What is Freelance Writing?
When we talk freelance, it simply means you are self employed. You seek out jobs on your own and make money from task to task.
As a freelance writer your job is simple. You find clients and write a piece of article for them. You then get paid for your article.
A typical request for a freelance writer would be to write stuff like blog posts, articles, or maybe even e-books.
Why should you become a freelance writer?
As with any freelance job, one of the biggest benefits is that you can work as much as you want, whenever you want. You are your own boss and there won’t be anyone telling you what to do.
As a freelance writer you also get to decide on what kind of jobs you want to take and what kind of topics you want to write about.
Love to write short articles? Go for blog posts !
Love dogs? Just write about dogs !
You are in control here, but this also means that if you’re lazy you won’t get paid. Of course, if you work hard enough, it is even possible to make a full time living with freelance writing.
Are there any challenges to freelance writing?
Probably the biggest challenge for any freelance writing beginner would be to actually find clients. I mean, you’re just a no-name at this point why would anyone want your articles?
Everyone has to start somewhere and you have to start out by marketing yourself. You need to get your name out there and build up your reputation.
There are 2 good reasons for this :
- You can charge a higher rate
- You get more clients
Which also means that as a no-name writer you probably won’t be earning a lot of money. You also won’t be that fast at writing since you’ve just started.
The good thing though is that all of these weaknesses will improve with time, as long as you keep trying.
One thing that you should be aware of is that writing isn’t just about typing words.
As a freelance writer you will definitely be responsible for the content as well.
Meaning, whatever article you hand in should be of good quality, it should have the necessary information requested by your client. You also have to bear in mind that the topic of the article may or may not be something that you were initially familiar with.
So if you’re asked to write an article about dogs diseases, you’d have to do your research ( if you choose to accept it of course ).
How else will you be able to churn out that article?
So, how do you make money as a beginner freelance writer?
You probably have no reputation and you have no idea where to get your clients or jobs right?
Well, there are 3 ways to approach this problem.
#1 Write your articles in advance and list them for sale
You can do this by joining a sort of “article marketplace”. The point is that you write your stuff before hand, on any topic that you choose and just list it for sale.
If someone likes what they see they will buy it.
The good thing is that you don’t need to look for any clients, in a way the clients kind of come to you.
The problem is that it might take an extremely long time before your article gets sold.
I did try a website called content gather in the past for a review, and I listed 2 short 300 word articles just for the fun of it. I have completely forgotten about them at this point ( 3 months after listing the article ) but to my surprise someone bought the both of them in one go.
Why am I telling you this?
Because it took 3 months before my work got sold. I don’t need money urgently and I don’t mind waiting 3 months for a sale but not everyone can afford to wait 3 months which is why this method is best suited for those who just want to make some side income.
Also, if you think about it, those articles sold for about $2.50 each and it took me less than half an hour to write them( I just wrote about stuff off the top of my head ).
So my pay rate is about $10 per hour of effort if I can continue churning out articles at that speed. I would consider that not bad for someone who doesn’t have a reputation !
There is one thing that you should understand though.
Freelance writing is governed by the rule of supply and demand ( like any other business ). In my case, I was lucky that there was a demand for my articles, he even bought both of them at once.
If this demand never came by my article would still be sitting there and I wouldn’t have made any money.
You have to remember that if someone likes what you’ve put out, you will make money but if no one finds an interest in it you won’t make a sale at all.
#2 Find a job first and then start writing
While there are sites that let you post your articles for sale, there are also sites that let clients request articles like hire writers.
Usually, you’ll be getting information like what sort of article you’ll be writing, the price, the deadline and maybe some more specific requests like to use British or American English.
The good thing is that you can browse through these job offers and pick one that interests you. Although the bad thing is you’re sort of at the mercy of your client.
They usually get to set the deadline, article length, etc …
They can also choose to reject your work if they find it unacceptable.
So in a sense, you don’t have that much freedom once you’ve accepted a job. But of course all this information will be available to you before you accept it so you really should choose wisely.
I personally prefer the first method over this because from my past experience there was no topic that seemed interesting to me ( at that time ).
However, as I’ve said, you should remember the rule of supply and demand. Just because no one is requesting an article in your area of expertise today doesn’t mean there won’t be one tomorrow.
It is important that you browse through more than one freelance writing site so you have more offers to choose from.
#3 List your services as a freelance writer for sale
With freelance sites like Fiverr becoming ever so popular, it is pretty normal for freelance marketers to market their services there as well.
If you choose to do this, it is sort of like you’re becoming a writer for hire. What you do is state your rate and time taken like ” I’ll write a 500 word article for $5 in 12 hours “.
You may also choose to specify your own topic ( like only writing articles about finance ) but this means that you’ll lose out on other customers.
The good thing is lot of people actually go to these sites anyway to get a job done so it is possible that you’ll get a lot of exposure. The catch is that there will almost certainly be competitors.
Can you actually make money freelance writing?
This is the golden question you’ve probably been waiting for.
Naturally just like any other job, there will be experts and beginners, and experts in freelance writing can earn hundreds of dollars per article.
So to put it simply, you definitely can make a lot of money as a freelance writer but just like everything else you need to grind to get there.
Regardless of whatever method you choose to start freelance writing, you would always have to start small. My articles that were sold came out to be about $0.01 per word.
You will have to start at a similar rate as well. You also have to factor in that you need to spend time to actively seek out jobs as well since people won’t be coming to you at this point of time.
The point I’m trying to get across is that, freelance writing is just like any other job. You need to learn and grow as you do it to boost your income.
Things like writing speed, research speed can influence your income potential. Writing is a skill and it is not something to be taken lightly in my opinion.
Should you become a freelance writer?
I would strongly encourage you to go out and find some jobs first. Have a go at this freelance writing thing.
I felt great when my articles got sold, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be looking to be a freelance writer anytime soon ( I’m more focused on my blog ).
If you enjoy writing this can be a very exciting option for you. Who knows? You may even end up writing for some big shot websites or newspapers out there.
Just remember, while it is true you have somewhat of a flexibility in your working time, freelance writing is still an actual job, not a method to make easy money.
If you have any questions, do leave a comment below !