At various times in my career, I’ve relied 100% on freelance writing to make the majority of my income. Between blogging and freelance writing I was able to earn enough online to not have a regular job. Earning income with freelance writing is possible and for some can even be very lucrative.
If you are wondering whether or not it is possible to earn income from freelance writing, then keep reading.
Can you make money with freelance writing?
Thanks to the internet, it’s more possible to earn money with freelance writing than ever. Thanks to the thousands of blogs and websites that need content you can easily earn money writing for online publications from the comfort of your own home.
Where do you start with freelance writing to earn money?
There is no right or wrong place to start with freelance writing. I started small in a low-pressure environment but many people start with a bang writing for a national publication with huge audience. Whether you start small or go for the stars, there are lots of opportunities for freelance writing.
If you don’t know where to start you can start with a writing service online. You can get decent and regular income in return for writing for a service. It’s an easy way to get started and especially good if you are a writer fresh out of college and want to stick with academic writing. It’s even better if you don’t feel like seeking out your own clients and gigs.
Blogging is a great way to start writing online and a wonderful way to earn money as a writer. You get immediate feedback on your work and you can start a great career by blogging. Beyond just starting your own blog and earning money from it, you can earn money as a staff writer for other blogs. Many will pay between $10 and $25 per post depending on length and experience and topic. Having a blog and networking in the blog community will help you get these kind of blog staff writing jobs and you can also find them on certain freelance writing job boards and communities.
Many companies will hire freelance writers to write copy, update blogs, and create regular content for their websites. You can find these gigs on Craigslists of job boards for writers. Many more experienced freelance writers with sales ability also approach companies with the pitch to help their marketing via writing.
Another approach here is to approach a local marketing or digital agency. These companies have lots of clients and consistent work that they will farm out to freelancers. Reach out with your portfolio and build a relationship with the agency and they will send you freelance writing work when they need your skills and have more work than they can complete.
Freelance Writing Tips
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the time I’ve been writing with regularity:
Create your portfolio
When you apply as a freelance writer the person offering you the gig is going to want to see previous work. This means to get freelance writing jobs you need to have examples of previous writing work. It’s best to have a portfolio of work that matches the type of work you are applying for. Gather up your writing work, or create new work by writing some free content or creating blog posts, so you can show your writing ability.
Have a blog
Create content regularly for your own blog. Most people who hire freelance writers will search for and check out your blog before hiring you. Having a blog you treat like a client with deadlines and a content schedule will help improve your writing and serve as an additional portfolio of your writing. A great blog can also help you land clients as a freelance writer.
Pitch every day
As a freelance writer you will need to get comfortable pitching your stories every day. It’s rare that you will be famous enough for work to flock in. As a freelance writer part of your job will be pitching stories and getting work. Set a goal for yourself like pitch 5-10 times a day for a month, or spend 30 minutes on pitches daily. Try pitching job boards and sending cold pitches to companies that aren’t looking for writers. You’ll quickly get used to both the rejection and success that is part of freelance writing.
Invest in a training or course
Many freelance writers think they don’t need any training because they already have the writing skills. These people will make a ton of mistakes and drag out the time it takes to succeed. The better option is enrolling in a freelance writing course where a successful framework can help you become successful faster.
Network with other writers
No one understands the life of a freelance writer like other freelance writers. Reaching out to other freelance writers can help make your business much better. You can chat about rates and clients and having someone else understand the triumphs and struggles can be priceless.
Create a marketing plan
In order to get people to view your portfolio and blog you’ll need to market yourself as a writer. Having a marketing plan will keep you in business for a long time so remind yourself that marketing yourself is normal. Some marketing ideas as a freelance writer include guest posting, commenting on blogs you want to write for, connecting with businesses on social media, etc.
Part of my problem initially was an irregular income because I worked irregular hours. You have to put in the right amount of time finding jobs and completing jobs to keep your income flow steady as a freelance writer. There’s very few of us who have jobs fall at our feet, so put in the work each week. It helps to set aside a time each day or each week to work on specific tasks like finding jobs, doing admin work, and writing the articles for your clients. Being consistent with the amount of work you put in each week will keep your income regular and reliable.
Keep your expenses low
If you plan to fully survive on freelance writing then you should definitely keep your expenses low. Even with regular staff writing jobs and a surplus of work, it can always dry up. It’s important to keep your expenses low and save as much money as possible as a freelancer so you can survive those down times. Keep your expenses low, keep your savings high, and keep as many jobs as you possibly can.
Get to writing!
Whether you plan to use freelance writing for your main income or just a regular side income, it’s a great way to bolster your bank account and learn about new topics. If you ever have questions or want to talk about freelance writing, just leave a comment!
Keep up the hustle
Being a freelance writer means you will have to be a hustler. You’ll live and die by your ability to go out there and hustle hard to gain clients and consistent work. You’ll have to work on marketing and getting your name out there to earn new work while also completing the work you do have. So keep writing and keep hustling!
My Experience with Freelance Writing
I mentioned that freelance writing was my main source of income from a while. This was true for several years.
My only complaint about blogging and freelance writing income was that it wasn’t stable enough for me. I would make $500 one day and zero the next. I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable or regular enough to rely on at that level so I set about learning way to make it a more regular income source. I knew you could make a regular income from freelance writing because I saw other people doing it but I struggled in the beginning because it didn’t seem possible.
I started my side job career of freelance writing by writing for content farm websites and then moved on to starting my own blog which led to higher level and better paying freelance writing jobs for websites and other blogs. That experience helped me gain the confidence to go for bigger jobs and local gigs writing for magazines and bigger websites.
Most of my freelance writing is for other blogs and websites on topics I enjoy so I’m really getting paid for something I love doing. It’s quite possible the best way to earn income on the side or full time from home.