Freelancing While in College – A Simple Guide

When people first hear that I’m a writer, they often assume that I write books or newspaper articles. Even if I specifically tell them that I’m a freelance writer, they don’t seem to fully grasp what I do. It doesn’t normally compute with the average person that being a writer does not necessarily mean that I’m the next J.K. Rowling. Among the many hats I wear is that of a college student. While many of my fellow students work regular jobs (either working full-time and going to school part-time, or vice versa), I discovered a freelance writer website a couple of years ago, and since then have earned my entire income through freelancing.

Why Freelance Writing?

Freelance writing is an ideal choice for many college students because the skills needed are ones we are honing in our classes anyhow. Those English classes that I thought were so tedious have taught me how to put together an impressive paper—a quality paper written for class is not that different than the articles I write for my clients. They both require the same type of research, documentation and attention to detail.

Benefits

College students are very busy. Not only do we have to keep up with classes, but there are often activities around campus that fill our time too. Additionally, I am not a traditional student, so I have family obligations too. Trying to work a “normal” job where I have to work twenty or thirty hours a week at the whim of my boss would be nearly impossible for me. While I work at least that many hours at my freelancing jobs each week, I am able to fit those hours in wherever I see fit, making it much easier to work around my family’s needs and my classes. Additionally, a skilled freelance writer can earn significantly more per hour than most students earn at part-time jobs. Actually, the amount a freelance writer can earn is only limited by a person’s desire to grow as a writer and how much time she devotes to the craft.

Getting Started

The idea of writing as a career seems daunting to most people—trust me, five years ago, I would have never dreamed it was possible. However, there are resources online that make it easy to get started. Do a self-assessment of your writing skills and spend some time looking at a freelance writer website. You will find that in many cases all you need is a basic resume and the willingness to put together a few writing samples. Just make the leap, and get started. Joining the ranks of the college student/freelancers may make a major impact on your life too.

Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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