How To Become a Freelance Writer & Enjoy The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

How to Become a Freelance Writer
  • Save

Last Updated March 17, 2023

Do you want to become a freelance writer but need clarification on how to get started? This article is jam-packed with answers. We understand the importance of having the ability to work for ourselves, and the immense freedom it brings can be life-changing. Let's dig in and find out how to become a freelance writer and enjoy the lifestyle you covet.

Let us find answers to these and many similar questions so you can clearly understand how to become a freelance writer and the benefits of being a freelance writer.

What is a Freelance Writer?

How To Become a Freelance Writer - How to start freelance writing
  • Save

Writers can perform various jobs, work with clients, and find work differently. A freelance writer works on a self-employed basis (as an independent business owner) with or without a long-term commitment to a single employer. In other words, a freelance writer is a professional writer who works as an independent contractor instead of a full-time staff writer at an organization or institution.

Writers provide their writing services to local as well as international clients. They work across various genres, such as health, spirituality, fashion, beauty, international affairs, cloud computing, business, marketing, sales, etc. Freelancers may sell their stories to journals, work as content writers or copywriters for clients, or write newspaper and magazine articles.

The role of a freelance writer may be sub-classified into the following categories:

  • Freelance Blogger: Someone who has a focus on freelance writing for blogs.
  • SEO Writer: Someone with expertise in creating highly-optimized content for brands so they can feature on top search engine result pages (SERPs).
  • Content Writer: Someone focused on creating a rich range of content (blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, etc.).
  • Ghostwriter: Someone who creates content (not in their name) for website pages, whitepapers, emails, eBooks, blogs, and more.
  • Content Strategist: Someone with expertise in creating, organizing, and managing content.
  • Freelance Web Content Writer: Someone focused on creating content for websites.
  • Technical Writer: Someone who specializes in writing from a technical standpoint, technical documents, instructions, etc.
How To Become a Freelance Writer - Things to do for your freelance career
  • Save

A freelance writer may offer one or more of the following services:

  • Blog Management: You may be entrusted with managing a team of writers and ensuring that content is regularly created and posted on the client's website.
  • Editing/Proofreading: You may provide essential proofreading services or a more in-depth approach known as developmental editing.
  • Copywriting: You may create a copy for press releases, sales pages, or the web or use your creative and persuasive skills to upgrade the content of an existing website.
  • Social Media Marketing: You may regularly handle and update a client's social media account(s).

Read Top 10 Freelance Writer Jobs for Beginners to Get Their Feet Wet if you think you've got the skills.

Access some of the best freelancing resources to improve your freelance productivity.

How to Become a Freelance Writer

If you've decided to become a freelance writer, now is the time to learn how to get started and the resources available.

Let's find out!

Decide what you want to write about

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Choose writing niche for your freelance career
  • Save

First, decide what you want to write about. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available. You can choose from a wide range of topics, such as health, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automobiles, bodybuilding, personal finance, parenting, engineering, travel, fashion, beauty, gardening, spirituality, aromatherapy, etc. It will help if you choose something that excites you. Otherwise, it may prove challenging to stick to the plan.

Ask yourself the following five questions.

  1. What do you like to write or talk about?
  2. What are your primary and secondary areas of expertise?
  3. Is there a topic on which you're an expert?
  4. Does your educational background allow you to enter a specific writing area as an authority?
  5. What day-to-day things drive you nuts?

The point is to figure out what you can see yourself writing about for years. Of course, your freelance writing niche will evolve, but you will need a place to start.

Set a schedule

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Set schedule for your writing career
  • Save

Making a good living and enjoying being your own boss is serious business. Therefore, you must decide on a work schedule and stick to it. This might initially include working late nights, early mornings, or weekends to get the ball rolling.

The point is to develop a clear process that will govern how you work so you can focus more freely on creating unique, engaging, purposeful, and value-driven content. This will allow you to become a stellar freelance writer and grow your business.

Practice, practice, practice

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Practice online writing
  • Save

Nothing in your life can help you grow more than practice. After all, practice makes us near perfect. Although you don't need to be a language genius to excel as a freelance writer, more practice will surely help you in countless ways. It will help to devote a few hours daily to your freelance writing business in the beginning to grow your skillset.

It will also help if you create a rich range of content, such as blogs, social media posts, eBooks, whitepapers, website copy, etc. Over time, these practice sessions will help you improve your thought process, writing, vocabulary, and the time you need to complete a piece of content.

Honing your skills doesn't have to be done overnight, but if you take the initiative to work on your craft, your earnings and opportunities will improve.

Build a writing portfolio

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Start freelance writing with a portfolio
  • Save

Creating a writing portfolio may appear overwhelming for those just starting out. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Over time, you can build a complete portfolio. If you need help getting going, start a blog and use the posts to demonstrate your writing abilities.

Blog post writing can improve your writing craft and make you a better writer. You can also improve your SEO skills when you write your posts. Having your website gives you an edge over other freelance writers. You can also provide guest posts to improve your chances of finding paying clients.

Paying clients like to see samples before they hire freelance writers. There are many would-be freelance writers, which makes having your published work on a website a must. Many bloggers are looking for guest writers; getting opportunities like this will grow your freelance opportunities.

You can start prospecting for guest post opportunities once a few content pieces are published under your name. Generally, marketers and others in any niche will happily share a quality story in exchange for a byline. You can offer your freelance writing services to get your name out there.

Start pitching to freelance writing jobs

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Find freelance writing jobs by pitching
  • Save

Once you have a solid portfolio, the next step is to pitch potential clients. First, research the niche of the brand you intend to pitch to understand better what content they publish and how it resonates with their audience.

You should inform a website editor of what you can offer and what you like about their website while sharing freelance writing samples. Ideally, it will help if you pitch a story idea that fits nicely with their content or niche.

Of course, not every pitch will work out, and that's okay. You can continue this path until you get a brand to take a chance. Once you've got this “big break,” you can prove to them that you were worth the risk.

Invest in the proper growth and learning tools

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Tools for new freelance writers
  • Save

The world of freelance writing keeps evolving. Therefore, you need to stay relevant and up-to-date with the ever-changing dynamics of the industry by investing in the right tools and courses. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and hone your skills.

Try hands-on techniques such as creative writing, academic writing, memoir, personal essay writing, business writing, medical writing, etc. This will help you learn basic and advanced skills from top-rated freelance writing instructors.

Here are 15 freelancing resources to help you master learning and productivity.

Expand your areas of work

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Expand expertise to get more potential clients
  • Save

One of the best and easiest ways to increase your income potential is to expand the areas of your expertise. For instance, you may have started as a freelance writer, but you can develop writing skills related to social media or search engine optimization. This will allow you to charge more for the content you create.

Keep going

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Keep working to find paid writing opportunities
  • Save

Sometimes, you'll feel like you need to change direction or stop altogether. There may also be instances where you'll be tempted to take a full-time job or consider giving up freelance writing.

These tough times are for remembering why you wanted to become a freelance writer in the first place. To succeed, you must believe in yourself and your freelance writing ability. Tough times don't last, but tough people can outlast them.

The Benefits of Being a Freelance Writer

A freelance writing career sounds exciting, but to thrive, long-time writers know the daily efforts that go into the craft. To succeed, one must put in the extra time and effort to develop skills appealing to many brands and companies looking for writers.

Nonetheless, there are countless benefits to becoming a freelance writer. Let's explore the benefits of freelance writing.

Time Independence

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Writing jobs with time independence
  • Save

This is one of the most significant advantages of the freelance lifestyle. You can work on your terms and take writing projects as per your availability and convenience. The best thing is that you can utilize the saved time to achieve a better work-life balance, thus allowing you to enjoy your life more.

However, you must follow a disciplined approach to efficiently manage your time, especially when no one tells you how to spend it.

Location Independence

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Work from anywhere as a paid freelance writer
  • Save

You can select where to spend your hours creating content with a freelance writing business. Most freelance content writers prefer to work from home, but you can always head to your favorite library, coffee shop, beach, or another inspiring location.

You can control your freelancing services when you are on vacation. However, you should avoid falling into the trap of working while on vacation. Achieving a balance between your time and energy spent on your freelance career is vital for long-term success.

Say Goodbye to Commuting

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Get remote writing jobs that requires zero commuting
  • Save

As a freelance writer, you aren't expected to commute to and from work. You can sit comfortably in your pajamas on the sofa or writing table, and work hours are convenient. You can save money by not spending on car maintenance, gas, eating lunch out, or fancy work clothes.

However, to be successful, you should draw a firm line between when you're at home and when you're at work when both are in the same place.

Do Things When You Want

How To Become a Freelance Writer - Get free time with your freelance business