Over the last few weeks I have received an endless amount of texts, emails and messages from aspiring journalists and writers learning how they could begin freelance writing with no experience. As a freelancer who once had “no experience” I hate when anyone asks me how to begin if they don’t have experience because if you’ve completed any amount of grade school, you my friend have experience in writing.
Ever written a term paper? Experience.
Ever written a thank you note? Experience.
Ever written a an email? Experience.
The question really is not how do you get started with no experience, it’s about how to get started with the experience you have and quite frankly it’s not as hard as you may think.
Here are a few quick and easy ways you can start freelance writing with no experience.
Start a Blog
Years ago, I started a blog (that I should probably bring back from the dead one day) and I was surprised that my one little blog resulted in many companies and brands reaching out to me about sponsorship opportunities and even guest writing opportunities. With sites such as a Medium, Blogger and Wordpress it is now easier than ever to start a blog. Consider it as hiring yourself before someone else does.
Write for Free
Yes, I am an advocate for writing for free and if you’ve read any of my blogs in the past this is no surprise to you. Writing for free could be one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your freelance career especially if you are granted the opportunity to write for a website such as Inc, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Forbes etc. these opportunities will position you as a thought leader and after consistency posting quality content, you can either begin pitching more publications for paid opportunities or you will notice more and more companies and individuals reaching out to you about freelance opportunities.
Internships are like writing for free in many ways but often times publications will grant interns a few more perks than just a volunteer freelancer. If you’re granted the opportunity to have an internship with a major publication after you’ve already graduated or even while you’re in college, MILK IT. I remember as a college student I interned for Proctor & Gamble as a Brand Ambassador and I used it as a boost to help me get through doors that otherwise may have never been opened to me and quite frankly I continue to use that as leverage as an adult.
This may shock you but many of your favorite bloggers may not write their own content *gasps*. The cat is now out of the bag. As a writer I was often shocked to find out that ghost writing was a real thing outside of the music industry. Okay, maybe I’m naive but I had no idea. As a freelance writer most of my experience actually has come from ghost writing for other people and while sometimes I do get a little salty when I see a post I wrote for someone else to go viral, I’m still thankful because I know that I am a writer who can produce content that captivates. Bottom line.
Just Get Started
When I first graduated from college I was often told no because I didn’t have any experience and I used to complain like crazy. Now? I’ve stopped complaining and like Nike, I just do it. That same encouragement goes to you. Don’t focus on the fact that you don’t have the right experience to do it, I’ve given you tips on how to get started and now my friend? Just do it.
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