Understanding Freelance Writing: Tips and Best Practices
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


1. Finding Your Niche

2. Building a Portfolio

3. Mastering the Art of Pitching

4. Setting Your Rates

5. Staying Organized

Freelance writing is a rewarding and flexible career option, allowing writers to work independently and create content for various clients. If you're wondering what is freelance writing and how to succeed in this field, you've come to the right place. In this blog, we'll share tips and best practices to help you find your niche, build a portfolio, master the art of pitching, set your rates, and stay organized. Let's dive in!

1. Finding Your Niche

Discovering the type of content you enjoy writing and can excel at is an essential step in your freelance writing journey. Let's explore how to find your niche and make a name for yourself in the industry.

Determine Your Interests

Begin by listing topics you're passionate about and have a good understanding of. This could include hobbies, areas of expertise, or subjects you've studied. Writing about what interests you will not only make your work more enjoyable but also result in higher-quality content.

Research Demand

Once you've identified your interests, research the market demand for content in those areas. Popular niches like technology, health, and finance offer an abundance of opportunities, while more obscure topics may have a smaller but devoted audience. Understanding the demand for your niche will help you focus on what is freelance writing that is profitable and sustainable.

Identify Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is crucial for tailoring your content and connecting with readers. Consider the age, interests, and needs of the people you want to reach. For example, if you're writing about fitness, your target audience could be young adults looking for workout routines or seniors interested in low-impact exercises. By identifying your target audience, you can create content that truly resonates with them and solidifies your niche expertise.

2. Building a Portfolio

A strong portfolio is a must-have for any freelance writer aiming to impress potential clients and showcase their skills. Let's look at how to build an eye-catching portfolio that will help you secure writing gigs.

Create a Website

Start by setting up a professional website dedicated to your freelance writing services. This can be a simple yet stylish site showcasing your work, contact information, and a brief bio. Having your own website not only looks professional but also makes it easier for clients to find and hire you.

Showcase Your Best Work

Choose a selection of your top writing pieces to feature in your portfolio. This should include a mix of topics and formats, such as blog posts, articles, and social media content, to demonstrate your versatility. Make sure to highlight pieces that are relevant to your niche and showcase your unique voice and style. Remember, quality over quantity is the key when it comes to presenting your work.

Update Regularly

As you continue to grow and improve as a writer, make a habit of updating your portfolio with fresh, relevant content. This demonstrates to clients that you're active and constantly honing your craft. Plus, you never know when a recently added piece might catch the eye of a potential client and lead to new opportunities.

3. Mastering the Art of Pitching

Once you have a solid portfolio, it's time to get your work in front of potential clients. The key to securing freelance writing gigs lies in mastering the art of pitching. Let's explore how to craft a winning pitch and land more writing projects.

Research Publications

Before you start pitching, it's essential to research the publications or websites you're targeting. This will help you understand their style, audience, and the types of content they're looking for. Make a list of potential clients or publications that align with your niche and writing expertise. The more familiar you are with a publication, the better you can tailor your pitch to suit their needs.

Craft a Compelling Pitch

Now that you know your target audience, it's time to create a pitch that will grab their attention. A successful pitch should include a catchy subject line, a brief introduction to your writing experience, and a concise summary of your proposed article or project. Be sure to mention why your idea is relevant to their audience and include links to your portfolio or relevant writing samples. Remember, a well-crafted pitch can make all the difference in convincing a client to hire you for their next project.

Follow Up

After sending your pitch, don't forget to follow up with the client or publication if you haven't heard back within a week or so. A gentle reminder email can show your enthusiasm and commitment to the project. However, be careful not to pester them excessively, as this can come across as unprofessional. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might not get a response — and that's okay. Keep refining your pitch and targeting new clients, as persistence is key in the world of freelance writing.

4. Setting Your Rates

An important aspect of freelance writing is determining how much to charge for your work. Setting the right rates can be a delicate balance between valuing your expertise and remaining competitive in the market. Let's explore some essential factors to consider when setting your freelance writing rates.

Consider Your Expertise

One factor to consider when setting your rates is your level of expertise in a particular niche or type of writing. If you have a lot of experience or specialized knowledge in a certain area, you can justify charging higher rates. On the other hand, if you're new to a niche or just starting out in freelance writing, you might need to charge lower rates until you've built up a solid portfolio and reputation.

Research Market Rates

Another important step in setting your rates is researching what other freelance writers in your niche are charging. This will give you a better understanding of the market and help you price your services competitively. You can find this information through online resources, freelance writing forums, or by connecting with fellow writers in your network. Keep in mind that rates can vary widely depending on factors like experience, location, and the type of content being produced.

Adjust As Needed

Finally, remember that your rates aren't set in stone. As your experience and skills grow, you may need to adjust your rates to reflect your increased value to clients. Additionally, you should periodically reassess your rates to ensure you're keeping up with market trends and inflation. By staying flexible and adapting your rates as needed, you can maintain a successful and sustainable freelance writing career.

5. Staying Organized

As a freelance writer, staying organized is crucial to managing your workload and ensuring you meet deadlines. Developing good organizational habits can also help you stay on top of invoices and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Let's take a look at some helpful strategies for staying organized in your freelance writing career.

Track Your Projects

Keeping track of all your ongoing projects is essential to staying organized. Create a system that works for you, whether it's a simple spreadsheet, a project management tool, or a physical planner. Make sure to include key information like project titles, client names, deadlines, and any notes or special requirements. Regularly updating and reviewing your project tracker will help you stay on top of your workload and prioritize tasks effectively.

Manage Deadlines

Meeting deadlines is a critical part of freelance writing. To ensure you never miss a deadline, develop a system for managing your due dates. You could use a calendar, an app, or even sticky notes on your wall—whatever works best for you. When you receive a new project, add the deadline to your system immediately and set reminders to keep yourself accountable. By staying on top of your deadlines, you'll maintain a strong reputation with your clients and avoid unnecessary stress.

Stay on Top of Invoices

Managing your finances is an important aspect of freelance writing. One way to stay organized is by keeping detailed records of your invoices. Set up a system for tracking your invoices, including invoice numbers, client names, project descriptions, payment amounts, and payment due dates. This will help you stay on top of your cash flow and ensure you're promptly paid for your work. Remember, staying organized with your finances is just as important as delivering high-quality content to your clients.

If you're looking to thrive as a freelancer and want to learn the essentials, don't miss out on Jasmine MacPhee's workshop, 'The Freelancing Fundamentals To Make You Flourish'. This workshop will provide you with invaluable tips and strategies to help you navigate the world of freelancing and achieve success in your creative career.