Prior to beginning freelance writing work, I worked in an Early Childhood Education setting for ten years. When I became pregnant with my fourth (yes FOURTH) child, I was let go from my teaching position.
I was devastated as teaching is something I truly loved doing.
After the initial shock wore off, however, I began to think about what I could do for income while staying at home with my newborn, who would be born soon. We had been counting on still having a paycheck for a few months into the school year and then having maternity pay.
I needed to find something, and I needed to find it fast.
Having always had a passion for writing, I naturally turned to look at ways to make money using that skill.
When I first started looking, I was mostly interested in starting up a blog so that I could practice my skills and perhaps monetize the blog in the future.
So I sat down, started up a blog, and got started writing.
That was pretty much where it ended.
I didn’t have any real plan as to what I was doing, and I didn’t put very much effort into my writing. I was pretty much just treating it like a hobby.
A few months went by and as my savings started dwindling, I realized I needed to get more serious about my search for work. I began looking into ways beyond blogging to make money online with my writing.
That is when I turned to freelance writing.
After some initial research, I discovered I could make an actual living wage from this type of work, and I could do it while staying at home with my precious newborn.
If you are looking into finding a legit way to make money online at home…
Freelance writing is a great place to start.
Though my writing skills are definitely the reason I began looking into this career path, you do not necessarily need them to get started. If you have a excellent understanding of the English language, can type decently and have the ability to produce coherent topics and writing, you can get started in this career as well.
Here are the basic steps I took to begin my career as a freelance writer.
Take a course
One of the first things I did was start researching how to actually do this right. I had previously tried blogging and realized that with no guidance I was getting nowhere.
I found Elna’s free writing course and immediately subscribed to it. This course really helped me to get the motivation I needed to get started, but I, of course, wanted something even more to sink my teeth into.
I wanted something that could take me step- by- step into the direction that I needed to get started on this path.
I discovered that Elna also had a full writing course called Write Your Way to Your First 1K.
I decided to stop treating my writing like a hobby and to treat it as a business. I invested in this course, and after only TWO DAYS, I landed my very first PAYING client.
So to say this course was a game changer for me is an understatement. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting serious about a career as a freelance writer.
Decide On Your Niche
If you have spent any amount of time in the freelance writing world, you will have heard this word often.
In case you haven’t your niche is basically what you want to write about.
You can decide your niche on a number of factors, including:
-Thinking about what type of client you would like to write for
-What kind of work you would like to do
-Base it on your past jobs, hobbies, education, and interests.
For example, my niche topics include, parenting, lifestyle, and more recently digital marketing.
Create Some Samples
Once you decide what you want to write about, you can begin creating some samples.
You cannot show your credibility as a freelance writer if you do not have any samples to show prospective clients.
There are a few ways to create samples to share, you can choose one or more of the following:
1. Create from Scratch
Hop on Google Docs and create a few samples from scratch. Just type up a few sample blog posts, articles, or emails in your chosen niche. Save the link, and share away.
2. Guest Post
This is by far one of my favorite ways to create samples.
It gives you credibility in the writing world to show that you have the skills needed to have something published by another writer. It shows that you have at least a few writing skills, and can work well with others. It also boosts your confidence level to have something published and gives proof in the social world that you are truly a writer. If you need to find places to guest post, a simple google search of “niche+guest post” or “niche+write for us” is a good place to start. (Bonus some of these blogs will actually PAY you to guest post for them!)
3. Start a Blog
If you are truly interested in making a living as a writer, then you are going to need to start a blog.
Your blog can double as your writer website (mine does).
A website or blog instantly makes you appear more professional and gives you a super boost of confidence that you are a true writer.
It will also help you in landing high paying clients.
Clients like to work with people who are pursuing this as a career and not just hobby writers. If you would like to start a blog but are unsure where to start Elna has another course called Writer Website in a Weekend that I highly recommend! It walks you through step by step on how to set up your blog for freelance writing.
If you are familiar with starting a blog but just need an idea on where to turn for hosting I suggest site ground! They are who I use for my hosting and they have been amazing!
4. Use What You Have
You can also try to just use samples you already have.
Did you write a paper in college? Help someone with a resume? Help your dad out with advertising for his business? In the beginning, you want to look wherever you can for writing samples to add to your portfolio. Your clients want to see how you portray yourself in your writing, and they can only see this through relevant samples.
Put Your Samples On Display
Now that you have some samples, you need a place to house them.
If you jumped in and started your blog, you can create a portfolio page and display them there.
If you do not yet have a blog, another option is to create a google document, with links to your relevant writing samples. You can also create a free profile on LinkedIn, and use this as your portfolio to showcase for prospective clients.
Get a PayPal
If you want to get paid for your writing you are going to want to set up a PayPal account.
99% of clients you work for are going to want to pay you securely through a PayPal account.
Many will not even accept you as a freelance writer unless you have one.
Creating an account is easy and takes just a few minutes. It is a good idea to have your account linked to a professional email, and not your fluffy high school username. (Remember you are wanting to appear professional.)
Find Writing Jobs
This obviously goes without saying, but the most important part of becoming a freelance writer is securing a few paying gigs.
If you are in need of cash fast you can try writing for a few one and done places. You will not be able to make a real living completing these types of jobs, but it helps if you need a quick cash flow and you are just wanting to get some practice writing, you can try boards such as this, to get started.
If you are ready to start making a living from writing you should start by searching job boards such as Problogger or Blogging Pro.
These have legit writing opportunities and are actually how I landed my first paying job!
If you are lucky you will land a job with recurring work that will boost your confidence, give you plenty of chances to work on your skills and really fluff your portfolio- helping you to find and land even more paying jobs.
If you are serious about beginning this journey, get started today!
Enroll in Elna’s course and begin your freelance writing career NOW!
Jenna is a former Early Childhood Educator who now spends her days chasing after her four rambunctious children all while pursuing a freelance writing career, guest posting, writing for the website Mommyish, and running her own blog. As a writer, she is passionate about bringing charisma and color to everything she writes. You can find out more about Jenna by visiting her website or by clicking the social media buttons below.