How To Start Freelance Writing As A Side Hustle During The Pandemic

The pandemic has completely changed your work life. You now work from home and don’t need to worry about the long work commute to the office. You have taken up writing as a hobby.

Your blog posts are doing pretty well. Quite a few people actually read them. You take pride in your writing. You enjoy it so much that you are considering writing as a side gig.

But, you’re worried that it’s going to be too much to bear. You worry that you won’t be able to juggle your 9–5 job with your freelance gigs.

Why now is the perfect time to start freelance writing

If there is one thing the pandemic has taught me, it’s that no 9–5 job is ever that secure. I have several friends who were made redundant or placed on furlough because of the changing consumer demands caused by the pandemic.

The pandemic also taught us who the real key workers are and that sometimes, even the much-coveted office job is not secure.

If you enjoy writing for free (via your blog) — wouldn’t you also enjoy writing for money? It will also make sense to have another job you can fall back on if your 9–5 job falls through.

Now that I’ve convinced you that freelance writing is something you should consider, let’s get down to business.

Searching for paid writing opportunities

There are several websites you can use to start your freelance writing journey. I have only used one major one, which is Upwork. There are plenty of others such as Problogger, FreelanceMyWay, ProBlogger, Contently and many more.

Create a dedicated hire me page

If you already have a blog, you can also create a dedicated hire me page to attract paying clients.

Make sure to list some examples of your writing; these can be self-help articles you have posted on Medium or blog. These could be your How-to article that garnered a few hundred claps and attracted a moderate-to-large audience of readers. Perhaps you have written an engaging article that was picked up for further distribution that matches the kind of clients you would like to write for.

Sending cold pitches via email or LinkedIn

You can also send pitch emails to relevant bloggers. I found an excellent guide by a company called freedom with writing. Their case study guide includes successful pitches written by freelance writers to get high paying clients.

You can also use LinkedIn to find companies looking for content writers and then send them a pitch.

Get familiar with the freelance writing market.

There are so many types of writing projects you can work on. The projects you do will either be copywriting or content writing.

I am going to explain the difference between the two types of writing below:

What is copywriting?

Copywriting involves writing persuasively to convince customers to purchase your client’s product/service. For example, email marketing, landing pages, and ad copy are all prime examples of copywriting.

Copywriting involves a lot more thinking than content writing. That means you will be paid for your thinking time. If you can master copywriting, it will be like winning the writers jackpot. Many companies will need your skills to help them sell their product.

What is content writing?

Content writing involves writing to educate, inform and entertain your clients’ audience. It needs to be engaging.

Potential clients may want you to write content that will show them as a thought leader and expert to build their brand awareness. For example, you may be asked to write blog posts, ebooks or whitepapers that showcase your client’s thoughts and industry insights.

Managing your time

So, you’ve read it up to this part.

That means you think you can enjoy doing freelance writing as a side gig.

Yes! You can actually do this!

Okay, so this is how I do it.

  1. Every morning, I get up at 8.00 AM. I shower, then brush my teeth and then have some coffee. I start pitching for writing jobs by 8.30 AM. I apply for about 2 to 3 at a time. It doesn’t take so long because I saved the template for my first successful pitch, and I adapt it as necessary.
  2. Then, I start my 9–5 at 9:00 AM.
  3. During my lunch break, I check my emails for any updates. If I am working on a client project, I usually schedule this for 30 mins of my lunch break time. The rest of the 30 mins goes to exercising; I usually go for a walk or a run.
  4. When I get back, I have lunch at my desk and continue working.
  5. My job finishes at 5.30 PM, so I rest for an hour (catch up on Netflix shows) Then I work on freelance projects from 6.30 PM to around 8.30 PM (that’s two solid hours of writing + it usually is enough for me).
  6. Sometimes, I only have time to work on one client at a time (this depends on how hefty the project is). When that happens, I stop searching for additional jobs and focus on finishing the project.

You really can do anything as long as you put your mind to it

If you love writing already, chances are you will enjoy freelance writing too. What’s more, you can use the extra money you earn now to saving up for a much-needed trip after the pandemic is over.

There is no harm in trying out freelance writing. If I can do it, then so can you!

This was originally posted at: on Feb 18, 2021

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