Freelance writing seems to be the dream for many in the personal finance blogosphere these days. I think if I hadn’t already been a freelancer before I started this blog, I would definitely want to get in on it, too! The question that always comes up is, “how did you get started?” Here’s my story.
My first freelance writing gigs were found the old-fashioned way, through someone I knew. It wasn’t even my idea to start freelancing, actually. I was just blogging, staying home with my baby while living in a foreign country. An opportunity came up to make some money at home, and I thought, why not?
All of my communication with the client was done via Skype. He would send me topics, and I would produce a piece and send it over to him. The articles usually ranged between 300-500 words. Payouts happened twice a week, via PayPal.
It was a great arrangement for me, at the time. The money wasn’t amazing, but I made a goal for myself to pay off my student loans with my earnings. I consider myself to be a talented writer, so it was a natural fit. Eventually, I started to look for other opportunities on the web, and luckily I’ve found quite a few! Almost 3 years later, and I’m still typing away.
How to Start Freelance Writing Today
There are many ways that you can start writing for money online. I would suggest that you first decide what exactly you want to get out of it. Are you hoping to make this a full-time thing to replace a day job? Are you just looking for a side hustle? Is this something that you are able to commit a lot of time to, or just a little time here and there?
How you answer those questions will influence where you begin your search for work.
If you’re just looking for a side hustle, you may want to consider working with a content provider. These sites usually offer low pay, and are referred to as “content mills”, but if you just want some easy work for quick cash, you might consider checking them out. Here are a few that I know of, but do not have personal experience with:
A great resource for finding jobs is the ProBlogger job board. Keep in mind that there’s probably a ton of competition for those jobs, since it’s a popular site, but it’s worth a try. I scan it every week or so to see if there is anything up my alley, and I sent out an email if something seems like a good fit.
Start a Blog
I recommend either creating a website to promote your writing skills, or making a Hire Me page on your blog. It’s a place where you can direct potential clients if they want to see examples of your writing style and work. It can also help to bring clients to you.
If you don’t have a bog already, it’s so very easy to get one started today! Since you want to look professional, I would suggest going for a self-hosted website. You can do this with Bluehost, as they are very affordable and make the entire process a breeze.
Bluehost takes you through the process, step by step. You can register your domain name, set up hosting, install WordPress, and begin blogging today. I think this is really a must if you’re serious about being a freelance writer and blogger.
Blogging also provides you the opportunity to hone your writing skills. By getting familiar with the WordPress format, you open up more possibilities. Many business sites use WordPress, and they may want you to have experience blogging on this platform.
How to Set Freelance Writing Rates
One of the things that you’ll need to do at some point is set your freelance writing rates. You don’t want to just pick a number out of your hat, though. You want to be sure that you are valuing your time.
If you’re writing for content creation sites, you won’t get to dictate your rates. Most sites base payment amounts on your writing level and the word count. Eventually, you can increase your pay rate by being promoted to higher levels.
When calculating your freelance writing rates, take research into account. It isn’t just about how long you spend writing a piece and how many words it is. There’s also the time that you have spent communicating back and forth with the client, researching a topic, sending files, etc. These are the things that I keep in mind when setting my freelance writing rates.
Freelance writing can be competitive, but there’s plenty of room for more voices. If you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, I say go for it! Just put yourself out there and see what happens.
Are you interested in freelance writing? Would you like to make it a full-time gig, or just do it as a side hustle?