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How To Get Started As A Freelance Writer From Home

Updated on September 24, 2013

Freelance Writing From Home

Online Freelance Writing Business Guide to Resources.
Online Freelance Writing Business Guide to Resources. | Source

Freelance Writing From Home

Are you thinking about starting your own Home Based Freelance Writing Business but don't know where to start? This Article serves as a Basic Guide for Learning What It Takes to be a Freelance Writer from your Own Home and How To Make the Best of your Space and Time. Get started as a Home-Based Freelance Writing Professional Today!

Do You Have What It Takes? Ask Yourself Some Questions.

Before you invest in any new venture, you need to make sure that you are a good fit for the industry. Many business fail in the first year because there is not enough research or experience by the person who started the business. Don't fall into this trap!

Before starting a Freelance Writing Business in your home you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are You Self Motivated?
  • Do You Use Your Time Effectively?
  • Can You Separate Home and Family Life from Work?
  • Do You Have the Skills and Experience To Write Professionally?

If you answered Yes to those questions, you might want to consider the Freelance Writing Field. If you think that working from home may be a distraction because of your environment, then Freelance Writing might not be for you!

What Do You Need to Start Freelance Writing?

The most important skill you need as a Freelancer is your Writing Skills. You need to be a master of the English Language (or whatever language you choose to write in) and you have to have perfect Spelling and Grammar.

Another skill that is important is Time Management. Can you stick to a regular schedule on your own? It is very easy to get distracted while working at home. You need to be able to separate family life and work while maintaining a sense of balance with both.

A great suggestion for anyone starting in the Freelance Writing from Home field is to start part time. Don't quit your current job and try to start from scratch. You may find after a few weeks that you don't enjoy the field like you thought you would and you need to always have a back-up plan.

One of the most important and often most difficult things about starting any home-based business is getting your family to understand and support you during the transition. You should always communicate with your family and explain to them what your goals are and how you need them to support you in this exciting venture.

Writing a Business Plan

For anyone who wants to start a business, they need to have a plan and it needs to be in writing. This is particularly important if you are requesting funding or investments from outside people. They will always want to see your written business plan.

Here are some things that should be written into your business plan:

  • Specifically what you plan to write: what products will you offer?
  • How do you plan to Market your work?
  • How will you get clients?
  • How will you advertise?
  • What equipment do you need and what is the cost of your start-up?
  • What laws and regulations should you be aware of, particularly for setting up a Home-based business in your area?
  • How will you keep track of progress, finances and taxes?
  • What is your Mission Statement?

This is just the tip of the iceberg! Many Business Plans are at least 25-30 pages long and a great deal of concentration should go into recording the financial aspect of your business, including keeping track of profit and expenses with the aid of Financial Software such as a spreadsheet.

Get The Tools For Online Freelance Writing Success!


Do You Have Adequate Space to Work?

Setting up a Home Office is one of the most valuable tools of a Home Based Freelance Writer. I am sure there are Freelancers out there that work from their kitchen table, but if you were to take a poll, you will most likely find that successful Freelance Writers have a Home Office that is separate from the rest of their house.

Organizing Your Office and Work Space

Organization is key to being successful as a Freelance Writer. If you are cluttered and messy it will be reflected in your work. Having Reference Books organized neatly in a bookcase is a great way to start. Every Freelance Writer should have the following References always available:

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Grammar and Style Book

Obviously these are just a few of the tools that you will need to start Freelance Writing. One of the most important tools you need is a Computer that is connected to the Internet. You should have some type of Word Processing Software such as Microsoft Word.

Stay Organized! Avoid Clutter!


Setting Up an Organized Home Office Is Important To Be a Productive and Profiting Freelance Writer

Learn How To Get and Stay Organized As A Home-Based Online Freelance Writer!
Learn How To Get and Stay Organized As A Home-Based Online Freelance Writer! | Source

Different Types of Freelance Writing Assignments

Typical Writing Assignments
White Pages
Technical Writing
Creating Instructional Videos
Website Creation
Ghost Writing
Blogging for Companies
Product and Business Reviews

How To Get Freelance Jobs

There are many ways to get Freelance Writing Jobs and there is no shortage of them online. Always take caution when responding to online job offers. Beware of scams and of people that solicit your services only to steal your content once you create it for them.

Always research the company or person asking to use your services. Never give any work unless it is a short sample without first obtaining a fee. Whether it is 10% or even 50% of the total, you should always require a deposit before submitting any work. You may choose to make the deposit refundable or non-refundable depending on your preference.

Many Professional Freelance Writers offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and some include a small portion of a non-refundable fee for their time should the client decide not to purchase your product. Always be careful that a client doesn't decline your work and copy it themselves.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Is Freelance Writing From Home a Good Fit For You?

See results

Make Your Own Money At Home! Legally!

Be Your Own Boss! Work From Home As a Freelance Writer!
Be Your Own Boss! Work From Home As a Freelance Writer! | Source

Charging Fees and Rates For Your Work and Time

Obviously the point of Freelance Writing from home is to make enough money to support yourself. You will have to come up with a system of fees that is beneficial to you for your time and effort while maintaining a competitive price for your clients.

One of the best ways to decide what to charge for your work is to research what similar businesses in your demographic area charge for similar work. There are also several online resources that help in planning how much to charge.

There are 2 basic ways to charge clients:

  1. By the Hour
  2. By the Project

Many Professional Freelance Writers use a combination of both. If you are writing particularly short (500 words or less) projects such as business reviews, Ghost Blogging, etc. you may want to use the Charge Per Project instead of using the hourly rate method to maximize your earnings.

Don't sell yourself short! Many people who enter the business either charge too much or too little for their services. Many new Freelancers are willing to work for next to nothing just to get writing jobs. Although this could help build your resume it will not build your bank account! Be selective when charging a client. Each client is different and you may need to negotiate a price for your services.

Additional Reading

The following articles may be of help to those who are interested in starting a Home-Based Freelance Writing business.

You Can Make Money as a Freelance Writer! | Source

Hit a Wall In Your Writing?


Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?


There Is An Ocean of Opportunities Waiting For You Out There!


Conclusion: Where Go From Here

So where do you start? Here are some helpful tips for getting started Writing as a Home-Based Freelance Writer:

  • As with any business venture, starting a Home-Based Freelance Writing Business requires a lot of time, effort and research. You will need some start-up money, time to write your Business Plan, and the support of your family.
  • If you think that Freelance Writing from Home is a good fit for you, start by writing down your goals and what you want to accomplish in your first six months. Start writing your Business Plan and do some online research to find out what other Professional Freelance Writers are charging in your area.
  • Remember to check with your local laws and make sure your business is legal! Many cities and towns have regulations for setting up businesses in their home. Do your research before you set everything up to avoid getting into legal trouble!
  • Always use good Accounting Practices! Keep track of every detail of your earnings and expenses. Home Based Businesses are one of the highest fields of work that are subject to IRS Audits. Keep receipts and client invoices and always keep your books up to date! It would be a shame if all your hard earned money and time were to be jeopardized because of careless accounting errors!
  • You can start soliciting your services to local companies by creating a brochure for your business. Mailings and door to door calling do work but remember that businesses are very busy and often don't like cold-call soliciting. Sending a letter or making a call to set up a meeting time is often the best non-invasive way to get leads.
  • Never take on a job that you are not comfortable with! If a job is too big or complicated or you don't think that you have the time or experience to complete it, don't take the offer! You can always explain to the client that you appreciate their offer but you do not have the time to complete the task and you may even want to refer another Freelancer from you area. There is nothing wrong with referring business to others in the field. There is no shortage of work for a Freelancer who is looking for work.
  • Don't get overwhelmed! Do not take on too many responsibilities all at once! Pace yourself and expect delays (electricity is out because of a storm, no Internet connection for a day...) Allow yourself enough time to get the job done.
  • Respect Client Deadlines! Often times clients have specific deadlines for their projects and if you can't keep a deadline, you will lose future business and also get a bad reputation. Never take a job that you can't finish on time!


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    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Nicholas Pollock: Glad this helps! Just remember that it takes some time before you really start earning, at least for most freelancers. I suggest you check out BlogMutt. I write there myself and I wrote a review about it here: It is an easy way to start making some money right away. I appreciate you stopping by and I wish you the best of success! Happy Hubbing!


    • Nicholas Pollock profile image

      Nicholas Pollock 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      I'm just getting started, and this helped a lot. Thanks, very useful!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You too justgrace1776! Thanks again for stopping by.


    • justgrace1776 profile image

      justgrace1776 5 years ago

      Thanks, JSMatthew...much appreciated! Lots of helpful information :) Have a great day.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello justgrace1776! I am glad this was useful to you. I have been asked this question many times and there are several variables that will dictate what you should charge per project. Demographics are big. Depending on your local market prices and fees can fluctuate for different projects. I'll admit that it is hard to figure out what to charge for a project and when we first start out and are desperate for new business, new Freelance Writers will nearly work for nothing! This is generally not a good practice.

      Another important factor to determine a fee for your services is to find out what the competition is charging for similar projects. Sometimes you may have to contact a local freelancer as if you were a potential customer to see what they would charge. Often times you can find their pricing on their websites. Always use ethics when scoping out potential competition!

      There are some sites out there that can help you figure out how to price in your area. I have found some via Google. Your question makes me realize that I have left out an important aspect of starting up a Freelance Business. Perhaps I will have to update this Hub!

      I suggest you try a Google search and read several articles. That can help you get a general idea of what people are charging for certain projects. I wish I had an exact answer, but for now that is the best I can do! I hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by and I wish you success in your business.


    • justgrace1776 profile image

      justgrace1776 5 years ago

      Very useful article! Do you know where I can find information on how much to charge? Thanks!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Jennifer Silagy: Hello! I am happy to help! I wish you the best of success. Thanks for commenting!


    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @KDuBarry03: Hello again! I wish you the best of luck and success in your new venture! I am happy this helps. Thanks for stopping by!


    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @WE5: Hello there! I apologize for the delay in my response. Time is never enough! There is a lot of work that goes into becoming a successful freelance writer. I am glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for your comment.


    • Jennifer Silagy profile image

      Jennifer Silagy 5 years ago from California

      Very helpful information. I will definitely try some of these things to get my writing off to a good start.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      Awesome tips! I'm trying to start my freelance writing career now and I will definitely be returning to this Hub!

    • WE5 profile image

      WE5 5 years ago

      Hi, Great hub, quite informative. I've done some freelance and also cartoons & illustration. the freelance game is rewarding but you're right in saying it's a lot of work! Thanks for the good read.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I appreciate you all stopping by and taking the time to comment! Becoming a Freelance Writer from Home is not an easy transition. It takes time and planning if you want to be successful! I am happy that this has helped many of you and I wish you luck on your journey! Thanks again!


    • The Marker profile image

      The Marker 5 years ago

      I am just starting a writing career and I still have to master the skill. This hub is so helpful! Voted up! Thanks!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      This is good information. I am bookmarking for future reference. Thanks.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great information. Thanks for the web site resources!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      Nice hub!! Learned a couple great ideas, thank you!

    • Drtruthman profile image

      Drtruthman 5 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Great job. Lots of helpful info. I hope those just starting out will utilize. I vote UP all across. Lee

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks a lot ..Interesting post

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great Hub. I appreciate the tips. I am just getting started on HP and think I will develop my skills here for a while. But, later, maybe in retirement in a few years, the chance to write a few freelance articles sounds appealing.

    • profile image

      susanm23b 5 years ago

      Great information! I would love to sell some of my writing. Bookmarking! Thanks for this :) Voted up!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      JS, this is great advice. I seem to be busy all the time with HP's. I teach during the day and work on hubs at night and on weekends. I am going to bookmark this. Thanks for sharing the great info! Votes and shares!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello GClark! I am happy this is useful for you! Thanks for the vote and for commenting!


    • GClark profile image

      GClark 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent information and advice - have bookmarked it. Voted Up. GClark

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Deborah Brooks: Thank you very much!


    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Ardie: Thanks! I appreciate your support!


    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Ann810: I am glad this helped you! Thanks for voting and commenting!


    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      awesome hub.. very interesting and useful thanks for sharing I am book marking this


    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      Very nicely done JS! Too bad I didn't have something like this to help me in the beginning. This is so useful :)

    • Ann810 profile image

      Ann810 5 years ago from Sunny Cali

      Hi, this article is awesome, I got a few useful tips here. Thanks so much, voted up.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you DMartelonline! I always appreciate backlinks!


    • profile image

      DMartelonline 5 years ago

      Nice job - I point out a lot of these things on my blog that offers writing tips for freelancers. I'm going to link your hub to it ;)