How to Start Freelance Writing
So you want to be a freelance writer but don't know where to start? Allow me to let you in on the three major things I did to launch my freelancing career and find financial success through this medium. If I can do it, you can do it!
I know what you’re probably thinking by clicking on this post. “But Katy, freelance writing isn’t a real job.” Or, “It’s an oversaturated market. No one can get into it now.” Let me be the first one to burst your bubble and say, “You’re wrong.”
By no means do I consider myself to be an amazing writer. I think I’m pretty good, but that’s just the thing. You just need to be pretty good at writing to make it a full-time gig. I would even go so far as to say freelance writing is only about 60% writing and 40% marketing your skills, networking, and social media marketing.
There are a thousand different ways to burst into the freelancing scene, but let me give you the three major things I did that made this journey into freelancing and financial freedom so much easier.
1) Pick a Niche
There are some other freelance writers or writing experts you may come across online who would say certain niches aren’t profitable to write in. These include beauty, health and wellness, mental health, or lifestyle niches. I write within all of these and they are 100% profitable, I can assure you.
That’s not to say some niches aren’t more profitable though. Technical writing is a HUGE in-demand style of writing as is writing about technology and software, business applications, or finances. It is easier to find jobs hiring for this type of work because it is such a huge market. The tech world continues to grow at an insane rate, and companies need writers to keep up with it.
Whatever you choose, be consistent. When it comes time to build your business model and website or portfolio, you’re going to need to niche down. It’s going to be confusing for clients when they go to check out your samples to see you’re all over the place. When clients hire writers, they’re looking for an expert in something. Be that expert!
2) Make a Plan
Before you start applying to jobs willy nilly, get clear on your business model, your rates, any laws regarding business licenses in your state, taxes, building a website, and how you plan on invoicing and contracting with clients. There is sooo much more to freelance writing than just writing.
On my TikTok channel, @freelancingkaty, I go in-depth with the business model I drafted up for myself to get clear on how I wanted to run this business. I spent eight solid months researching how other freelancers got into this field and taught myself how to build a website to showcase my writing samples.
Having writing samples is another HUGE thing you need to have in order to book clients. Having an aesthetically pleasing website that showcases your writing style and services is going to show clients you know what you’re doing and you’re serious about doing it.
Depending on where you live, laws may be different regarding whether or not you need a business license or how you have to pay taxes. Calling your local treasury office, courthouse or even local tax expert can give you the info you need to take this legit. There’s nothing worse than putting in months of effort and making money only to get royally f****d when tax season rolls around.
3) Book Clients
There are a ton of platforms you can use to get started in freelancing. I’ll link some of my favorite sites below so you can check them out!
It’s free to join these platforms and a great way to get your foot in the door!
When booking clients it’s important to have a solid pitch you can use to get their attention and sell them the idea that you’re the right writer for the job. Oftentimes, there are several other writers applying for the same gig, so do something to set yourself apart from the rest. Having a strong cover letter and resume that shows your work published on other sites or having reliable testimonials on your bomb AF website is a great way to make an impression.
I think it’s really really really important to look at freelancing from a realistic viewpoint. Sure, you could maybe impulsively quit your job and make it work for you, but that’s going to be so much more stressful for you than if you took your time, did your research, and had a plan in place before ditching your day job.
I think it’s important for beginners or aspiring freelance writers to consider how much work, and money, goes into getting your freelancing career up and running. I’m not saying there are no free platforms you can use or ways to make it work on a whim, but when it boils down to it, it’s going to be a business. Treat it like one!
Follow along with my TikTok channel (linked on my home page and above) where I go more in-depth with how to start freelance writing, the business side of things, tips and tricks and I hype up the benefits of freelancing.