If you’re someone who is trying to bounce back in life from money issues, then you really should take a minute to check out this inspiring article.
Have you ever wanted to quit your day job and find something that pays well, where you can work from home?
Freelance content writing, when done using the right system, can be very lucrative, and best of all gives you hugely valuable TIME freedom.
People are raking it in from writing emails, fun articles, descriptions for products on websites, and all sorts of other writing jobs.
If you are interested in this at all then… Let’s get down to business!
What is Freelance Writing?
According to Wikipedia, a freelance worker is a person who is self-employed and is not interested in being tied to the “employer” for a long-term form of work. But don’t confuse it with contract workers.
In so saying, a freelance writer is therefore a writer who does writing assignments for pay outside the ‘staff writing’ position for small businesses, magazines, websites, online stores, etc. The writer can write for single publication or go for multiple publications depending on the writer’s flexibility.
Since we have now defined who a freelance writer is and what he or she does, it is equally important to know what freelance writing is and what differentiates it from other types of writing. In this article, I am going to put things as clear, short, precise and to the point as much as possible.
To be direct and simple, freelance writing is simply the type of writing that you are assigned as a complementary writer to a company or publication (you are not a salaried or a regular employee).
What Do Freelance Writers Do?
There are several types of jobs that freelance writers are assigned by their employers or clients as they are closely referred to.
You can be asked to write:
- Web pages (informational or sales pages)
- Blog posts
- Magazine articles (for consumer, custom, or trade publications)
- Newspaper articles
- Direct mail sales letters
- Newsletters (physical or email-delivered)
- Annual reports (corporate or nonprofit)
- Business plans
- Media kits
- White papers
- Case studies
- Press releases
- Research reports
- Radio scripts
- Video scripts
- Video sales letters
- Marketing emails
- Internal/intranet company communications
- Ghostwriting of anything above that takes a byline
Whichever of the above writing assignments that you are given, make sure that you provide good to accurate articles in order to attract and build a boundless future of work with the client.
And as you can see, the world of writing is vast; it is therefore of great importance that you as a writer niche down to ensure that you provide high-quality work through specialization.
Ensure that the client is happy with the work by following the client’s requirements and satisfying his or her needs fully. That way, you will have done well as a freelance writer.
How to Start Freelance Writing from Home
There is a lot of misguiding information online with regards to how to start online freelance writing. Most of the articles that you will get online will try to sell to you the numb notion.
The authors will try to tell you that once you brand yourself as a freelance writer you will start making millions. This is not true!
This is mostly the case with those individuals who are trying to sell you their online courses or eBooks.
There are more legitimate and easier ways to start freelance writing from home. And in this article, I am going to show you just how you can get started and start making a living right away.
Step One: Research on How to Start Freelance Content Writing
Since you are here, you must have already started this step. What I want you to do is not to stop here. I want you to get in touch with those writers who are already doing it in your space or your country.
Not everyone will ask you to buy from them, plus, you don’t have to buy anything to get started.
The next thing I want you to do is to visit and read resourceful blogs and articles on how to start freelance content writing and how to start online writing. That way, you will be able to speed up your starting up process and avoid simple mistakes by learning what works and what doesn’t.
Step Two: Have the Necessary Skills and Tools to Start Freelance Content Writing from Home
As it is with every job out there, you need to have the right tools and skills to make any job productive or doable.
In this case, for the tools, you don’t have to be fancy. You only need to have an exercise book, a pen, an internet connection and a computer device (a PC or a Laptop). If you don’t have a laptop or a PC, your smartphone will be be able to handle most of the tasks.
Here, you have to be flexible so that this doesn’t hold you back from starting your writing career. Choose your tools wisely as they are going to stick with you in most, if not all, of your freelance writing journey.
Writing and Organizational Skills
If you will need to have anything done, you will have to stay organized.
You will have many tasks to handle at once, you therefore need to organize your work in a logical manner that your work doesn’t clutter. Keep your research materials and points jotted down in a way that is easy to compose and reference.
For writing skills, you will need to do a lot of practice in writing in order to develop a proper organization of thoughts and profess correct grammar. Also, writing and reading will help you develop your grammar and diction. This will improve your general presentation of work so that it doesn’t look amateur.
Work on your writing style and also your work layout so that your work is presentable, relatable and easily absorbable by the readers and/or your clients.
Either way you need to have basic writing skills if at all you want to work as a freelance writer.
Money Management Skills
This is going to become your business and most likely even your livelihood. Have money management skills so that you are able to plan your money well and live off of it without much hassle.
If you don’t have the skills to manage your money (income), you will have trouble making a worthwhile living out of your career. At some point, you will even have the pressure of quitting writing if you have poor money management skills.
An ingenious way to make sure that you get this right if you have a problem with the way you handle money is to have someone manage it for you; someone who is economically conscious. This can be your spouse or someone you trust like your accountant friend.
Step Three: Pitching for Jobs
This is the biggest determinant of your freelance online writing success. It is now the time to test your writing skills.
Now that you have worked on your writing skills and have created yourself an authoritative portfolio either by creating a blog or a social media platform, the next big step is to find market for your skills. Some work will come directly to you via DMs while most if not all will come from your research.
If you want to get started quick, you can sign up for a writer’s account on content platforms like Upwork and Freelancer or look up for job boards like Indeed.com or Craigslist. This way you will put yourself directly into a pool of writers (probably thousands) and the high competition can be intimidating.
It would therefore be wise if your hand is held by an experienced writer so that you can learn to go about it the right way.
This article right here will guide you on how to write a perfect pitch that will be ideal in landing clients almost instantaneously. I have included only what has worked for me over my six years of freelance writing.
Time-Wasters to Impede you from Starting
As you try to start your writing career, there are some things that will waste if your time. The earlier you identify these impediments the earlier you will reach your success milestone in your freelance content writing journey. In this article, I am going to discuss a few of these time-wasters.
The biggest time-waster is intermediary content platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Why are they time-wasters?
The reason behind this inference is because, on these content platforms you don’t know who the end client is. Most often, you will be doing ghostwriting on these productive platforms. What this means is that, you don’t get any credit for your work after you have received your pay.
This eventually translates into no recommendations, referrals or testimonials for your writing skills. These are ideal for skyrocketing your freelance writing business. Therefore, spending time on these platforms is a total waste of time, plus, the pay rates on these bidding platforms are painfully low.
Setting up Pay Rates
Now, you have launched your freelance content writing business, so what’s next? How much will you charge for your writing services?
The best way to go about this is to do a thorough research on the default pay rates for the niche that you are writing on. You are supposed to start with the beginner’s rates and then progress to increase your pay rates as you continue building and gathering more expertise in your field of writing.
To be general, most beginner level writing gigs start with $0.15 CPW (Cost Per Word) and then go up to $1 per word and even higher depending on the client and his needs. In my case, I started with $0.10 CPW as that was the default pay rates for my niche at that time (2015).
If you need to get a glimpse of what you can expect to earn as a freelance content writer, then, I highly recommend that you watch this video here:
Many people are turning into freelance jobs because of their flexibility and freedom. According to an article by websiteplanet.com, 67.6 million Americans will be freelancing by the end of 2021.
That is 42% of the total American working population.
It is therefore high time that you get started as this is the new norm considering the uncertainty of our near blur future.