What Is Freelance Writing For Beginners: Basic Professional Skills To Start With

You probably know some people that freelance as a way of supplementing their income. Freelance writing is becoming increasingly popular with people from all walks of life. Whereas once it was seen pretty much exclusively as the preserve of retired academics it is now wide open to anyone that wants to give it a whirl. However, now that it has lost its air of exclusivity it has also become littered with people whose basic skills are quite frankly appalling, and this can pose a major headache for potential recruiters.

So, just what are the basic professional skills that you will require to get started?

English language skills

You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a no-brainer. That having a reasonable grasp of the English language would be essential. However, the advent of several large freelance sites has made it incredibly easy for anyone, regardless of their abilities to get started. That said, the better your English, then the more likelihood there is of you getting regular, repeat work. If you submit sub-standard work, not only are you going to have to revise it, but you are also going to increase the chances of getting negative reviews which in turn decreases your chance of getting further work.


Depending upon the work that you are applying for you may require at least basic math skills. Even if you don’t need it for your actual work, you will need to keep accurate financial accounts. So, if math isn’t your strongest skill, then I would suggest brushing up a little now.

Communication skills

You might be sitting there thinking “I am a writer, not a telesales rep” True. However, in order to get those jobs that you so desperately crave you are going first of all to have to tout for business. You are also going to have to be able to communicate professionally and effectively with a whole range of clients – some of whom might not be one-hundred percent clear in their instructions to you.

Marketing skills

You don’t have to be a marketing whizz to get started, but you do have to have the basic ability to project yourself clearly. You need to be able to send out letters of introduction. You need to know how to turn yourself into a brand that sells. This won’t happen overnight. However, a reluctance to market is only going to cause you problems further down the line.

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