How to Get into Freelance Writing

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Looking for a new side hustle that engages your creative side? Freelance writing can be a great choice, where you’ll have complete control over your hours and the projects you choose to take on, and you can do it all from the comfort of your home office (or couch). Being successful as a freelancer takes more than just writing skills, though. We’ll go over some of the key details you need to know if you’re interested in becoming a freelance editor or writer.

What is a Freelancer?

You’ve probably heard the term thrown around a bunch, but what does it actually mean to be a freelancer? First and foremost, a freelancer is someone who works for themselves. Unlike some writers and editors who work on salary and have to do whatever projects they’re assigned to, as a freelance copywriter, you’ll be able to choose what work you take on. While you may still end up working with agencies or doing contract work, a freelancer is ultimately self-employed and has to deal with all of the benefits and challenges that come with that. Freelancers have more control over their work, but they also have more responsibility when it comes to running their business, like choosing whether to incorporate or register.

Types of Freelance Writing

Freelance copywriters can do a variety of different kinds of work, depending on where your skills lie and what you’re interested in. It’s a good idea to figure out what type of writing you’re interested in doing so that you can develop a specific target audience and create an efficient marketing strategy.

Article Writing

Writing articles as a freelancer is a great way to get started in the industry. You can seek out publications that you want to write for and pitch an idea to them, write an article and submit it, or you may be asked by a client to submit an article on a specific topic.

Blogging

Did you know that you can actually make money by running a successful blog? If you have a particular passion that you want to write about, creating your own blog is the perfect way to show off your writing skills as well as build a portfolio with which you can apply for other freelance writing jobs.

Website Copy

When clients hire a freelancer to write the copy for their business website, they’re looking for someone who is able to convey emotion in order to convince viewers to make a purchase. You’ll also probably need to become familiar with SEO (search engine optimization) to drive web traffic to your client’s website.

Social Media

Writing for social media is a lot different than many other forms of freelance writing, due to character limitations and the way we interact with social media. Effective social media marketing needs to get to the point quickly, but without the customer feeling like they’re just being sold to.

Editing

Many who start out with a plan to write may find themselves considering freelance editor services as well. If you’re the type of person who always notices spelling mistakes in publications, editing is a great way to make money off of skills you already have naturally.

Technical Writing

Some fields, like engineering or finance, may use a lot of technical terms that the average person wouldn’t understand. The job of a technical writer is to translate those complex concepts into language that anyone can understand while staying true to the original content.

Ghostwriting

Often when you see a memoir penned by a celebrity or even a column written by someone whose job isn’t writing, they are actually using a ghostwriter. Freelancer ghostwriters need to be able to get into the tone of the person they’re writing for and be willing to accept that they can’t take credit for the work they do.

How Much Do Freelance Editors and Writers Make?

The rate you charge as a freelancer will depend on a variety of factors. How long have you been writing or editing professionally? As you build up your client base and become more confident in your skills and the monetary value of your service, you might find yourself working with higher-paying clients who can afford to pay you more than when you first started out. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for a freelance writer is around $30, and the average annual salary is around $63,000.

How to Become a Freelance Copywriter or Editor

If you want to start your career as a freelance copywriter, but you’ve never written professionally, you might want to take an online course to get you started. Next, get as much practice as you can and build up your online portfolio. Once you have a decent number of articles under your belt, start pitching to the kind of publications you want to work with. Getting clients can be difficult at first, so make sure you reach out to everyone in your network – past employers, friends, peers – even if you don’t think they need writing services. 

How to Hire Freelancer Writers or Editors

Whether you want to start your new career as a freelance writer or you need to hire one, a great place to start is an online platform that connects writers with clients and agencies. You’ll be able to browse the writer’s specialties and skills so you can choose the perfect freelancer to work with on your next project.

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