Online Class: Freelance Writing 101

This course will teach you what freelancing writing is, how much you can expect to make, how to find markets, how to create successful queries, what to do once you get an assignment, and how to market your skills.

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  • 13
  • 28
    Exams &
  • 2,926
    have taken this course
  • 6
    average time
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Course Description

Unleash Your Potential: The Comprehensive Guide to Freelance Writing

The digital age has reshaped the way we communicate, access information, and work. Today, the world of freelance writing offers endless opportunities for those passionate about the written word. If you've ever visualized yourself turning passion into profit, our comprehensive course on freelance writing might just be the gateway to realizing that dream.

Why Choose This Course?

  • Exhaustive Insight: Designed to cover every facet of freelance writing, our course doesn't merely scratch the surface. Instead, it delves deep, offering actionable strategies, industry insights, and expert guidance.

  • Flexibility and Financial Independence: Whether you're seeking a full-time career, supplemental income, or the skills to promote your product or service, our course equips you with the tools to write your own success story.

  • Stay Ahead of the Curve: The world of freelance writing is ever-evolving. Our curriculum, backed by current industry data, ensures that you stay abreast of trends and best practices.

Course Breakdown:

  1. An Introduction to Freelance Writing: Understand the landscape of freelance writing. Discover its scope, benefits, challenges, and the vast array of niches available.

  2. Determining What to Write: Analyze market trends and recognize your strengths. Discover how to choose subjects that resonate with audiences and pay well.

  3. Money Matters: Get the lowdown on the financial aspects. Understand payment structures, negotiate rates confidently, and learn about managing finances as a freelancer.

  4. Finding Markets: Unearth the best platforms and publications for your writing. From niche blogs to renowned magazines, explore where your writing can find a home.

  5. The Query or Proposal: Master the art of pitching. Learn to craft compelling queries and proposals that grab editors' attention.

  6. Making the Sale: Dive into the intricacies of closing a deal, understanding contracts, and ensuring that your rights as a writer are protected.

  7. Marketing Your Skills: Branding isn't just for products. Learn to market yourself effectively, create an online presence, and network with potential clients.

  8. Building Your Portfolio: Understand the importance of a strong portfolio. Learn strategies to showcase your best works, and attract prospective clients.

  9. Generating Ideas and Conducting Interviews: Unlock a reservoir of content ideas. Plus, master the art of conducting insightful interviews, adding depth to your articles.

  10. Outdated Rules: Break free from myths. Understand which traditional writing rules no longer apply and adapt to the evolving writing landscape.

  11. Ways to Increase Your Earnings as a Writer: Uncover strategies to maximize your income, from upselling services to branching into lucrative niches.

  12. Hanging Out Your Shingle: Grasp the logistics of setting up a freelance business. From registration to taxation, ensure you're on the right side of the law.

  13. Freelance Tools and Resources: Equip yourself with the best tools in the trade. From writing software to invoicing apps, find out what can streamline your workflow.

Real-World Case Studies:

  • Dive into success stories of established freelance writers. Understand their strategies, challenges, and how they carved a niche for themselves.

  • Engage in assignments that simulate real-world scenarios: crafting pitches for leading publications, drafting contracts, or strategizing a personal branding campaign.

Who Is This Course For?

  • Budding Writers: If you've got a flair for writing and seek a platform to monetize it, this course will pave your path.

  • Professionals Seeking a Side Hustle: Already in a job but looking to supplement your income? Explore the flexible world of freelance writing.

  • Entrepreneurs and Marketers: Enhance your branding and marketing skills by mastering the art of content creation.

In the end, words have power. They inform, inspire, and influence. As the demand for quality content continues to surge in this digital era, there's never been a better time to harness the potential of freelance writing. Join us, and let's script your success story together.

Course Motivation

What is freelance writing?

Freelance writing is simply writing professionally as someone who is self-employed. Rather than working for a company and being on its regular payroll, you are in a position of working on your own to help the company meet its editorial needs. While freelancers usually work from home, some work in on-site offices.

If you are self-employed as a freelance writer, you are responsible for finding your own work, getting paid for your services, and even reporting those earnings on your tax return. Freelance writers provide writing services for a multitude of venues, including magazines, newspapers, Web sites, public relations, advertising agencies, and more. There are so many possibilities as to where your writing assignments may come from and what they could cover.

As a freelance writer, you may be someone that is working at it full time, part time, or doing other things in conjunction with it, such as working a day job and freelancing in the evening. In this regard, there is no right or wrong; it is a matter of what you are looking to do. Can you have a full-time freelance writing career and make a good living? You bet! Many writers are doing just that. You also can use freelancing to supplement your current income, or start out doing this and transition to full time once you build up experience and clients. Another option for some people interested in freelance writing is to use it as a way to promote or gain publicity for something else they do, such as their medical practice, professional service, or a product.

Determining Your Purpose and Goal

Have you given thought as to why you want to join the ranks of being a freelance writer? If not, you need to. The answer to this can make a big difference in what direction you take your freelancing career and what goals you will set. It may also influence the type of places you query, what you write about, and the type of money you will be comfortable making. Not everyone writes for the same reason, believe it or not. Some people freelance to fill an inner need, others do it to see their name in print, and still others want to spread a message about an issue close to their heart.

Before you go any further, pause for a moment and ask yourself why you want to freelance. What purpose are you seeking to fill? Are you wanting to make extra money? Build a successful writing career? Get your nonwriting-related business noticed? The answer to this question is very important in going forward. There is no right or wrong answer; but before you can reach goals, you need to know where you want to go first.

Some people do freelance writing merely as a hobby . They are not out to make much money from their writing and may even be comfortable doing it free of charge. Some people write as a hobby because they enjoy writing or they like to inform people about a specific topic. Others do it to promote their main business or career. For example, a psychologist may take up freelance writing on the side in an effort to become established as an expert in her or his field and get the practice noticed. Others just want to make a living as a writer , without having any other ulterior motives.

So give some thought to where you fall in this realm. While there is no wrong answer, much of this course is geared toward the person who wants to make a living as a freelance writer. Yet the information also can apply to those wanting to freelance for any reason.

Think Like a Businessperson

If your goal is to make money as a freelance writer, rather than to write as a hobby, you will need to treat your writing like a business. Keep in mind that businesses sell a product, and your product is your writing services. This means that you will want to consider the money, time involved, record keeping, marketing, etc.  

By thinking like a businessperson, you will be more apt to make decisions that will increase your chances of success and make more money for you in the long run. You will set realistic goals about how much money you would like to make the first year, third year, fifth year, and so on. Setting realistic goals will mean you are not dreaming about what you can do and make. It is great to have dreams; but when you have realistic dreams, you are more likely to reach them and can build upon them to reach your bigger dreams.

Time Management

One of the most important aspects in regard to freelance writing is that of time management . Writers work on deadline, meaning that just about everything you write will have a due date assigned to it, and you will need to make sure you meet those deadlines. To do this, you may need to use a calendar to write your assignment due dates on. Many successful freelancers use a calendar to write interviews they need to conduct, when it is time to write the draft, when the piece is due, and any other notes they may need.

Record Keeping

Another important thing you will need to keep up on in a freelancing career is record keeping . You will need to keep track of queries submitted, money earned, expenses, and more. You can do this by obtaining a computer accounting software package, or simply using Excel, or just using handwritten methods of recording everything. Much of this information will be used when filing taxes and also keeping track of what you have written and where it has been published.

The world of freelance writing is an interesting and exciting one. The advances that have been made in technology in the last decade have really opened up the field, making it an easier, quicker, and streamlined process. Gone are the days of using postal mail to send off all your ideas and the final drafts of an article. Today you can contact and receive responses from editors within hours or even minutes, making this career field accessible to all.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(3,248 votes)

Lesson 1 : An Introduction to Freelance Writing

This first lesson focuses on what freelance writing is, defining a purpose, and setting realistic goals. 13 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1: An Introduction to Freelance Writing

Lesson 2: Determining What to Write

This lesson looks at what you should consider writing, including a look at fiction vs. nonfiction writing, specializing, and deciding what to write. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Write What You Know
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 2: Determining What to Write

Lesson 3: Money Matters

This lesson focuses on the money matters that pertain to freelance writing, such as how much you can make, setting your rates, and more. Additional lesson topics: Get Paid What You're Worth 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Ching Ching!
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3: Money Matters

Lesson 4: Finding Markets

This lesson looks at the different ways to find markets in which to sell your writing services, including online sources. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4: Finding Markets

Lesson 5: The Query or Proposal

This lesson covers the query or proposal, including what it is, what is included, and samples. Additional lesson topics: Book Proposal; Writing a Query Letter 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5: The Query or Proposal

Lesson 6: Making the Sale

This lesson looks at what to do once you make the sale, including contracts, deadlines, and publication rights. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6: Making the Sale

Lesson 7: Marketing Your Skills

This lesson looks at the importance of marketing your writing skills and ways in which you can do it. Additional lesson topics: Marketing Strategies 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7: Marketing Your Skills

Lesson 8: Building Your Portfolio

This lesson looks at ways you can build your portfolio, especially if you are new to freelance writing. Additional lesson topics: Credentials 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8: Building Your Portfolio

Lesson 9: Generating Ideas and Conducting Interviews

This lesson looks at how you can generate ideas and conduct interviews of sources. Additional lesson topics: Research 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 9: Generating Ideas and Conducting Interviews

Lesson 10: Outdated Rules

This lesson looks at some of the outdated freelance writing rules that tend to turn up over and over in the field. 55 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10: Outdated Rules

Lesson 11: Ways to Increase Your Earnings as a Writer

This lesson looks at some of the ways in which you can increase your earnings as a writer, including branching out in different areas and offering new services. Additional lesson topics: Stringers 44 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11: Ways to Increase Your Earnings as a Writer

Lesson 12: Hanging Out Your Shingle

This lesson looks at taking the steps to get started freelancing and issues you should first consider. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 12: Hanging Out Your Shingle

Lesson 13: Freelance Tools and Resources

This lesson provides resources and tools that can be helpful to freelance writers. 645 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Finders Keepers; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 13: Freelance Tools and Resources
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Determine what to write.
  • Determine compensation.
  • Find writing markets.
  • Create a query or proposal.
  • Describe making the sale.
  • Describe marketing your skills.
  • Describe building your portfolio.
  • Describe generating ideas and conducting interviews.
  • Describe ways to increase your earnings as a writer.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Freelance Writing 101
Course Number: 9770553
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (3,248 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: September 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.6 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "Thank You. This course was very helpful and I will definitely use what you taught me to navigate my way through this new world of becoming a freelance writer." -- Shawn O.
  • "This course was helpful from my perspective. Much of the information presented I have read before, but never in a simplistic and somewhat more detailed format. I read so many books, articles, and blogs before getting started. It was simply too much information to absorb, which was stagnating. If I had taken the course when I initially started freelancing, I would have been more productive and not so overwhelmed." -- Carmen W.
  • "The instructor was wonderful. I have no complaints and would be happy to have her again in another class. Excellent teaching skills and student communication." -- Lori D.
  • "I think this instructor added dimension to this course. The course alone is very good, but this instructor made it exceptional." -- Danielle S.
  • "Thank you for offering this opportunity. The instructor was professional, prompt and helpful with her comments and instruction. I thank her, and your program for all it gives to society." -- Louisa P.
  • "Well designed course with focus on the basics and embellishments on the real world expectations for a freelance writer." -- Carlton J.
  • "I have taken several courses with this instructor and plan to take a few more. I feel her feedback is very helpful and encouraging." -- Deborah W.
  • "The instructor provided feedback on the lesson assignments which prompted me to continue and to do well. I appreciated the continued support. My instructor gets an A+/5 stars!" -- Shirley H.
  • "Thank you for this very interesting course and thank you to the instructor for all the assistance provided throughout. It was a very informative course all the way." -- Jobson S.
  • "I love my instructor. She was great at giving me feedback." -- Betty B.
View More Testimonials...

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