4 Must-Read Tips to Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer

successful freelance writingFreelancing is a very profitable market; you can set your own prices, work when you want, and you can enjoy tax efficiency.

Similarly, writing for the web is a very lucrative job. Content is on everyone’s lips at the moment, and content marketing is the way forward for all business’s to boost their brand awareness.

There’s no two ways about it; writing informative, engaging, shareable content is the best way to get a company known on the vast playing field that is the World Wide Web.

And the way Google is going, it is essential for businesses to publish high quality, interesting content in order to improve their search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.

What is the point I’m trying to make? If you are a skilled and experienced writer, you can use this to your advantage and freelance.

It can be difficult for a business to produce all its own content, in-house. The vast research required and time it takes to write a well-written article can be exhausting, especially if a firm does not have the capacity or man power. Cue you.

But how do you go about marketing yourself? Where do you go to find work? What do you charge? Here are 4 tips that you MUST KNOW if you plan on going solo.

Find work

There are hundreds of sites online that act as job portals. You can find content jobs at Freelancers.net, Odesk, Prospect Solution, andElanceetc. Here you can find all different types of jobs listed including landing pages, blog writing and press release writing. The majority are paid by the hour or project.

The power is then in your hands to pick which one you want- it’s like being a kid in the sweet shop!

Be flexible

Be prepared to be flexible. Every business is different and will have its own in-house style. One may want you to write formally, in third person; whereas another firm might prefer a colloquial, first person style.

The key is to find out exactly how the organisation works, and get as much guidance as possible.

Pay your taxes

It will be your responsibility to chase clients and invoice them for payment. There are many different types of invoices and sample templates can be found on Google.  You will need to declare any earnings to the taxman, HM Revenue & Customs, because if you don’t you could end up paying a large hefty fine.

If you are not sure how much tax you need to pay, or what kind of business structure you need, speak to an accountant that specialises in freelancing.

Set the right fees

How long is a piece of string? Before you start thinking about it, this is a trick question. No-one can possibly say how long it is because it all depends on various factors.

Likewise, there is no set price rate for freelancer writers. It all depends on the kind of content that you produce, how much experience you have, and the quality. Landing pages do demand a much higher rate, for the reason that a lot of time and research is needed.

In the same way, a 600 word article will demand a much higher rate as opposed to a 200 word piece. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) provides a basic freelance guide but take into account that clients love negotiation. It makes them feel like they’ve got a deal!

Now you will most likely get more work, the cheaper you set your rates but don’t ever devalue yourself as a writer. You might get lots of work but will it actually be worth it? Time is a valuable commodity, so don’t set the benchmark too low; if you are good at what you do, you’re worth a higher fee. 

So there you have it; get yourself out there, find work, and join web writing communities on LinkedIn or Facebook to ask other successful freelancer writers for advice. They’ve been there and got the t-shirt so to speak.

Follow these top 4 tips and you are sure to find yourself on a successful freelance quest. But remember, amidst the craziness of taxes and invoicing, don’t lose your passion for writing. I love writing and you should too!

This article was written by Lauren Grice on behalf of Nixon Williams accountants, the specialists in contactor accountancy. Visit the site today to find out what the most tax efficient business structure is, for you.

9 thoughts on “4 Must-Read Tips to Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer

  1. These are great tips! Freelance writing seems to be very popular right now.

  2. Freelance writing can be a great way to bring in some side income, especially if you have a broad base of knowledge. Pulling out those taxes are vital, otherwise it’s going to suck at the end of the year to come up with the appropriate tax money.

    1. The tax man always has his hand out unfortunately.. 🙁

  3. I kind of freelance. Not sure what you would call it (staff writer?). Michelle (Making Sense of Cents) runs my blog technically but I write for her. I love it though!

  4. I am glad that you included taxes on here. Many people forget that they still need to pay taxes on their earnings.

  5. I think picking the right price per article (fair but competitive) is really important. If you offer to write an article for a low price then the word will get out and other publishers will “lowball” you.

  6. I think it is very important to value yourself and don’t take any offer just because it is an offer. That is true in any profession. It might be tempting to take any money that is offered if you are in a bind, but if you work yourself to death for pennies, you will end up resenting your job.

  7. I have considered jumping into freelance writing at some point here in the next few months.. these are great tips! To make that happen, I am certainly going to have to free up my schedule a bit.

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