Freelance writing is perhaps the most popular work at home option. Thankfully, it also comes with some of the lowest barriers to entry when it comes to remote opportunities.
Today we are talking about some of the things you will need to know to become a freelance writer and sharing some of our most popular and comprehensive posts on the topic.
What is a Freelance Writer?
A freelance writer is a self-employed individual that creates content for others. You may have a regular gig writing for an online magazine where you receive credit and a byline for your work, or you may operate as a “ghostwriter” where the credit and copyright to the work you created are transferred to the person paying you.
Many of the writing opportunities available require no formal degree or past work experience. You simply need to have excellent grammar skills and a few writing examples in your portfolio to show potential clients.
What Will I Write About?
Many entry-level writers start as generalists. They write on a variety of topics and in a variety of formats while getting their feet wet. This also gives you the opportunity to find the type of work and research you most enjoy and can create the best results. This post explains some basics on the skills needed and where to find work as a beginner.
Most freelance writers making the big bucks are specialized. They offer a specific type of product (ex. Articles, blog posts, eBooks, case studies) in an industry they have knowledge and enjoy researching. Many writers are finding a profitable niche in working with bloggers.
If you have a background working with non-profits, here is a great post on nine ways to put that experience to good use as a writer.
A few more popular niches currently in demand:
- Small Business and Marketing
- Personal Finance
- Travel and Tourism
- Green Living
- DIY Topics
- Cooking (being able to take amazing photographs is a plus)
- Fashion & Beauty
- Health & Wellness
- Education (there are several sites that hire curriculum writers – see the Teaching section)
How Can I Get Started in Freelance Writing?
Many beginning freelance writers start out writing for content mills and similar sites. While this isn’t a high-paying long-term plan, it can be a great way to get started as is conveyed in this post on how to make $10,000 per year freelance writing.
Where Can I Find Freelance Writing Clients of My Own?
I am a big fan of Google Alerts. I have several set up. Set up Google Alerts for phrases like “Blog Writer Needed” or “Blog Post Writer Wanted” to receive email notifications when these phrases pop up around the web.
In this post we go into more detail about using social networking and job boards to find freelance writing clients.
In the following two posts, we list high-paying gigs available. These pay at least $.10 per word or more.
- 10 High-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs
- 9 Freelance Writing Sites That Pay $.10 Per Word Or More
- This ongoing list from Scratch Mag lists what sites pay for content
- Writer’s Market lists paying clients and also has a section of those welcoming beginners
Once you find an opening to which you would like to apply, follow these steps to writing a winning project proposal.
Recommend Freelance Writing Resources
Whether you need to brush up on your writing skills or learn more about landing high-paying clients, here are some of our favorite writing resources:
Tools of the Trade
- Udemy – great site for picking up new skills at a reasonable cost
- Grammarly – get that piece proofread before sending it to a client
- After the Deadline – a free tool offering grammar and style suggestions
- The Freelancer’s Bible
- The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock
- 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success
Have additional questions about becoming a freelance writer? Let us know in the comments.