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How Can I Start Freelance Writing?

How can I get involved in freelance writing?
How do I become a freelance writer?
What is the best way to get into freelance writing?
How do I get into freelance writing?

I receive questions like this on almost a weekly basis. The most recent one is from a corporate professional who wants to become a freelance writer. He wrote:

Question from a Reader about How to Start a Freelance Writing Career

I have spend [sic] 25+ years in corporate business and am now embarking on a career as a freelance writer. I have done lots of writing and editing in the form of proposals and extensive technical documentation. I love to write and have done more creative stuff outside my job responsibilities in the form of political satire and poetry.

You appear to be a great source of learning and I want to invest my time wisely in getting started. I’m finding it difficult to pinpoint where to begin. Please confirm three key source documents from your library that will get me initiated and calibrated.

Starting a Freelance Writing Career: The Biggest Problem Many Have

Knowing where to start is the biggest problem most have when it comes to freelance writing. This is understandable, because there’s so much info on the web; it can be very confusing. So, even though I’ve answered this question many times over the years, I felt it prudent to answer it yet again because spring is here, and it’s a time when many feel the impetus to start something new (eg, exercise, cleaning out clutter, looking for new jobs/homes, etc.).

Following is the answer I sent to this wannabe freelance writer.

My Answer on How to Become a Freelance Writer

J-:
 
First, thank you for your interest in Inkwell Editorial’s products.
 
As for your question, it’s impossible to answer because it depends on many factors, eg, education, experience, type of writing you want to do, income you want/expect/need to make, hours you can devote to it, etc.
 
I will say this, if you have no freelance writing experience and want to know what’s entailed in starting any type of home-based writing biz, then the general freelance writing course might help. You can find details on that here: http://inkwelleditorial.com/freelance-writing-ecourse. If you’re interested in starting an SEO writing career, then this course will help: http://www.seowritingjobs.com/seo-copywriting-training/.
 
One final piece of advice — narrow down the type of writing you want to do. Then, come up with service offerings, prices and put together a basic website. Then, start marketing. It really is that straightforward.
 
Following are some links to additional posts that may help.

How to Become a Freelance Writer: A Wannabe Freelancer States, “I Want to Make the Leap, but I Don’t Know Where to Start – Help!”

How to Become a Freelance Writer: Starting from Scratch

How to Start a Freelance Writing Career in 2010: What to Do & Most Importantly, What NOT to Do

Good luck however you decide to proceed.

If you’re still struggling with how to start, the above posts will help clarify some things. The truth is though, fear is the real issue; not where to start (for that’s relatively straightforward, as the above posts outline). Fear keeps many stuck at the starting gate. So, my final piece of advice is this . . .

My Most Important Piece of Advice on How to Become a Freelance Writer

You can research how to become a freelance writer to death; you can ask questions/seek insight from “experts” all day long; and you can “plan” until the cows come home — but nothing is going to happen until you START!

You’re going to make mistakes, you’re not going to get the answer to every question you have before you start and the timing is never going to be “perfect.”

If you want to start a freelance writing career, take the advice/training here and run with it. Don’t overthink it or make it more complicated than it needs to be. Just get started; you’ll learn as you go — and before you know it, you’ll be making a full-time living as a freelance writer. But nothing is going to happen until you . . . start.

Best,
Yuwanda

P.S.: Get the skills you need to start a high-paying freelance business.

If you’re the average Joe pulling in $30-$50K/year, this is a freelance career that can easily replace your current income.
Get the training you need to become a well-paid freelance writer

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    Comments

    1. Greg,

      Thanks for your keen, first-hand, in-depth insight on this topic.

      I completely agree — with you!

    2. I completely agree:
      –>Start somewhere–anywhere–even if you don’t “feel” ready.
      –>Find a niche where your skills & experience will be the most profitable.

      On the first point, I like to remind people to “start before you’re ready.” You will never have all the info you think you need, but get started anyway. The more action you take, the quicker you’ll move toward your goals.

      On the second point, most freelancers/consultants starting out fail to find a niche for their experience & skills, and as a result, struggle to find enough work and/or get paid a decent rate. If you focus your energies on a specific niche, you’ll be able to:
      –>charge a higher rate (and therefore work less),
      –>have less competition, and
      –>be easier to find by potential clients.
      I know plenty of freelancers/consultants who have a very general niche, and as a result, struggle to find work and are paid a much lower rate. The same applies to virtually any business that isn’t in a specialized niche.

      In my niche, there are probably less than 3,000 potential customers, and literally a handful of competitors. Given that the clients are extremely profitable (law firms), that means that I’m able to charge a high bill rate, which, in turn, means that I can work less to make the same amount as someone with a lower bill rate. Of course, this assumes that you have specialized knowledge & experience–which provides a barrier to entry for your niche (good for you, since that means less competition).

      You can check out an interview I recently did where I talk about how I made the switch from employee to consultant, and where I give actual income & rate numbers:
      http://www.startmyconsultingbusiness.com/how-i-made-the-switch-from-employee-to-consultant

      Greg Miliates
      http://www.StartMyConsultingBusiness.com/start-here/

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