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This article is written by Aditi Lahiri, pursuing a Diploma in Business Laws for In House Counsels from

Freelance content writers are people hired to create online content for an organisation’s website, blog, brochures etc. They are usually hired on a contractual basis and hence are free to work with various organisations at the same time. They may be paid on a per word basis or on a project basis. The average salary of a full-time freelance content writer can range from Rs. 10,000 – 40,000, depending on their expertise and the hours they are willing to put in. However, this is different from a freelance writer who works for mostly offline publications as well and hence is an entirely different career.

The biggest attraction of freelance content writing jobs is that they are often work from home opportunities that have extremely flexible hours as opposed to most desk jobs. Additionally, you may even have the opportunity to earn in dollars or any other higher value currency if you take up jobs from offshore employers who often look to outsource the remote jobs to low currency value countries. Hence, these opportunities are valuable to a wide group of people, including students, professionals or anyone looking to re-start their careers, especially women. Even if you don’t wish to pursue content writing full-time, not only do such jobs enhance your capacity to represent your thoughts properly on paper (a skill that would come handy in any career) but they also provide an opportunity to enhance your resumes while making extra cash. 

So, now that we have established the value freelance content writing can add, without further ado, here are the basic steps required to make it a lucrative career:

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  • Practice, practice and then practice some more: Just like anything else, the journey towards becoming a freelance content writing starts with mastering the language and the only way to master a language is to read it, write it and speak it. Most people who consider content writing, are probably already proficient in English. Even so, it would be highly advisable to double your reading time per day and write a 1000-word piece on a topic of your choice every day, while you search for opportunities. While 1000 words may sound like overkill, it is a fraction of what experienced content writers are expected to churn out everyday and hence would be a good warm up experience for beginners waiting for their first opportunity. It would also be a good idea to pick topics at random, instead of all picking topics within your comfort zone, as this would help you expand your horizons. 
  • Read up on various topics: For beginners, it is extremely important to be able to write on just about anything. Freelance content writers are often hired by a variety of organisations from very different fields and hence need to be able to produce the same quality of content irrespective of the topics. This can get particularly hard when the topics become a little more technical, and this is where the habit of reading will come in handy. While prior knowledge of the topic is absolutely unnecessary, the comfort level of the content writer in reading about a topic they have never heard of before, understanding it and then writing about it will be extremely crucial. The simple habit of reading all the sections of the daily newspaper religiously can help tremendously. 
  • Job hunting: This is one of the most important steps in building a lucrative career in freelance content writing. When it comes to looking for opportunities, there are a variety of choices and knowing your choices is extremely important. You can choose to work long term with a single organisation as an intern, employee or on a retainer basis, or work on various singular projects with various organisations on a contractual basis, or even work with a content writing firm who will be responsible for finding clients and will simply assign you topics to write. Most freelance content writers prefer to work on project basis with a number of organisations instead of working with any single entity. This is because not only are these opportunities available in abundance even for beginners on the online content writing job boards but also because this option keeps their schedule flexible while offering ample opportunity for growth if they are willing to put in the hours. 
  • Maintain a blog: A small tip that may be extremely useful is to maintain a personal online blog. Often content writing opportunities require you to submit work samples and maintaining your own blog not only accomplishes that purpose, but also shows them that you’re serious about pursuing writing and have experience. It is extremely easy to start an online blog and would also provide a good platform to practice writing 1000 words every day. It would be wise to maintain a blog on a variety of interesting topics, that have the capacity to lure in readers and keep their attention through catchy titles and engaging content, while also making sure that the topics are in some way connected to each other. While this idea may seem a little high maintenance (as it is extremely important to keep this blog regularly updated), if done right, it is extremely worth the effort. A bonus benefit of this step is that this blog may eventually become popular and attract web traffic and hence, not only become your signature but also generate ad revenue. 
  • Play to your strengths: As important as it is, to have the capacity to write on all topics uniformly, in this day and age, experts are preferred in every arena and content writing is no different. Hence, it is extremely important to explore and discover a niche area or two for yourself which interests you the most and brings out your best. This may be the field that you primarily pursued in your higher education as that provides a certain credibility to your claimed expertise. This would also help during the job-hunting process, as organisations are more likely to hire you for writing on certain topics, if you have already studied them in college. However, there is no such compulsion and it may be completely unrelated to your field of education as long as you can prove your skill through samples. Whichever field you pick as your niche, start applying vigorously for opportunities in that area as once you have finished two or three projects in that field, you will have added credibility and experience which will then make it easier for you to get more jobs in that area. 

  • Content marketing: Learning the basics of other relevant skills like content marketing and SEO go a long way in supplementing a career in content writing. Most employers will prefer to hire a person who takes care of the content marketing aspect during writing the content itself instead of hiring two different people for it, and hence, would also be willing to pay higher to a person with experience in this area as opposed to one who doesn’t. 
  • Treat it like a business: Now that we’re done with discussing the content aspect of the job, it is important to look at the business aspect of it, especially if you wish to pursue it as a full-time career. As freelance content writing means that you won’t be working as an employee, the most important attitude change required is to see yourself as a business. With that said, here are a few pointers on how to do that. Firstly, like any other start-up, the best way to approach it is to drop the other full-time job that is your Plan B, which takes away time and effort that you can put into pursuing freelance content writing. So, instead of relying on another job till you supposedly start hitting it big with writing projects, resign from that job and focus entirely on how to make enough money from purely being a content writer.

Secondly, focus on expanding your business through networking with the right people online and offline, as in time this is what will boost your revenues through the sky. Thirdly, ensure that all the expenses involved in doing the work, like purchasing grammar and plagiarism check software, transportation, subscriptions required for research etc. are included in the price that you quote to the clients. Fourthly, like any other freelance workers, your contracts are of utmost importance in the issue of payments. So, don’t move forward with any project without proper written contracts or at least the basic terms written on an email from authorised personnel. Last but not the least, as with any freelance work, there will be some months with low or no projects, and hence, no income. So, during high paying projects remember to save significantly for the low tides so as to maintain a standard lifestyle while still enjoying the flexibility. 


Freelance content writers are not only extremely high in demand, but also very well paid. While most people see this as a part-time job opportunity, if pursued seriously, it has the potential to be an entirely self-sufficient career choice. If you have a way with words and writing is your therapy, then freelance content writing could be your career. 

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