How to Become a Freelance Writer

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A freelance writer composes articles, blog posts, journals, and books for various clients. Rather than being employed by a single company, freelance writers are typically self-employed independent contractors who provide services to several clients at a time. The job prospects for freelance writers are often volatile and work may become scarce on occasion. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that the writing industry as a whole will grow by about six percent by the year 2020.[1]

Freelance Writer.jpg

Flickr: KristinNador
Education High school diploma and higher
Starting pay $28,610[2]
Median pay $55,420[2]
10 yr growth Slower than average[1]
Related professions Author, editor, publisher
Author Selena Robinson

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Freelance Writer Job Overview

The job of a freelance writer varies, depending on the type of assignment he or she receives. Generally, the writer has to adapt his or her writing style to fit the requirements of the client. For example, one client may be willing to accept first-person editorials, while another may prefer that the writer compose articles that have a professional, informal tone. Freelance writers must also be able to work on a schedule. Many of their assignments have deadlines, which means that they must complete their articles or posts by a certain day or time.[3]

Freelance writers must also keep several clients at a time. Having many clients serves as a form of job security for a freelancer, since the demand for their services may fluctuate often. To get these clients, writers must be persistent and patient. On occasion, they may also have to submit writing samples or test articles in order to be hired.[4]

Freelance Writer Education

The amount of education needed to become a freelance writer varies according to the job. But all freelance writers need to have an excellent understanding of the English language and superior writing skills. High school students who do well in classes such as composition, creative writing, and English develop these skills early. Freelance writers who decide to go to college may choose to major in a writing field such as Journalism or Communications.[5]

Freelance Writer Training

There are several training opportunities for freelance writers. This additional training is typically not required, but it can be beneficial for writers who want to improve their skills or learn new ways to approach their writing. Freelance writers who want to break into journalism may decide to take courses on news writing and reporting.[6] Some writers hone their skills by enrolling in freelance writing workshops and critique groups.[7]

Business of Freelance Writing: The Query Letter

How to structure and write query letters to pitch article ideas to newspaper and magazine editors.

Also See: How to Become an Author, How to Become a Publisher, How to Become a Copy Editor, How to Become an Editor, How to Become a Fashion Writer


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