How to Start Your Freelance Writing Career with No Prior Experience
Freelance writing is both fun and fulfilling, especially for those who enjoy creative and artistic work.
Even so, many people go into writing without an understanding of how challenging and time-consuming it can be. It’s hard to put a realistic time-frame on any given project, because you never know when creative inspiration will hit.
If you want to launch your freelance writing career, first, you need to recognize that…
Writing is a Craft
You will get better at writing over time if you commit to the activity. However, it doesn’t happen on autopilot.
A good starting point for aspiring writers is to begin reading more.
Reading will increase your vocabulary. It will give you a good idea of how to structure sentences. It will expose you to a variety of different styles, and teach you how to create a flow with your writing.
Another side benefit of reading more is that you will also have the opportunity to learn about a variety of different subjects.
Though it is a good idea to narrow your focus in your writing endeavors, it can’t hurt to be able to write on a variety of different topics.
Of course, you should also practice writing, preferably on a daily basis. You might consider…
Launching a Blog
The simple act of writing 1,000 words a day will be more than sufficient in giving you the practice you need to become a better writer. However, it’s also important to take some chances.
Your own blog will give you a platform from which you can engage the people you know, and ask for feedback on your writing.
More than likely, you won’t become a skilled writer overnight. A blog gives you a way to track your own progress, from beginning to end.
A blog will also give you a platform from which you can start making some money, be it from ads, affiliate links, tip jars, or the like.
Additionally, you can have a “hire me” page where visitors can learn more about your writing services.
Take note: most bloggers don’t earn loads of money from their blogs. However, if your expectations are realistic, it’s a good opportunity to gain some experience and perhaps earn a coffee fund in the process.
When you’re ready, it’s time to…
Write for Revenue Sharing Sites
Do a search on revenue sharing sites, and you will discover that there are a good number of them out there. What are they exactly?
In essence, a revenue sharing site is a website where you can submit articles and earn money from ads, affiliate promotions, and so on.
Many revenue sharing sites offer percentages that are in favor of the writer, but they are called revenue sharing sites because you will be sharing in the gross revenue.
It may sound similar to blogging, but I have generally found the earning potential to be better, because revenue sharing sites tend to have their own built-in communities. People interact with other authors and engage with their articles.
Overall, engagement tends to be higher too, because if community members choose to click on a headline, they have selected it from a bigger list with the intention of reading it.
Some people earn good money from creating articles for revenue sharing websites alone. The key is to cater to their guidelines and use their suggestions to maximize visibility. Then produce new articles on a regular basis; preferably three times per week or more.
When you start to feel confident in your writing, you can also start…
Applying for Jobs
Of course, for most people, the whole purpose of becoming a freelance writer is to earn a little bit on the side, or to set their own schedule, so I’m not necessarily talking about taking a full-time job here.
Noting that, if you want to dovetail your freelance writing into a career, that’s certainly a possibility too.
I currently have three distinctly different writing jobs, and they all pay me reasonably well, and they all allow me to set my own schedule and work from home.
If that’s what you want, know that it’s available. You can scan job boards, or even seek out companies that provide blogging services to their clients. Content marketing is huge right now, so the opportunities are definitely there.
In this process, you can’t underestimate the importance of relationship. The writing jobs that I currently have either came from pre-existing relationships, or referrals from those same people.
Another proactive approach is to…
Help a Business Start a Blog
There are still plenty of businesses out there that – for whatever reason – don’t have a blog.
Maybe they haven’t caught onto the content marketing trend, maybe they don’t have the time or the resources, or maybe they don’t understand why they should have one.
You as a freelance writer have the opportunity to convince businesses to build their blog and help them with it. This could become a significant income source for you over the long haul.
In fact, this is exactly how I got my first online marketing job. My position required me to do a lot more than just blogging (three posts per week), but again I got to work from home, and my schedule provided me with ample flexibility.
Prior to talking to this business about blogging, I had read an article about corporate blogging and came to understand how and why it benefits businesses to have a blog.
When I explained to them what the upside of corporate blogging was, I could see the gears turning in their heads as well.
Full disclosure: I was, and still am a shareholder in the aforementioned company. That fact alone would not have a gotten me the job, however.
There are many other opportunities out there for freelance writers. I have barely scratched the surface of possibilities.
Notwithstanding, I hope I have given you some ideas of what you can do to get yourself up and running and even make some money along the way.
As a freelance writer, it can’t hurt to have an entrepreneurial mindset and to have the willingness to go looking for your own opportunities. You can wait for people to come to you, but unless you have a really good system for generating leads, this is a difficult proposition.
Be proactive in your approach. Guest post. Pitch ideas to sites that pay for articles. Explore new platforms. You never know where those things could lead.