freelance writing involves writing compelling and engaging content for websites.
Web content creators write essential pages of a website like the ‘About’ page, the landing pages, product pages, and service pages.
Expert Tip: As a beginner, start learning one type of writing at a time until you find one (or two) you enjoy most, then specialize in it.
Master the Art of Article Writing
Now you know the five essentials of freelance writing and have an idea of the types of writing you can undertake.
Let’s explore ways of learning how to write articles – good quality articles.
The following resources will help you master the art of article writing and win clients to pay you for your valuable skills.
1: Free online articles
The easiest way to learn article writing is by reading online articles.
A simple google search about ‘Article writing’ will bring you valuable results that will help you learn the nitty-gritty involved.
2: Free online courses
Thousands of free courses on article writing are also available online to help you learn and master the skill.
Most article writing websites provide free training for new writers – you only need to subscribe and start learning.
I would recommend Walter Akolo’s free mini-course for beginners since it’s the course that helped me on my feet as a new article writer.
3: Paid online courses
As you get conversant with article writing, you might want to take a few paid courses, which provide more in-depth knowledge than the free ones.
Find out how I jump-started my freelance writing career and the course that sharpened my article writing skills and helped me land higher-paying clients.
4: YouTube videos
Another excellent way to learn article writing is by watching YouTube videos.
There are thousands of videos talking about article writing that you can always watch to learn this in-demand skill.
This YouTube video, for instance, talks about article writing for beginners.
5: Social media
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and Reddit offer learning opportunities for article writing.
They have groups, pages, or communities where freelance writers connect, interact and share ideas.
Examples of groups you should join now include:
- Freelance Writers, Editors, and Proofreaders
- Freelance Content Writers
- Writing Advice to Writers from Writers
Don’t just join and mute. Be an active group member as it can help you find freelance writing jobs and land well-paying clients.
Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
Where do you find freelance writing jobs? Well, you’ll get the answer right here.
Once you learn how to write articles, it’s time to get those clients.
Start by creating two or three sample articles to show your potential clients when applying for jobs.
Article writing clients will always ask to see your sample jobs before hiring you. Make sure you have them ready (Well-researched, non-plagiarized, free of grammatical errors, and reader-friendly).
With your sample articles ready, here are some of the best places you can find paid freelance writing jobs:
- LinkedIn (Writers’ groups e.g. Content Writing Jobs and Freelance Writing Jobs)
- Facebook (Freelancer groups e.g. Content Writers Needed and the Copy Jobs Board)
- Twitter (e.g. @Writing Gigs and @WhoPaysWriters)
- Reddit (Subreddits e.g. Hire a Writer)
You can also find writing jobs by cold-pitching websites.
Some websites will pay you as much as $700 per article to write for them.
I’ve written a comprehensive list of 50 places to find freelance writing jobs that will help you get started finding paid article writing jobs.
Build Your Unique Freelance Writer Brand
Once you start freelance writing, the next step will be to build your own unique freelance writer brand.
Your brand will make you stand out from the large pool of freelancers and easily make potential clients hire you.
There are several benefits of building a unique brand as a freelancer.
A unique brand will help you establish:
- A competitive advantage over other freelance writers
So, how do you build your brand as a freelancer?
1: Choose a brand name
Use your name or find a name that resonates with your type of writing. Remember to keep it simple and memorable.
2: Create a writer website
As a newbie, you can start with the free wordpress.com website builder and upgrade to the premium version later.
3: Own your work
Write articles based on your chosen niche and publish them on your website.
These will be your portfolio articles to showcase to your potential clients. Most clients prefer published articles as compared to word or pdf documents.
4: Write guest posts
Identify a popular website or blog related to your niche and request a chance to write a guest post.
This will put your writing before a larger audience and open more doors for you as a freelance writer.
5: Engage on social media
An active social media presence will help build your brand and connect you to your target audience.
Post informative content related to your niche and engage with fellow niche writers on social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
6: Network with other freelancers
Engage with fellow freelancers online to learn more writing tips, gather advice, get referrals, and stay updated on freelance writing trends.
Expert Tip: Consistency is key! When building your freelancer brand, your consistency level will highly determine your success levels.
Final Thought: Write Your Way to Freedom!
A freelancer’s life is a life of freedom.
As you can see, freelance writing is not rocket science. Like any other skill, you only need to:
- Make up your mind
- Start learning how to write
- Put it into practice
- Make a few mistakes (it’s part of the process)
- Correct your mistakes
- Apply for writing jobs
- Make your money
- Rinse and repeat!
And like Walter Akolo says, polish your skills so much that when a client offers you work, you deliver PURE GOLD!
Watch this video for a better and more visual understanding of how to become a freelance writer even if you’re feeling like a clueless newbie (well, you can’t be clueless if you read this article to the end).
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below and I will be glad to help.