Ultimate guide: How to get into freelance writing and start earning

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Get started as a freelance writer

 

You have heard that you can make money through freelance writing.
You have read testimonies of people who are really making money writing.
You desire to make money writing too.
But there is a problem:
You don’t know how to get into Freelance writing.

If the scenario above described your situation perfectly, then I congratulate you.

Yes, congratulations!.

I congratulate you because you are going to learn how to get into freelance writing in the next 7-10 minutes and start earning asap.

But first, let me whet your appetite by showing you recent statistics that shows content writing is a profitable niche.

  1. About 2 million articles are posted every day
  2. 76% of B2B marketers will create more content in 2016 versus 2015.
  3. B2b businesses allocates about 28% of their budgets to content marketing.

The three statistics above shows that companies are creating more content and it is not going to stop soon.  They also have the budget for content marketing.  The industry will continue to flourish for a long time.

To get into freelance writing, you will need some important tools to be successful.

Tools you need as a freelance writer

Get into freelance writing

A computer connected to the internet

As a new freelance writer, the first thing you will need is a computer (desktop or laptop) connected to the internet. Many people have asked me whether they could use their phones to start freelance writing.  It is not convenient to do so. If you don’t have a laptop or a desktop computer, you can easily use a cybercafé until you can afford one.

Website/blog

To get into freelance writing, you need to start a blog.  You can easily get a wordpress.com or blogger blog to start with.  I wrote a post on how to start blogging on blogger.com.  You can read it to get started.  You need to hone your writing skill. You can only do that by writing as much as possible.  Write excellent content and post them on your blog. You can use them as sample articles or writing portfolio when you start prospecting for writing jobs.

Editing tools

As a writer, you will need to get editing software or app to help you proofread and edit your content.  You can start with Grammarly, it has a free version for Microsoft word.  Search for it on Google, download and install it on your Microsoft word.  You can always use it to check for spelling and grammar mistakes when you finish writing your content. You can also use the Ginger software.  There is a free and paid version of it.  Download and install it on your computer. It will help you to clean up your writing before you post it on your blog or submit to your client.

Image editing program

An image is worth a thousand words. People are naturally attracted to Images. It helps your readers to engage with your content. You will need to learn how to create pictures for your blog or for your client. Canva is a good image creating and editing app that I use very often.  It is easy and free to use.  You will even find free images and concepts to modify.

Confidence

I have to add this to the list of tools you will need to get into Freelance writing. A lot of writers fail online because they are not confident of themselves. As a new freelance writer, you will need a lot of confidence to compete online, searching for clients.  You will come across a lot of better and well-positioned freelance writers than you and if care is not taken, you can be intimidated and feel incompetent.  The fact is, no one becomes a writer in one day. All of us started at one point or the other and got better as we write.  As you write more often, you will get better and better at it.

How much do you need to get into Freelance writing?

Get into freelance writing

The amount of money you need to get into freelance writing really depends on you.  You can start out for free, make money and start building your business. This process is always tedious, hard and long.

The shorter route will be to take a course in freelance writing and how to make money writing, then get a WordPress website and start writing.  This way you will have someone to mentor you as you go along the way.  I had to do a lot of guess work without a mentor while starting out. It made the process long and difficult.

Taking a course in freelance writing will help you to scale hurdles faced by new freelance writers.  It will help you to get into freelance writing easily and you will start making money within a short period of time.

How to get started as a Freelance Writer?

get into freelance writing

Do you want to get started as a freelance writer and start making money online like me?.  It is doable. However, freelance writing is a lot of work. But it is well worth it.  Below are what you will need to do to get into freelance writing.

Find a mentor or a coach

The need to find a writing mentor or coach cannot be overemphasized. It will help you build your self-confidence and self-esteem. A mentor will help access your weak areas and turn them into potential successes. It will reduce your frustration and help you to focus on what works.  I have mentored more than 50 writers since I started freelance writing and they are making money online today.

However, you need to know that mentoring or coaching is not free.  You are demanding for the attention and time of the mentor and you must be ready to compensate financially, if you want to get the best result. A lot of people have written to me looking for a mentor. Because of that, I created an extensive paid course on writing and making money online. This will give me an opportunity to mentor as many writers as I can one on one.

How to get work as a Freelance Writer?

get into freelance writing

There are two ways you can get work as a freelance writer.  The first one is by using content mills (freelancing platforms) while the second method is by prospecting for clients on your own.

Content mills

I always recommend content mills for new freelance writers. Content mills are freelance writing websites like Upwork, Fiverr.com, freelancer.com and the rest of them.  Working on these websites will boost your confidence and you will learn how to actually work with clients.  It can be daunting at first, but once you get a hang of it, it becomes easy.

There are two major disadvantages of using content mills and they are – low rates and stiff competition.  When I started writing, I was paid $0.5 for a 500-word article.  That was way too low. But what could I do?  I was eager to write and make money online.  Things are much better now, at least you can get to write a 500-word article for $2 – $5. It will take a long time to make a tangible money writing for such low rates.

There is a lot of competition on writing platforms.  A lot of people are into freelance writing and everyone wants to win.  You will need to devise a good strategy to make money on those platforms.

You can register for free on most freelance writing websites.  All you need is a computer connected to the internet and your writing skill.

Prospecting for clients

This is the second way you can make money as a freelance writer.  This involves going out on your own to seek for clients who will employ you to write for them.  Although you can make a lot of money using this method, it is not easy to get clients.  You can make as much as $30-$50 for a 500-word article. But, you have to search every nook and crannies of the internet to get them.  You can start with Google to search for people who are looking for a freelance writer. You can search for terms like:

  • Freelance writers wanted
  • Content writers needed
  • Writers needed
  • Need a freelance writer, etc.

Once you get any one you like, click the link and apply for the job.

You can also search LinkedIn for clients or use guest posting to reach them.  It is a lot of work, but once you are established, you start getting clients.  You will need a functioning blog to use this method.  Get a website and write sample articles to make up your portfolio.

I explained all these methods in detail in my writing course.  You can check it out.

How to get paid as a freelance writer?

get into freelance writing

There are different ways to get paid once you become a Freelance Writer.  You can use PayPal, Bank wire, Payoneer etc.  If you are in a country where PayPal is not accepted, you can use Bank wire or Payoneer.  All you need is to create an account on Payoneer. Once you do that, the company will send a MasterCard to you which you can use to withdraw your earnings on any ATM machine anywhere in the world.  I have been using them for the past three years and I can say I have no regrets.

What type of writing pays well?

get into freelance writing

I will advise you start with article writing.  I always encourage my protégés to write articles for a month or two and then learn how to write e-books and reports. You can make between $150 – $1000 on one e-book.  I have written an e-book for $1,200 before. Just one!

However, the price you charge per e-book depends  on the number of pages.  A 20-35 page can cost between $200 to $300.  It will be around 400 words per page.  Let’s do the Maths:

400x 35 = 14,000 words.
14,000 / 500 = 28 articles
28 articles x $3 = $84
$84 – $300 = $216. (This is the amount you are leaving on the table)

It is even difficult to get a client who will ask you to write 28 articles at once.  So you see, it pays to learn how to write e-books.  I have a teaching material on that, check out my product page for it.

Another type of writing that will bring you money, though not as much as e-book writing is academic writing. It is more of school work (report, assignment, etc). You can learn how to write it and increase your earning.

Technical writing is another type of writing that pays well. I have written a couple of technical reports before.  It is a bit difficult if you are not technology-savvy, but you can always learn.

Tips and tricks freelance writer use to get online work

  1. Bid continuously

If you are using content mills, you will have to continuously bid for work. When I was active on freelancer.com, I used to place my bids on at least 5-10 writing jobs per day.  That is around 35-50 bids per week. At least I used to get about 5 writing jobs per week. Competition is very stiff on the platform and you have to be aggressive to be a winner.

  1. Write an extraordinary proposal

To get clients is not an easy process. Create a catchy proposal you will be using to pitch to clients on content mills and to individual clients (if you are working outside of content mills).  Below are two samples of cold emails that was written by Elna Cain  and Bamidele Onibalusi.

get started as a freelance writer

Source: Elnacain.com

 

get started as a freelance writer

Source: writersincharge.com

  1.    Work hard

Freelance writing is not easy.  You have to write considerably well to make money.  You must be ready to write every day and commit to your business. You know what? Hard work pays!

Conclusion:

The information provided above will help you to get into freelance writing as fast as possible. You don’t even need a lot of money to start. Get started now!

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Steph

Wow!!! Thanks very much Ladywriter – I guese by the name you will know where I am coming from. Its nice to read from you posts. And one thing that is amazing is the new change I am seeing. moving from blogger to wordpress. Congratulations Mam. I am looking forward to your next news letter.

Ifeanyi So-Nature

I read this interesting post word for word. Well, I’ve been writing published articles since June 2015, but based on what you explained, I feel I get peanuts for my creative blog posts. I want to go international and I created a freelancer account after reading this. Please what next? Thank you

Hephzibah Asaolu Hephzibah Asaolu

Hi Ifeanyi, the next step is to start bidding on content writing projects. You have to bid actively to win a project. I will advise you to bid on at least 5 to 10 projects per day. All the best!

Tonia

I have come back to read this article for the third time. Thank you ma’am. I am keenly following. Looking forward to your next post

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