10 Expert Tips to Succeed as a Freelance Writer

By Fancy Comma, LLC Team

A while back, we reached out to the Twitter freelance community to ask: what advice do you have for aspiring freelance writers?

Keep reading for their responses!

1. Prioritize to stay organized.

Kaleigh Moore is a freelance writer in the e-Commerce and Direct-to-Consumer spaces who has been published in Forbes. In her guide to becoming a freelance writer, she writes that freelancing is about balance: “If you decide to become a freelance writer, you have to be a master of priorities and organization. If you can find the balance between working for clients and working to keep your business moving forward, you’ll be on your way to a successful life as a freelance writer.”

2. Get comfortable with running a business.

Lacey Trejo, a freelance writer and business coach for freelancers, wrote a blog article about leaving one’s 9-to-5 to go freelance. Among her tips? Be comfortable with talking about contracts and negotiating fees. She writes, “As a business coach for freelancers, I have come across so many people uncomfortable with this side of the business. Whatever it takes, you must acquire confidence in this area to be successful.”

3. Know what you need from clients to do your best work.

Writer and cupcake enthusiast Angela Tague blogs at Web Writing Advice, where she helps fellow freelancers navigate the freelancing life. She says, “Every freelancer should know what they need from their client to do the work effectively and efficiently.” For better collaborations, you’ll need to figure out the best ways to work with clients. Read her advice to clients seeking to hire her.

4. Never stop learning.

Freelance writer Ashley R. Cummings has been in the freelance biz for over a decade. In a Twitter thread, she talks about things she wishes she knew when she started.

screenshot of tweet from ashley r. cummings
Source: Twitter. Read the full thread here.

As a freelancer, continual learning is part of thriving and growing. Follow other freelancers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Ask them questions. Contribute your own insights to discussions. By the way, you can check out Ashley’s complete thread here.

5. Build your network.

Beyond Bylines has a helpful Freelancing 101 guide for people seeking to get into freelancing. They write, “Be sure to tell your friends, family, and colleagues about your new business.” Word of mouth can be helpful and help you establish new connections in your personal and professional networks. As they add, “You never know when someone will need web copy written for their own new company or who might be looking for marketing collateral for their day job.”

6. Market yourself.

To be a successful freelancer, you must learn to sell your work, even if you’re not a bragging type of person. Afoma Umesi is a freelance writer for B2B software companies in the tech world. As she tweeted, “zero marketing could mean zero work,” especially when first starting out in freelancing.

screenshot of tweet from afoma umesi

7. Read a lot.

Aimen, our social media manager, reiterated the importance of reading. Reading other writers’ work is a great way to improve your skills quickly.

screenshot of tweet from aimen arshad

8. Build a website and a portfolio.

Experienced freelance health writer Lauren Evoy Davis has written for sites such as WebMD and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She stresses the importance of a website and portfolio to help clients get an idea of your work.

screenshot of tweet from lauren evoy davis

9. Stay true to yourself.

Freelance writer, editor, and coach Cici tweeted a great reminder for freelancers to stay true to their own life journey and experiences.

screenshot of tweet from @ncbassey

10. Focus on quality over quantity.

If you write, you’re a writer. It doesn’t matter how many words you write or where they are published, as Operance wrote to us:

screenshot of tweet from operance freelance software

Freelancers, what would you add to this list? Feel free to chime in below!

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