For nearly two months, I flipped through page after page of online information and eBooks on how to become a freelance writer. There are a lot of resources out there and I thought it would be helpful to give a brief overview so you don’t have to spend as much time looking for them as I did.
Here are the basic tips for getting started as a freelance writer. This is not a complete list; my goal is to make this process less intimidating for you. If you need guidance in a particular area, just scroll down to the appropriate section for some guidance.
What is a Freelance Writer?
When starting out as a freelance writer, one of the first questions you may have is, “What is a freelance writer?” This question is understandable, since the term “freelance writer” is both descriptive and ambiguous. It applies to so many different forms of writing that you wonder how to pinpoint exactly what it is.
As a freelance writer, you can provide writing services as needed. These services can include blog posts, web pages, technical writing, copywriting, business writing, ghostwriting, medical writing, eBooks, and more.
You may offer these services directly to customers or through third-party websites.
How do you become a freelance writer?
After all, you’re just getting started. Read an article on the topic first. You can also ask existing freelance writers what it was like for them to enter the field. Many freelance writers blog about their experiences, so it’s easy to find this information online.
You’ll be amazed at how many doors open for you when you take a step in this direction. But it’s important not to get overwhelmed by all the articles and eBooks on the subject. Do your research and then apply what you’ve read. Try not to fall into a state of analytical paralysis.
What qualifications are required?
The first condition to start as a freelance writer is to enjoy writing. If you don’t enjoy writing, you won’t build a sustainable career, as you may lack motivation when faced with challenges.
The second qualification is a willingness to learn and grow as a writer and your own PR agency. As long as you’re willing to hone your craft and reach out to potential clients, you can consider yourself qualified.
Do I need a journalism degree?
If you have a basic understanding of the English language and can write clearly and often, you usually don’t need further training. If you plan to write for technical publications or another field, you may need to demonstrate previous experience.
If you want to specialize in a specific freelance writing service and are hesitant to get started, you can find online courses on copywriting, white papers, and more. So if you want to get some additional training before offering your freelance writing services, there is definitely an opportunity for you in the form of an online course.
Should I Start My Own Freelance Writer Website?
If you intend to market yourself as a freelance writer, then you definitely need a writer’s website. Having an online presence helps potential clients find you, which in the long run saves you time looking for gigs.
But don’t worry, at least you only need to start with four pages on your site:
1. Landing Page (or Home Page)
It should provide a brief overview of your services and clearly explain how potential clients can contact you
2. About page
An about page lets potential clients know about your personality and whether you would work well with them. But they should be written as a service to future clients, not autobiography.
Let potential clients know about the writing services you offer.
4. Contact Information
Make it easy for potential clients to contact you if they have questions or would like to entrust your services. If it’s hard to reach you, chances are they’ll move on to the next freelancer on the list.
Once you have a client, the next two pages to add are: Portfolio and Testimonials. The work you complete as a freelance writer is called a “cut.” When you list clips on your portfolio page, it communicates your freelance writing experience to future clients. When you provide links to your clips, they turn into writing samples that can help you get more gigs.
A referral page (or section) communicates at least two things:
1. You are a great person to work with, and
2. You deliver quality work
Both will help you win more customers while gaining a foothold in the industry.