Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
The Internet provides a slew of opportunities for a plethora of freelance work. And writing is among the most abundant. But, how far can you take a freelance writing career if you decided to start today? Actually, as far as you really want to take it.
Today, I’m going to break down some of the most realistic paths you can take as a freelancer. It all comes down to what you want out of writing and how far you’re willing to go.
Never settle on just where you are at the moment. Strive to be something more.
Yes, Freelance Writing is a Real Career Path
I’ve heard a few people say how writing isn’t a real career. In fact, I had a comment on one of my videos stating how the person thought it was a “horrible way to make money.”
In reality, it’s kept my bills paid and has helped me buy a house.
Any path you take that can keep you financially stable over a sustained amount of time is a “real” career. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, and it’s not illegal, who’s to say you’re doing it wrong?
Sure, you’re only a content mill writer today. But, what is your end game going to be?
7 Paths to Grow with a Freelance Writing Career
One of the arguments I hear often is how freelance writing is a dead-end career. Meaning, you don’t really have room for advancement in a traditional sense.
Aside from increasing your rates and finding bigger clients, there are actually quite a few ways you can develop as a freelancer.
1. Become a Professional Niche Blogger
I’ve actually seen several good writers turn themselves into professional niche bloggers. Not only do they manage their own websites, but they are often hired by companies to write content.
Usually, these contracts come with a very nice rate.
What I like about setting up a successful blog alongside your writing career is the fact that you can generate income. Instead of your clients being the only form of revenue, the site can generate passive cash.
And if you can accumulate a large audience, your blog has the potential to surpass what clients give you.
2. Expand into YouTube, Twitch, and Other Video Formats
Video formats are the fastest-growing forms of content on the Internet. It’s why TikTok is so popular and why YouTube is still the second most visited website.
There are all kinds of ways a freelance writing career can expand into video markets. In fact, you’ll see all kinds of freelancers and authors making video content.
Never underestimate the power of video content. If you don’t like to be on camera, there are a slew of ways to make videos without even showing your face or using your voice.
3. Write an eBook or Two
Why settle for just being a freelance writer when you can publish your own eBooks? If you’re well-versed in a specific niche or industry, you can crank out a few eBooks to generate a bit more income.
Not to mention how having a few publications under your belt gives you power when it comes to rate negotiations. Especially if the eBooks are of great interest or have high reviews from readers.
I personally know a couple of people who propelled their freelance writing career with the sales of a few books. Of course, you’ll have to handle your own marketing.
4. Write a Novel
Writing blog posts for companies or eBooks for brands is good. However, there’s nothing wrong with flexing your creative muscles and putting out a bit of fiction.
The hardest part about going from freelance writing to being a novelist is the style and tone. They are two very distinct animals that need to be treated differently.
Thanks to the ease of self-publishing nowadays, you can at least get a book out without too much of a monetary investment.
5. Buy, Develop, and Sell Websites
Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people who buy and sell websites. In some cases, they’ll build up a site from scratch and sell them online. However, a lot of them will pick up defunct sites and refurbish them.
Either way, it’s a great way to get a large amount of money in one go.
This is usually best if you have a team of writers, though. Speaking from experience, it’s quite difficult to manage freelance writing clients while maintaining five blogs.
It takes a massive amount of time and/or investment for something like this to be truly successful.
6. Start a Writing Business
I’ve been asked a few times if I was ever going to build my own freelance writing business. And I’ll admit, I’ve thought about it a few times. Especially if I could find a way to help overseas people earn a living.
At any rate, you could put what you’ve learned throughout your freelance writing career into practice by setting up a business that specializes in creating content.
Technically, you already have a business if you’re writing for clients. What I’m talking about is setting up a team and marketing to local and online businesses to generate articles.
I would love to have an office space in Downtown Denver. I just need to afford hiring writers for a decent wage, first.
7. Create Online Courses to Help Others
Perhaps one of the most profound things I’ve seen people use their freelance writing career for is to create courses to help others. In fact, it’s something I’ve toyed with myself.
A lot of expert freelancers will offer a variety of classes to help beginners break into the world of working for themselves. And you don’t necessarily have to create courses based on freelancing.
Perhaps you have a specialty that you can teach. For example, I’m confident I could do quite a few courses on using WordPress.
Is it Easy to Start a Freelance Writing Career?
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not overly difficult to start a career in freelance writing. However, it takes more than just saying you’re a “writer” and then immediately finding clients.
Essentially, you need to market yourself very well and display a good sense of grammar and spelling. You also need to have drive and be self-motivated as you are working from home.
And it’s this motivation that seems to hinder a lot of potentially good writers.
So, yes, it’s very easy to start a freelance writing career but requires a lot of dedication on your part. I would even go so far to as say that it’s more difficult overall than getting a traditional job.
Nevertheless, the rewards are far worth the effort.
Can You Make Money from Freelance Writing?
The amount of money you can make as a freelance writer is determined by your motivation and determination. According to ZipRecruiter, the current median annual salary of a freelance writer ranges around $63,213.
However, it takes a great deal of effort to get to that point. Though, some companies will hire writers outright to work in-house and pay them exceptionally well. So, it really depends on how you progress as a freelancer.
If you approach it with a half-assed attitude, you’ll get a half-assed result.
Where Do You Start a Freelance Writing Career?
You can start as a freelancer in a variety of ways. It really depends on your experience and motivation to reach out to potential clients. You can start by sprucing up your LinkedIn profile and then looking for opportunities.
I know a lot of people who succeed with cold emails to potential clients. So, that could be a great place to start.
I started writing by using content mills such as Textbroker. Over the years, I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars. But, content mills will never pay you as much as a private client.
Once you’re comfortable in your capacity to create content, push for landing those lucrative contracts.
Do You Need Experience to Start Freelance Writing?
You don’t necessarily need experience to start a freelance writing career. But, knowledge and skill will play a big role in success.
When I started, I didn’t know the first thing about AP Style writing. Not to mention that I wrote in a very clinical fashion. These two elements alone would have made it incredibly difficult to succeed with private clients.
This is why I started with content mills. They’ve helped me learn a lot over the years.
Your Only Limitation is Yourself
Creating a career for yourself in freelance writing depends mostly on how you approach the task. But, don’t settle on just one form of writing. There are plenty of ways you can expand your career to include a wide range of platforms.
It all comes down to what you want out of the experience and how far down the path you’re willing to travel. Be flexible and explore your options thoroughly for your end-game strategy.
You’re only limited by your own imagination and motivation.
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