Wondering how to get started as a freelance writer? It might not be as difficult as you think!
Freelance writing is one of my favorite ways to make money online. As a freelance writer, you can work from anywhere that has wifi – your bed, a cafe, a hotel room – the choice is yours! A couple of years ago, I wrote and pitched one of my first articles while I was waiting to board a plane at San Antonio airport – it was an awesome way to pass the time and get paid!
Freelance writing can be a fantastic way to make a supplemental income, but the sky really is the limit with freelance writing – if you want to make a full-time income, the opportunities are definitely there. If you have a knack for writing (and you enjoy it!), then freelance writing might be just the thing for you, and getting started is not as difficult as you might think.
Plus, if you’re someone who likes to work a night time job, then freelance writing is the perfect gig!
How To Get Started as a Freelance Writer
1) Enroll in a Freelance Writing Course
The first step in becoming a freelance writer is to enroll in a freelance writing course. You might be thinking that you don’t need a course, because you already know how to write…
Initially, I thought the same thing. But then I stumbled across this freelance writing course. Honestly, the sales copy really drew me in. And I kinda thought to myself that if this woman can write such good sales copy that I want to buy a course I’m not even sure I need, then she can probably teach me a thing or two about writing!
Long story short, I enrolled in the course and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were TONS of nuggets in there, and I really felt it was worth the price (I can’t say that for other courses I’ve taken, but this one was actually really good.) Check out my favorite freelance writing course here.
2) Purchase a Copy of the Must Have Book for Freelance Writers
If you only buy one book in your freelance writing career, make sure it’s The Yahoo! Style Guide. The Yahoo! Style Guide is basically the freelance writers bible – it’s an absolute must-have. It will teach you the essential rules for writing on the web, and is “the Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World.” Go grab yourself a cheap copy from Amazon now.
3) Practice Your Writing
We’ve all heard the saying – “Practice Makes Perfect”, and freelance writing is no different. The more you write, the better your writing will be.
Buy a journal (I love the classic Moleskine which you can find here) and commit to writing in it at least once per day.
Write articles for publications that you dream about writing for.
Start a blog! Blogging is a great way to practice writing, and also to showcase your writing style to potential clients, especially when you haven’t got a large portfolio of published work. I use Siteground for my hosting, and I really love their service. Siteground will also give you a free domain name when you sign up for one of their hosting plans (I recommend starting with the smallest plan – you can always upgrade later if you need to.)
4) Sign Up to BlogMutt
A lot of people will tell you that you should absolutely avoid “content mills”, but for a newbie freelance writer, they can be a good tool. The pay isn’t very high, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend writing for content mills long-term, but it can be an excellent way to make some money while you’re honing your writing skills. You’re essentially getting paid to practice. BlogMutt is my favorite – it’s easy to use, there are tons of topics to write about and the forums are full of friendly people who are more than willing to offer tips, and advice.
5) Start Pitching!
Once you feel comfortable with your writing skills, it’s time to start pitching. Aim high! You never know if you never try. Popular websites can get hundreds of pitch requests a day, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear anything back for a few weeks (or at all – the editors are incredibly busy!) If your pitch isn’t accepted – no big deal! I don’t think there is one single freelance writer who has had every single pitch accepted. Use it as a learning experience – what could you do better next time?
There you have it! The five steps you should take to become a freelance writer and make money online. Here is a list of freelance writing jobs for beginners!
Are you an aspiring freelance writer? If you’re thinking about it, but haven’t gotten started yet, what’s holding you back?