Freelancing 101

Freelance Writing: 13 Tips to Get You Started

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 1/02/227 min read
Freelance Writing: 13 Tips to Get You Started

Table of Contents

  • Top 13 Pieces of Writing Advice for Freelancers
  • Key Takeaways 
  • Conclusion 
  • FAQs

Does the work from anywhere lifestyle enchant you? Is writing one of your strong suits and favorite things to do? If the answer to these questions is a yes, then you absolutely should see the world of freelance content writing for yourself. As a freelance content writer, you can work literally from anywhere, and at any time.  Freelancing is the new all-comfortable mode of work. And freelance content writers enjoy what they do because they have control over their hours and choice of work. They are not bound by a long-term contract of employment with an organization. 

A freelance writer is an individual who works on a self-employed basis. They have the freedom to do work of their choice; and they can work with one or multiple organizations at a time. Let’s take a look at some of the best freelance beginner tips.

Top 13 Pieces of Writing Advice for Freelancers

As a freelance writer, you are not employed by a company. You are the master of your own time. You can write as a generalist, moving from one type of content to the other; or you can focus on a specific content niche and specialize in it. Here are the best writing tips for beginners who want to pursue a career in freelance content writing.

1. Choose a niche

A crucial writing advice for beginners is to choose your area of writing. Choose a niche for yourself. Remember that casting your writing across niches won’t help. Give time and attention to a few specific areas of content writing and master them. You cannot think that you will be an expert at everything. Find out what you like writing about and what you are good at writing. It could be marketing copies, web content, blogs, social media posts, and more. Choosing a niche will help you decide what projects you should take on. Sticking to a niche will ensure you develop expertise in that area.

2. Communicate with your clients

After you have found a freelance writing project, do not forget your client. Constant communication not only keeps the client in the work loop, but is also important for building lasting and meaningful relationships. If you are unable to complete a certain task within a given deadline, it is better to inform the client in advance. Even if you are well ahead of your deadline, it is a good idea to give a heads-up to the client. This way, they can work out invoice preparation well in time. Proactivity and clear communication are always appreciated. 

3. Network with other writers

It might sound a little confusing to network with your competition, but this is, without a doubt, one of the best writing tips for beginners. A little dose of healthy competition is essential for professional development and personal growth. By staying in touch with fellow freelancers you can stay updated about the trends in your niche. You can learn from them and share useful advice, suggestions, and most importantly, experiences. 

4. Be active online

It is an undeniable fact that staying active online is the demand of our current world. As a freelance writer, it is important that you have a portfolio, and that you maintain a visible presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. 

To have an even better online presence, you can create a blog where you can share your ideas, suggestions, and advice. Guest posts and social media posts are two other ways of maintaining an active online presence. Your active presence will help you establish yourself as an industry expert later on.

5. Write well-crafted pitches

What we have discussed so far will help you land gigs and writing projects, but one of the essential freelance beginner tips is to focus specifically on what you do the best, i.e., writing. Write pitches almost every day. Even if you do not send out pitch emails each day, writing them regularly will help you get better at pitching your services. 

Once you have a few samples ready, reach out to companies via job posting platforms and websites. Join Facebook groups and network on LinkedIn. After shortlisting companies you want to send a pitch to, sit down and craft an excellent proposal that helps you sell your services as a writer. 

6. Negotiate well and acquire a contract for every job

Simply finding a freelance writing job is not enough. Know your worth before negotiating or agreeing to a price for your services. Research, study, read more about industry rates, and current changes in the freelance writing industry, and know in advance how to negotiate your wages. As a freelance writer, you are on your own. To avoid work exploitation, make sure you already know abou average per-word and per-project rates, average hourly rates, etc. It is crucial to decide what you will be charging. 

You also need to make sure that you set up a contract. Never make the mistake of agreeing to work on a project without a contract. A contract protects your rights as a freelancer and acts as a symbol of surety.

7. Learn how to edit

This is one piece of advice for freelancers we can’t focus on enough. It is important to learn the art of self-editing. For a writer, editing skills can prove to be a real asset. When writing, you are bound to miss out on spelling, grammar, and sentence errors. Make sure that when you read it after you have completed writing, you rule out all the errors. A well-written piece looks good when it is equally well-formatted. Also, pay attention to the style guide if the client has given one. It is a good idea to make sure your content adheres to the right style, as used by your client’s organization.

8. Master your time management and organization skills

If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you need to know what time management is. When you work according to your own rules and there is no one you are exactly answerable to each minute of the day, there is a high chance you might start slacking. And that is the last thing you should do while being self-employed. While you have the advantage of being independent, you need to master time management. 

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Have your own to-do lists, deadlines, checklists, and task reminders, in place. You can only enjoy a freelance lifestyle if you are able to manage your time well. If freelancing is your source of income, no one else is going to remind you that you need to get back to work. 

9. Gather testimonials

A useful piece of advice for beginner writers is to gather testimonials. When you have done a sufficient amount of work, and your clients have responded positively to it, go ahead and politely request them to provide you with testimonials. With testimonials on your social media account and website, you have added social proof as a credible freelancer. Testimonials and letters of recommendation add credibility to your name and work. You should do a little research to figure out which formats are suitable to request testimonials, language and tone being used in the testimonial request, etc. 

10. Enhance your complementary skills

You cannot be satisfied with just being a good writer. Freelancing is an arena that requires you to put in more effort than just being good at a single thing. Writing can get you a few gigs, but additional skills will help you sail on the boat of freelance success. You should try to improve or acquire other skills like editing, proofreading, analytics, SEO, marketing, advertising, etc. 

Read articles related to these skills, join a short course, or look for tutorials to guide you. Complementary skills are what set you apart from other writers. They also make your articles better, as you can optimize what you write with the help of your editing, proofreading, and marketing skills. Add to your skillset as and when you find the time. 

11. Collect results

Word-of-mouth is still a widely popular concept, owing to the fact that all of us trust the power of words. After you have written something and the client has shown a favorable response towards it, you can ask them to share the results of your work. With specific and numeric results of your work, you will get more clients easily, and will also be able to quantify your success.

12. Consider your workspace

This is an underrated piece of advice for freelancers. While you have the liberty of working from anywhere as a freelance writer, a dedicated workspace is important for consistency and productivity. You cannot focus on your work when you keep changing your workspace each day. Observe and pay attention to what kind of environment works best for you as a writer. Choose your workspace or work area accordingly. Figure out what helps you write well: noise cancellation, good lighting, nature, a comfortable desk, etc. 

13. Generate ideas

As a freelancer, you can never be too sure that work will flow in consistently. When you have a dry work spell, do not sit and waste your time. Stay relevant to your niche. Think of topics to write on and generate new ideas. It’s a great idea to create a bank of articles that can be used as potential pitches in the future. If you keep on writing consistently and brainstorming ideas, you will not hit a roadblock when you find a few companies to pitch ideas to later on. These extra articles also are a means of generating more income. 

Key Takeaways

  • A freelance writer is an individual who works on a self-employed basis.
  • One of the best writing tips for beginners is choosing a niche. Remember that casting your writing niche-wide won’t help. 
  • Constant communication not only keeps the client in the work loop, but is also important for building lasting and meaningful relationships.
  • If you are unable to complete a certain assignment within a given deadline, it is better to inform the client in advance.
  • Guest posts and social media are two great ways of maintaining an active online presence as a freelance writer.
  • After shortlisting companies you want to send a pitch to, sit down and craft an excellent proposal that enables you to sell your services as a writer.
  • To avoid work exploitation, make sure you know about average hourly rates, and per-word and per-project rates in your industry.
  • Never make the mistake of agreeing to work on a project without a contract. A contract protects your rights as a freelancer and acts as a piece of surety.
  • It is a good idea to make sure that your content adheres to the right style, as used by your client’s organization or website.
  • Testimonials and letters of recommendation add credibility to your name and work. With testimonials on your social media pages and website. you have added social proof as a freelancer.

Conclusion

Choosing your pay structure, setting up a suitable work environment, and finding out potential clients are all crucial steps in the process of getting work as a freelancer. Although it sounds like a tedious journey, with the right motivation and these essential freelance beginner tips, you can be successful in a short span of time. 

FAQs

1. What skills should a freelance writer have?

A freelance writer should acquire or polish a few skills, which include time management, editing, networking, marketing, and organization skills, apart from having a good command over writing and proofreading.

2. What category does a freelancer’s income fall under?

Since a freelancer does not work full-time for any organization or business, their income falls under the self-employment category. Self-employed individuals are also eligible for some tax perks.

3. What can freelance writers do to get noticed?

For freelance writers, the best platforms to get noticed are LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also start pitching guest posts to increase your visibility. Connecting with businesses on social media or having a website for yourself are other great ways of getting work.

4. What is the job of a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is someone who writes something that is credited to someone else. They usually write on behalf of clients and receive remuneration for their services.

5. What platforms are the best places to find freelance writing jobs?

As a freelance writer, you can find great short-term gigs or even long-term projects on platforms like SolidGigs, FlexJobs, and ProBlogger’s job board, among others. 

6. Is it important for freelancers to stay active online? 

In today’s technology-driven world, it is virtually impossible to stay untouched by digital tools, such as social media. This means, much of the professional world is also out there, growing on social media. 

Having a strong presence online, be it through your blog, website, or social channels, will help increase your visibility and make your services accessible to a larger audience. Online channels also act as a wonderful opportunity for networking. They are where you can land high-paying clients and also connect with other freelancers. 

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