How Did I Build My Successful Freelance Writing Career?

Establishing yourself as a freelance writer can be one of the most rewarding career choices today, but climbing the ladder of success involves making some very important decisions.

The growth of your freelance writing career will depend greatly upon how you approach your work as well as whom you choose to work for.

Strategy, planning and organization can be vital for your freelance writing career but you’ll also need to be savvy and have skills related to business and technology.

If you’re not the most adept person in these areas, working daily in the field of freelance writing will help you build the skills needed to become a highly respected writer.

These four steps will also help get your freelance business off of the ground.

1. Find Work as a Freelance Writer

Once your writing career is established, you will miss having days without deadlines and free time to write about your personal interests. For the moment, however, your main goal is choosing a reputable source for freelance writing jobs, somewhere that will help you advance in your writing career.

There are numerous websites for freelance writers and none of them share the same policies and functions, so you will have to choose the platform that works best for your needs and the skills you have to offer.

It would be impossible to list all of the freelance sites providing work for writers, so here are a few worthy of mention.

how to be a successful freelance writer


Writers create small advertisements called gigs which offer ultra-cheap freelance services. While $5.00 seems grossly undesirable for someone with above average writing skills, it is important to think of Fiverr as an excellent source for making new connections.

These connections are site owners and managers who’ve grown weary of sifting through gigs every time they need an article or blog post written.

If you take your work and the deadlines seriously, you’ll gain popularity quickly due to customer feedback and the five star rating system.

Note: It’s against Fiverr rules to trade contact information with your customers but if they like your work, the more resourceful ones will hunt you down and hire you full time. I now manage the content of several blogs due to my humble beginnings at Fiverr.


Completely opposite from the Fiverr platform, the Freelancer site allows website owners and content managers to post their writing projects so freelance writers can bid to get the jobs they want.

Freelancer gives writers access to larger projects including articles, blog posts and product descriptions.

If you are an American freelance writer and English is your first language, you will have an advantage that does not require underbidding to get the jobs you want.

By meeting deadlines and delivering topnotch work, your freelancer portfolio will lure in direct freelance writing offers.

Note: You are only guaranteed payment for work on Freelancer if the employer has uploaded a down payment, called a milestone, for the writing project. While the rates won’t compare to the well paid writers at Crowd Content, this is a great site to learn about the world of freelance writing.

Crowd Content

I have been writing professionally for more than five years. In my personal experience, no other freelance writing site compares to the variety of work and the money that can be made on Crowd Content.

Unlike other sites where writers are charged or paid unfairly and promotions are slow coming, the Crowd Content platform protects the writer and rewards him well for delivering pristine work on time.

2. Sites to Avoid

how to be successful as a freelancer

There are many other great websites for freelance writers, but there are a few platforms to avoid. Personally, I was not impressed with the iwriter platform. Writers are often forced to complete the work they accept within extremely short deadlines, often less than an hour.

You won’t have access to larger paying jobs until you’ve spent a considerable amount of time working for peanuts, and their rating system is severely lacking.

You also won’t have much luck on the Elance platform, which is now called Upwork, until you have established yourself as a successful writer and have an impressive portfolio or solid writing samples.

On this site, you may find that a formal education is necessary to compete with the many other freelancers who are also looking for work.

3. Start Your Writer’s Portfolio

As a freelance writer, it is important to remember that the work you complete for others is no longer owned by you once payment has been received. However, it is highly recommended that you create a writer’s portfolio and share the links to some of your best work.

Build a writer portfolio to show freelance clients

You should also strive to keep this portfolio updated with recent projects as they are completed.

Note: Regardless of how talented you are a writer now, your writing skills will improve with each new project completed, and this will be evident in your portfolio. There are several sites to choose from but I have found that Clippings Me is the best place to start your own portfolio …and absolutely free unless you choose the optional upgrade.

Establish Credibility with a Website

Regardless of how tech savvy you are, a website that showcases your work and services is detrimental to your successful freelance writing career. There are many options available but if you need something that is both affordable and simple to use, a writer’s website on the WordPress platform will be easiest to manage.

Many successful freelance writers today have opted to include a blog on their dedicated websites to help establish credibility in the field.

It is highly recommended that you also add a blog to your site and write about things which are closely related to the services you provide and helpful to current and future clients.

4. Socialize and Interact Online

There are numerous websites and social media platforms to help you advance as a freelance writer but this will involve dedication and engagement.

Not only will you need to share interesting and relevant information through guest blogging and social media, but you will also need to like, retweet and share the content of others to build a strong rapport in the community.

how to use soclal media to be a better freelance writer

Social Media

Recommended platforms for freelance writers include Facebook and Twitter. Also, it is important for freelance writers not to overlook the value of LinkedIn and Google Plus when looking for work and advancement.

Guest Blogging

Never underestimate the value of guest blogging.

While you won’t receive immediate reward in the form of payment, your article or blog post will help you establish credibility in the field. In the process, you will also gain helpful links for your writer’s website and add variety to your online portfolio.

Guest blogging on reputable sites such as the Crowd Content blog requires engagement after your articles are published.

For your success, you should share articles to your preferred social media platforms, and respond to questions and comments left by others.

The four steps listed above will help you lay the foundation for a successful freelance writing business. While there is still much more to be learned, this is a great beginning for any serious freelance writer.


Article by

After pursuing an AAS in Nursing at Three Rivers College and Black River Technical College, Kerri found her true calling was writing. Now a full time writer on Crowd Content, she delivers original work that is highly researched and well-written, and is quick to welcome direct orders.

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