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.
Want to learn more about how to get started? Freelance Writing 101: Build a Successful Writing Career is a course by Brad Merrill that is an excellent guide for beginners. The course is available on Skillshare and you can get free access for two months through this link.
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
Get FREE access to my course Blog Launch Breakthrough, which includes 14 video lessons that help you to start your blog on a solid foundation. The course will help you to choose the right niche, pick a blog name, get your blog set up, create a unique blog that will stand out, and much more.
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.
→ Related reading: 30 Websites to Write and Get Paid Instantly
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%.
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