How Starting a Freelance Writing Career Changed My Life

Table of Contents What is Freelance WritingWhy Choose Online Freelance Writing As a CareerHow to Start a Freelance…
Freelance writer showing how to start freelance writing

How can anyone make freelance writing as their career? Like others, don’t you also perceive that professional growth, hierarchy and rank define a career?

Also, when you start freelance writing, you’re not an employee, employer, nor an entrepreneur. Yet people want to become freelance writers!

The designation of a “freelance writer” in a freelance writing job always clings to you, and you don’t climb a corporate ladder. Then, how do you progress?

How promising is this way of working, if you can ever call or make it a career?

I know many of you would have some of these questions in mind, because I too had them and many still keep asking me.

Honestly, I never thought I’d start freelance writing and make it my career.

It all happened by chance. However, once I began writing freelance for my online clients, it brought happiness and totally changed my life.

Believe me; I never regret quitting my previous job and becoming a freelance writer.

Not only did I acquire another source of earning, I did not have to move out of my home. It’s the best aspect that I like about online freelance writing, especially being a working mother.

Imagine the bliss to sit at home and work! You get paid for writing online, and you can have your own work time, wear what you want, don’t have to commute, and just be your own boss!

I’ve observed progress or professional growth in terms of writing rates, so that’s the only ladder you climb. But that’s not bad, is it?

I don’t mind not having a coveted designation or not working for a Fortune-500 company. I like the fact that I’m doing something that I love doing and making money out of it!

For me, freelance writing is the best work-from-home career and I want to tell you my story so you too can benefit from it.

Of course, you should only take up this career if you’re interested and think that you’ve the writing skills, or feel you can develop them.


What is Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is writing for clients as a freelancer. Such a person is self-employed and not committed to a particular employer for long-term.

It is all about using your writing skills to create content according to your client’s needs.

Your client gives you a topic, situation, or a reason, and you create a story around it, which can be entirely creative or research-based.

Freelance writing is a skill as well as an art. It involves playing with words, choosing and organizing them in a way that impresses the reader and motivates them to take action.

You can also write freelance, yet not for anybody. Freelance writing can be paid or free as well, which depends on your decision and the type of clients you have.

Freelance writing is a full-fledged career and it has great earning potential. If you take up this profession, you’re known as a freelance writer, which is something that I’m very proud to be. 🙂


You can either write for your clients locally, on site, or online remotely – something that’s also called telecommuting jobs.

Freelance writer writing

Why Choose Online Freelance Writing As a Career

I preferred going for online freelance writing jobs because I believe freelance writing online has a promising future.

Once you decide to become a freelance writer, you’ve the option to do web content writing, article writing, medical writing, technical writing, and various other forms of writing.

Even if you’re not a blogger and don’t own a blog, you can write for blogs. You know there is a boom in blogging with so many new blogs coming up daily.

Those bloggers need people to manage their blogs, if they aren’t able to do it themselves. They need content to be written for their blogs, which is where freelance writers come in.

My belief and assertion that you should start freelance writing is based on a fair assessment of the writing market:

● Bloggers need help to develop good content, which will always be a necessity to secure good search engine ranking positions. They need blog writers.

● Most successful companies also have blogs, which are a must-have feature to connect with existing and potential clients and develop a brand awareness. They need content writers.

● All websites need content. There are online web article depository or information banks that need articles on diverse topics to cater to their versatile viewers. They need article writers.

Of course, freelance writing has further scope in offline writing jobs, like print magazine writing, book writing, writing for advertising agencies, publishers, and so on.

If you choose and start freelance writing, you can decide how much you want to earn and work according to that plan. You’re your own boss and you can choose your clients, rates, and topics.

However, all this takes time and efforts. The rates might be low in the beginning, but you can set your own rates, over time once you gain more experience.

As a freelance writer, you can work for one or more than one client at a time, if you can successfully manage their work.

You’ve come reading this far, then you should know how you can begin writing freelance online and be as happy as I am. 🙂

How to Start a Freelance Writing Career Online

Like any other occupation, you need to be prepared and trained to take up freelance writing.

Although there are many freelance writing courses online and offline, the method I tried was experimenting and practicing on my own.

I’d suggest you take the following 7 steps to start your freelance writing career.

1) Acquire

Get an Internet connection if you don’t have one. Also, familiarize yourself with the browsing software like Chrome and FireFox, and writing software like MS Word, Google Docs, and Open Office.

Google for “freelance writer”, “How to be a freelance writer”, “freelance writing career’, etc. and scan the websites that give you detailed information.

3) Study

Go through the various article directories like Ezine, Articlesbase, etc. Observe and study the articles you find there with regards to their sentence structures, composition, and style to get an overall understanding of freelance writing.

4) Analyze

Read the popular online blogs such as Problogger, Kikolani and analyze how the articles are written. You can even read posts on websites of other freelance writers like Susan, Sylviane, and Amandah to study them thoroughly and gain more knowledge about freelance writing.

5) Write

Take up any topic of your choice and prepare an article of about 500 words, and submit to a few article directories. You can also write free for non-profit websites to help them and build your portfolio as well.

6) Practice

Contact a few blogs and write free blog posts for them. Make changes in your writing style as per the feedback, and keep writing till you get better.

7) Promote

Develop your writing portfolio on a free blog or static website. Your free articles will help impress the potential clients so make sure you’ve your byline on them. Also, get testimonials from your clients about your writing skills, professionalism, organization skills, reliability etc. and put them on your portfolio blog or site.

TIP: Create your impressive resume and cover letter. Many prospective clients read the cover letter seriously and won’t go beyond to even see your resume, if they aren’t impressed with your cover letter.

You need not have your own professional website at this stage, though it’s good if you’ve one soon.

I started my writing website very late, so I still have my portfolio on a free blog. (Don’t imitate mine, build a better one!)

You can also place your writing samples or exclusive articles on a personal blog, which serves as a freelance writing online portfolio. I started Aha!NOW partly to serve this purpose. 🙂

By now you must’ve gone through many freelance writing websites that give you all the tips and information to be a successful freelance writer.

Next you need to know is how to get the freelance writing online jobs.

JOBS cutout and people searching freelance writing jobs on laptop

Where to Find Freelance Writing Opportunities

If you feel confident that you can take up a writing assignment, then start finding freelance writing jobs.

Let me confess that this is the toughest part of an online freelance writing career.

It’s not easy to get a freelance writing job initially because there might be many other freelance writers who’re experienced and have better portfolio than yours.

But don’t lose heart because every freelance writer goes through this phase.

If it is your first job, grab any, even if it’s a low paying one. Remember, all you need is experience and to prove that you’re a good writer.

Try following these 7 places to launch your freelance writing career.

1) Freelancer Platforms

Join the freelance work platforms like Odesk, Elance, Freelancer, and Guru. Create your profile there and apply or place bids for freelance writing jobs that suit you.

I started my freelance writing career with Odesk. Later, I continued with the same clients independently, at my own risk. I’ll tell you about the risks at the end of the post.

2) Craigslist

Track the Craigslist of your market area, and apply for jobs that meet your criteria. You need to be careful regarding the deals you make here.

I found many clients on Craigslist with whom I had long-term professional association, and they became my regular clients.

3) Google

Google for “freelance writing jobs”, “freelance writer jobs”, “online writing jobs”, “freelance online jobs” or “writing jobs online”. You can also search for “freelance article writer”, “freelance content writer”, “freelance blog writer” etc.

TIP: When on the Google search site, click on “Settings” and then “Advanced search”. Type your keyword (say, “freelance copy writer”) in the first field. Narrow down your result to “English” and the country of your choice and put “” in the “site or domain” field. Press the Advanced Search button.

You’ll get most of the craigslist listings that have the term “freelance copy writer” in them from all selected market areas. Of course, you can change the region and the last update setting to find the freelance writing jobs in that specific period.

4) Social Media

Create an online presence on social media. If you haven’t done this yet, join website like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, and indicate that you’re a freelance writer in your profiles there.

I received many freelance writing offers through the contacts on these platforms. LinkedIn is a great professional network, and there are many groups and communities related to freelance writing on Facebook and Google+, which you should join.

TIP: Remember to link up your social accounts, blog, and portfolio of your social profiles in all the social media platforms. Use your sales pitch to describe yourself and create a professional impressive resume that highlights your freelance writing career or qualifications.

5) Job Boards

Join freelance writing forums, job boards, and websites like Problogger, Flexjobs, FreelanceWriting to keep abreast with the latest freelance writing opportunities and happenings, and to connect to other freelance writers.

You can also submit your resume and portfolio to staffing agencies that can find you freelance writing jobs as per your needs.

6) Content Websites

Write for paid and passive income websites like DemandStudios, Hubpages, eHow. I haven’t tried them and they aren’t all that paying.

These either have fixed rates per article, pay on basis of page views or pay on revenue sharing basis derived from the adsense ads on the pages where your article is placed on their site.

7) Online Magazines

Apply to online magazines for freelance writing opportunities. Most magazine websites invite contributions from writers and display all their terms and conditions.

You should try your luck by sending them good pitches as per their requirement, and remember to follow-up after sometime. You never know they might like your idea and ask you to write for them!

You can search for your clients locally or choose online freelance writing, which is what I do.

I do not have any local clients – most of my clientele is International.

The key to have a successful freelance writing career is to maintain good relationships with your clients by providing quality articles on time.

You should remain in constant communication with clients for whom you write. Don’t hesitate to ask for work or let them know that you’re available.

General Freelance Writing Tips and Facts

As I mentioned earlier in the article, you need to be careful in your dealings regarding the pay and the payment.

In most cases, you can negotiate the pay, which you’ve to quote smartly to win over the client and make your ends meet.

Make sure your client is authentic, and try to ask for half the amount in advance as a general policy. I always do that and start my work after I get the upfront charges in my Paypal.

Honestly, the only drawback of freelance writing career is that there are no income guaranties. There’s no fixed monthly salary, no paid holidays, no free medical, and no surety of work too.

Like any business, there is an element of risk, and there are frequent ups and downs.

You might earn less when you start freelance writing, but you can gradually increase your writing rates.

Generally, those who outsource their freelance writing work – expect work at lower rates. If you can offer quality, you can not only bag their orders but even hike your rates with time.

Freelance writing career is challenging, but the rewards are good if you do it right. Remember to be patient, committed, and hardworking.

It takes time to settle and make your name, just as in any other field.

However, you can also be an entrepreneur being a freelance writer if you get hold of bulk writing assignments and have them completed by a team of writers. You can reap great profits this way!

I hope the above-mentioned details and tips help you have a great start to your freelance writing career, if you opt for it.

You can even start freelancing part-time and become a full-time freelance writer when you achieve success and feel it’s worth devoting more time to freelance writing.

If you’re a blogger, you can be a freelance writer simultaneously, and if you’re a freelance writer, you can be a blogger too – just like me 🙂

When you’ve the double-edged nib, your pen is mightier than the sword! So, what are you waiting for – start today!

Over to You –

Would you want to start freelance writing? If you already are a freelance writer, how has your journey been? What are your tips for finding freelance writing jobs for a successful and stable freelance writing career? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Great post. However, I am finding it extremely difficult to get any freelance writing jobs outside my Kindle book writing.

  2. Freelance writing as a career is tough these days. With the deluge of writers available in every freelancing platform, it is a race to the bottom as far as pricing is concerned. So how do one survive and thrive in this scenario? The best solution is to master a niche – preferably something that you like and passionate about. Writing fact laden high quality content pieces in your niche will make you stand out and as it happens, money will follow quality.

  3. Hi Mam,
    I love to be a freelance writer. Awesome post indeed.
    I got my first online payment from freelance writing just a few day before. Love this job.
    I decided to be a freelance write before almost 2 years ago. But got a potential client only now. Anyway I am happy now. So I can surely say finding clients at the initial stage is very difficult.
    It is good to choose low paying jobs and after having experience we can raise our rates.
    I now feel this is my career. Let us see what god will give for me.
    Having a blog is a superb idea for freelancers. We can showcase our writings there. But I know a boy who has no blogs and still earns from freelance writing.
    As you said, having an internet connection is essential for freelance career. Unfortunately this is what I am suffering from. Hope I get broadband soon.
    I too started my freelance career with oDesk and earned my first $5 after striving hard and a lot. I use no other platforms
    Now I am happy. Facebook is my client gathering platform now. I got two 4 clients from it. Pretty good I think.
    Now I am facing a problem, that is I have no pancard and paypal. But will apply for it soon. I know it is important to get international payments.
    Hey, that is a superb idea to ask the clients for half of the charge. This will surely throw scams away.
    Nice post Mam. Keep going.

  4. Harleena very well written post. It is easy to see why you are successful as a freelance writer. One of nice things about freelance writing is that over time as you build up your customer base you do not have to spend as much time acquiring work and can spend more time writing.

    To be a successful freelance writer the writer has to love writing as you do. If they do not love to write then it will not work for them.

    It is not about how good someone writes. If they are willing to learn they can develop the skills to write professionally doing what you said, “You can even read posts on websites of other freelance writers … to study them thoroughly and gain more knowledge about freelance writing.

    One last comment. If someone wants to be a professional writer on their own site or for hire they need to get Grammarly. I having been a freelance copywriter since 2001 and I was very glad when Grammarly came along.

    There are links here on AHA-Now for Grammarly.

    Why because the hardest writing to edit is our own writing. We will overlook mistakes in our own writing that we would see in other people’s writing.

  5. Hello Harleena Madam,
    LOL today when I am re-reading all the posts from this section I came across my comment which I have posted here long back. I can’t control laughing as this comment indicates that I thought you weren’t from India.

    Coming to the post its awesome. Yes I really liked the search tips that you gave for finding a perfect job. My question is is craiglist having an intact credibility in India. Hope you notice this comment and if you do so please kindly answer this.

    1. Hi Swadhin,

      Lol…is that so? I wonder why you felt like that? And though this post has a few pending comments but I’d answer yours because you asked a question. In the freelancing world, you cannot trust anyone, and people on Craiglist too are like totally unknown ones, but you get a lot of job opportunities there. I had even downloaded their software, but that was long back when I started, now I don’t think it’s there, where all the daily job opportunities used to show up in your feed, so you could choose the ones you like – apply and wait, just as you do anywhere else. You have to take your chances and you can get good clients from this one place too.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope this helps 🙂

  6. Wow Harleena,

    So, sorry I had missed that post since February. I love it! I’ll keep it as a resource nest for myself too 🙂 and thank you so much for mentioning me, which I never knew.

    This is the first weekend in week where I have sometime to site at the computer just to read blogs, and I’m browsing your. I was hoping that this post was recent, but I see it’s not.

    I one thing I’d like to tell to those looking for writing jobs, it’s not to get discouraged, as it usually takes some time of trying and trying again before we break through. It does take time, energy and dedication.

    Thank you for the great resources you’ve included there too.

  7. Hi Harleena,

    The journey of becoming a freelance writer have a long path. It’s really amazing to hear your story as how you have become a famous freelance writer?

    As you have mentioned to become a freelance writer we are required to have great writing skills. Everyone can’t provide quality content. In my opinion being a freelance writer it’s a great achievement. I always think about it and only think comes in mind is about the visions of a freelance writer. How can a person think like that much demonstrative?

    I hope someday I will have that much thinking power. 😉

    Thanks for sharing and motivating me like always.

  8. I started freelancing as a part of hobby and overcome my that time depression but now it becomes my part time job.So I can assure you doing freelancing is a great thing,just enter into this field and it’ll dramatically help to change your life and may also help you to build a promising career.

  9. This is the finest article that deals with every aspect of pursuing a successful career as freelance writer as well as making social impact so that you can get lots of traffic through those social community pages or forums.

  10. should I have asked anything to God and I now think i would have been granted these is by far the best guide for freelancing

    Harleena ma’am you deserve “Dua” (prayers in hindi hope you dont mind) because this is what i wanted now I can go forward and do achieve something you might think I am flattering but literally I am shiverring whilr writing this as this post made me a way And i want to trod it to a successful carrier thank you Harleena madam may God bless you

  11. This is an excellent read on freelance writing. I myself do freelance writing as one of my many endeavors as a freelance creative spirit, and I find that I am most successful in these five areas: Writing for up front payments (like from magazines, Demand Media Studios, etc.), writing for revenue sharing websites (my favorites being Squidoo and List My Five), writing books, running blogs that make use of affiliate marketing, and doing gigs on Fiverr. (They add up!) I love helping others and sharing ideas!
    Thank you for sharing your excellent ideas and information. As always, I’ll be back. 🙂
    Peace and Love,

  12. Hello Harleena
    Awesome Article one again. Besides Describing different platforms to start freelancing writing career, you also mention some points which can also help to improve writing skills, advance searching tips and all. Every time I visit your blog, I learn something new from your blog. Thanks and keep in touch.

  13. One of the things that I highly appreciate about freelancing (whether you write, design, code or just anything) is the fact that you’re not climbing any sort of ladder, but your progress and success is left for you to define. In my terms, both progress and success are achieved by staying not just interested, but passionate about what you do, and working a regular nine to five job can take that away from you very easily.
    This was a great read, thank you for sharing your experience.

  14. Hello Harleena,

    I don’t think I have attempted freelance writing, but if I ever wanted to get the most of freelance writing, your guide is definitely the most practical I have seen and I have equally bookmarked it.

    One brickwall exists in Nigeria and that’s the exclusion of Nigeria in PayPal’s list of accepted countries and most of the sites that accepts freelancers make use of PayPal. For me, that’s a major limiting factor why most Nigerians haven’t really made the most of freelancing..

    Great article Madam and do have a nice day 🙂

  15. Hi Hearleena,

    This is the first time i have visited your blog and this article impresses me so much. I think this a hardest and biggest chance for individual to be a freelancer writing. in the past, when i worked for a software company, this took me so long to decide to become a freelance writer but from then, i never regret about my decision. your story inspires and encourages me a lot to follow my dream and i think this will help bloggers surely especially beginners.
    thanks for your sharing and looking forward to your new post.


  16. I haven’t done any freelance writing, unless you can count guest posting as part of the free section in freelance writing, but I do plan to 😀

    I plan to start offering writing and blog consultancy services by the end of this year. I haven’t finalized anything yet, so I might scrape the project, depending upon my success with other projects).

    But before I start, I have to work on improving my writing skills. I am not sure whether my writing is good enough to be sold 😀 I have a few things to work on, especially with grammar.

    I have bookmarked the post for later 🙂 Thank you for sharing it! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

  17. Wow amazing Hearleena,

    This is the best guide for freelance writing, you touch nook and corner of freelance writing, and one doubt you put all keywords of freelancing at the writing opportunities section 3 number tip “Google” wow what an idea of you, really amazing, many people don’t think those are ” search keywords”, so I think you are great writer. Thank you.

  18. Thank you for this comprehensive freelance writer’s guide! It’s so helpful. I needed to know everything and got them in one place. Score!

  19. Hello Harleena,

    This is the best article, which I’ve ever read… I was looking for this kind of such article, and you wrote.. Thank you so much for this!

    You’ve seen my articles? I hope so! 🙂 What do you think, am I good with writting? Any suggestion for me??

    And yah! I am going to start freelance-writting career anon.

  20. Wow! The most complex post about freelance writing career I’ve seen. I’ve just printed it and now I’m going to plan my own career as a freelancer. Thanks!

  21. Hello Harleena!

    I guess I was grossly mistaken when I assumed that I was the only one who thoroughly enjoyed ‘working with words from my bedroom’ as I put it. It’s a pity that this model of work style is grossly underrated by persons who feel that a real job must have an office where you must commute to everyday in a jacket and tie.

    My first stint with freelancing was working with Even as a newbie, I discovered that at the end of two weeks, what was sent to my Payonner card far exceeded my previous monthly salary…since then, I have never looked back!

    What I now do is that I advertise my services on my blog and address client’s challenges as they come…it’s great working and at the same time enjoying the company of family! This style rocks, believe me.


  22. Hi Harleena,

    Excellent! 😉 I really love when blog posts are derived from the experiences and this is what I’m talking about. I was kinda surprised you wasn’t thinking about this topic until now 🙂

    Well, after about 2 years of blogging I’ve come to the conclusion that writing is not in my best interests, Harleena 🙂 I know, I know… I’m blogging. But freelance writers are way beyond that. Hence I have no idea of stepping into the freelance writing career though. Hey, but I’ve been learning from you by observing your writing and style.

    I know that your experience gonna help immensely to those who are interested in ’cause when I start off with my freelancing, I had no idea where to begin and what to do either. Right now, there may be hundreds or thousands looking for how to get started and this is a trending topic indeed.

    I wonder how hard it was for online job seekers to find jobs prior to search engines. However, seem there are so may resources to count on now and it’s been made easier. Now I got a question – Can freelance writers exist offline too? I’ve never heard of ’em except for online.

    Well, I don’t think drawbacks really gonna make a big impact though 🙂 May be it depends on the intentions toward freelance writing career. Eventhough I’m not a freelance writer, I have a question that I believe everyone might have when get started, Harleena – How do you weight pricing for clients when you are with no portfolio, but some writings?

    Shouldn’t be overrated and neither underrated, right? May be it’s alright to underrate as a newbie. How did you figure it out?

    Enjoy the rest of your week dear 🙂


  23. This is a very comprehensive guide Harleena and, I will bookmark it for future reference.

    Being a freelancer is indeed another cool way to make money from the internet and though I haven’t been so serious with it but, I’ve done freelance jobs before. The first one I did got me $100 and I got the client from Facebook. Still thinking of taking it higher though.

    My only problem is that almost most of the sites you mentioned here like Odesk and the rest accept payment via Paypal and, Nigerians are not allowed to use Paypal so, its really a big blow on the face:).

    Thanks for sharing Harleena.

  24. Hello Harleena Maam,
    I always wanted to be freelance write but being a newbie firstly I am trying to gain some flexibility by writing more and more aricles for my blog as well as for other’s ( guest posts ). You have covered the whole story of freelance writing. These tips will always help me in career. Thanks a lot maam 🙂

    Eagerly waiting for your next article. 🙂

  25. Hi Harleena,

    What a pleasant surprise! I was in search of such an informative and useful guide. Thank you so much for putting everything in relation with freelance writing, and ha, for the connected links. Indeed this will help many like me.

    Sad to note that i am not getting your email intimation of new posting, this post I came to know thru Ernestine’s G+ notification. Anyways I need to do a manual checking or pl, post it in G+ pages, I am bookmarking this for my further use, my blogger things are now migrated to a new place and it is still under construction. Hope, you find some time to drop in, expecting your valuable suggestions.

    Best Regards, Phil
    Have a wonderful time ahead

  26. Great article, Harleena!!

    I don’t have plans to become a freelance writer, although, I’ve thought about other freelancing options such as doing video tutorials and instructional manuals (which I guess is a freelance writer! ha.) So your tips are super handy for preparing for and seeking out these opportunities.

    My one concern or worry is that I don’t want the freelance position to take up so much of my time that I can’t work on my website. I’d be using freelance to get more experience and to make money on the side, but it’s not my intention to make it my full-time gig. So, I worry that the time I spend there could be spent building my online business.

    But, I love your suggestions and perhaps will give it a try!! Thank you!

  27. Hi there,

    Article writing is indeed one of the most in demand services in the internet. Personally, I am not really a good article writer but would love to learn more just to level-up.

    Thanks for sharing this information. It really motivates me to push myself and achieve my goal.

    – Felix

  28. Wow Harleena i believe you have covered everything if someone once to become a freelance writer. When i first started out my old blog i did have someone write for me. it freed me up to get other stuff taken care of at the time. Now i enjoy doing it mostly myself.

    Freelance writing is like any career choose it does take time to build a reputation for yourself, if you love writing it is a great opportunity.
    Thanks Harleena for sharing your wisdom.

  29. Hi Harleena,

    Your piece is comprehensive and timely for anyone interested to be a freelance writer.

    Its also important to emphasize that the industry is saturated and it takes a VERY skillful writer to stand out.

    More so, having the skill to write or blog is one thing, and developing the skill to promote the freelance writing skill is quite another .

    So, for one to start a successful freelance writing career, having a passion for writing and the ability to promote that skill would be NEEDFUL.

    I have shared this comment in where this post was shared for Internet marketers.

    Sunday – contributor

  30. Nameste Harleena Ji,

    I am happy you write this post but there are certain points i do not agree with when i read through your article.

    Ezine Articles, and Article base are NOT a trust worthy source. There are a number of Articles approved that have VERY LOW quality.

    I used to work for an IT company, and my well written articles were rejected by their mechanical algorithm. How i was treated by my company was another story.

    I have been through hell, and freelancing is no easy job.

    Let’s talk about those people who agree to work with you BUT do not pay up when the job is complete?

    How do you deal with people who do not pay for the work you have done for them?

    This is a question you need to answer in a blog post!


    1. Hi Piyush,

      First, I’m glad you’ve some points to differ on and I’d love to clear the things out.

      You’re right that Ezine and Articlebase are not the sites that add much value to your portfolio. However, for those who’re beginning their freelance writing journey, the articles they submit there can help them fill up their portfolio initially, and later they can only show the works they did for their clients.

      I used these sites about 4-5 years ago, and I was easily able to submit my pieces, so I do not know if things have changed there. What I had suggested in this post was to read the articles there to get an idea on how to write on different topics, as not all articles there are useless.

      Freelance writing is not a cake walk, but with time and experience, you can later have the cake and eat it too! 🙂

      I discussed this problem in my reply to comment by Balroop, and I’ve mentioned my views in the post too, that you need to be careful in your dealings with the clients. Ask for upfront payment, avoid free samples and instead build a diverse portfolio. Research about your client, and write for free only if you feel they have a good status and reputation. Not every client is a cheat, in fact, in my freelance writing career spanning years, I’ve only encountered a couple of such clients.

      I hope I’ve answered your query. Thanks for visiting and putting up these questions. Do have a great rest of the week! 🙂

  31. Believe me I always learn new things and ideas whenever i come to this blog. Sister you are really a great writer. I always like your articles that are full of informations.

    1. Hi Adnan,

      I’m glad you found this post worthy to take away something useful.

      I appreciate your kind words and thank you for your visit and the comment. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  32. Even if everybody becomes a freelancer writer, not all can be as Good as you are Harleena..

    This is one of the best freelancer guide have ever read in 2014, you are a writer with excellence prove, you must be born with keyboard in your hand…

    You seven tips of how to become a freelancer, i agree with everything, of-course to become a great Freelancer writer, you have to practice, search, Practice, search, practice, search till your eyes says no more today..

    Anyone can be a writer but not anyone can become a freelancer writer…

    I surely need to make use of the share button now..

    1. Hi Temilola,

      I honor your appreciation but don’t you think it’s a bit too much. 🙂 Alright, I accept that I’m good and trying to be better, but there are plenty who’re better than me and even you’re better than me in some or the other aspect of writing! Isn’t it?

      I’m so glad you like this post, or the freelancer guide! Ah.. I was instead born with a ‘writing’ chip inside my brain, which transmits the coded writing signals to my fingers and I just decode and type them out! Lol. 🙂

      That’s right – ‘practice’ is the keyword and you need to include that as many times in your writing schedule, and not worry about its excessive use! 😉 Search you must, because that’s your only companion to help you in your freelance writing journey.

      Yes, there’s a difference between being a writer and freelance writer – the later really have to rough it out and lead a tough life.

      Thanks for visiting, commenting, and sharing this post. Do have a great rest of the week! 🙂

  33. Hi Harleena!

    An excellent and very useful post – as always 🙂

    I started my own freelance writer’s business about a month ago after writing for someone else for about a year. My page is still ‘work in progress’, but I think it will always be. I need to add a testimonials page.

    Since I wrote for someone else (medical writing and ghostblogging) with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), I cannot use this work as a reference in my portfolio. Something to consider for everyone before signing an NDA.

    I was lucky with my first client. I know the company very well and they were in need for someone. I just called them, asked and was lucky. It is a small company so I cannot ask for very high payments. But it is a good start and it fills up my portfolio. I can just say, don’t be afraid to just ask people.

    Like you said Harleena! It is challenging but very rewarding.

    I love writing! I love my family! I love working from home. So! I love being a freelance writer! 🙂

    1. Hi Ilka,

      Glad you find the post useful.

      My best wishes for your new freelance writing business and I’m sure with your experience you’d easily carry it forward. Honestly, my website too is ‘work in progress’ even after all these years. I feel it’s best to do it all up as early as possible because you tend to caught up with many things later and then updating sites take a back seat.

      I also signed NDA with few clients, and did ghostwriting for many. So, I don’t use those articles in my portfolio, but then that’s how it goes. You need to respect the client’s wishes.

      It’s good to know that you had a good experience with your very first client. I’m sure this experience would be valuable and worth more the money. That’s a great tip – just ask, and you may be given! I’m happy that you’re learning the right ways fast. 🙂

      It’s good to see your love and enthusiasm for freelance writing. Thank you for your visit and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences. Do have a great rest of the week! 🙂

  34. Once again, you’ve shared such generous and inspiring tips, Harleena!

    I began blogging to promote my book and at that time didn’t even know what a ‘blog’ was (2011). Not sure I’ll get to freelance but I do contribute for a large site on a monthly basis which is really fun. It helps with networking and finding people in my subject area. Maybe one day I’ll take this step to freelance.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I’m glad you like the freelance writing tips in the post.

      I discovered freelance writing in 2009, and created my blog in the fag-end of 2010. Time is the greatest teacher, and I don’t know what more new learning are in the scope of my life. 🙂

      So, anything and everything is possible. Since you’re already an author, I understand that you need to write around your niche and connect to people who’re interested in it. So your scope of freelance writing narrows down, or I should say you specialize in one aspect and can always freelance as an expert! Do let me know when you decide to freelance, and you can always reach me if you’ve any problems or questions.

      Thanks for visiting and your comment. Do have a great rest of the week. 🙂

  35. Freelance writing is so demanding because of the competition. But developing your writing skills would give you an edge over your competitors.

    The moment you make up your mind to be a freelancer, you should be aware that you are going to go it out all alone, as such you must be determined not to fail, be consistent in bidding for jobs, search constantly for the best places to get well paying clients, etc.

    Once you get things right and your profile begins to soar, clients would start looking for you instead of the other way round. But be sure to keep to your schedules and maintain your quality if you must retain your clients.

    Sometimes, you may not need so many clients; if you have one that engages you and keeps you very busy round the clock, with good pay, that might just be the end of searching for further jobs.

    Thanks Harleena for sharing this with us.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      You’re right, freelance writing is too demanding. But then so is blogging. Whatever it may be, you need to learn and develop the skills, and then added with practice and experience, you become valuable and able to win over competition.

      Thanks for adding the motivational verse and how budding freelance writers should prepare themselves. Those are really some wise words from somebody who has traveled the path.

      Definitely, your personal qualities and values matter a lot. You need to be a go-getter, determined and passionate to taste success. But then maintaining quality and punctuality are your two legs without which you cannot much move forward.

      I’d say that you should always try to work simultaneously for at least a couple of clients, so in case if one backs out, you still have got work in hand. In short, my experience says to not put all the eggs in one basket. Keep this in mind that you may not retain a client forever.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your wisdom that am sure will help the new freelance writers a lot. I appreciate your generous tips that adds value to the post. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  36. Hey Harleena Mam,

    Most probably this is going to be the my first comment on your blog post. I am a newbie in this blogging World. After Entering into this world I found one thing and that is Google is getting Smarter Day by Day. It tends to behave like humans. It has now the capability that smells anything going beyond their policies.It is now a days having only one demand and that is Quality Content.

    As I am into SEO since 1 year (but recently started writing too), I had seen subsequent changes coming across it tat how it changed from traditional methods to only and only Quality content and that’s what a freelance writer is expected to do.!!

    I must say that Freelance writing is not an easy task but once you get experience it is not going to be that difficult.
    Also I would like to say about the risks you talked about and the main risk is of payment. You may be loyal towards your client but you must also take care of the fact that the clients should be loyal to your payments.

    Thanks for providing such an awesome article Harleena. I must say you are a very talented writer.


    1. Hi Rohit and welcome to my blog! Nice to see you here. 🙂

      Yes, it is your first comment, and that’s good! Every blogger is a newbie at some point of time, so that’s okay. You’re right, Google’s algorithm is advancing by leaps and bounds, and you’re going to witness many more surprising changes in the coming years. I’m sure that there’ll be a time when only good content will rule and even the keywords and backlinks will take a back seat, entirely. And for freelance writers, its a good news. 🙂

      I can’t agree with you more that freelance writing is challenging as well as difficult. The one who endures and keeps the patience, sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

      You’ve put it in a nice way that both the parties need to respect each other and play by the rules.

      Thanks for your visit and your kind words, I appreciate it all. See you around and do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  37. Hi Harleena,

    You are an awesome freelance writer as it is obviously evident from your writing and that you can pretty much write an intriguing article on virtually any topic. You have this great ability to get creative with your content.

    However, I do know that it didn’t come to you just like that. Any skill takes its due time and efforts to master and you have invested numerous hours of your life in mastering this art. No wonder your writing is so effective.

    Thank you for sharing this as I know this going to inspire a lot of people!

    To your success!

    1. Hi Kumar,

      Thanks for your kind words, I’m really honored to receive your appreciation, which means a lot to me. 🙂

      You’re right, and this saying says it all – practice makes a person perfect. Though I’m far away from perfection, but regular practice added rich experience to my skills, which I either received through my genes or learned them subconsciously, because I know that I never took any special training or coaching.

      However, as I’ve insisted in my tips on this post, studying how other writers write really helps a lot. I guess you subconsciously extract the good things and important points and later use them in your own writing. That’s why, a writer should always keep reading, the work of others.

      I do like to be creative, and pour it in anything and everything as I can. I hope all aspiring freelance writers too try to be creative, do lots of reading, and keep practicing to write on any and all topics with sincerity and dedication.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and views. Do enjoy and make the most of the rest of the week! 🙂

  38. Hi Harleena,

    This is truly a nice guide, with links and hints! Since you have painted such a rosy picture here, let me remind all those who want to take the plunge:

    You can never be your own boss because you are writing for others!
    The earnings are just peanuts in the beginning, go ahead if you have the patience!
    Sometimes you never hear from those who want you to do a sample or free article.
    Its very time consuming and can be quite frustrating if your articles are not liked, some clients are very demanding.
    It can never become a full time job so far as earning is concerned and beware of those who cheat, like Harleena has pointed out.

    Harleena, you are right…perseverance and commitment pays but you need a lot of free time, with no holidays!
    Thank you Harleena for excellent tips. Have a nice week ahead.

    1. Hi Balroop,

      Thanks for your added valuable information, or may I call it that you added thorns to the rosy picture! Lol, Just kidding, but your points are no joke as they’re serious enough.

      Every person wanting to become a freelance writer needs to know that its a tough path to tread and you might’ve a hard time initially. But it all depends on you, your ways, talent, and skills if you’ll get to reap the fruits early or late.

      The incidences you mentioned do really happen like you’re asked for a sample article and then you never hear from those people. It’s for this reason I insist on upfront charges, so both the parties share the risk. But then, mostly the beginners don’t have much choice in hand but to take more risks.

      As for me, I used to tell the clients to check out my portfolio, which was really diverse and had all kinds of articles. Since initially I worked through Odesk, so the payment was not an issue. And then with time I learned to discern the clients, negotiate with them, and avoid writing free samples.

      You’re right that initially the pay might be peanuts, and that’s what I too started from. But I know that’s a passing phase and it really did pass in my case.

      Initially it happened with me too that the article was returned, but then I took it as a challenge and crafted a better one according to the client’s demands, which got accepted. So that’s all part of the game, but you really need to discern the intentions and the status of the client, and respond accordingly.

      I do have my holidays, but yes, when it comes to meeting deadlines, you need to sacrifice whatever comes in between. Since there are no shortcuts to success, so you need to rough it out, but then when you look back, the picture looks rosy and you forget the thorns and its pain.

      Having said that, I really appreciate you bringing up these important points that every freelance writer should know and prepare themselves for such eventuality.

      Thanks for visiting and helping all readers to really get into the groove and experience the pros and cons with practical examples of a freelance writing job. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  39. Hi Harleena,

    This is a very informative article to those who wants to be a Freelance Writer. Guess, like any other career, it takes time to build your name. Whether this is Freelance Writing, Graphic Design, Web Design, Internet Marketer, etc. People need to keep seeing you over and over again.

    You know I’m not a professional writer but I do have the *love* for writing since I have been writing in my journal at such a young age. In the beginning, I wanted to be a Journalist. But guess I end up taking Commercial Art. They said that the BEST portfolio for beginners are their websites.

    If the prospect clients can SEE your work online whether this is writing or designing or whatever, that’s how you gain their TRUST. In Graphic Design community in Linkedin, many of those ask how to be a Freelance Graphic Designer, what do they need, what kind of portfolio should they have, etc., etc.

    Again, my answer to this is, your website is YOUR portfolio.

    Anyway, dear, thank you for such a very good article. I’ve learned something MORE tonight. Have a nice evening…and enjoy the rest of the week.


    1. Hi Angela,

      Yes, it takes more time to make a name as a freelance writer than as a blogger. You’re right in that all freelancing jobs take time to get recognized, as people get to know your value gradually as they witness or come to know of your work. And of course, communication and interaction is a major key in getting yourself promoted fast.

      You can still take up freelance writing as a hobby as you’ve the required interests and the skills. I’m sure you can offer content writing as a part of your design packages. Definitely, the blogs and websites maintained by the freelance writer or designer are the best portfolios.

      I’ve revealed it many times that one of the reasons for creation of Aha!NOW was to create a portfolio of my writing. It’s another thing that I fell into the love of blogging and became more of a blogger instead. 🙂

      I’d agree with your advice that you give to your fellow designers to consider their websites as their portfolio.

      I’m glad you could take away something from this post and liked it. Thanks for your visit and the comment that adds value to the post. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  40. The flexibility is great when you’re a parent or have other household responsibilities (perhaps caring for an eldery parent). When I think about how many days kids get off of school during the year I wonder how some juggle it.

    Great tips, some I didn’t even know about. Thanks!


    1. Hi Lea and welcome to my blog! 🙂

      That’s right, freelancing jobs are great when you need flexibility, and freelance writing is one of them.

      You’ve a great point here and you can really have a tough time if you don’t plan how to manage the kids when they’re home. But with time and practice you learn how to create working time for yourself in such cases.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and I’m glad this post was able to offer you something new. See you around and have a great day ahead! 🙂

  41. Hi Harleena,

    I agree with Shalu, this freelance writing guide is fantastic! I have a friend who wanted to start a freelance writing career but was having real difficulty getting started. I will be sending this directly to her after I finish my comment. I believe this article has the resources she may need to give freelance writing another go.

    Thank you so much for generously sharing the secrets of your success, Harleena. I guess the only downside is that you will now have more competition!

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      I’m glad you like the post. I never thought to call it as a guide, but I like the idea. I’ll call it a mini-guide as there’s so much more to freelance writing.

      That’s so nice and thoughtful of you to forward this post to your friend, and I hope and wish that it helps her in some way or the other.

      Ah.. these aren’t any secrets any more, because these days you can Google and find all about everything. I just tried to make things easier for people so it saves them time and effort. As far as competition is concerned, I think freelance writing is a huge market and there’s a share for everyone there. But I’d love to see fellow freelance writers be successful and earn more. 🙂

      Thanks for your visit and sharing your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it. Do have an enjoyable rest of the week ahead! 🙂

  42. You’ve certainly explained all the ins and outs of this profession, Harleena , to the extent that I might revisit the idea myself. I thought of doing this in the past, but soon abandoned it as I prefer to write for myself. This was one of the reasons I didn’t become a journalist. You are an excellent writer and it’s no surprise that you have a successful career as a freelancer!

    1. Hi Debbie,

      I’m glad that I was able to inspire and motivate you through this post. Freelance writing is a great idea especially when you do write a lot as a blogger. I’m sure you’ll love to share your knowledge and experience with others through freelance writing as you do with your blogging.

      Freelance writing has its pros and cons, but so does everything, even blogging for that matter. Do let me know when you start on freelance writing, and I’d be glad to help you.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and kind words. Have a great time ahead! 🙂

  43. Hi Harleena!

    I love the same reasons you do working from home. It is the best feeling ever, isn’t it? I’m not making nowhere near what I was at my office job but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    And the way you described freelance writing being a skill as well as an art. I’ve never heard it put that way before :).

    My own career path steered me toward blogging and as my writing skills improve I would love to work as a freelance writer.

    Thanks for sharing this advice with us and where to find freelance opportunities. I think when the time comes I’ll start with Ezine or eHow. Your post has inspired me and lit a spark :).

    This is very valuable information thank you again for sharing it with us Harleena!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful evening!

    1. Hi Corina,

      Yes, it is a great feeling working from home. Though I must say it has its pros and cons, but the pros weigh more for me. Blogging is like a business, and it takes time to develop. I’m sure with the way you’re going, you’re going to have a great network and make the most of it such that your past jobs will seem minuscule.

      Writing is an art, isn’t it? Not every body can do it effectively, and just like any other art, you develop specific skills with time. I’m sure with time when the demand for good content writing increases, people will start looking up to freelance writers.

      I think you’ll do great as a freelance writer, and that would supplement your income. It’s just that sometimes it becomes a bit tedious to manage them both, but with time as things settle you learn to handle them.

      I believe that the freelance writing opportunities and the ways mentioned in this post are enough to get anyone started as a freelance writer. Let that spark boost your entrepreneurial spirit and reach the heights of success! 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your wonderful thoughts and ideas. I really appreciate them. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  44. Harleena,

    I really enjoyed reading this post, especially as I’ve recently ventured into the freelance writing field. I quite agree, it’s great being your own boss and doing something you love.

    But like you said, it’s quite challenging as well. I’ve joined the Freelance Writers Den to get some guidance and support with my new career. It’s been really useful. I’m learning a lot.

    I’ve got two regular clients. One approached me on LinkedIn. I update his blog regularly. The other client came by because I approached him. He had a day nursery. I checked out his website and noticed that he had a blog with nothing on there. I offered my services, had a meeting with him and he hired me to be his resident blogger. I really enjoy writing for the nursery. The articles are aimed at giving useful advice to the mums with regards to their children.

    I’m in the process of looking at other websites and checking out for blogs that need updating. I’m also marketing my services to get some copywriting work.

    It is hard getting clients. But I’m committed to what I do, so I’m not going to let that discourage me.

    I just want to thank you for the advice you offered me last year when I first started out. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this really useful post. Have a lovely week.

    1. Hi June,

      Glad you enjoyed this post. It’s great that you’re trying your hands on freelance writing and you’re certainly in the right hands as far as the coaching is concerned. It’s always better and wise to learn the trade, along with its tips and tricks from experts, and avoid going the hard way yourself. And, it seems you’ve already started implementing your learning.

      How successful you are as a freelance writer very much depends on how good and smart you’re in getting good paying jobs. Getting that blogging job was really a smart way and I’m so happy that you’re off to a good start.

      Yes, the one thing common with all freelancers is that they are their own boss, but it’s also a fact that they need to pay a price for this freedom by having an insecure life – no work, no pay! And this is the reason why freelance writers should maintain a blog too, so they can create some regular passive income sources, isn’t it?

      Freelance writing as well as blogging, both are challenging but do pay the rewards who believe and put the best foot forward with all the determination and commitment.

      You’re going great, June, and I wish you all the success. You’re using the right strategies and I can assure you that you’ll easily overcome these initial obstacles with the kind of attitude you’ve developed.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and experiences. They are valuable, will help a lot others and add value to this post. I really appreciate it. You too have a great week ahead! 🙂

  45. You shed the light on this for me. I thought it was really hard to make a living this way!

    1. Hi Jodi,

      I’m glad you found this post worthy of enlightening you about freelance writing.

      It is not that easy to make a living as a freelance writer, but there are many who’re dong so. It all depends on how you go about it.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. Have a great day ahead! 🙂

  46. Hey Herleena mam,

    Freelance writing or blogging is something I cannot live without. Among the crowd of professionals and experts I am not loosing a touch with myself. Becauce I am a writer, I am not disappearing or squeezed between their crowd. Now anyone can also introduce me proudly that she is writer or blogger. I know I am still learning even I feel great that if I will die, die as a writer. Isn’t sounding great.

    Yes as you said there is no fix income in freelance writing and this is the only drawback we have as a writer besides that everything is praiseworthy in this profession.

    Very informative post, your precious words will be the answer of the masses.

    Thanks for sharing and keep writing for us and enrich our world.

    1. Hi Shiwangi,

      Freelance writing and blogging complement each other, though its not easy to keep both of them going together. Especially because blogging gets very tedious and time consuming if you try to do it the best way. But I agree that being a freelance writer gives you a distinct identity.

      Of course, being a freelance writer and blogger is great and rewarding too, and you should be proud of yourself. When I started, it was hard for people to accept that I’m going to do what I’m doing now, because it’s so unconventional in our part of the world. But patience, persistence, endurance, hard work, consistency, and positivity pays, and it would for you too!

      Just tap on the right markets, learn to recognize your clients and improve your negotiation skills, and be great in your work – you’ll get good paying freelance writing jobs that will cover all your woes. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you like the post. I appreciate it. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

  47. You’ve said and mentioned everything Harleena, I can add just another great networks next to the one you mentioned where people can get paid to write or hire writers and these great networks are iWriter and HireWriters (just Google them guys). Quality services and good prices too!

    As usual a pleasure reading you dear, liked the post too and see you on your next article! Kind regards!

    1. Hi I.C. Daniel,

      I think a lot still can be written and mentioned about freelance writing and how it can help and guide beginners. I might do that in bits, but I’m glad you found my effort worth reading.

      Thanks for adding more resources for freelance writers to search for freelance writing jobs. Though I haven’t used them, but anything that helps get jobs with a reasonable price is good enough.

      Thanks for visiting and reading this post, and for sharing your thoughts and views. My next post is on sharing your blogging problems and you’re most welcome to share or solve problems. 🙂

      Have a great day ahead! 🙂

  48. Hello Harleena,

    What a nice post to help people/bloggers who whats to join the freelance business.

    Freelance is one good job opportunity for bloggers to earn more money. Before i became a blogger of multiple sites, i was a a freelance writer my self. i have guest post on popular sites as well (Names withheld 🙂 ). While i was doing it, i feel the joy and excitement doing it. But hey i had to stop after completing my 6site because it started weighing me down…

    Harleena, you are a good writer and anybody that visit you for the first time will know.

    Thanks for the share and do have a nicest week ahead…

    1. Hi Babanature,

      I’m so glad that you like the post, and I really hope that it helps people to understand and find the right way to a successful freelance writing career.

      You’re absolutely right in that bloggers too can use freelance writing to help them with extra income. However, as you revealed, since both blogging and freelance writing are time-bound, it sometimes becomes tough to manage both. It happens to me even when I’ve only one blog to manage, so I can imagine what you went through. By the way, it’s good to know that you too have been a freelance writer.

      But one fact stands out that freelance writing is surely exciting and adventurous!

      Thanks for your visit and your kind words. Your opinions matter and thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Have a great day ahead! 🙂

  49. Hi Harleena
    This is the best freelance writing guide ever. You are one great writer which is evident from your blog. In addition, you are a very talented freelance writer. Like you say, freelance writing is one great career to start as it requires to equipment other than the computer and your ability to write. I do a bit of writing but for a selected few but mostly concentrate on my own work. Thanks for these excellent tips on how to start a career in freelance writing.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you like the post – yes, you can call it a mini-guide! 🙂

      Honestly, I too find it a bit difficult to cope up with both my freelance writing and blogging tasks, and sometimes it becomes too overwhelming. I can’t say that I’m a full-time blogger because I’ve my writing tasks too that do take time.

      But yes, freelance writing is a great career to adopt, and it pays well if you’re good at your work and you meet some good clients too. I hope this post helps the newbies.

      Thanks for visiting the blog and sharing your thoughts on this post. I appreciate it. Do have a great day ahead! 🙂

Previous Article
person holding like social media signal in hand

Why Use Social Media Signals and How They Impact Search Engine Ranking

Next Article
Blogging problem upset blogger

SYPS: 8 Types of Blogging Problems That Bloggers Face

Related Posts