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How to Become a Freelance Writer.

By Jonathan Carnino

If you love to write and want the freedom to work from anywhere, then freelance writing is for you! In this post, we'll share tips on how to become a successful freelance writer. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your career to the next level, these tips will help you achieve your goals.

Before we get started, keep in mind that there is no certain, step-by-step method for obtaining the freelance writing job of your dreams. Freelance writing, by no means, is an easy profession to get started in. Many writers struggle for months - even years - before seeing substantial success. But if you love to write and can't imagine doing anything else, the time commitment to become an established freelance writer is certainly worth it.

Now let's get started!


1. Look for education or training opportunities.

Don't worry; you don't need a college degree to be a freelance writer. If you're starting from the bottom, however, it's likely that you'll want to learn in some way so that you can deliver high-quality material from the outset.

Look for an online writing course if you don't have the cash or time to attend a university. They're typically less expensive than traditional degrees, and you may work your way through them from home (and in the evenings or on weekends if you've got a day job).

If you're considering attending college or are in the midst of earning your degree, you may wish to consider more formal study options that can assist you reach your objectives.

Contrary to popular belief, English degrees may be lucrative, as may other writing-intensive fields such as creative writing, public relations and journalism.

Studying the humanities improves your rhetorical muscles, which will help you become a better writer and speaker. Plus, these programs teach you soft skills that employers value — which is excellent since while you're trying to figure out how to make the whole yoga-pants-forever plan work, you'll probably need a part-time job.

2. Consider working for a company to start out

Yes, I understand: Getting a job as an editor — or any other position — may be difficult.

Websites and publications do employ writers, and securing a full-time job will provide you with a fantastic, one-of-a-kind perks: an entire world of hands-on learning that can't be obtained any other way.

Working with other creatives every day will help you become a better writer, whether you work for a digital or print publication; in the role, you'll get SEO training and other expertise.

3. Get out there and start reaching out to potential clients.

At the end of the day, the best approach to become a freelance writer is to simply start writing.

That entails making a significant leap: you must start pitching publications and seeking work even if you don't have much work out there. Everyone is a novice at first - you must start somewhere!

There are, of course, several other ways to demonstrate your writing ability whether you've never written professionally before. Have you ever finished a fantastic short story that hasn't yet been published? Perhaps it's even an outstanding essay from college. Clients and employers are more concerned about whether you have strong writing examples, rather than where they've been published.

4. Start posting your work online

When shooting your shot with publishers and companies, it's best to have a website, blog, or online portfolio where they can read your work. This looks much more professional than simply sending over a Word document!

Keep in mind you're a writer, not a website developer, so this doesn't need to be anything fancy. Hosting a static website is more than enough, even one created with a template.

I prefer Contently for a portfolio. It's more than just a clean, user-friendly digital showcase; it may also help you get great work: the platform matches editors with writers and other content producers based on specific themes and skill sets.

Consider establishing a blog if you'd like to go further. Every time you write, you may develop your craft and even build a following for your work.

Finally, having a website will boost your confidence considerably.

5. Networking: Yes, it's critical for writers too!

It's critical to use online marketing and establish a website presence that demonstrates your talents. But making contact with individuals in person is just as essential when it comes to discovering and securing a trustworthy network of customers.

Make the most of in-person networking possibilities, where you can relate to people, tell your story, and establish personal connections. People value face-to-face interaction and will remember you if you're memorable.

Maintain contact with those you meet and be creative in your approach. Not everyone will react, but others may develop into long-term clients.

The good news is that there are a plethora of networking opportunities. You may also want to distribute your business card to people. Yes know it's traditional, but it does work.

6. Determine how to get compensated.

It might sound obvious, but it's a problem when you're just getting started. You'll need a method to transfer money from your client's bank account to yours once you've completed the work and delivered as agreed.

Many freelancers have abandoned paper checks in favor of online payments. If you're just dipping your toes as a freelancer, stick to things simple by creating a PDF invoice and sending it to your customer, then requesting payment via PayPal or another easy-to-use method.

Once you're satisfied that you'll continue freelancing, it's time to shift to a program that will generate the invoice for you and help you keep track of payments. We've compiled a list of some of the greatest invoice generator applications for freelancers.

7. Know this: the work isn’t always glamorous

Most freelance paid work is far from exciting and envious, but critical in earning a reliable paycheck. Although they aren't what most people desire while feeling the call of the pen, freelance writers can make a living writing copy, using SEO to drive traffic, and creating listicle-style blog posts. Many organizations may give you a steady supply of this type of work, allowing you to develop a semi-dependable income stream by becoming an anchor client.

The goal is to acquire as much of this bread-and-butter labor as you need to get by, then use the rest of your time to push those fantastic ideas you can't wait to work on.

The goal is to find a balance that works for you. It might be difficult to strike, but even un-enjoyable writing counts as valuable practice. You'll improve your craft while also accumulating more footage and stronger pieces to show off when you pitch the major studios. Then, as your confidence grows, you may gradually transition to working just on higher-paying and more interesting material.

8. Expect an unconventional working experience

Unstable income, unconventional hours, and working from home can be tough to get used to at first.

You should at least be financially ready for anything like managing income flow and expenditures, paying your own taxes, purchasing your own health care, and funding your own retirement. Clients come and go for the greatest authors; build up a solid reserve for those inevitable dry spells.

It's also a good idea to set standards that will help you keep your otherwise unstructured day, structured — such as deciding you'll only write at your desk rather than at home, or forcing yourself to wear real pants for the duration of the working day. (Or maybe not)

I'll try to summarize it as succinctly as possible: becoming a freelance writer necessitates an equal blend of semi-pathological levels of type-A ambition, boundless curiosity, and complete indifference to rejection.

Plus, luck.

The path to the write life is not an easy one, but it's definitely a worthwhile trip, and we're happy to help you journey down it.