How to Become a Freelance Writer: Step by Step Guide + Best Practices for a Rewarding Career

Freelancing is undoubtedly one of the most attractive lifestyles in the present era. It’s not merely an occupation but a lifestyle; because once you become a freelance content writer, it can be a life-changing experience.  
An incredible amount of effort and planning goes into shaping one’s career as a freelancer. So if you want to grab your piece of cake as a freelance writer, this guide will be your companion.

Freelance Content Writing: An Overview of What to Expect

Freelance writing can be simply put as Finding people who need your writing service, creating content for them and being paid for offering your expertise. When you work as a freelance writer, you work for yourself. This means you won’t be reporting to a boss or a manager.
You will be accountable for your work, your pay and your skills. Sounds easy, right?
It is. The issue comes when it’s about finding people who want your services. But don’t worry, we’ll talk about finding freelance clients later on.
For now, let’s see what exactly it takes to become a freelance content writer.

How to become a freelance writer?

Freelance writing is about creating content that suits the client’s requirement. And this requirement ranges from blog post to captions, from landing pages to newsletter and even more.
You can take this as your career at any age because there’s no restrictions for this. Brands and business want well-written content and generally don’t bother about your qualifications or age.
There are exceptions and some companies may ask you to have specific qualifications. But that is not a common thing so you don’t have to worry about it.
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There will be two kinds of people who want to become a freelance writer: those who have no experience and those who have some kind of writing experience. So let’s see how each of them can start freelance writing.

How to become a freelance writer with no experience? 

You do not need a specific degree for becoming a freelance content writer. If someone has a degree in literature, journalism or English then surely they will have an edge over the others. But if you do not have these, then don’t worry because becoming a freelance writer is all about developing your skills.
You must have excellent writing skills because you will be responsible for writing content.
You can take up writing internships or training. Online trainings and courses are a great resource if you want to spend less and learn more. "The Complete Content Writing Course- 3 Courses in 1" is one such online training that we would highly recommend because it has got everything related to content writing. You'll be learning so much more than you invest in this online course. (It's available for just $9.99 for life time access).
To develop your writing skills, you must listen and speak in English more often.
This would help you in writing well too. The simplest way is to read novels, magazines or newspapers- basically, anything that is written in English. (Or the language in which you will be writing)
The next steps in becoming a freelance writer will be similar to someone who has previous writing experience.

If you have some previous writing experience: 

If you have some experience in writing whether as a full-time content writer or editor, then it will be easier for you to start working as a freelance writer. You can show your previous experience in the form of a portfolio, which would help in getting clients.
Now, let’s see how you can create a career in freelance writing along with some best practices to make it big in this field.  

How to start freelance content writing? 

If you are determined to become a freelance content writer, here are some steps that will guide you in your journey.
    #1  Research About It: 
     it may sound like an obvious step, but most people miss it. If you want to start freelancing or anything else, simply start researching about it. What exactly it is, how it can be done, what is the easy way to achieve it, etc. You need to search for everything related to freelance writing.
This will bring up new terms and information that you were not aware about. It can even guide you on what to do and what things you must avoid when taking this as your career choice.
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You can also research on specific topics that you want to write about for example fitness, beauty or technology. Researching will help you in finding new ways of writing a certain thing, or it may help you in discovering new words that you can use. 
#2 Practice Writing: 
It may sound cliché, but it’s certainly one thing that you should understand if you want to work as a freelancer. When you practice a skill, it becomes easier for you. Once you start writing more often, you will be able to eliminate mistakes and writer better.
     #3   Discover Writing & Editing Tools
     There are hundreds of tools that can help you in enhancing your writing skills. You can choose whether you want to use the free ones or paid ones. But make sure you use them because they will make your task easier. You can use tools which can help you in finding errors or copied content or other tools that suggest topics for writing content.
     #4 Create Your Portfolio: 
     This is an absolute must-have before claiming yourself a freelance writer. When you approach a client, they will ask for your portfolio. As a freelance writer, you can start your own blog and write articles on it which you can showcase as your portfolio.
You can even create a website and put up some of your best write-ups as a part of your portfolio. If you have some previous experience, you can add links to them in your portfolio.
Present your best writings as clients will judge you based on these. Remember, clients will judge you and decide to hire you based on your portfolio, so make sure you give your best shot.
      #5 Networking: 
      You will need to network and find people who would be interested in your work. The easiest way is to apply to job portals that offer freelance writing gigs. Or you can ask your friends and relatives to refer to someone who would be interested in your services.
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     #6. Ask for referrals: 
     Once you start getting some clients, always make sure to ask them for referrals. This would help you in getting more freelance writing work.

Best Practices for Becoming a Freelance Content Writer: 

1.    Keep Learning: Even if you start getting multiple writing jobs from clients, don’t stop learning. Online marketing and writing changes quite frequently and new trends always show up so keep learning and developing your skills. 
2.    Expand your portfolio: Once you have some clients, make sure you update your portfolio. You can even present the logos of brands you have worked with. This would make you more credible and your future clients would be happy to work with you. 
3.    Be patient: freelancing may bring you some of the best and worst days in terms of work and money. Sometimes you’ll have lots of work and other times you won’t have a single project. In moments like these, you must be patient because freelance writing is not a stable career when you are just starting out. But once you establish yourself, you can expect some great work as well as income from your freelance writing business. 
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There you go!
Those were some of the best practices that you will find useful in your career as a freelance writer. If you are excited to make a career in it, I would suggest you pick a topic of your choice and start writing.
Here are your next steps:
Start researching more, pick a few topics of your choice and write a few articles. Set up a portfolio and start pitching to potential clients and make your way towards a rewarding career as a freelance writer.
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