How To Get Started As A Freelance Content Writer

Content – you can’t get away from it.  Ever since marketing gurus figured out that great content is more effective than shouty ads, it’s become the buzzword of a generation.  In 2019, businesses are looking to attract and keep customers by offering them engaging content; essentially, something interesting to read.  This means, of course, that these businesses need people to produce the content for them.  This is where the Freelance Content Writer comes in.

Pray tell, what is a Freelance Content Writer?

You know those blogs that everybody has on their website these days?  And those articles on Facebook?  And those clever internet ads?  These are all created by Content Writers – many of whom are freelancers.  These days, companies are seeking to supersize their digital presence with great content and, they’re looking for writers to create this for them.  Depending on the company and the project, a Freelance Content Writer can find themselves writing about anything from the plight of the planet to the state of security at gigs.

Essentially, the Freelance Content Writer is an on-demand wordsmith who must be prepared to turn their hand – and their pen – to almost any subject.  Projects that a Freelance Content Writer might take on include:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Social media posts and adverts
  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • Product reviews
  • Website content

On the books

The rates that Freelance Content Writers can demand vary dramatically and are dependent on the client base.  Working through freelancer sites like People Per Hour tends to net rates of between £15 and £20 per hour, however, many large companies will pay considerably more for a valued writer.  Many Freelance Content Writers find that it’s easier to quote a price per project as an hourly rate can be difficult to quantify.  In many cases, some research on the topic is required so, make sure that you factor this into your quotation.

Putting pen to paper

The good news is that very few clients expect a Freelance Content Writer to produce an actual writing qualification.  What they do want to see is samples of your work and, often, samples of published work.  This can be a piece of writing that has been published in a newspaper or magazine or, even a blog post produced for a client and published on their website.   Before you even think about looking for paying clients, you need to make sure that you have a body of work which demonstrates your talent and diversity.

Happily, when it comes to your overheads, your initial outgoings will be minimal.  All you really need is a laptop and connection to the world wide web.  As you go along, you can add organisational tools like Quickbooks and Evernote but, these can wait until you start making some cold, hard cash.

Perfecting your art

Really, the only way to become a great writer is to write!  Try your hand at different topics to figure out where your talents lie and upload your work to free sites in order to improve your visibility.

Getting those clients

Once you’ve got your portfolio sorted and figured out what you’ll be charging, it’s time to go after those clients.  As well as trying the usual freelancer websites such as People Per Hour, Codepen and Upwork, there are lots of other ways of finding work.  Set up a Facebook page which showcases your work and run some paid adverts.  You can also try contacting companies in your local area, offering your services on a pay as you go basis.  Start building a database of clients and send out regular emails offering discounts and…you guessed it, some interesting content!

Becoming a Freelance Content Writer can be incredibly rewarding and, often, lucrative.  Just remember not to be too choosy about the jobs you accept; that 6000 word article about waste disposal systems may not be too interesting but, somebody’s got to do it.    Happy freelancing!

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