How To Start A Successful Freelance Writing Side Hustle

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Are you looking to embark on a new career path as a freelance writer? Or perhaps you’re simply seeking a side hustle to supplement your income. Whatever the case may be, starting a successful freelance writing business requires more than just a love for writing. You need to have the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to succeed in this highly competitive industry.

As someone who has been a freelance writer for years, I can attest that it’s not always easy to get started. But with proper planning, determination, and hard work, anyone can become a successful freelance writer.

In this article, I’ll share some tips and strategies on how to start a profitable freelance writing business from scratch. Whether you’re an experienced writer or just starting out, these insights will help you build a successful career as a freelance writer.

What is Your Focus Level?

Let’s start with some basics on the content of this article. If you’d like to map out an approach to a freelance side hustle that can eventually become a career, read on! We’ve got you covered!

But if you’re looking for a quick start in this sector and are better at learning by doing, then we’ve found a route for you to get started with freelance writing. Check out the opportunity below and get going:

Make $35/hour With Online Writing Jobs
Just need access to phone/tablet
Completely remote
5+ hours per week available
Check Opportunity

Identifying Your Niche And Target Audience

As a freelance writer, identifying your niche and target audience is the first step to building a successful side hustle. Your niche is the specific area of expertise that you will focus on as a writer. This can be anything from health and wellness to finance or travel. It’s important to choose a niche that you are passionate about and have knowledge in, as this will help you create high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

Once you have identified your niche, it’s time to determine your target audience. Who do you want to read your content? What are their interests, pain points, and needs?

Understanding your target audience is crucial because it allows you to create content that speaks directly to them. To do this, conduct research on your target market by reading industry publications and engaging with potential clients on social media platforms. By understanding their needs and preferences, you’ll be able to create content that truly connects with them and helps establish yourself as an expert in your niche.

Building A Strong Portfolio

Creating quality work is key to a successful portfolio; it’s important to ensure that each piece is accurate and well-written.

Establishing a professional brand takes time and effort, but is essential for any freelance writer – having a strong online presence and a portfolio of work will help you stand out from the crowd.

Don’t be afraid to ask for references from previous clients, it may take a bit of extra time but it’ll pay off in the long run.

Finally, don’t forget to promote yourself, network, and attend industry events; a strong portfolio is the cornerstone of any freelance writing career.

Creating Quality Work

Ready to build a strong portfolio that will land you high-paying freelance writing gigs?

One crucial component is creating quality work. As a freelance writing expert, I can tell you that clients are looking for writers who produce top-notch content that meets their specific needs.

To create quality work, start by understanding your client’s expectations and the purpose of the content. Conduct thorough research and use reliable sources to support your arguments.

Write in a clear, concise manner and edit your work multiple times to ensure accuracy and flow. And most importantly, always meet deadlines and communicate effectively with clients to ensure their satisfaction.

By consistently producing quality work, you’ll quickly build a portfolio that showcases your skills and attracts high-paying clients.

Establishing A Professional Brand

Now that we’ve covered the importance of creating quality work, let’s discuss another crucial component of building a strong portfolio: establishing a professional brand.

Your brand is how you present yourself to potential clients and sets you apart from other freelance writers.

To establish a strong brand, start by defining your niche and target audience.

Determine what type of writing you specialize in and who would benefit most from your services.

Once you have a clear understanding of your niche, create a website or social media presence that showcases your work and highlights your unique selling points.

Consistency is key when it comes to branding, so make sure all your online profiles and communication with clients aligns with your brand message.

By establishing a professional brand, you’ll increase your visibility and attract more high-paying clients who are looking for writers with specific expertise.

Setting Realistic Goals And Expectations

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations: The Key to Freelance Writing Success

As you begin your freelance writing journey, it’s important to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a new side hustle, it’s essential to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.

Setting achievable goals and managing your expectations is crucial if you want to build a sustainable career as a freelance writer.

Firstly, take some time to reflect on what you hope to achieve with your writing. Do you want to earn a certain amount of money each month? Are you looking to work with specific clients or industries?

Once you have a clear idea of what you want, break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. This will help you stay focused and motivated as you work towards achieving your larger objectives. Remember, success is not just about reaching the finish line – it’s also about enjoying the journey along the way!

As a freelance writer, setting realistic goals and expectations is key to building a successful business. By taking the time to understand your own needs and limitations, you’ll be able to create a sustainable work schedule that allows for growth and development over time.

Whether it’s mastering new writing techniques or landing higher-paying clients, setting achievable goals will help keep you motivated and focused on what matters most: building a thriving freelance writing career.

So go ahead – set those goals, manage those expectations, and watch as your hard work pays off!

Establishing Your Rates And Payment Terms

Now that you have established your niche and target audience, it’s time to determine your rates and payment terms. As a freelance writer, it can be challenging to find the perfect balance between charging what you’re worth and setting a price that is attractive to clients. However, with some research and self-reflection, you can confidently establish rates that reflect your skills and experience.

Firstly, consider industry standards for freelance writing rates in your niche. Websites such as WriterAccess or Upwork provide helpful resources for determining average per-word or per-project rates.

Additionally, assess your own experience level and expertise. If you’re just starting out, it may be reasonable to charge lower rates until you have built up a portfolio of satisfied clients. On the other hand, if you have years of experience in the field or specialize in a particular type of writing, charging higher rates may be appropriate. Finally, take into account any additional expenses (e.g., software subscriptions) or time spent on revisions when determining your final rate.

When it comes to payment terms, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Determine how you want to receive payments (e.g., PayPal, bank transfer)
  • Decide on payment deadlines (e.g., upfront deposit or 50% upfront/50% upon completion)
  • Consider adding late payment fees if necessary
  • Clearly communicate these terms with clients before beginning any work

By taking the time to establish clear rates and payment terms, you’ll not only ensure fair compensation for your work but also set the tone for a professional working relationship with clients.

Marketing Your Services And Finding Clients

Networking is key to success as a freelance writer, so make sure you reach out to other writers and professionals in the industry.

Identifying your target markets is essential to making your services known to the right people. Do your research to find out who your potential clients are!

When you’ve identified your target market, writing an effective pitch is essential. Keep it brief, but make sure it’s tailored to the client and speaks to their needs.

Utilize online platforms and resources to find potential clients and make sure to follow up with them. If you want a quick start, have a look at this opportunity to tap into a client network:

Make $35/hour With Online Writing Jobs
Just need access to phone/tablet
Completely remote
5+ hours per week available
Check Opportunity

With the right tools and strategies, you can be sure to have a successful freelance writing side hustle.


Imagine being at a networking event, surrounded by successful entrepreneurs and business owners. You exchange pleasantries, hand out your business card, and engage in meaningful conversations. This is what networking can do for your freelance writing side hustle.

It’s not just about making connections; it’s about building relationships. As a freelance writing expert, I’ve learned that networking is crucial in marketing your services and finding clients. Attend local events or join online communities where potential clients may be present.

Don’t just talk about yourself and your services; listen to others and genuinely show interest in their businesses. By doing so, you’ll establish trust and credibility, making it more likely for them to hire you for future projects. Remember that networking is a two-way street; offer your help or expertise when appropriate, and don’t forget to follow up with new contacts after the event.

Identifying Target Markets

Now that you’ve established the importance of networking in finding clients, let’s dive into another crucial aspect of marketing your freelance writing services: identifying target markets.

Knowing who your ideal client is can save you time and effort in pitching to the wrong people. Start by defining your niche and expertise. What type of writing do you specialize in? Who can benefit from your services?

For example, if you’re a finance writer, your target market may be financial institutions or individual investors. Once you have a clear understanding of your niche, research potential clients within that industry or market. Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your target market.

Joining relevant online communities or forums can also help you identify potential clients and learn more about their needs and pain points. By identifying and targeting specific markets, you’ll increase the likelihood of finding clients who are a good fit for your services.

Writing A Pitch

So, you’ve identified your niche and target market. Now it’s time to craft a pitch that will capture the attention of potential clients. Your pitch should be concise, yet informative, highlighting your unique skills and how they can benefit the client.

Start by introducing yourself and your expertise, then tailor your pitch to the specific needs of the client.

Do some research on their company or industry to understand their pain points and offer solutions through your writing services.

Don’t forget to include samples of your work or a link to your portfolio for credibility.

Remember, a strong pitch is key in standing out from other freelance writers vying for the same clients.

Developing Strong Time Management Skills

Developing strong time management skills is crucial for any freelancer, especially those starting out. Without a boss to hold you accountable, it can be easy to fall into the trap of procrastination and lose valuable time that could be spent on work or building your business. It’s important to set yourself up for success by creating a schedule and sticking to it as much as possible.

One way to do this is by using a time management tool such as the Pomodoro Technique. This involves breaking your workday into 25-minute intervals of focused work, followed by a five-minute break. After four intervals, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. By setting these short-term goals for yourself and taking regular breaks, you can increase productivity while also preventing burnout.


Time Management TipBenefitEmotion Evoked
Set specific goals for each dayIncreases focus and motivationConfidence
Use a timer to track work sessionsHelps maintain momentum and productivityControl
Make use of tools like Trello or AsanaKeeps tasks organized and easily accessiblePeace of mind

Remember that effective time management isn’t about working more hours, but rather making the most of the hours you do have available. By implementing strategies like the Pomodoro Technique and utilizing helpful tools, you can create a sense of structure in your freelance career that will lead to increased success and fulfillment. So start today by setting achievable goals and watch your productivity soar!

Building Relationships With Clients And Maintaining Professionalism

Networking is key to building relationships with clients, so don’t be afraid to reach out and make meaningful connections.

Building rapport is essential to maintaining a professional relationship, so don’t forget to be friendly and courteous.

Communicating effectively is also important, so be sure to listen and respond in a timely manner.

Setting boundaries is also essential to success, so let your clients know what you can and can’t do to ensure that expectations are clear.


As a freelance writer, networking is key to building relationships with clients and maintaining professionalism.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for a while, it’s important to make connections within your industry.

Attend networking events, join online writing communities, and reach out to fellow writers on social media.

Building these relationships can lead to new opportunities and referrals down the line.

One important thing to keep in mind when networking is to always be professional.

This means dressing appropriately for events, being respectful of others’ time and opinions, and following up with potential clients in a timely manner.

It’s also important to be genuine in your interactions – people can tell when you’re only interested in what they can do for you.

Build real connections by showing interest in others’ work and offering value whenever possible.

By approaching networking with an open mind and friendly attitude, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful freelance writing career.

Building Rapport

Now that we’ve talked about networking, let’s dive deeper into building rapport with clients. Building rapport means establishing a positive relationship with your clients based on trust and mutual respect. This is crucial in maintaining long-term relationships and securing repeat business.

To build rapport, it’s important to communicate clearly and effectively with your clients. Listen to their needs and concerns, ask questions, and provide regular updates on your progress. Show them that you value their input and are committed to delivering high-quality work.

Additionally, make an effort to connect with them on a personal level by sharing relevant experiences or interests. This can help build a sense of camaraderie and trust, which can ultimately lead to more successful projects in the future.

Staying Motivated And Continuing To Improve Your Craft

Feeling motivated to write can be a struggle, especially when you’re working from home and have no one to hold you accountable.

However, staying motivated is crucial to the success of your freelance writing side hustle.

One way to stay motivated is by setting achievable goals for yourself. This could be anything from writing a certain number of articles per week or reaching out to a certain number of potential clients.

Another way to stay motivated is by surrounding yourself with other writers who share your passion for writing. Join online writing communities or attend local writing workshops and events.

This will not only provide you with a sense of belonging but also an opportunity to learn from other writers and improve your craft.

Remember, improvement is a never-ending process, so make sure you’re always seeking ways to enhance your skills as a writer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Common Mistakes Freelancers Make When Setting Their Rates And Payment Terms?

When it comes to setting rates and payment terms as a freelancer, there are a number of common mistakes that can trip you up.

For starters, many freelancers undervalue their work and end up getting paid less than they deserve.

Others fail to communicate their payment expectations clearly, which can lead to confusion and disputes down the line.

Additionally, some freelancers are too rigid with their payment terms and fail to accommodate clients’ needs, which can make it harder to build long-term relationships.

To avoid these pitfalls, it’s important to do your research on industry standards and communicate openly with clients about what you expect in terms of compensation.

Remember: setting fair rates is crucial not just for your own financial well-being, but also for the health of the freelance writing community as a whole.

How Can Freelancers Determine If They Are Spending Too Much Time On One Project And Neglecting Others?

As a freelance writing expert, it’s important to balance your workload and ensure that you’re not spending too much time on one project at the expense of neglecting others. This can be tricky, especially when you’re juggling multiple clients and deadlines.

One way to stay on track is by setting clear expectations with your clients upfront and mapping out a schedule for each project. You should also regularly assess your progress and adjust your priorities as needed.

Remember, success as a freelancer isn’t just about landing new clients – it’s about building long-term relationships and delivering quality work consistently over time. So don’t let yourself get bogged down by one project – keep an eye on the big picture and stay focused on achieving your goals.

What Are Some Effective Ways To Find Clients Beyond Online Job Boards And Social Media?

Finding clients beyond online job boards and social media is a challenge for many freelance writers. However, there are several effective ways to expand your client base.

One way is to attend networking events and industry conferences where you can connect with potential clients face-to-face.

Another option is to reach out to businesses in your local community that may need writing services.

You can also consider pitching articles or guest blog posts to websites that align with your niche expertise.

By diversifying your client acquisition strategy, you’ll increase your chances of finding new opportunities and building long-term relationships with satisfied clients.

How Can Freelancers Handle Difficult Clients Or Situations Where Payment Is Delayed Or Not Received?

Handling difficult clients and delayed or non-payment situations can be a challenging aspect of freelancing. However, it’s important to remember that you are running a business and deserve to be treated fairly.

When dealing with difficult clients, it’s crucial to maintain professionalism and clear communication.

If a client is not paying on time, follow up politely but firmly with reminders and invoices.

If the issue persists, consider implementing late payment fees or seeking legal assistance if necessary.

Remember, you are not alone in these situations and seeking support from fellow freelancers or industry organizations can provide valuable resources and guidance.

What Are Some Tips For Balancing A Freelance Writing Side Hustle With A Full-Time Job Or Other Responsibilities?

Balancing a freelance writing side hustle with a full-time job or other responsibilities can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

One of the most important things to remember is to set realistic expectations for yourself and your clients. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your workload and deadlines, and communicate any potential conflicts with your clients as soon as possible.

It’s also crucial to prioritize your time effectively by creating a schedule that works for you, setting boundaries, and avoiding burnout.

Remember that success takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go according to plan right away.

With dedication and persistence, you can achieve balance and reach your freelance writing goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.


As a freelance writing expert, I know firsthand the challenges and rewards of starting a successful side hustle.

It can be tempting to undervalue your services or overcommit to projects, but taking the time to set fair rates and manageable deadlines is crucial for long-term success.

Beyond that, finding clients can be a struggle, but there are effective ways to expand your network beyond online job boards and social media.

And when it comes to handling difficult clients or payment issues, communication is key. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and your work.

Ultimately, balancing a freelance writing career with other responsibilities requires discipline and prioritization. But with persistence and dedication, building a thriving side hustle is within reach for any aspiring writer.

So go ahead and take that first step towards achieving your freelance goals – the possibilities are endless!

Max Blackwood

Max is an entrepreneur, early-stage tech investor, and contributing writer for influential blogs. With a passion for pushing comfort zones and helping individuals discover their power zone and life purpose, Max's start-up adventures have fuelled his desire to make a positive impact. Max loves driving inspiration in the entrepreneurial world, guiding individuals towards purpose, growth, and remarkable achievements.

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