what do I need to get started as a freelance writer?

So, maybe you’re looking for extra income or a job change and are wondering: how do you make money writing online?

While I cannot say there is any one way to answer that question, what I can tell you is that it’s not as difficult as you may think. As long as you’re creative, determined, disciplined and have an exceptional command of the English language, you’ll do just fine.

Creative:

Example: The car drove down the street. (There’s nothing in here creating a sense of visual for the reader).

Creative: The white car filled with laughing children slowly drove down the tree-lined street past all the houses to the playground. (This creates a more visual scenario for your readers).

If you’re getting into any type of writing, even news, you will need to be able to “spruce up” sentences to captivate your audience and provide a visual through creative detailing.

Example: Police arrested two men seen carrying guns.

Creative: Police say they have arrested two white males in their early 20s they reported seeing in a neighborhood park carrying weapons that were not fully concealed.

Determined:

You must be determined enough to put together a resume (with links, if possible) and search the Internet on a daily basis for open offers. Some companies hire only in their state or country, so if you live abroad (like I do), be prepared for a lot of rejections or just simply no replies. You will need to suck it up and keep pushing forward.

Disciplined:

If you miss a deadline, guess what? You’re done. If you’re going to be a successful freelance writer, it is imperative that you are disciplined. That means no distractions like kids, pets, friends, neighbors or personal errands. You will need to learn to create a time and place for each of these things outside of your writing schedule. Here are some other freelance writing tips for beginners.

Language:

It is shocking how many “writers” cannot compose sentences, use punctuation or understand differences in English-used words such as affect and effect, immigrant and emigrant, who and whom, as well as proper spellings such as regardless over irregardless, which is not normally accepted and toward versus towards, which is also incorrect.

You will be required to know these differences. If you do not, at least know how to look up the differences online.

I can tell you there have been instances where I have not hired someone after a few email exchanges. Their emails were filled with typos and misused, and in some instances, nonexistent, English words. I took these emails as a precursor to what submitted work would look like.

If you are creative, determined, disciplined and understand how to muddle your way through the English language, you can be on your way to becoming a freelance writer, even with no experience.