How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience
Written by Jacob Parker
Decided to try your hand at freelance writing? It’s a great gig—with the right clients and skills, as a freelance writer you can work as much as you want, wherever you want, whenever you want. And one of the main advantages of freelance writing is that you don’t need to have gone to college or hold a specific degree to do it.
But landing freelance writing jobs with no experience is easier said than done. If you’re at that difficult stage where you’ve decided to embark on a freelance writing career but don’t know where to turn to find clients—or how much to charge them—don’t worry. Every writer, at some point, had to go through the same thing.
In this guide, we’ve assembled all the information you need to build a successful career as a freelance writer, from building your portfolio to landing your first clients and improving your writing skills.
What exactly is freelance writing?
If you’re searching for entry-level freelance writing jobs, it’s important to be specific about what it is that you’re looking for. In short, freelance writing is the work done by a self-employed person—a freelancer—who earns money by writing articles, white papers, blogs, and other text-based content for one or more clients. Often, freelancers work from home offices, coffee shops, or coworking spaces.
Although some tasks might be paid hourly, freelance writers are normally paid according to the amount of work they do for a client. Sometimes that means setting a price for each word written or for a certain number of weekly articles.
Clients hire freelance writers to create content on a huge range of topics. Some freelancers stick to certain niche topics or fields that they have lots of experience with, often because their expertise enables them to charge a higher rate for their work.
However, a large proportion of successful freelance writers are generalists who quickly learn about and write on unfamiliar topics according to their clients’ needs.
Although a large proportion of freelancers search for and contact clients themselves, finding freelance writing jobs for beginners is time-consuming, and the hours spent searching for new sources of work are unpaid.
For this reason, many freelancers are turning to writing agencies such as Eleven Writing . At Eleven, we pair writers with clients in need of their specific expertise.
Even if you haven’t got any previous professional writing experience, we can help you to develop your skillset while earning a competitive rate for the work you do. Eleven partners with a diverse range of clients, ensuring that the freelance writers we hire always have as much work as they need.
How much can freelance writers make?
According to information published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics , writers and authors in the USA earned a median rate of $63,200 per year in 2019, getting paid $30.40 per hour on average. However, that stat covers both freelancers and salaried writers, who are typically more experienced and better compensated. PayScale.com estimates that freelance writers earn an average of $23.90 per hour, which is probably a more accurate figure.
At first, earning a decent wage as a freelance writer without experience can be a real challenge. However, as soon as you land your first batch of freelance writing gigs and put together a portfolio, things are sure to pick up. When you understand and can demonstrate the value of your work to clients, you’ll be able to better tailor your writing to a target audience and earn higher rates.
If, like the majority of freelancers, you charge per word, two core factors will determine how much you earn — the speed at which you write and your negotiated rate.
Although some types of content simply take longer to produce than others, with time, your writing speed is sure to increase. As a writer with no experience, it might take you an hour to write and edit 200 words for a straightforward blog. After a few months, however, you could well be hitting 500 or 600 words per hour.
Rate per word, on the other hand, varies from client to client and changes according to the type of writing you do. For example, reviews and blogs are often straightforward to write and aren't worth as much per word as complex opinion pieces for major news websites.
The average rate of pay for freelance writing also changes dramatically over time. To see what writers are earning today, check out the Who Pays Writers website. This is a free resource where freelancers submit anonymous reports of what they’ve earned from different clients. You’ll see that some organizations pay over $1 per word for extremely specialized content, while others pay $0.04 for simple blog pieces.
Another useful source of information is The Freelancer Rates Database published by Contently .
What do you need to be a freelance writer?
One of the reasons that the freelance industry is booming—roughly four million people in the USA turned to freelance work between 2014 and 2019—is that you don’t need any particular experience or training to become a freelance writer.
As long as you have a good command of whatever language you’re writing in, are ready to learn about new topics, and are motivated to reach out to clients, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
However, if you’re looking for entry-level freelancing writing jobs, one other thing you need is resilience. Out of all the story and article pitches you make, the chances are that you’ll hear back from a relatively small percentage of clients. You shouldn’t expect much more than 10% of the emails you send out to lead to paid work.
This is certain to improve as you get better at tailoring your writing proposals and portfolio to potential clients but first, it’s important not to get disheartened by rejections.
10 Ways to break into freelance writing without experience
Wondering how to get into writing? To help you land your first paid articles, we’ve put together the following ten steps. If you stick to these, you’re sure to find interesting freelance opportunities even if you’ve never written more than a couple hundred words before.
1. Write samples
Whenever I’m asked about how to get started freelance writing, I always recommend putting together a portfolio of writing samples. You can fill this with any writing you have to hand, such as academic essays, but, especially if you haven’t written professionally before, the best thing to do is to write a handful of samples in a similar format to the pieces you intend to pitch.
Even if they only take a cursory glance, a potential client might be won over by the very fact that you send them a portfolio. Having a selection of samples immediately demonstrates that you are capable of following through on any work you pitch.
2. Find a writing agency to support you
As a freelance writer, the best decision I made was to start working through an agency—this enabled me to skip a lot of the growing pains that new writers typically put up with when launching their careers.
One of the most difficult parts of a freelance writing career is finding work. With an agency like Eleven Writing , client outreach is largely handled for you — the only conversations you need to take part in are those related to the content you’ve been asked to write. You don’t have to waste valuable time bidding for work or pitching stories.
The other great thing about working through a writing agency is that you’ll collaborate with experienced editors who can help you level up your writing skills over time. Even if you’re confident in your ability to turn out a good essay, professional writing requires you to adapt to an entirely new writing style, so collaborating with someone who's been in the business for a while is an invaluable opportunity.
3. Launch a blog
A straightforward way to get your writing online is to launch a blog. This is a great opportunity to hone your knowledge and opinions about a certain topic that you’d like to write about professionally. What’s more, if you gain enough of a following, you can consider monetizing your work through ads.
Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of having to build a website by yourself. These days, with extremely affordable web hosting and easy-to-use website building packages, anyone can create a professional-looking website or WordPress blog on a very restrictive budget. Alternatively, you can dive straight in by publishing articles on your LinkedIn profile.
4. Write for friends and family
Practice makes perfect, and all writing experience is worth something. One of the easiest ways to improve your written communication skills is to start creating content for the people around you. Try to canvas any business owners you know and offer to create content for them at a discount rate, or write about something more personal—what you’ve been up to, your thoughts on current events, or a more specialized subject.
Starting with a small and familiar audience will help you to feel more comfortable when drafting your pieces, and it’s a great way to get feedback on your work.
5. Network with other freelance writers
As they say, it’s not about what you know but who you know. According to some studies, up to 85% of jobs are filled through networking. Using your connections is just as important in the freelance writing industry as any other.
Reaching out to any contact who works as a freelance writer is a great way to find new opportunities — a more experienced writer will be able to point you to useful resources they’ve used in the past and give you feedback on your portfolio, and they may even be able to pass clients off to you if they’ve got too much on their plate.
If you don’t know any freelance writers in the real world, you might be able to make connections through social media instead. In just a few minutes of Facebook searching, you'll find thousands of regularly updated job board groups. Don’t feel like reaching out directly? Then add some content marketers to your network and get a feel for the type of content they’re putting out.
6. Get your start with a content network
In recent years, one of the biggest internet media revolutions we’ve seen is the propagation of content networks. In short, these are enormous networks of websites that require large volumes of content on a diverse range of subjects. Also known as “content mills,” three of the best known content networks are Demand Studios, VeryWell, and Writing Bunny.
Content networks and content mills often produce revenue through ads or affiliate links, and they require a mind-boggling volume of original words and articles to operate. Consequently, they’re one of the most consistent sources of work for freelance writers and a great place to begin your search for clients in need of new writers.
7. Revise and refresh your grammar
As a freelance writer, you’ll need to write with a clarity and precision that isn’t needed in the majority of text-based conversations you have day-to-day online. Therefore, if you’re trying to work out how to get started freelance writing, one of the first things you should do is brush up on your grammar and make sure you don’t make any obvious blunders in your portfolio or when pitching to clients. In the Eleven Writing Knowledge Base , you can find guides to help you improve the tone, accuracy, and content of your work.
8. Learn about SEO
In 2020, one of the most marketable attributes you can have as a freelance writer is a working knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is, in essence, the art of getting any articles you write to the number one spot on Google search pages.
At Eleven, we’re experts at doing exactly that, and we’ve even published a few handy pointers to help you advance your SEO skills . If you’ve never heard of SEO before, have a search for a full video course on the topic—there are plenty of great guides out there.
9. Cold pitch larger sites
You can take your freelance writing career to the next level by reaching out to organizations you’ve never worked with before and pitching them stories, even when they aren’t advertising any freelance writing positions.
This is known as cold pitching. Although it might seem more intimidating than using a freelance marketplace such as Upwork, what do you have to lose if you’re turned down by a media organization or company you don’t have a prior connection with?
Cold pitching successfully takes a good understanding of a company’s content requirements; do your research first, and this could lead to lucrative and exciting opportunities.
10. Find a stable place to work
Everyone responds differently to distractions, but there’s no question that writing requires focus. Another core component of successful freelance writing is finding the kind of environment and equipment that boost your productivity.
This could be as simple as noise-canceling headphones or as grandiose as an expensive coworking location membership. With a good office chair and a quiet environment, you’ll likely be far more productive than on the couch.
Freelance writing isn’t a lifestyle that works for everyone, but by reading this article and informing yourself about the industry, you’ll be able to quickly work out whether or not it’s the right gig for you. For the best results when pitching your first articles, don’t forget to follow the straightforward steps we've detailed above.
I’ll leave you with one parting piece of advice. Remember, as you’re launching your freelance writing career, to keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to write on topics that you are genuinely interested in and care about. This is the single best way to turn freelance writing work from a slow grind into an exciting activity that you feel passionate about doing well.
With an MSc in Interdisciplinary Sustainability, Jacob's work at Eleven surrounds the preservation of our planet. When he isn't writing, he can be found jogging through Barcelona, studying languages, or sharing several plates of tapas with friends.
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- How to Find Entry-Level Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
Why this isn’t a list of writing sites
My advice is that you not sign up for any of those., if these platforms aren’t the answer, what is, do you need qualifications to be a freelance writer, the best entry-level freelance writing jobs for beginners, 1. rewrite local small-business websites, 2. find abandoned business blogs, 3. write business emails, 4. create a newsletter or brochure, 5. report articles for local news media, 6. write for local magazines, 7. turn your former employer into a client, 8. write for local marketing agencies, 9. cover the news for a niche local paper or newsletter, 10. write reviews for things around town, how do i start freelance writing with no experience.
Right now, a record-high number of people are considering a freelance writing career. When I first wrote this article, my inbox was overflowing with questions from newbies. And the first question is: “Where can I find freelance writing jobs for beginners?”
If that’s you, sending hugs! I totally feel your confusion. The freelance marketplace is a big, complicated place. There are many types of paid writing, and different kinds of clients too.
It can seem difficult to find good freelance writing jobs for beginners. Especially if the only assignments you ask for are 1,500-word feature articles or $3,000 white papers.
While some writers do seem able to go straight for the big score , most of us work our way up.
I’ve been helping writers get started for more than a dozen years now. And I know how mystifying it can be. You feel like there’s a door you need to find, a person you need to know, a secret you must unlock to become a freelance writer.
But really, the path to freelance writing jobs for beginners is simple.
You need to find someone willing to let you write for them. That’s it.
It’s to start with entry-level freelance writing jobs . There are quite a few simple assignments that are pretty easy to get, and a breeze to execute. Kind of un-f*k-up-able.
You get a few samples from these entry-level writing jobs and boom—you have a portfolio to show. And you’re on your way.
There are fairly simple, break-in writing assignments that newbies tend to get. I’m going to outline what they are below.
But first, I need to explain something…
I realize that what you might have been expecting in this post is a list of freelance writing jobs for beginners and which content mills to sign up for. A discussion of whether Upwork is better than Fiverr. Or whether Textbroker or Writer Access has more listings.
When you Google “freelance writing jobs,” that stuff comes right to the top. Believe me, I know.
Because they’re a trap. And their rates generally suck.
That’s why I didn’t link to any of those above. I generally don’t recommend you go there.
If you’re looking to replace your day job with writing income, it’s statistically unlikely you’ll get there hanging around any of these places.
- Too much competition. In the current economy, all of the mass-job platforms like these are being flooded with newbies. Ditto for responding to online job ads. When every listing gets 500 bids or applicants, you can figure your statistical odds of getting hired are low
- Tiny money. Anywhere thousands of writers are gathered online, it’s a race to the bottom on price
- Lazy marketing. When you get into freelance writing, surprise: You’re a business startup! And businesses do their own, proactive marketing. They don’t sit around some platform’s dashboard hoping the luck fairy sends them a job. You learn bad habits that can cripple your chances of building a viable, bill-paying, remote-work biz
- It’s demoralizing. When you do nothing but scan writing job boards with $15 offers, it’s easy to get depressed. Or to conclude that freelance writing can’t pay your bills. When it can be a six-figure income .
Learning to prospect and find your own clients . Got a quick-start guide to that for you in the final section below.
We have an entire four-week course on finding your first freelance writing jobs that goes even more in-depth on the subject. I highly recommend checking that out plus over 300 hours of other video and audio training by becoming a Den member .
Once you commit to pitching independently for work, many doors will be open to you, to find decent-paying writing jobs even if you’re a beginner. And usually, you’ll be the only writer they’re considering. Your success odds just soared.
But: What sort of work should you be pitching to do? Keep reading and I’ll reveal what I think are the best writing jobs for beginners with no experience.
Don’t let a lack of experience prevent you from diving into freelancing. You don’t need any fancy, expensive certifications or degrees to be a freelance writer, but you should, you know, actually be a decent writer. And even more importantly, you need to learn how to pitch and how to run a business, so you can get jobs and make money writing .
Here’s a tip: Pitching a specific project gets way more responses than a generic: “Hi, I’m a writer. Do you need a writer?”
So—what should you say you could write, for these first writing clients? Here are some great newbie, entry-level writing projects you can pitch for to break into the biz, along with some thoughts on pricing:
Think about small businesses in your town that you patronize. Then, go look at their websites.
I know, they’re a mess! Offer to rewrite theirs. Or to add some new content. Perhaps they could use a press page, to help them get free media mentions. Or they have no ‘About us’ page with team bios and the company’s story. I find those are the most common missing pages on small-biz sites.
Study the big guys’ press pages or team bios, and then create a page like it for the little guy. Boom!
If you love writing and have had feedback you write well over the years, it’s a guarantee you’ll be able to create something stronger than Joe Businessguy wrote on his own.
Many small businesses start a blog, because execs know it can be a great way to improve their website’s search rankings, deepen customer bonds, and build their authority as a go-to expert in their space.
But few can keep it going. Because duh, they’re busy running a business! Which is like trying to repair a plane engine while you’re flying the plane.
The blog quickly falls to the bottom of the priority list, and soon, it’s gathering dust. Which looks sad and actually hurts their image.
Abandoned business blogs, where there’s been no post for six months or a year or more, are legion. Pick an industry you know a bit about, search up companies in your region, and take a look.
This one’s like shooting fish in a barrel. An easy pitch: “Would you like help getting that blog going again?”
You’ve read blogs. you’re reading one now. You could write a blog post on day one that’ll likely be better than that solopreneur could create.
Pricing: Start out at $50-$100 for short blog posts (500-750 words or so) from bitty companies, if you need first samples. Go up from there. My coaching students get $500 a post and more, from bigger companies, so there is move-up opportunity.
Ever make a purchase and not get a sequence of emails afterwards that offers to sell you more, or keeps building the relationship? Many, many businesses rely on email marketing .
But small businesses are often low on automated email marketing sequences. They may not email people who abandon their sales cart, for instance. Sign up on your prospects’ sites to get notices and see what emails you get.
Sending more emails = money in the bank, for businesses. So this can be an easy sale.
Ask if they could use help with those. There are a million examples of good marketing emails out there you can crib from.
Pricing: Consider $100 per short email a floor. Pros command much more.
You might think both of these are dinosaur marketing products that aren’t used much today—but you’d be wrong. There may not be as much call for physical ones in this Covid moment, but e-newsletters abound, as do digital brochures.
You’ve read newsletters , and you can write ’em, too. Partner with a designer if your client needs that.
Grab all the brochures from your local Chamber of Commerce’s members to study. Most are wretchedly bad writing, and it’s easy to improve them.
Don’t forget to look at nonprofits for these, too. They may not pay as well, but can be a great place to get some nice-looking clips to start.
Pricing: Varies by size and frequency of publication. But $750-$1,000 for a simple, 3-fold brochure isn’t uncommon, and a regular monthly e-news could easily be a $500-$1000-a-month steady project, depending on newsletter size.
Local news has never been more challenged to keep locals informed and governments accountable. Freelance help is welcome!
When Alastair Barnett decided to give freelance writing a try, he pitched an idea for a personal essay to a local newspaper. What happened next, changed everything for the young freelance writer.
“I was shocked when the features editor called and asked me to write 1,000 words for the Sunday paper with a 250-word sidebar. No lie, my hands shook while holding the phone. During our chat, the editor actually apologized for paying only $250.” Alastair Barnett
Of course, sometimes budgets are tight and staffs have been slashed, which means you might get some great pro bono samples here, if you’re willing to trudge out and cover that city council meeting or protest.
If they can’t pay or it’s small money, how is this better than writing for a content mill? Writing for newspapers conveys instant credibility.
Business clients know you have an editorial process you’ve successfully got through here. Print clips impress.
Pricing: $50-$100 will be typical, if they pay at all. This writing job is all about adding great portfolio samples and building your credibility as a writer.
Is there a regional or community magazine in your area? You know, the kind you see in a stand by the door at your local grocery or convenience store? That’s a great place to start.
“I tell newbies to start with what they already read,” says freelance writer Carol J. Alexander .
“If I had no experience, I’d start with local, small business, family, or friends. Just get some clips, build your portfolio, and work up from there.” Carol J. Alexander
Does your former employer have a blog, a website, marketing materials, or a presence on social media?
You may be the perfect person to handle those content market projects, and these can be great freelance writing jobs for beginners.
Why? You already know the business. Give it a shot and ask the marketing director or CEO at your old job if you can do some freelance work.
“When my day job announced plans to move, making my daily commute about 90 minutes each way, I knew I had to do something. So I pitched the idea of contract work to the CEO, and voila, it worked. If your former employer has a need for content, hiring you is a no-brainer because you already know the business, as long as you left on good terms.” Evan Jensen
Do a Google search like this: “[your niche] marketing agencies.”
That single search will produce a list of agencies that work with clients in your niche. Chances are pretty good some of them need to hire a writer…pronto. These can provide solid freelance writing gigs for beginners as you’ll get to gain valuable experience writing for the agency’s clients.
“I would recommend pitching marketing agencies,” says freelance writer Amy Hardison White .
“My first freelance client was a marketing agency. The work was not as high-paying as it could have been, but it gave me the opportunity to get used to a high volume of work and different types of work.” Amy Hardison White
We already talked about writing for your town’s newspaper or community magazine, but there’s another kind of local news publication you can write for that often gets overlooked—niche newspapers and newsletters. At one point, I wrote short pieces on what was new in my regional library system, for instance. Our libraries put out a pretty nice quarterly newspaper, and it was a great way to get my name around. I know another writer who got started writing for her condo association newsletter.
Most alternative papers have regular restaurant columns and are constantly doing dining stories. Their staff reviewer can’t stay on top of every new eatery that opens their doors, so pitch them the one you want to visit.
Not a foodie? What about reviewing local plays or concerts? You could also pitch your local paper on book or movie reviews.
Now that you know where to find entry-level writing jobs, let’s talk a bit about how to actually land your first freelance writing jobs.
Here are some tips to start freelance writing with no experience:
- Google is your friend. Search for startups or fastest-growing businesses in your target industry or city. The list you want already exists!
- Businesses & nonprofits you know. Where do you shop and volunteer? Those are often your best starting point for getting first writing samples
- Chamber of Commerce directory. Every city has one, and big cities often have multiple chambers. Look through the directory for local business names—then, check their websites for what you want to pitch. You’ll be amazed how many companies operate in your town that you’ve never heard of
- Walk your local industrial park. These low-glamour businesses rarely get pitched, and their websites are often an atrocity. Write down the names of all the companies you see. Go home and look at their websites
- Connect with marketing pros in your niche. Maybe you’re new to freelance writing, but you’re no stranger to marketing, advertising, sales and public relations from your day-job experience. That’s another great network of people you can reach out to and ask a simple question: Know anyone who needs a freelance writer?
- Get new-business registrations. If your city has a business journal , they pull this data for you in a section of the paper each week. A Daily Journal of Commerce, if your town has one, would have these listings, too. If not, call your city, county, or other local-government’s business development department and ask how you access new-business registrations (they should be a public record you can view). Anybody starting a biz right now needs marketing help—and often, doesn’t have the budget to hire a seasoned pro. These are great entry-level writing job opportunities
That ought to get you started with plenty of leads to companies that could use a fresh writer. Hope this helps you get launched and rolling! And don’t forget to check out even more resources on how to find freelance writing jobs .
This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure they’re useful for our readers.
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Make Money Writing: How to Make Fast Money from Freelancing
How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience 2023!
By: Author Aisha Preece
Do you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience?
Becoming a freelance writer when you have no experience can be tough.
Before I began my career as a freelance writer, it seemed that all the jobs advertised needed experience.
But the question I had was, how can I get experience if no one will hire me … because I don’t have experience ??
It’s like an infuriating chicken before the egg argument. All I wanted to know was how to start freelance writing .
Well, I am here to help.
There are 10 things you can do if you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience .
But first things first, if you are looking for ways to help you earn an income online and pay your bills, while you are launching your freelance writing career, read these articles :
How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience:
- Take a freelance writing course
- Publish your work for free on Contently
- Publish your work for free on Medium
- Create a writer’s website and display your samples
- Create writing samples on Google Docs
- Publish your work for free on Linkedin
- Publish your work for free on Journoportfolio
- Publish your work for free on Clippings.me
- Apply and write for content mills
- Join FB Groups
- Network With Other Freelance Writers
1. Take A Freelance Writing Course
This is the best thing you can do if you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience.
You might read this and think, I’m trying to EARN money, not spend money.
I was in the same position, but hear me out.
When I began my freelance writing career, I googled lots of free training and tried to learn as much as I could for free. I was learning …but useful information was at different places and some weren’t useful at all!
I was leaning but slowly .. and my bills were racking up O_O
Then I stumbled upon Elna Cain’s ‘ Write to 1k’ course. Elna Cain is a stay-at-home mom of twins who has managed to turn her love for writing into a lucrative full-time job. She has written for highly respectable websites like Huffington Post and Smart Blogger.
Initially, I didn’t do anything, I just thought about it for 3 weeks. But then I decided to sell some extra clothes and I used the money to buy the course.
It was the best professional decision I have ever made. All my worries about how to start freelance writing with no experience slowly disappeared.
Within one week I had a fully-fledged writer’s website and 3 new clients.
Her Write to $1k course taught me how to pitch to new clients, where to find jobs and most importantly, it has a 30-day template you just need to follow to get to your first $1k.
If you are ever going to invest in one writing course – please let it be this one. It’s the most useful thing you can do if you want to know how to be a freelance writer with no experience.
There is no way you will finish the 30 days and not win a new client. Her training is THAT good. And I am not making this up, because I took the course myself.
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2. Publish Your Work For Free On Contently
Contently is great! You can create a few writing samples, add images and make your writing look professional.
It’s a great way of coming across as competent when you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience.
You can even save your freelancers work into different segments and categories and it’s all FREE.
Here is an example of mine here:
Once you have a few samples and since you enjoy writing, you can apply for jobs and include the Contently links for potential clients to review.
I have done that and have successfully secured a few jobs this way.
3. Publish Your Work For Free On Medium
Medium is all the rage at the moment. Even top writers like Elna Cain are writing on it, because of the exposure you get.
It’s free and you can create a few writing samples and upload them on the site
If the readers like it, you might even be paid!
Medium has this ‘ Partner Program’ which allows you to be paid for popular articles that their readers enjoyed.
So, start writing ASAP!
4. Create A Writer’s Website And Display Your Samples
If you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience, it’s worth creating your own writer’s website.
Nothing screams professional like a writer with their own writer’s website.
Think about it this way … are you more likely to trust a gadget from a little stall at the side of the road or a shop with its own website and testimonials?
Having your own writer’s website demonstrates you are a professional and credible writer that has taken the time to invest in a website.
She will teach you places to find free theme and free resource to create a website like no other.
Clients are more likely to take you seriously.
‘But I’m no good at IT!’ you bleat.
Join the club. Technology makes me want to do violent things to my computer, but I have 2 solutions for you:
- Follow my FREE step by step guide.
You can read my Step-by- step Guide on How To Create A Writer’s Website and then set one up yourself if you follow the 8 steps!
- Take Elna Cain’s ‘ Writer Website in a Weekend’ course
She will teach you how to set up a full-fledged professional website in 2 days.
At this moment it’s only $45!
Think about how much you spend on dinner and movies.
Maybe skip a few date nights and invest in the course and it will transform your writing career.
The Writer’s Website in a Weekend will help you set up a:
- Services/Hire Me Page
- Contact Page
Here is the website Elna taught me to build from scratch:
5. Create Writing Samples For Free On Google Docs
Good old google docs.
If you want a simple fuss-free way of writing and sharing your samples, you can just save them on Google Docs.
Then you can apply to jobs and when they ask for samples of your portfolio, you send them the Google Docs link.
It’s the easiest way to get started when want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience.
6. Publish Your Work For Free On Linkedin
Linkedin is great for networking and finding jobs.
It’s also great for showcasing your writing samples.
Go to your Linkedin homepage and click ‘ write an article’ and the below will come up.
Make sure you add images to add color and depth when you write articles.
Lots of potential clients will be able to see your writing. Think of LinkedIn as your local newspaper for recruiters.
It’s a useful technique to use if you want to know how to become a freelance writer and get paid
Guest posting is essentially where you write for other websites for free. It helps you get your writing published, if you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience.
It is normally unpaid but some may pay! I have secured new clients that pay well this way.
A really easy way to find guest posts is to google your niche + guest posts.
So for example, if you like to write about vegan food:
Vegan food + guest posts
Write for us + vegan food
Here are some sites that accept guest posts :
Tinybeans – Parenting niche
GoMadNomad – Travel niche (Paid!)
Buzzfeed- Entertainment and Viral content
TODAY – Parenting and Food niche
If you want to know how I pitch my guest posts to these sites, read this.
8. Publish Your Work For Free On Journoportfolio
If you want to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience and you want a place to publish your writing samples for free, Journoporfolio is the perfect option for you.
Journoporfolio is a site that allows you to store your writing samples for FREE.
It looks professional and allows you to have a customizable online writing portfolio, which you can send to potential clients.
9. Publish Your Work For Free On Clippings.me
Clippings.me is another online writing portfolio that allows you to upload your writing content for FREE.
It has a sleek, simple and fuss-free platform that makes it easy for you to use,
All you need to do is write and then upload your articles on the platform and send it to potential clients when they ask for samples.
It is a great platform for new writers!
10. Apply And Write For Content Mills
Content mills are the brokers of the writing world.
They connect freelance writers with clients, however, they don’t pay very well.
But if you are just getting started and want to gain some writing experience, you could take on some writing work, create content, and get paid for it.
It creates opportunities and experience for a writer who wants to know how to become a freelance writer with no experience
The pay will be low but, its better than writing for free right?
My advice is not to spend too long on content mills, just enough to gain some samples so you can begin applying for other better-paying jobs.
Sometimes content mills will advertise, ‘freelance writing jobs no experience’
Here is a list of content mills you can apply to:
- Writer Access
- Online Writing Jobs
- Constant Content
- Great Content
- Hire Writers
11. Join FB Groups
I never saw the value of FB until I responded to an advert in a writing group from an editor looking for finance writers.
This is a great place to find freelance content writing jobs and learn how to start content writing.
I secured a recurring client who still pays me to write for them till today!
If you want to know how to get freelance writing jobs with no experience, Facebook is a useful tool that can help you.
If you need some experience you can offer to do it for free or for lower pay to ensure you get hired.
That way you will have published samples you can use to apply for high paying jobs or you can increase your rate with your existing client!
Here is a list of FB groups you can join
- The Write Life
- The Freelance Content Marketing Writer
- What’s your Plan B
- Writer’s Helping Writers
- Calls for Submissions
12. Network With Other Freelance Writers
Connections always come in handy, regardless of the industry you’re in. As a freelance writer with no experience, you can start building connections by networking with other freelance writers.
In the freelance writing business, networking is just as crucial as in any other.
A more seasoned writer will be willing to direct you to valuable materials they’ve used in the past, be it with courses or training, provide feedback on your writing samples, and may even refer clients to you when they have their hands full.
If you don’t personally know any writers, you might be able to meet them online through social media. A quick Facebook search will turn up search results of groups for job boards that are frequently updated.
These are some freelancing writing groups you could be a part of and start networking
- Content Writers & Bloggers
- Digital Nomad Girls Community
- Freelancing Females
13. Learn SEO
Learning SEO, or search engine optimization, is another technique to discover how to get a writing career without any prior expertise.
Often, this is what makes a blog or website successful because it aids in a company’s Google ranking, which attracts clients.
Understanding how search engines operate and what factors they use when ranking webpages is crucial for learning SEO.
This involves making your website mobile-friendly, utilizing header tags, and optimizing the titles and meta descriptions on your website.
Learning about off-page optimization is also essential.
Off-page optimization is the term used to describe changes you may make to your website that will help it rank better. Examples of this are building excellent backlinks from other websites and advertising your website on social media.
Here are two courses that can help you enhance your knowledge of SEO
- SEO Blog Post Training
- Tripple Your SEO Traffic
FAQs on How To Become A Freelance Writer No Experience
What is freelance writing.
Have you wondered what is freelance writing with terms like a freelance copywriter, freelance writing services, and freelance writing business turning up online?
Writing for a living while working independently and not for a corporation or organization is known as freelance work.
Whether working from home, in a co-working space, or in a leased office, freelance writers create whatever written content is required by their clients.
Writers may have a wide variety of prospective clients or one customer that provides them with a lot of consistent, continuous work.
There are different kinds of freelance writing, the two popular ones being copywriting and content writing.
Copywriting is the development of text content to influence readers to perform an action connected to a company’s sales process. The objective of copywriting is to bring increase sales.
Content writing entails publishing articles that will inform or engage readers. Although it could also increase sales, that is not its main objective. With content writing, you aim to provide meaningful and high-quality material that will educate or amuse readers.
New freelance writers may try to tackle multiple subjects in their writing but the best practice is to find one freelance writing niche and build credibility in that same niche. Writers who can find niche topics that can bring out their best work tend to have a better potential client.
When you showcase your writing skills as a new freelance writer specializing in a specific niche, you will show the expertise you have in said niche. For example, if you love writing about home decor and have built a portfolio in that niche, clients in that field can reach out to you to engage in a freelance writing job.
Instead of hiring beginner freelance writers who have a portfolio in multiple niches such as finance, baking, and home decor, they will choose you because you seem to know the most in that niche.
Here is a list of 21 Most Profitable Freelance Writing Niches for you to pursue freelance writing.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Freelance Writer?
If you are wondering how long does it take to become a freelance writer, it can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months .
Why the broad timeline?
Many freelance writers go into this business with all the enthusiasm of earning money but forget two key factors that play a role in how quickly they can become successful freelance writer and that is dedication and patience.
Just like starting any business, you are not going to see profits overnight.
The quicker you set up your portfolio, be it a professional looking website or a Google doc folder, the faster you can send these samples out to clients who may be genuinely interested in hiring writers.
Do not worry about writing speed or spending long hours wondering how to become a content writer, get your samples up and start looking out for clients.
How Do I Start Finding Freelance Writing Jobs?
Finding freelance writing jobs can seem intimidating, especially if you are a beginner but the freelance writing industry is huge and you can get jobs from any one of these sites.
1. Find Job Boards
Responding to remote work advertising is your best chance if you’re new to freelancing and want to locate excellent tasks. It is also the principal strategy used by many aspiring writers to get constant work.
You can submit a proposal in response to job postings for freelance writers made by small enterprises, entrepreneurs, and start-ups.
Look into the sections of these websites dedicated to remote writing jobs and find freelance writing clients!
A rate for the work may be mentioned in the job description or you may be requested to provide your pricing.
Although there are paid employment boards available, I advise trying the free ones first, and these few ones below are a great place to start:
- Blogging Pro
- All Freelance Writing
- Media Bistro
2. Use A Writer Website
Having a good website is one of the greatest approaches to drawing in high-paying customers, though, if you are just getting started, this might not be a choice for you right now.
Perhaps you maintain a personal blog that you set up in your own time. You may most certainly utilize your website to advertise your freelance writing services, in the form of a blog post.
I understand that as a beginner, this may seem hard because even when I started freelance writing, I did not have a freelance writing website. However, a great course that I would recommend is Elna Cain’s course Writer’s Website in a Weekend .
3. Free Guest Post
Although this may seem counter-productive when you start freelance writing, when you are starting out, trying to find clients, you do not have published work to land clients .
This is why guest post is great! Even though you are writing for free, you get to showcase your work being published to potential clients which will give you an added advantage as opposed to other freelance writers.
Guest posting is amazing because hundreds of thousands of people will read your writing when you guest post on well-known websites and you can bet that at least one of them is a potential customer. This is how I was able to begin expanding my clientele after initially developing my portfolio.
Pitching to job advertising is fantastic, but it will be difficult, to gain a quality client if you do not have a strong collection of examples, particularly from works that have been published on other people’s websites.
Another key component of successful freelance writing is the type of clients you write for, when you have strong companies in your portfolio, you have a higher chance of getting better-paying work.
Tips On How To Become A Better Writer When Writing Online
Here are some tips that you can implement and stand out compared to other writers.
1. Always Hunt For Work
If you are to choose freelance writing as a career path, one thing to remember is that the quality clients are out there, and is your job to find them.
Look up employment sites online or introduce yourself to the content director in an email to prospective clients. You must constantly search for new freelance writing jobs if you want to maintain earning money and avoid downtime between tasks.
Connect with experienced writers so they may refer you to clients when they are booked up.
2. Learn SEO
More businesses require materials that will direct customers to them.
They will want content marketing writers that understand the fundamentals of SEO and how to raise the ranking of their website in search results.
If you want to know how do i become a freelance writer, and an exceptional one at that, learn SEO.
SEO is great to reach the target audience that your client is seeking.
Have a fundamental understanding of how search engine optimization functions as a freelance writer and know where to strategically position keywords to increase web traffic to the company’s website.
When it comes to SEO, a list of keywords targeted at a certain phrase or category will be provided by a customer looking for SEO content. As the writer, you can make use of these keywords and incorporates them into your article in various ways.
This course on SEO Sucess for Beginners is a great place to start!
3. Start Cold Pitching
Come up with pertinent article ideas and begin pitching them to the publications or newspapers you wish to write for because you probably have your own thoughts running through your brain if you are a writer.
You would be surprised to learn the effectiveness of cold pitching to land freelance writer jobs.
When it comes to this, I know it is tempting to create a single cold-pitch email and send it repeatedly, merely changing the company’s name and business.
However, this may come off as spam-like emails to the eyes of the recipient.
The secret is to include a blank space in your template where you may add one or two unique sentences for each customer.
You must show that you genuinely want to be part of their business and that you are willing to put enough effort to do some research on their company.
Also, you must promptly explain to them how you may benefit their business without criticizing it.
If you notice that there is some content on their site that needs to be updated, portray it in a way that your services will be of use to them.
When you cold pitch to a potential client, identify ways to benefit them.
You need to ensure that your email does not get deleted in a blink of an eye and that the client notices the effort you have placed to better their site.
4. Produce Tidy Work
When I say tidy work, I mean work that has been screened through for minute errors. If the editor or client has to point out a grammatical error in every paragraph, you know there is a problem.
It is crucial that you submit writing assignments with error-free text and this entails editing and proofreading your own work. Make sure your phrases are succinct, clear, and simple to understand.
Check your writing for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling by going through it word by word and line by line.
If you think your writing work could be polished, just go and search for youtube videos on how to improve your writing . There are plenty of results for anyone who loves and loved writing to watch!
Bonus tip! – Read through this article on Freelance Writing Courses That Will Transform You Into A Six-Figure Writer for free course and paid ones.
5. Feedback Is Essential
In this business, you are bound to receive feedback on your writing and as a beginner, developing a thick skin is essential.
This tip is essential when it comes to how to become content writer.
You will receive comments on your work from your clients where sometimes you will turn in a flawless article, and other times you will need to spend a lot of time revising. Do not take criticism personally.
If you are going to be beaten down with every bad feedback that comes your way, you will find yourself being demotivated fast, which will then lead to self-doubt.
Writing for a client is producing the content they require while adhering to their brand’s unique voice and tone.
Successful writers take criticism in stride, implement the suggested modifications, and use the experience to advance their writing experience.
Remembering that every feedback is the key to becoming a better writer in your freelance writing career will help you improvise your writing skills when you start freelance writing.
Ask any experienced writer and they are bound to agree with this tip!
How To Be A Content Writer With No Experience?
Choose a profitable niche, create a portfolio, always upskill.
Before jumping to any other steps of how to become a content writer with no experience, you must decide on the niche you want to write about.
Some content writers are generalists who cover a wide range of topics. Others, though, choose to focus on a certain specialization.
I would highly advise you to do niche down if you want to increase your income.
Writers in a specific niche have expertise that people are prepared to pay for. They specialize in a certain area of writing and establish themselves as authorities who can easily earn more money.
To get started, read this article on 21 Most Profitable Freelance Writing Niches (In 2023) to decide which niche suits you best!
Just like how a model has a portfolio of his or her best shots, when you are a content writer figuring out how to be a content writer, a portfolio is your best friend.
Samples of the work that you have produced as a freelancer will be used by potential clients to evaluate your writing abilities.
Even if you have no prior experience writing professionally, a strong writing sample can help you land entry level freelance writing jobs.
If you want to know how to get into freelance writing with no experience, learn how to upskill.
You must be eager to learn if you want to succeed and stop wondering how to start freelance writing with no experience.
You might need to pick up new writing techniques or writing styles. Get a course to upskill yourself like this one on How To Become A Freelance Writer In 60 Days .
Learn how to manage the business end of freelancing, if you have been wondering how to start a freelance writing business.
So try to upskill. How can you provide the best value to your clients? Why should your clients give you recurring work? What sets you apart from other freelance writers?
How Much Does A Freelance Writer Earn?
Aside from how to start a writing career with no experience, the other question that pops up is the money you can make with this job.
According to Zip Recruiter, a freelance writer in the United States can earn approximately $68,690 annually.
When you are searching for freelance writing jobs for beginners with no experience, making a living as a freelance writer can be quite difficult at first.
However, if you secure your first round of freelance writing assignments and compile a portfolio, things will undoubtedly pick up.
Just like with everything in life, experience pays. You will be able to more effectively target your writing to an intended demographic and charge higher fees when you comprehend and can clearly communicate the worth of your writing to clients.
If you charge by the word as most freelancers do, your pay will primarily depend on how quickly you write and the price you agreed to.
Though certain content simply takes longer to write than other sorts, your writing speed will undoubtedly improve over time.
When I first started, it would take me a couple of days to produce a 1000-word article. Now, I can whip them up in an hour. I didn’t get here overnight, I had to practice and build a portfolio to get to where I am now.
Keep producing content, always provide value to your clients, and you will make a decent earning from freelance writing in no time.
How Do I Charge For These Content Writing Jobs?
Depending on the niche, the rate is around $0.05 – $1.00 per word.
The issue is that price is a complicated topic – it is a problem for freelancers regardless of their levels of experience.
It’s unlikely that you’ll start off by making a fortune, and increasing prices for existing clients is difficult. You can increase your rate for every new client you work with.
Remember, you don’t always need to raise your rate but it is something to consider as you gain more experience.
If you are unsure how to raise your rates, try raising them by $0.01 per client per word instead. It’s a steady pace of increment and you will feel rewarded.
However, whenever possible, I advise charging per project rather than by word.
Not all clients will be amenable to this – many prefer the per-word scenario and that is because everyone has a set budget to work with. Be clear on the pricing before embarking on a project with a client.
Skills Needed On How To Freelance Write
Now, when it comes to freelance writing no experience and landing freelance writing jobs for beginners, no degree in English or literature is needed.
Anyone can become a freelance writer!
However, how to get into freelance writing? There are some skills that you can sharpen to stand out from the sea of freelance writers out there.
Some of the skills are:
- Good research abilities because you might need to obtain data on a number of subjects.
- Good communication skills will reflect how well an assignment is understood. If your communication skill is poor, you might not deliver the output your client is seeking.
- You need to be able to take criticism and feedback in stride and make the required changes to your work.
- As you are in charge of scheduling your leisure time and workload, organizational skills are crucial.
- Be proactive in finding new customers and establishing connections with them.
Can I Be A Freelance Content Writer On Different Topics?
Yes, you can produce articles that focus on many topics.
Make a list of concepts or niches to write about after doing research on the markets you wish to work in. Then, create writing examples and upload them to your website under several categories.
Try to make contact with businesses that cater to these many specialized sectors, and send over your interest to work with the company together with the URLs to your writing samples.
How to become freelance writer with no experience shouldn’t be difficult. You just need to work hard, look for opportunities and follow the 11 tips above and you will be on your way to becoming a well-paid freelance writer.
Did I miss out on any tips or can you think of any questions I didn’t answer?
Please share them in the comments below!
- How to Sell Short Stories for Money
- 21 Most Profitable Writing Niches
- Upwork vs Toptal: Which Is Best For Freelancers? (2023 Guide)
- Upwork Vs Freelancer: Which Platform Is Best?
- An 8 Step Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer
- 9 Unique Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
- 17 Freelance Writing Websites (for Beginners)
How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience (10 Practical Tips)
Looking for some tools that can help you earn more writing.
- Try Grammarly , the free proofreading and editing tool for writing cleaner copy!
- Get your freelance writer website set up with NameHero !
- And check out FlexJobs and Writers Work for the best high-paying freelance writing jobs!
Sharing is caring!
Curious about how to become a freelance writer with no experience ?
Becoming a freelance writer with no experience is not impossible but it does require a plan. Specifically, you’ll need to know where to find freelance writing jobs for beginners, how to get hired for those jobs with limited experience and how to improve your writing skills so you can seek out better-paying opportunities.
Remember that every experienced freelance writer–even those making six figures from their writing–started out as a beginner. And if you’re interested in how to become a freelance writer with no experience, these tips can help.
Related post: What is Freelance Writing and What Do Freelance Writers Do?
How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience
What You'll Learn
The route you take to becoming a freelance writer might be different from someone else’s. And the tips I’m about to share won’t guarantee that you’ll go from making $0 to $10,000 a month or more overnight.
But these tried and true tips helped me to find success as a freelance writer when I had no experience. And I believe they can help you if you’re serious about becoming a freelance writer, even when you’re starting from scratch.
1. Take a freelance writing course
If you’re trying to learn how to become a freelance writer with no experience, your first question might be: do I need to take a course?
Here’s the honest answer.
Taking a freelance writing course isn’t a requirement for making money as a writer.
When I first started freelance writing, I hadn’t taken any courses at all. I learned about writing as I went, through trial and error. That’s still the method I use today, nearly a decade since I started writing professionally.
But can taking a freelance writing course help you to get started? Absolutely.
A freelance writing course that’s taught by someone who’s already mastered how to make money writing can provide you with some invaluable knowledge. It can also save you from making some of the most common freelancing rookie mistakes.
If you don’t have money to invest in a course right now, you can sign up for my free 6-day email course instead. It covers the most important things to know about freelance writing as a beginner.
2. Choose a profitable freelance writing niche
A freelance writing niche is a specialized area or topic that you write about. Some freelance writers are generalists, writing about a little of everything. But others choose to target a specific niche.
Do you need a niche as a freelance writer?
If you want to make more money, then yes. Writers who niche down and become experts on their topic or subject can easily make more money because they have skills and experience that clients are willing to pay for.
So what are some profitable freelance writing niches? Some of the most popular options include:
- Personal finance
- Health and fitness
Some niches will make more than others and the best way to choose a profitable niche is to consider what you’re interested in and what you might already know.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose a high-value niche that you don’t know anything about. But you will have to put in the time and effort to learn about that niche so you can write about it.
Related post: 20 Freelance Writing Niches That Pay The Most Money
3. Create some high-quality writing samples
Freelance writing samples are examples of your writing that prospective clients will use to gauge your writing skills and abilities. A good writing sample can get you hired, even when you have no previous professional writing experience.
So how do you create freelance writing samples without getting hired for a writing job first?
It’s a chicken and the egg scenario but there is a solution: create some writing samples yourself.
Here are some practical ways to create freelance writing samples:
- Publish articles through a free Medium account
- Publish articles on Thrive Global
- Create writing samples using Google docs and download them as a PDF
- Start a blog to showcase your writing
- Guest post on other peoples’ blogs
- Publish posts on LinkedIn
With the exception of starting a blog, all of these options are free ways to create writing samples.
Is it worth starting a blog when you’re trying to learn how to become a freelance writer with no experience?
It can be, if you’re able to create some quality writing samples with your blog posts.
A blog can also double as an online portfolio so that you don’t need to set up a separate freelance writer website. And it may be possible to monetize your blog with ads, sponsored posts or affiliate marketing to generate some income from your writing.
Related post: How to Start Blogging as a Freelance Writer (and Why You Should)
4. Create a freelance writing portfolio or website
Once you have some freelance writing samples prepared, you’ll need a place to keep them online.
There are two options for organizing your freelance writing clips:
- Set up a freelance writer website
- Create a portfolio using a free (or paid) site for writers
A freelance writer website could be worth creating if you’d like to have an online presence but don’t want to worry about updating a blog regularly. You can set up a static website that includes:
- A bio page describing who you are and your writing experience
- A breakdown of the services you offer as a freelance writer
- Links to your writing samples and press mentions, if you have them
- Links to your social media profiles
- Details on how prospective clients can contact you
Setting up a writer website is something you can do in a weekend and the technical aspects are not that different from setting up a blog. But if you want a simpler option, you could set up an online portfolio instead.
You can build a very basic writer portfolio and link up to 10 articles through JournoPortfolio for free. There are also paid plans if you’d like to make your portfolio a little more detailed.
Related post: 4 Tips for Creating a Freelance Writer Portfolio (That Gets Clients)
5. Research freelance writing jobs for beginners
Up to this point, you’ve learned the technical aspects of how to become a freelance writer with no experience. Now comes the next challenge: finding work.
This step can be a little scary but once you get into the habit of looking for freelance writing work, you can get more comfortable with the process.
So where do you find freelance writing jobs for beginners?
Job boards are a great place to start when you’re a freelance writer with no or limited experience. Freelance writing job boards and remote job boards can be a gold mine for turning up gigs you can apply for as a beginner.
Here are some of my favorite spots to pick up freelance writing jobs:
- Writers Work
- Journalism Jobs
- ProBlogger Jobs
- Blogging Pro
- Freelance Writing Gigs
Some of these sites are free to use, othersrequire a paid subscription to access freelance writing job listings. I suggest checking out all of them to see which ones might work best for you.
Here are a few tips for using freelance or remote job boards wisely to find work as a new freelance writer with no experience:
- Read the job description, then read it again.
- Check the rate to see how much it pays.
- Follow the directions for applying.
- Watch out for red flags, like ads that ask for money upfront.
And one more tip: don’t skip out on applying for a job if you’re not 100% qualified . If I had let that stop me from applying for jobs when I was learning how to start freelance writing, I never would have gotten anywhere.
What about freelance writing bidding sites or content mills?
I see a lot of freelancers asking about sites like Upwork and whether they’re worth it.
And honestly, you’ll get different opinions.
One well-known writer I’m familiar with swears by Upwork. She coaches other beginning writers on how to start freelance writing through the platform.
The upside is that you can make money with Upwork pretty quickly. If you’re looking for some fast cash right out of the gate, you can find it here.
But Upwork can limit you if it’s the only place you’re looking for work. And in my experience, the majority of clients wanted to pay pennies for the end product.
Related post: Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: 13 Proven Ways to Get Your First Paid Writing Gig
6. Learn how to send a freelance writing pitch
Once you’ve gotten a feel for how to find freelance writing gigs on job boards and you’ve considered the pros and cons of sites like Upwork, you can start branching out. That means learning how to pitch.
Pitching means reaching out to companies or brands you want to write for and offering your services in a convincing way so that they’re open to hiring you.
This is one of the most intimidating things to learn when you’re figuring out how to become a freelance writer with no experience. But when pitching is done correctly, it can become your bread and butter.
The hard part is figuring out who you want to pitch to.
Some pro freelancers will tell you to pitch to anyone and everyone in the beginning. And that’s fine because here’s a secret about freelancing: it’s all a numbers game.
The more you pitch, the better your odds of landing paid writing jobs.
If you just want to start making some cash from your writing then by all means, pitch away. But once you start getting established, you can fine-tune your strategy and start narrowing down the kind of clients or jobs you want to pitch.
Here are a few tips for writing a pitch:
- Send your pitch to the right person and use their name in the greeting
- Keep it friendly and professional
- Make the pitch about the client and how you can help them, instead of telling your life story
- Keep your pitch short and sweet
- Close it by telling them what to do next (i.e. email you to schedule a chat)
- Be confident!
That last one’s important because you really have to believe you can make your first $100, $1,000 or $100,000 as a writer. If you’re not confident it’ll show up in your pitches and you’ll have a hard time landing any gigs.
Related post: How to Write a Pitch That Freelance Writing Clients Can’t Say No To
7. Start building your network
Building your network as a new freelance writer can be critical to your long-term success.
The people in your network–which can include other freelance writers, editors and bloggers–can help you to get hired if they’re willing to refer for writing jobs. But to get those referrals you’ll need to have good professional relationships with those people first.
If you’re not sure where to start with building your network, I suggest focusing on LinkedIn first.
LinkedIn can help you build your network fast and a properly optimized profile could even help you to get your first freelancing writing jobs. If you’re not using the platform yet, these tips can help you create a LinkedIn profile that gets you noticed .
8. Establish your freelance writing rates
One of the biggest decisions you have to make when starting out as a freelance writer is how much to charge for your services.
So how much do you ask for when setting rates as a new freelance writer ?
My personal rule of thumb is to charge no less than $0.10 per word in the beginning, although honestly, this still seems low to me. If you can charge $0.20 to $0.25 per word as a beginning freelance writer, you’ll already be ahead of the game with earnings.
The rates you charge as a new freelance writer can depend on:
- How much writing experience you have
- What niche you’re writing in
- The size of the project
The biggest mistake to avoid when setting rates is to agree to a lower rate just to get a gig. This can create a pattern of doing low-paying work that can be hard to break out of once you’re more established.
9. Consider doing unpaid writing gigs to build credibility
Now, I just said that you shouldn’t accept lowball gigs in the beginning. But there are times when it could benefit you to write pro bono.
What does writing for free have to do with how to become a freelance writer with no experience?
Simply that it can be worth it if it allows you to establish credibility as a writer that could help you get hired for a paid gig later.
For example, you might write a guest post for a well-known blog in your niche that gets 1 million page views per month. That means thousands of eyes are checking out your writing and if you also have a blog, you might also get a backlink for your trouble.
Now, say you come across what sounds like the perfect writing job on a job board. You can use that guest post you wrote for free as a writing sample to land the job.
I would not suggest only writing for free in the beginning. And I recommend being selective about who you offer free writing services to and what you’ll get in return.
But otherwise, doing some unpaid work in the beginning could be a profitable strategy down the line.
10. Prioritize learning
Here’s an important thing to know about how to become a freelance writer with no experience: you have to be willing to learn.
Unless you’re a naturally gifted writer it can take time to learn basic things like how to format a blog post or how to write content for SEO. You may need to learn how to write in different formats or styles and how to handle the business side of freelancing.
So if you want to become a successful freelance writer, learning should be a priority.
A good way to learn is by studying established freelance writers (either in your niche or not) to see what they’re doing that’s working. (And as a bonus, this can also help you to avoid common beginning writer mistakes. 😊)
You can also invest in learning through writing tools or resources and freelance writing books .
Again, you don’t want to spend all your time learning. But it’s important to work on improving your skills so you can grow your writing income.
What Else to Know About Becoming a Freelance Writer With No Experience
For most beginning freelance writers, choosing a niche and finding your first paid gigs are the biggest hurdles to overcome. But here are a few more things to know as you work out how to become a freelance writer with no experience:
- Make sure you have a PayPal account so you can get paid once you start earning money.
- Get a solid freelance writer contract in place to protect you and your clients.
- Continue building connections with other freelance writers and editors LinkedIn and Facebook groups. (This is a great way to make writer friends and land writing jobs!)
- Remember that if you make more than $600 a year freelancing you have to report that income on your taxes .
- Work on becoming an expert in your niche–that’s key to making more money as a freelancer.
- Set a goal for the money you’re making, like adding it to a high-yield savings account for emergencies.
Related post: 10 Secrets Every New Freelance Writer Should Know
Final thoughts on how to become a freelance writer with no experience
Freelance writing can be extremely lucrative if you’ve chosen a profitable niche and you’re able to build up a solid client base. When you’re starting out as a freelance writer with no experience, the best way to avoid getting overwhelmed is to focus on doing one thing at a time.
Don’t forget to sign up for my free 6-day email course if you’re ready to kickstart your freelance writing business!
For more tips on how to become a freelance writer with no experience, read these posts next:
- How to Create a Daily Writing Routine and Make More Money as a Freelance Writer
- Freelance Blogging Jobs Online: 14 Ways to Find Paid Blogging Gigs
- Freelance Writing Rates: How Much Do Freelance Writers Charge?
- 7 Ways to Wow Editors and Get More Freelance Writing Work
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How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience: 8 Actionable Tips
Table of Contents
- What Are the Benefits of Freelance Writing?
8 Tips on How to Start Freelancing With No Experience
The freelance writing industry is booming, and there can’t be a better time to get into it. All businesses require writers, and they are willing to hire freelancers because of the problems associated with hiring a full-time employee. So, you have endless scope. But, how to become a freelance writer ? This blog will take you through the step-by-step process of entering the freelance writing world with zero experience. Before we get started, let’s look at the numerous benefits of becoming a freelance writer.
What Are the Benefits of Freelance Writing?
What are the incentives to become a freelance writer? Well, there are endless benefits you can get from a career in freelance writing. Let’s look at some of them.
As a freelance writer, you don’t work under someone. Rather, you work for yourself. You offer your writing services to various clients and get paid in return. Isn’t that great?
It means you don’t have to adhere to a fixed schedule like a 9-5 job. You can work according to your convenience. Whether it’s early mornings or late nights, you can decide your working hours. Forget the stress of a bad boss or office politics, and focus on what you love to do, i.e., to write. What more could you want? Apart from that, you also have the freedom to work from anywhere across the globe. All you require is a laptop with a stable internet connection.
You also get to choose the writing projects you want to work on. Of course, that is possible only when you have a lot of orders. But, being a freelance writer gives you the freedom to decide on the clients you want to work with.
2. Minimal investment
Unlike other businesses, you don’t require any huge investment to start your freelance writing business. You can work from home without worrying about an office setup.
A computer and a good internet connection are enough. Any writing software like Microsoft Word can suffice (however, you might have to switch things up depending on the industry you’re in and the client you work for). You might already have these things and can kick-start your freelance writing career right away.
3. Work-life balance
Work-life balance is a hot topic these days. Maintaining a healthy balance between your work and life is the key to happiness. And being a freelance writer lets you achieve a smooth work-life balance.
You can set your working hours according to your convenience. What’s more, you can also take a break whenever you need. It allows you to prioritize your family’s needs. You can also devote time to your personal growth and hobbies without worrying about endless calls from your office.
4. Good income
Once you gain substantial experience and reputation, you can earn much more than a regular employee. That’s because you will be able to set your rates according to your expertise and experience.
5. Exciting projects
As a freelance writer, you get to work on new and exciting projects. So, you won’t be bored with the same kind of work. The excitement to work on different projects will also impact your productivity in a positive way.
You can become a freelance writer even if you have no prior experience. In fact, when you start any new job, you don’t possess any experience. And freelance writing is no different. Here are eight superb tips on how to start freelance writing.
1. Do your research
Doing adequate research can help you kick-start your freelance writing career. Don’t just jump into it without looking anywhere. There are endless free resources available online to guide you.
Follow other freelance writers who are already successful in their careers. Try to learn how they started their journey. You can also reach out to them, asking for tips . Most will be willing to help.
Many successful freelance writers also have their blogs and YouTube channels to guide newbies. They share a lot of valuable tips and resources that can help you. Here are some things you need to understand before you become a freelance writer.
- What are the types of writing you can do as a freelance writer?
- What kind of writing interests you? ( blogs, articles, social media posts, ad copy, etc.)
- What kinds of clients do you want to work for?
- Where can you find freelance writing gigs?
- What are the market rates, and how much should you charge?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to other experienced freelancers. They can offer you some useful guidance. Once you have done your research well, you will know how to start freelance writing with full confidence.
2. Don’t overthink: take the first step
Don’t keep researching for eternity. You might have a lot of questions about the niche you wish to choose or the type of clients you want to work with. But if you keep thinking about them, you might never actually start.
Just start writing, and you will gradually get all your answers. You can take up whatever project comes your way in the beginning. It will let you gain some invaluable experience. Thus, you will be able to understand your areas of interest.
In the beginning, you can also write for yourself. Make a blog and start writing on your favorite topics. You will get the much-needed confidence. Moreover, you can use your blog as a portfolio when pitching to prospective clients. As a beginner, you don’t have to buy a paid domain name. You can easily set up a free blog on Medium, WordPress, or other sites. And if your prospective client stumbles upon your blog and likes your content, they might even reach out to you.
3. Build an online presence
If you sit and wait around, clients will not come and find you. You must constantly market yourself as a freelance writer.
Be present on various social media platforms. Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent places to market your services. You can connect with fellow writers and decision-makers who can be your prospective clients.
If you want to go a step further, you can also set up your own website. That will show your seriousness as a freelance writer. However, having a website is not necessary. You can build a strong presence on social media platforms and showcase your work there too.
Now, what should you post on social media? You can talk about your interests and experiences in writing. You can also share what motivates you to become a writer. Don’t hesitate to share your blogs with your social media audience too. That will give you greater exposure.
4. Build a strong network
Talk to other people in the field of writing and freelancing. Make friends with them. It will boost your confidence and also make you a known face among people.
The easiest way to network is to leave meaningful comments on the blogs and posts of other writers. That way, people will remember you and want to connect with you. Do you know what is the greatest advantage of befriending other freelance writers ? You get to learn from each other. Moreover, they can be your biggest support system in difficult times.
Reach out to renowned blog sites and write for free. That will help you build a rapport with them and also boost your portfolio. Having a strong network can take you a long way in your freelancing career.
5. Find your niche
Why is it crucial to find out what your freelance writing niche is? Because it will position you as an expert, and you will attract the right type of clients. Most of the time, clients are not looking for just a freelance writer. But they want a writer with expertise and experience in a particular industry.
However, you don’t always need to pick an industry. You can also pick a specific type of writing, such as blogs, social media posts, emails, etc. But, how can you choose your niche? This is an important part of learning how to become a freelance content writer. Answering the following questions might help you pick a solid niche.
- What topics interest you?
- Do you have any previous experience or expertise in any subject?
- What topics do you like to read about?
- What topics can you write on without getting bored or lost?
Knowing your interests and expertise will do half of the work. Now, pick your niche in the area where your interest intersects with the market demand. There should be sufficient demand for content in your niche for you to get consistent work.
There is, however, no hurry while choosing your niche. It is best to explore different industries and niches when you are starting off. It will let you understand where your interest and expertise really lies. So, do not restrict yourself to a particular type of writing when you are learning how to become a freelance writer. Try and explore different, exciting possibilities.
Pro-tip: identify your weaknesses or the topics you hate writing about. That will let you have a clear idea about what should not be your niche. This way, you can focus on those topics you are passionate about.
Gradually, you will reach a stage where you can reject work outside your niche. And people will identify you as an expert in the niche you’ve chosen. It is, however, not compulsory to settle on a single niche. You can pick two to three niches as a writer. That will save you from trouble during fluctuations in a particular industry.
6. Find your first client
You cannot wait for your clients to come to you. Of course, you will get inbound leads when you have a strong online presence. However, you have to reach out to people to find work.
When you are just starting out, you can spread the word among your friends and family members. You can write content for their advertisements if they have a business. Moreover, they can help you get your first client from their acquaintances. So, don’t underestimate the power of telling your friends and family about your work.
Another powerful way of getting clients is cold outreach. This way, you directly land yourself into your prospective client’s email inbox. It is a super-effective way to get clients. Here are some tips on sending cold emails without sounding spammy.
- Tell them in short how you got to know about the company.
- Praise them for their latest achievements or give a genuine compliment.
- Talk about yourself in brief (don’t write paragraphs)
- Tell them how you can help them achieve their goals or solve their problems.
- Attach a couple of relevant samples to showcase your work. It will boost your credibility.
- End with a clear call-to-action (CTA). You can ask them if they want to get on a quick call to discuss things.
Remember to make the email more about how you can help them rather than about your skills and achievements. After all, you are reaching out to an unknown person. Why would they be interested in you if you can’t bring some value to the table?
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get a reply to your first cold email. Keep researching about your perfect prospect and send emails regularly to different people.
7. Constantly upskill yourself
It doesn’t matter if your writing skills are not perfect. You can always improve. You don’t have to be the best writer on earth. Just make sure your writing conveys your thoughts clearly to the reader.
So, what is the best way to improve your writing skills? Write more. The more you write, the better your writing will become. Your personal blog is the best place to polish your writing skills. Try getting into a consistent habit of writing, and you will see the magic with time.
You can join social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter and post there consistently. Plus, you will get more exposure as a bonus. There are also several writing courses available online . You can enroll in some of them. Watch these courses at your own pace in your free time. Apart from upskilling yourself, you will also get certificates upon completion.
You should, however, remember that certificates are not crucial. Skills matter the most. However, a few of them can boost your credibility, helping you get those initial clients. Also, keep learning from people who have already made it as freelance writers. No matter where you are in your freelancing journey, there is always something to learn from someone ahead of you.
8. Know your worth, and be cautious
You are the best person to understand the value of your work. Don’t underestimate yourself. Charge your client what your services are truly worth. People might try to exploit you by paying less. For instance, one common excuse by clients for paying less is “bulk work”. However, it is just a way of hiring good content writers at cheap rates. Your client might also try to deceive you by saying that work is for the long term. Don’t accept low rates, because the “long term” is uncertain.
You should not, however, charge too much in the beginning. It will result in you losing work as well as clients. Talk to other freelance writers, know the market rates, and decide your charges accordingly. Sometimes, your prospect might ask you to submit two to three samples. Never agree to such an arrangement. That’s because they might just collect free samples from every applicant and vanish without hiring anyone. One short free sample is enough for the client to understand your capabilities.
One of the most crucial tips on how to start freelance writing is to stay alert. Do not let anyone fool or exploit you. Always try to maintain communications via emails. That will act as a record, so that your client does not vanish without paying you. However, having a written agreement with your client is the best arrangement.
Not all clients are bad. But you have to stay cautious and know your rights. At the same time, deliver quality work to your client on time to build a good reputation. That will take you a long way in your freelance writing career.
- An important tip on how to start freelance writing is to do adequate research before. It will give you an idea about the market and types of writing jobs you can do.
- Start writing without thinking too much. You can write for yourself in the beginning. It will help improve your skills and also act as your portfolio.
- Market yourself online because you can’t expect your clients to find you out of nowhere. Your online presence will give you exposure, and your potential clients will get to know you and your skills better.
- Network and make friends with other freelance writers or potential clients. It will boost your confidence, and also bring more opportunities your way.
- Take time and find your writing niche. You can focus on a few industries or types of writing. However, freelance writers don’t have to stick to a niche.
- Don’t underestimate the power of cold outreach to get clients. But make sure you don’t sound needy or spammy in your cold emails. Instead, show them how you can help their business.
- Keep working on your writing skills. The more you improve, the better the opportunities you get as a freelance writer.
- Know your worth, and be cautious. Don’t let anyone exploit you. However, don’t keep your charges too high in the beginning. That will make you lose work.
- Another tip on how to become a freelance writer with no experience is to always be open-minded and look forward to new possibilities.
Now that you know how to become a freelance writer, you can get started right away.
While you’re learning how to start freelance writing, remember that you’re in for an exciting ride. The world of freelancing is always changing; and you need to make sure you stay abreast of the latest developments in this dynamic arena. Be open to new possibilities and always keep learning. Kick-start your writing career and explore the wonderful opportunities you come across. There will be no looking back once you get started, and now is the perfect time for it.
You don’t need a specific degree to become a freelance writer. You can be an IT graduate and still opt for freelance writing, provided you know how to write well. However, having a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or communications might give you an edge over other candidates. All you primarily need is a knack for writing and the ability to express yourself clearly. You also need a lot of patience and resilience to succeed in the freelancing world.
Here are a few ways to choose a niche as a freelance writer. Consider your skills and areas of interest. Look for trends in the market. Choose a niche that you are passionate about. Also, make sure it has sufficient demand for writers.
It is not compulsory. However, having a freelance writing website will boost your authority as a writer. Your potential clients will be able to review your profile and writing samples properly.
Yes, you do not need any experience to become a freelance writer. However, it is not that easy. You will need a lot of patience to establish yourself in the field of freelance writing. However, in order to become an authoritative voice in the freelancing writing industry, you will need a considerable amount of experience in the field, which is something that comes with time.
Everyone is a beginner when they start their first job. Content writing is no exception. All you need is the willingness to learn and the patience to survive in the long run. You can start by writing on free websites like Medium. LinkedIn is also an excellent platform for freelance writers to showcase their skills.
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