Do you dream of becoming a freelance writer?
Would you like to earn your living by writing full-time, working from anywhere, and at a time that suits you?
Those are the three main benefits of freelance writing and why people often ask me how they can become a freelance writer too.
How I Became a Freelance Writer?
I was a magazine journalist in Paris, France and I’ve been writing web copy since 1995 when I studied my MA in Design for Interactive Media. But it was years later I became a freelance writer and started charging people for my copywriting work.
Being a freelance writer is the perfect job for me because I like to live by the beach 90 minutes away from the big city of Brisbane. I’m lucky to be able to work from my hometown even though it’s a small holiday resort so jobs are scarce.
Freelance writing offers the potential to earn a good living from writing and escape the trap of being the proverbial poor writer. Freelance writing hourly rates range from US$30-150 with a reasonable rate for an experienced freelance writer around $125 per hour.
As well as allowing me to get well paid for my writing, today I’m lucky that I get to pick and choose jobs.
Much of my work comes from web copywriting but blogging has allowed me to diversify into paid blog writing and travel writing including one sweet job where I had to get a massage or go stand up paddleboarding and write about it.
Sounds good? But before we get carried away let’s look into the downsides of becoming a freelance writer.
Freelance Writing Training, Skills and Qualifications
You don’t need to have any special qualifications to become a freelance writer, just a love of writing.
The more you write the better your writing skills will become but a stint in a paid writing job where you write daily and stick to deadlines will help you improve fast.
This is the route I took to become a freelance writer. Think about how you can build up the writing and communication skills you need to become a good freelance writer.
- I have a degree in French and English so have a strong background in writing, grammar, and communications.
- I’ve worked as a journalist which helped improve my writing skills and taught me how to write faster and more accurately.
- I have an MA in Design for Interactive Media which allowed me to specialize in web copywriting.
- I set up my own web and blog design business and started writing copy for my clients free of charge.
- When demand picked up I was able to start charging for web copywriting and that’s still a big part of my business.
- I started writing about travel on my travel blog then pitched print travel publications as a freelance writer. I’ve been published in print but it’s not as lucrative as other work and I sometimes get paid to write for other travel blogs like Gadling.
- I’ve done editing and writing jobs on reports and guides for local businesses and government organizations.
How Can You Become a Freelance Writer?
1. Practice your writing skills regularly
My advice to anyone who wants to become a freelance writer is to write. Start practicing and improving your writing skills now.
2. Start a blog
Create a showcase of your writing skills by starting your own blog. Make sure your blog looks good and presents you as the professional, well-paid freelance writer you want to be. A sloppy-looking blog or website will make you look sloppy.
Think about what other content you want to share and keep your about, contact, and services page relevant and up to date.
In time you can add a portfolio or testimonials page.
Choose a blogging niche and stick to it then update your blog regularly – at least once a week to begin with.
Branch out into guest blogging for other blogs to grow your own blog and boost your portfolio.
3. Get some freelance writing experience under your belt
Become a member of the freelance writer’s group The Freelance Writers Den with support from experienced freelance writers Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli teaching you how to get freelance writing jobs, where to look for them, and how to make your freelance writing pay.
For a small monthly fee, The Freelance Writers Den gives you learning materials galore, access to a supportive community, and the chance to ask great freelance minds for help becoming a freelance writer and growing your writing income.
Carol Tice is a dynamic writer who still works as a freelance writer and started teaching other people how to become well-paid freelance writers because she hated seeing writers working for peanuts.
I’ve had a look inside The Freelance Writers Den and led webinars with Carol and am an affiliate for The Freelance Writers Den because I’m so impressed by her and what’s on offer.
The support and community will motivate you to stick with it but you also get to:
- Attend a live monthly Webinar;
- Join weekly live Den Meeting Q&A sessions;
- Enjoy unlimited, on-demand access to more than 200 articles, Webinars, teleclasses, and podcasts, organized into handy theme courses for your convenience — so you can learn what you need when you want;
- Get questions answered privately during weekly Den Mother’s office hours;
- Chat with other serious freelance writers 24/7 in the Den forums.
Click here to find out more about The Freelance Writers Den. The doors are only open from now until April 24th this month and spaces are limited so you can’t sign up right now make sure you register so you don’t miss out next time.
4. Get your first paid job
Accept that to begin with, when you don’t have much experience you’ll need to charge a lower rate but as time goes on and your experience increases along with demand you should be able to slowly increase your rate.
There are plenty of places you can look for work like Elance but I recommend business networking groups for face-to-face meet-ups and online networking on Twitter.
Other copywriters may also be happy to refer you to work if they have too much on it.
You can network online but do also get out of the house and go to local business groups or even social events. If you have an area of expertise organizing your own events can be an effective marketing tool.
6. Be versatile
Be prepared to write anything from reports to ebooks and website copy to magazine articles. There may be one area you prefer but to make your career as a freelance writer work you should be willing and able to take on almost any type of writing job.
That’s all I have to say about how to become a freelance writer. I love freelance writing so I’m happy to help you start your own freelance writing career and become a professional freelance writer if it sounds good to you.
The main key is to stick with freelance writing because no business is built overnight but in time you will gain the experience you need to make a success of it.
- Things You Can Do Today To Get Started As A Freelancer
- Top Freelance Writing Tips for Beginners
- Don’t Have a Popular Blog Yet?
Conclusion on Become a Freelancer in 6 Easy Steps in 2023
In the end, becoming a successful freelance writer takes a strong work ethic, passion for writing, and tremendous dedication.
With these traits and the tips outlined in this post, you can be well on your way to becoming a successful freelancer and taking control of your own destiny as a writer.
The keys are good networking, planning ahead and understanding the market—you have to learn how to appeal to potential customers and build up credibility beyond the written word.
Learning a few specialties can drastically improve your value as a freelance copywriter, while also giving you an edge over your competition.
Furthermore, understanding social media trends gives you the upper hand when it comes to marketing yourself and spreading the word about your services.
Remember that success in this business requires focus and consistent effort, but with dedication and hard work you’ll find yourself on top of your game as a professional freelancer. Good luck!