One of the best work-from-home gigs is to make money as a freelance writer. If this is something you’re considering, this post will show you all the steps needed to get started.
If you think the market for freelance writers is oversaturated, think again. There are more than enough writing jobs available for quality writers. You simply need to know how to get started, properly market your abilities, and how to build your own business as a freelance writer.
The process won’t look exactly the same for each person, but there are best practices to follow. So, if you’re looking to make money as a freelance writer from the comfort of your own home, keep reading.
How to make money as a freelance writer
Do your research
Before you’ve even started the process of getting into freelance writing, you’ll need to do some research. Who is a successful freelance writer, and how do they do it? You can easily find people who share the secrets to their success via a quick YouTube search of ‘successful freelance writing’ or something similar.
Figure out what sets these writers apart: is it the type of writing they’re doing? Is it how long they’ve been a freelancer? Is it how they market their abilities? Listen to their advice and modify it to work for you as you start getting into freelance writing.
Find your starting genre
When you get started, you’ll need to figure out what type of writing you want to be doing. Freelance writing is far more expansive than most people realize. There are many opportunities to get into freelance writing, and within those opportunities, there’s an extensive list of writing genres you can work on. One of the best things you can do at the start of your journey is to narrow down what type of writing you want to do.
Ask yourself what you want to write about, what interests you, and what you’re qualified to write about. If there’s an industry-specific topic that you are an expert in, capitalize on that and make that what you’re known for.
A common mistake that people make when branching into freelance writing is keeping themselves open to any and all writing projects. While this may seem like a lucrative strategy, in reality, you’ll be writing about things outside of your comfort zone, slowing down the process and perhaps decreasing the quality of your work.
Find what you do well and stick to it until you can build your skills and expand your offerings. Once you’ve figured out a topic you might enjoy writing about, you can find what types of jobs suit you best. But first, you’ll need to establish your brand. I’ll go into that next.
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Create your brand
As with anything in the professional world, you’ll need to establish yourself. Freelance writing is essentially building your own business, and you are the face of the brand.
Learning how to market yourself is a critical component of making money, especially as you start. This can look different depending on the type of writing you’re doing and where you’re doing it. If you’re working off a freelance platform, you’ll need to make sure that your profile matches and appropriately demonstrates your credentials.
Creating a profile
When creating a profile, there are few things to keep in mind. You want to present yourself as a professional, so select a photograph of yourself that provides potential customers with an accurate representation. If you have a headshot, now would be an excellent time to use it.
You’ll also want to make sure that the descriptions of your work and credentials are clear and without spelling errors. While this may seem like obvious advice, even the slightest overlooked typo could mean a customer choosing a different seller.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the little writing you do accurately represents your writing skills. Before they ask for samples of your work or your portfolio, this is the first impression they’ll get of your abilities. If you can make a great first impression, you’re on your way to establishing yourself as a well-respected freelance writer that clients will want to work with again.
Creating your portfolio
If you’re not working on a site that allows a profile, you might want to consider ways in which you can share samples of your work with your clients. Especially as you expand your business, you’ll want effective ways to demonstrate your skills. This usually means creating a portfolio, which is just a selection of your work that showcases your style and range.
Your portfolio can look many ways, but one of the most essential aspects of determining the types of work you will share. Ensure that the pieces you share cover the topics you wish to write about in the future and that they are exemplary.
Once you’ve written or selected your chosen pieces, you can then determine how you want to share them with potential clients. This is where you can be a bit creative and stand out with a website that shares information about you and your professional background and samples of your work. This way, you can simply direct potential clients to your site so that they can decide if you are a good fit. Having a website also signals your level of professionalism.
Join the best freelance writing platforms
Once you’ve decided on the genre of writing you wish to get into and have created your portfolio, you need to start putting yourself out there. A huge mistake that people make is putting themselves on a single platform without researching other ways to make financial gains through their writing.
If you want to make money as a freelance writer, you need to sign up with the following platforms for writers:
Each of these platforms provides different services and pricing options. Make sure you look through all of your options and select the most lucrative one for you and your skill level. Some offer payment per word, while others pay a fixed fee.
Once you’ve gotten yourself all set up to start your work as a writer, another vital aspect of making consistently good money will crop up: your clients. One of your highest priorities, as you get started, should be building relationships with your clients. This means providing them with high-quality work, on time, and with clear communication along the way.
If you can build solid professional relationships with your clients, they are significantly more likely to return to your services the next time they need a written project. By establishing yourself as a reliable source of work, you can build a steady stream of revenue.
Build your reputation
One of the most significant benefits of working with people regularly is that it helps build your reputation as a talented writer who provides excellent quality results. Your reputation is everything as you branch out on your own, as it’s your reputation that will either provide you with new jobs or keep you from working on projects.
Regardless of whether it’s materialized as a rating on your profile or through word of mouth, it helps to have a solid reputation.
But how do you build your online reputation? Next up, I want to share with you a few things you can do to ensure that your reputation is solid.
Once a new customer or client has placed an order with you, reach out and thank them for their order. Also, clarify that you understand what they’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure that you hit the mark whenever you get started writing.
Deliver on time
It should go without saying that delivering work on time is of the utmost importance when working on a project. Many projects can be time-sensitive (particularly with new buyers), so missing a deadline can be detrimental to their business and subsequently detrimental to yours.
If, for whatever reason, you are running behind schedule or have something unavoidable come up, reach out to the client and communicate that to them with as much time in advance as possible.
Deliver quality service
Again, something that should go without saying but is critical to your reputation is the quality of your work. Even after you have established yourself with an impeccable reputation, the quality of the work you deliver must be spot on every time.
With that said, there may be times where you and the client have a slightly different vision for the project, in which case you should offer revisions of your work. This allows the client to review the finished product and ask for some changes to be made to more closely follow what they’re looking for. This will go a long way as you continue to build your business.
Raise your prices
When you start freelance writing, you will likely have to charge lower fees to attract new clients to build your reputation and receive high ratings. This is part of building your business. It can feel challenging to raise your prices as you grow as a writer and build your brand and business; however, it is necessary.
Make sure that your compensation matches your level of experience and the quality of the work you provide.
Some recommend waiting about three months to raise your prices, doing so until what you charge matches your writing level and the industry standard. If you’re having difficulty trying to land on pricing, look to other writers with similar credentials and experience.
Wrapping it up
Freelance writing can be a challenging remote field to get into, though once you have established yourself, you set yourself up to have regular work.
One of the essential parts of making money as a freelance writer is to be consistent and not give up on the process. It won’t happen overnight, but building a career in which you can be your boss, have the flexibility to set your hours and pricing, and be able to work from any location with a WiFi connection makes it worth the wait.
If you want to make money as a freelance writer, you need to be patient, as it takes time to build momentum. But when you do your research and do great work, you’ll surely find success as a freelancer.