How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience
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Do you want to work from home as a freelance writer but don’t know where to start and what to do? Then this blog post is for you.
Today, I will share with you all my tips and experiences to help you succeed in your business as a freelance writer with no experience.
Freelance writing is one of the fastest ways I know to earn quick cash online. You can make a full-time income in a short period of time.
It’s flexible and you can work from home or anywhere you want in the world.
All you need is a good computer and an internet connection.
The pay is good, especially when you understand how to market yourself properly and land high paying clients.
How to become a freelance writer with no experience.
What is freelance writing?
Freelance writing is writing assignments that you do for pay. A freelance writer is an independent contractor. There are no benefits. No 401 k, sick leave, paid vacations, etc.
You are on your own.
Do You Need A Degree To Become A Freelance Writer?
No, you don’t need a degree to be a freelance writer. You just need to have a passion or even an interest in writing and be willing to learn.
A degree may help but it is not a requirement.
Lots of great writers don’t have any degree.
- Charles Dickens
- Maya Angelou
- Mark Twain
- William Faulkner
- H.G Wells
- Beatrix Potter
Don’t be intimidated to start either thinking your writing is not good enough. Have faith and confidence in God and yourself and start your business.
Keep working at your craft and in no time you will be an excellent writer.
Remember, good writers were not born they are made. With that being said you should always try to learn how to be a better writer.
Why Become A Freelance Writer?
The market demand for writers is high. The job outlook is excellent, Just think about it, the web is made up of content.
Some of your favorite websites, magazines, quizzes, research, stories, games and blogs use freelance writers to create their awesome content.
- Working as a writer allows you to have a flexible schedule.
- You can work independently from any location in the world and be Your own boss.
- The salary is fantastic. If you know what you are doing you can easily make $5,000-$20,000 monthly.
- Get rid of your 9-5 work stress
- Earn your money quickly.
Writing is a much easier way to earn money than other business models. You are offering a service for pay. So as soon as you finish your piece and it’s approved by your client, you get paid.
Four years ago, I worked for content mills as a freelance writer. But I did not know what I was doing. Working for content mills is one of the worst mistakes a writer can make.
You’ll never make any good money. Content mills have some ridiculous rates like 2000 words for $33. There is no way for you to make a full-time income with those cheap rates.
When you write for content mills the quality of your work will be greatly affected. Because quantity makes money not quality and you will also suffer from burnout as I did.
I was ready to give up when I found Carol’s blog make a living writing. She discussed on her blog how she got paid $50 or more per blog post.
That’s when I realized I could make better money on my own. I paid close attention to the clients that were requesting me to write for them on those content mills.
Some of those clients were very popular health and fitness blogs. This was the niche I wrote in at the time. I did some cold pitching to them and the rest is history.
How do freelance writers get paid?
There are many ways that writers get paid. For example:
Online payments such as PayPal, Google wallet, Payoneer, Facebook Messenger, Dwolla, and Venmo.
Bank Transfer- Your client may also wire transfer the money to your account. For bank transfer, you would need to give your client your bank account and routing number.
To protect yourself and your information, you would need to vet your clients to see if they are legitimate.
Physical check- Some companies still write a check to a freelance writer. You would receive your check in the mail. Now, remember to be cautious of online check scams.
Contact your bank to see if the check is cleared before releasing copyrights of your work to the client.
How do I get started as a freelance writer?
It is very easy to start as a freelance writer once you have a computer and an internet connection you’re in business.
Be sure to do your homework before you search for work as a writer.
First, decide what type of writer you would like to become. Do a vetting process of the niche you choose to write in. Try writing a few blog posts on several topics in your niche.
- Did you enjoy writing those blog posts?
- Was the writing process boring?
- How many blog posts did you finish?
If you hated the entire process and had no interest in the topics you wrote about, don’t choose that niche.
You don’t want to start writing in an area you don’t like.
Just because a particular niche writer may make more money does not mean you should write in that area too. You may hate the process and create a bad name for yourself.
What kind of writer do you want to be?
There are many types of writing that freelance writers can make money from.
- Magazine articles
- Blog posts
- Business plans
- Media kits
- Newspaper articles
- Press Release
- Case Studies
- Video scripts
- Ghost Writers
- Marketing Emails
- Direct mail sales letter..etc
After choosing the type of writer you want to become. Learn all you can about the content they produce. Practice seeing if you are comfortable producing the content required of you.
Writing becomes difficult when you don’t enjoy what you are doing.
How to know if you will do well in your specialty? When you can’t stop coming up with ideas of what you can write.
You will have a list of ideas to pitch to editors.
When you enjoy reading and learning more about the niche you write in. Don’t be afraid to switch specialty if you hate the one you chose.
For example, you may start as a travel writer, then find out you hate writing and learning about traveling. Try Ghostwriting or some other niche to write in till you find the one you have a knack producing content for.
Then move on to marketing yourself and your new business.
How to Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience.
There are many ways to become a freelance writer online. This is just my way of doing it.
I have just 8 steps to earning money as a freelance writer with no experience online.
- Educate Yourself.
- Choose a Niche to write in.
- Start A Blog
- Create an online presence.
- Enter a Contract
- Find work on craigslist
- Guest Posting
- Cold Pitching
1) Educate yourself.
Writing on the web differs from writing for print. And if you are a beginner, you may need to learn how to write for the web.
Having a good grasp of content creation and marketing will help you land high paying clients.
You don’t have to buy any fancy course. However, I suggest learning as much as you can from HubSpot Academy. The lessons are free.
It takes just a few hours out of your day to complete a lesson. You will better understand how to structure your content and what to write to get more repeat customers.
Read all you can on how to write. Study great pieces of content and find the patterns and structures used to create good work.
Never stop learning. Things change so rapidly online and you have to keep up with the latest writing trends. For example: When I wrote for content mills 4 years ago, I wrote articles that were 150-500 words.
Now article writers have to create articles that are 2000+ words. Just stay on top of the latest news and trends in your writing business.
2) Choose A Niche
Choose a niche to write in. It is not a good idea to spread yourself thin and write in every niche. That would be a mistake.
Your work may end up hurting your reputation rather than helping it.
The last thing you want is to regurgitate the same stuff that is commonly seen on the Internet. Have your own unique perspective to put a new spin on old information.
Do your research and pick a niche you’re knowledgeable about or would like to learn.
Read every day on your niche. Collect data and statistics, create a mini dictionary of your niche. Create definitions of niche related terms and jargon.
Find 10-12 reputable sites that you can refer to for research in your niche and to stay abreast of current news.
You don’t have to do anything fancy.
Just open Microsoft Word and start copying and pasting relevant information.
Set up Google alerts with keywords from your niche and use Feedly to keep you up to date.
Evernote is also a fantastic tool to collect your notes.
This will help you produce content much faster and help you to make more money writing.
3) Start A Blog.
Starting a blog is an easier way to attract clients. But you don’t have to start one. There are many platforms you can use to showcase your portfolio without starting a personal blog of your own.
You can get work either way.
Here are some sites you can create your portfolio on.
While starting a blog is not mandatory to land clients. There are some advantages to having a blog.
- A blog will have a portfolio of the work you have done.
- Your client will have a much better look at your writing style.
- There maybe testimonials from clients you have worked for.
- It’s a professional storefront for your business.
- Another great advantage of having a blog is getting organic traffic to your site, which may lead to landing even more jobs.
- When you write and publish articles, you can monetize your blog with affiliate marketing, ads, sponsored content, and create courses and ebooks.
It’s always a smart idea to write your blog in the niche you write about. It helps to showcase your expertise. But again this is not mandatory.
For example, you may be a tech writer. Start a tech blog and add your portfolio to your blog. Create a work with me page. Show samples of your work.
Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs.
4)Create an online presence.
Social media is your best friend when you are trying to create a presence online. LinkedIn is a great place to find jobs. If you optimize your profile properly, you will land jobs in no time.
Linkedin has a job board and thousands of companies use Linkedin to find freelance writers. The platform will help you find jobs by sending you job alerts.
Many clients will reach out to you if you write in the niche they are looking for.
Optimize your profile by using keywords in your niche. If you’re a content writer or a blog post writer, make sure it is in your profile.
List some clients you have worked with and how you can help clients to create a profitable business with your work. Add samples of your work. Link back to your website.
Twitter- The same concept applies to Twitter, optimizing your profile properly with keywords about what you do. Market yourself.
Facebook- Create a Facebook page and join Facebook writers’ groups. Here are some groups you can join for support and get help and leads from other writers.
Medium- Create a page on medium. Optimize it with your keywords. This is a great platform to showcase your portfolio and some sample of your work.
5) Enter A contract.
Before you write content for clients. Ensure you have a contract in place.
Do not depend on the client to provide you with a working contract. You should do your due diligence and have your own contracts drafted and ready.
Use common sense, the Internet is not a fictitious world; Not everyone is honest. There are also a lot of scams for writing jobs online. If a client contacts you for work put measures in place to ensure you get paid for your hard work.
Remember, you hold the intellectual property rights over your work. You do not transfer those rights to the client until you receive payment.
A basic contract should plainly state.
- Your name or business name
- Address- business address
- Phone Number
- Website address
- Email address
- The service you are offering.
- Agreed amount for the job
- Method of payment agreed upon
- Make sure it stamps your legal rights to your work.
- The Client’s name
- Address/ phone number/email address
- The agreed sum
- Electronic signature.
Should the client refuse to pay and use your work, you have all the legal ammunition you need to have your content removed from the Internet.
How to find if your content is being used Without Permission.
There are many ways to check if your content is being used without your permission.
Use websites like CopyScape to check if your content is on the Internet.
Set up Google alert to notify you.
Use the contact page of the website that is using your content and send them a copy of the contract that you signed. Ask the client to remove your content before you take legal action.
Send a cease and desist letter.
Report the website to Google and claim authorship to your work.
You can also contact the hosting company to have them remove your content. Here is a great blog post from Neil Patel on fighting stolen content.
If all fail, sue.
I highly doubt you will have to sue, A cease and desist letter always does the trick.
6) Find work on Craigslist
Yes Craigslist, there is a lot of spam and scams ads on Craigslist. But it can also be a gold mine for finding great clients.
Use practical tactics to weed out fake job listing. If a job is offering a ridiculous amount of money for content, chances are it’s a scam.
Stuff, like earn $1000 per day writing, should raise warning signs.
What to look for in a legitimate writing advertisement.
- Summary of the company that seeks to hire a freelance writer.
- Clear description of the job to perform.
- Website address of the company or website
- Telephone number
- Negotiable income for the writer. This can be an hourly rate, a per article rate, a weekly or a monthly rate.
- A valid way to contact the advertiser. This can be via phone , Skype or email.
Searching for jobs can be tedious. Only look for jobs in major cities. New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Houston, London, Canada….etc.
7) Guest Posting
Guest posting is another great way to find clients. Make sure your guest post includes a writer’s biography.
Leverage guest posting for free to get paying customers. Don’t just write for any blog. Try to find blogs with a large audience.
By writing for blogs with a large audience, you will get your work in front of thousands of potential clients.
Make a Google search and add your “niche + write for us” to find websites that are accepting guest posts in your niche.
Example ( marketing + write for us)
8) Cold Pitching
I know, I know, a lot of writers don’t like to cold pitch. But think of the money you’ll make when you get accepted to write.
Cold pitching is when you email target companies, bloggers and small businesses and pitch your services to them.
Research is an integral part of cold pitching. Know who you want to pitch to. Target website you like in your niche or you could enter your niche in google search and choose blogs you like from the search result and pitch to them.
Your emails should be very strategic. Introduce yourself and your business. Speak on what you do and who you have helped. Tell your future client what your writing can do to help their business.
Include a link to your website and portfolio.
If you have never written for anyone, just list what you can do. Someone will say yes.
You will get some no thank you, some may not answer. But you will get clients. Don’t take things personally; it’s just business.
A “NO” is not the end of the world.
Here is a good sample of a cold pitch letter by Bamidele from writers in charge.
Freelance writing is a great way to make a full-time income online quickly. It’s flexible and you can work from home or anywhere in the world.
If you are not familiar with freelance writing, it is best to educate yourself first. After you educate yourself, start your own self hosted blog.
Create your portfolio and build an online presence and do some cold pitching to get clients.
Have you started your freelance writing business? Let me know how things are going so far.