How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience And No Degree

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If you enjoy writing and want to build a career as a freelance writer but don’t feel you have the experience to become one, you should think again. While there are many positions in need of writers that claim they need someone with experience, you can obtain these positions without the required knowledge. 

It may seem challenging to navigate how to get hired as a writer without the knowledge or a degree, but you can develop a career as a writer with some time and effort. It makes sense overall since most people would not want to hire people into positions that they have little to no experience with doing. However, being resourceful and taking smaller, one-time gigs can help you start to build a career as a freelance writer.

So what can you do to help yourself become a freelance writer without any experience? 

If you don’t know where to start, read on to find some actionable steps that you can take right away to get you going in a freelance writing career. Of course, you don’t need to have a degree or years of experience under your belt, but you can still start getting paid for writing jobs sooner rather than later.

Understand what it takes

While it can be lucrative, freelance writing does take some time, and it is not an easy feat to become successful. However, you have many opportunities and almost zero limits to how much you can earn as a freelance writer.

How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience And No Degree_

In addition, many remote positions offer very flexible work schedules, and you can decide how often and how much you want to work.

You can start your journey by exercising some mindset shifts. If you can already set yourself up to be successful with freelance writing, then there is a much greater chance you will quickly become a freelance writer. However, you must be willing to put in the effort to learn and grow since, in the digital online space, requirements and trends are consistently shifting and changing. 

Choose a writing niche

You must narrow down yourself to a niche or specific topics to write about that you have insight and deep knowledge about in your writing. For example, maybe you are a skilled crafter or understand strategies that can help businesses.

Focus on your specialty and do some research to find out what is trending within that topic and how you can craft multiple different writing samples from it. For instance, say you are writing about the subject of real estate. Then, you can compose articles surrounding the best places for people to search as first-time homebuyers or create a checklist for necessities when buying and selling.

Whatever you choose to write about, it is essential to ensure that you provide your readers with value. The only way to build upon your writing is to know that you are helpful to your readers, either through guidance, advice, or helpful tips and tools. 

Start writing online for free

Using free applications such as Contently, or a WordPress site, you can create some writing examples and blog articles on your own to showcase your talents. Building a blog for yourself and promoting it on your social channels can help you get started as a writer.

Whatever your specialty, focus on that when you write and find trending topics, and you can easily create a writing portfolio with your own samples. Experiment with different article lengths to see what engages more readers to your content.

Start writing online for free

You can also add images and make your writing look professional, and create various categories for your writings. Finally, you can use the links to your articles or writing samples when you apply to freelance writing gigs as a testament to your experience. 

Take a writing class

Even on a tight budget, you can still educate and train yourself with a writing course online or take a local writing class that is affordable. Sometimes without experience, it can help potential jobs see that you are getting some training or certification.

When you take a current freelance writing course, you can obtain more insight into the world of freelance writing and can equip you with some great tools and techniques. Some of those techniques will take you beyond just how to write. They can go into more depth about getting your career going, such as how to pitch your writing to clients or where the best places to find writing jobs are online.

You may be able to find some online tutorials to help you get started with writing for free. But, chances are you will have to invest some money to pay for a decent writing course that will help you get started in the freelance world. 

Take your writing to social media 

Crafting captions that are compelling and enticing can help you become noticed. If you have already started a writer’s website or have some free writing samples to share, you can easily use social media channels to share your writing. 

Linkedin is a great place to network, find jobs, and promote your writing samples. However, be sure to utilize link and asset management to help you track and analyze the effectiveness of your linking to your published work. Such tools are excellent for frequent or professional writers to use one powerful link that can take readers or prospective clients in your niche directly to your profile/portfolio increasing your chance of achieving more significant projects.

Using social media this way can help you find what topics you are writing about are trending, which resonates more with people who are reading them to target your audience more effectively. You can also monetize your blog or writing website more effectively and even earn money through affiliations if you have a significant following. 

Learn to execute proper search engine optimization

Crafting words together in a way that engages readers can be learned. One of the most significant factors that many websites and blogs want to monopolize is Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. Knowing the specific keywords and phrases necessary to ensure that the article or blog pops up towards or at the top of a Google Search will help solidify your knowledge.

Learn to execute proper search engine optimization

To understand this, you must first do some research into your topics. Then, whatever you plan to cover in your writing, you must find what specific words and phrases are necessary to utilize within your samples so that your SEO is covered. Finally, you can use SEO tools to quickly scan your writing and detect that you are accurately increasing visibility in search engines. 

SEO development is a vital component to landing your writing jobs since many companies with websites want to increase their exposure. Using the right content, links, and structure can maximize rankings. However, being a great writer is not enough. Instead of taking writing courses, you can opt to take classes in SEO and structuring to help you get a leg up on the competition. 

How to obtain clients and pitch your writing

An excellent way to help promote yourself is by pitching to places you’d like to write - be it entire companies, websites, or other specific smaller businesses. In addition, you can send out prospective emails with links to your writing samples for consideration.

Keep in mind that you want to sound as professional as possible since you create an online business with your writing. Incorporate reasons why you should be considered and how your writing stands out above others (more relatable, provide facts, etc.) You should also look across their guidelines for submitting your writing and follow their requirements.

You can also apply to jobs online, where you find potential positions in online job searches. Another place you might not think to find clients is through online forums in social channels like Facebook or LinkedIn. There are even some places such as ProBlogger where you can search for jobs specific to freelance writing. 

Start with smaller, one-off assignments

You probably won’t be able to get the assignments you are gunning for right away. However, it does not hurt you to start small. You can find clients looking for more minor, one-time writings to begin building your portfolio. 

Such writing gigs might include things like helping your friends and family with their website pages, bios, developing captions for their social media posts, email copy, and more. Of course, you can’t be too picky when you are getting started and look at any writing opportunity as a means to showcase what you have to offer. 

What to charge for your writing

You may first allow the first few gigs to tell you what they will pay you before charging your own rates when you start getting jobs. But, when the time comes, you should get to a point where you do charge.

But what is the best way to find that middle ground? You don’t want to undervalue your worth, but you also don’t want clients to turn away because they think you are changing too much.

Look at the minimum going rate, whether it is per word or full article. You can start on the lower end when you are just beginning to build yourself up as a writer, but once you have some positions and have received adequate feedback for your services, you can feel confident with charging more going forward. 

Just as a reference, the going rate for writers online can be anywhere from $0.05 to $0.10 per word. You can always increase your speeds as you acquire new clients and start to make a name for yourself. 

Finding recurring work

Once you have started writing more regularly, you ideally want to obtain as much recurring work as you can not constantly have to pitch and acquire new clients. Some steps you can take to get clients who will continue to use you for employment: 

  • Deliver an exceptional blog or article, and ask for their feedback.
  • When they provide you with great praise and feedback, you can pitch 
  • Can I send a list of more topics or headlines for your review?
  • What content areas do you cover? I could help to fill in with some potential blogs/articles.

Many website owners do not always have the time or energy to research and develop new content. By taking these few steps each time you write for a new client, you can quickly start to secure a pipeline of recurring work for yourself. For example, the website may have you write articles every week, bi-weekly, or monthly. 

Stay organized

You should keep track of where you have reached out and pitched other clients and remember to follow up with each one. You could potentially miss an opportunity if you do not follow up with clients, whether they have utilized your services or not. 

You also do not want to find yourself pitching to the same potential client multiple times over, so knowing where you have already prospected is crucial. 

Believe in yourself; keep improving

You won’t be able to please every client, and that is okay. However, you need to remember to believe in yourself and your abilities as a writer, and chances are, you will receive a lot more praise from happy clients who can recommend your work. Finally, with some good feedback, you will gain confidence in your writing. 

Conclusion: How to become a freelance writer with no experience and no degree

However, it would be helpful to have some confidence when you begin. Many writers who are not as talented as you are have gone and found success because they have put in the work and the time to build their freelance writing careers.

Take the plunge and apply to jobs that you may not feel as skilled to do; you never know what opportunities will present themselves if you just try. You might be able to network or have your work recommended elsewhere, even if not for the writing job you originally applied for.

Take the time you need to build your portfolio, learn more and continue to improve your writing skills. You will soon have a flourishing freelance career, and you can continue to build and gain recognition as a great writer.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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