Landing freelance writing jobs for beginners in 2024 ✍️

  • Remote Working & Freelancing
  • Writing
Contra Tips
· 15 min read

Finding the "write job" - freelance writing jobs for beginners ✍️

Freelance writing offers plenty of unique ways to use a love of the written word to make good money. From crafting conversion-focused sales copy to drafting long-form articles and editorial pieces, there's really no limit to what you can write as a freelancer.

Freelance writing allows individuals to work independently, choose their own projects, and manage their schedules according to their preferences. From creating engaging blog posts and informative articles to crafting compelling copy for websites and marketing materials, freelance writers have the opportunity to explore a wide range of niches and industries.

But when it comes to turning a freelance writing hustle into a career, you'll need more than just a keyboard and a creative eye. You need a portfolio of past work and clients who are willing to vouch for you... which, admittedly, can be tough when you're just getting started!

How can a beginner freelance writer find jobs to start building a portfolio - and how can you be sure that the jobs you take on are worth their time? Let's look at some beginner freelance writing jobs and how you can start building your own freelance writer career!

Wait, what does a freelance writer do?

So, what exactly is freelance writing? In a nutshell, it's the art of writing for different clients on a project-by-project basis. As a freelance writer, you're your own boss, offering your wordsmith skills to anyone who needs content – whether it's businesses, publications, or individuals.

The beauty of freelance writing is that there's something for everyone. Do you geek out over tech? You could dive into technical writing and create user manuals. Are you a storyteller at heart? Why not try your hand at ghostwriting books or articles? Or maybe you're a jack-of-all-trades who enjoys variety. In that case, you could mix it up with blog posts, website copy, product reviews, press releases – the list goes on!

Now, being a successful freelance writer isn't just about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

You've got to be adaptable, have a knack for research, and be able to wrap your head around all sorts of topics. It also doesn't hurt to know a thing or two about SEO and digital marketing. After all, you want your writing to not only capture the attention of real people but also get a thumbs up from search engines.

At the end of the day, freelance writing is a gig that rewards those who are skilled wordsmiths, quick learners, and able to roll with the punches. While you can take on just any freelance job, it's helpful to know how to navigate the many platforms to find the best fit for your skills.

What are the different freelance writer jobs I can take on?

When you want to freelance write, knowing where to start finding a paying job can feel overwhelming. But once you narrow down what you like to do (and what clients are paying for), you can start to hone in on the write career options for you.

Here are some of the most popular types of freelance writing jobs available on job board sites:

Blog Posts and Articles

Blogging has become an integral part of many businesses' content marketing strategies. As a freelance writer, you may be asked to create engaging, informative, or entertaining blog posts and articles on various topics.

This could include listicles, how-to guides, opinion pieces, or in-depth analyses. To succeed in this area, you'll need to be able to adapt your writing style to different audiences and master the art of crafting attention-grabbing headlines.

Website Copy and Landing Pages

Every website needs compelling copy to attract and convert visitors. As a freelance website copywriter, you'll be responsible for creating clear, concise, and persuasive content for home pages, about pages, product pages, and landing pages. A big niche is courses - you can write course copy and make money for even small additions and updates to coaching and online course sites!

When you want to write website copy, you'll need a strong understanding of the target audience - just as you would for blogs and articles. But if you find that you enjoy the challenge of an SEO write project, you can make big bucks quickly as a writer website owners go to for copy!

Product Descriptions and Reviews

E-commerce businesses often seek freelance writers to create detailed, engaging product descriptions and reviews. Your job will be to highlight the features and benefits of a product, while also addressing potential customer concerns and questions. To excel in this niche, you'll need to be able to write persuasively and have a keen eye for detail.

Press Releases and News Articles

Companies and organizations often hire freelance writers to create press releases and news articles to share important updates, announcements, or events with the media and the public. This type of writing requires a journalistic approach, with a focus on delivering information in a clear, concise, and factual manner. Familiarity with AP style and media relations best practices is a plus.

Technical Writing and User Manuals

If you have a background or interest in a specific technical field, you may find opportunities in technical writing. This could include creating user manuals, installation guides, software documentation, or API references.

Technical writing requires the ability to break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language and strong attention to detail and accuracy. Many of these roles pay per word, and you may find that you stretch your freelance write muscles in unique ways with this type of role.

Grant Writing and Proposals

Nonprofit organizations, research institutions, and even businesses often seek funding through grants and proposals. As a freelance grant writer, you'll craft compelling narratives that showcase the need for and potential impact of a project or initiative.

This type of writing requires strong research skills, the ability to follow strict formatting guidelines and a persuasive writing style.

Ghostwriting for Books or Articles

Some clients may hire freelance writers to create content that will be published under someone else's name, such as a company executive or thought leader. Ghostwriting can involve writing blog posts, articles, or even full-length books. To be successful in this niche, you'll need to be able to capture the voice and style of your client, as well as maintain strict confidentiality.

Other types of freelance writing jobs include:

  • Email newsletters and marketing campaigns
  • Social media content and ad copy
  • Scriptwriting for videos or podcasts
  • Speechwriting for conferences or events
  • Editing and proofreading services

As you explore the different types of freelance writing jobs available, consider your own strengths, interests, and areas of expertise. By focusing on a specific niche or type of writing, you can position yourself as a go-to expert and attract clients who value your unique skills and perspective.

Remember, the key to success as a freelance writer is adaptability and a willingness to learn. As you take on different projects and work with various clients, you'll continue to grow and refine your craft, opening up even more opportunities in the exciting world of freelance writing.

How much money do freelance writers make?

The answer - like most things in freelancing - is "it depends." If you take the time to build up your portfolio of work and deliver quality content to clients, you may be surprised to see that those beginner freelance writing jobs turn into long-term gigs that pay well. The key is to stay consistent and build up momentum through your career - it's a long game, but it rewards those who dedicate the time and effort!

A few steps before applying for freelance writer jobs

Set up a professional presence

First things first, you need to establish your online presence. Think of it as your digital business card, showcasing your skills and accomplishments to potential clients.

Start by creating a website or online portfolio where you can display your writing samples and share a bit about yourself.

Don't forget to set up a professional email address and spruce up your social media profiles while you're at it. You want to make sure you're putting your best foot forward whenever a client comes knocking.

Understand your niche or specialization

Now, it's time to get introspective. What topics or industries are you most passionate about or knowledgeable in? This is where you'll find your niche – the sweet spot where your interests and expertise align.

Take some time to research the market demand and scope out the competition within your chosen niche. By focusing on a specific area, you'll be able to position yourself as an authority and attract clients who are looking for your unique set of skills. Plus, this will help you determine where to focus on finding the best outlets for a write job.

Learn about SEO and digital marketing basics

It's the digital age, so it's not enough to just be a great writer. To truly succeed as a freelance writer, you need to have a grasp of SEO (search engine optimization) and digital marketing fundamentals.

Don't worry, you don't need to become an expert overnight! Start by familiarizing yourself with keyword research and optimization techniques. Learn how to craft content that not only captivates human readers but also appeals to search engines. With a working knowledge of the concepts, you'll be able to create valuable content that helps your clients reach their target audience and achieve their goals.

Bonus tips for honing your skills

While you're getting your freelance writing career off the ground, don't forget to keep sharpening your skills.

  • Consider enrolling in online courses or workshops that focus on writing, editing, and proofreading.
  • Read extensively within your niche to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.
  • Most importantly, keep writing! Practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to take on personal projects or contribute to your own blog.

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Where to find freelance writing jobs for beginners

Alright, you've got your website set up, you've identified your niche, and you're ready to start writing. But how do you actually find those elusive freelance writing gigs? Don't sweat it – there are plenty of platforms and websites out there that cater to beginners like you.

Discover freelance marketplaces

So you want to online write, but where do you begin? One of the easiest ways to dip your toes into the freelance writing world is by exploring online marketplaces. Platforms like Contra, Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer are great places to start. These sites connect freelancers with clients from all over the globe, offering a wide range of writing opportunities.

When you're just starting out, you might want to consider Contra, which is commission-free, meaning you get to keep 100% of your earnings. That's more money in your pocket as you build your portfolio and reputation! Contra also connects you with content write jobs and copywriting opportunities for high pay, with the ability to build longer-term freelance work connections.

Fiverr is another beginner-friendly option, allowing you to create gig packages showcasing your writing services at fixed prices. Upwork and Freelancer are also popular choices, offering a variety of projects and the ability to bid on jobs that interest you. Upwork is unique, in that you will often have to bid on pay work opportunities across niches - so prepare your negotiation and presentation skills if you are looking for freelance writer work on UpWork!

Explore writing-specific job boards

In addition to freelance marketplaces, there are also job boards dedicated specifically to writing gigs - such as ProBlogger, BloggingPro, Contently, and more.

  • ProBlogger - an online freelance write job marketplace, you can find a lot of opportunities on ProBlogger for a variety of clients and writing styles. 
  • BloggingPro - similar to ProBlogger, BloggingPro is another freelance writer marketplace that helps you find freelance job options - whether you want to write portfolio pieces for brands or write website copy for businesses.
  • Contently - Contently allows you to sign up and get vetted for pay work opportunities across their client lists. As a content writer, you can write work for different clients and build your freelance writer portfolio quickly!

Leverage LinkedIn and social media

If you don't want to navigate online job board sites like BloggingPro or hunt for specific ProBlogger jobs, you can always turn to social media. LinkedIn, in particular, is a goldmine for professional networking and job opportunities. Optimize your LinkedIn profile to showcase your writing skills and experience, and don't be afraid to reach out to connections or join writing-related groups.

Twitter and Facebook can also be valuable tools for connecting with potential clients and staying up-to-date on industry news. Follow relevant hashtags, join freelance write communities, and engage with others in your niche.

You never know when a casual conversation could lead to an opportunity to freelance write for a new favorite dream client looking to hire writer teams.

Green flags and red flags: Navigating beginner freelance writing jobs online

As a new freelance writer, it's essential to be able to distinguish between legitimate opportunities and potential scams or low-quality clients. Here are some of the things to watch for on a job board or freelance job marketplace to help you find the write job for your freelance career.

Green flags: signs of a promising opportunity 🎉

  1. Clear and detailed project descriptions - When a client provides a comprehensive brief outlining their expectations, target audience, and desired tone, it's a good sign that they value communication and have put thought into their project.
  2. Reasonable pay rates - While you may not command top-tier rates as a beginner, look for clients who offer fair compensation based on the scope of work and your experience level. Avoid clients who expect extensive work for extremely low pay.
  3. Professional communication - Clients who respond promptly, communicate respectfully, and are open to answering your questions are more likely to be reliable and enjoyable to work with.
  4. Positive reviews or testimonials - If you're using a freelance marketplace, take the time to read reviews from other freelancers who have worked with the client. Positive feedback is a green flag that the client is trustworthy and values their freelancers' work.
  5. Opportunities for growth and learning - Look for projects that allow you to expand your skill set, tackle new challenges, and build your portfolio in your desired niche. A good writer is always on the hunt for high pay and the chance to build their skills.

Red flags: warning signs to watch out for 🚩

  1. Vague or unclear project requirements - If a client is unable to provide clear guidelines or seems unsure of what they want, it could lead to scope creep, miscommunication, and frustration down the line.
  2. Unrealistic expectations or deadlines - Be wary of clients who expect an unreasonable amount of work within a short timeframe or for an extremely low rate per word. This could be a sign that they don't value your time or expertise.
  3. Requests for free work or unpaid "tests" - While a small, paid trial copywriting project is acceptable, be cautious of clients who ask for extensive work without compensation or promise exposure in lieu of payment.
  4. Lack of communication or responsiveness - If a client is slow to respond, provides insufficient information, or seems uninterested in answering your questions, it may be a sign of poor communication skills or a lack of professionalism.
  5. Pressure to start work without a contract or clear terms - Always ensure that you have a written agreement outlining project scope, deadlines, and payment terms before beginning work. Clients who pressure you to start without these details may not have your best interests in mind.

By keeping these green flags and red flags in mind, you can better navigate the landscape of online freelance writing opportunities. Trust your instincts, and don't be afraid to ask questions or walk away from a potential project if something doesn't feel right.

Looking for the best beginner freelance writing jobs? Contra can help!

The life of a freelance writer can be lucrative and fun - if you know how to freelance write for the clients who know how to work best with freelancers and soloprenuers. Luckily, Contra has you covered with the best freelance writing clients who are ready to bring on new and veteran writers for a variety of exciting jobs.

Contra's commission free partnership process means that you keep every dollar of your pay for any freelance write job -- and with vetted clients, you can trust that your work is worth the high pay you charge! Jump online and check out Contra's growing job board and start building your own freelance writing portfolio to showcase your skills! 

At Contra, we're changing how freelancers build their careers - and you can join in by signing up now!

Learn more about Contra!

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