How to Become a Freelance Writer in 24hrs or Less
Freelance writing is lucrative if you know what you are doing.
Am sure it has crossed your mind. All the stuff you read online. Someone sat down and wrote it.
The machines are fast catching up, but they still aren’t that good. Worry not. At least not for now. As the saying goes, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there…if we do get there.
Freelance writers can make $35,000 in their first year. Many factors determine that figure. For example, your experience, relevant education, niche and most importantly hustle.
Don’t let anyone lie to you. Making that figure is difficult. It’s not rocket science.
It’s the same thing with writing. You become a freelance writer when you decide you are one. Nothing complicated about that.
That isn’t the end of the story though. You have to take freelance writing as a business if you wish to succeed. This is not just a hobby.
The good news is that freelance writing can make a significant side hustle, or even earn you a livable wage. As I said in the beginning, you just have to know what you are doing.
So how do you become a freelance writer in 24 hours or less?
Decide you’re are a writer.
Have you ever written anything? A text, an email, a report, a journal entry? Great. You are a writer already.
When most of us think of freelance writing, the first thoughts that come to mind is getting published. Or you think of the books or the articles that you’ve read. You imagine that only those people are worthy of the title “writer.”
The reality is, most of us have written something. Becoming a freelance writer is just a transition from your day to day writing to something more professional. Or something that pays the bills.
The first then on how to become a freelance writer in 24 hrs or less is to believe can write. Get over that hurdle now. Take a break from reading this post and repeat this:
I am a writer!
“All of the truly important battles are waged within the self.” Sheldon B. Kopp
Alright, battle #1 won. You are a freelance writer now.
Let’s get “technical now.”
Pick a niche (or don’t)
The niche debate is endless. We won’t get into it right now.
One faction believes that you must pick a niche before you even get your first client.
Another school of thought postulates that you can dabble in general topics and make ends meet.
In 24 hours or less, I say we narrow it down as much as possible.
We’ll go back to some fundamental questions. Same questions that come to mind when you are choosing a career.
- What am I good at?
- What am I passionate about?
- What do I want to write about?
- What is my area of expertise?
- What do I enjoy writing about?
- What can I get paid to write about?
- Where is the money?
- What are the emerging areas, or old areas that could do with new ideas?
Good. You have a great idea of what you want to write about. I say that’s battle #2 won.
Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.
Know where to find clients
The next step in becoming a freelance writer is knowing where to find clients. Don’t sweat it. We can do this together.
Am assuming you have a rough idea of what you want to write about. It can be cat food, fishing, getting in shape or whatever your area of expertise is.
Various publications hire freelance writers for their needs. To give you a rough idea:
- Trade journals
- Websites and blogs
- Church organizations
- Non-profit groups
- Special interest groups
- Your local country club
- Small businesses
- Fortune 500 businesses
- Facebook groups
You name it. They all require something written.
The trick here is to come up with a list of potential clients and publications to target.
From there you pitch your heart out.
Yes, I said pitch.
To become a paid freelance writer you need clients. And to get clients you have to pitch. Don’t give up on me now. Let’s do this together:
A pitch is about communicating the value you can offer the client. As simple as that.
For example, you can help the client bring in more readers. Or, you can help explain their product. Think about value when you think about pitching. Know your client’s goals and align your pitch with that.
Check out some real-life freelance writing pitches that sold here.
This is just to give you an idea of how to pitch.
So where do you find the clients?
Honestly, depending on what you want to write about, they could be anywhere. This, however, is about how to become a freelance writer in 24 hours or less. So, let us delve into some popular suggestions to get you started.
- BloggingPro Job Board
- Journalism Jobs
- Media Bistro
- ProBlogger Job Board
- Morning Coffee Newsletter
- Linkedin Jobs
- The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs
- Be a Freelance Blogger Job Board
Calculate how much to charge
Show me the money. We just had to borrow a movie line.
Freelance writers charge anything from zero to 6 figures. It depends on you and your writing goals.
You can use PayScale to gauge how much people in similar positions and locations get paid.
That should give you a rough figure. Rule of thumb. We are Casual Capitalists. We don’t want you to starve. So factor in your needs, time to write and experience when quoting a figure.
Don’t go low. Trust me. If you believe in your skills, aim a little bit higher.
The higher you charge per word, the most likely clients are to believe in your skills.
That said, on average, freelance writers can make about $20-$30 an hour. That figure is subjective. There is no agreed on number on how much you can charge.
As mentioned. Get paid what you are worth.
Become a freelance writer – Get writing
Practice makes perfect.
You won’t make the big bucks if you don’t practice your craft. Now is the time to learn a bit about the writing craft.
I suggest you grab The Elements of Style by William Strunk. Of course, you won’t read it all in the next 24 hours. It’ll be like your Bible or holy book. You thumb through it regularly.
However, don’t let all the rules and grammar suggestions impede your journey. Some freelance writers make six figures and don’t even know who that Strunk guy is.
Fire up the internet and read some tips on good writing. And then write. Write a journal, write anything. It’ll give you the discipline and practice required to come up with ideas and communicate them effectively.
So to recap:
- Decide you are a writer
- Pick a niche (or don’t)
- Find your first client
- Calculate how much to charge
- Get writing
Get over your fear of freelance writing. The goal is not to produce the next A Tale of Two Cities or War and Peace. It’s to write something of value to someone. Writing is about communication when you boil it down.
That’s how to become a freelance writer in 24 hours or less. If you still need a “blessing”, let’s borrow one from the wedding vows:
“By the power vested on me etc etc, I now pronounce you a freelance writer. Now go ahead and write something!”