If you’ve been looking to supplement your income or start a side-hustle, you’ve probably been wondering how to get hired as a freelance writer.
How do you even become a freelance writer? What is it you will be doing? From my experience, I know that you’re probably dealing with hundreds of questions right now.
Even though freelancing requires a strong character, healthy habits, and self-discipline, it’s one of the easiest ways to start making some money online.
As long as you know what you’re doing (and you can learn a lot here), you’ll be on the right track. The beginning is always the hardest part – so keep on reading as I show you a couple of things that will help you improve your chance of being hired as a freelance writer!
What is Freelance Writing?
Freelance writing is one of the most popular freelancing types because it has very low entry-barrier.
Anyone who can read, write, and keep on improving its writing skills can become a freelance writer. Not everyone needs to be able to write to the newspapers.
However, anyone can start writing simple SEO posts, blog posts, or emails. There are all sorts of content out there and you can choose one, two, or even more categories you want to cover.
The categories I’ve mentioned are the easiest ones out there. Even though they aren’t the highest-paid categories – they’re perfect for anyone who’s getting started and wants to progress.
With a huge demand for content on the internet, finding clients as a freelance writer is not as hard as it used to be.
It takes time, persistence, and even getting used to hearing no (or get no response at all). But keep an eye on the bigger picture.
You only need one client to start making money online, from home, using your laptop. A couple of regular clients can keep you busy for weeks.
Who Can Become a Freelance Writer?
Do you remember that I’ve said freelance writing has the lowest entry-barrier? This means that almost anyone can become a freelance writer.
Freelance writing isn’t as complicated as you might think. When I was thinking of becoming a freelancer – writing was the last thing I thought I would do.
And look at me now – I’m not only a content writer but I’m also a content strategist who helps affiliate marketers and brands grow their presence on the internet.
If you can read, write, and are ready to learn & improve – you can become a freelance writer. It’s that simple.
And how do you get started? All you need is a few samples. You won’t even need a portfolio in the beginning (even though it’s recommended to make one).
However, keep on reading to find out answers to probably one of the most complicated parts of being a freelance writer which is getting clients to work with you.
How to Get Hired as a Freelance Writer?
If you just go and tell someone you’ll become a freelance writer and that you’ll make money online – they would look at you like it’s a mission impossible.
Here’s the thing. Most people tried themselves in freelancing. However, what about 80% of new freelancers do is the following.
They might not even create samples or a portfolio (or create one or two samples) and then they join a freelancing platform (such as UpWork), apply to a couple of jobs, sit and wait.
When nothing happens – they decide that freelancing isn’t for them.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the beginning is the hardest part of freelancing (or almost anything in life) and it takes a lot of consistency and persistence.
Therefore, here’s a road map to success for every new freelance writer:
- Don’t only rely on freelancing platforms
- Build a portfolio as soon as possible
- Build your samples from day one
- Visit job boards consistently
- Join Facebook groups
- Take advantage of LinkedIn
- Work on crafting your letter of introduction
This is all there is and if you do it all – you’ll find clients sooner than you think. I know that it sounds simple when it’s all laid out in front of you.
After this, it’s all rinse and repeat. The work itself isn’t hard, but staying consistent and doing the same thing over and over again definitely gets tiring.
Still interested in learning everything it takes to learn how to get hired as a freelance writer? Keep on reading!
Portfolio & Samples
I highly recommend you to build out your portfolio as soon as possible. You don’t even have to pay for hosting or a website if you use website builders such as Siterubix.
You can even use writing platforms as your own portfolio, platforms such as Medium, Contently, or Skyword.
Don’t overthink anything and just keep moving forward. No, your portfolio won’t look great in the beginning, but it’s important that you set one up. Later on, you will be updating it and turning it into perfection so don’t worry about that for now.
When you’re set and ready – it’s time to put yourself out there. It’s important that you consistently lookout for clients and writing jobs.
I am not against joining freelancing platforms, but I think that there are better ways to be more efficient with your marketing game.
Therefore, you can join the platforms, but don’t join too many. You also need to leave some time for job boards where quality companies, who are in real demand of a writer, post writing jobs.
Also, you can join Facebook groups. When I started freelance writing, I found 90% of my clients through Facebook groups. I came from an affiliate marketing background so I connected with other affiliate marketers to help them create content for niche sites.
I believe that there are still plenty of quality groups. However, don’t just spam but try to add value to the group before letting people know how you can help them.
No, LinkedIn is not a boring platform where you create your profile and never come back again.
It’s a platform that allows you to connect with other people in your industry. You can connect with other freelancers, find people who are holding content managing positions, and might be able to hire you or find companies that you would like to work with.
The platform allows you to easily introduce yourself without making it feel like it’s a cold approach.
However, don’t forget to polish your profile, add a catchy headline, describe what you do in the best way possible in your description, and share your samples!
Keep on updating your LinkedIn profile because you never know when you might be found by people or companies who are looking for someone with your skillset.
LinkedIn search bar relies on a similar algorithm to a search engine and the more time you put into your profile, the better the chances are that you will get found by others.
Keep on connecting with people as you never know when you might get a client without even trying!
It’s all about putting the work in, even if you don’t get the wanted results immediately.
After all, you get what you put into it so you better improve your LinkedIn game!
Send Out Letter of Introduction
LOI stands for a letter of introduction and it’s a simple letter (an email) that will help you connect with people or companies in the industry via cold approach, without making it feel like you’re asking for something.
It’s all about putting yourself out there and letting people know about you and about the services you can provide.
I wrote a full post on how to craft a perfect letter of introduction so give it a try.
You don’t want to send the same email in bulk to hundreds of people. Instead, try making it personal and approach people because you truly want to connect with them.
Believe me, you won’t even know what happened and you’ll already have a couple of jobs lined up.
Another great thing about LOIs is that you can create a list of people or companies you’d like to work with and find a niche or a type within your writing to specialize in.
After all, if you don’t score a single job – you might score a guest post opportunity which will look good on your portfolio and will be a great sample that will help you find more clients in the future.
Anyone can become a freelance writer, and even though it’s simple and easy – not many people keep up at it.
It’s important to stay consistent, put yourself out there, and keep on improving everything from your skills and portfolio to your samples and approach to potential clients.
Prepare yourself to spend quite many hours working without getting anything in return. It happens to everyone and it will happen to you.
However, if you stay persistent and you acquire only one client in the beginning – everything else will start to snowball.
And if you’ve thought that in order to get hired, you have to do something even harder – you were wrong. This is everything you need to do to learn how to get hired as a freelance writer!
Also, read more about the most common mistakes made by freelancers so you know exactly what to avoid in order to get better results.