Are you thinking of starting a freelance writing career but have no experience?
You don’t need to have the experience to become a freelance writer. What you need is to get the skills required and know how to make money with your writing skills.
Good mastery of the English language and passion for writing will come in handy when starting this career.
But what exactly is freelance writing?
Freelance writing involves writing blog posts, articles, emails, marketing copies, and eBooks, among many other writeups for clients.
As a freelance writer, you will come across clients from different fields who need written copies. You can choose to specialize in one or multiple areas.
A freelance writing career has so many benefits. You can work for many clients at the same time. You are also able to maintain a work-life balance since a freelance job offers a lot of flexibility.
What’s more? You can earn a decent living.
Skills you need to become a freelance writer
Even though you can become a freelance writer without any experience, you need some skills. These skills will enable you to attract clients and build your freelance writing business.
It would be great if you are an excellent writer naturally. Then, you can tell a story clearly and communicate a message most effectively.
However, if you are not a good writer, you can practice. Below are the significant skills that you should aspire to gain most;
1. Excellent research skills
If you want to become a profitable freelance writer, you need to create content that portrays you as a credible writer that clients can hire.
With good research skills, you don’t have to limit yourself to a few topics that you know about. You can write content for very many and different industries.
You can easily research on the internet. Books and interviews can also be excellent sources of information that will make you write high-quality content.
2. Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Knowing how to communicate in both written and non-written forms will also enhance your writing skills. It will enable you to communicate clearly and bring out the intended message.
A good starting point to gaining this skill is by having a lot of mastery of the language you are writing in.
You should also read books from different authors to increase your knowledge of what writing good content entails.
3. Sound editing and proofreading skills
While writing, you are bound to make grammatical mistakes such as the wrong use of punctuation marks, misspelling of words, inappropriate use of words and phrases, among others.
After writing, it is always essential to proofread your content and make the necessary corrections to ensure it is error-free.
Therefore, excellent editing and proofreading skills are crucial to producing quality content that your clients will love.
4. Marketing or pitching skills
If you want to land freelance writing jobs, you must learn how to pitch to clients and market your services.
Identify companies that you would want to work with, investigate their industry, and know precisely how you can come in with your writing skills.
Let them know that you can offer writing services indicating how your writing services will help them achieve their objectives.
You can also use internet marketing to reach individuals who would be interested in your writing services.
5. Time management
To create credibility and trust with your clients, you must meet deadlines. Knowing how to manage time and the order in which to do tasks will come in handy.
Whenever you have several writing projects, organize them in order of their priority. Start with the ones that have short deadlines and then handle the ones with more extended deadlines.
This strategy will help you meet deadlines without compromising on the quality of the content.
How to become a freelance writer
1. Get a website and start blogging
If you have never written as a professional before, it can be challenging for a client to trust you with their work.
You, therefore, need to prove to potential employers that you can write professionally.
The best way to do this is by owning a website that will act as your freelance writing career resume. On that website, create your bio, portfolio, and post samples of your work.
Ensure to post the best writing samples that you got. Clients looking to hire a freelance writer will always demand to see examples of your work. If they love your work, they will hire you.
For starters, you don’t need a complicated website. You can quickly start one with WordPress. A website will portray you as a professional and one who knows what they are doing.
As part of marketing your work, you should also post testimonials from people you will work with. This helps other potential clients to believe that you can deliver what they are looking for.
2. Network with freelance writers
One of the best ways to start and advance your freelance writing career is by connecting with other writers who could be on the same or different levels as you are.
These writers might not necessarily hire you, but interacting with them will help you know a lot about freelance writing, such as how to write excellently and where to find jobs.
Whenever you encounter a problem, you can always contact them to find solutions. With this kind of support, your freelance writing journey will be a little less complicated.
Being in a writers’ group or network can also ease your search for jobs. Sometimes, experienced writers are usually overwhelmed with work.
When they have an overload of work, they can assign you some projects or refer clients to you.
To connect with writers, search for writers’ groups or networks in your area and join. There are also such groups on online platforms such as Facebook.
3. Pick a niche
When starting your freelance writing career, you might not have enough knowledge about topics in many industries.
In such a case, it is wise that you start writing about topics that you are comfortable with and have some knowledge about. Pick a niche and specialize in writing about it.
You can look into several niches, such as fitness, finance, sports, technology, and fashion, among others. What do you love or know about?
Choosing a niche and specializing in it helps you to perfect your writing skills generally. It also lets you do something that you love.
When you are passionate about what you are writing about, you can write quality content with ease.
However, do not limit yourself to specific topics. As a freelance writer, you need to have research skills that will enable you to write about different issues in different fields.
By doing this, you will attract several clients, thus advancing your freelance writing business.
4. Join freelance marketplaces and content mills
An excellent way to find freelance writing jobs and grow your career is by joining marketplaces and content mills such as Upwork, Fiverr, Textbroker, and Hire Writers, among others.
Freelance writing marketplaces and content mills are platforms that act as a link between freelance writers and clients.
These platforms work because clients post jobs, and then freelance writers place bids for the jobs they want and can handle.
If a client finds that the writer is qualified to do the work for them, that job is assigned to the writer. When the writer completes the project, they get paid through the platform.
You can find very many writing jobs from different industries. Each of these jobs has requirements and specifications that a client expects you to fulfill.
Besides enabling you to link up with potential clients, content mills and marketplaces help you grow your confidence as a writer.
You also learn how to come up with excellent pitches as you approach several and different clients.
5. Do guest posting
Even with zero experience, you can start your freelance writing career.
However, growing and advancing in this field requires you to increase your visibility so that potential clients can find you.
Guest posting involves writing posts for other blogs. You identify a blogger who has an active website and whose content influences a lot of people.
Then, you do a blog post that they publish on their websites with your name and a link to your profile. This way, other readers will be directed to your blog.
To get a guest posting opportunity, network with other writers in your niche. Comment on their blogs, connect with them on social media platforms, and share links to their website.
By doing this, you will be able to convince them to publish your content on their website. It is best to guest post in blogs that are related to your niche.
You might not get monetary value from guest posting instantly.
However, the traffic that you will get on your website will make you more visible to potential clients and land jobs in the long run.
6. Master cold calling
Before you become a high sort after freelance writer, you will need to learn how to market your services and pitch to clients so that they can hire you.
Cold calling refers to the act of a business owner reaching out to a client who has not expressed their interests in their services or products.
It starts with identifying clients you would like to work with and then contacting them through phone calls, direct emails, and social media messaging, among other methods.
Cold calling might seem like an invasion of a potential client’s privacy, which is why you need to send out emails to the right people.
Start by researching if a potential client would need your services. Investigate their industry and to identify their pain points.
When writing your pitch, let the client know how you will help them solve their problems through your writing.
7. Learn SEO
While starting and scaling your freelance writing career, it is wise to learn SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing your website’s content so that it can be shown as a top result on a search engine when specific keywords are searched.
When doing SEO, you use specific relevant and well-researched keywords to rank at the top on search engines. This increases traffic to your website and enables potential clients to find you.
You can learn about SEO here.
8. Leverage on social media platforms
Even though you will have a website to communicate your writer profile and showcase samples of your product, you need to learn other ways to market your services.
Social media is a great way to let potential clients know that you can offer them writing services.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help you connect with people who are looking for jobs. All you need to do is create a catchy profile and share content related to your writing.
Sharing links to your blog on these platforms is also an ideal way of leading audiences to your website.
9. Seek and accept feedback
Some of the people you will work with will be bold enough to give you feedback on the work you did for them. Others might not.
Always ask your clients if they are satisfied with your work. Through this, you will know your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
You can then make the best of your strengths and work on improving your weak areas.
With the tips above, you will be in a position to start your freelancing career even when you have zero experience.
To succeed in this field, you need to keep on learning and improving your skills. Knowing how to pitch clients and market your services will enable you to create a promising venture.
You must also learn to accept negative feedback. What one client might consider low-quality content might be high-quality content for another client.
Do not let negative remarks or criticism prevent you from advancing in this career. Use the feedback you receive to improve yourself and your services.
It may take some time to become an excellent freelance writer, but you can perfect your skills with proper practice and consistency.