How To Become a Freelance Writer: 3 Steps to Success

by | Aug 29, 2018 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 2 comments

The phrase “free lance” originated in the early 1800s. It was a term used to describe professional soldiers who would fight for the highest bidder. While we don’t wield swords, modern-day freelancers serve no master – except ourselves. We are essentially literary mercenaries. Call me a control freak, but I love being in charge of whom I write for, how much I write and when I write. If you can relate and think the whole “I will work for the highest bidder” idea sounds enticing, then you should learn how to become a freelance writer.

Steps To Become a Freelance Writer

You can become a freelance writer by following these three steps:

1. Do Research

I know it’s tempting to jump in with both feet, but a little patience and planning will pay dividends in the end. Google “freelance writer” and begin to sift through the plethora of potential writing platforms available online. Not all are created equal, so do your homework. Look for websites, job boards and content creation companies that are professional. If they produce quality content, you will most likely be asked to submit a writing sample or to complete a grammar quiz. Take your time; catch up on some grammar tips and tricks if you’ve been on a writing hiatus.

A common misconception is that writing is like riding a bike. Unfortunately, it is like any other talent: It requires practice and prowess. Even the strongest wordsmiths need a continual study to hone their skills. If it has been a while since you authored a show-stopping blog post, it’s time to get back at it.

2. Write – A lot

One of the best strategies for new freelance writers is to begin writing and to do it consistently. Set a routine for yourself. Start a blog of your own and commit to a new post once a week, twice a week or daily, if you have the time.

Begin accepting writing gigs on freelance platforms, and don’t be picky. You may write about drones one day and organic shampoo the next – just write. With each article, you gain experience and confidence. If you’ve attained expert status at something, find writing jobs in that niche. Specialized articles usually pay more and can be a great source of steady work.

3.  Re-evaluate Your Goals

After a few months of regular writing, it’s time to assess your performance and your goals. By this point, you will have a pretty good idea about whether freelance writing is for you. Be honest with yourself. If you don’t feel passionate about writing (regardless of the topic), earning your bread and butter from slinging words might not be the best fit. Don’t despair; there’s still plenty of opportunities for the occasional writer. However, if you’ve been bit by the bug and all you can think about is your next composition, jump on the freelance train and ride it out.

Learning how to become a freelance writer doesn’t require a herculean effort, but it’s not for the faint of heart, either. If you enjoy writing about a broad range of topics, have a strong grasp of English grammar and want to get paid for your work, it’s time to look into freelancing. Leave a comment below and share your favorite tips for successful freelance writing.

Jen Middleton
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