Writing is something not many people want to do and if you’re reading this post – you’re most likely wondering how to become a freelance writer online?
That’s really great as freelance writing is one of the best things you can do to get started online. It’s a great active way to make money online – but understand that you might not be doing it forever.
It can either be a great stepping stone or it can turn into a lucrative online business (yes, even since it’s a freelance work), just the way I did it.
In this post, you will find out what is freelance writing, how to get into it, what do you need to do, and even benefits that come with it.
So grab a cup of your favorite coffee and stick around, become I will show you exactly how to start today.
What is Freelance Writing?
Freelance writing is a way of writing online, for a number of sites, blogs, companies, and even brands. No matter what you look for online, you’ll always have to read content (unless you’re into video content).
And guess what?
Someone had to write the content you read on a daily basis, whether you’re looking for advice, something specific, or maybe even for a review on the product you’ve been looking into for some time.
Depending on your experience and will, you will be able to niche down into a specific topic and write a specific type of content.
Therefore, here are the most common online content types:
- Blog content
- SEO articles
- Landing pages
- Web copy (copywriting)
- Product descriptions
- White paper
- Technical writing
I am sure that there are many other content types used online – and chances are high you’ve come across many more of them.
However, these are the most common ones. Every writer starts as a blog content writer or an SEO writer (which is a bit outdated now). That’s how myself and plenty of other writers have started.
I understand you might not feel confident to become a freelance writer online – but that’s a normal thing to feel. In this case, let’s get to the next chapter of this post where I will show you exactly what do you need to have to get into freelance writing.
How Do You Get into Freelance Writing?
If you ask me how do you get into freelance writing, I’d probably say – just go for it. While it might seem too easy, I literally mean it.
You might be an academic writer or you might have a journalism degree – and that’s going to help you a lot since you’ll be familiar with writing. But on the other hand, most of us don’t – including me.
That didn’t stop me from getting into freelance writing. See, freelance writing online is all about finding your niche, industry, or skills so you can help solve problems for people who have a need for content.
Therefore, if you are not a writer and you don’t have any prior writing experience – that’s totally fine and you can still become a freelance writer. I did it myself and I know many other writers who did it as well.
That’s one thing I like about freelance writing. It has a really low-entry barrier where you just jump into it, learn as you go, improve your skills on the go, and earn money while doing it.
But there’s still a question – how do you become a freelance writer online? That’s exactly what we’re jumping into in the next chapter of this article.
How Do You Become a Freelance Writer Online?
It’s fairly simple to get yourself set up online and start out as a content writer – and another great thing about freelance writing is that it doesn’t require any up-front investment (except maybe a couple of dollars).
That’s why I believe freelance writing and content marketing is one of the easiest ways to get started online, acquire skills, and then use it to build a more passive business for yourself.
I mentioned it’s simple to get started online, which is true, but it’s still going to require a lot of up-front work.
Here’s what you need to do to establish yourself as a freelance writer online:
- Find your niche
- Create a portfolio (with writing samples)
- Start networking and finding jobs
- Create a task management system in place
- Stay persistent and keep on marketing yourself
There are the most important things you have to do – and while you can do a couple of them only, it’s important to do every one of them for best results – and of course, stay consistent.
Find Your Niche
You can start out as a general writer which means you’ll be writing about almost everything that comes your way – it’s always better to niche down to a specific topic or a skill.
Niche stands for a subject or a topic of interest and I recommend you to find a niche which you’re either very passionate about so you know a lot about it, or a niche that involves your prior experience (either work or life experience).
Even though niching down might make you think you’ll be losing out on plenty of potential clients in every other niche, it doesn’t really work like that.
As you niche down and start working for a couple of clients, you’ll even be able to become an authority within the niche. Most clients who, let’s say, own a website in health – they’ll want a health writer. Someone who has both pieces of knowledge in the health industry and also writing skills to help them put out on their blog exactly what they are looking for.
I’ve started as a general writer, and while it wasn’t bad, it is still really great (if not better) now when I’ve niched down to a couple of niches. I still haven’t niched down to only one (which is fine and you can do the same).
However, I had previous affiliate marketing knowledge and experience which helped me write a specific type of content for affiliate marketers who work on promoting and selling through their content on their websites.
If you have no previous knowledge, no significant past work experience or any skills that could help – you can still become a writer. Why? Because everyone has something they’re passionate about, and I’m sure there’s at least a thing or two you’re really passionate about (and know a lot about).
Therefore, this can be your starting point.
In case you’re a tech-savvy who would like to research on their niche market – I highly recommend using Jaaxy which is a keyword research tool that can give you an insight into the market you’ll be working for.
Create a Portfolio
The next step you’d like to do is create your own portfolio online. This is the step that scares most people as not everyone is good at technical things such as creating a website.
However, this isn’t a problem anymore because we’re living in a modern world where you can create a website within only a couple of minutes, even for free.
And if you’re looking for a place to create your own website, I highly recommend SiteRubix.
SiteRubix is a platform that allows you to create and host your own website online for free. You also get to completely modify it without any limitations. It creates a website for you on a WordPress platform which has 1000+ of free professional themes you can use to make your portfolio stand out.
Your portfolio doesn’t need to be a big website, yet a couple of pages would do. Make sure to include the following things to your portfolio:
- A little bit about you
- Info on how you can help potential clients who visit your portfolio
- Writing samples
- Contact info
- Optionally – pricing
This is good enough to get you started, but you’d really want to work on your writing samples. Most of you don’t have any writing samples, and even I didn’t have any. But that’s okay, and all you have to do is take one afternoon to write at least 3-4 samples you can publish on your portfolio.
Later on, as you progress, you could be creating content packages that clients can purchase, info on your work process (how do you work), testimonials from previous clients, and even a .com domain name to make your portfolio look more professional.
Start Networking and Finding Jobs
It’s not what you know but who you know. Ever heard of this saying?
It takes only one client to get you started writing and making some money online and only a couple of regular clients to keep you busy.
Therefore, you want to start networking with as many people as possible. When I started, I used to do a lot of networking on Wealthy Affiliate which has thousands of people all around the world in a number of different industries.
What also helped me acquire my first client and get about a dozen regular clients (who helped me reach about $1,000/month in profit in the second month of my freelance writing) was Facebook. If you can’t believe this – you might not be using Facebook to its full potential.
Nowadays, I do my networking mostly by cold emailing potential companies and brands I believe I could help out with my writing skills. It might sound like complicated work, but it‘s actually very simple. There are thousands of companies within each niche.
No matter which niche you’re into, name a couple of companies you know about. These companies have websites and they most likely have a blog. You can come up with a great pitch and see whether they’d like to have their blog regularly updated. Sooner than you know it – you’ll end up with clients you’ve never even thought of working for.
There are many different ways to approach networking, but if you’re just into finding writing jobs – there are hundreds of websites you can start with.
One of my favorite websites is a ProBlogger’s job board which is always full of up-to-date writing jobs. I find this a lot more efficient than relying on a freelancing platform such as UpWork.
Create a System in Place
It might be hard to get your first client, but believe me, once you get your first client – your freelance writing business will start rolling.
Therefore, you will need a management system in place to help you out. While a to-do list could help out in the beginning, I definitely love Trello which is free software that allows you to have your own board where you can list and prioritize tasks.
In there, I have two boards – one for the active orders and another one for everything else I have to do, whether it’s networking, one of my two projects, or just my shopping list.
You want a way to keep track of everything, from time spent, jobs applied to, number of cold emails you’ve sent out, to your active orders and a list of your clients.
Nothing happens overnight, and while there are only a couple of steps to get yourself established online as a freelance writer – it will take many hours and hard work.
Try to have a small to-do list and keep achieving small things – whether it’s just writing one short sample for your portfolio or sending 5 cold emails out, anything small like this will still keep you working towards your goal.
The beginnings are always the hardest part, especially when you’re trying to score your first client, but hey – it’s all going to be worth it in the end.
Therefore, stay persistent and keep marketing yourself out there. If you don’t put yourself in front of other people (even virtually in the online world) – you won’t have any chance to find clients.
Why is Freelance Writing One of the Best Ways to Get Started Online?
As mentioned earlier, freelance writing has a very low-entry barrier where anyone can establish themselves online as a freelance writer.
Experience is the last thing you should be concerned about since it’s something you can easily acquire. However, finding your niche and something you’re passionate about should be a priority so you can go down the right path – which will benefit you in the long run.
Once you get the initial steps done such as creating your portfolio and looking out for your first client – you can work on increasing the size of your business.
What I really like is that freelance writing can either be a great side-hustle to create another stream of income and increase your income. But it can also be a great online business since there is no cap on the potential money you can earn.
Whether you increase your rates very high or you get plenty of work you outsource later on – you can make anything from a couple of hundred of bucks to a couple of thousands of dollars.
Freelancing is one of the easiest ways to get started making any money online, along with affiliate marketing, of course.
However, you should know that writing is an active way of making money online while affiliate marketing is more of a passive.
It might look simple and easy, but you will have to invest hours and hours into making it online. And when you do, you will still have plenty of work to do – from perfecting your pitch, improving your portfolio, increasing the number of your samples, calculating your perfect rate, increasing the number of clients/orders, and many other things.
Luckily, anything you need is available right here on Financially Awaken, including a straight guide on how to become a freelance writer online.
I hope you’ve learned something useful or I’ve at least put you on the right track. I’m sure you have plenty of questions right now, and if you do – please feel free to leave them in the comments section down below and I’ll do my best to answer all of them!