Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: Getting Started Online

Great breakdown of freelance writing for beginnersThose 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. In today’s Internet Age, there are plenty of freelance writing jobs for beginners to choose from. Good grammar and research skills are all that is needed.

From product descriptions to blog posts to expert articles and eBooks, there is a little something for every aspiring freelance writer.

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.

Recommended Tools

I highly recommend signing up with Grammarly. This tool will help detect grammar and spelling errors. It also includes a plagiarism checker.

It is also a good idea to start a website or blog to share links to published articles with those interested in your services. A service like clippings.me can provide a free alternative until if and when you are ready to invest in a blog of your own.

Google Drive is a popular choice for word processing and sharing files with clients.

You need some type of accounting system to keep track of money in, money out and money owed. Our favorites:

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 specialties.

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 opportunities. 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:

These Sites that pay for guest posts is not necessarily ongoing work, but it is a great way to introduce yourself to those in need of your service while getting paid.

Demand Studios is considered a content mill by some. They don’t provide content to small publishers however. Their clients include sites like eHow, LIVESTRONG, Garden Guides and more. They generally pay in the $25 per article range. Experience in your chosen subject matter is required. The editing process can be frustrating for some. The good news here is you can come and go as you please. There are no minimum requirements. Keep this one in your back pocket for the slow times.

Network with bloggers in your specified niche as was mentioned in this previous post.

There are a lot of job boards are the web providing new leads daily:

Fiverr is where many freelance writers get their start. You will start out only being able to charge $5 (you keep a little under $4 after fees). For that reason, you should keep your article offering short, many Sellers start at 300 words, and within your area of expertise. You want to be able to churn out several quality articles within an hour. Once you complete 20 gigs you will have the ability to add on Extras which is where the real money is at. Check out our list of Fiverr tips here.

Reddit has a hopping r/ForHire subreddit. Make sure you read the Get Hired info in the lower sidebar.

Freelance broker sites like Elance and oDesk are an option, but many beginner writers feel they can’t compete with the cutthroat rates starting out. The upside with sticking it out is that many clients here are loyal. They want to work exclusively with one person they just like the security that comes with these platforms. You have to pay the bills first and foremost however. If you can’t find anything worth your time, move along.

Be Careful with Content Mills. – There are many beginner freelance writing jobs 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.

Even when you have plenty of clients, continue marketing and creating a prospect list for future reference. And always ask happy clients for referrals and testimonials to place on your portfolio.

Important Tips

No free samples – one good reason to start that blog or portfolio is so you can provide examples of your writing style without having to create custom samples which occasionally seem to be mistaken for free content by the requester.

Follow the application instructions – provide links to examples, share your background and keep if brief. Watch for immediate disqualifiers like “Put ‘Color Me Bad’ in the subject line.” Clients do this to ensure you can follow directions. Miss it and your email is going straight into the Trash.

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:

Check out these other popular posts on freelance writing:


Comments

  1. says

    freelancing is the best way to earn money while sitting at home …and if you have good communication skills and great vocabulary sets you can start earning from day one

  2. mariam aditya says

    I’m a Mom and I’m new for this, can you help me to find the trusted website that really pay? My husband tried once, but the client said that his articles were not good enough and he didn’t pay. I couldn’t beleive it, coz my husband is a professional writer and blogger. That story really affected me.

  3. says

    Great tips, useful inks and excellent post! For those who are looking for a writing site that pays a bit more than most, try Constant Content. I made @$2000 in my first two months there, writing part-time. If you want to really succeed on this site, you may want to check out my eBook ‘The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money on Constant-Content.com’ (available on Amazon).
    You need to be a decent writer with good grammar, but you set your own prices and can make reasonable money if you put the effort in.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Casey
    https://www.amazon.com/author/kevincasey-prowriter

      • says

        Angie, I should also mention that I got a nice blogging job from this very list of resources! I am currently writing 500-600 word blog posts for an outdoor products company that I applied to from ‘Freelancing Writing Jobs’ (freelancewritinggigs.com). Great clients who appreciate quality, and (at least for now) steady work.

        Writers often feel they have to look for work locally. Not so: this job was in Texas, and I live in Australia!

        Cheers,
        Kevin Casey

  4. courtneyconover says

    Wow! This post is a fantastic resource, and you clearly know your stuff. I’ve been writing professionally for years now, and I didn’t know HALF of this…granted, I still haven’t truly made the transition over to writing for the Web as opposed to print — and that is half of my problem right there. Grrrr.

    I need to get with the times…

    Happy SITS Day, and enjoy the love. <3

    Courtney Conover
    http://www.thebrowngirlwithlonghair.com

    • says

      Hi Courtney –

      I found the transition from writing for print books to writing for websites a bit of an adjustment too. The main difference is the length of paragraphs. These can go one forever in print, but I try to reduce my online paragraphs to 3-5 sentences for the shorter-attention -span web reader.

      Cheers,
      Kevin Casey

  5. cantijustorbit says

    This is a great resource — I hadn’t considered looking for paid writing jobs, but might do so in the future. Thank you for sharing!

  6. MyAudLife says

    Great post! Definitely a great resource for writing opportunities. I’ll be checking some of these sites out soon.

  7. says

    This is excellent. There were so many sites in your article that I wasn’t familiar with. I have a whole list of things to do now this weekend! Thank you!

  8. anotherjennifer says

    When I started doing freelance writing, I went with who I knew locally. Hooking up with some marketing companies and website designers who always had a need for copywriting really helped get me started.

  9. says

    This is really helpful information, thanks so much for sharing! I write for television, and am just transitioning now to print. It is quite different, but I am so enjoying the challenge. I had thought recently about looking for other writing jobs, and will try some of the resources you’ve suggested.

  10. says

    Hi! I’m a beginner in freelancing. like to write poetry and short stories. I also like writing articles about parenting, pregnancy, relationships, animals, writing, and language. I would like to enquire about any jobs available in those categories. Thank you!

  11. Akila Krishnamurthy says

    Thank you very much, Angie. This article was very helpful. I’m thinking of doing freelance writing at least once during the holidays, and it’s nice to know that I get paid for these stuff, but could you tell me how they pay, exactly? (I am totally new to this, and have zero experience, so…)

    I just want to stay foolproof.

    And I would be glad if you had any tips for beginners! Thank you!

  12. Autumn says

    I’m currently an editor for a well known insurance company, but with a little one on the way, I’m looking into ways to make money outside of my 9-5. I’m interested in starting local and was wondering if you had any advice on pricing if essentially cold calling for clients? Thanks!

  13. lyubov podolskaya says

    Amazing article Angie, just wandering if you have the same or similar research done for website owner , blog owner on how to heir a freelance writer on a giving topic? and what would be your opinion for owner to provide to the writer as a direction , subtopic and so on
    thank you in advance luba

  14. says

    This is a really useful post – I’ve returned to it several times for help. I’m finding it difficult to kickstart my freelancing career. You say there is a high demand for education writers online. Where? I’ve searched high and low, applied to a bunch of different job postings, but no bites yet.

  15. says

    Great post and helpful info! I’ve written for (or found jobs with) many of the sites on your list. While I don’t want to point fingers, there are a few that I found very frustrating and in many ways unprofessional. I love elance for finding new clients. There are a lot of clients that want to pay terrible rates, but I’ve found some amazing companies (especially start-ups) to write for. In many cases one job turned into an ongoing relationship. Another site that I’ve worked with over the years is Skyword. You have to submit a profile, and they choose you if the job fits. The pay has been great and they are the most respectful and professional site that I’ve worked for.

  16. says

    Useful tips for beginners, especially the one about free samples. I get really angry when people think that just because you’re a beginner, you’re obligated to do some spec work or free stuff just to get experience.

  17. faith says

    Thanks for the information, really helpful. I have been thinking of trying it out since I am a stay a home mum. Are there are any specific qualifications needed to begin online writing

  18. Carrie says

    Hello,
    I’m a stay at home mom for the past several years… I have been trying for the last couple weeks to start my freelance writing career, without any luck. It is getting really frustrating. I started writing in 9th grade when my English teacher insisted i had a knack for it. I don’t have a degree in journalism or writing because i thought i would be a published book writer by now. (The kids were not exactly planned, but i wouldn’t give them up for anything) I have notebooks upon notebooks of stuff I have written over the years. I am currently working on a novel, but would love to venture into some other projects as well. I’m just looking for some assistance or advise on how to get started. Thanks so much in advance

  19. Christine says

    Hi!
    I am fluent in English but I like to write and read more in Spanish. Is here any website looking for Spanish speaking writers. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>