ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Become a Freelance Writer Without Experience: Tips, Jobs, and Opportunities

Updated on January 20, 2014
randomcreative profile image

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


If you are considering full-time or part-time freelance writing work, do not let lack of experience discourage you. While an education background in writing and/or other formal writing training can certainly be assets to your career, many people become successful freelance writers without any prior experience. This article is designed to do the following:

  • help you determine if this would be a good career option for you
  • provide you with the initial knowledge that you need to start freelance writing
  • give you tips for sticking with a full-time or part-time freelance writing career

Are You Cut Out For a Freelance Writing Career?

Before you seriously consider launching into freelance writing, considering the following questions.

  • Do you have a strong writing background? You don't need to have a writing degree to have a strong background in writing. I don't have one, but my undergraduate and graduate degree programs still played a huge part in helping me develop my writing skills.
  • Do you have a passion for writing? Not everyone may consider this a requirement for freelance work, but personally I would have a really hard time sitting down to work on something I really didn't enjoy for multiple hours per day. Even though I don't love every article that I write, the thought of getting up and writing every day is still very appealing to me.
  • Do you have strong keyboarding skills? All of the keyboarding skills in the world cannot make up for weak writing, but they can greatly improve your overall efficiency . If you use the hunt and peck method or simply don't type very quickly, I'd strongly consider checking out one of a free typing program such as or
  • Are you self disciplined? One of the best and worst parts about freelance work is that you are your own boss. There is no one to make sure that you're sitting at your computer, producing quality work every day. You have to be honest with yourself about whether this structure is a good fit for you.

How to Become a Freelance Writer : The Importance of a Website for Freelance Writers

Tips For All Freelance Writing Articles

The following tips apply to both client jobs and long-term earning articles.

  • Research freelance writing web sites and magazines before signing up, sending applications, or writing query letters. This can be an overwhelming task, as there are a lot of opportunities out there. However, it will save you time if you can skip over the sites and magazines that won't be good leads for you.
  • Prepare strong writing samples. A number of freelance writing sites require one or more writing samples as part of the application process. Take your time and submit quality writing.
  • Before accepting client jobs or starting new long-term earning articles, consider whether you have the expertise and/or means to research the topic at hand. Typically you can cancel client jobs and delete long-term articles, but it's better to be prepared for the task ahead before you get started.
  • Always double check spelling and grammar before submitting articles. Even if you can edit long-term articles later, it's important to publish with the best version of the article that you can.

How to Become a Freelance Writer : How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs Online

Tips for Setting Up a Home Office

Long-Term Earning Article Considerations

  • Do your keyword research. I do keyword research for every article that I publish on HubPages. While it does not guarantee a successful article, it definitely makes a difference.
  • Write articles longer than 500 words but shorter than 1,500 words. Search engines pay the most attention to articles of this length. This length requirement will allow you to provide quality content without overwhelming your readers.
  • For HubPages, make sure to consider all of the possible article capsules. Most people have natural inclinations to some capsules more than others. For example, I don't watch a lot of videos online. When I started on HubPages, I almost never includes video capsules. Now that I understand how important they are, I frequently seek out relevant videos. Not all capsules will be applicable to all topics, but it's always worth considering all of your options.
  • Don't be afraid to make revisions. I know very few people that have not taken the time to edit old hubs. There is nothing wrong with going back and making changes. However, it's important to know when to leave an article alone, too. You don't want to spend so much time revising that you aren't creating new content.
  • Promotion. Building backlinks is a huge component of creating traffic for your long-term articles. It can be time consuming to learn new sites, but once you get into a routine, promotion will only take a few minutes each day. Figure out what the best promotional sites are for your content and concentrate your efforts there.
  • Do your research to continue to improve your work. Take time on a regular basis to research new techniques and article tips.
  • Pay attention to topics that do well and capitalize on your success. When I started writing for HubPages, I only intended to write the occasional craft article, but my first ones did so well that I stuck with it.
  • Be realistic about the time it takes to start earning. I'm sure that it's not a surprise to many of you that it takes time to build earnings with long-term articles. While these earnings can turn into a significant portion of your monthly freelance income, this takes time.

Client Job Considerations

  • Always double check directions. One of the most common reasons that you'll have to revise a client article is that something about your article doesn't fit with your directions. I try to read the directions one final time before I submit an article just to make sure I didn't miss anything.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions and/or request clarification for directions. If you want to write an article but aren't sure about some aspect of the directions, don't be afraid to contact the client. Most sites have a relatively easy method for contacting clients, and most clients are happy to communicate with writers.
  • Don't get discouraged by revisions. Editing and revising is a natural part of the writing process. Many client revision requests are minor changes that can be completed in 5 minutes or less.
  • Don't get discouraged by rejections. Most clients will allow you to revise an article and will not give a flat out rejection, but it does happen sometimes, even to the best of us. Try not to take it personally and to just move on to the next job.
  • Be realistic about your earning potential and goals. Be honest with yourself about how much time you will be spending writing every day and how much money you want to earn. There is potential to make a competitive income with freelance writing, but it takes patience, time, and effort.

I have a notebook that I use for article brainstorms, outlines, and keyword research.
I have a notebook that I use for article brainstorms, outlines, and keyword research. | Source

How Do You Stick With It?

Now that you're equipped with the tools that you need to start freelance writing, how are you going to stick with it on a long term basis? Here are a few tips that will help you.

  • Set a schedule and stick with it. One of the best parts about freelancing is that you can set your own hours. Figure out what works the best for you and your family and establish a daily routine.
  • Don't be afraid to mix up your routine to keep from burning out or writer's block. If you are tiring from your usual selection of client articles or are having trouble finding inspiration for long-term articles, take a break once in a while. Spend some time writing about new topics or researching writing opportunities (i.e. sites, magazines). Consider taking a mental health day once in a while, too. A long walk in the morning or a trip to the art museum in the afternoon can refresh and inspire you.
  • Don't get discouraged by slow months. Some weeks it is easy to find all of the client work that you need and to get lots of views on long-term articles without much effort. Other weeks it's much harder. Having a variety of sites can help you find more work, but it still isn't always easy. Capitalize on the busy periods so you don't feel the decrease in slower months as much.
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket. You never know when one of your most profitable sources will dry up overnight. Having a small network of strong resources will prevent this possibility from having a huge impact on your earnings.
  • If you write long-term earning articles, brainstorm on a regular basis. People frequently ask me how I come up with my ideas for articles. This answer will vary for different people, but one of my most successful methods is brainstorming. Often I think of my best ideas away from the computer or when I'm not ready to write an article. Recording them as they come to me ensures that I will have ideas ready when I do sit down to write.

© 2012 Rose Clearfield


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)