One of the things that is great about freelance writing is that there are no specific educational requirements. So, if you’re wondering is it necessary to do a course for pursuing a career in freelance writing the short answer is no, but there is a longer answer that you should consider.
Are there Educational Requirements to Be a Freelance Writer?
One of the great things about freelance writing is that you are your own boss. You are a business owner. You are not an employee.
That means whatever education you have or don’t have is no one’s business but your own.
You don’t need to worry about having a degree in writing or English. You don’t have to show that you went to college or even graduated high school.
No one is going to ask.
Remember, you are a business owner offering your services. That’s it.
When I started freelancing, I just happened to have a couple of degrees in writing. They are in fiction writing. I also taught English at the college level.
Guess what, no one ever knew that because I didn’t tell them and they didn’t ask.
Besides, my clients are business owners. I don’t think they would give much stock to degrees in writing fiction.
Even so, I didn’t take any courses to learn how to write for clients when I first started freelance writing.
The only reason I mention it to you here and now is to say it did give me an advantage.
What kind of advantage you ask?
Well, I will tell you. I write pretty well. That’s from years of writing in college. I’m not the world’s most amazing writer by any means, but I’m pretty good and certainly good enough to make my clients happy.
As I mentioned, I also taught English 101 and even some grammar classes for college students. This is pretty scary because my grammar was not all that good.
I think I was one day ahead of them in the textbook that first semester.
But by teaching those classes for six and a half years my grammar did improve. It is still far from perfect, but it is better than a lot of people.
So, when I started freelance writing, I could write well, my grammar was pretty good and I could meet deadlines, so my clients were happy. I was also motivated to work hard to find clients.
If you can say the same, good writer, good grammar, you meet deadlines and are willing to work hard to get clients that’s all you need to get started.
That’s it. That’s all you need.
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You do not need to take any kind of course before pursuing a career in freelance writing.
Of course, if your writing skills aren’t up to par or you don’t know the difference between a fragment and a run-on sentence, then that’s a different story.
You will want to take a writing class and a grammar class to brush up on those skills.
Not to mention, you should write… a lot. That’s one of the best ways to get better. It doesn’t really matter what you write about, but just write.
Now, once I got started in freelance writing and I wanted to move past just writing articles and web pages, that’s when I started taking some writing courses.
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The only reason I started taking writing courses is that I didn’t want to just write articles. I wanted to do the types of writing that I found more interesting and paid a lot more.
What is this kind of writing? It includes things such as these.
- Case studies
- White papers
- Email series
- Sales letters
I really enjoy writing email series and case studies.
What is an email series? It is just a series of emails that a company uses to get a prospective client to do something.
That might include them watching a webinar, signing up for a class, or buying a product. With this series of emails, you will be sending your prospective client down what is called a funnel. The goal, at the end of the funnel, is for this prospective client to take some kind of action.
These emails need to be written in a very specific way to work. That’s why I took a course to learn how to write them. You can’t just wing it.
Not to mention, companies will pay you $1,000…$2,000…and even more for a 5 to 10 email series. If you’re really good, they might even pay you $500 per email.
Again, that’s why I took a course. No one is going to pay you that kind of money if you don’t know what you’re doing, and if your emails don’t achieve their goal.
The same goes for case studies and white papers. They need to be written in very specific ways to be effective. They also pay big dollars.
I’ve never written a sales letter, but I did take a course on how to do so.
This is where the big money is. You can be paid $5,000…$10,000…$25,000 dollars for the right sales letter. Some writers even get royalties on the back end and end up making $100,000 or more.
Needless to say, you need to know how to understand how sales letters are written before anyone is even going to let you try to write one.
The only reason I didn’t go down this path is that I don’t like the format. Sales letters tend to be very long. Some might be five-page but others might be thirty pages. It wasn’t for me.
I like something quick and easy and that’s where the email series comes into play.
If you decide you want to take a course somewhere down the line, you need to know what types of writing you feel you might enjoy and what you won’t like. It will save you a lot of time and money.
Can I Make a Carrer Out of Writing
Yes, you sure can make a career out of writing. If you want to write for clients, it is pretty darn easy to find them and start writing. Work hard and within a couple of months, you should have several clients to get started with. Keep working hard and in three to five months you should have a full-time income.
Can You Make a Living Freelance Writing?
You can. In fact, you can make really good money freelance writing. It will take some work and a lot of marketing, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can start making money. This is especially true if you find your own clients and stay away from writing platforms.
In just a few months, you can be earning a great living and the sky is truly the limit.
To Sum it All Up:
The quick answer to whether or not you need to take any courses to pursue a career in freelance writing is no. If you can write well and your grammar is good, then you’re all set. Having said that, once you have gotten your feet wet writing for clients, you might then decide you want to take some specialized courses to learn specific types of writing such as white papers and email series which will pay you more money for your time and you might enjoy more than simply writing webpages and articles.