How to Become a Freelance Writer

Want to make money freelance writing?

You’re in the write place.

I used to babysit on the side for extra cash.

But after learning I could make money online, I stopped babysitting as a side hustle and started getting paid to write instead.

Fun fact: I’m not even a good writer.

Freelance writing allows you to work from wherever you want, set your own hours, and be self-employed. It gives you freedom that most traditional jobs don’t.

 

How To Become A Freelance Writer

Here’s how you can become a freelance writer. Note that the first few steps are things you should do before you start freelance writing.

 

1. Create a website or blog

Before you start freelance writing, you need to start a basic website. Everyone applying for freelance writing gigs has a website, so if you don’t, you’re going to eliminate yourself from the position almost immediately.

Follow this tutorial to start your site: How to Start a Blog Tutorial.

For your website, -create an about page, a contact page, and a hire page. This is the bare bones of what you need to have up if you’re applying for freelance writing gigs.

It’s really easy to do, so don’t skip this step. Get your site up and running, then you can proceed to the next steps!

 

2. Join online groups for writers (Facebook)

Next, join the freelance community.

The best way to learn how to do something is to surround yourself with people who are already doing it. The easiest way to do this is to join Facebook freelance writing groups and like freelance pages.

A few Facebook freelance writing groups/pages that I like and recommend are:

  • The Careful Cents Club for Freelancers (group)
  • The Writer’s Circle (page)
  • Freelance Writing Jobs (page)
  • Laptop Lifestyle (group)

By joining these groups and liking these pages you will learn things that you didn’t even know you needed to learn. People will talk and answer questions that you haven’t even thought about yet. It’s the fastest way I’ve found to learn the ins and outs of freelance writing.

 

3. Send cold pitch emails to get writing gigs (avoid job boards)

After you have your website up and you’ve read blogs and heard what people are talking about in the freelance writing industry, apply for freelance gigs.

To apply for freelance writing jobs, send an email to different companies, blogs, magazines, etc.

Here’s an example of an email to apply for a freelance job: 

Dear ________,

I hope this email finds you well. I am a huge fan of XYZ blog [Use the name of the site, but do not give the url – they know what they’re website address is.], and I would love the opportunity to write for you. I have been featured on X Blog, and in X magazine [If you haven’t been featured in anything yet, don’t use this sentence until you have]. If you have a need for a contributor, I think I would be a good fit because of my professionalism and writing skills. I have included links to recent posts below for your consideration [You need to include links to your recent work, if you don’t have any – this would be a good reason to post a few blog posts on your website in the beginning.].

  1. Link 1
  2. Link 2
  3. Link 3
  4. Link 4

For more information about my background, visit my personal site at FirstLastName.com.

If you have a need, I have the following ideas for pitches for XYZ Blog [Include 2-4 pitches here, if you want. You don’t have to, but it can be helpful depending on the company – use your judgment. I tend to not include this section unless I’m sure that the company would want pitches right away. Usually bigger companies will.]

  1. Pitch 1
  2. Pitch 2
  3. Pitch 3

I understand you may not have a need for a contributor right now. If that’s the case, please keep me in mind for the future. I appreciate your time in advance. Thank you!

First and Last Name

I get emails from writers all the time asking to guest post on my blog and the emails are poorly written. What that tells me is that the person isn’t a great writer. Why would I want that on my site? Don’t make the mistake of screwing up the email and blowing it before you even had a chance.

Take time to craft your email professionally but with a touch of personality.

If you are reaching out to companies, making your emails professional makes sense. But if you’re reaching out to a smaller blog, consider just sending an email that says how much you love their blog and respect them. People love to talk about themselves and get compliments. Of course only do this if you mean it.

Focusing on them is key – don’t focus on yourself. Ever.

Building a relationship could lead to something more. In fact, in the online world, it usually does.

Continue to send cold emails until you have as many freelance gigs as your heart desires. I always recommend finding jobs this way, or through recommendations. I do not recommend looking for freelance jobs through job boards because the competition is high and the pay is low.

 

4. Take a course

If you want to speed things up and start making money right away by freelance writing, I highly recommend taking a course.

Earn More Writing is the best freelance writing course out there. I know because I’ve taken many. The creator of the course shows you exactly how to create a successful side hustle income freelance writing. It’s amazing!

Read how these three people are making thousands every month freelance writing after taking Earn More Writing.

 

5. Learn the biz

There are a few things you need to learn as part of being a freelance writer, including: 1) how to send invoices, 2) what to charge, and 3) whether and when to sign contracts. Here is my advice on each.

  • How to send an invoice: Create your own invoice in Word. Save it. Then create a PDF version and email that version to the company when they ask for it. Never email the Word version that they can edit. It sounds intimidating but it’s really easy. You can create invoices yourself until you really get going into your writing career. You can buy software but that wouldn’t be necessary until later in your freelancing career. I would Google “invoices” or “how to create an invoice” and look at images online. That’s how I created mine. Make sure your invoice includes the following: 1) your name, 2) the date, 3) the services rendered (your posts), 4) the cost per post, and 5) how and when payment is received. Mine is never more than a page. Really just look on Google – there’s a lot out there on this.
  • What to charge: People write at length about what to charge for your writing. I’ve heard everything from $20 / post to $50 for every 250 words. You’ll have to decide this for yourself. My advice: start higher than you think you’re worth. You can always go lower next time. Of course what you charge depends on your circumstances. Is this money going to feed your baby or is it beer money? I know lots of writers who get paid between $150 and $500 per post — so don’t sell yourself short!
  • Whether and when to sign contracts: You will probably be asked to sign a contract if you’re writing for a bigger company. Generally, this is a good thing because it should say something to the effect of: writer will write and company will pay for writer’s writing.

 

A Final Note!

Freelance writing is an amazing way to make money on the side, right from your own home.

Anyone can do it, including you. I had no experience and brought in substantial income freelance writing. I did this by following the steps in this post. It works!