Do you know that it’s doable for someone to start freelance writing with no experience in 2023?
Many people have been dreaming of becoming freelance writers for a long time, and they think they need tons of experience to start. Having experience is a good thing, however, it is not a prerequisite for starting.
In this blog post, I’ll be revealing to you the actionable steps on how to start the freelance writing hustle, even if you know nothing about it.
Freelance writing allows you to work on your schedule–as much as you want, wherever you want, and whenever you want. It’s one of the most lucrative online hustles you can start with no money and no experience–if you are ready to learn and put in the work.
What is freelance writing?
Let me put it simply: freelance writing involves working as a self-employed person who writes articles, white papers, blogs, books, and other text-based content for one or more clients to make money.
Freelancers frequently operate from coworking facilities, cafés, homes, and parks. The hustle is location independent as they are free to work from anywhere and take their hustles anywhere.
Although some jobs may be paid hourly, freelance writers are typically compensated based on the volume of work they complete for a customer. Setting a fee per word or for a specified quantity of weekly articles is one way to accomplish this.
Clients hire freelance writers to write content on a wide range of topics. This makes some writers start and stay as generalists. Some freelancers specialise in a niche they like or have experience in because it helps them build their profile as specialists in the topic and charge more for their services.
How much can you make as a freelance writer?
No doubt, freelance writers earn much more than the basic minimum wage and work less and flexibly on most days, unlike full-time workers. Even, some writers earn severalfold than some full-time workers.
Freelance writers don’t earn fix amount of money every month. Their income is determined by different factors like the number of gigs they can complete, the kinds of clients they serve, the niches they specialized in, their hourly rate, how much they charge per word, how much they earn per project, and their experience.
The freelance writers who charge per project set a flat rate for every writing project they take and complete. They charge $5 to $100, even more per article/project. And this is not fixed. They can increase their rate as deemed fit.
Another method freelance writers use to set their rates is the word. They charge by the number of words written. Clients set the target number of words to hit in a project, and the writers do the calculations and forward them to the clients for approval. Once the project is done, the writer gets paid as agreed.
Freelance writers charge between $0.05 to $1 per word. Beginner writers charge much less while experienced writers charge much more.
Technical writers make much more than other types of writers in the field of writing. So, the technical niches’ rate per word is higher than other niches.
Those who charge hourly rates do between $20 to $100 per hour. Different factors are taken into consideration to pick hourly rates for writing services: the experience level of the freelance writer; the difficulty of the subject to write about; the experience level; the kind of writing.
What are the tools you need to start freelance writing?
1 . Laptop/phone/tab
The number one tool you need is the hardware tool for most other tools you will be using for writing. Laptop/phone/tab will be used to type, edit, and save words electronically. It is the house for other software tools you will be using for work.
The question that always comes to mind is can I start freelance writing without a laptop? It’s possible, but working on phones and tabs is stressful as they won’t allow you to view and format content properly.
However, you can start with your smartphone with the hope of getting a laptop once the hustle is picking up. Truth be told: you can’t handle big projects with a smartphone. You can use the three together. Phones and tabs offer flexibility while researching topics to create content for.
2 . Web browser
A web browser is a piece of software that enables users to find, access, and view web pages. The term “browser” is frequently used to refer to a web browser.
A web browser is used to surf the web to dig out information one is looking for. The work of a freelancer involves carrying out research on projects/topics given. The browser will be used to read about familiar and unfamiliar information you want to write about.
Examples of browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, DuckDuckGo, etc. Chrome is the king. You will need at least two browsers to work smoothly as a freelance writer.
2. Word Processor
A word processor is a software program that is used to type, edit, and store text electronically by entering commands and characters from the keyboard.
There are different types of word processors. There are paid and free ones. The most common ones you can use are Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
3. Note App and Physical Notepad
Note apps and physical notepads take quick notes and record information against forgetfulness when researching and writing.
For writers, note apps and note pads come in handy as life savers. They save time and energy and also make work to be a smooth ride.
Google Keep app is one the best free note app you can use. Any physical note-taking pad is fine. It should be handy enough to carry around.
A dictionary needs no introduction because I assume you know what is it. But if you don’t, simply use google.
As a writer, a dictionary is your best companion. You will be using it to check the meanings and usages of words in sentences, correct spellings and synonyms.
You will be using both physical and virtual ones for your work. There are free ones you can install on your phone, tab, or computer.
5. Plagiarism checker
Plagiarism checker detects plagiarised content. Some writers simply copy and paste when writing. The main work of a plagiarism checker is to detect already written words on the Internet by scanning through the content.
You will be doing a lot of research and rewritings as you can not know about all the topics you are creating content for. You will be using a plagiarism checker to scan your works before delivering them to clients.
A proofreader is an online software used to check for spelling, grammatical and punctuation marks errors in sentences.
It scans through your content in minutes and underlines where the errors are in the sentence.
The best proofreader is Grammarly. It has a free plan and a premium one. Simply installed it on your system, register and start using it.
Step-by-step guide on how to start freelance writing with no experience
1. Invest in learning how to write or brush up on your writing skills
No doubt, learning is a skill which means it can be learned, built and improved. Like other skills, if you are not a good writer, you should invest in gaining knowledge on how to write.
However, if you are good at writing, you are not exempt from learning and brushing up your skills. Also, if you are finding it difficult to comprehend the whole thing called freelance writing, you need to get some knowledge.
Getting Into Online Writing + Superhuman Guide by Ajulu is a good resource that I have used personally for myself and recommended to people who want to go into writing online and make a good income.
The ebook teaches you how to pinpoint what to write about, generate insights on your topic, rewrite for clarity, intrigue, and succinctness, and rewrite for style and flow.
Ajulu shares selflessly how he crossed over N1 million in earnings in 3 months of writing online. If you are ready to dabble in the world of freelance writing, get a copy of the ebook today before it’s too late. Click here to make an order.
Furthermore, you know your capacity when it comes to writing. You need to get some books online or offline to brush up on your writing skill. Books on English Grammar, Punctuation, and Writing etiquette. If you need recommendations, chat with me on WhatsApp.
After this step, you can proceed to the next.
2. Choose a niche
A niche is a particular topic you choose to write about. The topic should be what interests you so that you can create content for it easily, and be able to research extensively to deliver good works to your clients.
There are many niches out there. Some are more lucrative than others. The niches are technology, finance, entrepreneurship, blockchain & cryptocurrency, health, education, nutrition, alternative health, mental wellness, marketing, beauty, fashion, education, SEO, etc.
After choosing a niche to specialise in, you can now proceed to pick a service to offer under the niche.
The services you can offer are copywriting, blog article writing, white paper writing, web page content, product description writing, ebook writing, social media posts, editing and proofreading, transcription writing, etc.
If you’re confused about the niche to pick, you can start as a generalist. But do not delay picking a niche on time. You might be able to quickly create a clientele as a generalist freelance writer, but you won’t be able to earn much money.
A generalist freelance writer’s career is unsustainable. Why? Because reputable clients that pay much want to hire a professional. Your ability to build knowledge and success in this particular field depends on narrowing your speciality to attract high-paying clients.
After all, if you were a technology company, who would you rather hire? A freelance writer with samples from a variety of categories like construction, tax law, and technology, or a freelance writer with samples only in technical writing? Of course, you’d hire a technical writer!
3. Build your portfolio
Before you get hired by any client, you have to show your work or they have to see the content you have created. This is why clients request samples. You need to build your portfolio to attract and hold paying clients.
You do not need to have a client before having a portfolio of your work. You can create like three samples for imaginary clients. These samples need to be astounding to convince clients to hire you. Because prospective clients only hire based on the quality of work in your portfolio.
4. Start pitching to potential clients
Freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and ServiceScape connect writers to people who need writing services. The platforms are not solely for writing gigs alone but also for other gigs like graphic design, web development, digital marketing, and cyber security–anyone can register on these platforms, bid for gigs, get hired, and get paid after completion of the gig.
The competition on these platforms is steep. Not beginner-friendly because there is a high number of freelancers competing for the same gig as you. People tend to hire freelancers with experience and reviews.
For this reason, I always prefer cold pitching, especially for beginners. The process of approaching a potential client you have never seen or met before and pitching your services to them is called cold pitching.
Using the method means you can beat competition aside by reaching out to people directly and individually. This implies you can set your charges. Additionally, you can only pitch clients you’re genuinely interested in working with.
Are you wondering how to get the contact details of the potential clients to pitch? This is how to go about it simply: If you are offering a blog article-writing service, search for blogs that fall into your niche category, check their contact page for contact information and send emails to pitch your services.
If you don’t know how to write cold emails, you can check on the Internet for samples and rewrite them to suit your service and taste.
5 . Decide your rates and working time
After cold-pitching, the next thing to do is to decide your charges and working time. As previously said, there are three different methods writers use to charge their clients. They charge per project, by the number of words and per hour.
There is no one rule for charging clients. You can pick anyone you like to use. And you can use all the methods based on the writing contract you’re taking.
Beginner writers charge low, in the beginning, to attract clients. As time goes on and there is more demand for their service than they can handle, they increase their fees to make more money and work less. They also outsource projects to budding writers to handle and give final touchings to the works after completion.
If you don’t know
what to charge your clients, do some checking online. Make use of the Google search engine. Check popular freelancing platforms to see what and how people are charging.
Time is the currency of life. It will take you time to create content for clients. You have to decide on the number of hours you want to dedicate to work in a day. Surely, you cannot work a whole day to avoid burnout. You need free time to read and recharge, too.
Wrapping Things Up
Finally, you have made it to the end of the complete guide on starting a freelance writing hustle with no experience in 2023. With this post, you can begin your freelance writing hustle now if you take action.
I’m confident that you will find this guide helpful.
Let me know if you have any questions, contributions, contrary opinions or other thoughts.
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