A Step by Step Guide to Being a Freelance Writer

If you’ve got a way with words and are looking for a way to earn with it, becoming a freelance writer is an option. Content writing as a freelancer means one can work on a wide range of projects from a diverse set of clients. It makes for an interesting experience and can be quite a flexible career path.

A number of freelance writers tend to focus on specific niches based upon their expertise and interest. Therefore, as a freelance writer, you’ll find yourself taking on projects involving multiple types of writing, from website copy to blogs, to social media, and even online or print magazines. As a result, the scope of freelance writing in terms of a variety of projects is huge.

Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular choice. People either take it up part-time or take the plunge into a full-time career as a freelance writer. The reasons for doing so vary, from part-timers wanting supplemental income to full-timers wanting to enjoy the benefits of working remotely and on their own schedule.

So, if you’re one of those looking to make that leap into the world of freelance writing but are not quite sure how to get started, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog will take you through a step-by-step process of getting started on your journey as a freelance writer.

Getting Started

The hardest step is usually the first one. And for most people who want to get started in writing, it can be a question of where and how to start. So we will take you through the steps to get you started.

Find Your Niche

When getting started as a freelance writer, picking what you want to write about is an important step. Picking something you’re passionate about as it is easier to write about.  And it also makes it easier to spend the time needed for proper research.  If you’re unsure what to choose, you can pick a popular niche or even your favorite hobby.

Additionally, one doesn’t need to be an expert in their chosen niche, as proper research can give you the requisite knowledge. Some of the popular niches people are writing about these days are:

  • Business
  • Travel
  • Fitness
  • Health and wellness
  • Cooking
  • Finance
  • Crafting and more

The list is extensive, and there is always a need for content. Find the topics that interest you and get started.

Creating a Portfolio

There is a significant number of people just like you looking to get started as a freelance writer. What can set you apart from others is by having a portfolio. Now you’re wondering how is it possible to have a portfolio without having done any projects. If you haven’t done any projects, you can always write up samples for hypothetical clients or projects. One can even venture and create their blog posts which can serve as a sampling of your strengths as a writer.

You can create samples for everything ranging from a business presentation to a business proposal to blog posts. Even your resume can be a sample for offers of resume writing. Be creative, and these samples also serve as a way to hone your skills further.

Also, as projects start coming in, you’ll find yourself adding nearly every project and byline that you work on in your portfolio. But as you grow as a freelance writer, you will have to start curating the works that go into your portfolio.

Pitch Yourself

The hardest part about getting started as a freelance writer is also the most crucial. You’ve picked a niche and build yourself a portfolio. Now it’s time to start pitching for more work. You’ll find yourself looking at various online platforms for work. Most projects that come early on will be one-off projects followed by more of the ongoing variety. Early on, your goal is to build your portfolio further so you have a better pitch that reaches a wider audience.

Here are a few tips on how you can pitch yourself effectively:

  • Create an elevator pitch for yourself, so you’re always ready to tell someone what you can do. For example, you never know when a business writing opportunity might come up for a freelance writer.
  • Leverage various social media forums for freelancers as it is common for available jobs to be shared in those communities.
  • Several online platforms are available where you can search for jobs. Use those websites to help build your portfolio further.
  • Keep your social media pages, including LinkedIn, up to date, and be sure that links are included to your published works. Or have a link tree setup for all your curated portfolio.
  • Remember, everything that you write is a potential pitch. So even a simple pitch letter or email can highlight your business letter or email writing skills

Setup Methods of Payments

Setting up a payment method sounds obvious, but it can be an obstacle when you’re getting started. First, check which online payment services are available in your region. For example, PayPal, the most popular payment method, is not available in every country. Banking solutions and other third-party platforms exist for online payments. A little research can save you time in the long run.

Furthermore, make sure to have an invoice template to go, which you can send to your clients with payment methods indicated. Early on, a simple email and method of payment may suffice. However, as you grow as a freelance writer, you may need to use invoice software to generate them and keep track of your payments.

Beyond Writing as a Freelance Writer

Not all jobs for a freelance writer are for writing. It sounds strange, but as a writer, you know the importance of proofreading and editing. So, be on the lookout for content editing postings. Unfortunately, many freelance writers early on do not pay as much attention to these kinds of postings. However, they can help build your network and showcase your skills as an editor, creating leads for writing jobs.

Final Thoughts

Some final thoughts, after you’ve done all of the above steps and are on your way to being a freelance writer. It is highly recommended that you should develop or improve your reading habits. The more you read, the more examples you can draw from when writing.

Secondly, patience is required when you’re working as a freelance writer. Early on, jobs can be inconsistent and far between, but they pick up with time and consistent quality. Another aspect is patience comes into play as clients are like people, some good, and some bad.

So find your niche, set things up a little, and get started on your journey as a freelance writer.