Do you want to be a freelance writer, but something’s holding you back?
You’re probably thinking there’s something you really need before you actually start freelance writing, right?
I mean this is a business and a new career path so thinking there are certain requirements is just a given.
I mean if you don’t have a computer or basic writing skills, then freelance writing isn’t for you!
But, more importantly, there are many things you DON’T need to be a freelance writer and I have a feeling when you read my list, you might be shocked.
So, let’s get to it. You don’t need:
1. A Writing Degree
There are many freelance writers that are highly successful and don’t have a creative writing degree, journalism degree or any other type of writing degree.
Take a look at me: work-at-home mom with a degree in Psychology. I have a full client list and am making a living writing. It is possible, and might even be better without a degree.
Having a writing degree may hold you back since online writing is different than writing a college term paper.
And you know what? I only have one client — Purcus — that uses my background in Psychology. The rest of my clients? They are in the digital marketing or WordPress niche and I learned about those niches all online.
So, it goes to say, you don’t need a writing degree. What you do need, though, is a passion to write, curiosity to learn, and the courage to just go out that and start freelance writing!
2. The Support From Family and Friends
Believe it or not, you don’t need the extra support from your loved ones to be a freelance writer. While it’s probably a good idea that your partner at least knows what you are planning to do, it isn’t essential to getting started.
And don’t think you’re not going to get people questioning your choice to give up the safe 9–5 job for the inconsistent freelancing life. There’s also going to be perceptions that you’re always available and it’s okay to ring you up at 2pm for a favor because your at home.
For me, no one really besides my husband and a few friends know that I’m a freelance writer. I’m sure many don’t even know its a real thing.
If you think your family won’t support you because they don’t understand, don’t let it stop you from doing what you want to do. You can find support in other places. I’m lucky to know Lorraine Reguly, a freelance writer and blogger who actually lives in my hometown!
I also belong to a private Facebook group of other freelancers and I network with many other freelance writers, asking them questions and developing a great relationship with them.
So even if your family thinks freelance writing is a joke, don’t let them discourage you!
3. An Office
Okay, maybe this is a given, I mean the definition of freelancing is being able to do it anywhere!
When I first started freelance writing, I had twin toddlers to take care of (I still do!). I couldn’t just pack them up and take them to the park and bring my laptop to work. They are far too little to play by themselves and I want to give them my attention throughout the day.
So, when I first started, I felt I needed an office, but had no room in my home. I just ended up putting a desk and chair in the master room.
It’s my home base and I keep my notebooks and my laptop there during the day. When the twins take their nap, I can slip in and get some work done.
So, you really don’t need a designated area to freelance write. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t suggest you run your entire business on your living room couch! It’s a good idea to have a space carved out in your house — you just don’t need an entire room.
Well, technically to be a freelance writer you really don’t need a blog.
In truth, having a blog is hard work. For me, it’s challenging. I have to write for my clients, write my eCourse and then every week I need to write a blog post.
And if I decide to give my blog a break, how will that look to prospective clients? If I can’t keep up with my blog, what makes them think I can do that for them?
But, can a blog really help you land clients? Well it’s an easy way to build your portfolio and it quickly shows prospective clients that:
- You produce quality content
- You know how to write for an online audience
- Your posts do well on social media
But, that’s it. I have landed clients with my blog (actually my most recent client hired me to do their featured images on their blog), but I’ve landed more clients through referrals, social media and pitching.
So, if you’re new, focus on landing guest posts and building your portfolio. And if you still want to start a blog, go for it! I did and now I’m using my blogging platform to launch this new site (Elna Cain) and my eCourse for freelance writers.
5. Lots of Free Time
Are you thinking that you just don’t have the time to start freelance writing? Maybe when the kids start school you’ll have the time, right?
If only you had more time you could definitely start freelance writing. Well, let me know tell you something: you’re never going to have enough time!
I’m a WAHM and my twins aren’t even three yet. I’m only working part time on my client work. So, it is possible.
If you still have a 9–5 job, starting a freelance writing business might mean waking up earlier to write, using your lunch break to pitch and using the evening to market your business.
If you really want this, you’ll make time.
6. To Be Perfect
Are you reluctant to send off your pitch because it’s not absolutely perfect? Are you waiting on making a freelance writer website because you haven’t found the perfect theme?
That was me in the beginning. It took me forever to find a theme I liked. I spent hours and hours trying to write the perfect pitch (only to make mistakes along the way).
But, I had to stop thinking there was a better pitch or a better theme, and just use any theme and send my pitch. A “good enough” pitch is better than sending no pitch, right?
There’s really no such thing as perfection, so give yourself a break and just do it already!
Start Freelance Writing Today
Don’t let any one of these things stop you from being a professional writer. No matter where you’re from and what you do, you can be a freelance writer.
If your background is in home decor, you can be a freelance writer.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom and you don’t want to go back to the 9–5 grind, you can be a freelance writer.
My story shows that absolutely anyone can make it as a freelance writer. So, what are you waiting for? Get off your butt, get on your laptop and start writing.
Now it’s your turn — what other things do you NOT need to be a freelance writer?
Originally published at elnacain.com on September 16, 2015.