The Essential Guide to Getting Started in Freelance Writing

January 11, 2022 4 min read

 By Author Lance Cody-Valdez

Have you always dreamed of being a writer? Then freelance writing is an excellent avenue for exploring your love of the written word. With minimal commitment but great returns, a career in freelance writing is both lucrative and fulfilling.

Below, we share the essential guide to a writing career — from enhancing your writing skills to landing clients. Let’s get into it.

Freelance Writing Specialties

Before you get started on your freelance career, you’ll need to know more about the industry. Freelance copywriters may find work in various specialties based on skills and training. Let’s take a look at the main types of freelance writing below:

Blogging

According to First Site Guide, the blogging industry is worth a whopping $400 million! Running a successful blog can rake in the dollars - and so is a highly lucrative industry. The great part about applying for blog writing jobs is that you can work within a specific niche if you have a passion you wish to write about.

Social Media

Social media copywriting is another avenue you could explore. This field offers unique challenges such as character limitations, search engine optimization, and engagement metrics. While it is different from traditional forms of writing, it provides excellent work in a highly in-demand industry.

Article Writing

This is one of the most common writing pathways and the one that most newbie writers tend to venture into. You likely will not need specific knowledge or skills for article writing, as it will be based on more general topics and information.

Technical Writing

Once you build up your base writing skills, you may want to venture into the world of technical writing.

Fields like finance and engineering need the content too, but often use complicated jargon and technical terms the average individual may not understand.

Technical writers help translate these complex concepts in a discernible way to everyone.

If you’re particularly interested in one of the specialties, start writing work intended for it. This will help you get started on samples that are tailored for the kind of work you’re looking for.

Want to learn how to become a freelance writer? Book a 1-on-1 consultation with Freelance Writer Mike Pietrzak.

Writing Experience

The great thing about a career or side hustle in freelance writing is that you don’t necessarily need formal training in writing. If you don’t have a degree in English or related subjects, never fear.

According to a study by Collaborative Campbell, most employers said that experience trumped training. What is valuable when applying for jobs is your experience, or in this case, your work.

Your portfolio and writing samples will speak for your efficacy in a way that previous jobs cannot. So try to get as much practice as possible and build up that portfolio.

Finding Work

Once have a decent number of articles under your belt, it’s time to get applying.

One option is to make a list of employers or publications you’d love to work with and pitch to them. Or you could go through existing openings on job boards like Fiverr, ProBlogger, and other writing platforms and apply directly.

Getting hired (particularly for your first job) can be difficult, so be sure to reach out to your network and let them know about your new business. You never know who may need writing services!

Set Up Your Freelancing Business

In addition to developing skills and expertise, you’ll also need to set up your freelancing business. Start thinking about business structure, as that will set your business up down the line.

In addition, make sure you’re following the legal requirements of the province you’re based out of. Incorporating is another good practice to follow, as you’ll benefit from limited liability, reduced paperwork, and tax advantages.

You’ll also have greater flexibility in payments and could save even further by filing yourself or opting for a formation service.

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?

Like any other industry, rates earned depend entirely on a wide range of factors. How long you’ve been writing is one of the most important metrics to determine pay, as is the quality of work. Some employers may value professional training as well. However, according to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for freelance writing goes at $30, with an annual salary of approximately $63,000.

Freelance writing is a great side hustle (or main gig) that engages your creative side. You’ll have complete control over the hours you work and the projects you take on — all while working from the comfort of your own home!

Be sure to follow our tips above to get started on your dream career!

If you want to become a powerful writer, you need personal coaching and feedback to grow. So You Want To Write helps you create great literature and develop your passion by connecting you to established literary agents and authors in the field. Click here to check out our services today!

Want to learn how to become a freelance writer? Book a 1-on-1 consultation with Freelance Writer Mike Pietrzak.

About The Author

A few years ago, burned out and miserable from his job in corporate marketing, Lance Cody-Valdez decided it was time to invest in himself. He quit his job the following day and used his meagre savings to stay afloat as he built a career as a freelance writer and content marketer. He created free-lance-now.com to help others use freelancing to escape the 9 to 5 daily grind.

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