28 - 2018

Embracing the Writer’s Life: How to Become a Freelance Writer

Have you ever wondered how to become a freelance writer?

Many people dream of having a New York Times bestseller or want another career where you’re making money from home.

Freelance writing allows for that. As glamorous as telling people you’re a professional writer may seem, many struggle just to make ends meet. Most freelance writers write part-time and make less than $10,000 a year.

Read on to learn how you can become a freelance writer and get paid to write.

Do You Need to Be an Experienced Writer?

If you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, you’re going to want to know what kind of experience is required to start writing.

It depends on the type of work you’re going to do. If you want to be a freelance writer for a major publication like Forbes or Entrepreneur, you’ll need to have a portfolio of work. Some publications will require a degree in journalism or English.

Don’t let that discourage you from pursuing your dream. Even if you have little to no experience, you can still start as a freelance writer.

You can start to build your portfolio by writing for smaller publications or blogs, just to get your work out there. Another option is to build a website that features some of your yet to be published work.

There are countless ways to become a freelance writer. Don’t let someone else’s requirements stop you.

What’s Your Niche?

You need a niche if you want to be rich. There are freelance writers that can write on a wide range of topics, from beauty to finance. That’s a great skill to have.

When you’re first starting out, you’ll want to have an area of expertise to write about. It can be about any topic you choose.

You can then find publications to approach to write articles about your chosen topic.

Ways to Become a Freelance Writer

Learning how to become a freelance writer takes a bit of knowledge about the industry itself. There are countless ways to become a paid writer. You just have to know where to look.

Write for Magazines

One of the most obvious places to look is at magazines in your niche. You’ll need to look at each publication and determine how to pitch your articles to them.

There’s one book that you’ll need for this, and that’s the Writer’s Market. For years, this annual publication lists thousands of magazines, their editorial requirements, and contact information.

Write for Companies

Companies have a huge need for good writers. They need sales copy, email copy, blog content, brochures, web copy and so much more. Most of the larger companies have ad agencies that do this type of work.

Your way in the door to these larger corporations is to partner with the ad agencies who handle their ad accounts. They may not have someone on staff to write copy and need someone they can hire for occasional work.

On the downside, you have little flexibility in getting your voice and your opinions out. Instead, you’re writing represents the voice of the company.

Start a Blog

Did you know that there are over 440 million blogs online? You can be one of them and start blogging about any topic. Successful blogs require two things: consistency and traffic.

If you can write great content consistently and drive traffic to your blog, you can leverage that to make money. You can sell advertising, services, or jump into affiliate marketing.

Be an Expert

Another way to become a full-time freelance writer is to position yourself as an industry expert. You may not have a degree in journalism, but you may have a master’s degree in marketing with years of experience to back it up.

You can leverage those pieces to write a blog and speak at events related to that topic. That will help build up your audience and following. Once you have a following, you can follow these steps to self publishing a book. You already have an audience who will buy the books, which will help your sales.

Practice Your Craft

Writing is a craft. The same way that athletes train to improve themselves, you need to improve your writing skills. Otherwise, you don’t have much of a voice as a writer and your skills get stale.

There are several ways to improve your skills. You can read the work of other authors, take courses on grammar, or read books about writing.

The most obvious way to improve your craft is to write. Make sure that you take the time to write for you, not just for your clients. Writing for yourself can be liberating from the constraints of client demands.

You can write about whatever topic you choose. It can be in the form of a personal journal, ideas for future books, or blogs that you want to publish.

Practice Self-Care

Writing can be a lonely endeavor. You’re at a desk all day. Just you, your computer, your thoughts and your cat (or dog). It can be very isolating, especially if you’re at home most of the day and you don’t leave the house much.

It’s very important on your body, mind, and spirit to take care of yourself while you work. Your mental state can impact your creativity and quality of your work.

While it may seem difficult to do during the day, you need to give yourself breaks and be social. Take time out to go for a walk or call a friend. It can be difficult to fit things like exercise into a busy schedule, but they have to be priorities.

You can also connect with other freelance writers. Look for Facebook groups, Slack chats, and forums just for freelance writers. These places are also a good place to get support and ask questions as you begin your journey.

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing offers an escape from the daily 8-5 grind that most people experience. It can also be a nice side-gig for more income.

The top tips on how to become a freelance writer are simple. Write every day, always improve your craft, build your portfolio, and take care of yourself.

When you do those things and do them well, you’ll be unstoppable.

Want more great tips on building a better life? Check out these body and mind articles to help you cope with stress.

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