The New Freelance Writer’s Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started

Carol Tice


Are you hoping to jump into the world of freelance writing? If so, welcome aboard.

Prepared for life without a boss? I hope so.

Spoiler alert: It rocks.

I’ve gotten a lot of email recently along the lines of, “I’m just getting started, where’s the guide for that?”

Freelancing is a complicated business, no? There are so many types of writing work you could do.

How do you know where to start?

Below is my guide to figuring out your easiest entry point. It’s in the form of a series of questions you need to ask yourself:

What topics interest me?

Some writers have a passion for ecological justice, while others love to write about celebrities, fly-fishing, or politics. Start by identifying your interest areas.

Don’t limit yourself to one — try to list at least a half-dozen.

What do I know about?

In addition to topics you like, what do you know something about, even if just from life experience?

For instance, did you nurse a relative through cancer and learn about healthcare, rehab, and hospitals?

Or maybe you used to work in a bank, so you know a bit about financial services.

If you’re a new college grad, you’re familiar with college life — loans, housing, first jobs, saving money.

The old adage “write about what you know” is never more true than when you first start out. It’s the easiest way to convince a client that you’re the writer for the job.

What types of writing do I like to do?

There are many types of paid writing, including articles, blog posts, web pages, brochures, case studies, and a host of other business marketing materials.

It’ll help your search to narrow it down to a specific writing type or two to start. When you get direct mail marketing in your mailbox, if you find yourself thinking, “Heck, I could write this better,” marketing work could be a great area for you to investigate.

What sort of writing pays well?

Now that you know what sort of thing you want to write and what you like to write about, it’s time to discover who would pay you for this type and topic of writing.

Do a little research and you’ll quickly learn writing poetry and personal essays are tough to earn in. Novels are a moonshot, not something that will pay your bills — at least not reliably or soon.

Articles, blog posts, newsletters, web pages, case studies, white papers, annual reports, business plans, government contract bids, marketing materials of all kinds…these things pay.

Smaller publications and companies usually have less pay to offer, larger ones have more. Expect that you’ll start with a few small ones, and then be able to start trying to move up.

Where am I?

While freelance is a global business in the 21st Century, it will often be easiest to find your first clients close to home. If you live in even a moderate-sized city, this will work.

If you’re in a tiny town, you may need to do more aggressive marketing to look for clients outside your area. I personally got on a ferry and went into downtown Seattle to find better prospects. If you need to travel a little — do it.

In any decent-sized town, you can find businesses by checking out your local chamber of commerce, search on Manta for local companies, or grab a Book of Lists — your library may have a copy.

How can I find entry markets?

The easiest way to find good first clients is in the network of people and organizations you already know:

  • Your friends and family
  • The publications you read
  • The nonprofits where you donate or volunteer
  • The locally-owned businesses you patronize
  • The government agencies that oversee issues of interest to you

By using your network, you should be able to find legitimate clients — established publications or businesses that sell a real product or service. Remember, the Internet is full of scams, so research websites carefully before signing up to write for online sites.

Learn about how to market your writing, and choose a few methods that appeal to you.

Save yourself a lot of heartache and starvation and avoid the content mills. If you use bid sites online, be very selective about what you bid on and what gigs you take. Know that many Craigslist ads are flat-out scams. Beware.

What should I charge?

This is a tricky one. If you have no experience, your easiest road is to offer to do several small projects free to get a few samples and create a starter portfolio. Keep those projects small and make sure you get a testimonial if the client liked your work.

Once you’ve got those, you should be asking for money. To find out how much, try asking the client what their budget is, or their regular article fee, if it’s a magazine. Try to get them to tell you the rate.

If that doesn’t work, reach out to your network of fellow writers (you are joining at least one writer networking and support group, right?) and ask around. Consult The Writer’s Market‘s What to Charge guide, or Chris Marlow’s survey of copywriting rates.

Bottom line: Pick a price. Next time, bid more. Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re earning a decent wage — shoot for at least $50 an hour.

What if I’m scared?

Buck up. Everybody started somewhere. If you want to do this, you’ll need to overcome your fears and put yourself out there. Practicing pitching a friend if you have to.

Do I need a contract?

Yes, you do. Don’t ever start writing without one. Otherwise, the client has no obligation to pay you. Ever.

What’s your best advice?


Also…when you’re first starting out, keep it simple and don’t get overwhelmed. There are a lot of options in the freelance world…don’t try to explore them all at once.

Use the question list above to pick out a few likely first moves. Then try them out.

If you don’t get a response, move on to your next best bet.

Writers want to hear that there’s one easy, simple, magical, best way to quickly launch their careers, but in fact every writer is different. It’s trial and error. So get out there and start trying.

Are you just starting out, or have you already started freelancing? Leave a comment and tell us how you got started, or your plan to get going.

Freelance writing success


  1. Jenny

    I worked as the Director of Communication for a non-profit for eight years, and realized I enjoyed the writing more than any other portion of my job. When I attended a writers conference two years ago the concept of writing for magazines and businesses dazzled me. I began the hard work of pitching ideas and sending out letters of introduction. And got a few bites. I’m slowly gaining momentum, and six months ago started freelancing full time. Now I’m trying to build my client base.

    • Carol Tice

      Sounds like you’re moving in the right direction, Jenny.

    • Bill Polm

      Thank you, Carol.
      Just what I was hoping someone would deal with in a concise way someday.
      Well written too 🙂

      • Carol Tice

        Glad you like! I’m trying to develop more resources on the blog here for new writers…a resource area will be coming in a few months.

  2. Craig

    Informative post, Carol.

    The only place I’m stuck in all these is the “WHERE AM I?” part.

    How about for freelance writers who don’t live in locations where market for writing is worth it?

    For a non-native writer, who lives far away from the a place, for example,like Seattle, what works? Is it realistic to shoot for $50 and above?


      • Rachel

        Hi Carol,

        I’m a native English speaker who no longer lives in the U.S. It’s not possible for me to network/canvas local organizations for freelance writing (in English), since I don’t live in the U.S. Do you have any other suggestions for someone just starting out in my position?

        • Carol Tice

          Sure — have a strong writer website and use social media marketing to connect with clients, possibly back in your US hometown, or anywhere in the U.S.

          • Rachel

            Thanks for answering Carol. Working on my writer’s website at this very moment, so one out of two isn’t bad. As for social networking, you’re absolutely right. I suppose I could also try checking out company websites in my field as well.

    • Rob

      I live in Cambodia, so taking a ferry to downtown Seattle was never really going to work for me. While I absolutely agree that starting with job bidding sites isn’t a great idea for people who live in the U.S. or another developed country where you need to make 1st world wages, it worked for me when I was starting out. I got around the need for contracts because Elance has an escrow system. The downside was that for a long time, I thought $10/500 words was a decent rate. Carol’s blog and a month in the Writers Den helped convince me it wasn’t.

      One advantage to living in a foreign country is that you can make money writing about it. I started off with my Sihanoukville Journal ( and then got a regular gig writing for a popular travel blog. A week ago, I got a dinner invitation out of the blue from the executive editor of a print/online magazine. They want to expand their coverage of potential OS retirement locations and are coming here to check out SE Asia.

      The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the past couple of years is that just because I live in a 3rd world country, I don’t have to settle for 3rd world rates. If I’m working for Australian or US websites, I can ask for Australian or US rates. If English is your second language or you don’t have a portfolio, you may have to settle for less, but like Carol says, your expenses are less, too.

      The moral: living overseas is a great platform for launching a freelance writing career.

      • Carol Tice

        Thanks for sharing a lot of truths about living abroad. I believe there is opportunity wherever you are…great example of ways to find it, Rob!

  3. Donna

    Do you know where I can find a decent contract that I can use when contracting w/ clients for writing services?

      • Donna

        Thank you so much! This is very helpful!

  4. Ian

    Hey Carol,

    Thank you for these useful tips. I am a freelance writer, blogger and screenwriter who started my online writing business earlier this year. I recently got my first paid assignment writing blog posts for a music website.

    Thanks again for your professional advice.


    • Carol Tice

      Cool! Congrats on finding your first paying gig. The toughest part is already over now!

    • Egzon

      Hey Ian, may I contact you on facebook or through email I would like to ask you some stuff

  5. Heather

    Thanks for this great advice. I needed to read this today. I am am in the beginning stages of trying to set up a freelance business after being a SAHM for 18 years. Before I had kids I was an in-house training tech writer for a software company. The only other position I’ve held since then was as a part-time teacher for the gifted and talented program at a local elementary. My degree is a BA in English. I feel so out of touch with the industry, and that I have nothing to offer. I am scared that I have nothing to offer and posses mediocre/outdated skills. So, your insight really helped me get perspective on what I need to do–keep it simple, start small, and don’t give up. Thanks!

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Heather —

      I think you might be surprised how useful your past tech-writing experience could be, if you present it properly on a strong writer website.

      I routinely send out 10-year-old clips if it shows relevant expertise to a prospect. I’ve found no one cares how old your clips are, only that you know how to write well, and know their topic.

      With tech you might need to start reading news and just knowing what’s going on now…but don’t count yourself out or think you have to start over from scratch. You definitely have more than “nothing” to offer!

      • Heather

        Thanks Carol,

        Unfortunately, I no longer have my writing samples from my tech writing days. I kept them for 10 years, and then threw them away because I never thought I would go back to that industry (I know, stupid!). So I am officially kicking myself. That is my biggest dilemma at the moment–how to piece together a portfolio.

        p.s. I just re-read my first comment, and I’m horrified that I didn’t proofread it before hitting “submit.” Nothing like a wanna-be writer repeating herself in back-to-back sentences. Sheesh.

        • Carol Tice

          Perhaps you haven’t seen my Universal Typo Forgiveness manifesto that covers ALL comments made on my blog…it’s cool! It’s just blog comments and there will be no grading. Or quizzes given later. I find writers worry a lot about this! But please relax.

          As far as your clips…go back to the companies if they still exist, and see if copies can be found. Also search the Internet..never know what’s bouncing around out there. I once found a copy of an article I’d done for a magazine that had folded suddenly… a website of a CFO association had reprinted it, and I was able to get the clip back. 😉

          • Heather

            I love it 🙂

      • Donna F

        Oh my goodness I know just how Heather feels! When we stay home to raise our families it really makes us feel out of the loop and a bit lost when trying to re-enter the “traditional working” world. Like Heather, I was a SAHM and homeschooling mother, and that was the greatest job! But I am so grateful for all the information on your website to start towards my dream of being a self sufficient freelance writer within the next few years!!

        • Carol Tice

          I remember after my first son, I felt like my brain had melted and I’d never write anything again.

          But all you have to do is start learning and writing, and you’ll be surprised how it comes back to you.

          I was just reading the NY Times today about Art Spiegelman’s retrospective exhibit. It includes a diary entry from the 1970s where, after completing one of his cartoon series, he wrote something to the effect of: “Ugh! I’ve written all I can.” This was before Maus and the Pulitzer.

          We always have more in us than we know… 😉

          • Viv L

            Hello Carol,
            I am one of those people that went to college later on. I graduated with degree in accounting when I was 45. However, the classes I excelled at were the classes requiring writing. I aced all classes that were based on writing papers for exams and finals. I love to write and have been telling myself quite often in the last few months how my second choice would have been English and writing.
            I am horrible on social media for wanting to fix everyone’s spelling and poor use of grammar. My emails and other items I have written, tend to go on a bit because the words just flow from my head to the keyboard.
            I have been dissatisfied in my accounting position of late and was considering my own business. I came across something about freelance writing on the internet while searching for “concrete” business ideas. I became excited when I found this. I never even considered using my creative mind as the inventory and place of business.
            I am excited but I’m not sure about my next move. My portfolio consists of a few annual church reports and a few other small pieces I have written as well as a speech and a sermon. I know there is a need for writers in vast area of industries. The interviewer for one of the accounting positions I had interviewed for was extremely interested in my writing skills. In the grand scheme of things, I’m excited and this article has helped me decide my next baby step.
            Thank You,
            Viv L

          • Carol Tice

            Your accounting background should really help you go after financial-services sector clients, Viv — go for it!

  6. Lisa Gilbert

    This is a good post for the new year. It is a way to re-assess and re-commit. Thanks for this post.

  7. Julie

    I started making money freelancing in June but I am looking for more jobs. I am working on a “hire me” page for my blog as well. I feel like I have a lot I can write about.

    • Carol Tice

      That’s terrific, Julie — having a writer website or a ‘hire me’ tab on a nice niche blog is a great way to start marketing yourself and getting found by better clients.

  8. Diane

    I’m stuck on the “how can I find entry markets” because I have done much of what you have listed. Going for the packaging supply industry seemed like something I would be able to find help getting into but so far hardly any of my friends/family know anyone in that industry and the contacts I’ve made don’t know me well enough for me to ask about work. Still not giving up though.

    • Carol Tice

      If at first one niche doesn’t succeed…try, try another. 😉 Should probably add that to my Natural Laws of Freelance Writing post I did recently!

  9. Sine

    OK, enough lurking. I’ve lurked here long enough. It’s time to jump in and do some work.
    I’ve been writing since sixth grade but never published. Did the content mill run for a couple of years: you’re right about that!
    Homework for the day: fill out the checklist. I’ll go from there.

    • Carol Tice

      Congrats on moving out of lurk mode — hope the questions above help you move forward!

  10. Pauline

    Great check list. I started five years ago until I was able to quit my day job three years ago. Travel writing mainly, until last year, when I started a personal finance blog. the first contacts were friends and old customers, those online sites are great but the competition is stiff and the winning bids usually pretty low

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks for sharing your story of how you built up your freelance writing biz and then quit, Pauline!

      And you’re so right about bid sites — I could never understand why writers are so anxious to participate in a race to the bottom on price. So much better to go out and find your own clients.

  11. Corinna

    I pitched an idea to a client, a PR company for one of their clients, for a series of articles related to their clients’ business. Following up on the pitch I was told that it was an interesting idea, they would get back to me. Following up on that I got no reply. But guess what. Low and behold my idea pitch was so interesting that they obviously sold the idea to their client and ran with it themselves getting ‘freebies’, people who were using the clients’ service, written up as blogs. I was really ticked off, but there was nothing I could do about it. I have done no writing for them since – I mean, why would they pay me when they can get it free.

    So, my question is – has this happened to you, and what are your comments. I would be interested to know how you feel about this sort of thing.

    • Carol Tice

      Corinna, it’s possible they had something similar already in the works. But in any case, ideas are not copyrightable.

      There’s really nothing to do but move on…and know that you have good ideas! Present them professionally and keep marketing, and next time hopefully you’ll find yourself getting the assignment.

  12. Johanna

    I’m just starting out, as in I haven’t even gotten a freelance writing job yet! This article is really helpful, and I enjoy your other posts. Thank you for putting up all of this information for free! 🙂

  13. Pinar Tarhan

    This post is also a great inspiration fix for freelance writers who might be feeling blocked and/or in search of new ideas. Sometimes you need to get back to your roots and re-ask those questions to come with more and exciting ideas.

    (I did a quick brainstorming after reading your post 🙂 )

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Pinar — glad you found this useful!

      I do think if you’re a writer banging your head against the wall, feeling like you’re not making progress or finding good clients, these points might help you see why you’re not progressing.

      I often hear from writers who’re trying to be generalists and writing a bit of this and that, while ignoring some fantastic expertise they’ve got. I’m teaching the Blast Off Class right now, and we can’t believe how many students we have with amazing backgrounds in healthcare and other lucrative niches who’re sitting around going, “I don’t know what I should write about.”

      If you want to earn well, the thing you already know about — especially if it’s in a lucrative industry — will be a great starting point!

  14. Amanda

    Hey guys! This post is really beneficial for me and has helped me write with rhythm a lot better! I just finished writing my first novel and got it published. I was stuck in trying to publish it for a very long time but after a while I stumbled into a website ( and it helped me with everything. My book is now published and i am also earning revenue from it.

  15. Melissa

    I’m getting into one niche – e-learning and educational writing – due to a combination of experience, serendipity, and contacts. However, I’m also very interested in working my way into B2C copywriting, with which I have a little experience but nothing major or high-paying.

    I’m thinking of contacting companies that sell the kind of products I’m into – namely natural, organic, and all that good earthy stuff.

    I’ve also created a whole listed of ad, web design, and marketing agencies in my geographic area that look like they hire out for copywriters. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, any tips on breaking into one niche when your experience is in another?

    p.s. Most of my B2C material was produced for a non-profit Indian spiritual site. Although the site is a major international resource and receives upwards of 1500 visitors per day, its subject matter is not what I want to show to prospective American clients. Not sure how to handle this one.

  16. Kyndra Snoddy

    I am just starting out. I do not know where to start though. This is a great article; it forced me to take certain things into consideration that I hadn’t even thought of. I’m extremely scared as well. I love to write; its always been my passion. I’m not the best writer, I still have a long way to go before I master my craft, but I know that it is the first thing that I do when I wake up and the last thing I do before I go to bed. I’m in college right now pursing a degree in Journalism. I’m only a freshman so I don’t have much education under my belt. However, since I’ve been in school I’ve made straight A’s. I’m in my second semester right now. I’m 26 and I hope to have my Bachelors by the time I’m 30. It’s because of my age that I want to start putting myself out there now. Will someone look at my limited education as a problem?

    • Carol Tice

      Since I’m a college dropout, I’m certainly not going to say so!

      • Kyndra Snoddy

        Thanks for your response! I’m going to start making inquires as soon as possible!

  17. Amirah Cook

    Thank you so much for this article and everyone for your comments! I love this website! I set out to travel the world with my husband as we attempt to master our crafts, mine writing, his painting. To fund the trip I started building websites for companies and found that creating all the content is another way to generate revenue. I went from building a restaurant a website to translating and creating new menus for them as well, while my husband adds a mural or canvas painting to their dining area. I really want to step up my online presence to enjoy working from anywhere more often. I’ve just been stuck with how to get my foot in the door. I am going to add a hire me to our blog which I am determined to update regularly after a long hiatus. Hopefully I’ll have another comment soon to tell how I broke into my freelance writing career! Thanks again!

  18. nikhil ganotra

    Heyy carol,
    Very informative post. I have read many articles of yours and all were awesome and effective. You actually write so good. I always wanted to be a freelance writer only after establishing a good reputation of my blog. And after reading this ultimate guide I think I can make my journey to freelance writing. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful guide.

    Stay blessed, Happy Blogging 🙂

  19. Brooklyn

    Im a high school student looking into the field of journalism but i want to start as a freelance writer. It’d be much appreciated if i had information what to do at my age and is it possible to work as a freelancer at my age and if so can i make profit?

    • Carol Tice

      Brooklyn, you’re free to follow the steps in this guide and tap local organizations and businesses, as well as your local paper, just like older writers. You have the advantage of not having much in the way of expenses, so you’re free to build your portfolio working for free or cheap.

      Go for it! I think you’ll be surprised how many people will admire your enthusiasm and initiative in wanting to build your career early and will welcome a chance to have you write for them.

  20. Steve Szubert

    I think the ground rules of where to focus, set out so clearly in this article, has just saved me from many months – maybe years – of trial and error and heartaches. Thank you Carol.

    • Carol Tice

      I hope so, Steve! Glad you found this post helpful.

  21. Deborah Francisco

    Thank you for such a clear way of laying it out for a beginner. I’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and was going to do so in what you mentioned as the content mills. I’ll try a different approach now 🙂

  22. Loura Lawrence

    Hi Carol!

    I’m a new reader, but I have been reading many of your articles and advice. Thank you for all these great tips, and thank you especially for your kind encouragement to new writers!



    • Carol Tice

      You’re welcome, Loura! For more for new writers, just click that tag down in the “We talk about…” section in the sidebar.

  23. Sachin

    I can write the articles easily or you can say re-write it if i get the content sufficiently..But i don’t know how to write a article when you don’t have any content..Like i want to write Long article on upcoming gadget but wouldn’t get sufficient content from any high level websites..What should i do ? Can you please suggest me ?

    • Carol Tice

      Sachin, you might want to check out Article Writing Masterclass — it starts on Wed. We talk about how to get credible information to develop a salable article.

  24. De' Lauren

    Hello Carol,

    Thanks so much for your advice! I’ve written down the questions listed above, and have been true to every answer. I’m brand spanking new to freelancing, but I am willing to gain the knowledge necessary, and implement the proper practices to make this work! Looking forward to being my own boss,too. 🙂


  25. Drew


    I find myself in forums like this from time to time and after reading down the page, there is always that surge of optimism at the thought of being free, free of jerk bosses, free of the angst associated with feeling like life is wasting away and free from the confines of unsatisfying 9-5 job. But then…a week, two weeks have gone by and I realize that writing jobs I’ve applied for are NOT interested and more often than not, I receive zero feedback. Flash forward, I’m back at my awful, mundane job and the hope writing to live seems to fade away more and more as the years go by. My name is Drew, I’m thirty years old and I have been in the food service industry since I was a teenager. I have a degree but recently decided to, sadly, finally join the “family” business of welding because, frankly, it pays better. I’m asking for help, inspiration or input. I maintain the dream of loving what I do but circumstances are making it seem impossible.

    • Rob S

      Hey Drew, I can relate to your predicament. I felt like you for most of my working life. In my case, I thought I was being realistic not pursuing writing as a career. To a degree, I think I was, but I also held myself back by imagining I had to have a journalism degree to even get published. Then, at the age of about 45, I pitched an article to a surfing magazine. I thought, “I’m not a name writer, so they’ll just hand it over to one of their writers.” I got the gig and a bunch of others for the same magazine. It was the start I needed, but I still didn’t pursue it full time until all my other options ran out. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m now earning decent money writing. The only advice I can offer is to not give up. Keep working, but keep your eyes open for opportunities. I started my new career at the age of 60. If I’d had more confidence, I probably could have started at 30. In fact, a guy I knew finished his first book at 35 and ended up working for the New Yorker on the strength of that. Meanwhile, I was still telling myself “I need a degree.”

      • Drew

        Thank you, Rob. It means a great deal to me to have the insight of a peer in regards to this business of juxtaposition between the practical and the seemingly lofty career paths. It’s been a mostly private struggle for me and there is relief in the simple act of writing to you now because you understand it. I appreciate your encouragement. I will go at this thing from a different angle to see what’s to be found. Again, thank you.

    • Carol Tice

      Great advice from Rob there.

      Mine is — stop “applying to writing jobs.” Online job ads are mostly a dead end, and reading those ads will make you think there isn’t a living in this. You need to learn how to prospect, find good freelance clients, and market to them.

      Check out my ebooks tab for a ton of affordable help in that department — even have a book in presale right now that’s currently $1.99 that probably would be useful to you.

      • Drew

        Hello Carol,

        I can afford $1.99 and I will make that purchase. I just want to say that I think you must be one of the genuine, salt of the earth yet angelic people because after reading all the posts and replies here today because I have searched the web for fifteen years and never found a spot so comfortable with advice passing so freely and readily. Thanks for your time and I look forward to posting in the future much happier news than my first post.

        • Carol Tice

          Thanks for making my day, Drew — my readers are the best, aren’t they?

          I think that’s a big factor in why people join my Freelance Writers Den community, too — it’s just such a relief to find forums where everyone is dead-serious about their writing career, and are willing to share their experience.

  26. Ahmad Rasheed

    After Hearing 50$ per hour, its quite reasonable, it would be great if you provide any list of Freelance companies hiring people to write articles with hourly prices or like that…thanks

  27. Julieta

    This article is so helpful! I’ve been researching for information on the process of getting started but working backwards because I’ve just landed my first gig.

    Something I’m having trouble finding is specifically on navigating the deal and how handle sending drafts. I’ve read that you don’t send a file in a usable format until the final payment has been made but don’t know what file type to send it in while I go through drafts and revisions. Any thoughts?

    • Carol Tice

      Ask your client what format they want it in, Julieta.

      For info on negotiating and contracts, check out my Freelance Business Bootcamp e-book: — we give contract samples and go clause by clause and discuss all the basics you need to know.

  28. sharon kumar K

    Hi guys.I’d like to ask a question.I’m a student and I want to do parttime I live in India is there any scope for freelance writing.if there please guide me how to start.hope it would help.

    • Carol Tice

      Sharon, looks like you’ll probably need to begin by working on your English literacy, if you’re looking to earn in English.

      I’m not a specialist in what freelance writing markets there are in India in your native language, but that might be the best place to begin.

  29. Dawn

    This article is very helpful. I recently left a teaching career, and I’m currently working 25 hrs/week to bring in some money while I try to launch a freelance writing career. This is something I have dreamed of my entire life, so now that I’m middle-aged, I feel like it’s finally time to stop dreaming and start doing. While I know it will take some time, it is very important that I earn a decent amount, as we are raising 3 children. I have a couple of questions…I have virtually NO social networking experience and do not have a website. Is it important to establish these prior to starting to write? If so, which social networking avenues do you recommend starting with? Also, I saw in the article that you recommend setting a goal of earning at least $50/hr. Is that still a valid goal? I noticed that the article is a couple of years old, so I was just curious about whether that has changed or if that is still a good starting point (of course I know this depends of several factors – experience, type of writing, etc.). One more question…since I am currently working and raising children, my time will be limited until I can earn enough to quit my job. What is the minimum time commitment per week you would recommend to get started? Thank you so much for your site & freelance writer’s den. I plan to spend a lot of time there in the near future!)

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Dawn — A writer website is really a ‘must’ for presenting yourself professionally…but don’t wait to start writing and trying to find clients. That’s always first. My ebook Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success takes you through how to get going quickly.

      Whether you need to know social media depends on what types of writing you plan to do. If you’re blogging, for instance, they’re important.

      Yes, $50 an hour is still a good bottom rate — we see writers getting initial gigs at $35-$50 an hour, and from there you should try to move up rapidly.

      I don’t know about a minimum time commitment…this will just go slower if you devote less time to it. But I’d recommend you check out my friend Linda’s ebook Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race, which is great for tips on productivity and making the transition to full-time freelance (yes, I do affiliate sell it! It’s great.)


  1. Friday Finds for Writers - [...] This is getting to be a habit. Every week, it seems, I can’t resist sharing one of Carol Tice’s…
  2. Link love (Powered by hard talk and apple pie) - [...] Here’s the Make a Living Writing guide to getting started as a freelance writer [...]
  3. Getting Started Freelance Writing: What You Should Know. - [...] The New Freelance Writer’s Guide to Getting Started @ Make a Living Writing [...]
  4. 7 Beliefs That Limit Your Freelance Writing Earnings « Daryl George - […] to gain writing work.  For example, popular freelance writer and blogger Carol Tice suggests that $50 per hour is a reasonable…
  5. Time To Wear The Editor’s Hat! 9 Reasons Why Guest Posts Are A Clever Idea - […] The New Freelance Writer’s Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started by Carol Tice […]
  6. Finding Places To Get Paid To Write Online - John McDuffie - […] The New Freelance Writer’s Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started […]

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