One of the big questions new writers ask is how can I land my first freelance writing jobs with no experience?
Do you need to have a degree? Do you need to be published?
When I scored my first freelance writing jobs I had no experience at all. OK, so I had a degree but it’s not impressive if you don’t have any samples. Why? Because you need to have samples of work when you write your job pitches.
Take a look at 8 freelance writing pitch mistakes to avoid.
Think about it from another perspective. Would you hire a writer if you’d never seen any of their work before? I’m willing to bet the answer is no.
So, how do you accumulate writing samples when you have zero experience and how did I manage to land my first freelance writing jobs with no experience?
My Route – Blogging
Blogging is a great way to start freelance writing as you can test the waters before you fully jump in.
By that, I mean you can test out differing niches to find the topics that you love to write about, you can practice writing in varying styles and you can hone your craft.
If you need help finding your niche, download my free workbook below.
Blogging is also a great option if you’re willing to invest in your business – you can host your blog on WordPress or Squarespace for a small monthly payment with your own domain included. You can then use your blog as your personal website with your portfolio, services etc.
Learn how to set up a WordPress blog here.
You can also use your blog to make an extra income from affiliate marketing, selling your own products or creating sponsored posts. The decision is totally up to you.
How can you use a blog to start freelance writing?
If you already write a blog, the straightforward answer is to use your current blog posts as samples of work. Your samples are published online and you can easily link them in your pitches to potential clients – see how to write a great freelance writing pitch here.
For example, as my blog focused on beauty, I used a few of my best posts to pitch for jobs within the beauty and lifestyle sector. Although, I had written some articles on the subject of blogging so I used these to pitch for other jobs.
However, personal experience can also enhance your job applications too. My first job was writing for a language learning website. When I pitched for this job, I attached a few samples on the topic of blogging but I mentioned that I had experience in participating in language learning courses which gave me an advantage over other applicants.
If you’ve yet to start a blog, consider writing about topics you enjoy or sectors where you would like to find work. For instance, if you’d like to be a technology writer, start writing posts about technology news, apps etc. You don’t need to worry about promoting your blog posts or gaining an audience when you first start blogging for writing purposes. Concentrate on creating high-quality content and keep everything else simple to avoid overwhelm. I do recommend having your own domain as it looks more professional than using http://www.keepblogging.wordpress.org or whatever.
Once you’ve published two or three blog posts, you can link them on your pitches and applications to show potential clients that you have published work online.
Having your own blog is also brilliant for guest posting purposes. Guest posting helps you to establish yourself as an authority within your niche, grow your audience and expand your portfolio. My blog post on guest posting covers more benefits as well as a sample email you can use to contact other bloggers or website owners.
An Alternative Route
If you really don’t want to set up your own blog, an alternative route would be to write articles in your chosen niche/s, write them in Microsoft Word, export to a PDF file and upload them to a free portfolio website like Contently.
Contently is amazing for hosting your samples of work without having the commitment of a blog. You can then use the link to these samples in your freelance writing pitches.
While you don’t need a blog to begin freelance writing, I do suggest having a writers website if you’re serious about your writing career. Having a website looks professional, you can host your portfolio, market your services and attract clients.
If you need help with your business and want to get freelance writing jobs with no experience, look at my free resource library for guides, workbooks and lists on where to find jobs, how to write a services page for your website, pricing and much more.