Learning how to become a freelance writer is no more a myth right now.
Everyone wants to earn some extra cash besides their 9-5 job, which is justified as you have a lot of bills to cover.
I started my career as a freelance writer. In the beginning, because of lack of required skill, I faced many difficulties and you guess what there was no one who could guide me.
Recently, I received an email, asking for some tips on how to become a freelance writer.
It got me emotional and; I got energetic that I don’t want anyone to suffer like me.
This post will cover all the points that you need to cover to start your journey with success instead of regret.
1.Writing Skills/ Research
Before choosing this career, I just want you to look at yourself
and ask if I am suitable for this career?
I know most of you think I can do much better than just writing!
Well, you are right. Writing doesn’t require you to be extraordinary, but you don’t want to spend lots of time doing what you don’t want.
You need to learn, learn, and learn along your journey. Even I learn a lot from people who are not a better writer than me (not boasting).
You need to spend time and money on learning important writing skills, which will make you stand out from the crowd selling their services at a very low cost.
I do not limit the required skills but to copywriting, content marketing, ghostwriting and blogging.
Blogging? Is that a skill?
Yes, definitely. I learned a lot from blogging; In fact, it relates all the rest of the skills to itself. If you are strong at blogging, then you are strong at anything.
Ask yourself if can write a whole day without tiring? Are my goals related to writing?
Learning on how to become a freelance writer is not something difficult but difficult to manage.
If you have survived till now (my cold start), then you can achieve your goals.
Because many people quit even before they have started, and I know you will not be among them.
Next, get into some actionable tips.
2. Choosing your Niche
Many people usually think I can earn better if I write about all the things present in the world.
Hahahaha, I have been in a similar situation like you and wanted to write about anything literally anything from Digital marketing to Lifestyle, Health and Nutrition, Tech News and so much more 🙂
This technique can make you money in the start, but as you grow, you will find yourself in the river without knowing how to swim.
As the famous proverb says, “Jack of all trades is master of none”. In the long run, you will miss out some premium clients as they want a person who knows one thing completely rather than many things and knowing nothing.
Coming to the point…
You need to focus on one topic or niche, for which you are interested to write about and have some basic knowledge as many things you will learn along your journey.
Don’t get overwhelmed about lots of choices; just write about anything you want and then narrow down your topic based on your expertise.
I found the niche I liked about a year later after I had been writing. I believe you could be a lot quicker than I was?
But keep in mind, your topics should not be 180 degrees apart.
3. Creating your portfolio
How client gonna know that you are gem writer?
This is where the requirement of a good portfolio comes in. Create a portfolio highlighting all your previous work so that clients just look at them and decide if they want to hire you.
When I first read a blog on how to become a freelance writer, the writer stated this as his first point. So, you can understand it’s importance.
How can I make a good portfolio?
Making a portfolio is easy nowadays. You can make a free website or a paid one.
By making your own website will give a positive image of you and your services, and you will be a lot closer of getting your first client. This also predicts that you are very serious about writing and it gives a professional touch.
You can also make a portfolio on LinkedIn. A study has shown that clients hire many people through their LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn also enables you to make networking with other writers out there, which I will be talking later.
But how do I showcase my work for my first job?
A thoughtful question. Continue reading and you will find your answer in the next step.
4. Guest Posting
A year ago, I heard rumors that guest posting is dead now. They were fake news with aim to repel new people coming in this industry.
Guest posting is the tried and tested technique and it continues to work and will definitely work for you in your goals of how to become a freelance writer.
Why do influencers want us before their audience? Is this a good approach for their own business?
Yeah, I thought the same, but actually it’s a win-win situation.
Those people want to publish new content regularly to feed their ever-growing audience and you want exposure to showcase your talent.
In the beginning, give free content to gain attention, but you have to change eventually as you want to make money.
Moving on a journey of how to become a freelance writer requires substantial hard work in the beginning.
Reach out to influencers in your niche, I usually use the Alexa browser extension as it gives the ranking of websites you visit.
Before applying for any website, first read their 2-3 articles and look at what they are writing about. In most cases, you will find them different from you in terms of writing style and persuading the audience.
Don’t reach out to top websites in the beginning, as you will face rejection. Reach out to smaller websites and give submit proposal.
I am sure you will find someone to start with.
5. Crafting your pitch
Here comes the most important part of how to become a freelance writer where many people fail getting their first client.
You need to answer the client’s question in a decent and different way so you can stand out from others.
If you are inexperienced, you need to pad it with some skills and your technical knowledge.
Apart from that, be persuasive politely. Because many clients quit immediately as they found you being dictating them.
If you feel rejection, don’t get frustrated rather work on improving and becoming better.
There is no site that I can recommend you to go there and you will learn all.
In fact, writing a better copy is a matter of trying and testing. One that earns me job might me not as effective for you…
I landed my first job after writing 34 proposals. I used to improve on every time I faced rejection. You can surely get a lot quicker than mine 🙂
6. Productivity Tools
Tools are essential for any writer. They help in improving our writing and increasing efficiency.
Below are some tools I used in my journey of how to become a freelance writer and still find them useful.
Grammarly: For improving writing and grammatical mistakes. They have a free version but I use a premium one which has more functionality and the most important of them is auto word suggestions which helps me to diversify my writing.
WritingPro Aid: It is a similar tool like Grammarly. This tool has a vast functionality, but it sometimes confuses. They load it with plenty of features and you can try it out.
Alexa Browser Extension: As Alexa is a premium tool but this browser extension is free to use. It will help you check the ranking of a website you visit. So, it makes it simple for the hunting of guest post opportunities.
Ubersuggest: I had used these tools for keyword research and content ideas. This is a free and beginner-friendly tool. It provides accurate matric for you to research and create opportunities in ranking your articles.
I have written a complete guide on coming up with blog ideas using ubersugges and many others, you can check it out here.
Trello: I use these tools for my task management. It free subscription is more than enough for a single writer. You can increase its functionality by paying more. You can try Evernote for making notes and much more.
Google Sheets: I use Google sheets to keep track of my projects and earning. It is free to use and more simple than Microsoft Excel. But for larger files and advanced usage, I would recommend Microsoft Excel.
7. Network, Network, and Network
I strongly suggest that you make a network with other writers around. This is where I landed my first clients during my journey of how to become a freelance writer.
Follow them and retweet or share their posts with added information in captions. This will help in catching their eyeballs.
Regularly commenting on other bloggers post will also highlight you among a massive crowd.
Provide value in the comment to another reader instead of spamming them as your IP can be banned from that site.
This would also be helpful when you would apply for a guest post, as owner would know a little about you and your post might get accepted by this mere personal touch.
Bonus: Good Practices of How to Become a Freelance Writer
I don’t want you to lack any useful information. So, here are some practices which I leaned form my own and apply them for a super aggressive start in your freelancing writing career.
1.Keeping track of project
I have mentioned the tools I used to track my project. This will save you from guesswork and it will also help you again reach out to the client that had paid you well in the past.
You also get your earning proof for any legal activities and taxes.
You also have to make a list of your earning drainage areas to help control all your expenses. (Pro Tip) Save money for dry days as they usually come often in the early days of your journey.
2. Writing Routine
The main difference between a good, and an average writer is their routine, not their skills. Stick around for a routine, as it will increase your productivity and efficiency.
This is main rule of how to become a freelance writer and make serious earning from it.
Write daily, regardless of your busy schedules. You will write less in the beginning, but with time your speed will increase.
I use momentum dash a free browser extension. This reminds me of my daily task when I open a new tab. This is helpful in achieving your daily goals.
3. Starting a Blog
If you want to be a good writer, practice a lot and a blog a good source. You just need to start a blog on any platform. This will increase your credibility and seriousness in front of an audience.
You can also make some extra cash with your blog. I would recommend you go for WordPress self-hosted blog as it has a vast functionality and sets NO boundaries for growth.
A self-hosted blog can cost you $3 a month which is cheap, considering the value you would get from it
4. Never Give Up
I have told my story of my 34 proposals, in fact, they were not just proposal but they were new hope for me which faded in the air leaving me nowhere, but I kept on and got the results.
I would suggest you think before pursuing this career, but when you have taken start then stick to it because
” A person is not failed, rather he succeeds or dies in succeeding” (A quote by me 🙂 )
You should keep working hard and improve yourself as there is room of improvement for everyone. You cannot improve if you think I know it all and I can do it better than all.
Just write different proposals and experimenting with each of them, and you will get your desired results
5. Don’t stop learning
The last tip, as discussed before. Spend a certain amount of time learning something new and valuable.
Even I spend 2-3 hours of my day reading others articles and blogs. I buy premium courses of some writers to make improvement in me.
So, I would strongly suggest you to keep learning and sharpening your skills, and your destination ( guiding othesr on how to become a freelance writer) will soon be under your feet.
I would say that you should start right now. Don’t look for tomorrow as it never comes.
You should move some initial steps even small and you would be ahead of many people looking to do anything.
Keep in mind that success comes hard and the best part about success is its journey.
Keep my words, you would enjoy more in achieving success rather than enjoying success.
I hope you have gained something from my post and had removed your doubts on how to become a freelance writer. It would be enough if I could guide even single person.
Please share your thoughts in the comment and share it with your friends so I can reach out to more people like you.