START FREELANCE WRITING
A tutored course to show you
how to become a freelance writer, finally.
Even if you have no experience, no qualifications, and
oh god what are you doing, you can’t possibly make this work.
OR CAN YOU?
I’m Karen Marston, and I became a freelance writer in 2012, after 7+ years of bartending (and not much else).
I started out making $5 per 500-word article, which is pretty fucking abysmal, let me tell you. Now I charge thousands to help people write the copy for their websites and businesses.
And I’m here to show you how to build your own successful freelance writing business – one that you actually enjoy running – and all without writing a single $5 article.
Just How Much Longer Are You Planning to Put Off Becoming a Freelance Writer?
I mean, you’re here on this page, so it’s obviously something you want. I’m guessing you’ve been flitting between different websites trying to decide which freelance writing course is the one. The. One. Because there has to be one that’s perfect for you, right? You just haven’t found it yet.
Sorry to shit on your excuses, but no. Finding the ‘perfect’ course is not the problem here. You are. Because rather than click Buy on one of these courses, any of which would probably do a fine job of getting your freelance writing career up and running, you start reminding yourself of all these things:
- It’s just a stupid dream.
- To make a living wage from freelance writing, let alone a good wage that would allow you to buy a shiny new MacBook and a fancy espresso machine (those things are bloody expensive, you know), you would have to slog it out for years.
- You can’t risk your nice, comfortable (albeit bland, soul-withering) job for something that might not even work.
- Besides, you’re simply not good enough – only people with qualifications and experience can get paid to write.
- And even if you were good enough, you don’t have the time to devote to something like this. You’re too busy trying to make it to the next day with your sanity intact.
Okay, so if you truly believe any of that, go ahead and close your laptop and give up on this dream. Because you’re clearly never going to make it happen. Enjoy your mediocre existence of paying the bills and having ‘security’.
Still here? Good. You’re aware that you only get one shot at this mess of crap called life, then. So put down the latest issue of Writer’s Digest, close that ‘just one more’ blog post you felt compelled to read, and pay attention.
How to Become a Freelance Writer
There’s no great secret to becoming a freelance writer. The main ingredients are:
- The desire to do it. Duh. Won’t get far without this.
- The ability to put apostrophes in the right places and to tell when a sentence doesn’t quite work.
- PERSISTENCE. If you’re going to have a tantrum and quit the first time things get rough, you’re not going to make it. Obviously. Because you will have quit.
- Just enough confidence to pretend you know what the hell you’re doing.
If you’ve got those, you’re off to a – well, just a regular old start. Because that’s the problem. Most people never do start. But once you’ve taken the first steps, the whole thing becomes a lot easier. Because it’s impossible to succeed if you never even begin.
Once you’re ready to begin? You just need to do certain things in a logical order. So let me make it simple for you. This what you need to do:
1. Decide what sort of freelance writing business you’re going to run
There are many routes to becoming a freelance writer. You could be a journalist, for example. Or you could pitch articles and personal essays to magazines and online publications. Or you could start writing for businesses. This is how I got started, and it’s what I still do today.
It’s also what I teach on this course, and what the rest of this page is going to be about. Because here’s the thing: businesses have budgets for this kind of thing, and they need help with it.
2. Figure out precisely what you’ll offer and how much you’ll charge
Next, you should consider what sort of business writing you’ll do. Who will you do it for? Will you specialise in particular subjects? How will you brand yourself? And, the dreaded question, how much will you charge?
3. Create a website advertising your services
Once you’ve nailed down the particulars, you need to put yourself where people can find you. Today, that’s the internet. A website is crucial. So is making sure it’s a well-designed, well-written website that accurately and succinctly explains what you do and who you do it for. And makes people trust you, of course.
4. Start pitching yourself to potential clients
And finally, once you’ve got your website up and running, it’s time to start pitching yourself to prospective clients. There’s a multitude of ways to do that, ranging from sending out cold emails, picking up the phone, answering job ads, and so on. Eventually, you may even reach the point where clients come to you. That’s the goal, anyway.
Once you’ve done all that, you can officially call yourself a freelance writer. You may not have made any money from it yet, but you’re out there, claiming that this is what you do. And people will believe you. Some of them may even hire you.
I can help you figure all this out, as well as how to actually run your business and work with clients. Just like I’ve helped many others…
I Hate to Brag, But…
No, just kidding. I love to brag. Read these testimonials.
Just had an hour-long Skype chat with a potential new client and we agreed on $300 USD per 1500-2000 word article!!!
Drawing up a contract as we speak. I’m so damn excited!!! Our next meeting is Tuesday to finalize topics, etc. and go over contract details. Thanks for everything, Karen! You gave me the organization, ideas, and confidence to make this happen. I’ll keep you posted. xo
I wanted to take a moment and thank you SO much for your freelancer course! It was literally a life-changer for me.
I made $1,100 in the first month, and after picking up a couple of higher-paying gigs, I’m projecting $2,000 by the end of February!
Karen, if it weren’t for this course, I probably would have landed a corporate job by now that I wouldn’t have been truly happy in. I love freelancing so much more, as I work with people I enjoy being around and write about topics I give a damn about. I would never have realized what I was missing out on if I hadn’t taken the leap of faith.
The course has already paid for itself more than ten times over, and now I can pay the bills with extra money at the end of the month. I’ve already recommended it to other aspiring freelancers I know, and I tell them it’s worth every penny.
Take care and keep rockin’!
I wanted to send my thanks to you for your course and overall existence. It’s been a few weeks since I started your course. I completed it on Tuesday last week.
Since Tuesday I have had my first client, a referral from a friend, and my first client meeting which was really positive.
Thank you for inspiring me to do something I have always felt too stupid and useless to do. I always wanted to be a writer with a ‘no bullshit’ attitude and it’s been really helpful knowing you make a living doing it.
This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time and despite the potential for failure, I’ve never been less scared of anything in my life!
Did I say thank you? Because I mean it…
Just a quick note to say thanks for all your help in getting my business up and running, and that I have my first client! To be honest, I’ve been so busy with the day job that I haven’t had time to chase many jobs, but I responded to the two I drafted emails for in the final week of the course and after a follow-up email, I’ve got the sustainable homes blogger job! Six-month contract for a blog a week at rates I’m happy with, which I’m amazed about considering my lack of testimonials or portfolio.
I also got shortlisted for the other job (Upwork advert for Norwegian travel company) but I think they ended up going with a much cheaper offer, so I don’t feel too bad. Really happy – and very nervous – but looking forward to getting started.
Also, the Facebook group is ace and I’m sure I’ll be making even more use of it in the months to come.
Your course helped me so much. I was amongst a lot of other digital nomads all working on their businesses in the past month, but the way your course was written was a very easy, no-messing-about way to get my website up and live.
Other writers who were trying to do the same as me were caught up with trying to choose the right templates, getting caught up on jamming their content with SEO keywords, muddling their way through and guessing at what needed to be done.
I actually got the site and branding knocked out in two weeks and was then able to start getting clients and building blog content. Thank you!
I’ve written quite a few websites since I took your writing course a year ago, and have been flat out with all sorts of projects. Currently editing a huge website about pre-schoolers for an NZ government department, which is a great job to have! I’m really glad I took the course and moved into web writing. It’s a fun format. Thanks again, so much.
All the best!
I hope you know how much I enjoyed taking your course. I thought you would want to know that I sent my first invoice last Friday. I created a website for a scholarship and wrote the content and created the forms. It was very exciting to complete my first project. Hope all is well. So glad I found you!
I hope you don’t mind but I thought I’d write and let you know how my life has changed in the last 6 months…
Firstly, thank you. Your courses, your comments, advice and posts in the Facebook group have been really helpful to me.
Shortly after finishing the course, I began working. Each month I was able to earn a little bit more. I love the fact that I can work from home doing something I enjoy. I have been very lucky in finding nice clients who are happy with my work. I am slowly starting to receive other types of writing.
Many thanks for all your advice and support. You’re a unique and really incredible person. Happy, happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year (or Hogmanay, as you’re in Edinburgh!).
I’ve already found two full-time clients to write for. Your course was a game changer for me, because it pointed me in the right direction and made me focus on one thing instead of ten.
I’ve grown fond of writing, and I can say this career path is right for me.
Anyways, thank you so much for helping me out. If you want me to, I can write a testimonial for you and your course. I want to tell everyone who still has some doubts to join your course.
Without being overly sappy, I just want to say thank you for creating this course. I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot, but I’m very seriously grateful. I have been in an intense ‘stuck’ phase for over a decade, overthinking every possible career path that would lead me to the lifestyle I wanted (and out of the stuck-ness!). I’m even in the middle of finishing up a master’s degree, which I started simply for job-security purposes.
Just with your course, I’ve made almost $400 in the last couple of weeks, even while being insanely busy with school and my other part-time job. This has only proven to me that I really have found the thing that will get me where I want to be. I’m finally confident that I have found the way to be in charge of my life and career path.
I’m so glad that you created all of this. More than I can ever say.
I really learned so much from your class and have recommended it to friends many times over.
I signed up for the course because I knew it was going to make me a professional writer. Anyone who visits Untamed Writing can easily see that it’s managed by a talented writer who knows what she’s doing with her business. So who better to teach others how to do the same?
Professional writing was an industry I wanted to break into because I wanted to be able to work from home once I had children. I wanted to be able to set my own schedule and actually enjoy what I do. I’ve worked in a corporate office environment and it sucked my soul dry. Working for myself in my own home is empowering and gives me confidence I didn’t have before. I love when people ask what I do for a living. ‘I’m a freelance blogger. Right now I’m doing work for Mapquest.com.’ I feel so fancy.
Thanks so much, Karen. I really appreciate all you’ve done for me. I hope we can stay in touch because I get the feeling that you’re going places. You’ve already gone places! Imagine what the future could hold!
I wish you all the best and hope that others will benefit from your wisdom like I have!
I wanted to share some great news with you! Thanks to your course, I found an amazing position with a great marketing company. While this was never what I would have expected when I signed up (my initial goal was to set up my own freelance writing biz – which I did, and which has got me where I am today), I couldn’t be more happy with the direction my career is going in. So thanks Karen, you are the fucking best.
I worked my last bar shift the day I finished the course, so I started full-time right off the bat. I made around £250 my first month and £470 the next. This month I’m projecting approximately £1000.
For the first time ever in my adult working life, I actually look forward to Mondays. I enjoy my work and I’ve built a financially viable business from scratch whilst living in one of the most expensive cities in the world (London). I don’t use an alarm clock any more, I work from home and I don’t have to answer to anyone except myself.
Oh, and the thought that I could go and live anywhere in the world without having to worry about what I’ll do for work is extremely liberating. In short, it’s awesome. Do it. It’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent.
– André Spiteri
I wanted to be a freelance writer, but lack of confidence and the fear that it was a terrible idea held me back. Then I came across Karen’s website and loved her ballsy, take-no-prisoners attitude, so I signed up.
After what felt like ages (but was only a month) I was offered two roles in a week. So far I have made $1000! Now I have two great clients who I’ve signed annual contracts with.
If you’re thinking about signing up, but are hesitant – do it. Working with Karen for just six short weeks gave me the confidence I never thought I’d have when it came to writing. I went into the course having no idea what type of writer I was or wanted to become. I am now working as an educational writer from the comfort of my own home. If this is what you want from your life, this course will be how you get it.
– Mel Green
Signing up to Karen’s course proved to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m now able to support myself comfortably from writing alone, which is a situation I could previously only dream of. Whether you want to earn a little extra on the side or create the foundations for a full-blown freelance career, Karen can help.
You’re probably wondering if the course is really as good as it seems. It is! I’ve just booked a one-way flight to Australia, where I intend to spend a year or so writing/surfing/developing skin cancer. Obviously could never have done this without Karen’s course. Thank yooooou!!!!!!!!
– James Robinson
I took the course and started emailing hundreds of prospective clients. It took a while but one day it finally kicked off and I got a lot of responses. I found myself suddenly chained to my laptop writing 6 hours a day, but I didn’t mind as I was happy it was paying off.
Because of Karen’s course, I now have the freedom to go off and travel whenever I feel like it and fund myself as I go. I would recommend it to anyone.
– Katie Lamb
After 18 months of spinning my wheels and deliberating over how to become a writer, leave my job, and swan off around the world with my family, Karen’s freelance writing course caught my attention. Maybe it was the swearing, but I think it was the resolute honesty.
Joining up has been the best career decision I’ve ever made. I’ve more than made my course fees back, but what I’ve really gained is the ability to plan, get out there, and shoot for my dreams. No false promises. No bullshit.
If you really want to live your dreams, it takes work and action. If you want guidance and support during the speed wobbles, plus a step-by-step plan that generates income while you get the fuck on with it, do this course and keep active on Untamed Writing’s Facebook group.
My only regret is that I didn’t do it earlier.
– Malcolm Wilson
I’m so glad I made the investment in Karen’s course. I love to write and have been toying with the idea of freelance writing for a while but never quite found the time to figure out how to actually get it done.
So when I heard about Karen’s class I jumped at the chance to have someone walk me through the process step-by-step. And that’s exactly what she did – each week I received an easy-to-follow set of instructions and exercises that turned into a live business.
It’s only been a week since I officially launched, but in that short time I’ve already made contact with four potential clients and am in the process of finalizing a contract to write all of the copy for a website that’s launching next month. I fully expect to have covered my investment in this class four or five times over by the end of my first month in business.
– Michelle Warner
There’s Just One Problem
Freelance writing isn’t for everyone – and it might not be for you.
Not everyone’s cut out for this. If you don’t truly have a passion for words, if you don’t take pride in your work, and if you don’t know how to use a comma properly, this course probably isn’t for you.
Okay, now I know what you’re thinking. What if you are one of those talentless fuckwits who’s kidding themselves about their ability to write for money?
Am I close? Yeah. That’s because I’ve worked one-on-one with a lot of aspiring freelance writers, and I know that the problem most of them have? Isn’t their writing ability.
It’s their confidence. If you’re feeling unconfident in your ability to write for pay, let me tell you this: shitty writers with a devil-may-care attitude have a better chance of success than talented writers who lack confidence. I know this is true, because I’ve seen it happen.
So if you have that romantic vision of working as a writer nestled in the back of your mind, don’t you owe it to yourself to at least try? Do you want to let this life skip over you without ever giving it a shot? Because you really do only live once, you know. Not to get all dramatic on you, but this is it.
If you’re content to live in your status quo forevermore, then go ahead and click the little X in the corner of the screen. But if this idea’s grabbed hold of you and won’t let go, keep reading.
Before you get too excited, let me lay out the pitfalls:
- There’s a lot to learn.
- This isn’t going to be easy.
- It’s going to take a while.
- It may be hard to find your first clients (but it will happen eventually).
How the Course Works
There are six individual PDFs containing guidance and homework assignments. Throughout the course, I’ll send you a new one each week, and you’ll have one week to complete the assignments in.
You can opt for either self-study or tutoring. If you decide to go for the tutored course, I’ll give you detailed, personalised feedback about: the direction you want to take your business in and how viable I think that is; how you want to brand your business; and how you can improve your website’s content and design to ensure the best chance of success. I’ll also be on hand to answer any questions you have throughout the entire process.
No matter whether you opt for the self-study (best for self-starters or those on a budget) or tutored course (if you want me to help make sure you do this right), you’ll get access to my students’ private Facebook group, which is an active and friendly place to get help, lament your woes and celebrate your successes long after the course has finished.
What You’ll Learn
You Got Questions? I Got Answers.