How to Become a Freelance Writer: It's Easier than You Think
I never intended to be a freelance writer. That’s probably what a lot of freelance writers would tell you. I fell into it by writing and self-publishing a book on paying off student loans for young adults, called Close Your Tab & Don’t Look Back.
I used the fact that I was an author to propel me into a career in freelance when I lost my job. It was a way I could earn an income. I did it because I had to.
Since then, I’ve come to love the flexibility and variety that freelance writing offers.
Being a great writer requires talent and skill but everyone can write. Here’s how I became a freelance writer and how you can, too.
I’ve heard it said that the best writers are the best readers. Why? Because reading broadens your vocabulary, sparks creativity, and puts you in the mind of the reader.
Reading has helped me define my style and voice by noting what I liked and disliked from other writers. It’s helped me see things from the reader’s perspective. And it always gives me more ideas than if I had just watched Netflix instead.
Simply start writing. I started by writing a book on the side while I worked full-time. I also wrote blogs. I learned by doing. I became a better writer and a better editor of my own work by practicing.
I then started writing blogs for small businesses and getting paid. I used these small jobs and blogs I had written for free to build a portfolio. Building a portfolio helped me to land larger paid jobs.
So, start writing just for fun. Reach out to bloggers you follow and ask if you can contribute to their blogs. Start building a portfolio of work and create an online website (like SquareSpace or WordPress) to showcase your work.
Tell Your Network
Once I began professionally freelance writing and had self-published my book, I updated my LinkedIn profile heading and told my network. I told family, friends, and strangers. I introduced myself as an author and freelance writer at networking events.
I’ve learned you can give yourself whatever title you want. There are no rules. If you introduce yourself with confidence it doesn’t matter if you're inexperienced. People will believe it.
Update your Linkedin and other social media profiles. Tell people you are launching into freelance writing and see what happens. You may be surprised by connections and opportunities that come from it.
The next step I took transitioning was joining groups. I got connected with networking groups in similar industries that needed copywriters. I went through my network and reached out to people I knew might be interested in my services or I could learn something from them.
I also joined Facebook groups for writers such as the Freelance Content Marketing Writer and Freelance Writing Jobs. And lastly, I searched freelance job boards and websites like Problogger and Remote.co and started responding to posts with my resume and portfolio.
See? Becoming a freelance writer is really pretty easy. Read a lot. Write just as much - for yourself and other bloggers. Build a portfolio. Tell your network. And join groups and job boards. It’s really that simple to embark on a career as a freelance writer.
About the author
Angela Ozar is an author, speaker, and freelance copywriter. As an author and speaker, Angela shares tips from her book Close Your Tab & Don’t Look Back, on how to manage money and pay off student loan debt fast! She has written for Clever Girl Finance.com and The Financial Diet, and blogs at www.angelaozar.com. As a freelance copywriter, Angela works with agencies and specializes in writing for SEO and financial services. View her work here. Connect on LinkedIn and follow her at @author_angela_ozar on Instagram.