Listen Money Matters - Free your inner financial badass. All the stuff you should know about personal finance.

Become a Freelance Writer and Quit Your Full-Time Job

Aug. 3, 2015

If you are tired of your time and your income being tied together, you might have considered a career as a freelance writer. But can anyone actually make money writing? You can, and I do. I finally quit my full-time gig and now work for myself. I’ll show you how to become a freelance writer and quit your full-time job.
 Many people dismiss freelance writing, considering it not a real career. But a career is something you get paid to do. And if you can crack how to become a freelance writer and get paid a decent amount for it, guess what? You can have a career as a writer.
 How to Become a Freelance Writer
 You can begin to make money writing by starting your own blog and monetizing it. The problem is, this takes some time. You often hear about “overnight successes” in blogging or lots of other careers, but that is rare, very rare.
 It’s much much faster to get someone else to pay you to blog. That’s how I get paid to blog. You still need to start a blog though. Your blog is your personal portfolio. It’s a way to show potential clients what you can do.
 What’s Your Passion?
 
 It doesn’t matter. I enjoy writing about money because it helps people, but I wouldn’t call it my passion.
 If you want to make money freelance writing, find out what people are paying for. If one of those things happens to be something you’re passionate about, great!
 But telling people, they will automatically make money by following their passion is bullshit.
So spend some time on freelancing sites and see what topic people are hiring bloggers to write about and start a blog about that. The more niche your topic, the better.
If you want to blog about vegetarian cooking, guess what? A million other people already did it, and there are a handful of big, well-known sites gobbling up all the traffic. A Google search for those words brings up 15,900,000 results.
You can still write about vegetarian cooking but how about vegetarian cooking for children or for menopause? Those bring up 2,800,000 and 802,000 respectively.
The more niche you are, the faster you can make an impact.
You don’t need to be an expert on a topic though. Here’s a secret. I didn’t know hardly anything about personal finance when I started writing for LMM.
I listened to tons of podcasts, read tons of articles and books on the subject and learned as I went.

You’re Not a Techy
Great, you have your topic all picked out, and you’ve been educating yourself about it. Now you need to design your site and get it up on the web. But you don’t know how to do either of those things.
You don’t have to be a web designer or developer to start a blog. Your grandmother could make a blog using WordPress. A staggering 30% of all websites were made with WordPress.
WordPress offers hundreds of templates to choose from, and you can customize them with your branding. And WordPress is free to use. If you want to use some of the premium plugins, there is a cost but to build your site is free.
You need to host your site too. You can do that at HostGator starting for just $2.75 a month, and HostGator is compatible with WordPress.
Engage Your Audience
 
Let’s be honest. Personal finance is not the most scintillating subject. It’s a vital one, but it can be pretty dry. But if I do say so myself, LMM takes a dry subject and makes it funny and interesting while providing easy to follow, actionable advice that will improve your finances.
That’s what you want to strive for no matter what subject you choose to blog about. Use your own voice. I write as I speak (that’s why there are so many swear words in my articles) and it makes my posts more c...

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