How to Start a Freelance Writing Career and Become Your Own Boss
Freelance Writing is one of the most popular ways to make money online, and it gives you the freedom to work from home (or anywhere), set your own hours, and become your own boss.
It does not require a degree or extensive experience; companies/bloggers will hire you if you can do one thing and one thing only…write.
This is not for everyone, but if you love writing with a passion and have good writing skills, you should consider this as a career choice. If you are a stay-at-home parent check out this post from a mom who gave us the honest truth on what it takes to do both.
This is in my top 20 list of stay at home mom jobs because you make your own schedule and work when you can.
I had a chance to talk to Holly Johnson who makes over $200,000 a year as a Freelance Writer and she shares with us how she got started and how you can too.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
How did you get started as a Freelance Writer?
I got started as a freelance writer after we started our blog in 2011. I was looking for a way to earn more income in addition to my full-time job. As an administrator in a funeral home, my salary capped out at around $40,000 per year.
Freelance writing made it easy to earn a better hourly rate during evenings and weekends when I wasn’t at work.
I didn’t have any professional writing experience when I started, but I have always had a passion for writing. Fortunately, professional content creation is something you get better at with time. I have consistently improved my skills over the years, which has led to better jobs and higher pay.
How much do you earn as a Freelance Writer?
I left my job to write full-time in the middle of 2013 and I earned around $50,000 writing that year even though I only worked as a full-time freelancer for part of the year.
I have earned over six figures every year after, including 2016 and 2017 where I earned over $220,000 per year in freelance income alone. I am on track to earn about the same this year, maybe a little more.
How many hours a week do you work and how do you schedule your work time with kids?
I usually work a typical work week or forty hours. This is made easy since my kids go to school from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day. We travel a lot as well so I occasionally work weekends or evenings to make up for the times I am gone.
In terms of scheduling around my kids, it’s a lot easier to do now that they are 7 and 9. If I have to work and they are home, I just give them an activity like reading or sit them in front of a movie.
It is very rare that I am stuck trying to watch my kids while I work. My husband left his job to blog full-time in 2015, so he is home full-time as well.
How do you find clients?
I used to cold pitch and use a variety of online platforms to find new clients. These days, I have a roster of ongoing clients and get most of my work through referrals.
There is a ton of work to be had if you have solid writing skills and a good work ethic.
You created a course to help others make a living Freelance Writing, can you tell us what the course involves?
My course includes nine modules that explain everything I wish I knew when I started freelance writing — things like where to find jobs, how to build a basic portfolio from scratch, how to create great content, and what editors are actually looking for.
Note: Holly created a Free Workshop on How to Build a Six-Figure Writing Career.
I definitely recommend taking this course so you can learn from her mistakes and get ahead of the game.
Given the advice from your course, how much do you think one could start making a year if they take the steps given in the course?
There are a lot of people in my course who have been able to quit their jobs to write full-time. Some of them are now earning over six figures. However, not everyone reaches that milestone.
I think it would be hard not to earn at least $40,000 or $50,000 per year writing full-time.
What advice would you give to people who want to get started Freelance Writing?
Find a way to get some writing samples online. It’s difficult for people to hire you when you don’t have any writing samples they can look at. Obviously, this is something I go over a lot in my course.
Do you think Freelance Writing is an ideal job for stay at home moms?
I think freelance writing *could* be the ideal job for stay-at-home moms since they can work at home and work as many hours they want. However, I sent my children to daycare while I worked until they started school.
I wanted to write full-time like it was a normal job, and I didn’t want my children to be stuck with only a fraction of my attention all day. With them at daycare, I could work a regular 40-hour workweek then be a good mom when they got home.
With that being said, I think freelance writing could be a good job for a SAH mom who wants to earn extra money during evenings or weekends. Freelance writing would also be a good job for someone whose children go to preschool part-time.
Whitney here: See how this Freelance writer balances working from home while raising her kids here.
Thank you Holly for sharing with us your journey on becoming a Freelance Writer. Her course is awesome and a great way to get started. You can check out her FREE workshop here.
Here are some additional ways that I’ve found could get you connected with clients looking for Freelance Writers. There are many more but try these first.
- Problogger job board (Great place to find writing jobs)
- Contena (Membership website, $100 a month but highly recommended if you really want to find work)
- Red Tricycle (GREAT for parents)
Websites Accepting Newbies that pay
- Sun Magazine ($100-$2,000)
- Listverse (up to $100 per article)
- Wonderslist (Not listed)
- MoneyPantry (Earn up to $150 per article)
- FreelanceMom ($75-$100)
- HerViewfromHome ($50-$75 an article)
- Parent.com ($50-$150 an article)
I hope you found this article helpful and if you want to stay updated on ways to make money from home and save, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list.
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3 thoughts on “How to Start a Freelance Writing Career”
Thanks for writing and sharing this article! I have a blog but am still in the process of learning how I am going to make writing it into a career, not necessarily in the form of my blog. Anyway, this information was extremely useful!
Great, so happy you found it helpful.
Thanks for all this information. I hope it would be helpful for me