How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience – Complete Guide

It’s easy to think that, to become a freelance writer, you need to already have some sort of impressive experience in writing—but nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is that there are tens of thousands of well-paid jobs in online writing, and all you need to qualify is ambition and creativity. That’s why I’ve created this step-by-step guide on how to become a freelance writer with no experience—it’ll teach you everything you need to know about your new career as an online writer so that you can get started today!

What is freelance writing?

Before you can embark on your freelance writing career, it’s important to know what kind of freelancer you want to be. Being a freelance writer is more than just stringing words together and making them rhyme; it’s also about creating valuable content that adds value to readers. 

There are three main types of freelance writers: generalists, niche experts, and subject-matter experts. While each type requires slightly different skill sets, every writer should have an understanding of SEO and social media marketing if they want their articles or blogs seen by as many people as possible. Also remember that there’s no shame in picking up gigs in other areas of digital marketing such as web design, content management, and advertising for extra income.

how much does a freelance writer make?

How much do freelance writers make? The short answer is: It depends. And it will vary from writer to writer and project to project. You might be able to earn between $1,000 and $2,000 per month in your first year as a freelance writer—but some of us have earned as much as $30,000 in our first month alone. 

In reality, many new writers don’t earn much at all until they become more established in their careers. This can take anywhere from three months for someone who already has experience writing professionally and is looking for new opportunities, up to several years for someone who has just entered into freelance writing.

Where Can I find Jobs as a Freelance Writer?

When looking for jobs as a freelance writer, you have two options: Job boards or direct employers. We recommend both, but job boards are particularly helpful when starting. If you just want to dip your toes in freelance writing and see how it goes, job boards are for you. 

They’re also great if you need quick cash—you can find writing gigs in as little as three days! On the other hand, if you want more stable work that comes from long-term relationships with employers, go direct. Both strategies have their merits and drawbacks, which we break down in detail below

What do you need to be a freelance writer

freelance writers have certain characteristics that separate them from other types of writers. To be a freelance writer, you need two very important things: education and experience. You can obtain both, but you must do so in an organized fashion. Once you have those two, it’s all about networking and persistence. 

If you don’t already have them, some steps will help get you on your way. It may seem like a long process, but once you get started, it will feel like second nature. So what exactly do you need? 

How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience Step: 

Education To begin your journey as a freelance writer, you first need education. Without proper schooling, it is unlikely that anyone would hire you for any type of writing job. This step may take time depending on how much schooling you require or if online courses are sufficient enough for you. 

The most common route taken by aspiring freelance writers is either through traditional schools or online schools. Traditional Schools There are several traditional schools around the country offering degrees in journalism or English writing classes that teach many different skills needed for becoming a professional freelancer including research skills, analytical skills, and strong writing skills.

Freelance Writer Tips

Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

A professional-looking cover letter is almost as important as your resume. Hiring managers spend about six seconds reviewing each applicant’s cover letter—that’s it! So take some time and make sure yours stands out in all of its professionalism. Make sure you get personal, write professionally, and keep it short. 

You only have 10–20 seconds to convince someone that you are worth taking time out of their day for, so be specific and be brief—10 sentences max should do it! Also, remember that there are different kinds of cover letters for different positions; tailor your cover letter accordingly.

Sample Cold Emails

To kick things off, you should send cold emails to potential employers. Cold emailing is tough and often takes time, but it’s an effective way of getting your foot in the door. When you send an email, make sure it’s personalized. A robot probably isn’t going to hire you based on your generic email that says: I’m looking for freelance opportunities (or something similar). 

Potential employers want people who take initiative and care about their projects. To connect with them, be specific about your interests and why you’d like to work for them specifically; don’t simply blanket cold email every company in a category unless there’s some kind of reason why they should want to hire you specifically.

What do freelance writers do?

While some freelance writers are made, not born, there are ways you can get your foot in that door. Freelance writers can be employed by magazines, newspapers, and online blogs. They may work from home or in an office. When hired by an agency or publication, freelance writers usually have set deadlines on articles for periodicals and online publications. 

Many freelance writers are given general topics to write about; others may create their topics for their pieces if they have their website or blogs where they write regularly on certain subjects. Before getting into freelancing full-time, many freelance writers build up portfolios of published work and hone their skills through independent projects such as publishing books and writing screenplays.

Managing Your Finances as a Freelance Writer

Being a freelance writer is an awesome career, but it can also be one of uncertainty. It’s tough figuring out how much you’ll make on any given project and on top of that, those paychecks could come at irregular intervals. 

This will cause major problems for your finances—which is why it’s important to create realistic projections so you can learn how to manage your money as a freelance writer. For example, if you know you’re not going to get paid for two months after sending in your first invoice, it’s probably wise to wait before you invest in an expensive vacation or splurge on some new equipment.

Getting Publicity As A Freelance Writer

One of my favorite ways to get freelance writing work is by pitching story ideas to editors and writers at news sites. The big advantage here is that you’re pitching them an idea instead of yourself; since I started at CNN, I know firsthand how hard it can be when you don’t have any clips. Sometimes, pitching story ideas directly results in assignments. 

Other times, editors request more information or ask for me to write more on a specific topic before they’ll give me an assignment. But, either way, pitching story ideas gives you a chance to build relationships and make your name known in your field.

Building Relationships With Editors & Clients

The freelance writing industry is driven by word of mouth. Nothing will open more doors for you than getting personal recommendations from editors and clients. Make sure you meet deadlines, pay attention to detail, and always respond quickly if an editor emails you with questions or concerns. If possible, take some time after every job to follow up on how things went. 

This shows your professionalism and commitment—two traits most writers lack—and it’s also a good way to ask for referrals. If you can get one person to recommend you to their friends in the media, that could lead to several new clients. To make sure people know who you are, build relationships with editors, and make yourself available as a resource when they need someone fast. 

If they know they can trust you and rely on your work ethic, they’ll be more likely to send business your way when they have extra work (or even refer their colleagues). Plus, it never hurts to pitch yourself directly when there’s an opening for someone new at a publication; many publications post openings online or circulate them via email.


Now, you have everything you need to know about becoming a freelance writer. If you’re willing to put in time and effort, I can almost guarantee that writing jobs will start coming your way. 

As always, if you have any questions just leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you ASAP! Oh, and make sure to check out our awesome guide on How To Write Great Articles so you can turn all those articles into cold hard cash! Good luck!

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