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How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience (The Guide I Wish I Had)
Once, I was just like you – googling on how to become a freelance writer with no experience.
I wanted to become a freelance writer with all my heart as I loved writing, but there was not much of a guide and there weren’t many courses to take back then.
This is the guide I wish I had – it teaches you how to become a freelance writer from scratch! You don’t need any experience or a relevant degree.
Stepping into the freelance writing career path can be intimidating at first, but once you know what steps to take and how to implement them – you can make a living out of freelance writing.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! If I can do it, so can you.
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What Is A Freelance Writer?
Maybe you’re unsure – what exactly does a freelance writer do?
A freelance writer is a self-employed writer. A freelance writer may also be a writer that works by contract basis.
Freelance writers are able to offer various freelance writing services with their own terms and conditions. They are able to set appropriate expectations with clients (eg: price, type of service, deadline and more)
Most of the services offered by a freelance writer falls into two types of writing:
- Copywriting (to encourage a sale)
- Content Writing (to engage audience)
What exactly does a freelance copywriter do? Freelance copywriters write copy that persuade someone to purchase something. Conversion (making a sale) is the priority here.
- Email Marketing
- Business Website Branding
- Google Ad Copies
- Facebook Ad Copies
- App Push Notifications
- Video Ad Scripts
These are just some of the types of copywriting services freelance writers are able to offer to a client.
I know this because I have done this myself!
A freelance content writer writes content with the aim to engage their respective audience.
Building a relationship and finding a connection with their audience is the main goal here.
Content writing includes:
- Social Media Captions
- Blog Post Writing
- SEO Writing
- E-Book Writing
- Podcast Scripts
Most long-form content with a long-term strategy. This is also something I’ve done myself.
How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience.
The following steps will help guide you on how to get a job as a freelance writer with no experience.
1. Invest In A Freelance Writing Course
I know not everyone has the means to invest in a course. So this section will give you free and paid options on how to become a freelance writer with no experience.
One thing you must take note of if you’re going to purchase a course – don’t just invest in any writing course.
Invest in a FREELANCE writing course that meets your needs.
Here is what you should look for in a freelance writing course before deciding to purchase it:
- Course Specifics – as a beginner who isn’t sure whether you prefer copywriting or content writing, choose a course that is aimed for beginner freelance writers. This is so that you’ll get the taste of both content and copy.
- Course Format – are you a person who likes e-books or do you prefer a video course module?
- Price – is it worth the investment? (if you spend $50 on an e-book that gives you the blueprint to become a freelance writer, you’re most likely going to make the money back!)
- Bonuses – are the bonuses helpful? (eg: this course gives you a free guest post opportunity + SEO training so you can start your writing journey right away!)
- Testimonials – is there sufficient proof that the course has helped other students become a freelance writer with no experience?
- Course Instructor – do a background check on the instructor, know who you are purchasing from and then decide if you want to invest in the course.
Why Should You Invest In A Freelance Writing Course?
Personally, I started freelance writing by attending a freelance writing workshop and then investing in relevant freelance writing courses.
I chose to invest the last of my student loan by purchasing courses because I knew freelance writing information is limited.
There’s only so much you can offer in one blog post or one youtube video.
Free information is great, you should definitely leverage it.
But do not expect someone to give you the A-Z of making your first $1000 from freelance writing from a free resource.
Coaches and writers may have taken years of trial and error on how to start freelance writing with no experience – respect the value they offer by not asking for free courses or discounts.
By no means you should spend on a course with money you do not have.
Best Free Freelance Writing Course
Meanwhile you’re saving up to invest in a course, here are some free options for you to learn on how to become a freelance writer and get paid!
Best Paid Freelance Writing Course
- How To Become A Freelance Writer (In 60 Days)
- Write To 1K
- True to its name, many freelance writers that have taken this course has earned over $1000.
- This course is everything you need to not only start freelance writing but to be a successful freelance writer.
- This is because the course teaches you – how to build a portfolio, where to find clients, how to pitch your ideas, how to create a business from freelance writing.
- Freelance Blog Writing
- If you’re looking to write for bloggers who are willing to pay you $300-$500 per article, this course is for you. In ONE weekend, Elna Cain teaches you how to write for high paying clients plus educates you on leveraging SEO is a great skill to have.
- This course teaches you how to write product reviews, SEO writing, B2B and B2C writing. Plus, you can use all these methods on your own blog to earn extra income!
- Fast Track to SEO Writing
- If you are already a freelance writer and want to learn SEO as an additional skill to boost your freelance writing income, this course is perfect because it only focuses on SEO and is the most affordable SEO class i’ve come across.
- This course also taught me how to rank my articles number 1 on Google.
If I were to pick 1 course to invest in to kick-start my freelance writing career – it would be this one. Why? Because it teaches you the A-Z and you have a support FB group to reply on.
2. Create Samples On A Portfolio Website
If you are a freelance writer with NO experience, you will most likely have no published work to show clients when pitching for freelance writing jobs.
You need to show clients you’re able to write.
But how do you do that with no published work? And if no one wants to hire you, you won’t have any writing samples to showcase in the first place.
So here’s what you do – take charge and set up a professional writer’s portfolio website where you can write and publish your own samples!
The cost of starting your own website is so low that it’s totally worth the investment in the long-run because your website is going to be yours for a long time!
It’s not just about the money, it’s about your peace of mind too – bluehost has a 24/7 support chat.
Anytime you have a problem with your wordpress site, they’re ready to assist you.
I have had a couple of tech glitches and they’re super efficient when solving it, thanks bluehost!
Once you sign up with bluehost and start your wordpress website, ignore getting a fancy premium theme.
Keep your cost low! Start with a free theme like Astra or Generate Press and customise the necessary pages. Checkout this post for free theme options.
Now what’s next? Don’t stress too much. You don’t need to put a lot of time and effort into a logo, name and branding colours.
All that can be done along the way. Your focus should be to get the main pages up and some written sample articles so clients can view them ASAP.
Pages you need on your freelance writing website:
- About Me
- Contact Me
- Portfolio/Previous Work (add testimonials here)
- Blog (this is where you craft your own articles and make it as a sample for potential clients to view)
Having sample articles are important to show client’s your work, but that’s not all!
Just imagine hundreds and thousands of visitors coming to your website every month. Each of these visitors are potential clients.. now that’s marketing done right!
Don’t know SEO? Once upon a time, I knew nothing about it too. We all gotta start somewhere. Check out this course that got me ranking on the first page of google.
3. Content Marketing On LinkedIn
So you have a website with some written samples, what’s next?
This is my favourite way to market yourself! Content marketing on Linkedin!
70-80% of my freelance writing clients come from Linkedin.
If there’s anything I know about linkedin content marketing, I’m going to spill all the tea in this article! Just for you!
The first thing you want to do is put in the keywords “freelance writer”, “SEO writer”, “Email Marketing Copywriter” or any type of writer you want to be known as in your profile.
Next, you want to fill up your previous work experiences and information on your educational background.
Be sure to also fill out your “about” section on Linkedin with what you’re looking forwards to on the platform.
Now here’s the secret sauce on Linkedin content marketing:
- Do not waste time posting Linkedin articles, the algorithm does not favour them. Post the articles on your own website as samples and then share them weekly on Linkedin.
- If you have any existing work, be sure to use the featured section on Linkedin to your benefit. Feature them!
- If you don’t have any existing work, feature some of your best samples.
- Create short, easy to digest content on Linkedin instead of long articles. Some of these are great to position yourself as an expert.
- Share an article (from a reputable website) with your opinion on your industry/freelance writing niche.
- Create short videos (TikTok style content) with emojis and subtitles on writing tips, SEO tips, anything relevant to your freelance writing niche.
- Write personal posts (personal experiences with work, life, family, hobbies and so on) – this does extremely well on Linkedin! It has the potential to go viral!
- Try to post 2-3 times a week, consistency is key.
- Do engage with other people’s post (especially those in your industry). This is so that you’ll appear in their audiences’ home feed. It’s a snowball effect and you can get discovered really easily!
4. Start Writing For FREE.
So while positioning yourself on Linkedin as an expert freelance writer, you will have to start writing for FREE.
Yeah, I said FREE.
Don’t hate on me for this one. No one wants to work for free, I totally understand that. But if we have zero experience and all we have is our own samples and maybe a couple of paid gigs, we need to start publishing for FREE to diversify our portfolio.
It’s a mutually beneficial thing to do, the publisher/company get’s content they need while the writer gets their name on their work because they did it for free.
This is also called guest posting.
Because you’re a guest, writing and leveraging their brand name and audience.
Where do you find these guest post opportunities?
To find websites that are looking for guest post writers, just google “[your niche] write for us”.
For example: “book reviews write for us”
There are tons of opportunities out there, all you need to do is apply for it.
Create An Account On Freelance Writing Websites
Freelance writing jobs for beginners are easiest to find when you’re on one of these websites:
You will have to sign up and create a profile on:
Here are some tips on how to apply on these websites.
Using sites like these are safe for the client and the freelancer. You can ensure that you’ll get your money and your client receives his/her writing request.
If you’re worried about competition on these websites, you shouldn’t be.
With the gig economy making a comeback, the demand for freelance writers are really high!
5. Join FB Groups
This is one of the most underestimated ways of finding work from home writing jobs for beginners.
Joining content writing FB groups is the easiest way to get some simple writing jobs at home. When I first started, I got a few gigs from FB groups.
They might not pay as well at times, but they are good for someone with no experience and looking to build a portfolio.
6. Cold Pitch
Do not be shy to cold pitch. It is highly encouraged to email magazines, websites, bloggers, companies whenever you see an opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to message decision makers via Linkedin.
You’ll be surprised how friendly some of them are. As long as you want to build a genuine connection and not be too pushy with your cold pitch.
7. Bring Added Value
Freelance writing is more valuable when you can pair it with another skillset.
Example, instead of being just a personal finance writer, you can become a SEO personal finance writer.
Instead of being a social media copywriter, you can learn a bit more about branding and strategy to market yourself as a social media strategist.
Try to add value wherever you can by taking up courses.
After taking this Pinterest course, I did some freelance Pinterest description writing for a client.
Before this course, I had no Pinterest knowledge and couldn’t access any clients that needed some Pinterest help in terms of description texts. Another great affordable Pinterest course alternative would be this one.
8. Ask For Recurring Work
There’s absolutely no shame in asking for recurring work.
In fact, if you a really good job the first freelance writing task with minimal to no mistakes, you can always offer the client a bundle (eg: Next 3 articles, 20% OFF).
Always be open to negotiating freelance writing rates for long-term partnership.
DOs and DON’Ts On How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience
- Submit your work before a deadline.
- Market yourself on Linkedin.
- Cold pitch via email/Linkedin.
- Create a portfolio website.
- Take up paid courses and add value to your writing skills.
- Read your client’s demands carefully (I once hired a writer that wrote the whole article wrongly as she missed out ONE word from the topic)
- Give up after 10 cold pitch emails (please, it takes 100 at times before you hear your first reply)
- Submit work after a deadline.
- Bug your client every few hours with questions (please Google before asking simple questions, your client’s time is valuable – they hired you for a reason).
- Expect paid value in a free course.
How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience (FAQ)
Here are some frequently asked questions on how to become a freelance writer:
How Long Does It Take To Become A Freelance Writer?
It can take anywhere between 2 weeks to 6 months.
The faster you set up your portfolio website, post up some samples, guest post on websites and content market yourself on Linkedin, the faster you’ll get clients.
How Much Should I Charge As A Freelance Writer?
One word can range from $0.05-$0.5 depending on how much of an experienced writer you are and also the niche.
For example, a writer writing a medical piece would earn way more compared to someone writing on book reviewing.
How Much Do You Charge For A 500 word article?
If one word ranges from $0.05-$0.20, you should charge around $20-$100 depending on your experience and niche you’re writing for.
How Do You Become A Freelance Writer With No Degree?
You don’t need a degree to be a freelance writer. All you have to do is invest in a good course, set up a portfolio website and market yourself on Linkedin, Upwork and Fiverr.
There you have it, how to become a freelance writer with no experience! I know it might be a lot to digest, but follow the steps carefully and don’t pressure yourself to do it all in a couple of weeks.
Take your time!