The Freelance Writing Starter Guide | 2021 Edition

Your go-to resource for getting started as a money-making freelance writer.
Start Freelance Writing With No Experience

Welcome to the Freelance Writing Starter Guide, your go-to resource to jumpstart your career as a freelance writer! This guide is for you if you've been thinking about becoming a freelance writer but haven't been sure where to start or if you're stuck in the beginning stages.

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There's a lot of ground to cover in this Freelance Writing Starter Guide. Feel free to browse the entire guide or use the roadmap below to jump to the section(s) that interest you the most.

Alright, now that you know what's in store, let's dive in…

01. Why You Should Start Freelance Writing in 2021

Not quite sure if freelance writing is right for you? This post will walk you through some of the biggest benefits of becoming a freelance writer this year. Whether it's on a full-time basis or you just want to start a side hustle to make some extra cash, freelance writing has a lot to offer!

Read “Why You Should Start Freelance Writing in 2021” here.

02. How to Become a Freelance Writer (No Experience Required!)

One of the biggest misconceptions that holds people back from pursuing a career as a freelance writer is a lack of experience. A lot of would-be freelancers feel like they don't have the connections, resources, or knowledge to be as successful as well-known writers like Ashlyn Carter, Elna Cain, and Jorden Roper.

I'm here to tell you that's simply not true.

You don't have to have experience as a paid writer to start freelance writing. When I started my freelance writing business, the only experience I had as a writer was contributing essays to my college's literary publication. But I didn't let that stop me and I was able to quit my full-time job just a little over a year after I began. You can too!

Read “How to Become a Freelance Writer (No Experience Required)” here.

03. The Secret to Choosing a Freelance Writing Niche

While it's possible to make a living as a “jack of all trades” freelance writer, most have better luck after defining their niche. After all, brands that are willing to invest good money into their copy and content want to work with an industry expert. Choosing a niche makes it easier to be that industry expert and market yourself as a writer that can achieve the results they want.

So, how do you decide which niche is the right one for you? It's not as complicated as it may seem. This article will walk you through the process — and it includes access to a free workbook to help you work through each step.

Read “The Secret to Choosing a Freelance Writing Niche” here.

Other articles and tools you may find helpful:

04. How to Create a Freelance Writer Website & Portfolio

A freelance writer website and portfolio are extremely important tools to have for your business. Not only does a professional website add credibility — which is crucial — but it also makes it easy to showcase your work. Most importantly, when done well, a freelance writer website can help you win clients.

This article will walk you through the steps to creating a website and portfolio designed to position you as a professional and attract your ideal client.

Read “How to Create a Freelance Writer Website & Portfolio” here.

Other articles you may find helpful:

05. How Much Should I Charge as a Freelance Writer?

Setting freelance writing rates can be pretty confusing, especially when you're just starting out. A lot of newbies feel like they can't charge as much because they don't have the experience other writers have. But, one of the most important things I can tell you is to never undervalue yourself as a writer. Use this guide to learn how to calculate your ideal freelance writing rate and get paid what you deserve.

Read “How Much Should I Charge as a Freelance Writer?” here.

Other articles and tools you may find helpful:

06. How to Write Client-Winning Cold Emails

Does the thought of cold-emailing make you cringe? You're not alone! That said, cold emailing is one of the most effective ways to build up your roster or clients — and it's not as scary as it sounds. There are some tricks to crafting a killer cold email, which this article and its corresponding workbook cover.

Read “How to Write Client-Winning Cold Emails” here.

Other articles and tools you may find helpful:

07. The Best (Free) Financial Software for Freelance Writers

Having financial systems and processes in place is a must as a freelance writer. Finding accounting software that does multiple jobs is one of the best tools you can have for your business. While freelancers across all industries swear by paid versions like Freshbooks or HoneyBook, they may not fit into your budget. Luckily, there's a free option that offers plenty of robust features. From invoicing to tracking transactions and everything in between, this is the best free financial software available.

Read “The Best (Free) Financial Software for Freelance Writers)” here.

Other articles and tools you may find helpful:

08. How to Build Credibility as a Freelance Writer (& Why It Matters!)

Credibility is a crucial element of any brand or business. It's what tells potential clients that they can trust you with their time and money. If you're having trouble finding clients, it may be because you lack credibility. Giving it a boost can take time, but it's possible with these strategies.

Read “How to Build Credibility as a Freelance Writer” here.

09. How to Develop a Freelance Writing Routine That Works

Having a freelance writing routine is essential for finding success as a freelance writer and creative entrepreneur. Not only will a routine put you in the right mindset to write, but it will also help to streamline the writing process. Working more efficiently also creates the opportunity to take on more work and increase your income as a freelance writer.

Read “How to Develop a Freelance Writing Routine That Works” here.

10. How to Be More Productive While Working From Home

When working from home as a freelance writer, productivity is key. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes of an online business, and it can be easy to get distracted. Making sure you're functioning at a high level of productivity can be easier said than done, but luckily, you can learn strategies to improve your productivity.

Read “How to Be More Productive While Working From Home” here.

Other articles and tools you may find helpful:

Frequently Asked Questions About Freelance Writing

The Freelance Writing Starter Guide will be a great resource as you begin your freelance writing journey. If there's a topic that you want to know more about, I highly recommend checking out the FAQs archives. You'll find a ton of articles related to all stages of freelance writing or you can submit your own questions using this form.

I hope you found The Freelance Writing Starter Guide helpful! You may also want to read these guides on how to market your freelance writing services and ways to impress a freelance client every time.

Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more tips about freelance writing and running an online business.

By Katie Jenison

Katie Jenison is a freelance writer offering copywriting, blogging, and ghostwriting services. She works closely with home builders, remodelers, interior designers, real estate and property management professionals to help them create content marketing strategies, improve their digital presence, generate leads, and engage with their target audience. Katie also helps freelance writers and creative entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of working from home by providing tips and advice, business strategies, and writing tips on her blog, The Quiet Type. Download her free workbook, A Freelancer’s Guide to Setting Rates, here.

View all of Katie Jenison's posts.

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