If you have a passion for writing and dream of working for yourself, freelance writing could be exactly what you are looking for. The best part? You don’t need to have experience, be a native speaker of English, or have a university degree to make your dream come true.
However, like any other job, you will need some skills to deliver valuable, engaging, and impactful content. The space for digital content creation is constantly evolving, and as a creator, you need to move to a higher level
Read on to find out how you can become a freelance writer with no experience and the skills you need to get started and excel in the freelance writing industry.
Basic Skills to Become a Freelance Writer
Communication through writing is the most basic skill you need to become a freelance writer, but it doesn’t stop there. Below are some of the skills you will need to become a great writer if your passion is your passion.
1). Edit skills
Editing allows you to polish up your work and adapt it to your target audience. You can do this with the help of editing tools like grammar as these make editing a lot easier.
Self-editing skills are critical to writing high quality pieces, but they also add to the scope of your work beyond just writing. At times when you may not feel like writing, you can start editing and proofreading jobs, as these don’t take as much effort as writing.
2). Perfect pitching skills
Pitching skills are useful when looking for clients to write for. Hence, in order to get jobs, you need to learn the art of bidding.
If you have a company in mind to write for, study their industry and find out about it before voicing your interests. This way you can send relevant and personalized pitches and ideas that increase your recruitment opportunities.
3). Ability to meet deadlines
As a freelance writer, excellent time management skills are critical to meeting deadlines and getting things done quickly.
If you frequently miss appointments, you will quickly run out of clients while meeting deadlines without compromising the quality of your work. Always measure how much work you can get done in a given amount of time, then organize yourself so that you prioritize the important things first.
4). Excellent research skills
Well-researched content builds the credibility of your customers and readers and shows you as a writer who knows what you are talking about. Excellent research skills even allow you to write on topics you know little about so that you are not limited to a specific industry.
While the best sources of information are on the Internet, you need to expand your research sources to include books and even interviews and avoid relying only on the first page of your favorite search engine.
Scroll through the top 100 Google results so you don’t miss the important things people are looking for.
5). Knowledge of SEO
When you understand SEO, you can create content that will appeal to search engines, drive traffic, and inspire your readers to take the action they want.
This includes using keywords appropriately, creating optimized headings and descriptions, and formatting your content accordingly SEO best practices.
Always make sure that your content matches the search intent of the users as this is the foundation of your customers’ business. Your customer needs content that people can take action with. If your content doesn’t match the search intent, readers will most likely bounce back. No business for your customers means no business for you.
Practical steps to become a freelance writer with no experience
The first step in your search for a freelance writer should make sure that you are acquiring all of the required skills. Then follow the steps below to find your first job and subsequent clients as a newcomer writer.
(i) Build a network of freelance writers
Creating meaningful relationships is the best place to start when trying to become a freelance writer with no experience. After all, most new writers get their first jobs through referrals and referrals.
Use social media spaces and online platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook groups to connect with writers who will add value to your freelance writing career.
An excellent network not only gives you tips on freelance writing, but can also point you to job vacancies and recommend you to clients.
(ii) Join a freelance writing platform / agency
For most newcomer writers, joining a writing agency is one of the best ways to get started. Numerous agencies provide a platform for new writers to improve their writing skills while making money. In addition, you are sure that you will have to pay for your work as most new writers struggle to keep track of payments from their clients.
Joining a writing agency gives you the opportunity to build your portfolio, attract clients, and grow as a writer as most agencies offer support for beginners. Just make sure you only have credible agencies that are well established. The pay won’t be as good, but it will still be the best place to start to build your writing portfolio
(iii) Create your author profile
As a writer just starting out, an impressive profile will bring you jobs in no time. While you don’t necessarily need to be experienced, you need samples to show your customers that you can deliver what they are looking for.
So consider the following:
- Write and refine your examples and have them published on free platforms like LinkedIn or Medium
- Start your own blog where you publish your content and showcase your portfolio. For example, I get direct customers through my blog AspiredBlog
- Guest post on other blogs to present yourself to customers.
- Request testimonials from your past customers and present them on your website.
(iv) Start with topics that you are most comfortable with
Since you’re starting out with no prior freelance writing experience, it’s much easier to start from a knowledge point. Pick a niche that interests you best by identifying topics that you are most familiar with.
Do you have a passion for health and nutrition, finance or real estate? If so, start writing and looking for clients in these fields as you work your way up as a freelance writer.
(v) Pitch fearless
Master the art of cold calling, hone your pitching skills, and market yourself boldly. When identifying a client to work with, don’t be shy about pitching as it could turn into a lucrative business.
Although it is quiet at first, you will get better at practicing if you consistently and regularly reach out to prospects. Make sure to get your clients’ permission if necessary if you want to use the parts you worked independently on as samples.
You can also find freelance writing jobs by browsing freelance job boards and applying for jobs that fit your niche.
With the above tips, you can be sure to hack as you become a freelance writer with no experience.
Keep in mind that it may take you a while to master the craft, but your discipline and dedication will set you apart. Rejections are normal and shouldn’t discourage you. If you are consistent and want to improve your craft, your freelance writing journey will be successful and worthwhile.
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