Top Freelance Writing Skills You Need to Succeed

Top Freelance Writing Skills You Need to Succeed

If the previous few years are anything to go by, the gig economy is booming more than ever before. It is now easier than ever to build your freelancing career without any previous formal education or expertise in a particular niche. However, what you’ll still need to do is acquire the right skills and know-how on how to get started, such as in the case of freelance writing. 

If you’re knowledgeable about writing in general and have an expansive-enough vocabulary, you can build a career as a freelance writer fairly easily. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are packed with amazing job opportunities for freelance writers – all you need to do is prepare well in advance. Here are the top skills and niches to consider as you start down the path of a freelance writer in 2022.

Freelance Writing Niches to Specialize In

What’s freelance writing really about? As an online writer, you can pursue several different niches of writing and specialize in them based on your affinities as a creator. Some people enjoy technical writing more than ghostwriting or SEO and that’s okay! There are plenty of different sub-categories of freelance writing out there which means that you can choose the ones best fit for you. Here are a few you should explore and try your hand at:

  • Ghostwriting – writing content under someone else’s pen name 

  • SEO writing – writing content with the intent to improve your client’s search ranking

  • Guest post writing – writing and promoting certain products/services on aggregate websites

  • Social media content writing – creating content for publishing on social media

  • Rewriting and formatting – working as an editor in charge of sprucing up existing content

  • Transcription writing – writing content for various multimedia, like video tutorials or guides

The fact that there are so many different freelance writing niches out there means that you can work in those with the least number of competitors. This will let you adjust your prices better and earn more as a result. It’s best to try writing several different types of content before you get a feel for the one which works for you.

Top Freelance Writing Skills You Need to Succeed

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Top Soft and Hard Skills in Freelance Writing

As a freelance writer, you’ll need to up your game with every project to stay ahead of other writers. This means adopting a life-long learning approach to your professional development. You’ll have to develop both soft and hard skills for your potential clients to consider hiring you in 2022. Here are the top skills you need to learn and work on as a freelance writer to succeed:

Soft Skills

  • Teamwork and collaboration

  • Project management

  • Time management

  • Organizational skills

  • Sales skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Active listening and communication

  • Healthy work ethics

  • Critical thinking skills

Some of these skills may seem too obvious to be valuable to freelance writers. However, you’d be surprised as to how many writers simply lack in working with others or thinking objectively about their work. That is why working on these skills will significantly improve your odds in the gig economy moving forward.

Hard Skills

  • Online research

  • Report writing

  • SEO analysis

  • Audience targeting

  • Content management

  • Proofreading and spellchecking

  • Rewriting and formatting

  • Language/writing certification

  • MS Office

  • Google Workspace

  • WordPress management

Writing skills associated with freelance writing is somewhat different compared to other professions. While programmers may need to know Python or Java, writers need to possess various skills related to research and text improvement. These don’t necessarily constitute the use of specific software (freelance writing is text-based after all), but particular writing styles or activities related to it. You can’t go wrong with learning WordPress to manage content, or MS Office or an equivalent software package to manage text, so start there.

Digital Learning Platforms to Check Out

The skills and expertise needed to succeed in the gig industry are always expanding. The knowledge you have today may not be enough to impress future employers, which is why you should always strive to learn more. Luckily, there are several great platforms which you can visit in your spare time and develop new skills. These will help you become better at your job as a freelance writer and give you enough of an edge to outperform others in your niche:

  • Udemy

  • Skillshare

  • Coursera

  • LinkedIn Learning

  • Udacity

Different platforms will naturally lead you down the path of different freelance writing career choices. For example, Udacity may be great if you want to grow as a technical writer and Udemy will help you develop ghostwriting or blogging skills. Take a good look at every platform and diversify your selection of learning materials as you go.

To Summarize

It’s undoubtedly an exciting time to be a freelance writer. While it’s quite easy to get started as a freelance writer, there’s still an uphill battle you need to overcome. Just as you are trying to build your career, so are thousands of other perspective writers around the globe. 

You’ll need to be persistent, confident, and passionate about writing above all else to attract your first clients. Once that happens, your career will quickly snowball and you’ll be able to earn a lucrative living by working from home as a freelance writer.