How To Start A Freelance Writing Business From Scratch

Congratulations on deciding to start a freelance writing business! There’s probably been a lot of good advice you’ve seen from other writers. However, there are some things I see people do over and over that might be getting in their way. 

So, before you leap into this new territory, let me tell you about some of the most common mistakes writers make when they’re first starting and how to avoid them.

1. Define your niche and target audience.
2. Build a professional writing portfolio.
3. Create a professional website.
4. Network and connect with potential clients.
5. Set clear pricing and payment terms.
6. Develop effective time management skills.
7. Market yourself through content creation.
8. Stay updated with industry trends.
9. Embrace continuous learning and growth.
10. Maintain professionalism in all dealings.

1. Make A Business Plan

A business plan is a written document that lays out your goals, strategies, and other important information about your business. It’s like a map for your business. 

A good business plan helps you focus on what’s important and also gives you benchmarks to measure how successful or unsuccessful you are at achieving those goals.

A good one should include:

  • A summary of the market situation in which your company operates (for example, the current state of the industry)
  • An overview of any research that has been carried out into the viability of starting up a freelance writing business in this area (including quotes from experts)

Building a successful writing career from scratch might seem daunting, but with the right guidance and determination, it’s absolutely achievable. Discover how one writer managed to become a full-time freelance writer in their spare time and learn valuable insights into the journey.

2. Get Your Website Up

When it comes to starting a freelance writing business, having a website is an absolute must. Your website is your online home, so make sure that it’s not only easy for potential clients to find but also showcases all the information they need about you and your services.

Your website should be more than just a place where people can visit to view samples of your work; it should also provide other helpful features like contact details, testimonials from previous clients, pricing structures, and packages.

If you’re not tech-savvy or have no idea how to build a website from scratch then there are plenty of affordable options available online (such as Wix).

3. Start Building Your Content And Social Media Portfolio

There are so many ways to do this start a blog, start a newsletter, start a youtube channel, or even start a podcast or vlog. You can also find great opportunities to write for other outlets in your niche that will pay you for it! 

The more writing you do, the better for your business later on when you’re starting because it helps build up relevant work experience which clients will love to see when they’re considering hiring you.

Becoming a skilled writer requires continuous learning and exploration. If you’re eager to learn more about the art of writing and how to make it a successful career, check out this insightful guide on building a successful writing career, including recommended books that can greatly enhance your skills.

4. Figure Out What You Specialize In

Once you’ve decided what type of writing business to start, it’s time to figure out what kind of writing you’ll be doing and who your clientele will be. This is where many freelancers get stuck. They try to be everything for everyone and end up doing none of it well.

This can be a difficult step for many writers because by nature we’re introverts and would rather spend our time alone, in front of the computer screen creating something than talking with people face-to-face or on the phone. 

But this is one area where you must overcome those fears if you want your freelance writing business to succeed long-term.

To help decide which topics are right for your business:

Start by listing all your skills and talents that apply specifically to each topic area (for example grammar, and punctuation). Circle any items that stand out as being particularly strong or weak areas for you personally (for example grammar, and punctuation).

Then think about what types of work do you enjoy doing most often? What types seem like they would give me the most satisfaction? 

Circle those items below under the “What I’m good at” column; then write down next to them some examples from each category that show why they might appeal more strongly than others (for example: editing articles written by other people who lack basic English skills); 

Also include any other reasons why these particular types might interest me more than others (for example: working on my schedule without having someone breathing down my neck when deadlines aren’t met).

5. Research And Find Companies To Pitch For Work To

Once you’ve got your clients, it’s time to research and find companies to pitch for work. The best way to do this is through a job board. 

There are many out there, but I suggest using Elance or Guru because they’re free for freelancers and offer the most comprehensive listings of jobs available online.

You can also use social media like Twitter or LinkedIn as another source of leads for freelance writing jobs.

Your network of family members, friends, and colleagues can be great sources of leads as well (after all, who doesn’t love helping each other?). 

In addition to asking around though, consider creating an email list where potential clients can sign up to receive updates on new business opportunities that might be right up their alley!

Crafting copy that converts is an essential skill in the realm of B2B marketing. If you’re looking to sharpen your copywriting abilities and create content that resonates with your audience, delve into the secrets outlined in the article about writing copy that converts for B2B marketing.

6. Look For Work On Job Boards And Bid For Jobs

Now that you have a website, it’s time to start looking for work. Job boards are a good place to find freelance writing jobs.

Bidding on job boards is another way to find work and make extra money as a writer. This method will require more time and effort than posting your job postings on job boards, but it can be worth the effort if it leads to additional income.

Job boards allow you to bid on jobs posted by companies who are looking for writers. You’ll submit your bid along with sample articles showing off your skills as well as any questions or comments about the potential project itself (e.g., length requirements).

7. Have An Attitude Of Helping Others By Providing Value

Every business needs a different set of skills and attributes, but one thing is clear: you need to have an attitude of helping others by providing value.

You might be thinking, “What does that even mean?” It means that you’re going to be a problem solver for your clients, as well as a leader and good listener. 

You’ll be able to communicate clearly in writing, whether it’s through an email or blog post or other mediums like social media and video scripts. 

And if you want to get good at freelance writing, then you’ll need patience with your clients even when they ask for something stupid!

If any of these things sound intimidating to you (or just plain boring), then don’t worry we’ll build up your confidence over time together!

8. Build Relationships With Other Writers And Brands In Your Niche

As you build your business, you should always be networking with other writers and brands in your niche. This can be done through social media, events and conferences, and email newsletters.

You’ll want to find opportunities to write guest posts on their sites as well as offer them articles on topics they may not have considered writing about before.

Build relationships with the bigger players in your niche so that when down the road your business is ready for marketing or product development help, they’ll be there for you.

9. Do Things Out Of The Box To Get Yourself Noticed

To stand out, you have to do things that other people aren’t doing. You have to think outside the box and be bold in your ideas.

Here are some ways you can be creative:

Use unusual imagery in your blog posts or articles. For example, instead of writing an article on cats, why not write about a cat who saved a baby from drowning?

Be daring with your marketing tactics. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to get noticed online, look at how businesses like BuzzFeed operate they’re known for their witty headlines and use of gifs (those little moving pictures). 

You could also try memes (a funny picture with text on it) or even do something more daring like creating videos!

Think outside the box when it comes to business ideas don’t just stick with what everyone else is doing because there’s nothing new under the sun!

Embarking on a journey to become a successful writer requires more than just talent; it demands perseverance and strategic thinking. Gain valuable insights from a writer’s personal experience and advice in the article offering advice on becoming a successful writer, which can help you navigate the path ahead.

10. Set Aside A Specific Time Each Day Or Week To Look For Work

Set aside a specific time each day or week to look for work. Every writer has their way of doing this, but it’s important to have a regular schedule so that you don’t forget and then have nothing to show for your efforts. 

Some freelancers start searching right after they wake up in the morning, while others wait until after they’ve finished their morning coffee or breakfast.

Some freelancers prefer to use the Internet as their main source of finding new jobs, while others search through professional networking sites like LinkedIn and Xing. 

A combination of both is probably best since many assignments come from personal contacts rather than online platforms (although some large media organizations will post job openings on websites like ProBlogger). 

Regardless of how you find assignments, make sure that any business-related emails are archived.

So that if someone asks about how much money you made from writing an article somewhere last year, you can provide them with confirmation without having access to those records anymore!

11. Don’t Accept Anything Less Than What You Deserve

Don’t accept anything less than what you deserve. When it comes to your work, don’t compromise on quality. Don’t accept low pay for your work, deadlines that are too tight, or work that doesn’t fit with your niche.

When negotiating a project on Upwork or with a client directly, don’t settle for less than the rate and terms you think are fair (or even higher if possible). If a potential client doesn’t agree with your price point from the start, then they’re not worth working with anyway.

Don’t feel bad about asking for what you want to remember: no one else is going to fight for you!

12. Work On Small Free Projects To Gain Experience

If you’re new to freelancing, you should start by working on small free projects. This will help you build your portfolio and get your name out there. 

You also want to start building relationships with potential clients early on so that they know who you are and trust that you can deliver a quality product for them (which will be very important in the beginning). 

As an added benefit, these small projects are great for gaining experience and learning how to manage your time and money as a freelance writer.

13. Practice, Practice, Practice!

When you’re a freelancer, your business is based on your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. You have to be able to pitch ideas, write articles and pitches, negotiate rates with clients, handle deadlines… the list goes on! So how do you get better at all of this?

The answer lies in practice. Freelance writers are always learning new skills whether it’s how to use new tools like Grammarly or how to write more concisely and they practice those skills constantly.

So they can perfect them. It doesn’t matter if you start out knowing nothing about something or if you’ve been writing for years; there’s always something new for you (and everyone else) to learn and practice!

14. Always Follow Up With Clients After They Hire You

When you complete a job for a client, don’t forget to follow up! A good rule of thumb when it comes to client relations is the 80/20 rule: spend 20% of your time writing and 80% of your time communicating with clients. 

Follow-up with clients after they hire you by sending them a thank you email or handwritten note within 24 hours of finishing their project (if possible). This shows them that you’re committed to customer service and professional relationships.

Another good practice is asking for referrals at this point in the process as well. Many freelancers simply ask for referrals after the work has been completed.

But by asking right away it shows that you value their opinion and are willing to act on it immediately if they have any suggestions or recommendations for improving your service going forward.

Follow-ups like these can also allow customers to provide feedback on what they think went well during the writing process or what could use improvement next time around! 

If there were any misunderstandings between yourself and your customer along the way, 

Then now is also an ideal moment in which those issues can be resolved before things go awry later down the line (which would happen much easier than trying to fix things once everything’s already been published online).

Visual marketing is a powerful tool in the modern world of content creation. To make your visual content stand out and resonate with your audience, explore the comprehensive tips provided in the guide on improving your visual marketing, covering effective strategies to enhance your visual storytelling.


If you’re just starting, freelancing can be a great way to gain experience and earn some extra cash on the side. 

But if you’re looking for financial independence and freedom from 9-5 employment, then it might take some time before you reach your goals.

There are many different ways to start freelancing. You just need to find one that works best for you!

Further Reading

How to Start Your Freelance Writing Business: Explore practical steps and considerations for starting a freelance writing business, from finding clients to setting rates.

Becoming a Freelance Writer: A Comprehensive Guide: Learn about the key steps to becoming a successful freelance writer, including building a portfolio, networking, and managing your business.

Building a Thriving Freelance Writing Business: Discover tips and strategies to establish and grow your freelance writing business, from creating a strong online presence to finding high-paying clients.


How do I start a freelance writing business from scratch?

Starting a freelance writing business from scratch involves steps like defining your niche, creating a portfolio, setting up a website, and networking within the industry.

What skills do I need to become a freelance writer?

To become a successful freelance writer, you’ll need strong writing skills, the ability to meet deadlines, excellent communication, and the capacity to adapt to various writing styles.

How can I find clients as a freelance writer?

You can find clients by creating an online portfolio, using freelance platforms, networking on social media, pitching to publications, and reaching out to potential clients directly.

How do I set competitive rates for my freelance writing services?

Setting freelance writing rates involves considering factors such as your experience, the complexity of the project, word count, research required, and the industry standard rates.

How can I balance freelancing with a consistent income?

Balancing income as a freelancer can be achieved by diversifying your client base, offering retainer services, setting up a steady stream of work, and managing your finances efficiently.