If you like the idea of having a flexible work schedule or even working from home around your other commitments, then you may have considered becoming a freelance writer.
Freelance writing can provide a decent side gig or even develop into a full-time career, but how do you get started? Here we’ll explore freelance writing jobs for beginners and how you can begin your new career.
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What You Need to Get Started
Many people assume that you need to have lots of qualifications to be able to become a freelance writer, but this is not the case. While a degree may be helpful for some clients, most freelance writers have few academic qualifications. What you actually need is an interest in writing, but you also need to be prepared to do some reading.
Fortunately, you can focus on areas of interest to you, so you’re learning more about things you enjoy as you earn.
To be a successful freelance writer, you also need to have solid grammar skills. While most clients look for a conversational tone of writing rather than a formal style, you still need to make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct.
How to Get Started When You Have No Experience
Although it can be daunting to start a new job, particularly if you have no experience, there are some simple steps that can help you to bridge the gap and start working as a freelance writer.
Step 1: Choose Your Topics:
The first step for getting started is to choose your topics. No one can be an expert in everything, so it is a good idea to focus on two or three areas.
Ideally, you should choose topics that are of interest to you or where you have real-world experience. This will help you to feel more comfortable with the subject matter and provide your clients with a fresh perspective.
Step 2: Start Your Own Blog (for writing samples)
One of the first things a potential client will ask for is writing samples. Although you can create a portfolio on many of the platforms, it is a good idea to start your own blog to showcase your writing style.
Your blog will allow you to supply potential clients with a URL, so they can see published writing and assess the quality of your content. Therefore, it is worth taking some time to craft the best possible content. This work will be a reflection of your talent, so it should be your best possible work.
Please see this article: How to Start a Blog
Step 3 (Optional): Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs
Another way to showcase your writing and attract new clients is to write guest posts for other blogs. While many of these posts will be unpaid, they will allow you to get some experience and provide another way to promote your work as writing samples.
Step 4: Start Applying to Freelance Writing Jobs
Once you’ve decided on your topics and have some samples in place, you should start applying for freelance writing jobs. We’ll explore this in more detail below, so you’ll know where you can find work as a complete beginner.
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Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
Generally, beginner freelance writing gigs don’t offer the highest-paying rewards, but they are a good opportunity to gain experience. While the work may be lower-paying, if you live in an area with a low cost of living, the pay may be sufficient to cover your costs. If this isn’t possible, you may need to explore working as a freelance writer around your current job until you can develop the experience to score higher-paying work.
Regardless of how much you’re getting paid, it’s important to focus on providing excellent quality of work, because your work on these beginner-level jobs can open up better opportunities for you.
Formerly Elance and Odesk, Upwork was established in 2015. This is one of the largest freelance marketplaces allowing members to find clients in a variety of fields, including freelance writing. You can browse the job boards for projects or create a custom search to narrow down the choices to your particular preferences. Each project has a budget set by the client, but you can specify your rate in your proposal.
To apply for a job, you’ll need to submit a proposal letter detailing why you’re a good choice for the opportunity, and once you win a job, Upwork provides a workroom where you can communicate with your client securely.
The Upwork fee structure is based on the length of your client relationship. It varies from 5 to 20%, and the longer you work with your client, the lower the fees charged. However, for this fee, you’ll enjoy payment protection, with payments typically processed in 5 to 7 days.
This is another massive platform that allows users to advertise their services. As the name suggests, you can charge $5 for your writing, but the platform does allow you to charge more, or you can use add ons to increase your price.
You’ll need to set up your Fiverr profile to showcase your writing and attract potential clients. Fiverr will alert you on your dashboard when you have a new client, so you can complete the work within your stated timeframe.
This is another freelance website where you can bid for jobs. Freelancer was launched in 2009, and it has offices around the world. To start working on Freelancer, you’ll need to create a profile and search for jobs. Like Upwork, you’ll need to place bids for any projects that appeal to you, and you’ll be paid based on your bid.
As a beginner, you can opt for a free basic profile, but once you start earning, it is worth considering upgrading to a professional profile that costs $29.95 a month. This package allows you to specify up to 100 skills on your Freelancer profile, make daily withdrawals, apply for 300 jobs each month and invoice externally.
Guru is another freelancer platform that has been around for years. There are a number of membership tiers that determine your job fee and how many bids you can place each year. These tiers range from a free basic membership that attracts an 8.95% job fee and allows 120 bids a year up to the Executive membership that reduces the job fee to 4.95% and allows 600 bids a year. However, this package costs $49.95 a month or $479 a year when paid annually.
Like Freelancer, it is a good idea for beginners to start with a basic free membership, as you can upgrade once you start to earn money. You can then gauge which membership package is best suited to your requirements.
PeoplePerHour stands apart from many of the other freelance sites, as it has a location-based targeting feature. This allows clients to search for freelancers in their local area and vice versa. This platform was established in 2007 and allows access to clients worldwide in addition to your local area. Your payments are secured through the PeoplePerHour Wallet with the use of Escrow.
To join PeoplePerHour, you need to complete an online application that is reviewed by the moderation team. Once approved, you can start working. Like the other freelancer platforms, PeoplePerHour requires clients to post job opportunities or projects so you can bid for the work with a cover letter. You’ll be charged a service fee for each project you complete. The commission fee for transactions varies from 3.5 to 5%.
The FreelanceWriting Morning Coffee eNewsletter has been published since 1998 and features new freelance writing jobs. This weekly digest features eight of the current, best new jobs, and this includes jobs that are exclusively submitted to FreelanceWriting.
The eNewsletter team also researches and handpicks jobs from popular sites. You can sign up for the newsletter as a free subscription service, and you can receive free alerts for jobs each morning.
This is a great resource, particularly for beginner freelancer writers. It features writing tips, advice, and a freelance writing job board. This board is updated each day, and the jobs range from internships to online writing jobs.
Each posting details the job and the client requirements, so you can explore whether you have the skillset to apply. If you decide that you want to apply for a post, you just need to click on the link and follow the instructions.
Since each job is posted by different potential clients, there is no set formula for applying for a job. Some require a resume while others have a dedicated application form, so you will need to follow the specific instructions carefully to stand a chance of scoring the gig.
Scripted is a higher-paying gig, but beginners can still apply to work on the platform. Scripted aim to pair the best clients with great writers, and freelancers can earn an average of $0.10 per word, which is more than many of the averages on the other platforms.
The Scripted process is a little more involved, as you need to set up an account and pass tests before you can start to propose jobs. However, you’re guaranteed automatic payment, 15 days after jobs are accepted, and you can even qualify for partial payment if the content is rejected.
Additionally, while you can set your own prices, there is minimum pricing for each job to ensure a fair wage for all writers.
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This platform has been around for years and allows you to create a steady workload around your schedule. The application process is more rigorous than many other platforms. You’ll need to not only submit your application form but also pass a quiz and provide a writing sample that is approved by the Constant Content editorial team.
Once approved, you can set up your profile and start browsing and claiming jobs that match your interests and expertise.
Constant Content also provides a blog packed with writing tips and support team to answer any of your queries.
DotWriter is an online community of content specialists, providing opportunities for freelance writers to promote their writing online. You can create and sell articles to buyers and enjoy timely payments.
When you submit content, the Editorial team will review your article before it is released on the open content marketplace. You can also provide tailor-made content that is requested by clients, and you can be privately hired by clients who like your writer profile.
Payments are securely made through PayPal, but it is not clear what fees DotWriter applies to projects and transactions.
11. Writers Domain
Writers Domain was founded in 2011 and provides a platform to connect with small businesses requiring your writing services. Unlike many platforms, the clients pay Writers Domain, and then you’re paid as the writer to produce high-quality content. You will be required to write content for a variety of projects. Content is reviewed to ensure it meets the project guidelines, and on approval, you get paid at a rate of between $0.02 to $0.05 a word.
There are currently no submission volume requirements, so you can earn as much as you like. You’ll be paid every 5th of each month via PayPal.
To begin writing for Writers Domain, you’ll need to submit a writing sample, take a grammar test, and complete an application form. The editorial team will review your application, and you’ll hear back in a couple of days.
12. Writers Access
Writers Access is another marketplace that allows freelance writers to connect with clients. The pay ranges from 2.8 cents a word through to $2 a word. Your earnings are determined by the star rating assigned to you during the application process. Additionally, Writers Access takes 30% commission for all orders.
Like some of the other platforms, the application process is a little more in-depth and requires that you to complete an application form, tests, and a writing sample. This application is how Writers Access determines your star rating. However, after every order, customer reviews are tracked by a performance algorithm that determines if you should be awarded a higher star rating.
Textbroker has projects for beginners and more experienced writers. Once you’ve applied and submitted a sample article, Textbroker will assess your application and assign a rating. You can then set up your profile and start writing. As you browse the boards, you will see thousands of open orders, but you can also receive direct orders where you can set your preferred rate.
If you prefer to adopt a flexible work schedule, you can choose open orders as and when you’re ready to work. Your rate will be determined by your quality rating, and you’ll get paid via PayPal each week.
14. Hire Writers
Hire Writers is a platform that allows freelance writers to complete large or small writing tasks. The platform has thousands of native English speakers from different backgrounds and with different experience levels. You can earn money ghostwriting, creating product descriptions, crafting autoresponders, and blog posting.
Writers on Hire Writers earn money based on a ratings system. There are four basic skill levels; beginner, average, skilled, and expert, and as you increase in levels, you can earn more money per article. For example, a beginner can earn $2.25 for a 300-500 word article, but this increases to $10.66 for an expert writer. You’ll be paid every Friday automatically through PayPal, providing your account has a balance of at least $10.
Content Authority is open to writers of all skill levels providing you can use proper English at a high school level. You will be required to work to deadlines and accept critique about your content, but you’ll receive payments through PayPal.
Upon sign up, writers are rated at the lowest bracket, tier one. At this stage, you will be classed as a probationary member and only able to access tier one articles. At the end of the probationary period, your activity and content will be reviewed, and at this stage, you can increase tiers.
16. Remote Co
The Remote Co platform offers freelance opportunities in various niches, including writing. The writing board displays freelance job postings, but there are occasionally full-time positions offered. Each posting details the job and the client details; if you choose to apply, you’ll be redirected to the client’s website, which will explain the recruitment process and how you can apply for the position.
Each posting will have different requirements, so you may need to fill in an application form, send a resume, or send links to your portfolio.
17. Working Nomads
Working Nomads is another remote job board containing a curated list of remote positions from around the world. Job postings are updated every day, and you’ll find opportunities in a variety of areas, including sales, design, and marketing.
Like Remote Co, each job posting is different, but it will detail the project and client information. If the project appeals to you, you can click the link to apply. The pay varies for each project, but Working Nomads advertise that all postings are reliable, so you don’t need to worry about scams.
This is another job board, but Flexjobs allows you to tailor the search results to suit your specific job requirements. While there are physical jobs advertised, the vast majority are online or remote positions, from beginners to expert skill levels.
Unlike some of the boards, Flexjobs requires that you sign up for an account to view the details of how to apply for any of the jobs advertised. The signup process is simple, but you need to commit to the monthly subscription of $14.95 a month. Although this may not seem like a large sum, you need to bear in mind that you’ll need to pay this fee, regardless of whether you’re successful in finding work or not.
Flexjobs does advertise that all jobs are hand-screened to ensure they are ad-free and scam free. While this may not be your first choice, if you’ve already started to make money on some of the free platforms, it may be worth considering Flexjobs.
19. Blogging Pro
Blogging Pro has a job board that is updated daily with fresh blogging jobs and other freelance writing. The main aim of the platform is to assist those who are trying to build a blog or are struggling to meet their blog content requirements. You can browse the boards to find areas that you’re interested in, so you can produce quality content that will help bring visitor traffic to your client’s blogs.
Each project has specific requirements, so as a beginner, you may not be able to apply for all of them, but there is enough variety to find projects to work on.
Similar to Blogging Pro, Problogger offers freelancers an opportunity to find blogging clients in their area of expertise. The rates vary according to the project specifics, but you can search for jobs based on keywords, making it easier to find the ideal project for your skillset.
21. Media Bistro
Media Bistro has an impressive job board where you can find writing jobs in specialist areas. While many of the positions are location-based, there are plenty of online freelance opportunities. You do need to sign up as a member to apply to any jobs on the board on a monthly or annual basis. Membership also provides access to online courses, freelance tools, and other perks for the membership cost of $14.99 a month. However, you can benefit from a free 14-day trial.
LinkedIn is a crucial social media platform for any freelancer or business owner. You can set your profile to attract potential clients or act as a virtual resume. However, LinkedIn also has a job board where you can search according to keywords. LinkedIn will also compile suggested job opportunities based on your profile and send you an email alert when your profile has been featured in a search result.
As you can see, there are lots of places where you can find work as a beginner freelance writer. It’s worth checking out the job boards and establishing a profile. Although many of these platforms offer lower-paying work, once you’ve accrued some experience and developed your skillset, you can start to explore the higher-paying opportunities to expand your client base and your income.