Five Crucial Guidelines to Starting a Freelance Writing Career

start freelance writing

Author: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content creator. He draws his inspiration out of the traveling. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.

You might be surprised to learn the number of freelance writing aspirants out there. However, many don’t dedicate time to fulfilling their dream. Alternatively, they go about their 9 to 5 traditional work routines, take orders from irritable bosses, and get paid less their worth.

If you wish to be a freelancer and your current situation is similar to the one outlined above, it’s high time you make a change. You’ll only waste time if you keep procrastinating.

Just remember that it takes some time to grow a successful freelance writing business. The steps to actually start are simple. They do not guarantee that you’ll be swimming in cash, but they will set you on the right path to gaining a solid income in the near future.

Five guidelines to begin a freelance writing career

Let go of your current job.

I understand why most people are hesitant when it comes to making such a big decision (quitting the known and venturing into the unknown), but the sooner you quit your current job, the better. If you don’t overcome your fear of quitting your current job, you will end up working the same job all your life.

In order to overcome your fear of making a drastic big change in your life, you can start out freelancing as a part-time career in the meantime. This will enable you to experience the freelance world and still secure your monthly earning, if that is your primary concern. Be warned that it’s going to be tough working two jobs –  your usual 9 to 5 job in the day and writing in the night. Nonetheless, you will be able to gather enough clients as time goes by until the time when freelancing becomes your full-time job.

start freelance writing

Decide on the area of freelancing you wish to venture into.

Never make the mistake of thinking that all writing jobs are similar. They aren’t.

Most people come to realize this later on after they screw up. There are various forms of writing which you can venture into such as web content writing, print magazines writing, and academic writing for sites such as,, and It doesn’t matter what area you choose to venture into as long as you pick one area of focus. Trying to handle several things will only frustrate you.

Prepare freelance writing samples

What will you present your potential clients with when they come seeking your business?

Just like any other business, you need to show your clients what you are capable of and why they should hire you and not your competition. The first thing they ask for are your samples. If your samples match your potential client’s work, make sure you present those first. They will definitely raise your chances of getting the job. If not, you can still present general samples, which are better that presenting nothing at all.

Your samples should be your best work. Make sure your portfolio has various types of projects for example a feature article, sales letter, etc. One of them will likely fit what the potential client is looking for.

Don’t get ahead of yourself

It is great being ambitious and working towards getting your freelance writing business atop from the get-go. However, if you surpass your own limits, you may find yourself bonded to work that you are not certain about. Take into consideration every job offer you get and employ your best assessment when deciding on what to do.

Establishing rates

This is the most difficult task at hand for freelance writers, especially newbies who have little or no knowledge of the industry averages or the amount most clients are ready to part with.

As you start freelance writing, conduct your own research and see what other writers are charging. After doing so, adjusting your rates to meet your potential client base. You can adjust your rates accordingly in future as you gain more expertise.

If you are looking to start a career in freelancing, the above mentioned guidelines should set you on the right path. After working in the corporate world for several years, I decided to pave my own way by becoming a freelance writer full-time. At first it was hard, but before long I had learnt my way around the freelancing industry. Now I can comfortably say that I earn double what I used to earn in my day-time job in a month.

Relate reading: Year End Task: Revamp Your Online Portfolio


9 responses
  1. Bella Avatar

    I just ditched a corporate gig full of negativity, ppl who hate eachother and the work, in orderl to start my freelance writing biz.

    Luckily i have a bachelors degree in writing so im aware of genres, and styles of writing out there and my own strengths too. I also have experience and samples.

    My issue is rate setting i got caught up writing for pennies a word. The guy became abusive when i tried to re-negotiate my rate. Ive learned from it and will never undervalue my service again.

    Before i go off sending query letters, or replying to job ads, im going to set my rates and guidelines and do loads of research.

    1. Manish Avatar

      Hey, do u really earn from it. I am an engineering student and want to earn some penny so please if that’s true than let me know how it works. Please help me

    2. Janet Avatar

      Check out the Freelance Writers Den. They have a forum and bootcamps to help writers get paid what they’re worth. They do not open often, but they’re opening in less than two weeks and you will need to get on their waiting list to get in. It’s only $25/month and worth every penny. I would like to share my affiliate link, but I doubt that is allowed (if it is, I hope the owner of this site will let me know so I can share it).

      1. Noemi Tasarra-Twigg Avatar
        Noemi Tasarra-Twigg

        Feel free, Janet.

  2. Wendy Cartright Avatar

    I think choosing an area of writing and sticking with it will be a smart move for me. There are so many things I want to do with my writing abilities, but I realize that it wouldn’t be effective to stretch them thin. Web content writing sounds like a great place to begin. I bet I could even work from home.

  3. Nikki Avatar

    Cant’ connect with you on LinkedIn without knowing your email address.

  4. Nwigwe kingsley Avatar
    Nwigwe kingsley

    I’m a graduate of political science but I have this passion for writing to earn penny and work at home. I need a little tips to know which field of writing that will match my proffession

  5. Janet Avatar

    Be very careful about quitting your job! That’s a huge decision. Make sure the time is right and that you can support yourself. You may want to at least have some serious savings put aside.

  6. Payam Jian Avatar

    Being Freelancer is a good idea to earn self-esteem and build your own business in any type of business. Writing is one the task I like to do but there are many obstacles on this path ahead of me. The starting point if just try and start to write.

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