#WFH Idea: Freelance Writing

I started my freelance career in freelance writing, and it was such a great fit when I had babies at home. I rarely had to get on Zoom calls, I could work literally whenever it worked for me (because I didn’t have to be client facing very often), and I really enjoyed what I did. If you’re considering a work from home career, freelance writing can be a great way to start bringing in a side hustle income to get started, or you could turn it into a full time role – it’s incredibly flexible.

If I were just getting started with pitching myself as a freelance writer to potential clients, here’s what I would do.

  1. Pull together a portfolio and determine what type of writing I’m good atThere are different types of copywriting and I’ve found – both as a writer and as an agency owner – that most people aren’t great at every type of writing. So first, figure out what you’re great at – and here’s what I mean by that distinction:
    • Social media content – this is short, punchy content that’s engaging and can quickly grab someone’s attention
    • Blog content – longer-form content that’s informational, but broken up into shorter sections
    • Articles/white papers – research based content – typically pays the most but also requires a lot more investigation/research
    • SEO content – optimizing website content for Google search
    • website content – working with wireframes to create sections/pages of content, typically goes hand-in-hand with SEO content

If you don’t currently have a portfolio, you can pull one together with content you already have – social media content you’ve written in the past, blog posts you’ve shared, articles you’ve written for your day job etc. If you have absolutely nothing to share, then start a blog (it’s easy to do on WordPress or Squarespace) and create content in a niche you like. You could also reach out to a nonprofit you support to see if you can create some free content for them to use on their website, blog or social media.

Use this for your portfolio until you have something to replace it with. You should always be updating your portfolio with your best work, so don’t worry too much about not having everything perfectly in place when you get started.

2. Optimize my profile on LinkedIn (get our LinkedIn 101 guide here, it’s free!)

Once my profile was optimized, I would start connecting with decision-makers in my niche, then follow the Work At Home Resource Guide to finding business on LinkedIn. I go through the process pretty extensively and give you simple templates to use when reaching out to prospective clients on LinkedIn in our free LinkedIn training.

3. Set up an Upwork profile.

NOTE: There are LOTS of tutorials on Upwork profile maximization on YouTube, I highly recommend learning about the platform because how you apply for jobs, reply to job offers, etc. can all impact how visible your profile is. You want to become a rising star on Upwork right away, so it’s important to optimize your profile before you just dive in.

Once my profile was optimized, I would start applying for 10 job opportunities on Upwork each day. Upwork is really a numbers game when you’re just getting started; reaching out to open jobs while you start building credibility and a client list is the best way to grow.

4. Get on all the Freelance Writing Newsletters I could find

When I was first getting started, freelance writing newsletters would compile all of the available jobs out there in the field and I took on tons of business this way. And guess what? It’s still a super viable way to find clients today.

To start, go to Google and type in variations of “Freelance Writing Job Newsletters.” Review what comes up for credibility and if it looks legit, sign up! You will need to vet the jobs to make sure they’re legit before applying, but this is a great way to compile freelance writing job opps around the country without having to do all the legwork yourself.