5 Steps to Break into Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing
Remember that dream you’ve always had to make money working at home in your pajamas? You can make it come true by starting a freelance writing career. It’s the perfect option for stay-at-home-moms, as a side income for students and even to help fund your travels around the world.

Follow these five steps to help you break into freelance writing:

  1. Prepare a Writing-Focused Resume
  2. Reach deep into all the experiences you’ve had throughout your education and career to pull out every single example of writing that you can boast. More obvious examples include published articles and grant writing skills, but don’t forget to include key reports and essays for college for which you received stellar marks, captions for photos in newsletters, work reports, business letters and memos. Writing is a part of your daily life; you just may not have noticed it.

  3. Gather Writing Samples
  4. Not to fear if you don’t have any published writing samples yet. Many freelance writers have started with content creating companies, such as Demand Studios and wiseGEEK, to get their name out there. For these companies, you write up to three unpublished sample articles to get hired. Once hired, you often choose from a list of potential article titles and start popping out published writing samples that you can use to catch bigger and more lucrative clients. Another perk of these companies is that you get to work with experienced editors who can help you improve your writing style.

  5. Start a Blog
  6. Your blog will be your home base on the Internet. Here, you can establish your presence in the freelance writing world and your expertise as a writer. Not only will your blog posts function as samples of your writing, but you can also include an informative “About Me” page on your blog where you can advertise your services, include your curriculum vitae and link other writing samples.

    If you don’t have any ideas for blog posts, you can always start by documenting your experiences breaking into freelance writing. From this base, you can and should also connect with other freelance writers. Eventually, you can also try monetizing your blog for a source of passive income.

  7. Send Queries and Gain Clients
  8. Once you have an arsenal of writing samples, the world is your oyster. At this point, it’s up to you whether you want to apply for freelance writing or blogging jobs, connect with private clients or send queries to newspapers and magazines. Whatever you do, make sure you spend an equal amount of time writing and looking for more work. The life of a freelance writer is safest with a diversified income.

  9. Know Your Worth
  10. With solid writing samples, don’t settle for less when it comes to freelance writing. Regularly give yourself a raise based on your experience by looking for assignments that pay more. Save some money for the beginning stages of freelance writing when you may have to work for little or no pay in order to get published. Just remember that after a few months of writing high-quality published articles, you deserve more.

Can you share any other tips on getting started with freelance writing?

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10 Comments

  1. Posted April 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Some very interesting thoughts Samantha. I have done a freelancing bit but that is not my expertise thus I am still finding it difficult to break into the scene. I will definitely follow the tips…hope it works!

  2. Posted April 27, 2011 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Great post! I find the first three steps were pretty easy. Keeping those queries going out and having confidence in my worth are real challenges for me. I think that those two points keep many new freelancers from growing their career!

  3. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I know they’ll work, Hajra! =) Let me know if I can support you. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you started this journey with Janine? =) Yay!

  4. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree, Peggy! The last two points are toughest for my career as well. Regarding queries, it seems to help me when I plan out my schedule in advance! I also read a great tip on self worth recently — all we need to do is recite a self-talk to ourselves to remind us of our vision and passion every day! =)

    Thanks for commenting, Peggy! =)

  5. Posted April 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Wonderfully written and great advice.

  6. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Thanks, Tere! These tips really helped me out when I started, for sure. =)

  7. Posted April 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Very well written and organized. This reassures me that I’m on the right track :)

  8. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Yay! I’m so glad we’re on this journey together, Valerie! =) That way, we can help keep each other on track!

  9. Posted April 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful suggestions! Thanks for sharing them! . . . About DemandStudios . . . Have you tried them? I wasn’t sure if they were just like Examiner, so I don’t know if I wanted to go that route. Thanks!

  10. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Yes, I have, actually! I’ll send you an email with more details, Dayle! =)

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