Freelancing for a Living

Getting Started With Freelance

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Embarking on any new career can be overwhelming and intimidating. Knowing where to start is more difficult when you want to work from home independently, for example as a freelance writer. There is no boss or company to give you feedback, work does not come automatically, and the paycheck is not always guaranteed at the end of the month. How can an aspiring freelance content writer get started?

Just like any other home business, starting a web content writing business can be stressful if one does not know where to begin.

This article provides excellent resources that can help you in getting started as a freelance content writer.

Use search engines

Conducting a search in engines such as Yahoo or Google will yield many results with job opportunities and useful information. Search phrases like "web content writers", "freelance writers wanted" and "freelance writing jobs" will bring up many results, some of them job boards where you can find suitable openings. A search for "submission guidelines" or "writer's guidelines" may direct you to sites that receive work from freelance writers, such as print magazines or online magazines.

Bid for a job

In your search results, you will come across sites where people bid for work such as and Though most of these sites are legitimate, they will take a small portion of what the client pays you. You also need to be aware that many other writers are bidding for the same jobs, so bidding often increases your chances of winning a bid. Make sure you read all contractual terms carefully and review the site's bidding rules before participating.

Writers' communities

Many communities and forums offer a variety of opportunities and resources for aspiring writers. In such forums, you can read about clients who don't pay, writing scams and job opportunities, as well as other writing resources and tips. You will also find references to writers' blogs that have writing job leads.

Freelancing job sites

These sites are often visited by freelance writers for job leads and market listings, tips on useful writing programs and projects, and the latest writing news. Such sites include and One of the most visited sites by new writers is the famous, where you may subscribe to their magazine which is a must-read for established and new writers. These sites are great sources for market updates and information that will keep you in the loop of freelancing.

Be aware of scams

As a freelance content writer who is starting off, you may be tempted to sign up for, or apply for, any program or offer you come across in an attempt to build up your resume. Keep in mind that the internet has many scammers and businesses ready to take advantage of your eagerness. Never pay for a writing job, even if the company gives you a legitimate-sounding reason to do so.

Don't sell yourself short

The most important thing to remember is not to sell your abilities or yourself short. Only sell your work for what you believe it is worth. Think about the effort and time you have put into it, and price your work appropriately. If you don't underestimate yourself or your work, your client will never underestimate your abilities.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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