Side hustles are a great way to earn some extra cash and help you speed up your path to financial independence (FI). To get you started, here's a list of great side hustle ideas!
In addition, we wanted to feature some particular side hustle stories to inspire you to earn some extra cash.
Today, we’re delving into the freelance writing side hustle. This side hustle is particularly popular among bloggers, but anyone can be a freelance writer.
Here's my story about how I got started with my freelance writing side hustle.
How I got started freelance writing
My freelance writing side hustle was a complete accident. One day, an editor at a corporate blog happened to visit my personal finance blog. She liked what she saw and sent me an email to see if I would write for their blog for pay.
I'd seen other bloggers write for blogs besides their own, but I never understood why. However, when I was offered $60 per blog post to write for the corporate blog, I finally understood. Freelance writing paid good money and it was a way to diversify my side hustle income.
I said yes and started writing for the corporate blog on a weekly basis. Eventually, other corporate blogs and personal blogs started reaching out to me to see if I’d be interested in writing for them, too. While I never intended to be a freelance writer, I wasn’t one to turn down some extra side hustle income, either.
Related: How To Start A Blog
How I’ve grown my freelance writing business
In the beginning, I only accepted freelance writing proposals when people asked me to write for them. After all, I wasn’t looking to be a freelance writer. I wanted to be a full-time blogger. However, as I got serious about diversifying my income, I started looking for new freelance writing positions.
I became full-time
In late 2015, I decided to quit my day job to become a full-time blogger and freelance writer. At the time, most of my clients provided regular work on a weekly basis, so it was a great way to earn a somewhat stable income while I built my blog.
I went to FinCon
I also met with some companies in person at FinCon, a conference for financial media and bloggers. FinCon has easily been the best thing for my freelance writing business. When you meet people in person, it’s much easier to land a new gig. Thankfully, several of the potential clients I met with at FinCon have turned into regular freelance writing clients.
I improved my writing and my rates
In the last few years, I’ve had some clients shut their blogs down which left me scrambling to pick up new work. Other times, editors have left and the freelance writers that worked for them, which included me, weren’t retained. Thankfully, there always seems to be plenty of companies looking to hire freelance writers that allow me to replace the clients that leave.
As time went on, I became a more experienced writer and my rates have increased. I now earn much more than $60 per article. In fact, I’ve made over $1,000 per article for some of my longer assignments.
While the number varies each month, I did earn over $5,000 the other month, just from freelance writing. Add that plus my blogging income, and it’s clear to see that my side hustles have turned into a full-time career.
Related: Books To Kick Off Your Side Hustle
How can you become a freelance writer?
Start writing for free
Freelance writing isn’t the easiest side hustle to break into. When you’re starting out, you may have to write for free to get your name out there and build a portfolio. Some people write for others by offering free guest posts, but you can start a blog and make that your portfolio.
Over time, you’ll be able to start charging for your writing and you can increase your rates as your writing improves. Like many careers, you’ll make more money in some fields than other fields. Writing about personal finance pays pretty well, but writing about other subjects isn’t always as lucrative.
Treat your clients well
You’ll want to make sure you communicate clearly with your clients. If something comes up that could put you in danger of missing a deadline, let them know as early as possible so they can prepare.
Make your online presence professional
Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile to show that you’re a freelance writer for hire to get some free visibility. You can also build a portfolio on Contently.
Once you choose a specific niche, consider attending conferences where potential clients attend. Meeting people face to face is the best way to make sure they’ll open your email when you have a great idea to pitch them.
Like with any side hustle, the key to starting a freelance writing side hustle is to simply get started. Start a blog. Write a free guest post for a blogger to start your portfolio.
Take action! In a few years, you might be a full-time freelance writer just like I am.