How to be a Freelance Writer

Freelance WriterFreelance writing has always been a popular choice amongst the masses. A little while back, ghostwriting was the most recognisable form of the practice. Until a long time, the word referred to journalists and writers. However, the culture of freelance work and the scope of its reach have increased and now freelance is another option to a run-of-the-mill desk job.

There are many reasons you could consider taking up freelancing. Along with work, it offers the added benefit of extra money, and the ability to choose the job you like. Your reasons may vary but you should realise that the trend of freelance writing is here to stay.

Job Duties for Freelance Writer

Your typical day as a freelance writer might well begin at 11 a.m. You probably won’t start working until you have coffee. For some of you who are in it for the extra money, perhaps your work will begin in the evening after you’re back from work, or perhaps on the weekend. Your duties as a freelance writer would mostly revolve around content.

Organisations hire different types of writers for varied roles, pertaining to different industry sectors. For instance, an IT organisation that makes banking software, may hire you to develop the website content, another writer to chronicle user manuals for the software and yet another scientific writer to record R&D developments.

Usually some of the duties that you will perform include:

  • Creating content
  • Monitoring the quality of content
  • Revising and updating the content, as needed
  • Keeping a record for work accomplished
  • Co-ordinating with requisite team for work


In any line of work, fulltime or freelance you must develop certain skills to succeed and make name for yourself. To begin freelance writing, you must develop and hone your skills, which include:

  • Writing skills
  • Editing skills
  • Research skills
  • Content development
  • Content Management
  • Adaptability

You can acquire these skills online through various platforms. E-learning platforms like Lynda, Skillshare and Edx offer free and paid instructional videos and classes on writing, editing, best practices, feature writing, where you can learn without having to move from your seat.

Good reads, a book sharing and review site, has awarded a more than generous 4.2/ 5.0 rating for The Yahoo Style Guide, first published in 2009. The style guide is a benchmark for web writing and styling practices even today.

Being Successful as a Freelance writer

Freelance writing can seem like the best job, where you can turn hobby into profession, and earn some money from the comfort of your couch. With experience, the ‘some’ money in question, rapidly evolves into handsome money.

More often than not, talent is not a determinant of success in any sphere. It is possibly truer for writers, with the freelance market insisting that talent combined with the relevant experience, attracts the right kind of employers.

Hence, to be successful initially, you could:

  • Offer to do projects for minimum fees, sometimes free
  • Bid the lowest for a project on freelance job portals
  • Get good testimonials for guest blogs, recommendations for work
  • Start a blog; back link it to blogs that are more visible
  • Create a website, or at the very least, a web page
  • Advertise your services on social media platforms

Average remunerations

So, how much can you earn as a freelance writer? Most of the revenue generated by you depends solely on your ability to market your services and your credibility with previous employees.

Another important factor is what you choose to write. Writers can work as academic, scientific, legal, business, travel, and fashion writers. Thus what you prefer to write about can also determine how much you can earn. The money in freelancing is varied: Usually freelance portals offer two generic kinds of payment models to freelancers.

Fixed-price, where the price is usually pre-determined and a budget is sanctioned which you can bid for, and the hourly payment model where the employer decides on an hourly pay. A fixed-price model may range from $50-300 upwards, while you have to pitch for hourly projects, which usually range from $5-30 an hour, with average payments at $20 an hour.

Finding work

Finding work as a freelance writer is no harder than finding the name of the first Emperor of the Roman Empire. All you need to do is search. It is really a different time from when freelancers had to network with other authors and editors.

In the past decade, many portals have opened up where you can apply for jobs all over the world and offer proposals for international projects. The most advisable course of action is to take the extra pain, take one further step, at the start of your career.

Remember that you are entering a market as a freshman. You should be willing to bide your time and put some effort.

Websites like Odesk, Elance, Guru, Mediabistro and Blogging Pro, offer opportunities for freelance writers globally. Freelancing has opened up the way we view work: and the trend only continues to rise. All you writing enthusiasts, you wordsmiths who wish to carve a niche in this booming field, do not just think about pressing those keys, like ‘Nike’, which rhymes with Spiky, coined the phrase: ‘just do it’.


There are many resources available for you to begin Freelance writing as a career. Some websites that offer study material online and host instructional videos include:

For more information on Freelance Resource please visit