So you’ve decided to learn some freelance writing tips for beginners.
Welcome to the freelancing club!
Freelance writing has provided me with a steady income for the last two years. So much so that I hire writing help so I can work on other areas like backlink growth.
It’s through hiring I’ve realized writing a blog post for a freelance client is easier said than done. It’s the reason why so many business owners outsource their content.
With freelance writing, you get what you pay for. The writers who charge $100 plus for a 500-word article usually deserve it.
If you can write a killer piece for a business, you’ll get more client work.
Your clients will also make sure to keep you because it will cost a lot more to replace you.
More importantly, you’ll have a great portfolio to show to future clients, and you’ll be able to command higher fees.
To get there, you’ll need to know how to craft a piece that’s well-formatted, engaging, yet factual and informative. More importantly, the writing must do its job, which is to generate revenue through traffic, signups, and sales.
If you can do this, you’ll be an in-demand freelance writer.
Here are 10 key freelance writing tips for beginners.
1. What would you want to read?
Before you start, you’ll have a keyword or headline to work from. If you were reading a blog post on the topic, what would you want to read?
How should it be structured?
What’s the voice?
What’s the headline?
Even if the client has specifications, you can find ways to add your own flavor.
Technical writing can still sound upbeat and engaging.
Funny or satirical content can still have statistics.
Keep your reader in mind and put on your reader hat to get you in the right mood to churn out your content.
2. The End Is Where I Begin
What’s the takeaway? What do you want your reader to learn or do at the end of the post? Once you get the specifics down, you can reverse-engineer your blog post. This takeaway could be in the form of a Call To Action (CTA) or a solid conclusion.
With the end in mind, you can structure your paragraphs, key points, and research accordingly. This saves you time and makes writing a more enjoyable experience.
3. Practice AIDA
The AIDA acronym stands for Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. Most writers practice AIDA in sales pages and other forms of Copywriting. However, AIDA can be useful in a blog post or long-form article too.
The first few lines should get the reader’s attention, while the next two paragraphs should help build some interest. This should all lead to desire, then action.
The Kopywriting Kourse’s Neville Medhora breaks it down perfectly.
Most blog posts can survive without it. But if you can sprinkle in AIDA, you’ll outwrite your competition and land more clients with ease. This is probably one of the best freelance writing tips for beginners.
4. Basic On-Page SEO Is A Gamechanger
Search Engine Optimization is a series of steps to help your website and content rank on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SEO is the nexus of articles, blogs, service pages, and case studies. If these can rank on the first page, readers can turn into customers, which will increase revenue.
It’s a requirement of freelance writers to at least know on-page SEO. These are the necessary steps of formatting to give your content the best chance of writing. Sites like Yoast SEO, Hubspot, Backlinko, and Moz have online courses on the topic. You need to know steps like:
- Create proper H1, H2, and H3 headings.
- Use keywords and keyword variations seamlessly throughout the content.
- Create meta descriptions.
- Use Alt text/tags on images.
If you optimize your content for your client, you become a more significant asset saving them time and improving their rankings.
5. Slap on Sexy Subheadings
Headings make readers who like to skim content stop in their tracks to learn more. To grab them, you have to get creative with your subheadings. Don’t just use bland subheadings like “Next Step.”
Try to use Power Words and craft phrases from books, movies, or famous quotes.
6. Use Images, Screenshots, Bullets, and Charts
Sometimes, your client will not request images, bullets, or charts. If it’s not an issue, use them liberally to break up monotonous writing. Create unique images if time allows in Canva. You can go a step further and create an infographic; a visual representation of your content. This can improve the reader’s on-screen time and create a smoother experience.
7. Use helpful (and free) tools to tighten your writing
There are tools like Hemingway Editor and Grammarly that can get rid of wordy sentences, filler words, and hard to understand paragraphs. You should write freely and edit closely. Most times, you can say something in a few words. Using the active voice helps a lot. These tools can help you zone in on your message and impress your readers and clients.
8. But don’t depend on Grammarly
Grammarly works, but it can handicap writers. It could suggest you remove or replace words that won’t sound right if you were speaking with someone.
You want your writing to sound a bit conversational.
That may mean a sentence with two words, an overused word, or even a passive voice.
If it makes sense, keep it.
8. Study the best
Are there blogs you love reading? If not, find a few blogs in your niche and start consuming their content. For me, most of my content is health and medical-related. So I consume content from Bustle, Self, Healthline, and Medical News Today. In terms of long-form content (5,000 words and more), there’s none better online than Brian Dean’s Backlinko and Ryan Robinson. Find the time to rewrite some of their content, so you can get a feel for writing in-depth, detailed content.
9. Have fun with it
It’s draining to sit for hours slamming your keyboard. You should at least have some fun! Add funny quotes, memes, interesting facts, and figures. Your client may take them out, or they might appreciate it. Either way, it was not a drag for you.
10. Create a template
When you’re all done, create a standard template and SOP for creating your posts. Your formula helps you write faster, meaning you can work fewer hours or take on more clients. You can even teach other writers your steps to turn your freelance writing into something scalable.
Now it’s your turn
It’s not enough to stick together some points from different websites. You need to plan, create, and format a blog post to attract business. It takes a bit of time, but you will eventually have a formula you can work with. That formula will get you out of the $20 blog post level faster.
That’s 10 super powerful freelance writing tips for beginners right there.