How I Got Started as a Freelancer

Check out junior copywriter, Alisha's, journey to becoming a freelancer and learn a few of her top tips for others who want to go the freelancing road.

Written by 
Alisha Neal
Posted on 
June 28, 2022

Hi there! My name is Alisha, and I'm a freelance writer, educator, and language lover. For the past few years, I've made a living through a combination of various freelance jobs. Freelancing has given me the freedom to travel, set my own schedule, and explore different interests. It's worked out for me, but freelancing is no cakewalk. The independence and flexibility this type of work allows come at a cost and it isn’t for everyone. If you're considering a jump into the world of freelancing, read on for my story (and a few tips to get you started).

My Journey Into Freelancing

When I graduated from college, I knew one thing — I wanted to travel. Making that decision was easy. I moved to Prague in 2019, and my journey to becoming a freelancer began. Next came the hard part. How could I make money abroad and find a way to do work I love? 

As many fellow ex-pats know, teaching English is the easiest way to find employment abroad. I took online classes to get my certification and was hired by a local agency to teach private lessons to Czech children. When COVID hit Europe hard in 2020, the city shut down. I could no longer teach classes in person, so I had to find new ways of making money. I supplemented online English lessons with various editing tasks and translation assistance. I helped university students in Prague edit term papers, trained business professionals in email etiquette, and proofread translations of anything from magazine articles to job applications.

From there, it was an easy segue into writing copy of my own. Lauren at Color Field Content offered me the wonderful opportunity to join her team— I added copywriter to my growing repertoire of odd jobs and settled into my role as a freelancer.

How Do You Know if Freelancing is Right for You?

The freedom to work from home, set your schedule, and choose what projects you want to work on is exciting yet daunting. You have more control over what type of work you do but a lot less stability (as far as I know, freelance writers don't get health benefits or paid time off). If you are supporting a family or need the security of a set monthly paycheck, freelancing might not be for you. 

On the other hand, freelancing is fantastic if you have the dedication to seek out new clients, market yourself, and are willing to step outside your comfort zone. For me, it's been an amazing learning opportunity. With each new client, I have to learn how to adapt to their needs and navigate new software. Additionally, I've embraced the challenge of writing copy about topics I had no previous knowledge about. As a (not so) secret nerd, I enjoy the research aspect of writing copy for clients in every industry.

Combine Freelance Writing With Other Ventures

Working as a freelancer gives you the excellent opportunity to explore your other interests. Since you're not working a nine-to-five, you can pursue your hobbies, open up an Etsy store, moonlight as a professional clown— whatever tickles your fancy. All joking aside, you may also find your other interests lead to writing opportunities. Ask around at your favorite local businesses. Maybe your new yoga studio or hair salon is looking for a copywriter to help them with their website or boost their SEO. Reach out to your network and always be on the lookout for a new lead.

Utilize Your Natural Talents

I've known for a long time that I'd end up as a writer of some kind. As a kid, I always found the typos in my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. I loved journalism in high school and ended up getting my B.S. in Strategic Communication/ Public Relations. They say people work best when they are doing something they are good at. I've absolutely found this to be true! Whether it's teaching English, editing essays, or writing articles of my own, I'm doing something I'm passionate about. If you really want to, you can turn your natural talents and interests into a viable freelance career!

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