Are you looking for how to start freelance writing with no experience?
Are you trying to find a new career that will allow you more freedom in your life? You have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss how to get started as a content writer and how freelancing can be an awesome opportunity for those who want something different. Freelance writing jobs are increasing rapidly because of the growing demand!
A few years ago, I left my corporate job to travel around the world. During this time I started my own virtual assistant business where freelance writing has played a big role.
If you’re a beginner and want to learn how to be a freelance writer, this article is for you. You’ll learn how to get started as a content writer and how to make money from home by freelancing!
Disclosure; This post probably contains affiliate links. We only recommend products we use and love and all opinions expressed here are our own.
Is Freelance Writing For You?
The first thing you need to do before you look into becoming a freelance writer is to decide whether it’s a good fit for you. Start by asking yourself how much time and money you have available to dedicate to your new career, how well-connected you are in the industry, how quickly can you learn on the job.
What Are Your Career Goals?
The next step is figuring out what exactly do you want from a freelance writing career? There’s no right answer here, but there are some things to think about: how flexible of an income do you require; how much money can you expect in return for your services? What kind of work would you be most interested in? Would you like to specialize or write about a variety of topics?
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Freelance Writer?
To decide if freelance writing is something you want to do you might be wondering what skills you need.
You don’t need any specific experience to become a freelance writer but here are some of the most important skills you will need.
-Dedication and commitment
You need to be dedicated to doing your best work and committed to the long term.
-Good time management skills
You will need good time management skills because you are running a business as well as working on individual projects. You’ll also have deadlines that you must meet. If this sounds like something that would be difficult for you, consider how much more challenging it might become if children enter the picture or other life events happen along the way!
You’ll need good organizational skills so that you can track how much work you have, when your projects are due and how long it will take to complete them.
-The ability to meet deadlines
If there is one skill that all freelance writers must possess, this would be it! You won’t be able to pay the rent if clients don’t receive their invoices on time and they’re not happy with your lack of timeliness.
-Strong written communication skills
As a writer, this is very important because most of what you do for business purposes revolves around writing in some way or another. This includes emails (such as client communications), blog posts (for example), and articles such as whitepapers for companies who want to explain how their product or service works.
-A good understanding of grammar and punctuation
You don’t have to be a spelling bee champion but you do need to know how to write correctly, how to fix errors if they are pointed out by the client who gave you the assignment. You should check for spellings and grammar mistakes before completing any assignments because nobody wants mistakes in what they paid money for.
-Motivation for success
You need to have a strong motivation for success! You will be responsible for how well you do. This involves being aware of what is happening in your industry and how you can improve as an author, how to find new clients, and keep the ones that you already have.
It’s useful if you’re detail-oriented because this type of work requires attention to details. It’s important when writing articles or blog posts not only about specific topics but also about general information.
-Passion for writing and reading
It’s important to have a passion for writing and reading because you will be doing both when working as a freelance writer.
-A good knowledge of how the Internet works
You need to know how websites work, how they can help or hinder your ability to promote yourself online. You should also understand how social media such as Facebook and Twitter affect SEO (search engine optimization) and how this, in turn, affects website traffic and ultimately sales conversions (the number of people who come from all over the world specifically looking for what you offer).
How Much Does It Cost To Start As A Freelance Writer
One of the best things about freelance writing is that the cost to start out is really low.
You honestly don’t need much to get started as a freelance writer.
Some things that are must-haves include:
- Business licence (This need will vary from state to state for freelancing. Check with your town or city to find out the local requirements)
Below you can find some more tools you might need to invest in along the way.
What Tools Do You Need to Become a Freelance Writer?
Some freelance writer tools and materials you need include:
Having a laptop that you can take with you is a good idea if your work entails writing outside the home.
-High-speed internet connection
You will need to have access to high-speed internet in order to make sure that your articles are uploading quickly and without delay.
-A reliable printer
Be sure that this doesn’t continually give you paper jams or other problems! It’s also useful for printing documents sent by clients as well as invoices when it comes time to send out payment requests.
-A business checking account
Again, this is how you will receive payment from your clients for the work that they have requested. A PayPal business account is a great start.
You need a dedicated e-mail address for your business so you can communicate with your clients and send them digital files.
-Skype or Zoom
Some clients want to talk to you face-to-face. Zoom and Skype are the most common tools for this purpose. And these options are totally free!
-Website and a social media presence
This is not a must but it’s a great way to market your new business. Putting yourself out there can sound scary but it will definitely help you along the way to build an authority in your niche.
-AI Content Writing Tool
Using an AI Content writing tool is such a HUGE time saver! I highly recommend Jarvis. This writing assistant tool has helped me speed up my work tremendously.
You may also want to have a camera, scanner and other equipment that will help you complete the projects for your clients.
There are many different types of freelance writing jobs available with some requiring more tools than others depending on how the work is completed.
What Is Involved in Freelance Writing?
The actual process involved in freelance writing includes:
-Researching topics thoroughly before starting any article or other project.
-Keeping updated with current events and how they impact the topic.
-Staying knowledgeable about your niche market so that you can offer accurate information to help solve problems or issues within this field.
-Writing content based on how it will be used; for example if its an article destined for a website then you would use less complex vocabulary whereas when writing something intended for print like books etc., then the language is more advanced.
How to Start Freelance Writing With No Experience
To get started, how good are your writing skills, and how much experience do you have with the subject matter. If this is your first time doing freelance writing, don’t worry; it’s not an impossible task! You just need to find out how to get more practical knowledge on the job while building up your portfolio at the same time.
Take These Steps to Get Started in Freelance Writing
Now you might wonder how to get experience as a content writer. If this is your first time doing freelance writing there are some ways to get experience.
The steps that are involved with how to get started as publisher include:
Create a Website and Start a Blog
This is a great way to show your potential clients how good of a writer you are. The more writing samples, the better!
Check out my post on how to start a blog here. I’m not a tech-savvy person but I managed to do this by myself and it’s actually quite simple and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. You don’t need a complicated website with an expensive design. Install a free theme to get started.
Make sure, though, to have these pages on your site:
Create an author website or portfolio site with examples of written content that showcase your skills such as articles, blogs, newsletters, etc. Then describe what services you’re offering on your service page. Also how potential clients can get in contact with you.
Promote your website on your social media channels and by doing guest posts and e-mail marketing.
Guest posting is when your content is published on someone else’s website. You can get paid to guest post or write a guest post for free.
You can do a quick Google search on your topic/niche combined with “write for us” to find potential guest posting sites. Click on a link and read the instructions. Some blogs demand the full draft, while others want a variety of subjects.
The best places to do guest posts are high authority sites. These are large sites that many people know about or sites that rank in Google when you search a keyword.
Publish your guest posts online (on Medium or Contently) so everyone knows how good at blogging you are which will attract more people to contact you about how they can benefit from working together!
Create a Sample
Most companies will not hire you if they already perceive that you don’t have experience. Publish writing samples so potential clients can see how you write and what kind of topics they could hire you for.
The best way is to start with one or two free assignments, gain feedback from the company, make any necessary changes based on their suggestions, then complete it according to what was asked of you at first; this shows how flexible and reliable of a writer you are which makes employers more confident about hiring new writers without previous experience.
When people start to contact you about how they wish to benefit from hiring you as their next author, send them links where they can read more about how awesome at blogging/writing that you are which will get them excited enough to want to work with you ASAP!
Network With Other Freelance Writers
Finding a group of people who share the same interests as you do can be very beneficial. A lot of freelance writers are helpful and want to share their tips.
You could create your own writing community, engage with other writers within your niche market on social media etc.
Other Marketing Channels
Finding local organizations can help, where you might be able to distribute leaflets containing information about how their members can benefit from using your service.
Platforms where you can market yourself as a freelance writer
If you don’t have a blog, you can use a platform like Medium to post your writing samples. Medium is an excellent site to build your presence and be discovered by top editors, as well as obtain freelance writing work.
This is another great tool to help you get started. You can build your portfolio with free articles on Contently which will allow potential clients to see how good of a writer they are dealing with!
LinkedIn is a great place to get noticed because it’s used by many people. Upload writing samples and share them with potential clients who can hire you for their next project.
- Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are great social media platforms to keep in touch with your audience/clients. Make sure that you are updating them regularly on how they can benefit from hiring you!
Follow blogs and brands you’d like to work for in the future. To grow your audience, you must offer valuable and unique content as well as personal content.
On Facebook, you can also join some freelance writing groups where you can network with other freelance writers and find potential clients.
Journoportfolio is a website that allows you to store your writing samples for free. It’s a great way to show how much experience you have.
Another website that allows you to store your writing samples which will help potential clients learn how good of a writer they are dealing with!
- Write for content mills
Content mills are websites that allow you to write for them in exchange for money or free products. You can find content mills by searching on Google how to get experience writing online, how to get paid as a writer etc.
Content Mills are great ways of getting started with freelance writing because it will give you the opportunity to work within your niche market while also earning some income too! Applying is easy, just follow their instructions when submitting an application.
Some examples of content mills are Textbroker and iWriter.
You can also email or “cold pitching” potential clients who you feel would be interested in your writing style.
Think about who your ideal client is and start searching on Google. Other places you can find clients to cold email are Angel List and Manta.
When you find a potential ideal client look through their website. Check out their about page, brand visions/goals, blog, and any other important pages. Find out who you should email (usually editors or managers of marketing).
Then type your e-mail pitch. In your pitch, present who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Try to focus on how your service aligns with the brands’ visions and goals.
Send out your proposals and wait to hear back
Congratulations if you get responses from a few of those proposals! The negotiation stage now begins.
Read the email and figure out what the prospect desires.
How do you find freelance writing jobs?
Many people wonder how to find freelance writing jobs so let’s take a look at some of the best ways today’s freelancers get work online.
Some job sites where you can find freelance jobs are oDesk, Elance, Freelancer, Upwork, Guru and Fiverr, LinkedIn Jobs, etc.
My absolute favorite job site for freelancers is ProBlogger. Their job board is continuously updated with fresh new leads.
A lot of these sites will allow you to directly connect with clients so that they hire you instead! This is a great way for new writers who are just starting out because it allows them to build up their skills within their chosen niche market while also earning money at the same time!
You can also find freelance jobs in your area on Craigslist or by searching in Google how to get started freelancing in my city/country etc.
How do you know if a freelance writing job is legit?
Some red flags that you can look out for on freelance writing job sites are how much the client wants to pay, how many articles they want to be written, and how fast they need them completed.
If a payment is too low or an article needs to be done within hours – this might not be such a great offer after all! You will find yourself working for pennies (most likely) which of course isn’t worth it…you deserve better than that.
Choose a niche
To be successful you might need to be unique and offer something that no one else does. This way even if there’s saturation in your market it won’t matter because your product is so different from what everyone else offers.
Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners in 2021
Now you might wonder, what are the top profitable niches for freelance writers in 2021?
E-mail Marketing Writing
E-mail marketing writing is a great way to start out.
Email marketing is a very important marketing strategy for big brands and small businesses as well as for the solopreneur.
This can include everything from training content to onboarding series, sales funnels, and launch emails.
I highly recommend using ConvertKit for this purpose as it has so many great functions.
Search engine optimization (SEO) writing allows you to create content/articles which will ultimately be shown on Google naturally when people search certain things. This field can be quite lucrative as well since there’s so much competition, good SEO writers are highly sought after!
If you want to look into this niche I highly recommend the online course Stupid Simple SEO. This course will make you a real SEO expert!
Speech writing is something that a lot of businesses need and this might be an area where you can specialize. Speech writing means crafting speeches that are given to an audience. Speech writing can also include writing manus for how-to videos and webinars as well!
Technical writers are very important for businesses who need content written about their product or service in detail so that customers know exactly how it works. This usually includes how the product/service is made, how people will benefit from using this etc. Technical writer might be a great area of specialization if you’re good at explaining things that require some sort of expertise!
Ghostwriting is a great way to get started. Ghostwriters write about things without their name being displayed and while you might not be able to do this for your own brand, it’s still a good area of specialization because people will pay you well if they think that the words are coming from an expert!
Content Writing For Blogs
Ghostwriting on blogs is a great way to start out. Content writing for blogs or websites is a highly requested service. You need some basic understanding of SEO before taking on this kind of job.
Social Media Content Writer
Writing social media copy means creating content and ads which show up on Facebook/Instagram or other social networks where users scroll through their feed. This can also include creating landing pages that allow them to sign up for something like free ebooks in exchange for their email address.
Video Script Writing
Video script writing is another great area of specialization. Videos are getting more and more popular with Facebook lives, Instagram Reels, YouTube, etc. This means creating scripts for videos can be really lucrative.
Freelance Writer Salary
The average freelance writer salary is around USD 61,820 annually, but this can vary depending on how much you work and how many clients you have.
Most content companies pay somewhere between $50-200 per article which usually takes about a day to complete.
You might not be able to earn that right off the bat if you’re just starting out so it’s best to lower your expectations at first until you get more consistent gigs.
If someone offers you something like $20 an article – take it! Don’t think about how little they will pay now since there’s a chance that they’ll come back to you later and offer more. If it’s an easy article then even $20 is good money since you won’t have much work on your plate anyway!
Nothing is stopping you from getting started right now…so what are you waiting for!? Get out there and start living life on YOUR terms now by leveraging all the help we have provided today!