If you love writing, have you thought about freelance writing?
What is freelance writing?
It is not a new occupation. Freelance writers have been selling their work to magazines and newspapers for decades.
But today, it usually means writing articles for websites, online magazines and commercial sites.
To be a successful freelance writer, you should have excellent writing and editing skills. You should also enjoy researching and writing content on a wide range of subjects.
If you would like to broaden your writing career, becoming a part-time freelance writer might be an option for you.
Another great advantage is that in time, you can turn your writing into a full-time work from home job: no more traffic jams or commuting.
How do you get started?
Before you jump into looking for paying freelance work, you should hone your article and content writing skill.
The best way is to read a lot of articles by talented freelance writers and professional bloggers.
When you read a blog post on sites like these, take notice of the writing style, reading level and layout of each one.
As a tip, you can copy snippets and paste the writing samples into the Hemingway Editor to check how the writing and grammar are structured.
Also, note that online articles are much longer these days and are usually well over 1,000 words.
You can put what you learn into practice by writing new articles for your blog.
Get the right tools for the job
Don’t rely on your memory of your high school knowledge of grammar and spelling.
There are so many great tools and software available for writers to make sure your writing is up to standard.
You can check our list of free writing apps and software for some ideas for blogging tools and apps that you might need.
The most important tool you will use is a top quality grammar, spelling and writing checker. Accuracy in your writing work is the number one priority for first-time freelance writers.
When it comes time for you to find jobs, it will be much easier if your writing is 100% error free. To achieve this level, don’t rely on only your eyes. Use a quality tool to help you check and double check.
Grammarly and Prowritingaid are the most popular choices for working writers.
Learning entry level SEO
Any online writing work today needs a basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO).
It is not as difficult as it sounds. All it means is that you need to include specific keywords in the article body and the title of any article you write.
When you find writing with keywords easy, you are almost ready to sell your writing.
Prove you can do it
Before you start looking to freelance, blog a lot.
Potential clients are going to want to see proof that you have the necessary skills.
The best way to do this is to write articles on your blog that you can use as a reference.
Another great idea is to write for other blogs. Look for high ranking quality sites that have a Write For Us page.
These sites are not going to pay you for these articles. But once you have successfully had a few published, they will help you prove your worth as a content writer.
Not only that, they might attract the attention of people looking for freelance writers.
A bonus of both is that you can share your articles on social media. The best social network to use is LinkedIn. It is an ideal medium to showcase your work as a competent content or technical writer.
At the same time, work on increasing your connections on LinkedIn. You never know what you might find.
Another big plus is that you can search the Jobs section. Do a few job searches each week and stay on the lookout for writing jobs that might suit you.
More reading: Passive Income Ideas For Writers And Authors
How to find freelance writing jobs online
When you first start looking for paying jobs, you will most likely end up on a job board site.
There are hundreds of them. But you need to be careful because many are classed as content mills. These sites rarely pay fairly. There is no future in taking hours to write an article for $50.00 or even less.
Don’t waste your time job hunting on these types of sites.
There are many great articles online that give you better ways to find opportunities. If you do a Google search for “freelance writing jobs” you will find a lot.
But you need to be selective. Here are a few links that might help you get started.
One of the best places to start is the ProBlogger Job board. It specialises in writing jobs, and you can set up alerts for any job ad that might suit you.
The Write Life has a great article listing many sites that are worth considering as well as those that you should avoid.
From the perspective of an experienced freelance writer, you should read this long article by Elna Cain. It covers everything you would ever want to know about getting paid to write.
In the end, though, making freelance writing your full-time business will be about building a regular and reliable client base.
Getting to know your clients’ needs, and having them return over and over again is how you will generate a reliable income.
Freelancing writing is not a job for every writer.
If you are already blogging, you might want to consider monetizing your blog to earn more passive income.
But for many writers, the technical side of managing an income-producing blog is not an easy skill to learn.
Learning how to use WordPress, HTML, CSS, function coding and maintaining site security issues are all too much.
If this is the case for you, then yes, freelance writing could be an ideal way for you to earn an income from your writing.
But like any new venture or small business, be prepared to be patient at the beginning and accept that it will take a little time for you to find your feet.
Related reading: How To Use Strong Verbs To Sharpen Your Writing