What is Freelance Writing (and How do I Get Started as a Freelance Writer?)

What is freelance writing and how do I get started as a freelance writer?

Aha! You are wondering what freelance writing is or freelancing in general?

You’ve probably heard people say they earn income working at home as freelance writers, and you want to give it a shot.

But, you are not sure what the heck is freelance writing.

Don’t worry because you are in safe hands. I’m a freelance writer who knows the ins and outs of the writing business.

Here is an excellent guide to freelancing if you want to dive deep into the freelancing industry.

Freelance writing is the best thing that ever happened to me. Before I started wordsmithing for money, I wondered if people made money working at home.

And since I wanted to be there for my little boy and at the same time contribute to my family’s income, I thought I’d give it a try.

Oh my! I'm not looking back because you know what? I love writing for money.

It enables me to work at home, at my own time, and charge my rates. And pride in my client's success.

There is no tight deadlines, unrealistic expectations, and above all, I’m always there for my family.

What is freelance writing

So, What is freelance writing?

Freelance writing is the process of offering writing services on a freelance basis-no employer-employee relationship.

Business owners need written content to market their products and services.

As a writer, you help them write the content, and they pay you for it.

They can be web copy, blog posts, press releases, white papers, newsletters, email copies, brochures, or magazine articles.

In the freelance writing world, you will most likely come across terms like;

  • Article writing- You write a small piece about a specific subject, and it is typically published in newspapers and magazines to inform a broad audience.
  • Copywriting- is a type of writing where you use your persuasive language to sell a product/service. You make use of a customer's pain points and maximize  their FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Ghostwriting- is where you write content and forego your copyrights in exchange for money. If you are the person who loves being praised for their work, then this isn’t for you. If you want to be the one behind the stage, you can make good money ghostwriting for others.
  • Blog post-writing-you create content for the blog section of a website. This type of writing is easy to master.
  • SEO writing-Is a type of writing that you optimize for search engines. You should know how to use keywords(both longtail and short tail keywords). Also, you should know about the safe practices of SEO and a few google algorithms.
  • Product Reviews- This is a type of writing where you write an in-depth piece about a given product. Product reviews help buyers make a purchase decision.
  • Product descriptions are often confused with product reviews, but descriptions focus on its features and use.
  • Social media content-You create content like Facebook posts, pins, and tweets. This type of content should create engagements and grow the business’s brand.

What do I need to get started as a freelance writer?

One thing about freelance writing is that you do not need experience to kick-start your writing business.

All you need is a computer, an internet connection, good command of English, and a zeal to grow your writing business.

Everything else is on the internet. So, below are some things to help you get paid to write.

But first, identify general topics you are comfortable writing about.

Niching down will help you become an expert in that field and ultimately be able to charge more.

Find a topic that interests you. There are so many topics to choose from, but you cannot be a jack of all trades. Here are some topics to help you.

  • Parenting.
  • Marketing.
  • Business.
  • Education.
  • Health and wellness.
  • Travel.

#1—A writer website.

Having a writer website is the first step to kick-starting your freelance writing business.

As a freelance writer, you are your marketer and lead generator. And having a writer website will save you all the marketing efforts.

I've got a post to show you how to create a website for your writing business.

You will use this site to house your portfolio and testimonials. My blog made it easy for me to find clients.

Use the writer's website to tell your potential client the types of services you offer and the rates.

Every time you are pitching for a writing job, include a link to your writer website.

Create a writer website if you want to land high-paying clients soonest.

Otherwise, you will wait a little bit longer to get a serious client. I’m saying this from experience.

#2—A business page.

A Facebook business page is also another excellent way to land a writing job.

Chances are your next client is on social media.

Having a Facebook page and optimizing your other social media accounts to reflect your writing business will make it easy for clients to find you.

I’ve landed clients who didn’t even know I have a blog through my Facebook page.

So consider having one and let people know about it.

#3—A portfolio.

You do not need the experience to get started as a freelance writer, but you need to have a portfolio.

And it is easy to create one even if you are a total newbie.

You can offer to write for sites that do not require samples or experience. A quick search on google will help you find such websites. Just key in “write for us+no experience” and choose the sites that fit you.

Alternatively, you can create posts on your writer website's blog section and use those as samples. Follow this guide on how to write your first blog post.

Another way to create a portfolio is to guest post on other sites for free.

I love guest posting, and it is an excellent way to get your brand and business in front of another site’s audience.

You will get an author byline and links to your website and social media accounts.

What if you don’t have a website?

You can use LinkedIn or a medium. Create an article of your choice on these sites and use them as samples.

How much is a freelance writer’s salary?

Freelance writer’s salary varies from one writer to another.

This is because of differences in types of writing and experiences.

Some writers charge as high as $5000 per project while others charge as little as $1/project, which is super low.

When starting, you should come up with a reasonable rate that’s not too low.

I started at a rate of $25/1800 word document. It was an excellent rate as I honed my skills.

Raise your rates and aim for high paying jobs as you gain experience.

How do I land my first client as a freelance writer?

Finding a client is not as hard as you think.

It is about networking and connecting with other businesses.

Once you have your portfolio and writer website in place, reach out to business owners and let them how you can help them.

Below are some tips to help you find writing jobs faster.

  • Use job boards. Joab boards, like all freelance writing, curate jobs for freelance writers.
  • Find writing jobs through social media. Join Facebook groups related to freelance writing. However, watch out for scammers. Be sure to verify the potential client’s profile before writing for them.
  • Search for writing jobs through google by using specific keywords like “write for us+paid.”
  • Ask around. Ask for writing jobs from friends and people around you. Also, you can ask your past clients to refer you to other people looking for writing services.
  • Cold email clients. Cold pitching is reaching out to potential clients and asking them if they use freelance writing services.

This technique is a numbers game. You’ll need to send as many pitches as a possible-of course, to different businesses, not one.

Some of your pitches might go unanswered while you might get lucky with others.

The secret to cold emailing is to send a pitch that sells you and not the one that shouts crap. Focus on your client and not yourself.

Tell them how you will help them with their business. Create a time in your schedule to write and send cold emails.

How do I get paid as a freelance writer?

You want to get money for your writing.

Different clients have different ways of paying freelancers.

Some will want you to send them an invoice while others have a system in place to send you the money.

Learn how to create an invoice. My first client asked for an invoice, and I had no idea how to send one, but I figured it out and used PayPal.

Create a PayPal account. It is free, easy, convenient, and widely used.

Agree on payment terms with your client before writing for them.

The Clear definition of freelance writing.

Freelance writing is a "portable" and exciting career.

You can work from anywhere as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection.

There is no experience required, and you set your rates!

Did you like this post? Please pin me.

Defination of freelance writing and how to get paid to write.

Ready to kick start your freelance writing business? 

Join other budding freelance writers who have taken my free 5-day email course.

Charity is a freelance personal finance writer and blogger for hire. She specializes in personal finance, digital content writing and marketing, blog post writing, and intriguing history articles. She's written for major brands and blogs like The Penny Hoarder, Autonomous, Self-Publishing School, Penny Calling Penny, Inkwell Editorial, Freelancer FAQs, and more.


  1. Kimberly Warfield
    September 28, 2019

    Love this and can’t wait to read more! I was a freelancer who gave up, I’m jumping back in and giving it my all!

  2. Charity Jerop
    September 28, 2019

    Hi Kimberly,
    Freelancing is the best thing to do. Please get back at it and give it your all.

  3. Kurtis
    October 1, 2019

    Hey very interesting blog!

  4. Simi
    October 6, 2019

    Thank you so much for the wonderful information, Charity. I never knew about this great detail on freelance writing. I am coming back for more. Thank you for giving back and helping us.

  5. Charity Jerop
    October 6, 2019

    Hi Simi,

    I’m glad you liked my post and thank you for stopping by to comment.

  6. Excellent article Jerop! Super accurate tips without useless info, I can tell you’re a professional writer!
    As a freelancer myself, I found cold email pitching the best method to land clients, especially when I was first starting out.

  7. Charity Jerop
    October 6, 2019

    Hi Chris,
    Thank you for stopping by. And yes, cold emailing is one of the best ways to land high-paying clients.
    I cold email a lot.

  8. Pam
    October 23, 2019

    Hi Charity.
    I appreciate your effort to educate me on this…am really interested in freelance writing.can you guide me please

  9. Charity Jerop
    October 23, 2019

    Hi Pam,
    Sure, just check out my free course here https://charityjerop.com/get-paid-to-write-online/

  10. […] are different types of freelance services you can offer, depending on your skills. You can start a freelance writing business and provide writing services to businesses. Another freelance kind of service you can […]

  11. Faith
    April 29, 2020

    I love this. Very well explained and it makes one want to start immediately.
    I would love to start up but of course with help.
    Would you share your phone number, please?

  12. PowerPublish science and healthcare writers are category experts who understand seriousness and level of detail required.

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