How to make freelance writing your next profitable side hustle

Freelance writing is my favourite side hustle, and it also happens to be my most profitable. I didn’t have any freelance writing experience before I got my first writing job- and the good news is, you don’t need any either. All you need to have is a love for writing, and a strong determination, and everything will fall into place. Everyone has to start somewhere- even those that have made hugely successful careers out of being a freelance copywriter, started with no experience at one point.

If you’re looking to make freelance writing your next side hustle, read on to find out what I did to land my first freelance writing job, and how you can use these tips to land yours.

My story

I always enjoyed writing, and it was part of the reason I chose to study English Literature at university many moons ago- I even became the editor of the university magazine whilst I was there, but it wasn’t until 4 years after graduating that I decided to pursue writing again.

By chance, I stumbled upon Ruth from Ruth Makes Money on Instagram, and was blown away at how she had managed to build a very successful career as a freelance copywriter (check out her blog to find out more, it’s incredible). After reading her blog for a couple of months, I decided to make the steps to get myself a slice of the freelance writing pie.

Where to start?

For me, it all began when I joined Ruth’s Facebook group, along with some other blogging groups, and Ruth posted about a blogging friend of hers looking for a content writer. I jumped at this opportunity and hastily sent out an example piece of my writing, plus some information about myself, and my rate. I really wasn’t expecting it, but a few days later an email came through to say I got the job! I was over the moon.

I would definitely recommend joining blogging groups on Facebook and searching through Twitter to find freelance writing jobs where you will be writing articles for bloggers- essentially as a ghost writer. You could even take the bull by the horns and create a post yourself advertising your services as a freelance copywriter (with permission of the group admin). This is a great place to start, especially if the blog post content is something that you are interested in yourself. I personally feel that if, like me, you have no experience in writing marketing copy intended to convert into sales, blog articles are a much safer bet until you learn more about the art of being a freelance copywriter (should you wish to).

If you’re finding it hard to find opportunities in blogging groups on social media, you could check out online job boards where new jobs are posted regularly. I have personally never used these (despite my best intentions, I just haven’t had the time to apply to jobs on there yet!) but at the time of writing there are freelance writing jobs advertised for email copy, blog articles and copywriting- any of which are definitely worth applying for if you are looking to make freelance writing your next side hustle. Take a look at PeoplePerHour and Upwork and to find out more.

Be sure to take the time to create a few example pieces of your writing to show potential clients- if you’ve never done any freelance writing before, these example pieces could be about anything you are interested in and knowledgeable about. Just make sure that these pieces are your best work, and show off your writing skills to a tee- you’ll be a part-time freelance copywriter in no time!

What next?

When you land your first freelance writing job, the best thing you can do is to try and build a relationship with the person that you are writing for, in the hope that they will hire you again. Make sure that you sign off a final email with a note to say that you would love to work with them again- who knows, maybe they are already looking to outsource more of their writing!

This is exactly what happened to me- I had written a few articles for the same blogger, and she offered me the chance to write for her blog on a more regular basis- and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. It means that my first freelance writing client is still the only freelance writing client that I’ve ever had! But nearly 6 months later, I am still writing for her and loving it. It is the perfect accompaniment to my 9-5 job.

How much money can you make?

It can take a lot of patience and persistence to make freelance writing a profitable side hustle, but the income that you can make from it is worth it. For your ever first freelance writing jobs, I would suggest that you can probably type out around 500 words in an hour, and therefore can start by charging around £20 per 500 words.

£20 an hour sounds amazing as an hourly rate for a side hustle– but remember that you will also need to do research on the topic you are writing about, and you will have to carefully proofread the final draft too. Some writing jobs will ask you for your rate, other jobs will advertise the rate for a given amount of words- it’s completely up to you whether the rate that is being advertised sits with what you value your time at.

Your next steps to score your first freelance writing job:

  • Write out a few example pieces of work, make sure it shows off your best writing skills. Read up on how to write a good article to make sure your skills are up to scratch.
  • Join blogging and freelancing groups on social media to scout out opportunities
  • Head to online freelance job boards and apply to anything which takes your fancy
  • Be persistent and keep applying to jobs!

You might also enjoy everything you need to know about HMRC and side hustles, an introduction to selling on Etsy and how to have money in the bank at the end of every month. 

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