How to Get Started as a Freelance Writer?

Do you know why freelancing sounds like a really attractive option for those outside the industry’s bubble? – It looks easy.

“Maya works from home. She can work whenever she wants to. If she doesn’t like a project, she simply seeks another one. Her job is fun and she never gets bored. She takes a vacation whenever she needs one. And she makes more money than me. I wanna be like Maya!”

That’s the motivating factor that drives people towards freelancing. When you look at those digital nomads, you want that life.

But it’s not as easy as most outsiders imagine. Many profiles on Upwork appear, remain inactive, and get blocked after a while. Most of these people are overwhelmed by the competition and they don’t expect to work a lot to earn decent money. But in some cases, they simply don’t know where to start. No one taught them that.

That’s what we’re here for today: to show you where to get started as a freelancer. We’ll list the right websites, and we’ll guide you through the steps that will deliver actual results.

Start from Your Own Website/Blog

Do you know why so many people on freelancing websites find it hard to land their first gig? They haven’t established their reputation yet. They may only say they can do a great job in the niche they target, but the clients won’t believe until they see actual results.

That’s why you need your online portfolio if you’re a graphic designer or a photographer, and your own blog if you’re a content writer. You don’t have to work too much on the site’s design. Its sole purpose is to show few of your samples, which have the power to convince a client that you can deliver great work for them.

If you’re a writer and you don’t want to bother with your own website, you can count on Medium. You’ll just link to your articles in the bio or resume, and you’ll do just fine.


You want to know how the industry works, inside out. There are great freelancers who made it through the struggle and are ready to share insights with newbies. Start reading their blogs. As a suggestion, you can start with Make a Living Writing – a great blog from a freelance writer for freelance writers.

And if you have specific questions that demand quick answers, you can always rely on Reddit and Quora.

But if you really want to take things to the next level, you should start taking online courses that help you boost the skills you want to earn from. Here are few platforms with a versatile offer of courses that can help you get better at writing, coding, graphic design, photography, or whatever other niche you choose for freelancing:

If You Have a Graduate Degree, Try Academic Writing Platforms

Freelancing platforms, such as Upwork and PeoplePerHour, are a lot of work. Of course you want to try them out, and we’ll get to that point later on. But the problem with them is that if you’re a newbie, you’ll have to drop your price to hunt for the best jobs. The best clients are usually after well-established freelancer, so it takes a lower price, an amazing pitch, and incredible samples for you to beat them.

If you don’t want to make such a sacrifice, you can try an academic paper writing service. These agencies work really well for essay writers, graphic designers, and coders. They provide all types of assignments for students. So instead of hunting for your clients, the agency will find them for you. You’ll get a regular workflow and you’ll just do your job.

But it’s important to get into a reputable service. The best assignment writing services UK usually hire writers with MA or PhD degrees. Here are few that you may try:

And if you don’t particularly like the idea of academic work, there’s another option for writers. You’ll probably need to get some kind of certification as a resume writer, but it will open your doors to a job for a great resume writing service. These agencies pay decent sums per resume… more than what you’d gain as a beginner on freelancing platforms.

Join at Least One of the Most Popular Freelance Marketplaces

We’re saying “at least one” because there are multiple platforms to choose from. However, it’s best to focus on a single one at first, and if things are not going that well, you can expand your reach.

Even if you work for an assignment writing service, you should still be present on the freelancing market. If you ever get bored of writing academic content, you can experiment with other gigs. Plus, an open profile with a decent work history on these platforms will get you job proposals. If you prove you’re good, you won’t even need to hunt for gigs. They will come right to you.

In addition to Upwork and PeoplePerHour, which we already mentioned above, there are few other marketplaces to try:

So which one should you join? That depends on your preferences. Different freelancers prefer different platforms. It’s best to browse them all to see what interface you feel most comfortable with. Most of all, it’s important to see the gigs offered in your niche, so you can easily focus on the platform that offers the best opportunities.

Stay Away from Scams

If you plan to join an assignment service, you have to choose the best one. Contact the teams of few services to see what rates they offer to writers. There are price charts at the websites, but they feature the quotes that the clients pay for assignments. The service will take a fee on those earnings, so you need to know exactly how much you’re getting paid.

Don’t forget to read reviews, too!

As for freelancing platforms, it’s a bit more difficult to avoid the scams. That’s because you’re dealing with individual clients. Some of them will take your work and won’t pay for it. So there are few warning signs to consider:

Is the client’s payment method verified? If you’re on Upwork, the platform indicates this detail. If the payment method is verified, it means the client provided their personal and payment information, so the probability of getting your money is high.

What’s the client’s review history? Make sure to read feedback from the freelancers they previously hired.

Don’t accept payments off the platform. Many clients will ask you to transfer the communication on email and accept payments via PayPal. Don’t do that! Your profile will get blocked. Plus, you get no guarantee that this person will pay outside the platform.

The Important Thing Is to Start

You’d like to try freelancing? Well, try it! The good news is that this step doesn’t take any investments other than time and effort. The above-listed tips give you a great starting point. From there on, it’s up to you.

Lilian Chifley
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