When it comes to learning how to become a freelance writer, there are just a few simple steps involved. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree in journalism or English to become a freelance writer.

There is so much work available online for freelance writers that anyone with the ability to write in a clear succinct way, have minimal grammatical and spelling errors, is well placed to be a freelance writer. These are the 5 simple steps you need to take when learning how to be a freelance writer.

Learn How to Write for SEO

Don’t worry if you have never heard of SEO writing, it is not difficult to learn how to do. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is a technique used to achieve high rankings within the search engines.

One of the best ways to get good rankings for certain keywords is to incorporate them into the text in certain places and also a certain number of times.

This is how you do SEO writing:
  • Only target up to 3 keywords or phrases per page. 1 should be primary, 2 should be secondary
  • The primary keyword should be placed in the title of the page with the secondary keywords used in subheadings through the text
  • The keyword density should be 2.7% (ish). For every 100 words the keywords should be used 2 or 3 times.
  • Keywords and phrases should not be bunched together, but instead placed evenly throughout the page.
  • It is most effective to use keywords at the start of sentences rather than at the end
  • Ensure the text flows well and the keywords don’t look too obvious.

Build a Portfolio

It is important you have examples or your work to show your clients and display on the freelancing websites. If you don’t have anything currently then spend then next couple of days creating some samples. Aim for popular topics because they often need a lot of content.

Diet, weight loss, fitness and lifestyle topics are often required so these are a good places to start. Write one or two SEO articles following the rules outlined above and maybe a couple of blog posts to give your personality a chance to shine through. You could even create a free blog from blogger.com and add the blog posts.

Suddenly you are a published writer without ever having a client! This is undoubtedly one of the most important steps when learning how to become a freelance writer.

Learn About Different Types of Freelance Writing

There are several types of content that are needed by web developers.  These types are requested frequently on freelancing websites. Learning what they are and knowing other important jargon is crucial when learning how to be a freelance writer.

 Here is a Brief Guide 

Blog Posts
Usually fun, 400 – 500 word posts about any given subject. Important to look for fun aspects of a subject that people can comment.

For example a blog about cats might want posts with titles such as “how to make your own cat food”, or “home made toys your cats will love”.

SEO Articles
500 word articles with keywords scattered throughout (as discussed above). They are usually for submitting with links at article directories such as this one! They have titles such as “top 10 ways to….” “how you can….” etc

Sales Writing
Often called sales letters as well. These are very long pages of text designed to make someone click a link or buy something. They follow a very specific format.

It can be well worth learning the knack as sales letters with high conversion are in high demand and therefore well paid on freelancing websites. 

Press Releases
These are articles used by businesses to announce a new product or some other company information. They are usually submitted to press release sites online.

They are for generating hype around a business and gaining back links. You will often find a lot of requests for press releases on freelancing websites.

As you probably know these are books for reading online or electronically only. They don’t need SEO and are usually either sold on websites or given away as incentives for leaving your email address. They can be very long indeed, or much less than 10,000 words. It depends. 


Create A Pricing Structure

Pricing is always a tricky topic. The key to pricing is to create a structure that provides an incentive for clients to hang on to you and give you larger volumes of work.

Whether that’s by offering a discount on repeat projects or by creating a pricing structure that rewards higher volumes of work, that’s up to you. You could even do both in fact.  It is possible to charge by the word or by the article.  It is often easier for clients to understand an article price rather than a word price so I would recommend doing this.

Your Pricing Structure Might Look Something Like: 

  • 1-10 x 500 word articles = $/£/€ 0.05 per word or $/£/€ 25 per article
  • 11-20 x 500 word articles = $/£/€ 0.04 per word or $/£/€ 20 per article
  • 21-30 x 500 word articles = $/£/€ 0.03 per word or $/£/€ 15 per article
  • 31 or over x 500 word articles = $/£/€ 0.02 per word or $/£/€ 25 per article

Don’t quote too low because you will find yourself bogged down in low paying work that leaves you little time for finding other, higher paying clients. Also don’t quote to high because there is a lot of competition.

Spend some time working out how much money you need to earn a day or month to live comfortably on, and how long it takes you to right an article when creating your pricing structure.

Gather Necessary Information From Client

This is the final step when learning how to become a freelance writer. Clients often need prompting when it comes to providing the necessary information. They may ask for articles, but without knowing what the purpose of the article – it can be difficult to know how to write them.

Make sure you know how many articles are needed, what keywords are to be included, the purpose of the article and when the deadline will occur. You will also want to know about any particular style or tone they want you to follow.

If you follow the steps above then you are well on your way to learning how to be a freelance writer. The next step is to hit the freelancing websites and start submitting winning proposals.

If you have any other tips or underground secrets about the world of freelance writing, I would love to hear them! Don’t hesitate to comment for questions or other thoughts about this topic.