How to become a freelance writer and start earning?

Written by Jugraj Singh

Jugraj works as a freelance writer and content creator. Leaving corporate cubicle at 21 he stepped into freelancing to feel the implications of the virtual world. He has multiple articles published on top authoritative websites and writes columns for Times of India. Follow him at @_jugrajsingh

The moment you search for a side hustle or gig, you might have come across the term "Freelance Writer." A lot of us wonder if it is possible to augment your income and become your boss with the flair of writing. Yes, it is. In this blog, we will discuss a step-by-step guide on how to become a freelance writer and get paid for something you love.

There is a huge demand for freelance writers because every business needs someone to write content, whether for their website, E-mail, Newsletters, Social Media posts, and much more. Freelance writing is quite popular among people who are looking to earn an additional income or take it as full time to enjoy the benefits of working remotely. If you are looking to take a chance but don't know where to start, read this complete blog to get started as a freelance writer, and make an income.

The good news as a freelance writer is that you don't need any qualifications to start or to master the topic you are going to write about. Being passionate about the topic and have a flair for writing is all that you need to step your toe in the world of freelance writing.

Here are some few steps which you must follow to get started

#1.Understand Your Niche

To make the most of your writing, you must understand the topic you are passionate about. Is it about technology, sports, productivity or finance, and budgeting, etc.? The moment you choose or understand your niche you will see an engagement in your content without spending hours researching for that topic?

Well, to be honest, it is the basic step where a lot of writers dread upon. Hence, to understand your niche, you should look for your career experience or interests in the beginning. What is something that you can share your views constantly if asked for? The answer to this is your niche.

The benefit of choosing your niche is that it helps you get prospective clients and secure samples in the beginning. Moreover, when you are a specialist in a particular niche, it is easy for you to command higher rates.

#2. Set up a website or blog

If you are looking to start as a freelance writer, I would personally recommend you to create your online presence through a website or blog. Even if you are not getting paid, it would hone your writing skills and can be used as writing samples to prospect for work. A blog gives you a space to write what you are passionate about and get feedback about your work.

It is easy to start your blog with or, or even start exploring options such as Medium.

The idea is just to create a platform that gives you space for writing and serves as a portfolio with respective clients.

#3. Get your samples ready

For you to pitch your prospective client, it is important to have a few quality writing samples. Any client you are going to come across might initiate the process with samples to get an idea about your writing skills. Hence create sample work that becomes your portfolio to land a client.

But the major concern is, how do I get a sample as a new freelance writer? I haven't written for some previously. Yes, right, but here is how you can get writing samples as a beginner.

Draft a writing sample

As a new writer, you can create a new sample from scratch. Pick a recent topic from your niche and write a blog post. No, you don't have to be perfect, but it should reflect your writing skills. Once you are done writing, convert a doc file into PDF and upload it as a portfolio. It is a great way to create a sample if you don't have a personal website.

Create your Website or a Blog

As stated above, you can start your website or a blog to create a great portfolio to prospect freelance work.

Guest Post

A lot of new writers might not be aware of the term "Guest Post." Don't panic; let me help you out. If you know or follow someone who has a website, and you are familiar with their content and writing style. Reach and ask them if you can create content for their website. Search for websites in your niche that ask for contributions from writers. Remember, it’s not free-work but the most effective way to earn a sample.

#4. Create your pitch and send it to prospect clients

Now that you have a great portfolio and writing samples at your back, it is the right time to get your first client. Isn't it scary to land your first client? Though it requires a lot of time and effort to land a prospective client, it's not something that you should worry about.

If you are a beginner writer, I would recommend you explore freelancing sites such as, Upwork or Fiverr, etc. There are a lot of writing jobs posted out there.

Networking is the key to grow your brand. Join Facebook groups and discussion forums. Trust me; there are a lot of job opportunities shared on these platforms.

Update your LinkedIn and social media pages. Share your blog links or work samples on these platforms to get recognized. Search for your prospective clients on Linkedin and find their e-mails. Now you are ready to go.

One other way that has worked for me at times is - Cold Pitching. Cold Pitching is that you directly reach the companies or clients to check if they have an opportunity for a writer or contact you when the opportunity arises.

Remember, you always have a pitch ready to tell someone what you do? You never know when you come across an opportunity.

Landing your first client as a freelance writer can be painstaking and require sheer determination, but it's worth the time.

#5. Ask for testimonials and feedbacks

Testimonials and feedbacks about work are imperative for any freelance writer. This provides scope for improvement, but it also lets your clients see what you are best at. Hence when you complete a particular task or a project with a particular client, ask them for a testimonial either through an e-mail or on platforms like LinkedIn.

Like your business, your freelance career will take time to grow, which will contribute to your great side hustle or a full-time job working as your boss.

Here is the quick list that you must follow in your freelance career to grown and earn money.

Steps to start working as a freelance writer and earn money

1. Create an outstanding portfolio. They are a lot of writers out, but your portfolio will help you stand out. Hence try to get samples from reputed clients & companies.

2. Pitching can be daunting and seem to be daring, especially when you are starting. But remember, a great pitch can help you land long term clients. Always invest time in creating a high-quality pitch for your clients.

3. There are many tools used in writing, such as Grammarly, Quetext, Copyscape, Ahref, Moz, etc. Research and use these tools to create fresh and outstanding content.

4. There are different ways to charge as a freelance writer. For instance - Per Word basis, Hourly basis or Monthly. Understand how frequently you are looking to get paid, depending on the time you invest in creating content.

5. Beware, there is a lot of scams in this business. Make sure you get everything documented or enter an agreement before you start working. This will guarantee that your payments are secure once the task is over.

6. Remember, there is always a scope to improve as a writer. Keep yourself updated about the latest market trends. Read more people in your niche who write quality content. It is not how good you are with language, but how creative you are with your thoughts.

Freelance writing is a great way to step towards the path of becoming your own boss. I hope this blog helps you find all the details regarding how to start working as a freelance writer and earn money. In case you have questions regarding the same kindly let me know in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share this guide with others who are looking to create a side hustle.

Jugraj works as a freelance writer and content creator. Leaving corporate cubicle at 21 he stepped into freelancing to feel the implications of the virtual world. He has multiple articles published on top authoritative websites and writes columns for Times of India. Follow him at @_jugrajsingh

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