melanie johnston writer

Freelance Writing Jobs: 8 Basic Tips For Beginners


The face of employment is changing. Going to the office is no longer as intrinsic to the work of organizations as it used to be and working from home (or anywhere else for that matter) is no longer something strange and unusual. In this brave new world, freelance writing is one career path that has shown astronomical growth.

Freelance writing can be a highly rewarding career. You can work when you want and how much you want and if you are good at it, it can pay very well too. At the same time, for a beginner, it can also be a daunting prospect for there is no formal employment or work structure and starting out can be difficult. Here are some helpful tips to make the start of your freelance writing journey just a little more comfortable:

  1. What is your niche?
  2. What are your interests, what is your line of education or previous work? What is something you enjoy doing and are able to write about? Ask yourself these questions; write down a list of your favourite niches and then choose one or two to start.

  3. Start reading
  4. Once you have narrowed down what you would like to write about, start reading! Reading books, articles or online about a specific topic polishes up your knowledge about it. Reading about the art of writing will help too. Reading exposes you to various styles of writing which will equip you for everything from serious academic writing to the more light-hearted fare of online writing.

  5. Think about the value you offer
  6. You should know what makes you different or better than the other hundreds of writers pitching proposals to a very busy editor. Are you extremely good with deadlines? Do you work better under pressure? Do you have expertise in a very specific area that very few other people have? Thinking this through will help you when you pitch your ideas to prospective employers later on.

  7. Get a blog
  8. The biggest outlet for freelance writing is online. Starting a blog will not only give you a place where you can write regularly, it will also give you a place to showcase your talents to the world, and more importantly, to people looking to hire a writer.

  9. Start small
  10. In the beginning, the aim should be to get your name out there. Write for your school newspaper, your work magazine or your local journal. Make sure you do excellent work and slowly build up a good reputation.

  11. Write for Free!
  12. It may seem counterintuitive to write for free when you are trying to build a career but think of it like unpaid internships in other lines of work. You learn the ropes and people become familiar with the great quality of your work.

  13. Rejection is part of the game
  14. Like with every other job search, rejection is part and parcel of finding writing jobs. Do not be discouraged. Instead, focus on how you can improve your writing and your job proposal.

  15. Write and send
  16. Never forget that while the aim is to make a living, you started writing because you love it. With that in mind, start writing. And start submitting your work. Be prolific but do not let your standards slip. Do quality work, meet deadlines and work will follow!