Freelance writing is a quite favored side-hustle because of the flexibility and lack of equipment needed to pursue the work. Really, all you need to get started with freelancing is a laptop and an internet connection.
The truth is though, getting those first few freelance writing jobs (or even the first one) can be quite challenging, since you feel like you don’t have the experience to do it. As the saying goes, everyone has to start somewhere.
The biggest hurdle I faced when trying to get started with freelance writing was not finding the jobs, but the overwhelming work of applying and pitching those jobs. They all seemed to require different documents and I had none of them. It seemed like so much work just for one job.
To help you get your freelance writing income off the ground, here are 6 easy-to-follow steps to getting not only your first freelance writing job but each one afterward as well:
Steps #1: Create a Writing Resume
Everyone has a resume, but chances are it is geared towards the field you are in, it is now time to create one geared towards writing. Even if you have never had a “writing” job, you’ve done some writing.
Perhaps, you have a degree in a subject that required a lot of writing or you draft marketing emails at work. Do friends frequently ask you to review their resumes? That is an editing experience. Make sure to highlight any writing-related experience on your resume.
Step #2: Put Together Some Writing Samples
There are lots of ways you can pull together some writing samples quickly. You can ask to guest post on blogs you read or submit to sites that accept contributions (like Huffington Post).
You can start your own blog, and post to it frequently to create a database of writing samples. If creating your own blog is too overwhelming, you can simply draft 3-4 writing samples to share as attachments. Unless the job posting calls for it, your writing samples don’t necessarily have to be published somewhere.
Step #3: Figure Out What Kind of Writing You’d Like to Do
There are lots of different types of freelance writing jobs available, you can draft blog posts, website copy, marketing materials, the list goes on. Within that you can niche down to certain subjects that you are comfortable writing about, it could be personal finance, entrepreneurship, or even parenting. There are freelance writing jobs for nearly every subject.
Step #4: Find and Apply for Gigs on Job Boards
Now that you have everything you need to start applying for writing jobs, it’s time to find and apply for the jobs.
There are lots of different job boards available, some paid and some free, that roundup freelance writing jobs. Contenta a paid job board will even send you alerts for writing jobs that fit your requirements. Other great and free job boards include ProBlogger, The Morning Coffee Newsletter from FreelanceWriting.com. You could also look to regular job sites like Indeed and SimplyHired.
Step #5: Use Facebook Groups
Think about the different facebook groups you are a part of, have you ever seen someone asking for help or looking to hire someone? I have, in fact, it’s how I ended up writing for Create My Independence. Writing opportunities that pop up in these groups, tend to be easier to pitch since the person hiring already has an idea of the type of work you do or are interested in.
Step #6: Personalize Your Pitch
When sending a pitch, don’t just send a blanket pitch. It is fine to have a template to work from but make sure you customize it for the job to which you are applying. If you can determine who will be reading the application, address your pitch accordingly. Last but not least, follow all of the directions in the job posting.
Good luck with building your freelance writing income!