5 Tips for Breaking into a Freelance Writing Career

A career in writing is perhaps one of the most personally rewarding for those who are curious and creative. While full-time writing jobs at newspapers, magazines, and other print publications are declining steadily, there really is no better time to jump into the freelance writing market, especially online. Although getting settled into a freelance writing career that reaps profits takes some dedication and hard work, it’s one of the most common portable careers out there today. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

      1. Build a portfolio by initially writing for free.

The key to developing a full-time, sustainable freelance writing career is by building an impressive portfolio of writing samples. Unless you wrote for school publications in the past, most would-be freelance writers must work from the ground up. Submitting guest posts to different blogs or otherwise offering your writing services for free is a great way to generate clips that paying publications require.

      2. Build your personal brand by maintaining a blog.

In addition to building a writing portfolio, you will want to also enhance your online presence such that prospective clients will eventually come to you. Maintaining a blog and spreading the word about this blog through social media outlets is an often necessary strategy for freelance writers.

      3.    Learn freelance writing basics.

If you are unfamiliar with the terms “SASE” and “query letter,” then it’s to time to Google or hit the books to learn all the ins and outs of freelance writing, from properly pitching to an editor to setting prices for your work. One very thorough, straightforward guide to basic freelance writing is outlined in this Creative Marketing Solutions article.

     4.      Query publications specializing in topics with which you are very familiar.

Although you may eventually develop your freelance writing career such that you can quickly learn about subjects you know little about through improved research skills, it’s important to start out with what you know. What sort of work do you do now? Do you have a hobby or interest that you’ve been practicing for years? Write in-depth articles about topics you know very well, and find publications that are tailored toward these specific topics, noting your previous personal experience in said topic when contacting editors.

      5.      Maintain your current job while creating a steady stream of work.

Any portable career in which you can set your own hours and live by your own rules never comes overnight. Maintain your current job while first starting out moonlighting as a freelance writer. Once you begin getting more clients and projects, consider switching to a part-time job before completing striking out on your own.

Although having a natural talent for writing and storytelling helps, virtually anyone can become a freelance writer. As long as you are inquisitive, hardworking, and organized, writing your way to a full-fledged career in writing is well within your grasp. Good luck!


This is a guest post by Kimberly Wilson. Kimberly is from accredited online colleges, she writes on topics including career, education, student life, college life, home improvement, time management etc.