How to become a freelance writer with no experience in 2024

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If you are ready to embrace being your own boss and setting your own working hours, consider becoming a freelance writer. With the opportunities and technology available in 2024, it is easier than ever to enter the freelance writing market.

Research the market and develop your skills

The first thing any prospective freelance writer should do is consider what kinds of writing you want to do. Do you prefer SEO-focused writing, such as blog posts, webpages, or press releases, or more research-focused writing, such as research reports or technical writing pieces? Carefully consider what you enjoy writing and what you are good at and develop a list; this will become your service offering.

Then, research the current rate for these offerings and determine if you are missing any key skills to stand out from the competition. If you need to develop any skills, such as refining your SEO knowledge, research courses you can take to help build this skill set.

Determine your niche and build your portfolio

Once you have determined the kinds of writing you would like to focus on, it is time to decide on the topics you would like to focus on. Maybe you studied biology or marketing in post-secondary school or have a passion for baking or video games. Make a list of your hobbies, experiences, and passions. From there, review the list and circle the topics you feel comfortable writing about. These will be the niches you focus on.

Now that you have your list of target niches and kinds of writing you would like to offer, build out your portfolio. As an aspiring freelance writer, chances are you do not have any past work to pull from, but that does not mean you cannot build a portfolio. Instead, create mock assignments. For example, pretend you have a client who runs an online store for baking supplies. If you are offering blog posts or website page content development, you could write mock copy for this client and include it in your portfolio. Often, writers have to hide client names within their portfolio, so you can do something similar with your mock copy.

Build your offering and develop your online presence

Now that you have your portfolio and know what you will sell, it is time to let people know you are available for writing jobs. One way you can do this is to create a website that has your portfolio built into it. This will allow you to easily share it with potential clients and allow them to find you on their own. In addition, you may want to consider creating business-focused social media channels through which you can share content and showcase your writing expertise. You may even want to start your blog about one of your target niches to not only allow you to refine your writing skills, but showcase your expertise within this niche and generate some revenue through ad sense or affiliate links.

Network and refine your pitch

Finally you should focus on networking, whether this is through online channels like LinkedIn or in-person local events. You should also build your pitch as well, this should include your elevator pitch for when you meet a prospective client as well as your overview PowerPoint deck, which explains your offerings and experience. Over time, your pitch will refine and become cleaner, but that takes time and practice. Once your initial pitch is developed, you should reach out to local and online businesses within your niche and share your pitch with them.

Alternatively, if finding and managing clients seems like too much work, you can apply to freelance writing services such as Words of Worth, which handles finding clients so you can focus on writing.

Keep track of your invoices

Once you land your first client, it is important to keep track of your invoices. Both to ensure you are being paid on-time and to make it easier come tax time. Your freelance writing income is considered taxable just like any other income made from a job, but as a freelancer, no one is submitting part of your pay cheque to the government for you. Instead, you must keep track of how much you make and check with your local tax regulations to determine the percentage you should set aside for tax season or face an uncomfortably high tax bill.

It may take time to develop your portfolio and pitch, but with time and dedication, you can land clients and fulfill your dream of being a freelance writer.

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