How Freelance Writing Works | Get Paid to Publish Content

In terms of Freelance Writing, or Freelancing, a Freelance is a Content Writer who works on a self-employed basis. Whereby, you’re considered as an independent business owner. That said, you can define a freelance as someone who typically writes for more than one client. And are often paid per writing assignment or per batch of assignments.

But, is writing all you’ll need to land a freelance writing job? Well, for a lot of people, that’s what they focus on – when they try to land a writing job. If they can get A’s in school, then surely they can be a freelance writer. However, they soon wonder why they aren’t landing consistent work.

How Freelance Writing Works

One thing for sure, many freelance writers can land a project, write the piece, but after they get paid, they don’t hear from the client ever again. If that has happened to you, doubt probably set in, right? You wonder if you really are cut out to be a freelance writer. If only you knew what editors or business owners really wanted in a freelance writer.

What is Freelance Writing?

Freelance Writing is the practice of writing for money while working on one’s own and not being employed by a company or organization. Freelance writers produce whatever written text is needed by their clients. Either working from home or in a rented office space.

Such Writers can have many different clients, or, one very large client with a lot of steady, ongoing work. They can work as generalists and cover topics as diverse as automobiles and architectural design. Or, they can specialize in one area, such as the culinary arts.

Specialists do tend to find more assignments and earn more than generalists. Not to mention, there’re many different ways to break into the freelance writing business. Sometimes people leave a full-time job knowing they’ve made enough contacts to get work.

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Some writers even start out by finding small writing jobs online. Other writers also work in a similar or related business to their, like public relations, and have enough of a portfolio to approach past clients, and others. Let’s consider an example of a successful freelance writer named Alex Fasulo.

For your information, from the video below, you’ll learn that Alex Fasulo, 28, is a freelance writer on Fiverr and makes $378,000 a year. She primarily ghostwrites e-books and blog posts remotely from Florida. Before becoming a freelancer in 2016, Alex worked in PR and made $36,000 a year.

The major difference between popular freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr is the process of working with clients.

Working with clients on Upwork means constantly pitching for new jobs. So new work doesn’t happen in the background without your input — you have to be proactively on the hunt for new work when you want it. Fiverr, on the other hand, is a completely different story.

With Fiverr, you essentially productize your service via Gigs. Each Gig describes a specific deliverable you will provide in exchange for a set price, starting with the words, “I will…” You can offer different packages that involve bare-bones offerings, up to “the works”.

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In addition, you can also offer Gig extras that allow people to customize your offering with related services they’ll benefit from. But, the best part about Fiverr is that because of the way Gigs are set up, clients are empowered to make purchases without even talking to you.

This means that if your Gig is the right fit for their needs, at the right time, you can be making sales while you sleep. And, undoubtedly, from time to time, people will still get in touch with questions or ask for custom deliverables. However, using Fiverr doesn’t mean that you can do away with business development completely.

Although it will certainly help you streamline the process. But, at the end of the day, if you want to make more money as a freelancer, you’ll need to reduce the time you spend actively pitching for jobs. Meaning that you have more time available to do the work.

Perse, at jmexclusives, we have several high-paying freelance writing clients with recurring projects or ad hoc projects. Bearing in mind, there’re many names you can call yourself depending on what service you want to offer your clients.

Such unique names include:

  • Freelance Blogger:– The main focus is on blog writing.
  • Content Writer:– Their key focus is on different types of content (white paper, blog posts, eBooks…).
  • SEO Writer:– They focus on providing highly optimized content for search engines as a way to rank in Google.
  • Content Strategist:– They focus more on creativity and managing content.
  • Freelance Web Content Writer:– The initial focus is on providing content for the web.
  • Ghost Writer:– A ghostwriter focuses on providing ghostwritten (not in their name) content.
  • Professional Writer:– You can call yourself so once you’ve worked as a freelance writer for a while.

As an example, I (Joseph Mucira), the CEO & Founder of jmexclusives, call myself a professional writer since I’ve been a freelance writer since 2015 and am knowledgeable in my niche. From eBooks, blog posts, website pages, email, white papers, and much more.

Types of Freelance Writing Services to Consider

Of course, my BIG ANSWER is a LOUD NO! Why? Because, if you have a social work degree, you can be a freelance writer without any questioning. Additionally, if you’re a secretary, or if you’re in college, you can be a freelance writer too.

See! Anyone can be a freelance writer, BUT, you do need to know how to string words together in a coherent manner. If you have a hard time conveying your meaning on “paper,” then maybe freelance writing isn’t for you. But, if you find writing fun, you have the passion, motivation, and persistence to really DO THIS, then you will succeed.

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In the beginning, you may choose to focus your writing on one service such as blog writing. Personally, this is the best and easiest type of freelance writing job a new writer can have. Why? Since blog writing is a short project. Generally, most blog posts are between 900-1500 words.

Sometimes, some of our clients have us write 2000-4000 word blog posts. Blog writing can also be recurring, rather than a one-off piece you might see as a copywriter or magazine writer. In our case, when we first started, we chose 3 main services to market.

The services included:

  • blog writing,
  • article writing, and
  • site content.

Since then, we’ve modified our services list. So, as a new freelance writer, you can focus on one service or several.

Here are a few services you can offer when you start out:
  • Editing:– You can offer basic proofreading or a more in-depth approach called developmental editing.
  • Ghostwriting:– The content you write isn’t under your name. For example, a client may want you to ghostwrite an eBook under their name.
  • Copywriting:– You may write copy for the web, press releases, sales pages or use your persuasive skills to update a website.
  • Social Media Marketing:– This entails handling a client’s social media accounts and updating them regularly.
  • Blog Management:– You may be responsible for managing writers for your client, editing and publishing content on your client’s website.

The Main Types Of Writing You Can Offer

As online freelance writers, we only write content for the web – nothing in print, but we’re always learning new skills. If all you do is online content, then you’ll be in demand and have no shortage of work. Here’s just a small list of different types of content to get you started:

  • Blog posts – this is what I mostly write and what most companies online need.
  • Magazine articles – this type of writing is more formal and journalistic in nature.
  • Site content – businesses have websites with many pages. As a freelance writer, you might be assigned to write an About page or Products page. This typically falls under copywriting.
  • eBooks – many businesses use eBooks to attract people to their newsletter. Most eBook writing is ghostwritten, but it’s a great experience to have under your belt.
  • White papers – These are lead-generating professional articles for small businesses.

Figure out what type of writing you’d like to do. Maybe eBook writing is something you enjoy as you wrote an eBook last year. There are many solopreneurs and small business owners that need someone to write an eBook for them.

How to Find your Ideal Freelance Writing Client

One reason this career exists is that people, or companies, often need only one project done at a time, such as one booklet written to launch a new product. Perhaps a business needs copy produced for its new website. Hence, there’s no reason to hire an employee.

Instead, it’s simpler to enter into an agreement or contract with an individual writer. Even if the business ends up having several projects in a year, it’s still less expensive to farm out the work as opposed to hiring an employee who requires benefits such as health care.

Additionally, in today’s digital work world, many companies simply don’t exist in a fixed physical location. Those companies need workers who are able to work independently, in their own space. More and more of these companies are contracting with individual workers not just in different ZIP codes, but in different parts of the country.

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This explains the explosion of coworking and the popular WeWork shared office space locations springing up across the U.S. From a big business to a start-up company, content is needed for any type of business. In our case, we’ve had clients with start-ups, and we’ve had solopreneurs wanting my services.

Unfortunately, figuring out your ideal client can take some time. This might mean you take different types of freelance writing jobs in the beginning first. And then, work with different clients to see which one you click with. Sometimes, there are some other types of clients you might come across in your freelance writing business too.

Such clients include:

  • Publications – These are magazines, newspapers, or trade magazines.
  • Agencies – Content agencies often hire freelance writers. Many of them also have a place to have a profile of your writing ability.
  • Educational Establishments – These markets need content for educational courses or e-learning material.
  • Authors – Many authors seek out ghostwriters for their books.
  • Blog Owners – Niche blogs need a lot of content. Many blog owners own more than one blog and don’t have the time to write for all of them.

The life of a freelance writer is not only an independent one with a great deal of flexibility​. If one becomes skilled in the business side (and works hard enough) it can become a financially successful life.

What Does a Freelance Writer Make? & How Do You Get Paid?

Well, what’s great about freelance writing is being able to earn what you want. The more you write, the more money you can make. But, you’re probably thinking, yeah, but what can I really make? Content prices vary drastically depending on the business using it.

Every client has its own process and payment type. Sometimes a client will want the writer to send an invoice when the work is done, or they pay half upfront and the remainder when the work is handed in. Sometimes, clients simply want a PayPal message reminding them payment is due, and then a check is dispersed.

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Other clients have intricate computer systems that tell them when it’s time to pay a writer, and no action is needed on the part of the freelancer. Many individuals and smaller businesses like the convenience of PayPal.

However, large organizations stick to the more traditional system of sending checks by the due date noted on submitted invoices. Whatever kind of payment schedule is used, the writer has to be really good at budgeting and money management because the onus is on them to get paid in a timely fashion.

For example, businesses that need hundreds of small posts or need articles that have specific keywords in them will pay a small amount – usually $5 (or less) for a 500-word post. When you land your first freelance writing client, you want assurance that you’ll get paid.

Typically, it goes like this:

  • You send a pitch to a freelance writing job
  • The prospect emails you back wanting more details (samples of your writing, your rate, your availability)
  • You email them back your rate and anything else they request. Then you ask for their PayPal address and tell them you will invoice them after approval of your content piece.
  • (Some freelance writers send over a contract detailing the process, and project details, OR the business sends you their contract).
  • You write the piece and submit it to the client
  • (Some writers ask for partial payment).
  • The client gives you feedback – hopefully positive like this (click the image to see bigger):
  • You then submit your invoice.
  • You get paid via PayPal or some other online merchant service like Stripe.

There are many ways to become a freelance writer. I only know from experience how I became a freelance writer ( “my way” has helped thousands of writers so far…just sayin’ :-). See the Benefits of Hiring Professional Article Writers in detail.

4 Steps to Become a Freelance Writer:

  1. Figure Out Your Writing Niche
  2. Create Samples to Build Your Freelance Writing Portfolio
  3. Have an Online Presence
  4. Start Pitching

On the contrary, there’re skills, tools, and strategies you must learn to succeed as a freelance writer online. I’ve said this before, but the majority of freelance writers never make it past the first year. They give up, quit, or no longer want to do this.

It’s sad really. These freelance writers probably struggled, had no idea where to find lucrative jobs, and once they did land a gig, it was either low-paying, ghostwritten, or a one-off piece. New freelance writers may also be under the impression that this is normal – one-off pieces, ad hoc basis, and bulk writing projects.

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This is not what freelance writing is about. There are a lot of successful writers that have a goal to quit their full-time job and make a living as a writer. Many are already living that dream.

With that in mind, don’t let anyone or other things stop you from being a professional writer. No matter where you’re from and what you do, you can be a freelance writer. If your background is in home décor, you can be a freelance writer. Now it’s your turn!

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