Freelancing 101

How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience: 8 Actionable Tips

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 2/02/2210 min read
How to Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience: 8 Actionable Tips

Table of Contents 

  • What Are the Benefits of Freelance Writing? 
  • 8 Tips on How to Start Freelancing With No Experience
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

The freelance writing industry is booming, and there can’t be a better time to get into it. All businesses require writers, and they are willing to hire freelancers because of the problems associated with hiring a full-time employee. So, you have endless scope. But, how to become a freelance writer? This blog will take you through the step-by-step process of entering the freelance writing world with zero experience. Before we get started, let’s look at the numerous benefits of becoming a freelance writer. 

What Are the Benefits of Freelance Writing?

What are the incentives to become a freelance writer? Well, there are endless benefits you can get from a career in freelance writing. Let’s look at some of them.

1. Independence

As a freelance writer, you don’t work under someone. Rather, you work for yourself. You offer your writing services to various clients and get paid in return. Isn’t that great? 

It means you don’t have to adhere to a fixed schedule like a 9-5 job. You can work according to your convenience. Whether it’s early mornings or late nights, you can decide your working hours. Forget the stress of a bad boss or office politics, and focus on what you love to do, i.e., to write. What more could you want? Apart from that, you also have the freedom to work from anywhere across the globe. All you require is a laptop with a stable internet connection.

You also get to choose the writing projects you want to work on. Of course, that is possible only when you have a lot of orders. But, being a freelance writer gives you the freedom to decide on the clients you want to work with.

2. Minimal investment

Unlike other businesses, you don’t require any huge investment to start your freelance writing business. You can work from home without worrying about an office setup.

A computer and a good internet connection are enough. Any writing software like Microsoft Word can suffice (however, you might have to switch things up depending on the industry you’re in and the client you work for). You might already have these things and can kick-start your freelance writing career right away.

3. Work-life balance

Work-life balance is a hot topic these days. Maintaining a healthy balance between your work and life is the key to happiness. And being a freelance writer lets you achieve a smooth work-life balance. 

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You can set your working hours according to your convenience. What’s more, you can also take a break whenever you need. It allows you to prioritize your family’s needs. You can also devote time to your personal growth and hobbies without worrying about endless calls from your office.

4. Good income

Once you gain substantial experience and reputation, you can earn much more than a regular employee. That’s because you will be able to set your rates according to your expertise and experience.

5. Exciting projects

As a freelance writer, you get to work on new and exciting projects. So, you won’t be bored with the same kind of work. The excitement to work on different projects will also impact your productivity in a positive way.

8 Tips on How to Start Freelancing With No Experience

You can become a freelance writer even if you have no prior experience. In fact, when you start any new job, you don’t possess any experience. And freelance writing is no different. Here are eight superb tips on how to start freelance writing

1. Do your research

Doing adequate research can help you kick-start your freelance writing career. Don’t just jump into it without looking anywhere. There are endless free resources available online to guide you.

Follow other freelance writers who are already successful in their careers. Try to learn how they started their journey. You can also reach out to them, asking for tips. Most will be willing to help.

Many successful freelance writers also have their blogs and YouTube channels to guide newbies. They share a lot of valuable tips and resources that can help you. Here are some things you need to understand before you become a freelance writer

  • What are the types of writing you can do as a freelance writer?
  • What kind of writing interests you? ( blogs, articles, social media posts, ad copy, etc.)
  • What kinds of clients do you want to work for?
  • Where can you find freelance writing gigs?
  • What are the market rates, and how much should you charge?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to other experienced freelancers. They can offer you some useful guidance. Once you have done your research well, you will know how to start freelance writing with full confidence.

2. Don’t overthink: take the first step

Don’t keep researching for eternity. You might have a lot of questions about the niche you wish to choose or the type of clients you want to work with. But if you keep thinking about them, you might never actually start.

Just start writing, and you will gradually get all your answers. You can take up whatever project comes your way in the beginning. It will let you gain some invaluable experience. Thus, you will be able to understand your areas of interest.

In the beginning, you can also write for yourself. Make a blog and start writing on your favorite topics. You will get the much-needed confidence. Moreover, you can use your blog as a portfolio when pitching to prospective clients. As a beginner, you don’t have to buy a paid domain name. You can easily set up a free blog on Medium, WordPress, or other sites. And if your prospective client stumbles upon your blog and likes your content, they might even reach out to you.

3. Build an online presence

If you sit and wait around, clients will not come and find you. You must constantly market yourself as a freelance writer.

Be present on various social media platforms. Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent places to market your services. You can connect with fellow writers and decision-makers who can be your prospective clients.

If you want to go a step further, you can also set up your own website. That will show your seriousness as a freelance writer. However, having a website is not necessary. You can build a strong presence on social media platforms and showcase your work there too.

Now, what should you post on social media? You can talk about your interests and experiences in writing. You can also share what motivates you to become a writer. Don’t hesitate to share your blogs with your social media audience too. That will give you greater exposure.

4. Build a strong network

Talk to other people in the field of writing and freelancing. Make friends with them. It will boost your confidence and also make you a known face among people.

The easiest way to network is to leave meaningful comments on the blogs and posts of other writers. That way, people will remember you and want to connect with you. Do you know what is the greatest advantage of befriending other freelance writers? You get to learn from each other. Moreover, they can be your biggest support system in difficult times.

Reach out to renowned blog sites and write for free. That will help you build a rapport with them and also boost your portfolio. Having a strong network can take you a long way in your freelancing career.

5. Find your niche

Why is it crucial to find out what your freelance writing niche is? Because it will position you as an expert, and you will attract the right type of clients. Most of the time, clients are not looking for just a freelance writer. But they want a writer with expertise and experience in a particular industry.

However, you don’t always need to pick an industry. You can also pick a specific type of writing, such as blogs, social media posts, emails, etc. But, how can you choose your niche? This is an important part of learning how to become a freelance content writer. Answering the following questions might help you pick a solid niche.

  • What topics interest you?
  • Do you have any previous experience or expertise in any subject?
  • What topics do you like to read about?
  • What topics can you write on without getting bored or lost?

Knowing your interests and expertise will do half of the work. Now, pick your niche in the area where your interest intersects with the market demand. There should be sufficient demand for content in your niche for you to get consistent work.

There is, however, no hurry while choosing your niche. It is best to explore different industries and niches when you are starting off. It will let you understand where your interest and expertise really lies. So, do not restrict yourself to a particular type of writing when you are learning how to become a freelance writer. Try and explore different, exciting possibilities.

Pro-tip: identify your weaknesses or the topics you hate writing about. That will let you have a clear idea about what should not be your niche. This way, you can focus on those topics you are passionate about.

Gradually, you will reach a stage where you can reject work outside your niche. And people will identify you as an expert in the niche you’ve chosen. It is, however, not compulsory to settle on a single niche. You can pick two to three niches as a writer. That will save you from trouble during fluctuations in a particular industry.

6. Find your first client

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You cannot wait for your clients to come to you. Of course, you will get inbound leads when you have a strong online presence. However, you have to reach out to people to find work.

When you are just starting out, you can spread the word among your friends and family members. You can write content for their advertisements if they have a business. Moreover, they can help you get your first client from their acquaintances. So, don’t underestimate the power of telling your friends and family about your work.

Another powerful way of getting clients is cold outreach. This way, you directly land yourself into your prospective client’s email inbox. It is a super-effective way to get clients. Here are some tips on sending cold emails without sounding spammy.

  • Tell them in short how you got to know about the company.
  • Praise them for their latest achievements or give a genuine compliment.
  • Talk about yourself in brief (don’t write paragraphs)
  • Tell them how you can help them achieve their goals or solve their problems.
  • Attach a couple of relevant samples to showcase your work. It will boost your credibility.
  • End with a clear call-to-action (CTA). You can ask them if they want to get on a quick call to discuss things.

Remember to make the email more about how you can help them rather than about your skills and achievements. After all, you are reaching out to an unknown person. Why would they be interested in you if you can’t bring some value to the table?

Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get a reply to your first cold email. Keep researching about your perfect prospect and send emails regularly to different people.

7. Constantly upskill yourself

It doesn’t matter if your writing skills are not perfect. You can always improve. You don’t have to be the best writer on earth. Just make sure your writing conveys your thoughts clearly to the reader.

So, what is the best way to improve your writing skills? Write more. The more you write, the better your writing will become. Your personal blog is the best place to polish your writing skills. Try getting into a consistent habit of writing, and you will see the magic with time.

You can join social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter and post there consistently. Plus, you will get more exposure as a bonus. There are also several writing courses available online. You can enroll in some of them. Watch these courses at your own pace in your free time. Apart from upskilling yourself, you will also get certificates upon completion.

You should, however, remember that certificates are not crucial. Skills matter the most. However, a few of them can boost your credibility, helping you get those initial clients. Also, keep learning from people who have already made it as freelance writers. No matter where you are in your freelancing journey, there is always something to learn from someone ahead of you.

8. Know your worth, and be cautious

You are the best person to understand the value of your work. Don’t underestimate yourself. Charge your client what your services are truly worth. People might try to exploit you by paying less. For instance, one common excuse by clients for paying less is “bulk work”. However, it is just a way of hiring good content writers at cheap rates. Your client might also try to deceive you by saying that work is for the long term. Don’t accept low rates, because the “long term” is uncertain.

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You should not, however, charge too much in the beginning. It will result in you losing work as well as clients. Talk to other freelance writers, know the market rates, and decide your charges accordingly. Sometimes, your prospect might ask you to submit two to three samples. Never agree to such an arrangement. That’s because they might just collect free samples from every applicant and vanish without hiring anyone. One short free sample is enough for the client to understand your capabilities.

One of the most crucial tips on how to start freelance writing is to stay alert. Do not let anyone fool or exploit you. Always try to maintain communications via emails. That will act as a record, so that your client does not vanish without paying you. However, having a written agreement with your client is the best arrangement.

Not all clients are bad. But you have to stay cautious and know your rights. At the same time, deliver quality work to your client on time to build a good reputation. That will take you a long way in your freelance writing career.

Key Takeaways

  • An important tip on how to start freelance writing is to do adequate research before. It will give you an idea about the market and types of writing jobs you can do.
  • Start writing without thinking too much. You can write for yourself in the beginning. It will help improve your skills and also act as your portfolio.
  • Market yourself online because you can’t expect your clients to find you out of nowhere. Your online presence will give you exposure, and your potential clients will get to know you and your skills better.
  • Network and make friends with other freelance writers or potential clients. It will boost your confidence, and also bring more opportunities your way.
  • Take time and find your writing niche. You can focus on a few industries or types of writing. However, freelance writers don’t have to stick to a niche. 
  • Don’t underestimate the power of cold outreach to get clients. But make sure you don’t sound needy or spammy in your cold emails. Instead, show them how you can help their business.
  • Keep working on your writing skills. The more you improve, the better the opportunities you get as a freelance writer.
  • Know your worth, and be cautious. Don’t let anyone exploit you. However, don’t keep your charges too high in the beginning. That will make you lose work.
  • Another tip on how to become a freelance writer with no experience is to always be open-minded and look forward to new possibilities. 

Conclusion

Now that you know how to become a freelance writer, you can get started right away. 

While you’re learning how to start freelance writing, remember that you’re in for an exciting ride. The world of freelancing is always changing; and you need to make sure you stay abreast of the latest developments in this dynamic arena. Be open to new possibilities and always keep learning. Kick-start your writing career and explore the wonderful opportunities you come across. There will be no looking back once you get started, and now is the perfect time for it.

FAQs

1. What qualifications do you need to become a freelance writer?

You don’t need a specific degree to become a freelance writer. You can be an IT graduate and still opt for freelance writing, provided you know how to write well. However, having a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or communications might give you an edge over other candidates.

All you primarily need is a knack for writing and the ability to express yourself clearly. You also need a lot of patience and resilience to succeed in the freelancing world.

2. How to choose a freelance writing niche?

Here are a few ways to choose a niche as a freelance writer. 
Consider your skills and areas of interest. 
Look for trends in the market.
Choose a niche that you are passionate about. Also, make sure it has sufficient demand for writers.

3. Do you need a freelance writing website?

It is not compulsory. However, having a freelance writing website will boost your authority as a writer. Your potential clients will be able to review your profile and writing samples properly.

4. Can you become a freelance writer with no experience?

Yes, you do not need any experience to become a freelance writer. However, it is not that easy. You will need a lot of patience to establish yourself in the field of freelance writing. However, in order to become an authoritative voice in the freelancing writing industry, you will need a considerable amount of experience in the field, which is something that comes with time.

5. How can beginners become content writers?

Everyone is a beginner when they start their first job. Content writing is no exception. All you need is the willingness to learn and the patience to survive in the long run. You can start by writing on free websites like Medium. LinkedIn is also an excellent platform for freelance writers to showcase their skills.

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