Getting started as a freelance writer is the toughest part of creating a career out of your writing. People want to see what you have done before. They want examples of your work and feedback from your clients. Lucky for you there are places out there that accept writers with no previous writing experience and these are just the places you need to get your start freelance writing.
This is where I found my first writing job over 10 years ago. Since I love to write, I wanted to see if I could make a little extra money putting my skills to good use. I started checking out the writing gigs section of my local craigslist and found a listing for a hunting website. My family does a lot of hunting so I was well versed in the jargon and felt like this was a topic I could write about easily.
I crafted a proposal letter and showed it to my hunting family members. They made some corrections and then I sent it off. Within 2 days I had landed my first job as a freelance writer.
Since then I have found a few other jobs on craigslist. You have to weed through some scams but there are legitimate jobs listed on the site.
Upwork is great for first-time freelancers because they require testing before you can be hired as a freelancer. This means you can show your skill without having previously published works. To get started on Upworks sign up and read over the tests available for you to take. Pick two or three you think shows off your skills the best and then do some studying. You will only get one shot to pass the test and high test scores are shown off in your profile.
Once you have picked your tests and studied for them, take them one day at a time. Don’t let the urge to get everything done in one day overcome you. By taking one each day you will give your brain a break and increase your chances of doing great on the tests.
Putting a post on your personal Facebook page is a great way to get started as a freelance writer. Your friends have varied backgrounds and businesses and you never know who will be in need of a writer.
Craft a little intro about yourself. Tell people your interests and why you think you can write something amazing for them. Pop it on your Facebook wall and pin it to the top. You can also tag some of your friends who you think might be interested in hiring you as a writer. Either way, Facebook is a very personal way to break into the freelance writing game.
You can also join Facebook groups geared toward freelance work. Living the Laptop Life has a great Facebook group for people who work from home. I have gotten some good gigs off of this board.
At ten o’clock every evening I get an email from LinkedIn informing me of any job postings for the day that include the words “Freelance Writer” All I had to do was set up a notification and voila. This lets me see who is hiring and what the requirements are. Some jobs are for onsite work, some for remote work. Some require experience, while others will take brand new writers.
A great way to get hired by a company through LinkedIn is to write something on LinkedIn and use it when you are applying for one of the jobs you found through the site. You already know the hiring manager loves the site, so using it to create some killer content to show off your work is a no-brainer.
Guest posting for a blog you love won’t get you paid, but it will get you some exposure. It also will give you a link to send potential employers. Most blogs (including this one) accept guest posts.
To get started guest posting, find a blog you love and come up with some blog post ideas you think would fit great with the site. Check the site for guest post requirements. If you don’t see any, just use the contact us page to pitch your ideas. (We would love to hear your ideas, contact us if you are interested in guest posting!) If the site does have guest post requirements be sure to follow them to the letter! There is nothing that will get your submission trashed faster than not following instructions.
If you are using a contact us page, a great pitch should have all of the following…
- An introduction. Introduce yourself and let them know why you want to guest post for your site.
- The post headline. Headlines are hard to create, a great headline can get you noticed right away. (Hint: Try Co schedule’s Headline Analyzer for a little help)
- A catchy introduction. The first paragraph of the post should catch the readers attention and leave them wanting more.
- An outline of the complete post. Let them know what they are going to get.
- An idea how long it will take you to complete the post. Many bloggers have editorial calendars so they will want to know when you can have it done by, so they can add you to the calendar.
Guest posting is a great way to get a little exposure and introduce yourself to some potential clients. If you do a great job, your name might get mentioned if anyone asks about a freelance writer.
Fiverr is an easy place to start because you don’t need a profile to get started. You can put up your services and advertise right along with everyone else. I have never used Fiverr for finding jobs but I do know some people swear by the platform. If you are interested in trying the platform, Alexandra from Freedom With Writing wrote this post to show you the ins and outs of Fiverr. She calls it the freelance writers “little gem” so it can’t hurt to give it a try.
Freelance writing is a great way to make a side-income or even a full-time income. If you want to get started try one of these 6 platforms to get you on your way.