If you’re considering starting a career in freelance writing, you may be wondering if your writing skills are good enough for you to write professionally and make a living. The answer is usually YES. No matter where your skill level is now, there is likely somewhere you can start.
I remember when I started freelance writing. It was back in 2012, and I was fresh out of college with a B.A. in psychology and no job skills to speak of. I was pretty sure no one would be willing to pay me for my writing. But I decided to give it a shot after learning that freelance writing was one of the best ways to make money online while traveling— and I was in the middle of a long-term trip to Asia when I started running out of money.
So lo and behold, I found a few places to apply as a content writer, and I was accepted! Since then, I’ve realized that freelance writing is a great career option for people who aren’t exactly sure where they belong in the job department. Here are some reasons I believe anyone can figure out how to be a freelance writer.
There’s Room for a Wide Range of People
First of all, there is a huge range in quality and skill level among professional freelance writers, but ALL of them are getting paid for creating content. You don’t need to have been the star of your high school English class or be working on your second novel to be a good freelance writer. All you need is the ability to form coherent written sentences, and you can learn the rest as you go.
Your level of writing skills now may affect where you start out in the market, but it doesn’t determine how far up you can go. What I mean is that if you are already a great writer, that’s awesome! You will be able to charge more for your freelance writing work from the very start.
If you have less writing experience and feel less confident in your skills, I still guarantee that there is somewhere you can be paid for your writing. From there, you will just have to study, practice, and learn the skills it takes to produce high-quality work and raise your rates. If you’re motivated to learn, you can do it.
Everyone Learns Freelance Writing As They Go
No matter where your writing skill level is when you start freelancing, there is going to be a lot to learn on the job.
You could take my freelance writing course, and that would help you get a head start on understanding what freelance writers do and how they do it. However, there is also a ton that you learn just by doing. Once you get your first few jobs, you will see that every client and every project is different. There is a learning curve each time. For instance, you’ll learn:
How to meet particular formatting requirements for different clients
The vocabulary and style of your niche (or what the client prefers)
How your industry or niche works, what the trends are, etc.
How to write content that addresses key business goals
Even those who start with good writing skills will still need to learn to be a good freelance writer. It’s all about making clients happy. When you’re writing professionally, it’s no longer about what YOU think sounds good; it’s about what the client wants. Writing for the approval of clients will require a big adjustment in mindset for a lot of writers.
Everyone goes through this process, and in some ways, writers with less experience may have an easier time picking up the particular style of their niche, because they may have less entrenched ideas about what “good writing” looks like. The point is that everyone goes through this learning process together, so it’s not just about being a great writer.
There Are Many Skills a Freelance Writer Needs Besides Writing (And You Probably Already Have Some of Them)
Freelance writing involves so many skills besides writing. Imagine you are writing a blog article for a healthcare company. The business wants you to create content that helps clients understand the value of what the business does and why their services are important. You will need to research the company and industry, communicate with your client about what they are looking for, and use critical thinking to decide what information needs to be included in your blog post. After all of that research and prep, you will finally do a little bit of writing.
That’s not to mention that part of a freelance writer’s job is to essentially run a small, one-person business. Part of your job will involve marketing yourself, keeping clients happy, managing your business’ finances, and all of the other little tasks that come with being self-employed.
Writing is obviously an important aspect of a freelance writer’s job, but it’s not the only component. If you are coming into freelance writing with any related skill sets (such if you have experience with admin, research, marketing, sales, business, or even customer service), that is going to help you. You will have a leg up in some aspects of your new job.
Many types of people can excel at freelance writing, and anyone can develop their writing style through practice. If you’re interested in becoming a freelance writer, don’t let fears of not being good enough get in your way. You can start wherever you are today, and take it step by step to develop the skills it takes to become a well-paid freelance writer.
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Who Wrote This?
I’m Renee Hyde and I’ve been a digital nomad freelance writer since 2012. So far I’ve visited 60+ countries and counting! On this blog I share tips about dreamy travel destinations, travel hacks, ways to work remotely and travel, and advice for living your best nomadic life!