How to make money from freelance writing
I'm always keen to explore new and practical ideas for making extra money especially if they appeal to our often busy lives.
As a family man, I know how challenging it is to carve out precious time, and so where possible, I want it invested in the right type of ideas.
Making money from freelance writing – Is this even a thing? Sounds good, right?
As with all ideas that we explore on this blog, I'd like us to explore this one as though you know nothing about it.
We then want you to walk away with enough information to do further research but more importantly, gain confidence and take action.
We are going to look at the various ways that you get jobs for your freelance writing work and how to get your very first client.
To help us bring expertise to this, I've invited a friend of ours, Francesca from The Money Fox, to share her real life day to day experiences.
She make an income as a full-time freelance writer and used what she shares with us below to get her first client on her first attempt.
In a typical week, she works on her freelance writing what would add up to about 2 days per week.
Ready? Let’s get started:
What Is a Freelance Writer?
To start with, we should look at what a freelance writer is, so that you know if it’s for you.
A freelance writer is someone who gets paid for their writing work (e.g. content for sites) and does this on a freelance basis.
You can, of course, get hired as an employee to be a writer if this is something that you would rather do. But for this article, we are going to focus on freelancing.
You don’t have to be the best writer in the world to be a freelance writer as this is something that you improve on, but it does help!
There are a lot of other freelance writers out there, but think about how many websites are out there. They always need content, and this is where you come in.
How Much Can Freelance Writers Make?
The million-dollar question! The amount that you’re able to make as a freelance writer varies depending on what niche you are writing for, your experience, your skills and so on.
‘Indeed' say that the average job postings on their site come to £98.13 per day. That is, however, mainly for employees.
You can make a part-time income from freelance writing work on the side, and scale it up to full-time if you wish.
How Much Should I Charge For Freelance Writing?
There is no rule for how much you should charge, but it is always worth looking at how you want your pricing structure to look.
- Per word
- Monthly retainer
I’d usually advise against charging hourly because it depends on how fast you are.
You may not be that fast a typist but an excellent writer, and this wouldn’t make this way very fair. It’s also hard to scale up.
Think about how much you’d like to earn per hour. A good rate to start with would be £50 per hour, but if you aren’t comfortable with that as a newbie then you could start at around £25 per hour and work up.
I like to charge per word because I feel as though it is a fair way of doing things for both sides.
A good rate per word to start with is around £1 per word for a beginner.
However, this may not work for you if you have to do a lot of research on the topic.
This is where your client will pay you a monthly amount to do a lot of articles for them.
This will vary depending on the client and project, but you could always look at this from an hourly rate and give them a discount for the large volume.
I found these articles helpful for looking into rates:
Where Can I Find Freelance Writing Work?
This is usually the number one question when it comes to freelance writing!
Luckily, there’s a huge amount of places that you can find freelance writing work.
The usual sort of places to find freelance writing work include:
- Content mills e.g. Textbroker
- Job boards e.g. Problogger, Contently
- Paid job boards e.g. Paid to Blog
- Sites that pay for guest posts e.g. Work Online Blog
- Facebook groups (any in your niche)
I found my work through Facebook groups. I reached out to companies that I knew were looking for a writer or who I thought would be interested in it.
On my first attempt, I was successful! I was so nervous before emailing them as well – so it proves that you should just go for it.
How To Pitch Yourself as a Freelance Writer
As a budding freelance writer, you’re going to have to do a lot of outreach for jobs, which is referred to as ‘pitching’.
These are some tips that you can use for successful pitching:
- Pitch often. Even if you feel as though you are the perfect fit for a certain role, volume of pitching will be on your site
- Don’t pitch for work that you don’t think you would be good at or able to complete in time
- Try to pitch for work that you are the ideal fit for. For example, if you are a mum in London and the publication writes for mums in London, you are the perfect person to write for this
- Don’t let them know in your pitches that you are brand new. That doesn’t mean that you lie about it, but try to avoid saying this
- Send links of your work if you have it, to prove that you are a writer
- Be confident and friendly. A lot of people choose to work with others because they like them!
- Let them know where you saw the advert for work, or why you feel you would be a good benefit to the team. Keep it short and sweet.
There are some things that you will need to do before you start emailing everyone asking if they want a writer.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
Choose a Niche
A niche is a particular area that you will be writing in. It’s tempting to say that you will write about everything and anything, but don’t do this.
Pick an area to write about that you have a lot of knowledge in and/or are passionate about.
There are some niches which pay better than others, such as B2B.
Create a Portfolio
You will need to put together some samples of your work for potential clients to look at.
If you are a complete beginner then you will have to write some articles on your chosen subject ready to go.
Start Looking For Work
The reason that I include this is because when it comes to starting something new, our brain likes to fight us on it.
The way that we can get around this is to have a plan. So write out a checklist of all of the things that you have to do and pop them on your calendar.
Remember, you aren’t going to get any work if nobody knows that you are looking!
This could look like:
- Decide on a niche
- Write some articles for your portfolio (if you can’t think of topic ideas, have a look at finance sites/Google for ideas)
- Join some Facebook groups where your ideal customer would hang out
- Decide how much you are going to charge
- Practice writing as much as possible
- Read some articles on how to outline an article and copywriting techniques
- Join some of the sites to find work
- Pitch for some jobs
- Get a Paypal account for this side business for getting paid
What To Read Next>>
- TUTORIAL: How To Start a Blog and Learn Freelance Writing
- How to Start An Online Business In 7 Days
- 15 Creative Ways To Make Money On The Side
What To Watch Next>>
Do you do freelance writing as a side hustle or as your job? Do you want to? Drop a comment below!
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.