Working as a Freelance Writer
Working as a freelance writer is a remarkable, lucrative, and secure path to take if you want to freelance. However, there are both pros and cons to working as a freelance writer of which you should be aware. Let’s talk about what it takes, how you can get started, and the pitfalls you will want to avoid, making writing for others a successful freelance business for you.
"Working as a freelance writer is a remarkable, lucrative, and secure path to take if you want to freelance."
What It Takes
To be a writer today, you really don’t need a writing degree. What you do need is the ability to write in a conversational tone to the audience that is going to read the work per your customer’s specifications. How much you can make writing depends on your customers and the type of writing you do.
For example, if you write sales pages, you may be able to charge based on how much money you think they’re going to make from the campaign. If you write blog post content, you will likely want to charge per word or page of writing depending on how much research you need to do. You can make from $20 to $1000 a page. It really depends on your customers, their niche, and what the deliverables include.
If you are going to do the writing yourself, you’ll need to be able to set aside enough time to do the actual writing in addition to marketing your services. If you outsource the writing, you may need to hire writers, editors, and project managers to make the process run smoothly, or you may want to act as the project manager yourself.
It really depends on the type of work you want to do and how much money you want to earn. Some writers prefer to work alone, and others like building a big team, and do best finding clients for their team over finding clients for themselves and doing the work themselves. It’s totally up to you and the type of freelancer you want to become.
"This type of writing commands a higher rate, too, although it’s going to be harder to find clients. When you specialize, you can charge more, but you’ll work with fewer people too."
How to Get Started
To get started as a writer, you’ll need first to determine what skills you have. For basic content writing, if you know how to write an average of a 500- to 1500-word article about the topic in question, based on your research, you can likely get started with that now.
But for copy-writing that appears on sales pages, landing pages, and advertisements, which is more specialized writing, you may need to take a class or develop some experience since it’s a particular type of writing. This type of writing commands a higher rate, too, although it’s going to be harder to find clients. When you specialize, you can charge more, but you’ll work with fewer people too.
Articles are typically written at about the sixth-grade level and offer a general overview of the topic. More in-depth writing will require more knowledge and research chops, thus command a higher pay rate. Many website owners work with content writers to produce 30 or more articles each month, whereas they may only need one landing page a month or sales page a month.
Start with one type of writing for one specific customer for now. You can always add more services on later but starting with one type of writing for one type of customer makes it a lot easier for you to find your market than spreading yourself too thin at first.
When you figure out that one thing you want to do, set up a website, social media platforms, and an email autoresponder and do for you what you tell your customers you’ll do for them until you are working with enough people to fill up your time.
Finally, you’ll need to avoid the many pitfalls of writing for a living such as avoiding customers who are not the right fit for you, who want to underpay you for your expertise and time, and who don’t value you as a human. Of course, you’ll also need to ensure that you have set aside enough time to produce enough writing to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself monetarily while also providing you balance in your life.