How Did You Start Your Freelance Writing Career?

start your freelance writing career

I was browsing Reddit earlier, when I found a thread titled “What was your first paid freelance gig?”. There were quite a few interesting answers, and it got me thinking about my own experience.

Today, I’m going to turn things over to you and ask you to share your own experience: how did you start your freelance writing career?

Before that, allow me to share some stories.

How I started

I was in my last year of university working on my thesis, so I had time on my hands. An online English teaching company was hiring, so I got that job, but I was still looking for something else to do. While I did (still do) love teaching English, I loved (love) writing more.

While browsing an job portal one day, I found an ad looking for someone to write content for a new travel web site. I didn’t have prior freelance writing experience, but I went for it anyway. The rest is history.

Lesson: if you find a job you’re interested in, and you know you can do it, just send in your application. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get the job.

Writing papers for others

I know this is frowned upon by some, but it is no secret that students get extra money writing papers for their peers.

start your freelance writing career

Reddit user MorriesWigShop shares his experience:

“…I wrote papers for friends in high school and college. No set rates, but I rarely did it for less than $50.

After that, I wrote for a few music sites I frequented as they transitioned from message boards to blogs.”

Has anyone gone this route?

Taking on work overflow of other writers

We’ve talked about outsourcing work to others when we’ve bitten off more than we can chew, and guess what? Some people started their freelance writing careers because of this! You can even look at a blogger job board for gigs like these.

“Back in 2011, I ran across a work-at-home mom forum and did some overflow work for someone. Things took off from there.” – Mommyofthreeboyz

Picking up clients in the real world

I’ve heard of freelance writers who got started because of real-world interactions. That regular chit chat at the local bakery or butcher shop can result in getting a job writing their website’s copy or brochure or blog.

There was this guy who used to go to the pub every afternoon and got clients because of interacting with the other regulars.

Your turn

These are only a few ways you can start your freelance writing career. Do you have any experiences to share, or maybe tips for our readers who want to get started?

Also read: 5 Things About Freelance Writing Jobs I Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out





3 responses
  1. Ahmad Jenkins Avatar

    I started freelance writing out of necessity, after having trouble finding stable work for over a year. I decided to pick up freelance writing as something to help me as much as it could while job searching. I wouldn’t call it a career as of yet, I’m still fairly new and struggling. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else but write, so that has been the main thing that has helped me stick to it even when it was at it’s most frustrating moments.

    1. Amanda Arnusch Avatar
      Amanda Arnusch

      I am currently looking into starting out as a freelance writer, and I was wondering how it was going for you! I am currently employed ( at a job I hate) so this is more to get myself out there and comfortable, and I thought I would as you since I see that you yourself have just started out. Please and thank you!

  2. Doremi Avatar

    Still confused until this day, I want to do that, but I have no skill.

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