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Freelance Writing

Freelance writing offers flexible hours and diverse opportunities, making it an ideal side hustle for creative expression and extra income

Despite the AI gloom threatening the job security of writers, the freelance writing business remains as bustling as ever, fueled by the flux of content creators looking for high-quality written content.

There’s no better time to capitalize on your writing skills than now. There are many places to start, but don’t worry. If you feel overwhelmed by the options available, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll briefly look at what this gig entails, how lucrative it is, and how you can start building your new freelance writing career.

An Overview of Freelance Writing: A Primer

Freelance writing involves creating high-quality content for websites, eBooks, product descriptions, blogs, and even social media posts. In short, it’s a gig where you get paid to write.

Gravitating towards the freelance writing business is a smart move because of its flexibility and variety. You can focus on writing about topics that align with your skills or interests, dedicate your time mastering a specific niche, or become a generalist writer and pen down pieces from different industries.

You can also set your rates and work from anywhere at any time, as long as you always meet the deadlines.

Video: How You Can Become a Freelance Writer With No Experience

How Much Can Freelance Writing Earn You?

Freelance writing is one of the most popular types of freelance work around, so giving wage estimates is rather difficult.

On average, you can earn from $20,000 to over $100,000 a year through writing content. Around 24% earn more than $50,000 a year for freelance writing services, according to Zippia.

Experienced freelance writers also earn significantly more than beginners, especially in higher-paying disciplines such as copywriting or technical writing.

For example, while a beginner generalist may set their rate at $0.010 per word, a pro freelance writer could earn up to $1 per word.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Freelance Writing Side Hustle?

For the most part, you can start without spending a single penny.

If you already know how to write, then most of your effort should go into building a good portfolio to showcase your skills, which will only cost you your time.

But, there are some potential costs you might need to consider down the line:

  • Degrees or education: Some writing niches are impossible to break into without the right educational background or hands-on experience. These can include medical and legal writing and some types of technical writing.
  • Software: Many freelance writers invest in grammar-checking tools like QuillBot ($9.95/mo) and Grammarly ($30/mo). Other notable instruments include Originality.ai for AI detection and Copyscape for plagiarism detection.
  • Marketing: Successfully marketing yourself on social media or in real life will cost money, but new freelance writers might benefit from it.
  • Online Courses: Many excellent search engine optimization (SEO) courses are available online for free, but additional resources to elevate your writing skills might cost you extra.

Where Can You Find Freelance Writing Gigs?

There are two main ways to find freelance writing jobs: independently and with gig economy companies.

Where to Independently Find Freelance Writing Work

Finding freelance work independently takes some time.

Creating a portfolio to showcase your skills to potential clients is the first step. There on, learning how to start a blog can prove useful because you’ll have a place to host your articles and show off your skills.

You can also spend some time cold pitching companies that might need your writing services.

Indeed is one place you shouldn’t overlook. Create a catchy Indeed profile and market yourself effectively.

Finding writing jobs online is more time-consuming but could result in long-term collaborations.

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Freelance Writing Work

You have two options if capitalizing on the gig economy appeals more to you.

Content Mills

Content mills are agencies that hire writers to produce content for their clients. You get paid a portion of the total price they charge. Most of the time, you’ll have a fixed rate that depends on the quality of your work.

Usually, such agencies pay their writers from $0.007 to $0.05 per word but know that some are notorious for their low pay and low-quality work.

A couple of content mills we recommend checking out are Textbroker and Contently.

Freelance Websites

Your second option is to check out online writing sites.

The best freelance writing job board is Upwork, but other notable freelance websites include Fiverr and BloggingPro.

There, people can either showcase their talent and bid on freelance writing jobs or wait for clients to reach out to them. Most freelancers price their gigs starting at $5, but you have total control over your rates.

Why You Should Consider Freelance Writing as a Side Hustle

Whether it’s a side gig or a new career, becoming a freelance writer unlocks some key perks:

  • Ease of Starting: Freelance writing doesn’t require niche-specific or hard-to-learn skills right away since you’ll likely start as a generalist. Over time, you can specialize in a specific niche and start generating more money;
  • Growth Potential: The more time you spend writing, the better it’ll become. Clients will recognize you once you hone your writing skills to the point of submitting flawless, high-quality articles and pay much more for your services.
  • Learning Potential: As a freelance writer, you’ll mostly write about various topics in which you have zero experience. You’ll dedicate your time to research, from which you’ll learn a lot.

Problems With Freelance Writing

Below are a few problems that push aspiring writers away:

  • Competitiveness: The freelance writing market is saturated with subpar writers who offer services for low rates and experts whom clients always seek first. Standing out among the crowd is a challenge.
  • Slow Progress: Developing your writing skills enough to earn thousands of dollars monthly can take several years. Don’t expect to make a lot from the get-go.
  • Job Insecurity: As a freelancer, your reliance on major clients and the fluctuating number of available gigs can impact your earning potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Freelance Writing Easy?

Not necessarily.
It’ll come off as easy if you’re a skilled writer, but there’s no denying that researching and breaking down complex topics for the average consumer while remaining engaging is difficult.

What Skills Do You Need for Freelance Writing?

Excellent research and writing skills and punctuality are a must. Being well-versed in SEO, writing, and AI software and simplifying complex topics are pluses.

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