How to Start a Freelance Writing Career in Less than 24 Hours for $0

I receive anywhere from 5-10 emails a week (a couple a day), asking me the same question, “How do I get started as a freelance writer?” The short answer is to just do it.

But, many wannabe freelance writers hold themselves back by simply not starting. They put roadblocks in the way that just astound me, eg:

  • I need a website,
  • I don’t have samples,
  • I don’t have any clients yet, etc.

If you want to be a freelance writer, it’s time to start being a doer – not a planner, a talker, or a dreamer – a doer!

Following is plan of action you can take to start a freelance writing career in 24 hours, or less. Stop over-thinking it and just do it!

3 Steps to Take to Start Your Freelance Writing Career

1. Blog: Instead of a website, put up a blog that you can use as a website. Use one of the free ones like blogger.com or wordpress.com. The whole point here is to get a web presence up and going. A blog is just a website, it’s just used different.

GetSmallBizonWeb-cover-medSo that not having the time, money or knowledge to build a website doesn’t hold you back, use this blog as your web presence for now. You can migrate everything over later.

What to List On Your Website/Blog

On your website/blog, you will list your:
(i) services;
(ii) writing samples;
(iii) a short bio; and if you want
(iv) rates (some do, some don’t).

I always err on the side of providing rates, that way, clients have all the info they need to make an informed decision when they’re on my site. After all, either they can afford you, or not.

Cost: $0; Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes to 1 hour (keep it simple).

2. Writing Samples: This is the one area that really stresses wannabe freelance writers – no samples. Well, don’t let it. If your writing cubbard is dry, sit down and write three articles (400-600 words each, no longer). This is enough to start.

If you want to be a health writer, then write health articles to use as samples. If you want to be a technology writer, then write on technology issues; a finance writer, then write on finance (the current economy should give you more than enough to pull from here).

While some clients will ask you for samples of previously published works, most will not. All they want to see is your writing ability. Whether a sample has been published/used before is irrelevant. You still wrote it, right? It’s still evidence of your writing ability.

This is all the vast majority of clients want.

Cost: $0; Estimated Time to Complete: 3-5 hours (depending on how in-depth your samples are and/or how many niches you plan to target.).

Writing Samples Note: If you plan to target more than one niche, write up a few samples for each niche you plan to market to.

3. Marketing List: Now that you’ve got your web presence and your samples, it’s time to put together a hit list – ie, a list of prospects you plan to market to.

Go to the internet, do some searches and come up with a list of 20-30 prospects you can pitch your writing services to. Again, if you’re a health writer, target websites, ezines, and publications that need this type of content.

Think logically about marketing – it’s not rocket science. Who needs the type of writing that you provide? The other part of that equation is who comes into contact with these types of clients.

For example, web design firms get a lot of clients – across many different niches. So, no matter what type of writing you do, targeting web design firms would be a good idea because they have all types of clients.

Take a two-pronged attack with your marketing. Market to those who need your specific type of writing, and those who come into contact with those who need your writing skill.  Make 20-30 contacts a day, and pretty soon, you will land a client – guaranteed.

To really jumpstart your freelance writing marketing campaign, check out How to Find Unpublished Freelance Writing Jobs. You’ll lessen the competition and find leads quicker, leading you to freelance writing success that much sooner.

Cost: $0; Estimated Time to Complete: 2-6 hours. You should be able to find 5-10 contacts per hour.

If you spend a 6-12 hours doing all of this, you will have done everything you need to do to start a freelance writing career. Keep your marketing consistent, and you will grow a fabulous, work-from-home career that you can do from anywhere.

Starting a freelance writing career is not rocket science. Don’t over think it – just do it!


coverP.S.: Get the freelance writing opportunity that allowed me to be financially secure enough to travel, live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life!”

P.P.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

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