How to become a freelance writer step-by-step


When you have a love for placing pen to paper, or fingers to keys because the case so usually is lately, a profession as a contract author could possibly be for you.

Earlier than getting began

You do not want formal coaching, to take a course or learn a e book to change into a contract author. All  you want is a agency grasp of language, spelling, and grammar. This doesn’t essentially imply the English language. You possibly can change into a contract author in virtually any language recognized to man. Nevertheless, your spelling and grammar needs to be extremely exact in whichever language you select.

You must also have the will to be a storyteller and to share info, as that’s what a author units out to do. You don’t must be a novelist or need to create nice works of fiction, however at its core, any writing is the flexibility to inform a narrative effectively.

What’s a contract author?

So what’s a contract author? Nicely, wherever you see written phrases, they may’ve been written by a contract author. Freelance merely means you don’t work in-house for anybody firm. Lately being a author doesn’t equal getting revealed in magazines or making an attempt to be the subsequent George R R Martin.

The truth is, even the phrases used to explain merchandise on a web-based web site may have been particularly crafted by a contract author. Listed below are some instance of content material you possibly can create as a freelancer:

  • Content material advertising
  • Product captions
  • Social media captions
  • Blogs
  • Articles/options
  • Website positioning
  • Lengthy-form gross sales copy
  • EDMs (e mail)
  • Gross sales funnel/drip campaigns
  • Actual property listings
  • Internet copy/touchdown web page copy
  • Advert copy
  • Case research/white papers
  • Interviews
  • Ghostwriting
  • B2B
  • Tech
  • Novels
  • Magazines
  • Enhancing
  • Press releases
  • Commercials

Six steps to change into a contract author

Choose a distinct segment

This is usually a area of interest content material kind or a distinct segment subject. Or each. As we have now talked about many instances earlier than, choosing a distinct segment is essential. Casting a large web will most probably not garner extra work. The truth is, those that declare to be an professional in lots of fields usually come throughout disingenuous.

This isn’t to say you possibly can’t have a number of areas of experience or a number of types of writing that you just exceed at. However several types of writing require completely different ability units. For instance, writing charming and convincing long-form gross sales copy could be very completely different to crafting the 25 characters of Fb textual content and a video advert headline to get a buyer to click on via. And although related strategies could possibly be utilized, writing e mail advertising campaigns for a magnificence product is vastly completely different to these for B2B tech corporations.

Create a weblog or web site

Except you’ve gotten an in-depth writing profession that spans a long time, it is advisable be seen on-line. No matter how you’re feeling about numerous social networks or search engines like google and yahoo and the best way they collect information if you wish to earn cash as a contract author, folks want to have the ability to discover you. With out by accident stumbling upon your small business card, they are going to be trying to find you on the web.

A weblog or web site is one of the simplest ways to do that and lately these are extremely straightforward to arrange, even with out a lot technical information.

Preserve the URL so simple as doable, as this can provide help to seem on the primary SERP  (search engine outcomes web page). In case you are buying and selling as your individual title, merely ‘’ could be finest, if out there.

In your web site, you possibly can promote your abilities and companies. This doesn’t essentially imply itemizing your charges, although you might be welcome to in case you have these set. Clarify your ardour to your area of interest and supply simple contact info.

You can too use your web site to showcase your earlier work.

Create a portfolio or writing samples

Each author wants to have the ability to show to new purchasers their model. Your writing model gained’t go well with everyone and that’s an excellent factor, as a result of it means you are able to do your finest work for individuals who it does. Having a portfolio or examples of your writing available for potential purchasers to peruse will shortly weed out those that you aren’t an excellent candidate for. This protects time for everybody.

Making a portfolio additionally means you don’t must waste time attempting to collate your earlier work when somebody asks for examples in a particular space. It’s all available and introduced in a handy manner. Potential purchasers want a immediate {and professional} response.

In case you are a newbie within the subject and don’t have something revealed to show your work, that’s nice. You possibly can nonetheless create writing samples. These are examples of your work that spotlight your niches, ability degree and writing model. You will need to state these are writing samples and never fabricate work for actual manufacturers with out their permission to take action.

Nevertheless, in case you do create writing samples for a model (with out publishing them) you could possibly attain out to the corporate and pitch your content material or concepts.

Start pitching

When you change into a contract author the pitching by no means stops. That is the place you attain out to purchasers to indicate your curiosity of their out there positions or show the way you suppose your work may benefit them.

In case you are pitching chilly, i.e. you’ve gotten by no means labored with this firm earlier than, it’s important that the core message of your pitch is what you are able to do for them, not what they will do for you. Present them you perceive their enterprise or their viewers. Take into account it is probably not effectively obtained in case you merely spotlight to a enterprise all of the stuff you suppose they’re doing improper. Lead with positivity.

You can too place your self on job boards, explaining your passions and ability set as a kind of broad pitching.

Job boards

Job boards are an excellent place to be seen to potential new purchasers. They act as a digital recruitment company, bringing collectively freelancers looking for work and firms looking for freelancers.

It’s essential to supply skilled job boards. Although these which might be widespread might appear to be the market is saturated, there may be nonetheless a possibility for everybody to succeed. There are job boards on the market which might be lower than skilled and may exploit your info in numerous methods with out really offering any reliable work in return.

One other house to be cautious of is ‘content material mills.’ Content material mills are websites that look like giving work alternatives however their goal is to pump out excessive volumes of content material at a minimal price. This isn’t solely disenfranchising to writers nevertheless it undermines the trade. Churning out plenty of low-quality writing at beneath affordable wages units poor expectations for purchasers and pollutes the web sphere with pointless white noise.

At all times attempt to supply high-quality, worthwhile writing and analysis trade requirements for pricing.


Comfortable purchasers are your finest advocates. While you work with somebody who loves what you’ve created, don’t hesitate to ask for a testimonial. Putting testimonials in your web site (ideally a number of on the house web page) and even on appropriate social media channels reveals potential purchasers that it’s not simply you who thinks you’re an important author, others do too.

Individuals are much more more likely to be swayed by the opinions of others, significantly ones they know but in addition these they don’t. Use this to your benefit and let your testimonials change into word-of-mouth advertising for you.

Really helpful on-line platforms for freelance writers

There are various helpful platforms to concentrate on as a contract author. Some are purely sources of knowledge and may maintain you knowledgeable of occurrences within the trade. Others are areas you possibly can supply work or acquire an understanding of what persons are in search of in your trade.

  • BloggingPro – Running a blog software program information and suggestions the right way to weblog as an expert that additionally has a job board up to date repeatedly
  • The Writer Finder– Website positioning-focused content material advertising company all the time in search of writers in any area of interest
  • Make a living writing – Sensible assist for freelance writers
  • Creative Revolt – Gives tutorials, weblog posts and free programs on content material writing
  • Inkwell Editorial – Hub of writing recommendation
  • FreelancerFAQs – Glorious blogs concerning the trade and the right way to succeed
  • Be a Freelance Blogger – eBooks, blogs and different trade assets in addition to a downloadable checklist of publications that pay for written contributions
  • The Write Life – Sensible recommendation about freelancing and publishing from a variety of profitable freelancers
  • Content Marketing Institute – Giant companies which might be in search of freelance writers
  • Freelance Writers Den – Neighborhood that hosts writing occasions, programs and assets in addition to dialogue boards
  • Problogger – Over 8,000 posts with running a blog recommendation, suggestions, in-depth tutorials and a job board
  • Textbroker- Job board with 10,000 content material requests per thirty days
  • Freelance Writing Job board, writing assets, and writing competitions to assist enhance expertise
  • Who Pays Writers? – Present charges publications are paying for content material to assist perceive trade requirements
  • Social media – There are such a lot of methods to supply work on social media. We don’t simply imply posting to your private profiles, although in case you have an excellent community this may work. Arrange skilled profiles and make the most of the platforms the place your superb purchasers is perhaps. If you wish to be an Instagram caption author, create an expert Instagram profile showcasing your abilities.

Another platforms, together with these, are good locations to get began. Preserve a watch out for   low charges and be sure you worth your self, your time and your work appropriately.

Really helpful instruments for freelance writers

Ultimate tricks to change into a contract author

Set targets

Writing can usually be an area the place it’s difficult to search out tangible targets. Nevertheless, each lofty and small scale targets are essential to assist carve out the writing path you hope to take. If you wish to in the future write for Vogue, it is best to work again from that aim to ascertain how one can get there.

For others, it could imply writing one private weblog put up every week to maintain persistently creating. Or to search out ongoing, paying purchasers. No matter it’s, it’s essential to set these out on paper and provides your self a timeline too. This adjustments mere ambitions into precise targets.

Have a routine

While you’re new to freelancing, it may be difficult to get right into a routine. This is essential to ascertain, as it may be straightforward to permit all of your ‘free time’ to distract you from deadlines. You do not want to your routine to be a regular 9-5 schedule if that doesn’t be just right for you. Having stated this, figuring out what it is advisable obtain and when will alleviate stress out of your course of.

It’s sensible to make the most of one of many many out there mission administration instruments right here to put out your workload in entrance of you and place duties into their calendar features to maintain your self accountable. Some helpful free instruments for novices embody:

  • Trello
  • Asana
  • ClickUp

Work out what you’re prepared to be paid

That is one thing all new freelance writers grapple with. There are such a lot of methods to be paid: per mission, per phrase, per complete phrase depend, per hour, per content material model. What’s essential is to discover a price you might be comfy with quoting to purchasers and sticking to.

Discovering the ‘candy spot’ could be difficult however in case you worth your self too low, you’ll work your self into burnout in a short time. Should you worth your self too excessive, it’s possible you’ll discover you don’t win as many initiatives as it is advisable.

Do a little analysis into trade requirements and for others in your space of information. Bear in mind that charges of pay fluctuate vastly from nation to nation and thru degree of expertise too.

Monitor your time

As a author it’s very straightforward to lose monitor of time. Discovering a time monitoring app is usually a very useful solution to spotlight methods to be extra environment friendly. Should you quote two hours to a consumer to jot down 2000 phrases however repeatedly really feel as if you’re operating out of time… maybe it takes you far longer than two hours.

Time monitoring is offered on many mission administration instruments. If it isn’t constructed right into a program you’re utilizing, you should utilize an extra service like Clockify or Harvest.

Pitch constantly

When your plate is full, it’s straightforward to fall off monitor and cease pitching your concepts. In any case, you’re already tremendous busy. However except all of your time is full with ongoing month-to-month contracts, the present initiatives you’re engaged on will end and also you’ll be left scrambling.

As a substitute, set time apart in your calendar to pitch concepts or proactively search out extra initiatives with potential new purchasers. This easy step will cease you from feeling such as you’re on a workload curler coaster on a regular basis.

Do your analysis

It’s nice that you just’re an excellent author. Storytelling is an important ability, however for a lot of varieties of freelance writers this must be backed up by thorough analysis.

Analysis your purchasers totally, perceive their voice and tone (they need to be capable of present this to you too). It is best to then do thorough analysis on the subject you’ll be writing about. Should you’re stating a truth, all the time hyperlink to the supply. And truth test your sources towards different analysis. In a world of misinformation don’t add to the noise. It will set up you as an important author along with your purchasers.

At all times proceed honing your writing craft

It doesn’t matter how good you suppose you might be, there may be all the time room for enchancment. Even Shakespeare may have taken some pointers. Proceed to be taught new abilities outdoors of your consumer work. There are many programs and books you possibly can take pleasure in however top-of-the-line methods to develop is to learn the work of others.

Hunt down these in your similar subject who’re attaining what you need to obtain, whether or not that’s dream purchasers, publications or those that have the writing model you aspire to. Devour as a lot of their work as you possibly can and you’ll quickly start to know their traits.


Freelance writing is a good profession in case you have a ardour for phrases. There are such a lot of avenues and choices out there to you, to search out success on this trade.

Beginning out as a freelancer could be laborious, as there may be a lot freedom and a few might discover it overwhelming. However given the fitting instruments and a few dedication, freelance writing could be very versatile and rewarding work.

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