This is the story of how I started out as a freelance content writer.
About a year ago, in my third year of engineering, late night, I began thinking about my career and what I needed to do to secure and thrive in it. Obviously, money was a huge priority to me and I did not want to spend myself stuck in a 9-5 job. I had to do something about it.
What did I do?
I began researching on the internet on
And for you people, who have freelance content writing as an option, I am going to tell you how to get started, what to expect, where to learn skills and the workplaces where you can start earning as a freelance content writer.
Getting started as a Freelance Content writer.
As mentioned in our previous articles, there are a lot of skills that you can pick up to work on. Some examples include writing, designing, app development etc.
Importance of a portfolio
Now with writing, one thing you have to remember is that, it takes a long time to build up your portfolio. To be able to earn well, you definitley need a portfolio.
One way to build and effective portfolio is to maintain a blog. You can always start a free wordpress blog with just a press of a button.
Another idea is to start working for clients for free and as them to review you on your personal portfolio. I started out like this, writing free descriptions for businesses.
Life as a freelance content writer
Let me bust some myths here. Freelance writing is not an easy job where you work for just 1 hour day and chill for the rest, NO!
It takes effort and time. Relaxing in a beach with Instagram ready ladies if far from truth.
To be honest, you wont earn such a huge amount in the beginning. It takes practice and learning to be successful as a writer.
But, you enjoy freedom. A hell lot of it! Being able to work whenever you want and wherver you want is indeed a goal to aim for. You get to spend time with you family, tend to your parents needs, attend festivals and marriages. In total, Freelancing is kind of a heaven.
As a freelance content writer, you will be spending most of your work hours on writing, editing,
I have seen some writers take up digital marketing as well because these two skills go well together.
You will be writing for websites mostly and having good knowledge on optimising contents for websites is a plus point and will pay you extra as well as help you get good results.
Different branches of Content writing
Content writing is a general term. It includes many sub categories. Choosing your field wisely and building up your portfolio in the particlular niche will make you more credible and a topic expert.
I will list down some of the sub categories here for your reference
- Creative Writing
- Ghost Writing
- Research Writing
- Academic Writing
- Review Writing
- Fiction Writing
- Blog Writing
- E-Book Writing
- Travel Writing
- Web Copywriting
- Technical Writing
Sites to Learn Content Writing
As we proceed into freelance writing world, it is handy to have few additional skills learnt. Even having a content writing mastery certificate from trusted educational site can help you gain credibilty.
So, I compiled a list of websites where you can learn content writing and other skills from.
Content Writing Training is an Indian website which provides, as the name suggest, content writing training.
On signing up, you get regular email based resources that you can refer and learn from. The programme is 12 week long and covers almost all aspect of content writing.
And the best part? Its totally free!
It also offers a great paid course as well.
Beginner or a professional, you can always learn something new from Copy blogger.
Copyblogger is the best site out there where you can polish you content writing skills. I personally have found this blog really helpful.
Copyblogger offers a number of premium courses. Courses start at 7$ and some can even cost 350$.
Trust me, it is worth the investment.
On subscribing to copy blogger’s mail list, free ofcourse, you get delivered with contents with amazing value. Like I said earlier, this is the best site to learn from.
Udemy has courses in a variety of niches. There are both paid and free courses that Udemy offers.
The courses on this platform is of high quality and inexpensive.
You can even download the Udemy mobile app and learn on the go, like I do.
Now, Coursera is my personal favourite.
Why? Because, you can access any course for free!
And the only time you have to pay is if you want a valid certification on
I personally do not buy certifications that often, but I do buy here and there.
Like Udemy, skill share offers a range of free courses on different topics.
But, free courses are very limited.
To unlock the premium contents on skillshare, you must pay. It costs only a 100$ for a year round subscription. Imaging 100$ for 27000 courses? total value for money!
You have polished your skills. You have a portfolio and ready to go?
In that case, I have a list of best websites to work as a freelance writer!
Best Websites to work as a Freelance content writer
Upwork is the best freelancing platform right now. Even though its not exclusive to content writing, Upwork has a tonne of jobs posted every day in the content writing niche.
Upwork has the best freelancers which in-turn brings high paying employers.
The best platform to showcase your skills.
However, getting your profile approved in Upwork is a bit difficult and landing on your first job can be hard as well.
Upwork has a 20% commission policy. For every 100$ you make, Upwork charges 20$.
People per hour is a pretty fascinating website. The payments in the site is pretty lucrative.
However, to be a Freelancer in People per Hour is a bit tricky. The approval procedure may take upto 7 times. But, if you happen have a spare 10$, you can get it done in a day or two.
People per Hour has two options for Freelancers. You can either bid on gigs that employers post, much like Upwork, or post hourlies that employers can buy. With hourlies, it is possible to get jobs even if you are not online.
Guru is a great place to start out.
The problem I had while freelancing in this site is that most of the clients ask for Native speakers for the projects. Being a non native speaker, its tough to land on a writing gig here.
The prices are pretty nominal in this platform, even though the number of jobs posted
Signing up on Guru is pretty straight forward and they do not carry out any kind of verification. This, I think is a negative because, without verification, the platform becomes crowded with people applying without any proper skills.
Constant content is a content agency. Freelancers are hired to write contents that the firm sells to its clients.
The pay is pretty decent here. Constant content hires only content writers and not any other freelancers.
To get approved, they screen you. You have to answer a quiz which has 5 questions. A minimum of 80% is required to pass this, that is 4/5. It also asks you to write a small paragraph on a topic of their choice. It takes about 5 days to get your profile verified.
Fiverr is a giant. The name Fiverr comes from the 5$ gigs that the users can post on it. You can increase the cost of your gig, but in multiples of 5$.
The great thing about Fiverr is that once you create a gig, theres an unlimited potential for you to be hired, even when you are not online.
For every additional service you provide, Fiverr has an option to increase the budget, if your customer needs that extra service.
Being a site with great competition, its not easy to land on a job on Fiverr, especially if you are new.
What should you do?
Offer services for the lowest price in the beginning, grow your positive rating and make your profile credible.
Tips That can Help You Thrive
- Provide extra value to your customers than what they are paying for.
- Create a portfolio and upload all your work there. Contently is a great site to do that.
- Do not, I repeat, NEVER make silly grammar errors that are very obvious.
- Concentrate on what the customers want and not on what you think they want.
- Ask questions, understand the milestones and work until your customer is satisfied.
- Offer cashback guarantee if the client is not satisfied with your work.
Freelancing as a content writer is an extremely satisfying journey. It pays well if you are really willing to put in the hard work.
Liked the articles? Have queries? Let me know!