How does one get into freelance writing?


Earlier this week, Joanna Lobo of It’s All Write interviewed me for her newsletter. Her first question was:

This is a question I am often asked. How does one get into freelance writing? Is there a procedure, a set of rules to follow?

It’s an interesting question to me because I didn’t start freelancing deliberately. I was unceremoniously fired from a job and I started freelancing as an interim arrangement until I found ‘proper’ work. This is perhaps why it worked for me. I didn’t think too hard, I jumped head in. Because I was sure that the consequences of failing couldn’t be worse than being fired.

The pay-offs have been extraordinary. 🙂 But I’m digressing.

In my opinion, one becomes a freelance writer by doing it.

  • If you’d like to be a freelance journalist, pitch to editors.

  • If you’d like to be a freelance content writer, respond to job/gig postings. You’ll find many on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • If you already are a specialist or expert in something, build on it. If you know a lot about handicrafts, for instance, begin your freelancer writing journey there.

  • You are likely to have a network — however small — ping them and let them know you’re available for work.

Just do the work. Don’t fuss too much about the right way to start. In just a year’s time, your freelance career would be very different from what it is now. Let is evolve with you. For now, do.

I’ve answered nine other questions in the recent edition of Joanna’s newsletter. Do subscribe, she curates some incredible resources for freelance writers.