Unlike a lot of industries, prior experience isn’t a prerequisite for finding a freelance writing job. If you have a passion for writing and the drive to start your freelance career, then you can start with entry-level jobs and build your way up from there. Below, we outline the best ways to get freelance writing jobs for beginners with no experience.
4 tips to get freelance writing jobs for beginners with no experience are:
- Create a portfolio
- Work on your pitch
- Guest posting
- Do your research
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at each of these tips, tell you where to look for beginner freelance writing jobs, and give you tips on how to succeed as a beginner freelance writer. First, let’s look at how you can find a beginner freelance writing job without having any prior experience.
4 Tips to Get Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners With No Experience
1. Create a Portfolio
To start your freelance writing career, you’ll need a portfolio to show potential clients what you’re capable of. One of the best ways to build a portfolio is to start your own blog. A blog gives you the freedom to write what you’re passionate about and give you something to link potential clients to.
If you don’t want to start a blog, you can simply write a few pieces in the niche you’re interested in. You can then upload these to an online portfolio to display on your social media channels or share when pitching to clients. I use Contently for my personal portfolio, and you can find out more about the platform in our overview of Contently.
Your portfolio doesn’t initially need to include published pieces. But you can add these over time as you gain experience. Just make it clear that your first pieces are for portfolio purposes only!
2. Work on Your Pitch
As a beginner freelance writer, you’ll do a lot of pitching. There are some key things to remember when pitching clients:
- The more unique your ideas are, the better
- Let your client know what you bring to the table as a freelancer and how they would benefit from hiring you
- Sell yourself effectively by explaining how you can add value to the client’s business
Still unsure about how to pitch? For inspiration, check out The Open Notebook’s Pitch Database, which compiles successful pitches to a wide range of publications. Once you’ve managed to successfully pitch an article idea yourself, you can also share your experience on the database for other beginners to read.
3. Guest Posting
Guest posting involves writing an article or blog post for another website in your niche, often for free. This technique allows you to reach a wider audience and hopefully attract new clients.
As a beginner, guest posting is all about building credibility and visibility in your niche. It also gives you pieces to add to your portfolio. Put time and effort into producing quality guest posts. This increases your chances of getting published and contacted for future work.
To find websites open for guest posting, go to Google and type [Your niche] + “guest posting”, “write for us”, “contributions”, and so on.
4. Do Your Research
If you haven’t decided on a niche yet, clients might ask you to write about topics you have no knowledge about. But don’t worry! If you have strong research skills, you can learn and write about any topic out there. By producing a well-written piece backed up by solid research, you’ll deliver quality work to your client and end up with some variety in your portfolio. Plus, you’ll constantly be learning new things!
Now you have a few tips to help you kick off your freelance writing business, let’s look at the kind of work you can find as a beginner freelance writer.
Best Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners With No Experience
Online freelance marketplaces can be lifesavers when it comes to finding your first freelance writing gig. Platforms like Fiverr allow you to explain the type of work you want to do, set your prices, and let clients come to you. But keep in mind that these platforms are highly competitive. This often means that the freelancers with the lowest prices attract the most clients. However, you shouldn’t sell yourself short by charging rock bottom prices. You need to find a balance that works for you, so be patient!
As you start getting clients, your confidence will grow. You’ll also have more experience and fresh pieces for your portfolio. Freelance marketplaces act as middlemen between you and the clients, which gives you some security while you’re still learning how to manage clients. This makes them a good place to start for beginner freelance writers with no experience.
Write What You Know
The best way to start getting new clients is by writing about something that you know. For example, I have a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Forensic Genetics, so I’m comfortable writing interesting science pieces. I also work part-time in a gaming and tech store, so I also enjoy writing about gaming, new tech releases, and everything in between.
Writing about what you know boosts your confidence and saves you a lot of time researching. Plus, you’ll enjoy it far more than if you were writing about topics you find boring!
Avoid Gigs That Require Previous Experience
Don’t waste your time pitching for gigs that require some specific level of experience. For example, if a client needs someone to write in the finance or legal niche, they’re probably looking for someone with experience as a financial advisor or even a lawyer.
As a beginner, initially focus on more general topics to build up your experience. You also have more chance of your pitches being accepted without any prior experience. If the clients ask for specific experience, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t lie about it. However, there’s no harm in being up front and saying that, while you don’t have the experience, you’d be willing to do the research. This will only apply to some general situations where research would suffice, but the worst that can happen is that they say no!
Look for Gigs About Freelancing
Just between you and me, pretty much everything I know about freelance writing I learned through writing about it! Let me explain.
I was fortunate enough to find a few clients as a beginner that gave me (and continue to give me) great outlines about ways to make your life as a freelancer easier. By researching and writing about these topics, I’ve learned a lot about the world of freelancing. This work has helped me to grow as a freelance writer.
There are lots of online resources that help you get on the right track to becoming a successful freelance writer. But if you can find a way to create some of those resources while learning about them at the same time, even better! The best way to learn is by doing.
So, now you know where to look and what kinds of work to look for as a beginner freelance writer with no experience. But is there anything else you can do to help ensure you’ll find freelance writing work?
4 Tips To Improve Your Chances of Getting a Freelance Writing Gig
1. Work With Outlines
Look for jobs where the client gives you a good outline. This provides you with guidance about how to properly organise a post and develop your skills and confidence to do so yourself. This makes it easier for you to do the work correctly as you understand what the client expects, and it makes for a more stress-free experience.
2. Find Your Style and Tone
There are several ways to write and lots of different tones to write in. Some people are great storytellers and enjoy writing blog posts. Others are more technical, detailed writers who like preparing complex technical reviews or white papers. Different people also write in different tones. Some are conversational, others are more professional or academic. By trying a few different styles and tones, you can find the ones that suit you best. However, try to be adaptable, as this opens doors to more freelance writing opportunities.
3. Constantly Improve Your Writing
Be sure to keep working on your grammar and spelling and read and write a lot. A good way to do this is by keeping a journal or writing on your blog. There are also lots of online tools to help you turn in error-free work. For example, Grammarly is a great free tool to run your work through before sending it to a client. But your word processor probably has a built-in grammar checker too. However, the best grammar checker is a human that understands grammar! So, brush up on your writing skills and learn to proofread your own writing.
4. Start With Entry-Level Gigs
Some clients don’t have big budgets for freelance writers. Or they might want to give a helping hand to beginner writers. In these cases, they will specifically ask for entry-level writers. These are perfect first freelance writing jobs for beginners. Places like Upwork and ProBlogger let you filter jobs by level of experience, so you can find the best offers for you.
Starting a Freelance Writing Career With No Experience
The path to becoming a successful freelance writer is different for everyone. Whether you achieve your professional goals depends on your passion, drive, and the choices you make. It might feel impossible to land a good gig without experience. But it’s not! I recently started my freelance writing with just a few samples from an old blog, the will to learn, and a lot of nerve. Now I write more than 10 articles each week and I am constantly updating my portfolio with fresh content. By following our tips above, you can do it too!