Those looking to work from home have far more opportunities available than they may initially think. Freelance writing in itself, for example, offers dozens of shots for freedom to the right individual. Every blogger and website owner needs online content, after all.
From product descriptions to blog posts to expert articles and eBooks, there is a little something for every aspiring freelance writer. This post focuses primarily on writing blog posts and articles. These short works usually range from 350 to 1,000 words. Blog posts tend to be more conversational in tone, while an exert article may require quite a bit of research and instruction.
Skills Required for Freelance Writing
You must have above par English and grammar skills. In addition to being able to write well, you also need to be organized and self-motivated to work at home.
Getting Started Writing Online
Make it easy on yourself and avoid trying to appeal to the masses. It will be far easier to market yourself and demand a good wage if you can offer specialized services. That applies to writing as well. Assess your knowledge and identify your niche(s). If you come from an educational or medical background, there is a large demand for that knowledge online. If you have a passion for travel, fashion or food, there is plenty of room for you too. Anyone can rehash general information. Website owners and bloggers are looking to hire those that know what they are talking about and can connect with readers on a personal level. Don’t leave anything off the table! If you are great at coupon matchups, there is a job out there for you.
Get Writing Clients
There are a number of places to find writing clients. First and foremost, reach out to your personal network. You likely know a few bloggers or small business owners, ask if they need help (or know someone who does). A few places to find clients online:
- Sites that pay for guest posts (not necessarily ongoing work, but a great way to introduce yourself to those in need of your service – while getting paid)
- Demand Studios
- Problogger Job Board (recent good finds)
- Network with bloggers in your specified niche as was mentioned in this previous post.
- Do a search for writing jobs on my Work from Home Leads board and follow @WAHLeads on Twitter.
- journalismjobs.com – Select “Telecommute” for Location
- Writer’s Market
- Online Writing Jobs
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Absolute Write
Even when you have plenty of clients, continue marketing and creating a prospect list for future reference. It is also a good idea to start a website or blog to share links to published articles for those interested in your services. A blog can also serve as a place to post writing samples while attempting to land those first clients.
No free samples – one good reason to start that blog is so you can provide sample upon sample of your writing style without having to create custom samples (which occasionally are mistaken for free content by the requester).
Follow the application instructions – provide links to examples, share your background and keep if brief
Be Careful with Content Mills – There are many freelance writing jobs for beginners to be found at so-called “content mills.” These are essentially sites that act as a middleman between the writer and the client. While there may be plenty of work at sites like Textbroker and HireWriters, you may be starting out at around $.01 per word. That is $5 for a 500-word article. That may be acceptable if you stick within your industry of expertise and can whip out articles in 10 minutes. But if it is taking you one hour to research and write an article, that isn’t such a good deal. WritersDomains.net claims to pay $20 for each accepted article.
Continue Learning and Growing
In addition to ongoing marketing, you also need to keep up on the industry. Follow freelance writing blogs and forums. Commit to honing your craft and moving up. A few popular, trusted sources of freelance writing information:
- Yahoo! Style Guide
- Make a Living Writing
- Freelance Folder
- Freelance Switch
- Be a Freelance Blogger
- Udemy offers several courses on starting a freelance writing biz
Are you a freelance writer? What tips or resources would you share with a beginner?