So, you want to be a freelance writer…   


You love writing, right? But do you have what it takes to be a freelance writer?

We get asked *a lot* about whether we offer freelance writing opportunities and advice for new entrants to the business. So, in this article, we’re going to answer your freelance writing questions.

Do you need freelance writers?

The economy is tough at the moment, so it’s understandable that you’ll reach out to us for work. We’d love to have enough work to share across the whole of Bristol, but sadly that’s not the case.

We’re capable of managing all work in-house at the moment. While that might change in the future, we’re not currently looking for Bristol freelance writers. Sorry.

Do you use freelance writers?

Yes, we do. We’ve got a selection of trusted freelance copywriters and content writers that work with us when we need to.

Can I join your freelance writer list?

We know you want to share your CV with us and send some great examples. If you do, don’t tell us what you want (“I want to work as a freelance writer”), and instead, what you can do for us.

What we really need isn’t another general writer, but freelance writers with specific skills. So If you do want to send us your CV, tell us why you’re the authority at what you do.

Will you email me back?

This is a tough question. We’d love to email back every freelance writer that emails us. We know the business is tougher than it has been for over a decade, and you could benefit from the moral support.

However, it’s not always possible for us to reply to every freelancer who messages us. If we don’t email you back, please don’t take it personally. We’re probably dealing with a deadline.

Do you offer work experience for freelance writers?

At the moment, no. We don’t have the capacity to offer work experience to freelance writers.

If you want to work as a freelance writer, there are several bigger agencies that may be a better bet than us to apply to.

Good luck in securing work experience, and we hope that you get a job in the industry!

Do you offer Bristol freelance writer apprenticeships?

See above! Currently, we’re unable to offer freelance writing apprenticeships. Quite simply, we don’t have the scale to provide the support and guidance an apprentice expects and deserves.

Total Jobs provides a daily digest of graduate jobs, so that’s a good place to check out (if you are still looking).

What advice would you give to a freelance writer?

Great question! Here are 10 rules we live by:

  1. Develop expertise in several subjects and become an authority (not an also-ran)
  2. Focus on developing the resilience you need to deal with rejection
  3. Build a portfolio that you’re proud of – not just everything you’ve ever done
  4. Explain what you can do for the client, not what the client can do for you
  5. Readers make better writers
  6. Be practical and build a career over several years. It will take time to develop the experience and authority, but don’t try to rush things (or embellish your experience)
  7. Never work for free
  8. Avoid content mills, or you’ll get stuck
  9. Don’t try to pass off AI content as original content (we’ll check, and clients will know)
  10. Personality and integrity are more important than profit

These aren’t hard and fast rules, and you’ll need to be flexible. The business is changing, and we’re old, so forge your own way in the world!

Is being a freelance writer a good career?

This is a hard one. On the surface, the chance to spend all day writing is a dream. The reality is often very different and you may find that the need to create content negatively impacts your creativity.

The aphorism “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” probably sounds great when on a T-shirt or a mug, but it’s rubbish.

Freelance work is flexible, which means coping with fluctuating incomes. If you’re someone who struggles to budget, you’re in the wrong job.

Finally, you’ll need to get serious about self-promotion and find ways to engage new clients every day. The business is ultra-competitive and price gouging is common, but stick to your guns. Ensure your work justifies your fees, and you’ll never experience any problems.

Finally, never take criticism of your work personally. No professional should become emotionally involved in their work but maintain a respectful detachment. The client is right (even when they’re 100% wrong). Ignore your ego.

So, still want to be a Bristol freelance writer…?          

We hope we haven’t put you off becoming a freelance writer. (And if we have, you’re considering the wrong career!) 2023 is going to be tough for freelance writers, and 2024 could be even worse. The rise of AI threatens our existence, so we need to fight back. For us, that means ensuring every piece of work is the best it possibly can be.

If you’re a Bristol freelance writer, then all the best for the future.

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