How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

journal and coffee - How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

Wondering how to become a freelance writer with no experience? There are really two steps if you’re starting with no experience at all. The first is learning how to write, and the next is learning how to get clients. 

This post covers both of those. Let’s jump in!

Learning How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience: Learn How to Write

The first step to learning how to become a freelance writer with no experience involves the basics of writing. This includes understanding basic grammar and punctuation rules, understanding the principles of composition and structure, and being familiar with different kinds of writing.

Where to Get Started

Learning these basics can be done by reading books. More likely (and maybe easier to find), I would probably try to find a course online. I would search for things like “how to become a better writer”. Or, if you know what kind of freelance writing you want to do, you could search specifically for that. (How to write short stories for example). Early on, I would challenge you to also seek out feedback from more experienced writers who can give you constructive criticism. You can look for a coach (like me), or just reach out to colleagues you know that have more experience. Once you have mastered the fundamentals of writing, the best way to improve is to write a LOT. (Practice)

Improving Quality

Another important part of learning how to become a freelance writer with no experience is developing confidence. You want to feel amazing about your ability to produce high-quality work. As any type of creative entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or discouraged in your work from time to time. The best way to combat this is becoming confident in your ability to write.

Once you developed your basic skills, you might consider volunteering to read and edit OTHER writers’ work. Editing and teaching is an epic way to master your craft. Take every opportunity to network with other writers and editors and build relationships.

Marketing

In addition to honing your craft through practice and building up your confidence, becoming a successful freelance writer with no experience requires effective marketing strategies. Below I’m going to share some different avenues for getting clients, but you’ll still have to learn a bit about what “good” marketing is.

Anyone who plans to use the internet to get clients is going to need some kind of online presence. This could be a website, blog, or just social media. Whatever you choose, you’ll use it to highlight your portfolio and make it easier for people looking for writers to find you.



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Learning How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience: Leverage Freelance writing platforms

After you improve your writing…time to find clients!

I think one of the easiest ways to get started is by leveraging platforms with people looking for copywriters already. Some examples include

With more and more people turning to online platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr for their freelancing needs, it’s important to know how to stand out from the crowd and get clients. Here are some tips on how to use these platforms to find freelance clients.

Create your profile.

The first step is to create an appealing profile. Think of your profile as your resume – you want it to showcase who you are and why someone should hire you for the job. You should include details about your experience, skillset, education, certifications, etc., as well as providing links to relevant portfolio items or published work. Make sure that all of this information is up-to-date and accurate so potential clients can know they’re getting qualified professionals.

Fill out your freelance details.

When creating a profile on any of these freelance platforms make sure that you fill out all sections as much as you can. This helps ensure your profile is visible in searches made by your potential clients looking for YOUR skills. It’s also important to list only those skills which you are confident that you can do well. 🙂

Prospect using the platform.

A benefit of using these platforms is that some people will find you organically. This is especially true once you have some successful projects and reviews on your profile.

Want to speed up your results? Prospect by taking the initiative to find people who need you! Browse through current job listings / needs and respond to the ones that interest you. Make sure to read it through and consider if it’s something you really want to do. Then when responding to job postings, use language that shows your expertise in what the client needs done.

Pitching to publications

Freelance writers can also get clients by pitching publications with story ideas. Pitch story ideas for online and print publications, and if accepted, you’ll get paid for your work.

It’s important to tailor your pitch to the publication. Make sure you follow their guidelines and submit your best work to increase your chances of getting published. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Study the publication and their style of articles before reaching out.
  • Include what makes your story unique and relevant to the publication in your proposal / pitch letter.
  • Include a rough outline of the proposed article along with any supporting information that shows why your article would be well received (trends, past successes, etc.)
  • Make sure to include a few writing samples so that editors can get an understanding of your style and skill set.
  • Finally, make sure your story has clear relevance for their target audience.

If you don’t hear back right away, don’t be discouraged. It may take time for editors to get back to you. Be patient and keep trying.

You can also build relationships with editors by attending writing conferences and networking events. Or even trying to connect on social platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Practice makes perfect. The more stories you write, the easier it will become to create pitches that land freelance writing clients.

Blogging

Another way freelance writers can earn an income is by starting and monetizing a blog.

You can start your own blog and monetize it through advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships. Alternatively, you could focus on growing your email list and selling your own products. I get asked this question a lot, how do you make money from a blog? I have been blogging for years, and it took me a while to figure it out.

If you want to learn more about making money from a blog, check out this simple step by step process.

Content creation for businesses

Many businesses require written content for their websites, social media, and other marketing materials. You can offer your writing services to these businesses and charge a fee for your work.

With more and more businesses turning to digital marketing, the need for quality, original content is increasing significantly. As a freelance writer, you can create blog posts, website copy, product descriptions, social media posts, press releases and more. Not only do you get to work on interesting projects and contribute to companies’ success, but you also have the flexibility of working from wherever you please.

Plus, the income potential is high. Starting out, a common range for my clients is $25 hourly. I usually urge them to charge in packages or per post as opposed to hourly. I have one client that writes for huge companies and gets paid as much as $500 per article!

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

When it comes to content creation for businesses, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

First, research the industry you want to write for thoroughly. It’s important that your writing reflects an in-depth understanding of the market.

Secondly, write for both humans AND search engines. Create content that’s easy for people to read. But also, make sure you optimize it with keywords so that it can rank for search engines (like Google and Bing).

Finally, use visuals whenever possible. Add images and videos to break up long blocks of text or explain certain concepts more effectively.

These tips make your work higher quality, and increase the chances that you’ll get hired.

Ghostwriting

Some people, such as authors, business executives, and public figures, may need someone to write content on their behalf. You can offer ghostwriting services to these clients and get paid for your work.

What might you write?

As a ghostwriter, you can specialize in writing services such as articles, blog posts, copywriting, press releases, and even memoirs. You will work closely with your clients to determine their needs and develop content that accurately reflects their message and voice. In addition to the written content itself, you may also provide editing services or additional guidance on how to improve the overall product.

To be successful as a ghostwriter, it is important to have an understanding of different writing styles and formats, remain organized when communicating with clients, adhere to deadlines, and have an eye for detail.

Additionally, create a portfolio of previous work so prospects see your experience.

Next Steps

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