If you’re an aspiring writer who enjoys writing blogs, social media posts, and articles, you might be ready to start a freelance writing career. Working as a freelance writer can be enjoyable and flexible, allowing you to make a steady income in your own time. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to get started as a freelance writer, develop your writing skills, and land freelance writing jobs. With hard work and persistence, you can start freelancing and build a successful freelance writing business.

Evaluating if a freelance writing career is right for you

A freelance writing career offers a rewarding life for the right person, but it’s not for everyone. To determine if freelance writing is the right path for you, consider these 4 key questions. 

  • Do you thrive with flexibility and independence?

As a freelance writer, you can set your own schedule and work from anywhere. However, the instability may not suit everyone. Consider if you prefer a predictable work schedule and environment.

  • Are you self-motivated to find work?

Freelance writers have to constantly search for new clients and projects to maintain a steady workload. It requires motivation and persistence to build a freelance writing business. If you prefer having work assigned to you, a freelance career may be frustrating.

  • Do you have solid writing skills?

While you can develop writing skills over time, you need a solid foundation to start. Consider the types of writing you excel in, and prepare samples to share with potential clients. If you’re just beginning, you may need to start part-time while improving your craft.

  • Can you handle the business administration? 

As a freelance writer, you run your own business. That includes creating a website, setting rates, drafting contracts, invoicing clients, and managing finances. Make sure you’re comfortable with the entrepreneurial responsibilities required, or find resources to help guide you.

Building your skills and portfolio to start freelance writing

If you want to launch a freelance writing career, you need to build up your skills and portfolio. Here are the best ways to strengthen your capabilities and prepare for a successful freelance writing business. 

Develop in-demand writing skills

Hone your writing skills by practicing different forms of writing. Focus on the types of writing you want to do, like blog posts or ebooks, practice your craft, and get feedback from other writers. You should be fluent in AP style for news writing or CMS style for online content. Learn how to write for different audiences and in different tones by studying the work of good writers in your niche. 

Write sample pieces to gain experience 

The key to landing freelance writing jobs is having strong samples to show potential clients. Start building your portfolio by writing for your own blog or website, and produce content on topics you want to write about professionally. You can also pitch to websites and blogs to contribute guest posts for free to build your byline.

Use online resources

Take advantage of the many free resources for freelance writers, like taking online courses on freelance writing to strengthen your skills.. Follow influencers and join communities on social media to connect with other writers and learn from them, then use job boards like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer to find entry-level freelance writing jobs to gain experience. 

Finding freelance writing jobs and clients

As a freelance writer, finding work to build up your client base is essential to starting your freelance writing career. Here are X tactics for getting your first writing projects. 

Research content marketers and writing businesses

Look for content marketers, marketing agencies, and other writing businesses that hire freelance writers. Search online for terms like “content marketing agency,” “hire freelance writers,” or “freelance writing jobs, ” then explore their websites to see if they publish blog posts, hire for guest posts, or mention working with freelance writers. If so, contact them expressing your interest in freelance writing work, together with writing samples.

Build your portfolio

Your portfolio of writing samples is your best advertisement. Start building your portfolio by publishing blog posts on your own blog, writing guest posts for other blogs in your niche, or doing small freelance writing jobs to get published clips. Focus on the types of writing you want to do more of, such as blog posts, white papers, or email newsletters. The more you publish, the more you can prove your skills to potential clients.

Tap into job boards

Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Remote.co are popular places for companies to post freelance writing jobs. Set up a profile highlighting your experience, skills, and portfolio, and apply to jobs you’re a good match for. Work to build up your reviews and ratings over time. While job boards are very competitive, they remain an important source for finding new freelance writing clients.

Tips for running a successful freelance writing business

When you first started as a freelance writer, you likely took any writing jobs you could find to build up your experience. Now that you have a few writing clients and some published work under your belt, it’s time to start raising your rates, pitching to higher-paying clients, and strategically growing a successful freelance writing business. 

Continue honing your writing skills

The more you write, the better and faster you’ll get, so never stop learning and pushing yourself to become a better writer. Work on crafting tight, compelling samples in the types of writing you want to focus on, like blog posts, white papers, or email newsletters. 

Build your online presence

As a freelance writer, your online presence is essential for finding new work. Start a website to showcase your writing samples, share a little about your background and experience, and establish your freelancing writing business as a recognizable brand. Build a following on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook by engaging with potential clients, posting updates about your latest work, and promoting your services.

Go full-time

You might begin your freelance writing business as a side-hustle, but once you’ve gained a steady stream of clients you can make the switch to full time. The key is finding a balance of repeat clients, like content marketers or writing businesses, and one-off jobs from the job boards. Make sure to keep networking and optimizing your website to rank higher in search engines, to attract new loyal clients. 

Diversify your services

As your freelance writing career progresses, try diversifying the types of writing you offer. For example, you may start offering copywriting, ebooks, newsletters, or email marketing in addition to blog posts and articles. The more services you can provide, the more potential clients will want to hire you. You’ll also have a more stable income since you won’t be reliant on any one type of work.

Nurture a varied client base

Don’t rely on one or two big clients for the bulk of your work, because if you lose one, it could be financially devastating. Work to build up a roster of several clients in different industries. Continuously prospect for new potential clients and don’t be afraid to pitch them your services. That way, if one client’s needs change, you have other work to fall back on. It makes your business more stable and sustainable in the long run. 

Your freelance writing career is waiting for you

The path to becoming a freelance writer is challenging but rewarding. While it can take time to build up a steady stream of work, following these steps will help you gain momentum in your freelance writing career and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and skillful writer. With commitment and perseverance, you can build a thriving freelance writing business.