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How to Start a Freelance Writing Business: Step by Step

by Contributing Author

If you’re reading this, the odds are that you’ve been contemplating how to start a freelance writing business.

Maybe you’ve been receiving vague advice or don’t understand what goes into freelance writing. And what you need to do to be successful.

Well, a freelance writing business does not have to be that complicated. In this post, we discuss a few steps that will fuel your freelance writing career right away.

But first, what is freelance writing?

In simple terms, a freelancer is a self-employed person and works by contracting their services to companies or individuals primarily on a short-term basis. As a freelance writer, you will work with agencies, publications, individual clients, or companies contracting to offer writing services.

Freelance writing is lucrative, whether as a full-time career or a side hustle, and comes with so much flexibility. You get to choose who you work with, your working schedule, where you work, projects to take, etc.

Bearing that in mind, let’s get right into it!

Find your niche

The truth is, you do not have to stick to a single niche, although you need to identify the one you’re most knowledgeable or interested in. Choosing something you enjoy will allow you to generate content real fast. And save you time even as you research and do what you love.

Some of the most common niches freelancers specialize in include: relationships, travel, home décor, gardening, diet and fitness, parenting, technology, software, fashion, cooking, baking, home décor, creative hobbies, etc.

This list doesn’t exhaust everything.

Create a website

Successful freelance writers will tell you that you need to create a website where potential clients can see what you do.

For this reason, you need to learn how to design a website. For website design you don’t need to be a tech master or coder. You can use a website building platform where you simply choose a template and then edit it with an intuitive editing tool until it is exactly the way you want it.

Before creating a website, however, ensure that the site gets hosted by reliable servers and is compliant with the highest international security standards. Be sure that your site will run smoothly as expected and that the site’s tools are built with stability and efficiency in mind.

Create a portfolio

If you do not have any work you can share with potential clients, you need to start. You need to put your past works and projects into a portfolio that you can display on your website for potential clients to see. Once you create a portfolio, develop a reader base to share your content and get feedback and suggestions.

Take your time writing pieces that showcase your expertise, potential, and talent. When potential clients begin looking for you, you will have something solid to share. And this will help you shine amongst other freelancers.

Start your business

Before kickstarting on this journey, you need to write a business plan. Here, include your short and long-term goals, how you plan on getting money, your target market, competition, service offerings, rates, etc.

That will help you work with a purpose and identify challenges, strengths, and areas to improve.

Remember to choose a business name since this is what people will refer to you! You also want to ensure that it is available as a domain so that your business and website are the same.

Create legal contracts

As a freelancer, you want to create contracts that clients need to sign before working with you.

It should entail the scope of work, timelines, payment and rights to your work. And any services you’ll offer.

Marketing

To build a client base, you need to market yourself. Take your time building your portfolio, website, business cards, etc. Ensure that you have an email address where clients can reach out to you and attend forums to share what you do.

All your marketing materials should factor in your service offerings and pricing so that customers can know the services you offer and how much they will cost them.

Also, encourage customers to leave reviews on your website after doing business with you to boost your credibility. 

Build a solid reputation

If you’re looking to build a solid reputation as a freelancer, you need to offer pure gold. And excellent services to your clients, at fair rates.

Meeting deadlines, doing comprehensive research as you do your tasks, showing up on time, and delivering as promised is also a part of building a solid reputation. As mentioned above, happy customers will return to your business and refer others by word of mouth.

Finally, remember to take a few writing courses to hone your skills. Imagine you were a client hiring, and a freelancer says, “I’ve worked with Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.” This will get your full attention, right? That’s the power of social proof. That will help you get valuable clients as a freelancer.

Note that this means you need to be an asset yourself! You will need to spare your busy schedule to do those useful courses, get relevant certifications and hone your skills. In the end, it will be all worth it.

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