Can anyone become a freelance writer? It depends. While there are no educational or experience requirements to hold you back, you do need a specific set of skills. The good news is anyone can learn them.
What You Need to Become a Freelance Writer
The truth is, anyone can become a freelance writer. That doesn’t mean everyone will be good at it or successful.
It also means if you don’t have some of the skills listed below, you will need to gain them. Don’t worry, there are easy ways to do just that.
But first, let’s get to what you need, so you can start freelance writing today.
1. You Need to Be a Good Writer
This kind of goes without saying. You need to be a good writer. People will be paying you money to write, so you should write well.
That doesn’t mean you have to be the best writer in the world or even a great writer, but you should be average or better.
You can improve your writing skills by writing, but you will also want feedback and help on your problem areas, so consider taking a couple of writing classes.
This could be business writing or even fiction writing.
My degrees are in fiction writing, but all that writing certainly helped me when I started out freelance writing.
Since then I have taken other writing courses to become a better writer for specific types of writing that my clients want and need.
2. Your Grammar Should Be Good as Well
This also kind of goes without saying. Your grammar should be pretty good as well. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I can honestly say mine is far from perfect, but it is good enough.
Grammar never came easily for me and the only reason I learned it well enough was that I ended up teaching English at the college level.
After teaching English and grammar for six and a half years, my grammar had to improve and it did.
Chances are you won’t have the opportunity for that same experience, but here again, you can take a grammar class or two and learn all that you need.
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3. You Need Proofreading and Editing Skills
Once you finish whatever you are writing for your client, you need to proofread it for errors and typos and it may need some editing as well.
Now, I’m not bad at editing and it really isn’t that hard. Just set the writing aside for a day or two and then come back to it with a critical eye.
You’ll find what needs to be changed and then you can make those changes. It will end up much better.
Don’t ever send your client the first draft.
You will also need to proofread for errors and typos. Now, this is one thing I am terrible at. I can find other people’s errors but not my own.
If you’re the same, consider hiring a proofreader at Fivver or some other service. It can save you a lot of embarrassment.
4. You Need to Be Willing to Improve and Expand Your Writing Skills
As you grow as a freelancer you will want to branch out. You’re not going to want to write articles for the next twenty years.
You will want to expand your writing abilities, so you can start to write the types of writing that pay really well.
That means you will need to take courses for specific types of writing. While these aren’t cheap, they don’t cost that much, I can’t begin to tell you how helpful they are and how much more money you will make.
Over the years, I think I’ve taken about five different writing courses.
I’ve made thousands of dollars from what I learned in these courses.
This Accelerated Copywriting Course is a great one to get started with. It was the first one I took.
And this Web Copywriting 2.0 is another wonderful course. I took this one as well.
The point is, if you want to be a highly paid, successful freelance writer, then you must be willing to invest in yourself and your business.
5. You Need to Be Self-Motivated
When you work for yourself, there is no boss screaming in your ear to get out of bed and get to work.
That’s a wonderful thing.
Of course, that means there is no one there to motivate you to work. It’s only you.
So, you will need to be able to motivate yourself. It may sound easy, but the truth is, some days it is pretty darn difficult.
I’ve worked for myself from home for years and years, and I can tell you there have been many…many days I didn’t feel like working when I needed to.
You know, it can be pretty hard to resist a nap when you can barely keep your eyes open and the sofa is just a room away.
It can also be difficult to buckle down and get the work done with it is a picture-perfect day outside and the beach or the hiking trail is calling your name.
So, if you want to be a successful freelance writer, there are times you will really need to push yourself and have some self-discipline and control.
6. You Have to Be Willing to Put the Work In
Last but not least, you need to be willing to put the work in.
When you first start out, you may have to work long hours to get the success you want.
I realize we all want to work for ourselves or have the writer’s life so we can spend our time as we want and yes that’s the goal, but it is not always the reality.
When you are just starting your freelance career, you will be spending a lot of time marketing for clients and then you will have to start writing for clients while you are marketing for more clients.
This is all very time-consuming.
So, you may have given up a 40-hour work week just to find yourself in a 60-hour work week.
If that sounds horrible, it really isn’t. Things do calm down.
But if you’re shaking your head NO…then you might want to check out this course on how to make a 6-figure income in just 10 minutes a day.
To Sum it All Up:
Anyone can become a freelance writer. If you already have the skills you are ready to start making money today. If you need to brush up on a few things, that’s okay. Do so, and then you too can jump into the wrier’s life.