Julia McCoy started her freelance content writing journey in 2011. Gradually, she started her own content writing agency ‘Express Writers’. Today, she has completed more than 30,000 projects and earns about $70k (Rs53.59 lakh) in monthly recurring revenue!
If her story has inspired you, consider becoming a freelance content writer. According to a Technavio report, the content marketing market will become USD 417.85 billion in revenue by 2025. So, you can expect several job opportunities in the upcoming years for working as a freelance writer.
If you want to understand how to start freelance writing with no experience, here is your complete guide.
What is Freelance Content Writing?
Freelance content writing is about offering professional writing services on a contractual basis. A freelance content writer falls in the ‘self-employed’ category.
Types of Freelance Writing
Before you understand how to start freelance writing, you must know various niches where you can develop your expertise:
- Article and Blog Writing
Freelance article writing or blogging refers to writing about a topic per the client’s requirements.
- Technical Writing
Freelance technical writing refers to creating technical or industrial descriptions, processes, user manuals, and explanations, ideally in layman language.
Freelance copywriting refers to writing content for an advertising or marketing purpose.
- Guest Post Writing
Writing guest posts refers to writing for another website to increase traffic to your blog or website.
- Website Writing
Website content writing refers to providing content for clients’ websites to build and enhance their online presence.
Rules for Freelance Writing
- Provide Original and Well-Crafted Work
This begins with studying the content requirements, goals, and target audience. This will help you to research extensively and adequately to gather information. Make sure that the content is original, engaging, and readable.
- Adhere to Deadlines
Nothing upsets or infuriates a client more than a missed deadline. It creates a bad impression on your professionalism. Be a stickler for submitting your work within the stipulated timeline. If you don’t have the bandwidth, you should refrain from accepting new work. You shouldn’t compromise on deadlines at all. If there is any delay due to a genuine issue, you must immediately inform the client about it.
- Learn SEO
SEO knowledge will be an additional skill set in your kitty and give you an advantage over other writers. SEO helps you to boost the quality of your content with relevant keywords. It also makes the writing piece easily searchable on the web.
- Edit and Proofread
Editing and proofreading are non-negotiable aspects of freelance content writing. Before submitting, you must check your content for spelling, grammar, punctuation, typo, formatting, and factual errors. There isn’t a client who wouldn’t appreciate clean content!
- Use AI Tools
When it comes to how to become a freelance writer, you should consider using AI tools to level up the content quantity and save a significant amount of time. Instoried is a reliable AI tool for content writers. It can be helpful to you in the following ways:
- Create unique, error-free, and engaging content.
- Beautify your content and save time.
- Predict emotional engagement of content to hook the audience.
- Get intelligent recommendations on better words and the right usage of words in real-time to make content more impactful.
- Analyze the content and create the perfect positive, negative, and neutral tone.
- Make SEO-friendly and plagiarism-free content with an in-built plagiarism checker.
- Analyze headlines, titles, captions, and email subject lines to understand whether they are appealing enough to grab the audience’s attention.
- Generate attractive headlines based on the body of the text.
- Grow Your Network
It is natural to think about how to get a freelance writing job when you are working on a gig basis. A strong network of clients and fellow writers can help you source good leads and bag new projects. Through calls, social media, and community discussion forums, stay in touch with them.
- Sign a Contract
Unfortunately, the content marketing industry is unorganized and fragmented. Hence, it is vulnerable to frauds and scams where writers don’t get paid for their work or face other issues. A freelance writer contract is an answer to this problem. Before you board a client, insist on signing a contract stating services you will offer, the compensation you will receive, and other terms and conditions.
If a client doesn’t agree on a contract, you can ask for a partial advance payment or weekly remuneration. The bottom line is that you should be extra cautious while entering into a contract with a new client.
- Build a Writing Portfolio
A writing portfolio is of the utmost importance for a beginner freelance writer. It showcases your work and will serve as a pitch to new clients. It should include:
- Your personal information, phone number, and email ID
- Your writing niches
- Links to web pages where you have published your work
- Links to your blog or social media accounts
- Client testimonials
- Stay Updated with New Gigs
As a freelancer, you have to search for new writing projects continuously. When looking for freelance writing jobs from home, here are some popular websites where you can get leads:
- Avoid Plagiarism
This is one of the most important tips for beginner writers. It not only reflects poorly on your integrity, but it will adversely impact your reputation and future work. It is also unethical to copy others’ ideas and words. Moreover, plagiarized content gets a low search ranking on Google.
- Don’t Take Gigs You Can’t Do
When you are getting several writing gigs online, you should pick only those that belong to your niche and writing style. If the gig is about a topic you are not comfortable writing about, you should refuse it rather than submit mediocre work.
- Don’t Work for Less Money
Understandably, you want to write articles to get paid as content writing is your source of income. Hence, you should never agree on work that doesn’t compensate adequate and respectable remuneration as per your experience and expertise. Even if you are a beginner, you should look for freelance writing that pays.
Content writing is one of the most popular freelancing professions today. It offers lucrative income and growth opportunities, which increase with your experience. However, it takes hard work, patience, flexibility, and time management skills. Keep the above do’s and don’ts in mind, and you will chart a successful career as a freelance writer.