I never set out to be a writer, but in my quest to work at home, that’s what I became. Blogging requires writing. Creating information products and books requires writing. Marketing my business requires writing. And through all this writing, I discovered I could get paid to write for others.
Writing is a great way to work from home. It doesn’t cost anything to get started (assuming you already have a computer). While you should be able to string words together, you don’t need a degree in English or journalism. You can work anywhere on your own schedule. Finally, content is in high demand, which means work is plentiful.
If you’d like to try your hand at freelance writing, here’s how to get started:
1) Start writing.
The more you write, the better you get. Consider starting a blog, which can showcase your writing and give you the practice you need.
2) Make a list of your skills, experience and interests.
I can write about fitness because I’m an AFAA certified instructor. I can write about parenting because I’m a social worker. I can write about working at home because I work at home. Don’t limit yourself. If you know it, do it or love it, write it down. You never know when someone needs a writer to cover that topic. I’ve seen writing jobs for wine enthusiasts and skilled horsemen.
3) Get a basic understanding of writing for search engine optimization.
Online sources will want you to use keywords and understand search engine optimization (SEO).
4) Create a writing sample.
Most jobs will want to see samples of your work. Some will want clips of published work while others will give you a topic and ask you write about it. If you don’t have clips, you can create a sample of your writing. Consider starting a blog or a website to create a portfolio of your writing.
5) Write a bio.
The bio isn’t just to help you get a job, it’s also frequently posted with your work. You should start with your name and expertise or brand statement. Mention your knowledge or experience with the topic and end with the URL to your website or blog. Your bio may change depending on who you write for. For example, my bio is different for home business articles than fitness articles.
6) Get on social media.
There are several benefits to being on social media as a writer. One, you can promote yourself as a writer and network for writing jobs. But also, some media outlets ask that you share you work on social media.
7) Search and apply for writing jobs.
I post writing jobs occasionally on the WAHS job board. You can check sites like WritersWeekly.com, Problogger.net, and FreelanceWritingGigs.com for more jobs. Knowing how to search and network for writing clients and jobs is crucial to success.
8) Learn to manage your time to meat deadlines.
To make a living writing, you’ll need to learn to balance seeking writing gigs with delivering content for several jobs. To do that, you’ll need an organized system and workflow to pitch, research, write, edit and deliver your writing work.
Here are resources for freelance writing jobs:
DotDash (formerly About.com) – Hires writer “experts” in a variety of areas including soap operas, parenting and more.
Demand Studio – Hires writers and editors in a variety of topics.
Internet Brands – Provides content to a variety of websites in several topic areas.
Blogging.com Freelance Resource List – List of 25 places to find writing jobs and other resources.