I’m a certified money coach, and I’ve been a freelance writer for over two years now. In 2018, I managed to make $100K as a freelance writer alone, which is something that I never thought would happen so early in my career.
But it did happen! And since then, I’ve helped other writers become full-time freelancers as well (check out some of their success stories here).
Today, I want to show you how you can do the same thing become a full-time freelance writer in less than two years by following my step-by-step guide.
Even if you have no experience or don’t know where to start, this article will give you everything you need to get started on your journey. So buckle up!
|– Successfully transitioned to a freelance writing career in under two years.|
|– Valuable insights into the author’s journey and strategies for quick success.|
|– Demonstrates that with dedication and the right approach, becoming a freelance writer is achievable.|
|– Offers inspiration for those looking to pursue freelance writing professionally.|
|– Encourages proactive steps to build a writing career within a relatively short timeframe.|
Always Be Pitching
Be persistent. You can’t always get the results you want the first time, but if someone says no the first time, ask again. If they say no a second time, ask again.
Don’t give up ever! And don’t stop pitching stories until you have an editor’s signature on a contract or a check in your hand (or both).
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it from friends who might know someone at a publication or website that would be interested in your writing;
From mentors whose, advice and guidance helped them build impressive careers; even from strangers who are willing to share their experiences with freelancing so that others can learn from them as well (and maybe even make some new friends).
Don’t let fear keep you from getting started: saying yes may mean taking pay cuts initially or working longer hours than expected (or desired). But if this means that things will improve down the road? Then it’ll surely be worth it!
Need to boost your daily word count? Discover the tactics that helped me write consistently in My Secret to Writing 1000 Words a Day. Consistency is key in becoming a successful freelance writer.
Make Time For Writing
I’m a big fan of the Pareto Principle. In short, it means that 80% of your work comes from 20% of your time.
You can apply this principle to any area of life, but it is especially useful for freelance writing because you will only see results if you spend time on marketing and networking as well as actual writing projects.
What does that mean? It means set up small goals every day. Write 50 words per day or 100 words per day whatever works best for you and stick with it!
Once you’re able to do this consistently without fail, set another goal: publish 1 article per week on Medium or your blog (or any other site).
Make sure they get edited by someone else before publishing them so that they are polished and ready for consumption by hungry readers looking for great content!
Become A Master Editor
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to become a great editor, but here are some of the most important things I’ve learned from editing my own work and other people’s:
Learning to edit your own work is one of the best ways to improve as an editor. It’s also one of the hardest things because it can be tempting just to push through and get something done.
Be willing to look at everything with fresh eyes and use that fresh perspective as an opportunity for improvement.
That means rereading your own writing with a critical eye, even if it feels like overkill at first or if you’ve already read it 10 times already that day… or month… year… however long ago you wrote it (this will vary based on how long you’ve been writing).
Don’t worry about perfecting everything right away; focus on getting better each time you revise something instead of trying to get everything right all at once. Once again: progress instead of perfection!
Writing is a journey of improvement. Learn how to receive constructive criticism and enhance your writing with 14 Ways to Get Better Feedback on Your Writing. Constructive feedback is invaluable for growth.
Send Personalized Pitch Emails
You’ve done the hard part of identifying a publication you want to write for, so now it’s time to send personalized pitch emails.
To make sure that your email stands out from all of the other emails they receive daily, here are some tips:
Personalize it. Try to use their name at least once in the email and again in your signature (if appropriate).
Tell them how you can help them. This means being specific about what content you’re offering, like writing a guest post or pitching freelance articles instead of pitching yourself as a general writer who can do anything!
It also means using keywords from their job listing when writing your cover letter or query letter so that you’ll be more likely for them consider hiring someone like yourself over someone else who doesn’t know anything about their specific needs.
Write Guest Posts For Blogs In Your Niche
Writing guest posts for blogs in your niche is one of the best ways to gain exposure and build relationships with influencers in your industry. As a freelance writer, I’ve found that guest posting is an excellent way to get started with clients because it’s scalable.
There are so many sites that accept guest posts, so you can write as many articles as you want without having to worry about running out of places to pitch them and even if there aren’t enough places out there right now, there will be soon!
Writing a great post for someone else’s blog is also an excellent way to prove that you’re capable of doing high-quality work on deadline (which is critical when it comes time for clients).
Other writers who have created content elsewhere have already proven themselves through their writing skills and ability to deliver quality products within deadlines;
By showing up regularly on other people’s blogs, they become familiar names in the niche community and build their reputation as dependable freelancers worth hiring themselves someday soon (or right now!).
Write A Personal Blog
Your blog is your personal brand. It’s where you can share your experiences and expertise, your knowledge and opinions.
If you want to become a freelance writer, start a blog. This will help you build your authority in the field of writing.
Take advantage of this opportunity to promote yourself as an expert on writing subjects or topics related to your business (e.g., blogging, copywriting, content marketing). When people follow your blog and see how talented you are at what you do, they’ll come back for more!
Dreaming of starting your own freelance writing business? Dive into the step-by-step guide in How to Start a Freelance Writing Business from Scratch and turn your passion into a thriving career.
Know Your Niche And Pitch To It
One of the best ways to get started as a freelancer is to know your niche, and pitch to it. This might seem obvious, but here’s what I mean: when pitching your writing services, you need to know who you are and where your expertise lies.
For example, if you are a content writer whose niche is business writing, then it would make sense for you not only to know this in advance but also pitch yourself based on that knowledge. You can say something like “I’m an experienced legal writer with years of experience doing contracts and agreements for companies in the financial services industry.”
This will help potential clients see that there’s more than meets the eye when they read through your portfolio or website;
They’ll see that despite having other types of documents listed on there (e.g., blog posts), we still have strong qualifications related specifically toward this niche area which makes us ideal candidates if they’re looking specifically within this particular field.”
Offer Something No One Else Can Or Will
When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to try and offer the same thing that everyone else is offering. But that’s not going to get you very far. Instead, think about what you have to offer that no one else can or will and make that part of your brand.
Here are some examples:
Offer something unique like an unusual point of view and perspective on an issue (this is how Stephen Colbert launched his show).
Offer something hard-to-find like a rare plant or animal and create excitement around the fact that only certain people will be able to own it (this is how Jeff Bezos launched Amazon).
Offer something difficult-to-find like a high school diploma from Harvard University and then tell people how they can buy that product if they want one (this is how Laurence Fink launched BlackRock Investment Management).
Specializing in a niche can be rewarding. Explore the insights gained from writing for a niche blog in Lessons Learned from Writing Articles for a Niche Blog. Niche expertise can set you apart as a freelance writer.
Organize Your Pitch Process
You might think it’s a waste of time to spend hours organizing your pitch process, but I can tell you that doing so will save you so much time in the long run.
It might take some trial and error to find what works best for you, but once it clicks, you’ll be able to jump into pitching with confidence.
Here are some quick tips:
Keep track of every pitch from start to finish. This includes every email exchange, any edits made along the way and even rejections (more on those later).
These records will come in handy when pitching new sites in the future they’ll make it easier for editors who know your work to accept one of your pitches faster than if they had no idea who you were or what kind of content they could expect if they hired you.
Track how many times each site accepts or rejects your pitches. You can do this by simply recording how many emails they sent back saying no versus yes! Also note which sites have rejected before but now accepted; how often did this happen?
Don’t Wait Until You’re An Expert
You don’t have to be an expert in a field before you start writing about it. You will learn more by writing than you ever would from just reading or researching. From my own experience, it took me several years to feel like I was ready to write about something I knew nothing about at first.
I started out as a copywriter for a digital marketing agency whose clients were mostly academic institutions and non-profits.
My job was essentially to get people excited about donating money or signing up for their newsletter so if I had any expertise at all, it was in the art of getting people excited about anything!
Which sounds silly now (I mean, who cares?), but since the point of my job was pretty much just getting students excited enough so that they’d fill out some form fields on our website… well… you get where we’re going here: there wasn’t much room for expertise here either!
Read What You Want To Write About
Reading is a massive part of the learning process. If you want to write, you should read. Reading will help you:
- Understand what’s out there and what people are looking for.
- Learn about your niche and its unique language (e.g., “SEO” vs “search engine optimization”).
- Learn how other writers approach topics and craft stories from different angles.
If you’re not sure where to start, try reading blogs in your niche or books in your niche that have been written by authors whose work appeals to you. If someone knows how to write well on the topic(s) that interest me, then I’ll probably enjoy their writing style as well!
Give Value To Potential Clients Before They Ask For It
Offer a free sample. If you’ve been asked to write an article, don’t just send over the completed piece. Instead, send a sample of what you would write and ask the client if they would like to see more of your work in that style.
Offer a discount on your services. This might sound counterintuitive, but offering discounts is one way of showing value without having to spend additional time or money on marketing efforts that aren’t directly related to your writing services (i.e., email marketing campaigns).
Create guides and tutorials related to the type of content or articles you’re already writing for clients and then offer them as standalone resources from which people can learn about topics specific to their industry (or even provide links back up here!).
For example: “How To Publish Your Book On Amazon Kindle In 5 Simple Steps” might help authors who are looking for guidance in getting started with self-publishing;
Meanwhile “How To Write Effective Headlines That Boost Your Blog Traffic” could help bloggers who want ideas for attracting new readers by creating catchy titles for their posts!
Have A Strong Instagram Presence
When it comes to social media, Instagram is one of the most important platforms for writers. You can build a following on other social networks like Twitter or Facebook, but if you want to make money off your writing, Instagram is where it’s at.
You don’t have to have a huge social media presence right away you’re allowed to start small and grow over time.
But having a nice looking profile page and posting regularly will help you get your feet wet in the Instagram world while building an audience that cares about what you say and write.
As with any kind of content, the quality matters above all else here. If people see something interesting in your posts that they want more of (like an article), then they’ll follow along with you as well as share their own work with others via hashtags like #writerlife or #freelancewriting
Provide Searchable Pitches On Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a great place to find potential clients. The best way to find these groups is by searching for keywords that are relevant to your niche, then joining them with an email address you don’t mind giving out.
Once you’ve joined a group, post the pitch in it, and follow up with an email once or twice (depending on how much attention the group gets).
Use this as an opportunity to get your name out there: people will remember who they read from and might end up reaching out if they need something similar later on!
Aspiring to make a significant income as a writer? Discover strategies to achieve that goal with How to Become a Writer & Earn Six Figures in the Next 12 Months. Learn how to turn your writing passion into a lucrative profession.
Have Great Samples And A Strong Portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of samples that illustrate what you can do. It’s used to market yourself and get jobs, so it’s important to have one ready before you begin applying for gigs. Think of your portfolio as your own personal resume: What would hiring managers want to see?
Examples of work samples: essays, articles, newsletters or brochures
How-to make a portfolio: Get familiar with the website/program you use (for example, WordPress) and find examples online that correspond to what you’re trying to achieve. Then tweak those examples until they match up with what needs doing.
Why it’s important: A strong portfolio shows potential clients that this isn’t just something you want but something you’re good at too!
How to showcase your portfolio: Once built up with relevant content, share it on social media (Twitter accounts especially), personal blogs or websites like LinkedIn if applicable.
Pitch By Email, Facebook Messenger, And Through Linkedin
Now that you’re aware of the different methods for pitching, let’s take a look at some more tips.
Personalize your pitches. Don’t just send out a mass email that will only cause you to get ignored. Instead, tailor each pitch specifically to the editor or client you want to work with.
It doesn’t take much time and can make a big difference in how people perceive your pitch and whether they respond favorably or not.
In addition, remember to include relevant links back to previous articles that you’ve written on similar topics if applicable this can help prove your expertise and show why an editor should hire you over someone else who has yet to write about this subject matter as often as they have.
You can also link directly to some free samples (like blog posts) so editors know what kind of writing style they’re working with ahead of time if they aren’t familiar with it yet (and don’t feel like reading through all 200+ pages).
Use social media accounts wisely when looking for freelance writing clients: Facebook groups are great places where writers gather together in order share ideas about what works well within each genre;
However, these groups tend only attract other writers who are interested in specific niches such as romance novels or horror stories rather than those seeking general editors interested in anything under their roof – so keep this factoid in mind when searching for potential jobs!
While LinkedIn may not be particularly useful because most employers prefer receiving resumes directly through email instead; however if there’s no other option available then try sending them via LinkedIn instead
Pitch In Person. Pitch Everywhere!
I know, it sounds like the most obvious advice ever. But you’d be surprised how many writers I talk to who never pitch anyone outside of their social media circles or contacts.
You can make so many connections at events people will approach you because they see your name tag and want to talk about what you do, or they’ll notice something on your badge that makes them curious (yes, I was once approached by someone who thought I wrote romance novels based on my business card).
And even if they don’t approach you directly, there are always ways to meet new people like joining organizations like AWP or MWA where members are already coming together for networking opportunities!
Now: Do not go out into the world and pitch everyone under the sun just because they’re there.
Don’t send requests for submissions without knowing anything about a publication’s mission or aesthetic this is how we get labeled as “unsolicited queries.”
But do reach out when appropriate; set up informational interviews with editors whose work inspires yours; follow up with editors after reading their pieces online;
Ask friends if there are any publications they’ve worked with before that might be interested in an article from you (and then take them up on it!).
The more chances we give ourselves to meet other writers even ones we don’t know personally the more likely we’ll find collaboration opportunities along our journey as freelancers.
Learn How To Make Money As A Freelance Writer
If you’re thinking about making money as a freelance writer, here are some of the things you need to know.
First, learn how to make money as a freelance writer. This means finding clients and work (and your niche).
Then you’ll have time for it the best thing about being self-employed is that you don’t have a boss or schedule set for yourself so long as it gets done! Find your voice and audience, and then start getting paid for it!
I’m so glad you took the time to read this post. I know that there are lots of other posts out there on how to become a freelance writer, but I hope that my story and experience were helpful.
Here are some additional resources to further enhance your knowledge about becoming a freelance writer:
Location Rebel: How to Become a Freelance WriterLearn from experts about the steps to take in your journey to becoming a successful freelance writer.
Morgan Overholt: How to Become a Freelance Writer with No ExperienceDiscover actionable tips for breaking into the freelance writing industry, even if you’re starting from scratch.
Goats on the Road: How to Become a Freelance WriterExplore insights on how to leverage your writing skills to create a fulfilling and sustainable freelance writing career.
How can I get started on the path to becoming a freelance writer?
Getting started as a freelance writer involves honing your writing skills, creating a portfolio, and identifying potential clients or platforms to showcase your work.
Do I need prior writing experience to become a freelance writer?
While prior writing experience can be helpful, it’s not always necessary. Many successful freelance writers start with a passion for writing and build their skills over time.
How do I find freelance writing opportunities?
You can find freelance writing opportunities by networking, reaching out to potential clients, using online freelance platforms, and contributing to content marketplaces.
What niches can I specialize in as a freelance writer?
Freelance writers can specialize in a wide range of niches, such as travel, technology, health, finance, lifestyle, and more. Choosing a niche you’re passionate about can help you stand out.
How do I set my freelance writing rates?
Setting freelance writing rates involves considering factors like your experience, the complexity of the project, market rates, and the value you provide to clients. Research and experimentation can help you find the right pricing strategy for your services.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.