How to Become a Freelance Writer

Have you ever wondered where all of the information on the internet comes from?  The information on the net is called internet content, and someone has to write it; that someone can even be you.  Freelance writing is a fun and interesting career or sideline, depending on how good you are at it and how much time you want to devote to it.  One of the biggest advantages to it is how few the tools are, and how small the investment is, that you need to get started.


This is a given, of course, but you do have to have a computer that is speedy and powerful enough to process your documents efficiently.  If you have to spend half of your time downloading and uploading documents, or getting “hung up” because of a sluggish computer, even as a part timer, you will not make enough money to make it worth while.

Word processing program

Almost any word processing program can be used to write, but if the one you are using is not compatible with the most popular programs, you may leave yourself out in the cold.  There is a lot of competition in the field, and if a site owner wants to buy your material, he will be quickly dissuaded if he has to go through too much trouble to do so.  There are plenty of other writers using Microsoft Word.

freelance writing
Freelance writing

Internet access

Slow dial up connections will not only slow you down when you need to transmit your texts, but navigating on the sites where you will find your writing assignments will also be slow and tedious.  Time is money, so you have to be prepared to quickly review and bid on interesting projects.

Decent writing skills

The first three ingredients to being a freelance writer can be bought, but writing is indeed a gift.  You must have a good command of the English language and a real desire to write and an enjoyment of the writing process.  Most good writers are avid readers and learn a lot through their reading.  You can improve your writing skills by studying some writing guides or even taking a writing course, and you should have a usage guide (Fowler’s is the bible for most writers) that you can refer to when you are unclear about how a sentence should be constructed.

Great imagination

Here is where the rubber meets the road.  Unless you intend to concentrate on technical writing (which can be a lucrative niche if you have a strong specialty), you have to let your imagination run free and be able to call upon all of your life experiences, shared histories with others, and perhaps even a bit of fantasy.  You may want to make sure you have the highly developed imagination before you invest in the computer and the high speed internet access.

Before hiring a freelance writer, or agreeing to work as a writer for a new employer, you may want a criminal background check. Both parties involved can save themselves time and problems by doing this one simple task.

Image: ElvertBarnes / Flickr