freelance writing online

How I Got Started Freelance Writing Online: A Day in the Life of a Content Writer

Freelance writing online—a part-time gig to fill your spare time, a common misconception that many have.

Sure, writing online can be a fun hobby for some; however, for others, it’s a passion that fuels a fire that some simply don’t understand. Content writing is oftentimes a thankless job—in some cases, you work hours on end researching and toiling over a keyboard creating an outstanding piece of content that doesn’t even garner you a byline. So why bother doing it?

Here’s my answer: because it’s my passion.

I’ve been a writer my entire life—I kid you not. Before I could even write, I was telling wild stories that my family would write for me so I could have a copy to show off to my friends, family, and maybe my own children someday. That passion turned into a love of reading and a love of creation, one that spurred my love of education. An odd combination, sure, but it all comes together, I promise!

I knew college was my dream in elementary school, but when the time came, choosing what road I was going to take and what I was going to do with the rest of my life…

Talk about an impossible task!

freelance writing online

Freelance Writing Online: From Dream to Present & Future

What started as a love of education and wanting to educate other’s, quickly fizzled out as soon as the job market told me that becoming an educator wasn’t ideal. Teachers were getting laid off left and right, so why bother wasting my time and tuition money in a dead-end dream?

Okay, so it was time to choose a fallback option. I loved to read and create, so English was an obvious choice, but what kind of job could I get as an English major… Besides teaching English? Enter in Dr. Terri Fredrick, and there began my journey in professional and technical writing. This was a professor who encouraged us to look at every option available, including freelance writing online.

She taught us every lesson in the book:

  • How to spot scams
  • How to research clients
  • How to cold-pitch ideas
  • To not count yourself short

However, the lesson that stuck with me the most was to do what you love.

Upon graduating in 2013, this English major with her background in professional and technical writing knew that she wanted to write, but oddly enough, there weren’t all that many positions open for in-office writers. So, despite my family’s objections, I headed online, hit up ProBlogger.com, and landed my first writing position for a journalistic style website.

freelance writing online workspace

How do writers land a work-from-home online job? And what does their day-to-day writing from home look like? Cassie Boss, Express Writers' expert writer, shares her story and tips. Click To Tweet

Interested in working from home and writing? We’re always interviewing for additional writers. Send in your resume or samples here!

Freelance Writing Online: Part-Time Gig or Full-Time Job?

The overall job outlook for writers and authors is projected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and with traditional publishing declining due to the uprising of online publication, the demand for online freelance writers is expected to grow.

The overall job outlook for writers and authors is projected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall job outlook for writers and authors is projected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still not sure if freelance online writing is for you? Read our expert writer's advice! Click To Tweet

What does that mean for anyone looking to start freelance writing online? Is this a position for part-timers looking to fill in some downtime? Alternatively, are there real possibilities to go full-time and make a living?

It all comes down to your intentions and personal preferences. For those looking to make a hobby of it, there are plenty of opportunities, both paid and unpaid; however, for those looking to make a career of it, I have some advice:

Prepare to get dirty and fight for your position.

Becoming a full-time freelance content writer takes a lot of time, patience, dedication, and yes, maybe a few tears along the way. Just like any other dream, you must be willing to work for it.

When I first started my journey into freelance writing online, I figured my degree would be enough to land me quality work, but just like with any other position, I had to prove that I could tough it out.

This meant researching and writing on topics that I didn’t love, working long hours and when I finally had the opportunity to take on freelance editing, it meant working overnight shifts, effectively putting my social life on hold.

Peace, Coffee, Love mug

What made it even harder, personally, was the fact that my circle didn’t believe that freelance writing was a “real job,” simply because I worked from home. To most, a “real job” consists of putting on business casual clothing, driving into the office and working 9-5. A “real job” wasn’t working in your home office at varying times researching and writing on topics varying from healthy keto recipes to Kim Kardashian’s latest relationship dramas.

Online freelance writer with her dog beside her napping

While it wasn’t a traditional reality, it was my reality, and I loved it. Not only was I writing, but I was continuing my love of education because I had to continuously research topics for client pieces, and I knew I would be educating others once they read the content I was creating.

I was living my dream…. I am living my dream.

Becoming a Full-Time Online Freelance Writer

I could go on to tell you that to become a full-time freelance writer online you must create a website, pitch your ideas and network, but I’m not going to. There are enough blogs and how-to articles out there that do just that.

That said, here are my tips on how to become a full-time online content writer.

1. Put Yourself Out There

By putting yourself out there, I mean get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If I’ve learned anything in my 6+ years of freelance writing online, it’s to be prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Since I was trained in literature during my school years, never did I imagine I would end up writing about digital marketing, celebrity entertainment, or health and wellness.

As a freelance writer, you can choose your niche; however, if you are just starting off, you need to prove your skills just as you would in any “real” job. This means researching and writing on topics you aren’t that familiar with and providing top-quality content that delivers results. Don’t be afraid of writing outside your comfort zone because it could be the difference between going full-time and struggling to land work.

2. Build Your Network

Okay, so I said I wasn’t going to go there… however, I’m going there. Building your online network matters more than you know. Writing is a creative art, even if it is technical in nature. You are creating something from nothing, and you need to have a network of people surrounding you to endorse your skills and help guide you on current trends. Think of it this way; your network works a lot like an artist’s online portfolio or a business’s testimonials page.

Having a strong network of people to endorse your work is one of the best ways to prove to future clients that you are capable of completing given tasks. Better yet, this network can also work to give you feedback to help shape your future work. Having a networking profile, such as a LinkedIn profile, is beneficial on so many different levels because it helps you continue learning from industry experts, all while allowing you to showcase your talents to prospective clients—all of which are vital steps in your journey to freelance writing online.

3. Your Client is Your Customer, Treat Them as Such

Another essential lesson I’ve learned through my years of online freelance work is always to treat each client as if they are the only one you have. Whether you found a steady job with a content creation agency or are choosing individual assignments on your own, each client needs to be treated as if they are your only focus.

Freelance writing online is a service that you are providing, and just like any other service, you are being hired to fulfill a customer’s needs. Treat your clients with the respect they deserve and always give them your best work. If you don’t feel like as if you can do their assignment justice, do the right thing, and tell them so. The absolute last thing you should be doing is handing in [email protected]$$ed work. That’s not going to get you the reputation you want. So, remember, the client is your customer, treat them as if they are the only one you have, and give them the quality work they deserve.

4. Let Go of Stigmas

If I’m being honest, this is probably one of the biggest struggles I had to overcome as a freelance content writer. Between disapproving loved ones, the stigma of being “lazy,” not having a “real job” and dealing with the instability of the job market, there were many times when I felt that freelance writing online simply wasn’t a viable position.

Here’s the lesson—I let outside influences tell me that it wasn’t viable, when, in fact, online content creation is a booming industry. With over 1.6 billion websites online, businesses are turning to online freelance writers to create expert-level writing that will attract new readers that will eventually lead to new customers.

That said, let go of all stigmas! The more you tell yourself you can’t, the more real that negativity becomes.

LET IT GO!

If you're serious about freelance online writing, here are Cassie's top 4 tips: be prepared to get out of your comfort zone, build your network, treat clients with respect, and let go of stigmas. 💓 Click To Tweet

Get Serious About Freelance Writing Online

Sure, while many individuals turn to freelance writing online as a source of extra income or even just as a hobby, there are many out there that want to make this more than that and turn it into a full-time career.

To do that, you must get serious and buckle down. There are dozens of different ways to go about finding a freelance writing job, but until you let go of those stigmas I mentioned earlier and start treating this as the passion you claim it to be, you won’t see much in the way of results.

Get Serious. Put Yourself Out There. Live Your Passion and Create Something Amazing!

awesome cta

88 replies
  1. Shameen
    Shameen says:

    Great story.

    I recently put myself out there and I’m trying to build up my clientele. I’ve been working on my website and sending cold emails and I’ll continue to do so. I thought my B2B marketing experience would give me more of a leg up but it seems outside experience doesn’t matter much.

    I’m also taking your Content Marketing Course and reading Express Writers and Neil Patel everyday to get better.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Congratulations on putting yourself out there, Shameen! That’s a massive accomplishment! Your B2B experience will play a bigger role once you get more established, that’s for sure. It seems you’ve already taken some of the best steps to help further you along! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I’m so glad you got some value out of this post!!! Thank you for stopping by and reading! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  2. Alvina
    Alvina says:

    This is really a worthy and wonderful blog to read and further more tips on the writing blog have been learnt. thanks for sharing your views among us and its great time spending on this.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed my story! I was more than honored to share it with the readers here! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  3. Lukas
    Lukas says:

    Hello 🙂
    Very nice, the most important is to be systematic, not everything can always be achieved right away. Hard and systematic work is the key to success 🙂
    I am also starting with my own blog, and i hope that i wont lose my determination so fast.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Time, patience and hard work! Then again, that’s the formula for success no matter where your dreams take you! Always remember your WHY and you won’t lose your determination 🙂 – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  4. Ericstone
    Ericstone says:

    Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today i find it finally. This post gives me lots of advice it is very useful for me.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I’m glad you found it useful, Ericstone! Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  5. CCTV Camera price in Bangladesh
    CCTV Camera price in Bangladesh says:

    Heya! I am glad to have this blog. This is a very helpful blog for all those who are very expressive and too much good in blogging.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      One step at a time and never give up on your craft! Thanks for stopping by! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      The fact that you’re reading up on the topic shows that you are beginning the research phase! The next steps would be to define your niches and find either an agency who specializes in creating content in those areas or putting yourself out there, building a portfolio and finding clients on your own! One step at a time, and don’t give up on the learning processes! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I’m so beyond happy that you enjoyed this piece Astro! I do hope you keep coming back to the Write Blog for more! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      How awesome!!! Glad to see fellow freelancers continuing to read up and hone their craft! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  6. Chinnex
    Chinnex says:

    Nice content i must say..
    Before i opened my site, i danced a little bit on Freelancing then i discovered it wasn’t my thing. Maybe i was lazy about it and distracted..

    I had to open a blog.. But with what i read now, i will give it a shot again..

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I wouldn’t say you were lazy or distracted, Chinnex! If writing is your passion, it may just take time to find your niche or the right clients to work with is all! Take your time, do your research and go from there! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Thank you, Komal! I’m glad you enjoyed this piece! I hope you keep coming back for more wonderful information! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      You are most welcome Samantha! Glad we could provide you with information you were searching for! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Why thank you! Your feedback means the world to myself and the team here at Express Writers! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  7. Swaransoft
    Swaransoft says:

    Nice and thanks for sharing this relevant information. Got to know much more about the best things to perform better.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      It’s always good to look at things from different perspectives. Yes, knowing HOW to write is vital, but knowing these other tips plays just as important of a role! Anywho, thank you for stopping by! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      You are very welcome, Shristi! Thanks for stopping by and leaving feedback! We greatly appreciate it! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  8. James
    James says:

    I am freelancing as well and writing content for a telecom company and I love visiting your site and reading all your articles because it inspires me to become a better writer.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      How kind of you! Freelancing is all about learning from one another! So glad that you visit the blog regularly! 🙂 Thank you for your time and feedback! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Glad we could help you work out those pesky question marks in your brain!!! We’ll keep sharing as long as there are readers such as yourself out there searching for guidance! Thank you, Aasim! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  9. Sudhir Thakur
    Sudhir Thakur says:

    Hello sir,

    Greetings! I am a visitor of your website and to be honest it’s a very well created website with flawless content and creative designs.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Why thank you! Feel free to come back for more great content from the rest of our team! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I hope it will inspire many as well! Freelancing isn’t an easy job, but when it’s your passion… The work is well worth it! Thank you for stopping by! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      You are most welcome Nancy! I’m glad you found some value out of this piece! 🙂 ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      I’m so happy to hear it’s been helpful for you Johnmarie! 😀 Thank you for stopping by and leaving us feedback! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  10. Eric WilsonEric Wilson
    Eric WilsonEric Wilson says:

    How to spot scams
    How to research clients
    How to cold-pitch ideas
    To not count yourself short
    These are the best lesson`s one can learn.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      They don’t always teach ya that in school! I was lucky to have an instructor that understood these important lessons and shared them with us! Now, I’m glad I had the opportunity to pass on my knowledge with the readers here at the Write Blog, including yourself, Eric! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your valuable feedback! It’s most appreciated! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Thank you, David! Glad you enjoyed this piece! Make sure you come back each week for more great pecies of content from Julia and the team! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      How sweet! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! We’ll keep sharing as long as there are readers out there (such as yourself) looking to read it! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      No, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed this piece! Keep coming back each week as Julia and the team continue to share pieces that bring value to our readers! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply

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