How to Become a Freelance Writer (And Get Your First Writing Gig)

Are you looking to become a freelance writer?  Are you wondering how much you could make and how to get your first gig?

When I started freelance writing, I honestly didn't know the answers to these questions either. I didn't know anything about making money online nor did I have any clue that freelance writers would be in such demand.

Now I write for multiple sites and have earned up to $500 for a single writing assignment!

In this article, I'll tell you what I've learned along the way.

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My #1 recommended resource to help you become a writer and make money is the Freelance Writer Academy.  It was created by my friends, Miranda Marquit and Ben Luthi, both of whom make six digits per year writing!  Click here to learn more.

5 Ways You Can Become a Freelance Writer

Let’s look at what you need to do to get started in freelance writing.

#1 – Check out forums for freelance writing gigs

Believe it or not but forums aren’t just for chatting and wasting time. You can easily find a freelance writing gig by being active in a forum. You can land a writing job just by keeping in touch with your peers.

How’s this possible? Most bloggers check out forums to shoot the breeze with other bloggers and to chat about what’s relevant to them. This means that if a blogger is considering hiring a freelance writer, they’ll first mention it in the forum. If you’re an active member of this forum with a decent reputation, you can reach out to this blogger and offer your services.

You don’t have to actively be looking for work in forums. It just helps to keep an eye out for “looking to hire a freelance writer” threads that pop up.

#2 – Keep track of popular blogs

What does keeping track of popular blogs have to do with anything? You can find a blogger that needs to a hire a freelance writer but just doesn’t know it yet.

How can you tell if a blogger would want to hire a freelance writer in the near future?

  • The website clearly makes money.
  • Look for bloggers that seem burned out.
  • Find bloggers that haven’t been posting.
  • Look for signs in articles.
  • The author has received a promotion.
  • The blogger has just had a child or gotten married or any other major life event.

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, I highly recommend that you reach out to the blogger to see if they would be interested in hiring a freelance writer. Obviously not every single person you email will be interested. Some will be interest in a trial basis, some will ask ask for a few guest posts first, and others will flat out turn down your offer. If you don’t ask the answer is always no. I actually ended up hiring a freelance writer for one of my other blogs this way. They reached out to me and asked if I needed another writer.

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#3 - Search through online job boards

There are many job boards out there for those that want to find freelance work. 

Where do you apply for writing gigs online?

  1. ProBlogger Job Board. This one has been around for a while.
  2. Upwork. This is a freelancing market place where you can apply for a variety of gigs.
  3. Writer's Market. You have to pay to join but you get to apply to writing jobs in many different niches.
  4. LinkedIn. You can find freelance writing gigs here too.
  5. Freelancer Writers Den. This is a paid membership site for those looking to get serious.

#4 - Offer your services on your own blog

If you happen to have your own blog and want to become a freelance writer as well, then I recommend that you put up a post on your blog offering your services. I’ve seen “hire me” posts going up on many smaller personal finance blogs (and other niches). You never know who reads your blog or who’s in the market to hire a freelance writer e.g. at AdvancedWriters writing company. It’s worth a try, especially since it only takes a few minutes to put up one of these posts.

#5 - Listen to successful freelance writers

Why learn at the school of hard knocks when there are courses out that that teach exactly what you want to do?

For example, my friend Miranda Marquit, who has made hundreds of thousands of dollars writing for big name publications like Forbes, MSN, and Yahoo Finance, teamed up with two other uber-successful freelance writers and created the course, the Freelance Writer Academy.  

The basic course costs just $249.  You could earn that back in one writing gig (and then some). 

Seriously, my friends... You could go spend tens of thousands on a college degree with no guarantee of a job, or spend hundreds of hours fiddling around with freelance writing.  Why?  Learn from the pros.

They'll teach you how to get clients, tricks to become more productive, how to charge more, how to get started, and everything else you need to know.

Click here to learn more about Freelance Writer Academy.

#6 - Get a boat load of experience.

This is where you have to do whatever it takes. This is where most of you will give up. I predict that 99% of folks will give up at this stage.

Why do so many people give up here?

Because it sucks!

It's awful.

Working for free sucks. You feel like a sucker and you're not getting paid. You're trading in your time for nothing in the moment. Getting experience is equivalent to your crush telling you that you're a nice guy. The only problem is that you need tons of experience if you want to get better at what you do and get your name out there.

How do you get experience?

Here are the easiest ways to start right now:

  • Find popular people that need your service and offer to do it for free.
  • Show up at events in your field and help out.
  • Post ads on Kijiji.
  • Use your friends and family. I personally don't believe in charging those close to me. However, I have no issues with exploiting them as test models.

It's important to note that just because you're working for free, this doesn't give you permission to slack off. In fact, you should work harder to prove that you deserve to get paid. I have a friend who will agree to help people out for free and then he disappears off the face of the Earth. Why would anyone ever want to hire him?

You can also stop at this point and start getting paid depending on your field. Gaining experience usually opens up lots of doors.

#7- Become the best in your niche.

You have to become the best. You need to stick out. You need to find a way to become known. Some marketing folks and business schools call this a USP (unique selling proposition). This is what separates you from others.

Please remember that you're writing your story. Don't let anyone hold that pen for you.

How do you become the best?

The traditional advice is to work hard. I know that you come to Studenomics for more than that crap. Below are some real tactics that will work to help you become the best.

  • Invest in knowledge.
  • Attend training seminars.
  • Find a way to stick out.
  • Become the best in your unique way (fastest, coolest, etc.).
  • Pay for advice.
  • Take on big projects that will force you to step out of your comfort zone.

When you become the best, you can charge more. You can also stop stressing about finding work. I personally rarely even apply for freelance work now. The work comes to me.

That’s how you can find a freelance writing gig.

Are you ready to start looking for online freelance writing jobs?

4 thoughts on “How to Become a Freelance Writer (And Get Your First Writing Gig)”

  1. Another to try as well would be to reach out to other bloggers directly, and see if any are willing to pay you to write for them. You might only find this will happen with the bigger name blogs, but its always worth a try!

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