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A Freelance Writing ‘How-To’


With a sufficient grasp of language, business acumen, and enough drive and dedication, you can become a successful freelance writer on the Internet. Many people dream of freelance writing as a means to becoming self-employed or starting their own business in order to escape the rat race and take control of their own destiny. If this sounds like you, explore the options outlined below. However, always start with a clear understanding of what freelancing is and whether you truly have what it takes to make a living as a writer.

What Is Freelance Writing?

Although working for an employer may lack a sense of freedom you desire, it does provide security that you cannot find as a freelancer in many cases. Freelancing means you are self-employed and you are 100% responsible for your income and all career growth or failure that may come your way.

In the beginning, it either takes a lot of time or money to establish yourself as a respected writer who brings in income high enough to support yourself and your family. Freelancing is not a get rich quick scheme or an option for many people. It is important to be objective when it comes to determining if this is the right path forward for you or not.

Objectively Assess Your Skills and Improve Them

Can you write well enough to call yourself a professional? It is difficult to judge your own skill levels especially before you get feedback from outside sources. Even if you are a great writer, it takes more than that to succeed in a freelance career. Are you interested in investigative journalism? You will need to know a lot about politics, the economy, and related topics. Do you prefer to work online and help create blog posts and website content? You will also need skills in search engine optimization (SEO). No matter what path you take, you need to also market yourself effectively as a desirable option for companies who need writing work done.

Can you learn all these skills and become successful? Yes. One of the most important things about making a living as a freelance writer is to constantly grow and improve your abilities and understanding of how what you can do benefits people willing to pay for it.

Educate Yourself and Improve

Can you learn all these skills and become successful? Yes. One of the most important things about making a living as a freelance writer is to constantly grow and improve your abilities and understanding of how what you can do benefits people willing to pay for it. Although there are many resources to help, your best bet may be to enrol in an online writing course specifically tailored to
your career intentions. This will give you all the necessary information with clear guidance on what you need to make yourself marketable as a freelance writer. Best of all, Internet-based classes give you the flexibility and accessibility to study when you have time in your busy schedule.

Choose a Writing Focus or Niche

With the amount of content published every day especially on the Internet, freelance writers have a huge opportunity to make money. You may be tempted to adopt a “I can do it all!” attitude. While you may have wide ranging skills, it may be more useful to your career overall to choose a specific niche or specialty instead. Some options include SEO blog posts, nonfiction e-books, video script writing, ad copy writing, technical white papers, and more. You can also focus on unique subjects like business, fashion, or health-related topics.

As long as the focus or niche you choose has enough opportunities, you may have a better chance of earning a full-time income this way. Specialization lets you present yourself as the expert that is in high demand. This helps you charge more per piece.

Research Freelance Writing Opportunities

As a freelancer, you need to know about the writing industry as a whole. Explore the opportunities and truly understand what it takes to get involved. This requires business knowledge and the ability to market yourself effectively as well. Writing opportunities abound on the Internet. Over 4 million new blog posts get published online every single day, for example, and a freelance writer is behind many of them. 

Three Options for Earning Online

The Internet offers innumerable ways to earn money. When you narrow that topic down to freelance writing alone, you still have three main options to choose from. These include:

• Freelance gig or bidding sites
• Doing spec projects for clients directly
• Pitches to publications

All three of these are viable ways to earn money as a freelance writer. Many self-employed professionals do more than one at the same time. The old adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket is exceptionally important for freelancers.

Freelance Gig or Bidding Sites – Places like Fiverr or Upwork allow you to either offer writing services or bid on projects directly. There are also sites frequently referred to as ‘content farms’ that pay a very low per-word amount for articles and blog posts.

Spec Project for Clients – People who need writing will either find your online portfolio or identify you on a professional platform like LinkedIn and hire you or you can submit your CV and application to them for posted projects.

Pitches to Publications – Websites, magazines, and other publications of imposed submission guidelines or contact information for acquisition editors. If you have an excellent, relevant, and unique idea for an article or other piece of writing, you can pitch it to them directly.

Create an Impressive Writing Portfolio

One of the most important tools you need as a self-employed writer is online writing portfolio. A website is usually the best option although some people use publishing platforms where they can post their own content instead. Design it well, make it look good, and add the best examples of your work. If possible, also include past client jobs with your byline attached and testimonials or reviews from satisfied customers. Of course, if you have had anything published in a magazine or a major media platform, include that information prominently.

Set Up for Day-To-Day Business Operations

While writing may take up the bulk of your time in your freelance career, you will also need to update your website, seek out new opportunities, pitch articles to publishers, answer emails, handle finances, and more. Make a schedule, stick to it, and always leave extra time for surprises or unexpected tasks. It helps to have organizational apps, robust software suites like Microsoft Office, which is standard in the industry, and a dedicated phone number for your business.

Dive In and Keep on Swimming!

There is no “set it and forget it” systems you can fall back on as a freelance writer alone. While the skills in content creation and marketing can set you up for other online business ideas, that takes more than his outlined in this article. The most important thing is to get started, take action, and work hard to reach your goals. Keep learning and perfecting your writing ability and how you reach out to potential clients and publications if you want to enjoy long-term success.

We offer a 100hr freelance writing course that provides you with 1-on-1 tutor support to get you launched on your freelance writing career.

Editing Skills

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