Eight Ways to Start Freelance Writing With No Experience 

Did you know over 200 million freelance writers are currently making a full-time income from the industry? 

What if I tell you a freelance writer in the United States earns nothing less than $11.22 per hour — would you believe? 

It explains why freelance writing is among the best three side hustles for youths and teenagers globally. 

The demand for quality freelance writers has never been higher, which is why I think you should give it a try. 

Do you love writing but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry. I will show you ways to start freelance writing with no experience. 

I will also reveal how I moved from zero clients to over 50 clients. So, let’s get started.

What Is Freelance Writing 

Freelance writing is a profession that allows you to create written content without being under a company. 

It offers you the freedom to choose clients,  when to work, and your desired genres of writing. 

Who is a Freelance Writer? 

A freelance writer is an independent professional who creates a lovely piece of written work like an article, book, blog post, script, etc. 

He can creatively paint a picture of a situation or idea with words and achieve his primary purpose of writing.

A freelance writer working with his laptop
A busy freelance writer

Importance Of Freelance Writing 

As a freelancer, you are free to work with multiple brands at once. 

It all depends on your ability to manage all clients without affecting your reputation. 

You can work remotely. It means you don’t need a shop, office, or permanent workplace before making money. 

All you need is the ability to write engaging, detailed, and informative content. 

Income flexibility is another importance of a freelance writer. 

You can earn any amount depending on the number of completed projects per month. 

Unlike many 9-5 jobs, freelance writing doesn’t have a fixed monthly payment. 

What You Need to Succeed as a Freelance Writer 

You need the following skills to succeed as a freelancer regardless of your chosen niche:

1. Creativity:

Creativity is the ability to think out of the box, combine words, and create entertaining pieces for your audiences. 

How to Boost Your Creativity as a Writer 

  • Read regularly and outside of your normal genres. 
  • Engage in refreshing activities that allow your mind to wander. 
  • Change up your routine and environment. 
  • Working in a new location or at a different time of day can stimulate creative thinking.
  • Engage in free-writing exercises. 
  • Limit distractions and multitasking.
  • Look for inspiration in unexpected sources like dreams, conversations, or random objects. 
  • Collaborate with other writers and content creators. 
  • Don’t edit too early.
  • Rest regularly and recharge. 

2. Good Research Skill 

You need a top research skill to stand out as a writer because you will come across topics that require intense research. 

Learn to explore Google, Bing, Baidu, and other search engines. 

Be creative in your search — use different related keywords.

Google image showing searching tricks
Be creative while using Google Search

Let’s assume you need sources to write a blog post on “Five ways to make money online” 

Firstly, search: “five ways to make money online”

Followed by: “How to make online money 

Then, try “making money online.” 

Meanwhile, research goes beyond the online world. Gather information offline. 

Consult experts and other necessary individuals for first-hand and helpful information. 

3. Punctuality and Consistency 

Here is another trait of every successful freelance writer.

Every client loves a freelancer that ensures timely delivery. 

Therefore, ensure you stick to the time of submission. It is okay if you submit earlier, but do not exceed the deadline. 

Likewise, you must be trustworthy. Complete all projects on time and maintain constant communication with your clients. 

It will help you establish a stronger relationship with them. 

4. Ability to Follow Clients’ Instructions (Even if it means re-editing after submission)

Let me share my experience with you. There was one project I wrote so well. 

I took my time to edit and ensure it was one of my best projects at the time. 

I was meeting the client for the first time; hence, I gave it my all. 

Guess what? The client asked for a revision. He wanted me to edit some parts I thought were great. 

I re-edited the job, got my payment, and retained the client for many months. 

The thing is, you should be ready to edit your work at any time because some clients may find slight errors.

As much as it might be tiring to revisit submitted projects, you have no option but to meet the client’s demands and get your pay. 

Nonetheless, always understand clients’ requirements before starting any project to prevent unwanted stories. 

Understand the topic, clients’ preferred tone, and the unique points they want from you (if there are any). 

This would help you create top-quality content your clients would gladly approve at once.

5. A Remarkable First Impression

Here’s my greatest secret as a writer — it  helped me establish a long-lasting relationship with almost all my clients.

Always be on top of your game when handling a client’s project for the first time. 

Your content should be interesting, educational, error-free, and helpful to readers. 

Your attitude should be encouraging. It should be one that clients would want to establish a long-term relationship with. 

6. High-quality Content

We can’t over-emphasize the importance of quality in the writing industry because it will determine your success rate. 

Convince your clients with top-quality content and show them you deserve every penny. 

How to Create Quality Content As a Writer 

  • Avoid fluff and repetition: 

Fluff sentences are unhealthy methods writers adopt to reach a certain word count. 

For instance, consider the following sentences:

— Good dieting makes you healthy (five words)

 — Eat good food to be healthy and attractive (eight words)

Though both sentences have the same message, the second one is wordy. 

Such an approach is a red flag in content writing. Use Grammarly to know if your content is wordy. 

  • Proofread for errors: 

You shouldn’t publish or submit a project without proofreading. 

Read twice and edit properly to avoid errors that could jeopardize your efforts and reputation as a writer. 

  • Write well-structured content: 

Writing is more than putting pen to paper. You need a structure that will boost readers’ understanding and assimilation. 

Your readers should navigate from one paragraph to another without any disconnection. 

Ensure a perfect synergy and flow between headings and subtitles. 

Assuming you are writing an article about why you should be happy

Start by defining happiness, followed by the importance of happiness, and what readers should do to be happy. 

The bottom line is being creative enough to determine when a paragraph doesn’t sync with the previous one. 

  • Use topic-related terminologies: 

Tone and style are important parts of content. 

Sometimes, the niche or title determines the writing tone and style. 

Based on my observations, lifestyle, entertainment, and scriptwriting niches require a loose tone. 

They let you express opinions like you’re interacting with someone close to you.

Make it friendly and conversational. You can ask questions even when there is no one to give an immediate answer. 

As for tech review, business, or education niche, adopt a formal style. Don’t be too rigid, but there is a limit to how funny the article should appear. 

Now that you know all you need to be successful as a writer, let’s discuss how to start your journey.

How To Start Freelance Writing With No Experience 

Below is the step-by-step guide to getting started in freelance writing without prior experience. 

1. Identify Your Niche 

First thing first, consider your passion and writing style while choosing your niches.

Research extensively and pick two or three niches you want to write about. 

Test the waters and know the best niche for your talent and style. 

As much as it’s good to be a multi-niched writer, I would advise you to choose one and build authority. 

Meanwhile, below is a list of freelance writing niches to choose from:

  • Business: This involves writing business, marketing, startups, entrepreneurship, etc.
  • Technology: Writing about tech products, apps, gadgets, software, AI, tech reviews, etc. 
  • Health/Wellness: This includes diet, fitness, lifestyle, mental health, personal development, parenting, etc.
  • Travel: This is mainly about travel guides.
  • Ghostwriting: This involves non-fiction and fiction stories. 

Others include pets, finance, food/beverage, politics, entertainment, sport, and law.

2. Write Three Samples 

Now that you have a preferred niche, the next step is to create a portfolio showcasing your creativity. 

Let me guess — you wonder if that is possible without prior experience. Don’t panic — there’s a way around it. 

Create three high-quality writing samples to showcase your skills. You will use them to pitch to potential clients.

3. Get an Author Website (Optional) 

A professional-looking website with links to your work gives you credibility.

While this is awesome, it isn’t compulsory because you can get clients without it. 

I didn’t use it… Sincerely! 

4. Network Online and Offline

Connect with other writers in your niche online. Try Facebook, Twitter(x), Instagram, etc 

Create an optimized LinkedIn account, interact with other users in your niche, and share tips on your page.

Attend physical conferences, join professional organizations, and build win-win relationships with colleagues. 

They might refer you to clients when the opportunity arises. 

5. Master the Art of the Pitching

Your chances of being a successful freelance writer largely depend on your pitch. 

Therefore, you must master the art of crafting a convincing pitch to editors, media houses, or publications.

How to craft a convincing pitch as a writer

Here are brief tips to create a convincing pitch to potential clients:

  • Hook with a strong opening
  • Establish expertise on the topic or niche. 
  • Research and find helpful information about the leads. 
  • Align with publication/client goals. 
  • Convey enthusiasm
  • Be concise 
  • Provide relevant writing samples. Read the full gist here

6. Set Your Rates 

I know you want to make a whole lot of money from your writing skills. 

However, it sometimes takes time to reach such a lofty stage.

Don’t set too expensive charges if you are not experienced enough. 

Meanwhile, don’t undervalue so you won’t be at the losing end of the deal. 

Research your niche and know competitive rates for your experience level.

Professional writer’s charges

According to Revolancer Magazine, “An entry-level freelance writer can start with $0.05/word and within a year, increase their rates up to $1-$2/word.”

7. Submit Proposals 

Here comes the hard work. Getting your first client can be daunting and challenging. 

Well, you shouldn’t expect something else since you are up against experienced writers in the quest for gigs. 

However, the good thing is — many clients are looking for reliable writers on different freelancing platforms. 

Check sites like ProBlogger, Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Contena for writing gigs. 

My recent book (Poor Student’s Bible) contains how I made my first $100 on Upwork. 

Click on the link above to get it for free, but leave a positive rating, please.

A book that discuss how to start freelance writing with no experience

8. Reach Out to Target Clients (Cold Pitches) 

Cold pitches are important to freelance writers. 

If done properly, you have a high probability of getting a paid offer. 

This is where you need the pitch-creation strategies we outlined earlier. 

Identify publications, companies, and bloggers in your niche. 

Send them emails, showing your desire to work with them. 

Hopefully, they will contact you and give you a chance to monetize your skills.

Five Tools You Need To Start Freelance Writing 

Below is a list of writing software you need for fast, quality, and seamless writing experience:

  • Hemingway/Grammarly: To check your grammar and spelling errors. 
  • 1text (web): To check plagiarism score. Grammarly, Smallseotools, and check-plagiarism are noble alternatives. 
  • ZEROGPT (web): AI proofreader to check originality. Corrector.app and contentscale.ai are alternative free AI checking tools. 
  • Google Docs: To write and format. 
  • Canva: To produce top-quality images for your content. 

How I Made My First $100 as a freelance writer (Step-by-step) 

Here is a summary of how I launched my freelance writing career as a complete newbie:

  • I created three samples 
  • Find clients from Nairaland.com
  • Luckily, I found one who offered a learn-and-earn opportunity.
  • I wrote football content daily to boost my confidence and improve my expertise. 
  • I sent a cold pitch to Ikenwa, founder of Nigerian Infopedia. He hired me as one of his trusted writers. 
  • After six months of writing informative articles on Nigeria, I sent another cold email to Allnigeriasoccer. 
  • I was hired to create two football articles and news daily. 
  • I created an Upwork account but didn’t use it until after many years. 
  • Early this year, I made my first $100 on Upwork. 
  • Now, I have my blog. I’m on my way to the top. 

Final Thought 

Don’t let fear hold you back. Take that first step!

Select your niche, polish your writing skills, create pitches, and put yourself out there. 

Meanwhile, I’ll be publishing a book on how to get clients on LinkedIn with less than 300 followers. 

The first 50 people on my waitlist will get it for free! Show your interest (by providing your email) in the comment section below. 

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