What it Takes to Be a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing isn’t for everyone, but it can be for you if you’re willing to hone specific skillsets that will allow you to succeed. It all depends on how much you want it.

That’s the first thing you need to do: ask yourself what your motivations actually are in becoming a freelance writer and if they’re sufficient to getting the job done.

So do you want it? If you do, the important thing to remember is that it’s possible; it’s not a field that bars entry arbitrarily. There aren’t tests to pass, certifications to purchase, or even degrees to earn in order to become a qualified freelance writer.

In fact, a degree isn’t necessary at all. It’s nice to have, especially when you’re trying to make your resume look as attractive as possible, but your potential clients are going to be paying more attention to your work portfolio, reputation, and recommendations than where you went to school and what you studied.

So What Do You Need?

We’ve covered what you don’t need: formal writing certifications. Now let’s discuss the four must-have qualities every successful freelance writer does need.

  1. Writing skills
  2. Self-editing skills
  3. Quick turnaround
  4. Job satisfaction

Writing Skills

Yeah, you’re gonna need these if you want to become a writer. Writing skills can be honed with practice, as with any type of skill, but if written communication has always been a struggle for you, you should probably ask yourself why you want to be a writer. The main thing is that you enjoy it; if you do, write prolifically, be receptive to feedback and criticism, capitalize on opportunities to write for others, and ultimately do what you need to do in order to improve your desired craft.

Remember that your clients will only be your clients if they are satisfied with your work. They will expect their freelance writer to write well.

Self-Editing Skills

As a freelance writer, you’re a writing department unto yourself. Quality Assurance is your responsibility. How good are you at proofreading your own work? This depends on how strong a grasp you have of grammar rules. You will need to be a proficient self-editor if you want to be a successful freelance writer; you cannot expect your clients to do this for you.

It’s always hard to see mistakes in a piece of work you’ve just finished, so manage your deadline schedule in such a way that you finish your writing projects with enough time before the deadline for you to revisit and revise the text with fresh eyes.

Quick Turnaround

Remember, there’s no shortage of freelance writers and anything that gives you an edge is a good thing. Oftentimes, this will be your turnaround speed. If you can write well and fast, you will become invaluable to your clients, especially the ones that often have strict, last-minute deadlines.

Luckily, this is also a skill that can be improved with practice. Whether your issue is with typing speed, inspiration, or simply writing flow, there are exercises you can do to type faster, generate creative and original ideas, and ultimately start and finish your projects quickly—all while maintaining a peerless level of quality.

Job Satisfaction

You need to like what you do. Can you do it full-time and still be satisfied? As a freelance writer, that is all you will be doing. It’s up to you to create some variety in the projects you take on, but the fact remains that you will be writing, writing, writing. If you don’t enjoy it at a root level, freelance writing may not be for you.


Have you found any other qualities to be essential as you’ve established yourself as a freelance writer? Share your experiences in the comments!


Hamill, Kate. “So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer.” (January 14, 2015.)

Top Ten Best Places To Find Writing Inspiration This Summer

We’re all guilty of sitting in a room with our eyes fixated to the laptop while our fingers relentlessly tap away at keys, but is that really the best situation for writing great content?

There’s nothing inspiring about writing in the same place all the time, so one common method authors use to revamp their creativity is by simply changing their environment. New York Times columnist Carol Kaufmann wrote this piece back in 2013 on how writing outdoors can stimulate the senses and enhance creativity.

If you want to improve the quality of your content and find writing inspiration, try changing your environment. Not sure where to go? Here are our top ten best places to find writing inspiration for you to try out while you craft your latest blog post.

Where To Go To Find Writing Inspiration


Local Parks
This is one of the most relaxing and inspirational locations for writers. With a fully charged laptop, spend a few hours writing at a nearby park. As you observe all the activities and life happening around you, you’re bound to strike inspiration. Just make sure to leave your cell phone at home and be free of all technological distractions.



We all know libraries are a great place to write because they’re quiet and full of resources, so why don’t we write there more often? Pack up your laptop and head to your local library but this time, picture your work on the self. Is it enticing enough for you to pick it up and check it out? Bounce ideas off of librarians, more often than not they’ll be excited to help you find inspiration too.


Up In The Mountains
If you find it hard to resist the temptations of technology, next time you write try taking your computer up to your favorite hiking spot. The fresh air is guaranteed to inspire you and the workout you’ll get reaching your destination will help clear your mind. Take some water, bug spray, a chair, and whatever else you need to be distraction-free and in the perfect zone for creativity.


Public Transit

Many people find inspiration while writing on the bus or train, being surrounded by strangers picking up intercepted conversations may have something to do with it. The next time you find yourself riding public transit, treat it as an opportunity to find inspiration and get your thoughts down in writing.


The Mall

It’s crowded, busy, and smells like pretzels, but it’s also a place to be inspired. There are hundreds of people who traverse through the mall every week, put yourself in the middle of that and contemplate. Among hundreds of very different people, what makes you the most different and unique? What do you stand for? Think about what you want to project in this world and find creative gold.


Waiting Rooms
When it’s nothing but you, your thoughts, and a couple complementary magazines, there’s nothing else you should do but find inspiration to write. Take whatever is around you and brainstorm for story ideas. See a woman trying to quiet her rambunctious child? That’s a blog post waiting to happen! Take your creative expertise and put it to the test the next time you’re stuck in a waiting room, it’ll pass the time faster than Candy Crush we promise.


At A Market

Whether it’s a market for farmers, crafters, or fleas, you’ll meet some talented people with stories that will help you find inspiration. Every vendor at these fairs has a story and will enjoy the opportunity to tell it to someone. It’s a great opportunity to take photos and connect with the community – thus inspiration is bound to be found.



It may sound crazy, but where else can you go to find creative inspiration that you can (1) be distraction-free and (2) be in a comfortable, new environment? If you can’t escape the distractions of everyday life, the best thing you could do is to invest in your idea and spend a night in a hotel room immersed in thought. If you’re not getting work done anywhere else, it could be a good way to force yourself to catch up.


Historic Districts

What better way to find inspiration is there other than traversing through history? Visit your town’s historic districts and think about how much has changed. Think about the stories there are to learn and the stories that were lost. What does it take to stand the test of time? Is your writing timeless and unforgettable, or is it something that will be remade into something better in a few years?


Headlines, Billboards, and Advertisements

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t a place – but still a good way to find inspiration nonetheless. Headlines, billboards, and advertisements show us things that are emotional, trending, or newsworthy. These are all core components of a quality blog post, so rather than ignoring them, look for an opportunity to write something great.


We hope our list helps you find a perfect place for inspiration to strike! Where is the strangest place you’ve found inspiration? Let us know in the comments and thank you for reading!