How to become a freelance writer with no experience in 2023

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Freelancing can be a fun, interesting career, but it’s not easy and no one entering the field should assume their ducks will line up and march in a neat line. It’s more likely they’ll run all over the place, quacking their heads off. However, if you want to try freelancing, here are a few tips.

The basics

People who hire you will assume you can write, so ensure your grammar, spelling, and construction abilities are outstanding. If you write, “They decided to throe the party in there backyard,” you’re already toast. Okay, you’re not that bad, but there’s no excuse for not knowing basic writing techniques.

You also need to be organized, good at research, and a self-starter. You’ll be working for yourself, remember.

Overnight success is virtually guaranteed NOT to happen

You’re coming into a field that has a lot of opportunity, but also has a lot of people already in the game. You will need the patience to stick to it and keep pitching your work until you begin landing writing gigs. Once you have a job, you must complete it within the parameters you and the client have set. Anything less and you will lose the client and any referrals they might have provided.

How can I pitch without experience?

This is like the actor’s dilemma: you can’t get an Equity card unless you’re in a professional production, and you can’t be in a professional production without an Equity card.

First, read

One of the best ways to learn writing is to read. Read fiction, nonfiction, technical manuals, poetry, anything and everything. You’ll see a variety of styles and that will help you decide on your area of specialization.

Social media is huge, so also look at websites, read the articles and blogs published there, and study content on various platforms. You should also explore the online versions of traditional magazines and newspapers.

Next, write

After you’ve done some research and know what blogs look like, start writing. Construct a blog post, which usually runs anywhere from 500 to 1,500 words, for practice. Take this opportunity to write about something that fascinates you, whether it’s cars, cooking, or cats. See if your work is active, engaging, and informative.

Next, edit, rewrite, then edit, rewrite–rinse and repeat

Writing is rewriting, and this is where you’ll find the mistakes, the awkward sentences, and the points where you’ve been unclear. Be ruthless and cut all the deadwood you find. Developing an eye for what to toss is a valuable skill.

As you write these practice posts, you should also be considering what your preferred niche might be, and yet remain open to other jobs. You can accept an assignment outside your interests, but be sure to leave enough time to research the subject.

Publish it

Once you’re confident that your post is the best you can make it, it’s time to publish it. Many people start this process by creating their own websites, and using them to support their blog. You’ll need to ensure your site is fun and provides valuable information, and you’ll also need to be aware of SEO, which stands for search engine optimization. SEO makes your site visible to web crawlers and is a vast subject in itself. Don’t despair, there is a lot of SEO information available – in fact, we blogged on it last week.

Another option is to request permission to make a post to another writer’s blog. You should never ask this unless you are familiar with the writer and genuinely believe you have information that their readers will enjoy.

You can also query online magazines and papers. Make certain to read several issues of the publication so you are sure your article is similar in format and content to the material they publish. All publications have submission guidelines on their websites. Follow them – do not try any fancy end runs around the submissions editor, and spell their name correctly.

You can also go to one of the many job sites that offer job opportunities for freelancers. The sites are highly competitive, and will require you to submit a writing sample. If you’ve been practicing, you should sail through. However, most sites use algorithms to check submissions, so it’s possible you’ll be rejected, no matter how good you are, and by a computer no less. If this happens, eat some ice cream and keep going.

In conclusion

Be aware that freelancing when you have no experience means you’re building a career from scratch. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s fine. Learn from them and move on.

However, if you’d like to receive assignments directly so you don’t need to search for jobs while you bid against other, more experienced freelancers, then we’d like to hear from you at Words of Worth. Our team of editors and managers will back you up and provide the support you need to do your best work. We pay monthly, on schedule, without fail. If this sounds good to you, contact us now.