How to Get Started as an Online Freelance Article Writer – Beginner’s Tutorial

Updated on July 23, 2018
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Writing is natural. You have heard stories of people who make some side income by writing articles online. They may write news stories, e-books, cover letters, the list goes on. You know that you can also write articles (maybe you were talented as a fictional writer, or maybe you know how to tell a real-life story) but you do not know where to start. Well, today I am planning to tell you all about how I got started. Hopefully, the experience that I have will help guide you at the start of your path.

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Getting Experience

So, you are new, and you have no portfolio to back you up and get you some clients. How can you fix that? My advice is that you start to look at some news stories and try to rewrite them. Start small, 300 words would be the best for a beginner, and slowly work your way up. Once you have gotten familiar with how most article writers word their articles, then you may want to start writing about some topics that interest you.

You may say “But I do not know what interests me enough to write about it.” Well, write about something you enjoy. Write about your favorite game, a book character, a novel, a band, a vacation location, anything that you are passionate about. Try to research the topic before you start writing.

Say you want to write a review about your favorite game, to sharpen your article writing skills. Get more details about it: which studio created it, when did it come out, if rumors were surrounding some aspects of the release, did the team behind the game encounter some problems and so on. You can then talk about the primary setting of the game, what you loved or hated about it, which character was your favorite, the best and worst boss fight of the game and maybe even some of the best quests. This is all up to you.

What I am trying to say is that you should find something that you are familiar with and create an in-depth analysis of it, using and quoting different websites, adding pictures and maybe even links to some relevant topics. Try to be detached but observant at the same time. I know it sounds like I do not know what I am saying but an article writer has to be sharp and look at every side of the matter and detached enough not to make himself or herself look too invested in the topic to the point that it seems like a personal review. That is reserved for blog content, but we will get to that in a second.

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Freelance Websites

Okay, you spent some time writing and rewriting articles. You are now familiar with how an article is written. Next step is trying to get some money out of it. Looking for real-life customers close to you who may want you to write for their website, their magazine or their blog may be a bit too hard. This is why I recommend that you create an account on one of these three websites: Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upwork.

Freelancer

This is a platform meant for freelancers around the globe. Creating an account is easy. Please take the time to feel out every detail of your profile, even adding some articles to your portfolio (I used to get 0 gigs before I had a portfolio since most clients ask for one after I had one I finally got some steady workflow). My advice is that you bid on projects that you know you can do well. You may write good tech-related articles, but you have 0 clues on how to write a medical related article. So bid for a project that wants tech content and not one that wants medical content. See what I mean? Also, stick with a Standard membership in the beginning since it does not cost you anything, make sure that you place your bids carefully (it takes 92 hours to get a new bid) and be careful.

Fiverr

I like to call this website the fun one out of the three. Here you can find people who offer so many services for the small price of 5 dollars. Some may ask for more, but it is an excellent and secure platform for a newbie article writer. Set up an account and create your first writing gig. Make sure to set the price (I suggest starting with 5 dollars since you are new to the game, raise your rates as time goes by), set the number of words that you want to write and any other things that you are willing to offer for your article.

Upwork

I find this website to be the serious big brother of the family. What makes it stand out is that you can create an account, but you need to have it approved before you can bid on projects. This means that you have to put some time and dedication into what you are offering, your bio, your hourly rate, any qualifications that you may possess and then send it to be reviewed. Do not fret if your request is denied, you need to polish your profile a bit more, and with luck, you will be a member in no time.

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Create a Blog

Okay, you want to make some cash by writing, but you are not the type to stick to a close schedule. What do you do now? Well, you can dedicate some time and create a blog.

But how can you make money from a blog? With Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates, programs that will allow you to turn a small profit based on the number of traffic that your blog gets, how many people look at the ads posted on there and how many click on them. Neat, am I right? This is the perfect form of passive but not so passive income for someone who is just starting out. By this, I mean that you have to continually update your blog and write on topics that you enjoy talking about, but you do not have to worry about maintaining deadlines or fitting the requirements of a client.

It is all up to you, in a way. But this means that you can’t just create a blog, write a couple of posts and expect to turn millionaire overnight. It takes time, maybe even months of constant work but you will end up seeing that all your time was not wasted and you may steadily create a fan base of interested writers and turn a profit from it as well. It is all up to you and how much time you want to dedicate to perfecting your blog.

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    • thedinasoaur profile image

      Dina 

      6 weeks ago from California

      It's always good to get reminders of how to do this writing thing. I like how you broke down this sometimes-overwhelming process of crafting articles. Do you have any specific tools or techniques to help you stay creative and productive? I'm off to geek out over your hubs. Oh, and you got yourself a new follower for sure! Keep up the wonderful work.

    • cleoaddams profile image

      Cleo Addams 

      2 months ago from USA

      Great article. Thanks for sharing these tips and websites. :)

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 

      2 months ago

      Good suggestions. I have been writing for years and I love finding new possibilities. Thank you.

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