How To Start A Freelance Writing Career (7 Step Guide)

7 minutes
crop woman using laptop on sofa at home

Are you thinking of starting a freelance writing career? 

  • Have a laptop?
  • Love writing?
  • Know how to research?
  • Want to work remotely?

Then you can start your freelance writing business right away.

I started writing blogs in 2017 and by the end of 2019, I went in full-time in my freelance writing business.

So in this article, I am going to share my step-by-step roadmap to starting your own writing business.

Ready to start earning money writing about things you’re passionate about from the comfort of your home?

Copywriting vs. Content writing 

Copywriting is defined as the art of writing “copy” for the purpose of making a sale. So, the job of a copywriter typically extends to writing sales ads, landing pages, website copy, and even social media posts.

The thing that differentiates a copywriter from a content writer is the purpose:

  • A copywriter writes a text that directs the reader to make a purchase. Eg. a Facebook ad with the simple call-to-action “Sign up today”.
  • A content writer’s goal is to share information that provides value to the reader (without trying to sell). Eg. A blog post on “5 Products Proven to Clear Acne”.

What does it take to start a freelance writing career?

Before I share my tips for starting a copywriting business, I just want to let you know that you don’t need to have a formal background in writing.

Anyone can be a copywriter or a content writer from a freelancer, to a CEO.

I used to suck at writing essays of any kind up until college.

Heck, I was a mathematics champion in school, so I really hated anything to do with literature. 

Instead, what you need to get started as a copywriter is research skills and a passion for writing.

Based on that, you can learn some writing techniques and formulas and eventually, you’ll develop your own unique writing style and voice. 

Ready? Let’s go through the 7 steps:

Step 1: You must LOVE research and reading if you want to start a freelance writing career

Want to be a writer?

Then you need to read and study other people’s work to improve your writing style.

Sign up for online courses on Udemy, read books and focus on getting better at this skill. I used to practice writing on my personal blog where nobody would see it – until one day my blog post “Why Starbucks Failed In Australia” went viral and started bringing me daily traffic.

Step 2: Be CLEAR about what type of freelance writing services you want to offer in your business

Everyone knows that there are different types of writers out there.

So, what do you want to be remembered for by your audience?

Do you want to be the “Youtube coffee review girl”, the “Instagram blogger” or “the Facebook ads pro”?

The options are unlimited.

You just need to ensure you list down the areas of writing you offer so it’s easier for people to find you and approach you for the right things.

Do you offer:

  • Social Media posts
  • Facebook ads copy
  • SEO Blogs
  • Magazine articles
  • Podcasts script
  • Email marketing
  • Website copy
  • Sales page copy

Step 3: Create PACKAGES for your freelance writing services

Once you have decided on your services, the next step is to create packages and price them.

To create an irresistible sales package you need to:

  1. Research what types of packages your competitors are offering
  2. Ask your ideal clients/audience what type of services they need from you and how much they would be willing to spend for it
  3. Based on this research data create an ideal package (middle package). Then create one that offers more, and one that offers less.

Want to peep at the freelance writing services I offer? Access my list of Copywriting Services here. 

Step 4: Identify who is your TARGET audience for your freelance writing career

The next step is to research and identify your audience.

Think of what market segment (niche) do you like writing about.

If you are just beginning, then know it might take some time to perfect your targeting, because you’ll need to experiment before settling on a niche.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about so I created 4 different blogs for my various interests.

I wrote about travel tips, cats, make-up tutorials and leadership.

Besides serving as your writing portfolio, 6 months down the road I realised that I loved writing about business and marketing leaving the other topics aside.

  • What is one thing you can continuously write about for 6 months?
  • Is there a demand? And are people interested to read about it?
  • Who are the people who will enjoy reading your articles?

Step 5: Build an omni-channel social presence to promote your freelance writing skills and grow a successful career

If you are just starting a freelance writing business you need to be everywhere your audience is:

  • Social media channels: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Clubhouse, Facebook groups etc.
  • Freelance websites: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiver, LinkedIn
  • Own website: WordPress, Wix, etc.

Besides that, you should start a blog or a website to showcase your work portfolio (in my case this was my DIY WordPress site). With that setup, you’ll be able to start pitching your services.

You’ll find it easier to attach this online portfolio link to job opportunities on different freelance websites like Upwork.

The key takeaway here is to build an online presence and get in front of your ideal audience.

When people know that you’re a writer, people will come and find you!

Step 6: Offer FREE services in return for testimonials and reviews

Why offer your work for FREE?

Your first few jobs might be on a free trial basis because let’s face it most businesses want to hire experienced writers.

As you start getting a few clients, remember to gather good testimonials from them which you can post on your website on social media pages so new visitors can see them.

Besides that, testimonials are great because people can relate it to themselves and if you were able to solve a problem for someone in the same situation with them, they are more likely to trust you.

Step 7: Have an inbound marketing STRATEGY to promote your freelance writing career, attracting readers & turning them into clients

So, now that you have an established social media presence and a clear offer you might be thinking “so how do I get clients?”. It’s actually not as difficult as you think.

Ask yourself this: “Who needs a copywriter?”.

Every business on this planet, regardless of size, location or industry NEEDS a copywriter.

The opportunities are plenty. 

As a new business, you need to spend some time marketing your businesses. In terms of which strategy you choose to use, that’s up to you and your goals.

But if you aren’t familiar with marketing, in general, know that there are two types of marketing:

  1. Push (outbound) marketing – this involves searching and contacting your ideal clients and pitching your services. Google businesses you would like to work for. Reach out to them and let them know you would like to help them out. Another thing you must do is networking: go to local events, networking events, join seminars and meet up with local business owners. Use these leads to build an email list that you can use to pitch your services.
  2. Pull (inbound) marketing – build a strong online presence (social media, website, branding, partnerships) so people can come to you instead of you going to them. Focus on sharing valuable content on all your platforms that are targeted at helping your ideal customer save a problem. Think of ways you can add value to people without trying to push sales. Write blogs, share testimonials and client reviews in order to “pull” new clients to your business. 

You will need to use a combination of both.

Getting started as a remote writer is very easy.

It’s probably the easiest business one can start right now – all you need is a laptop and passion for writing. 

Want to start writing blogs for business?

If you are a beginner writer, looking to learn a proven copywriting technique join my 2hr Blog writing workshop

Meanwhile, I’d like to hear from you.

Are you an aspiring copywriter?

What are your main struggles?