Work From Home

8 Steps to Finding Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners

Freelance writing jobs for beginners are everywhere online, if you know where to look, if you understand realistic pricing, and if you knew how to begin a career in freelance writing.

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Like any work-from-home jobs, getting started is the hardest part.

Because jumping into a new career is a massive life-changing decision, your brain is probably all over the place thinking about your future income, how on earth you’re going to hustle, competing with other veteran freelance writers, and if this decision will be worth it, among other concerns.

As a future freelance writer, you can choose between two routes:

  • Find a home-based writing job with a stable income – Most work-from-home opportunities don’t have contracts, so even if you land a full-time job, you’re still technically considered as a freelancer. The upside to sticking to one client at a time is the financial stability and some benefits the “employment” brings to the table.
  • Find numerous clients who require content regularly – A client may be a website owner, online marketer, SEO company, content firm, or any person/company that will send work your way. Depending on client needs, writing gigs can be sent to you weekly, monthly, or just occasionally. Payment terms vary as well (paid-per-word, or  by project).

Those with years of freelance writing experience have probably been in both situations repeatedly… and that’s OK.

How much money can you make freelance writing?

Is it worth the stress and anxiety to jump from an office-based job to writing freelance full-time?

Will the income potential be at par with a traditional writing job at a PR firm, marketing company or publishing house?

The money you earn as a beginner freelance writer depends on several factors, including:

  • Your writing skill and how much you value your talent – You can be a newbie content provider, but your writing skill can still dictate if you’re going to be considered a beginner or not. If your work can easily pass as something written by a veteran writer, and you have the confidence to ask for higher pay, then you could negotiate for better pay.
  • The time you’re willing to commit – Of course, those who start working freelance part-time would earn less than those who begin working full-time.
  • The type of writing you decide to offer – Copywriters specializing in sales copy or corporate website earn higher than those who write for social media or blogs. eBook writers can sometimes offer a complete package (including cover design and formatting) can charge higher than those who just work on the eBook text.
  • Experience and specialization – Veteran bloggers and writers always have the edge over beginner freelance writers. However, if you specialize in topics like pharmacy, IT, finance, and so on, you’re likely to be hired (and paid more) just because of the credibility your work brings to the project.
  • Company you’re working with – The company, industry that company is in, and size of the company will most likely affect the fee they’re willing to pay you. For example, old school publications like Time Magazine and Forbes are known to be the best and worst payers in the industry.
  • Your location – Writers from third-world countries are able to lower their fees because the exchange rate from USD to local currencies are often still higher than salaries they would have earned from a local office-based job.

In general, most freelance writers earn less than $0.25 per word. Some land freelance writing jobs for beginners with a per-project fee, or per-article…while others are paid on a bi-monthly basis.

The exact amount is variable, depending on the factors listed above.

8 Steps to Finding Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners

Start freelance writing

Contrary to popular belief that you need a degree to land freelance writing jobs, even beginners from a totally different profession can easily transition into this profession. If you need help getting started with either route, here’s a complete guide to get started as a freelance writer from home:

1. Scout the Industry

You’ll soon find out that many work-from-home freelancers earn money from writing and maintain their own blogs. Whether they get a chunk of their earnings from their blogs, or by providing writing services to clients, you can read all about their experiences with a quick search on Google.

There’s no better way to see if you’re interested in this line of work than to check out your competition. Read their blogs. Learn as much as you can about their mistakes, tips, and other advice. For example, copywriter Susan Green shared 15 useful tips when crafting killer copy.

If you’re lucky enough to find a helpful freelancer, you can contact him/her and get a direct response about their rates or answer to your question. There’s no harm in trying to reach out. You might even make friends.

2. Find a Niche

There are different kinds of writing. Blogs have a conversational tone, while landing pages need to be persuasive. Web content of corporate sites usually requires writing with a more formal tone, while writing for social media can include slang.

Technical and sports writing doesn’t just require you to pair beautiful words together – you need to know what you’re talking about on a deeper level. Newswriting has to answer the whats, whys, wheres, whens, whos, and hows of a story every time.

Knowing what kind of writing you enjoy doing is important to find the niche you’ll be focusing on. This way, you wouldn’t feel so lost searching through thousands of freelance writing jobs for beginners, only to discover later that you lack the skills or the passion for that particular job you just applied to.

3. Master Your Skills

There is no formal training required to begin this career, but you do need to work on several skills easily turn freelance writing into a full-time business. These must-have skills include:

  • Research – Freelance writing always begins with research. To spend as little time learning a new topic and to write content backed with facts, you have to practice how to research effectively.
  • Organizational skills – As a freelancer, you are the boss, star employee, secretary and intern in one. You have to organize your schedule (especially if you’re working with two or more clients), send billing, e-mail regularly for promotions, and so on.
  • Editing – Unless you’re part of a content development company, proofreading and editing is also a part of your job as a freelance writer. This only improves through practice, so make sure to master your editing skills as you go.
  • Communication skills – There’s no way you can land writing gigs without pitching your services to potential clients. You need to have a balance of confidence, proven track record, and published portfolio to qualify for many freelance writing jobs.
  • Blogging – If you can’t decide on the writing style, the safest choice is to learn how to blog. The conversational tone is the most used web content style clients prefer, so you’re pretty much covered when you go with blogging. Do note that you also have to learn about white space, formatting, and crafting attention-grabbing titles.

4. Showcase Your Work

The easiest way to get a hold of writing jobs for beginners is to prove you can hang with the pros even if you’re a beginner. Unfortunately, the problem of newbies is always about the lack of published work, since technically, they just entered this industry.

Luckily, it’s easy to solve this problem – by building your own blog, writing for it, and showing off this online space as your portfolio. You can also volunteer to write a guest post on a third-party blog.

If you have the talent, building a portfolio with links is easy. Plus, maintaining your own blog doesn’t just help with writing practice, it also gives you a way to earn passive income. How cool is that?

5. Apply to Work-from-Home Jobs

You don’t really have to look exactly for “writing jobs for beginners,” particularly once you’ve decided on a writing style. There are many job titles you can use to find the perfect freelance writing job for you.

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These include: blogger, social media writer, content writer, freelance writer, article writer, essay writer, fiction writer, eBook writer and a whole lot more.

When applying to these jobs, make sure you find information about the work status, such as full-time home-based, freelance project-based, etc. so you know exactly what you’re signing up for.

6. Build an army of Clients

The best thing about finding writing jobs for beginners is that you can create a plan how to actively search for clients. Here are a few guidelines when building a network of clients:

  • Avoid freelance marketplaces – Upwork and other similar websites never run out of work-from-home jobs, but it’s hard to land work there as a beginner. Plus, clients here mostly go for writers with the lowest fee, so it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be writing for very low wages here.
  • Don’t quit sending applications – Scout writing jobs on popular job boards like Problogger and Freelance Writing Jobs. Work on your pitch religiously, and send applications on every writing job that piques your interest.
  • Join internet marketing forumsWarriorforum, Wickedfire, and other similar forums have a special thread for freelance writing jobs. These forums are great because you get to talk to clients directly and see their feedback history (as either buyer or seller).

Once you build an army of clients, make sure you do the best written work you can produce. Maintain the business relationship even after the project ends, so you can offer your writing services again in the future.

7. Continue polishing your skills

There’s nothing worse than workers who don’t grow. As a freelance writer, it’s your responsibility to keep up-to-date with writing trends, rules of web content, marketing techniques, and so on.

Honing your skills is easy too, since the internet is filled with free courses about writing.

8. Become a marketing expert

There’s no marketing department to advertise your services for you. Freelance writing jobs for beginners won’t land on your doorstep magically as well. So you have to be proactive in getting your name out into the world. This means you have to learn marketing, master networking, and take advantage of free tools like social media.

The Secret to Consistent Writing Jobs

The concern of many people new to any freelance or work-from-home job is how to maintain a consistent job and income.

It’s a perfectly normal problem.

The uncertainty of this industry can be unsettling to those new to freelancing. Fortunately, as you search for clients and writing jobs, this concern will fade as quickly as it began since there are thousands of freelance writing jobs available at any given time.

The secret to having a continuous writing job boils down to your writing skill, attitude towards the people you work with/for, and the quality of work you deliver.

9 thoughts on “8 Steps to Finding Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners”

  1. You have shared some really encouraging information for the new-comers. Many successful freelance writers will hesitate to do so but you are EXCEPTION.
    Thanks and keep it up. From now onward I Will be following you always.

  2. Interesting and useful post. I believe that many people might be looking for freelancing opportunities as writers, and this post provides very clear and concise advice on how to go about it and what is expected. I’ll strongly recommend this post to all who are looking for paid jobs online.

  3. Hello Steve
    This article came at an opportune moment as I’ve been helping a colleague is looking to find some freelance writing work and I, blindly obviously, suggested iwriter.
    I’ll be able to guide her to your post for some good tips and advice.
    I wonder though, where you would look for a writer for a specific niche.
    Thanks for the information

  4. Hey there mate,

    I just step foot in the online writing arena and have been working so hard to become the best freelance writer because every I really feel that this is my thing,

    Thank you for the very specific tips you have offered here which I have noted are really deeper than the general ones I see on the web.

    I am going to work on each tip and best at it. I really appreciate them.

    • Thanks Dave! Like everything else in life, you only get better with practice. These tips should help you get a comfortable start though.

  5. Hi there Steve,

    Thanks in kind for creating and sharing this VERY informative article regarding freelance writing jobs with us all, it is appreciated, thanks.

    I was quite surprised that you don’t recommend the use of Upwork, I’d have thought that the upwork market place would be the first and best place to look for writing jobs.

    • Upwork is hard because there are a lot of jobs there, but there is even more competition. A lot of publishers will race to the bottom to get the cheapest possible writer. It’s worth browsing, but there are other resources that will yield better results.

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