A Beginners Guide On How To Start A Freelance Writing Career

Get started making money from your writing

Abdul Rashid Sani
9 min readAug 19, 2021
A freelance writer
Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash

Freelance writing is a lucrative job for anyone who enjoys writing or if you want to change your career or work from home. It gives you the freedom to work on your terms and become your boss.

One good thing about freelance writing is that you can still keep your day job if you want to and make this your side hustle. It is one of the quickest ways to earn extra income. Which means you get to keep two income sources. Which I strongly recommend to everyone who wants to achieve financial freedom.

It is okay if you are nervous. It is also okay if you do not know where to start to become a freelance writer. Just know that you are not alone. I was just like you and any other beginner.

I promise you nothing but the best information on how to start and succeed in your new career.

Here are the steps you need to follow to become a freelance writer and make money.

1. Start a Freelance Writing Course

Beginning your freelance writing journey can only be scary if you lack writing skills. The first thing I would recommend is to take a freelance writing course. This will help you to develop your writing skills, especially if you have no experience. Honestly, you will need to spend a few dollars.

You might think that your goal is to earn money and not to spend. Sure, making money is indeed almost every freelance writer’s goal. But you need to spend a few dollars to achieve invaluable skills that will earn you money in the long run.

There are lots of other free courses out there, which are okay to try your hands on. However, as l keep saying, free stuff made without charge is always limited and sometimes a waste of your time.

Tell me. Would you rather spend a few bucks to learn skills that are highly in demand, or you prefer to waste your time searching for free courses that do not add much value to you? It is your choice.

2. Decide On a Niche

So you have taken the freelance writing course and developed in-demand skills — so what next? You ask. You must decide on a niche you want to write about.

Although there are lots of niches you can write on, however not all topics are profitable. There are two ways to find out which topics to write about.

One, ask yourself what interests you. Do you enjoy talking to others about a particular subject or topic? Do you have skills you would want to share with others? And two, search for profitable niches and decide on which one you can comfortably and confidently talk about.

For instance, I mostly talk about digital marketing, social media management, SEO, and freelance writing.

One important reason why you should choose a niche is to be easily identified and build a brand.

3. Learn Basic SEO Skills.

SEO tips
Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

If you want to become a successful freelance writer, you should develop some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) skills. As a freelance writer, businesses and individuals will hire you to write SEO-friendly contents. This is to be easily found on the internet to drive traffic and ultimately lead to sales.

Basic SEO skills may include keyword research, SEO-friendly content, readability, and tone. One of the best SEO tools I highly recommend to use in your writing work is SEMrush. It is a powerful tool I used personally for any SEO-related work. Other great tools are Ahrefs, KWfinder, Google Trends, etc.

4. Become Familiar With Writing Tools And Skills.

Learning a few writing tools and skills will go a long way to make your work stand out as a freelance writer. There are dozens of tools and skills you should have. Here are a few of the skills you must possess:

Organizational skills. You can never become a successful writer if you cant organize yourself and your work. You need to set goals and prioritize your daily activities.

Content Marketing. Content marketing is a skill you cant do without it. As a writer, you need to write effective web content that will convert readers into customers. Businesses use content to create awareness for their products and services. Therefore you must use different formats to generate leads for businesses.

Confidence. You will be pitching to a lot of individuals and businesses to land writing jobs. You may face rejections and companies turning you down. Never lose sight of your goal. You must be confident and continue to pitch to clients. Also, continue to develop your writing skills.

Here are some tools you must have to become a successful freelance writer:

Google Doc to keep your work for future reference.

Grammarly to help edit and proofread your work.

Canva to edit images to enrich content.

5. Publish Your Work For Free

You might not like this idea. But one thing that is capable of landing you more writing jobs is to use free platforms to showcase your work.

You do not always need to have a blog site to start your writing career. There are other free platforms available for you to publish samples of your work.

LinkedIn, for example, is a professional platform to publish your writing work.

Ensure you create a strong profile that depicts what your capabilities are and start posting your work. One way to succeed on this platform is to engage with other freelance writers for tips.

One popular but free platform to share samples of your work is Medium. Top writers continue to use Medium because it gives them the exposure they need. This alone should tell you why you should start publishing on Medium.

One interesting about this platform is that it has a Partner Program just like Youtube. This means you might qualify to get paid for your publishing great work.

Once you have published few samples on these free platforms, you can apply for jobs and include links for potential clients to review.

6. Promote Your Work On Social Media.

Creating and publishing your work on the free platforms I shared with you earlier is not enough to land you your first writing job. You need to promote them.

I suggest that you do more promoting your work than writing. What is the essence of creating and publishing your work without getting in front of your readers? Have a schedule for content creation and promotion.

Fortunately, there are free social media platforms you can promote your work. However, not all are capable of helping you get more readers. I would suggest a few here.

LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are a few social media platforms to start promoting your work. One way to succeed is to participate in group discussions on these platforms and offer solutions to create awareness for your work.

SEO is a powerful marketing tool you can to optimize your social media accounts. And as an SEO strategist, I would recommend that you create similar profiles across all your social media platforms. This will help optimize your profiles and easily be found in search engines.

7. Set Your Hourly Rate

So you are creating momentum and are pitching clients to land your first job. It is a good step. Congratulations. So what if a client asks you about your hourly rate? Should you price yourself low because you are a beginner? Or because you are excited to receive your first pay?

Well, it is all good to consider. But have you thought about the quality of your work? Your delivery time, and most importantly, requirements of your clients?

Since you want to receive your first pay, try not to price yourself so low that the client would reject you because he might think you can not provide quality work. If you can show your client that you can produce quality work, he will be ready to pay for it. The client is always looking for value for money projects.

8. Start Looking For Guest Posting Opportunities

It is now time to start searching for guest-posting jobs to get more exposure and start making money. Without a doubt, guest posting is one of the best ways to get exposure.

If you want to earn more exposure quickly and freely, consider guest posting on other blog sites. Look for blog sites in the same niche as yours and request to offer guest posting services.

Bloggers are always looking for people to post on their blog sites to generate more readers. So this is a win-win situation for both the blogger and you as the guest poster.

9. Create a Profile On Freelance Websites

It is every freelance writer’s goal to earn money while writing for clients. That is the primary goal of every freelance writer. That is why you are called a freelance writer.

Now that you are familiar with writing and publishing samples online, you can create your profile on freelance websites to start landing jobs.

There are lots of freelance websites you can join. However, here are a few of those that you can land more jobs and make money.

Upwork is one of the best freelance websites for freelance writers like you. And it is easy to set up your profile and start interacting with your potential clients.

Fiverr is undoubtedly the most popular website for freelance jobs. And as a writer, you could easily find your first job to start earning money writing.

Another freelance website to find a freelance writing job is Freelancer. A lot of companies and individuals are looking for writers like you on Freelancer.

10. Pitch Everyday

It is worth mentioning that since companies and individuals are looking for freelance writers, it is necessary to pitch nearly every day to land a job. This is because other freelance writers are looking to land jobs. You might also face several rejections as a beginner.

Do not be afraid to pitch clients every day. You might not know who might become your first and subsequent clients. However, you need to be strategic when pitching clients. Read their requirement and promise to offer quality work.

Your goal is not only to satisfy your clients but to delight them like no other. Go the extra mile to offer them good writing services. And see how successful you will soon become.

11. Connect With Other Freelancers

As someone once said, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you desire to go far, go together. It is always a piece of good advice to connect with those in your area of expertise.

As a beginner, it is a must for you to have a mentor to guide you towards achieving your goal. Remember that each master was once a beginner. Therefore it is worth having a mentor to walk you through your freelance writing career if only you want to achieve greatness.

Thanks to technology, it is now easier to connect with experts on social media. And the one I would recommend to you is LinkedIn, where you can reach lots of professionals.

12. Continue Learning

Remember that even the master still learns. There is no end to education. Therefore you must have a plan to continue learning to be an expert in your field.

Nowadays, things are changing almost every day. And as a freelance writer, you must keep up with your work to meet clients’ requirements. Be searching for new skills and writing tools to become a sophisticated writer.

You will always win If you keep on updating and upgrading your skills. And this means you can set higher rates land more jobs.

You can always take online courses to learn new things in your field.


Starting a freelance writing job is one of the best ways to get paid while doing what you love doing. However, you need courage, skills, and dedication to be an in-demand freelance writer.

As a beginner, if you can follow the guidelines I have shared with you, you can develop a strong portfolio in the shortest possible time. And confidently pitch clients and start earning money.

One thing you cannot overlook as a freelance writer is to be consistent with your work. Even if it means you can post half a thousand words every day, that will contribute to your success in the long run.

And do not forget to use SEO to build social media accounts. Read a lot and practice writing frequently. Above all, have patience.

If you think this guide makes sense which I believe it does, kindly share for maximum impact.

I Appreciate You.