Why I’m Qualified to Give Freelance Writing Advice.
First learned about freelance writing when I was 19. After stumbling across the blog you’re currently reading, I discovered people were getting paid to write articles while they traveled the world, built companies, or sat at home in their pajamas during the morning commute.
I wanted that lifestyle, that flexibility. I had lots of time and lots of drive, but I was missing one crucial piece of information: how to get started. I had no idea how to make money as a freelance writer, how the business of freelance writing worked, or even how to write an article for the web.
If you’re reading this article, then you’re likely in the same position. My goal over the next few thousand words is to take you from being unsure where to start to knowing the steps you need to start your freelance writing career.
Freelance Writing Advice
Because it’s such a popular topic, there are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of websites and articles claiming to help you become a freelance writer. So why should you trust my advice amid all of the other contenders?
I’ve been freelance writing professionally since 2015. While that doesn’t make me as seasoned as some of the other freelancers I know, I’ve gotten a lot of experience in that time.
I’ve worked for several agencies, plus many more individual clients. I’ve written hundreds of articles across topics as diverse as gardening, Uber driving, microscopy, study advice, and career development.
I have worked as an Moderate for other freelance writers, so I have insight into how to get moderating and publications to read (and accept) your work
And, I’ve been able to do all of this relatively quickly. In just a couple of years, I went from knowing nothing about this business to earning a respectable side income. By my third and fourth years, I was earning a full-time income and turning down work because I didn’t have enough space in my schedule.
I’m not promising that you’ll get the same results, or pretending that your goals are the same. However, I do not have a lot of advice to share about freelancing writers, particularly for serious beginners.
I hope that this advice will help you avoid many of my mistakes and start earning a living from your words ASAP.
What Is Freelance Writing?
Let’s take a step back. I have been talking about freelance writing for around a hundred paragraphs, but I have yet to explain what it is.
It may seem obvious: you write things, and other people pay you for them. That’s true, but the details are a bit more nuanced.
It’s are often difficult to define freelance writing because it’s such a huge , diverse field. It can range from writing one article per month for a small blog to penning dozens of articles per week for an agency hired by a Fortune 500 company (and everything in between).
When I talk about freelance writing, however, I’m specifically talking about:
While you can still make good money writing for print magazines, I’m going to focus on online work. All of my freelance experience is during this area, and online writing tends to be easier to urge into than freelance print work.
Writing for business purposes
Companies pay freelance writers because they need writing that serves their business goals. This could be directly (such as writing sales copy for a product) or indirectly (writing an article that gets people to visit a website).
But regardless of the specific goals, we’re going to focus on writing for businesses. And don’t worry if you never took “Business Writing” or didn’t study business in college. That doesn’t matter.
How Much Does Freelance Writing Pay?
I assume that you’re fully interested in freelance writing because you are about to make money. But how much money are we talking, exactly?
On the very low end, there are content mills that will pay you a few bucks to churn out surface-level, bite-sized articles. At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been paid $1,000 for a single (long, detailed) article. And some writers earn far more than that (mostly in the world of copywriting).
So what makes the difference between the freelance writers earning less than minimum wage and those who charge more per hour than a lawyer? It all comes down to the following:
Experience – If you’re brand new, then you’re not going to be able to charge as much as someone with more experience. However, experiencing matter much less than you would think, which is one thing that makes freelance writing such an appealing field.
Skill – More important than experiencing is skill. The best writers can (and should) charge more for their work. Luckily, it takes less time than you’d think to become a skilled freelance writer.
Clients – One overlooked aspect of earning more as a freelancer is finding the proper clients. If you can find clients who are willing to pay top dollar for the best work, then you’ll earn more.
Topics – Some topics are more profitable than others. This includes topics that are highl technical (car repair, Eg) or require special expertise/credentials (medical topics, for instance).
Finally, note that your freelancing writing earnings Experience is depend on how much time you can/want to commit.
If you just want to freelancing writting for a few hours per week, it can be a nice supplemental income (and far more pleasant than driving for Ubers). But if you want to put in full-time, it’s possible to earn a full-time incomes.
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