How To Change Your Career To Freelance Writing

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A writer uses her stylish antique typewriter to work on a freelance writer project in this file photo.

Are you chafing at the confines of a 9 to 5 job? Do you love to write and wish that you could make it a career? Do you wonder if you could make the change from your traditional job to a career as a freelance writer? You aren’t alone in your feelings. Other people would love to make that change as well! In this article, we will explore what is involved in working as a freelance writer and whether or not you could change your career to take on this new and exciting challenge.

You can change your career to Freelance Writing! It’s essential to take your time, build your writing and editing skills, make contacts, read widely, and build relationships with your clients. These practices will aid in ensuring that you achieve success in your new job as a writer. In time, you can create a new work-life for yourself as a freelance writer. 

Why would someone be interested in becoming a freelance writer? There are several legitimate reasons why this profession is appealing. First, there is the inherent flexibility of working for yourself from home. The idea of not having to deal with a boss or annoying co-workers can be beautiful! Pair that with no commute or fancywork outfit required, and freelance writing looks better and better. 

Choosing a career for yourself as a freelance writer is also a welcome outlet for people who love to write. These creative types would be writing in their journals or on blogs. As a freelance writer, they can write for a living! 

Can someone quit their job right away and make it work as a freelance writer?

There are many opportunities for willing writers to make a living as a freelance writer. However, it can take time and work to build a good reputation, compile a portfolio of writing examples, and connect with potential clients. Thankfully, since freelance writing is very flexible with schedules, you can start writing as a side gig to your regular full-time position. This way, you can take your time to slowly grow your freelance writing business without being concerned about how to pay your bills. 

Another advantage to starting slowly as a freelance writer is that you have the chance to see if this kind of work is well suited for you. Some people think that they would love sitting at home alone all day in yoga pants writing, but after three days of it, they are miserable. Other people find that they don’t drive to go after new assignments and sell themselves to new clients. It’s better to discover these things about yourself before telling your current boss to jump in a lake.

As time passes and your freelance writing business grows, you can eventually drop down to part-time at your day job or even quit altogether. Just keep in mind that it’s essential to be strategic with your decisions around your new freelance writing career and not jump in impulsively without laying the strong groundwork. 

What kind of skills do freelance writers need?

Truly anyone can be a writer, as long as they have a relatively good grasp of language and grammar. However, to be successful in this internet driven age, it is a good idea for a freelance writer to have a firm grasp of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles for any work that will be published online. 

It’s also helpful for freelance writers to have a solid understanding of how social media functions and marketing occur on social media. Knowledge of social media practices can be beneficial for freelance writers as they work on assignments for clients. Familiarity with social media is also an advantage for a freelance writer to promote themselves even more effectively online. 

Many freelance writing gigs have a research component to them. It means that the freelance writer has to investigate the article topic and locate reliable information about it to write a well-informed article. A freelance writer needs to possess good research skills to quickly identify a credible source and extract the facts that they need. 

Finally, it’s a good idea for a freelance writer to read widely, both online and in books. Reading helps to refine your writing style and strengthen your language and grammar. Reading online content also helps freelance writers to stay up to date on current trends, as well as for them to see writing styles that are working well on websites and blogs. 

Where can freelance writers find work?

When I lost my day job back at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I didn’t know what to do. I’d been writing for years and running Farm 6 Media on the side (mostly for friends and family as my day job took all my time). When the door company I was working for laid me off permanently, I jumped in with two feet into being a freelance writer. My client base grew so fast I launched Farm 6 Media into the content agency it is today. Going freelance was the best thing I ever did.
Jeremy Shantz, Owner Farm 6 Media

As a freelance writer, the first step to success is finding writing work that clients will pay you to do. There are within your grasp a variety of ways to find potential clients. 

First Steps As A Freelancer

First, an aspiring freelance writer will be asked by potential clients to show the previous work. It can be hard to do when you are brand new to freelance writing! To generate a portfolio, you can start your blog and share articles you have written. You can also offer to write a free article for a non-profit organization that they could use on their website. Sometimes it will even publish in their newsletter. 

Once you have some examples of previous work to share, you can start looking for clients! The first place to start is with your existing connections. Tell everyone you know that you are a freelance writer and that you are looking for work. You never know who needs a writer to pen some website content for them or who has excellent connections with a local magazine. 

Online is another natural place to look for work as a freelance writer. Again, broadcast your availability as a freelance writer to your connections on social media, especially LinkedIn. You can also mine LinkedIn to find potential clients by looking up companies that hire writers and figuring out who their content managers are. Often, their contact information is easily located, and you can send them a polite message pitching some of your content ideas. 

There are also some tremendous freelancing job websites online that aspiring writers use to find work. These sites offer clients the opportunity to post job postings, and freelancers can respond to the post, make an application, and bid for the job. Many of the writing gigs posted on these websites are low paying, and some are pretty boring. However, these websites offer an excellent opportunity to build your reputation and your portfolio. 

What do freelance writers write about?

Topics to write about can often come from the company or the person hiring the freelance writer. Sometimes a company hires a freelance writer to supply blog posts about specific topics for their corporate blog. A magazine editor occasionally hires a freelance writer to research and write an article about a particular issue or idea. 

Freelance writers also often get to choose the topics that they wish to write about. They can develop a great idea and pitch it to an editor, who could hire them to write an article based on that pitch. They can also have contracts with specific blogs to supply articles in a particular niche, but they can choose the actual article topics. 

Can working as a freelance writer pay the bills?

It is possible to pay the bills working as a freelance writer. However, there are also a few essential things to keep in mind. First, work can be inconsistent when you are a freelance writer. One week, you can feel completely overwhelmed with the demand for your writing. The next week your clients can be completely silent. Your work and payments from clients can be completely variable. Because of this, a freelance writer should always have enough in their bank account to cover a few months’ worths of bills. 

Secondly, it can sometimes take a significant amount of time before clients pay for the work that a freelance writer has completed. Ensure that when you accept an assignment that the terms of payment are clear and that once you have completed the project, you promptly submit an invoice for payment. Ensure that if the expected income is late, that you follow up with the client. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that you only make money as a freelance writer when you are working. Many people are interested in the schedule flexibility of being a freelance writer without considering that they still need to make time to do the actual work. A freelance writer can earn good money in their career, but it does mean working hard and spending significant time writing.

The Last Chapter On Freelance Writing As A Career

It is possible to create a fantastic career working as a freelance writer, especially in this internet age. Many clients are looking for sources of content, and a freelance writer can capitalize on that need. 

An aspiring freelance writer needs to step carefully and not jump into their new career without doing some groundwork to ensure their future success and financial stability. Once they have built up a strong portfolio and built relationships with a consistent clientele, a freelance writer can commit to their new flexible career with confidence. 


Want to write for us? We’re always looking for talented writers to join our team. Contact us today for more info.

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