This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can find my full disclosure page here.
If you’re looking for a legitimate way to make money from home, you’ve probably heard about people freelancing. But what’s freelance writing? Keep reading to discover the definition of a freelance writer.
As a basic definition, freelance writing is the act of generating content for other people or companies. If you’re a freelance writer, you aren’t an employee for a company. Rather, you are a freelancer.
So the definition of a freelance writer is someone who produces content for clients on a freelance basis and is paid for that work.
Here you’ll find more information about what it means to be a freelancer, the benefits of freelance writing, plus tips to help you get started as a freelancer. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
What’s a Freelancer?
A freelancer is a type of work situation. If you’re a freelancer, you are considered self-employed. This means that there is no set schedule for when you work or how much money you make. You also aren’t tied to one company (unless, of course, it’s your own business).
There are pros and cons for being a freelancer. Since you’re your own boss, you can choose when and how much you work. This is a major pro for many people.
Additionally, as a freelancer, you can choose the type of writing you want to do. If you don’t like a project, you don’t have to take it. You also get to choose your clients. This is great because you can work with people you like and who respect your work.
On the other hand, as a freelancer, you must manage your own taxes and expenses. This can be a downside for some people because it takes time away from writing. In addition to tax filing, as a freelancer, you will also have to make sure you have any necessary business licenses or permits.
Note: Your business is a business, not a hobby. Treat it as such. Open it legally (which varies from location to location). Start a business checking account and keep your funds separate from your personal funds.
Benefits of Being a Freelance Writer
There are different types of freelancers. For instance, you could be a freelance bookkeeper, a freelance graphic designer, or a freelance photographer. And while all of those are great ways to make money from home, the type of freelancing work that I recommend for busy moms is freelance writing.
Freelance writing has many benefits. It can be a great way to make money from home. You can work when you want, how you want, and where you want. That’s because it’s very flexible. (And flexibility is key for busy parents!)
You also have the freedom to choose your clients and projects. And best of all, you get to decide what rates to charge. There isn’t a limit to the amount you can earn.
You can write a couple of articles a month and bring in a few hundred dollars or get more clients and create more content to make a full-time living. The choice is yours.
How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer
Think of all the words on all the websites out there. A freelance writer created a good chunk of that content.
But blog posts and articles for the web aren’t the only way you can get paid for freelance writing. Here are some other types of writing you can do:
- Magazine articles
- Social media ad writing
- Training manuals
- Procedural guides
- Video game tutorials
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many different types of content you can create. So start thinking about the type of writing you want to do.
What’s Freelance Writing? How Does It Actually Work?
But if you’re wondering: what’s freelance writing? How do I actually get paid to create content? Here’s a quick look at the steps involved in the process:
- Decide what type of writing you want to do
- Create a couple of samples to use as a portfolio
- Send pitches to find clients
- Communicate expectations with clients to learn what kind of content they want and how much they’re going to pay
- Write the content
- Submit it to your client
- Send an invoice
- Get paid
- Save part of your money for taxes
It sounds like a lot, but once you get in the hang of it, it’s really not bad. Of course, freelance writing is a lot of work. But it’s definitely something you can do as a busy mom.
After all, I’m a large family homeschooling mom with ten of my eleven kids still at home. If I can find time to make money as a freelance writer, you can too. You’ve got this!
Where to find clients for your work
While some experts recommend getting started with sites like Upwork or Freelancer, I don’t. There are plenty of reasons why I don’t like these types of sites, but that’s not the point of this post.
You don’t need to use a freelance platform to find clients as a freelancer. Instead, I recommend looking at job boards. That’s where I found my first paying client back in 2015. And I still get an occasional client from these boards today.
The free board on ProBlogger is the one I recommend when you’re first starting out. It’s free and has a good variety of gigs listed. I made a video explaining how to use this job board. You can watch that here:
When you see a job you think you can do, you need to send a pitch. That’s a basic email explaining why you’d be a great fit.
This post has more details about how to find clients and successfully land gigs:
Other things you should know about freelancing
There are a few other things you should know before you start freelancing.
1: Always save part of your money for taxes. You will need to pay self-employment taxes, which is a little bit higher than regular taxes. I’m not an accountant, so I’m not going to give you much advice on this topic. However, I do have a post that explains how I track my income and expenses. You can find that here:
2: Communication is essential. I’m a definite introvert. And one of the reasons I love working from home is that I can work alone without having to deal with office drama. But I was amazed at how many people I interact with as a freelancer. I talk to my clients (some on the phone, some on Zoom, and several through email or messaging apps.) I also talk to other freelancers. Networking is important!
3: Keep track of your deadlines. It’s easy to forget a deadline if you don’t write it down. Keeping a planner right next to your laptop is a great way to make sure you remember when something needs to be done (here’s the one I use).
And if something comes up, talk to your client as soon as possible. It’s a lot easier to say, “Hey Leigh, my kid ended up in the ER and I’m going to need to submit this article on Tuesday instead of Monday” than it is to miss a deadline with no notice and have your client mad at you. Let them know upfront that you’ll sometimes need some extra time if at all possible.
4: And finally, make sure you actually enjoy writing. This is what I love doing, but if you’re not really into it, freelancing isn’t going to be fun for you. If content creation isn’t your favorite thing to do, consider finding other ways to make money online that are still compatible with being a busy mom (like the ones in this post).
Resources for getting started as a freelancer
You do need a laptop and an internet connection. I love my MacBook Pro now, but I started off with a $200 cheapie computer from Walmart. You need it to work, it doesn’t have to be the best of the best when you’re just getting started.
You also need a word processor or writing app: Google Docs will get the job done. So will Microsoft Word if you already have a subscription to it.
There are also some great free tools you can use to make your job easier. I spell those out in this post:
But eventually, you may get to the point where you’re ready to invest in your business to help accelerate your growth. If you have a bit of money to spend, here are a couple of resources I recommend:
30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success: This was the course I took when I was first getting started, and Gina has updated it consistently since then. It’s a great resource and one I highly recommend!
A freelance writing website: A site of your own can help clients find you. When you’re ready to make one, I recommend hosting with FastComet. Here’s a post on what your site needs to include, plus 15 inspirational examples for you:
What’s Freelance Writing? A Flexible Home Business.
Freelancing is one of the most flexible and lucrative ways to make money online. There are many opportunities for freelancers, whether you’re looking for a part-time gig or full-time career.
With freelance writing, there’s no limit on how much time you can spend per day or week working from home – it all depends on what works best with your lifestyle. If this sounds like something that might be suited for you, I recommend reading my blog post about getting started as a freelancer. I dive deeper into topics such as finding clients and creating your content.
You can make money from home as a freelance writer. Get started today!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.