So, you want to be a freelance writer? Great! Freelance writing is a great way to make a living, or even just some extra money on the side. It’s a flexible and fun (if you like to write / are a good writer) way to make money without having a “real” job… But can you learn how to become a freelance writer with no experience?
The answer is yes! You can absolutely become a freelance writer with no experience! After all, we all start somewhere. Every freelance writer I know (and I know a few of them) had no experience at one point.
In fact, I personally have hired many freelance writers for this website over the years who started where you are now, and guess what? Eventually they all started getting clients and making money. Some of them have even gone on to hire teams underneath them!
It can be hard work – and take a long time – to become a writer at the New York Times etc, but the good news is that you DON’T have to write for that level of publication to make money as a freelance writer these days! (Not that you never will. Maybe you’re a great writer; don’t let me hold you back! I’m just saying you don’t HAVE TO think that big right away.) Small businesses everywhere hire writers in 2022.
How to Become a Freelance Writer (Even With No Experience!)
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As I researched work from home options for stay at home moms, freelance writing came onto my radar. I was looking for real world ways to make money from home, on my own schedule, without having a “boss”, and – ideally – without being stuck working at an hourly rate. Having income you can scale is the easiest way to get ahead!
If you, like me, love to write and you’re looking for a great work at home options then DON’T be like me, and don’t let your passions sit on the shelves for years and years. It seems pretty sad to me that I could have started making income as a writer ages ago – and yet I waited until I was over 30 to take the leap and start writing.
But I waited because honestly, it’s hard to know where to leap FROM. If you have no experience, it can feel scary to try and break into something like freelance writing. The very word FREELANCE can be daunting! You can’t just run out and start cold pitching clients with no examples of your work to show them. That’s a great opportunity for failure and disappointment, lol.
I did some research on becoming a freelance writer with no experience, to share with you, so you can get your freelance writing career off to a solid start.
Here’s 5 things I would do ASAP if I wanted to become a professional writer and start a freelance career
These things might feel slow, but most work from home jobs that don’t require actual employment start off that way. There is great benefit and reward to putting in the time and effort up front that a successful freelance career requires.
Start a blog
One of the best ways to get started as a freelance writer is to start your own blog. Most freelance writing jobs these days are online, and a blog can be the easiest way to establish an online presence.
It will give you a platform to showcase your writing skills and demonstrate your expertise on various topics. You’ll be writing regularly, which will make you a much better writer! Plus, it’s a great way to attract potential clients who may want to hire you for writing projects.
It’s also a good inroad for learning about the freelance writing niche, digital marketing, social media platforms, SEO etc. All these things are beneficial knowledge as a freelance writer. You’ll be immersed in the online content industry, which will put you in touch with your target audience (people who make money from written content. This can be a good way to find your first freelance writing job!).
MANY of the freelance writers I know who write for blogs got started after meeting other bloggers and seeing the need writers in the industry. It’s easy to get other bloggers to hire you when you can just point to your personal blog as an example of your work!
The writer I have for this site currently has her own website, and I checked it out pretty thoroughly when I decided to hire her. It was really important for me – as it will be for other business owners – to see that my new writers can write a good blog post (since that’s what I wanted writing services for).
Even if you’re not hoping to write for blogs, a blog post is a lot like a magazine or news article and it’s one of the best places for a new freelance writer to demonstrate their content writing abilities.
(Not to mention that a blog can earn great income on it’s own – even if you never do move forward with a freelance career. I replaced my day job with a blog, and it’s been easily the best thing I ever did outside of meeting Jesus and have getting married / having kids. I prefer blogging because I can write whatever ever I want, rather than doing boring technical writing or getting writing assignments from someone else. I think it’s one of the greatest online jobs that exist!)
Guest post on other blogs
If you don’t want to start your own blog, another option is to guest post on other people’s blogs. Any published work that you can direct potential clients to is awesome!
This is a great way to get your name and work out there, and it can also lead to writing opportunities down the road. There are a lot of great Facebook groups for bloggers, and you can join these groups to look for guest posting opportunities.
Google no longer wants us to write guest posts to grow the backlinks to our websites, but there are NO rules against using guest posts as a way to showcase your writing style and grow your online portfolio.
Be ok with writing for free
When you’re first starting out, you may not be able to land paid writing gigs right away. That’s okay! To get your foot in the door, you can start by writing for free. This could mean writing for a blog or website that doesn’t pay, or doing some pro bono work for a nonprofit organization.
As you become a more skilled writer, and have some samples of your work, you can start to approach paying clients or looking on writing job boards etc for paid work.
Most (if not all) of us in the online work world start by writing for free!
Join a professional organization for freelance writers
There are many professional organizations for freelance writers, such as the American Society of Journalists and Authors or the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.
These organizations can offer valuable resources, networking opportunities, and more.
When clients see that you are a member of one of these organizations, they may take you more seriously – knowing that you take yourself (and your work) seriously.
Learn from someone who has become a successful freelance writer
While you don’t need an English degree (or any other qualifications) to be successful with professional writing (after all, I don’t have more than a high school diploma, and I have a successful career writing), it’s a great idea to take an online course about starting a freelance writing business.
- How to get started as a freelance writer
- How to create a writing portfolio
- How to get hired with no writing experience
- How to write a good article that clients like
- What to charge for your writing
- Where are all the best paid writing jobs
- How to pitch to clients and get hired
- How to increase your rate
- How to get recurring writing jobs
- What are common new writer mistakes to avoid
- What are the most profitable writing niches
This course will give you a solid foundation and knowledge of what you’re aiming to do – it’s the easy way to become a content writer and find prospective clients!
Becoming a freelance writer is definitely possible, even if you have no experience
By following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to a successful freelance writing career that can give you a flexible, scalable, FUN way to make money from home.