How to become a freelance writer

become a freelance writer

The following blog post is an excerpt of the ‘How to Get Clients as a Freelance Writer‘ eBook, which is currently available for free to download… check it out here!

If you love writing and want to have a flexible career where you can work from anywhere (and not spend money on expensive software) becoming a freelance writer is a great option. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection – that’s it!

Whether you’re new to freelance writing or just want more information on how to find work and clients, this resource should answer some of the most pressing questions about earning a living as a freelance writer.

What kind of freelance writing can you do?

One of the biggest myths that exists about writing, is that “it doesn’t pay the bills”, or that “it is a low paying career”. Perhaps this was at one time true about certain types of writing, but with the growth of the gig economy and widespread use of the internet, great writers are becoming more and more in-demand.

Writers are needed to write content for websites, social media, blog posts, emails and so much more. Here are just a few examples of the type of writing work you can get that both pays well, and allows you to work from home.

Blogging for businesses

You might already know that blogging can earn you income, but you probably think that just means having your own blog, right?

Maintaining a blog involves a lot of work and financial success is not guaranteed, even if you write every single day. If you don’t want to start a blog, or you want to make money from your writing sooner, you can actually become a corporate blogger (blogging on behalf of a company) instead.

According to MarTech Advisor, the content marketing industry is set to be worth $412.88 billion by 2021. That’s a lot of money.

This means businesses have the budgets to pay writers to write their blog posts.

So why are blogs important for business?

Blogs can help organisations communicate with their customers, rank in search engines and sell their products and services. Blogging is one of the most popular ways to make a living as a writer and I’m including it at the top of this list because it is by far, my personal favourite freelance writing job.

Brands will pay anywhere from $50-$1000 and sometimes more for a high-quality article to keep their blog updated. Rates vary depending on your level of experience as well as additional skills (such as SEO).

Blogging can provide tremendous value to a business by bringing in traffic and attracting an audience, so you’ll be able to charge based on the value you are bringing to them. The great thing about blogging is that it is often ongoing, giving you a consistent income stream and you can get a solid income from writing a few articles per month for several clients.

Copywriting

Copywriting can refer to any content that has a marketing goal, whether that’s website copy, marketing emails, flyers, ads and everything of that nature. Copywriters can charge based on their area of focus (website copy, sales copy, email copy etc), the results they bring and the experience they have.

eBook or whitepaper writing

Most people who can’t write or don’t have the time will hire an eBook writer to write their book or research paper. eBooks can be fiction or non-fiction, it depends on the type of writer you want to be. If you’re interested in this type of work this popular course by writer Jim Edwards teaches you how to write, publish and sell your eBook or this course which shows you how to write a best-selling book in just 24 hours.

Whitepapers on the other hand, are research papers that can be quite complex, which make it a very lucrative area. Some whitepaper writers charge upwards of thousands of dollars to write a single whitepaper.

Guest blogging

A lesser known way to make money as a freelance writer is through guest blogging. This refers to writing a blog post on a third-party publication on behalf of an individual or company, to help them gain exposure. It is commonly used as an SEO link building technique. Your role might include contacting publications to write to as well as writing the article.

Ghostwriting

Did you know that most CEOs and other industry leaders don’t write their own blog posts, speeches or social media posts? They simply don’t have the time – but they still need to be seen as thought leaders in their community, so they hire ghostwriters to help shape their words and share their message. While you do not get the personal credit for this work, you certainly get paid generously for your efforts.

News and journalism

Pitching news stories and getting paid as a freelance journalist is still a very popular way to make a living as a freelance writer. Some news publications do accept pitches and proposals, but you will have to contact their editors to find out how they work with their freelancers. It may be a good idea to establish a relationship with an editor first to build trust.

Finding paid writing work

There are many websites and online publications that pay writers, but they can be hard to find and it’s difficult to figure out how much they pay.

One of the most useful websites for freelance writers is Who Pays Writers – I highly recommend you check it out! You can browse this site and find out exactly which publications pay, how much they pay and whether they’re easy to work with. This is a great site to bookmark in case you ever come across a website you’re not sure about.

 Now, let’s look at some sites where you will find freelance writing jobs:

The How To Get Clients As a Freelance Writer eBook has a full list of job boards and websites that pay writers… make sure you check it out!

Article selling sites

These sites let you sell your pre-written articles and blog posts:

The rates for these websites are generally low so they may not be the best source of full-time income as a writer. They might be able to make you some extra side income, especially if you’re a fast writer.

How to find freelance writing clients

  • Reach out to your network
  • Find companies to cold email through Google
  • Use LinkedIn to network
  • Join Facebook groups
  • Reach out to start ups – check out crunchbase for start ups that have recently received funding
  • Consider working in a co-working space with other freelancers who may be able to give you work
  • Consider seasonal content – Christmas is busy for retailers, Valentines day is busy for florists and gift shops. They often stock up on products during these times meaning they need product descriptions.

How to become a successful freelance writer

Making a living as a freelance writer doesn’t just have to be a “dream”, it can be a reality if you work hard to make it happen.

If you want to learn more (and I always encourage others to keep learning), I’ve compiled some of my favourite resources on becoming a freelance writer that I’d like to share with you.

These include courses from other reputable freelance writers who are teaching the things they have learned, sharing their knowledge on the topic of becoming a freelance writer:

Maggie Linders’ Freelance Writing Riches the Ultimate Course on making 6 figures with freelance writing

Maggie is an experienced freelance writer who shares her successful strategies for becoming a 6-figure freelance writer. You can check out her entry-level course right here, it’s packed full of invaluable information!

Laura Pennington’s My Freelance Paycheck

My Freelance Paycheck is a program packed with crucial information on how to get started as a freelance writer. It is the only income strategy that reveals how people all over the world are earning part-time and even full-time income by writing and uploading content. You can check it out here!

For the full eBook resource + more tips on how to find clients – download the eBook ‘How to Get Clients as a Freelance Writer’ today!