The Best Online Writing Courses for New Freelance Writers
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If you’re a strong writer, freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money online these days.
But if you’ve never done it before, it can be overwhelming to get started.
By investing in an online writing course, you can quickly learn the skills you need to start your freelance writing business.
How much should you charge? What kinds of things should you be writing? Should you focus on one area only or be more of a generalist? How do you find — and more importantly, keep — good clients?
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of other freelance writers who’ve come before you. Learn from them in some of the best online courses created by and for freelance writers.
6 Online Writing Courses for Freelance Writers
If you’re serious about making money with freelance writing, consider a paid course. It’ll be more extensive and useful than a free one.
It’s also a good idea to vet the course beforehand and make sure it covers what you really need. That way you’re not wasting your money on a course that won’t help in the area where you’re struggling the most.
1. Earn More Writing
Who It’s For: Earn More Writing is best for writers who want to earn more money for their writing work and make freelance writing a business, not just a side hustle. The course covers topics on how to boost your income, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer.
The course consists of eight modules. Each module focuses on a different money-making aspect of the business. The first two modules focus primarily on new writers and feature instructions on how to establish a presence as a writer by creating a blog and a portfolio. However, even professional writers can get tips on things they need to go back and work on in these two sections.
From there, the online writing course dives into specific topics that’ll help you earn more money as a writer. The course covers topics such as structuring your workday for maximum productivity, which clients and writing areas to focus on, how to attract new, higher-paying clients, and how to keep the good clients you have.
The instructor also offers a free workshop called How to Build a Six-Figure Writing Career. (You’ll need to scroll down to see the workshop.) The workshop offers some helpful tips you can try before you dive into a paid course.
Who It’s Not For: If you’re looking for help with the business side of freelance writing, this course isn’t for you. It doesn’t cover accounting, whether or not you should create an LLC, how to file quarterly taxes, or whether you need liability insurance.
Similarly, if you need to improve your writing skills, this course isn’t necessarily the one for you. The course assumes that you already are a strong writer with market-ready skills.
Instructor: Holly Porter Johnson is a legend in the freelance content writing world. She has consistently earned six figures every year since she quit her job several years ago. Her course includes proven tactics that she uses in her own successful freelance writing career.
2. Get Paid to Write for Blogs
Who It’s For: Get Paid to Write for Blogs is a course with a broad overview of everything you need to know to become a successful freelance writer. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced writer trying to take things full time, this online writing course is good for you. It features eight modules with three to four videos in each.
This course starts out with beginner-level lessons including an orientation to the freelance writing world and how to create a portfolio. After the intro modules, this online freelance writing course provides more instruction on useful topics like how to develop confidence as a writer. It even has a module on the ins and outs of running a business.
Who It’s Not For: If you’ve got all the basics down and are already a full-time freelance writer, this course may not provide as much value as it would if you were a new writer. That’s because it covers such a vast array of topics.
This course also assumes you already have marketable writing skills. If you’re looking for information on how to write compelling stories, this may not be a good fit for you.
Instructor: Catherine Alford is an award-winning writer who’s learned these writing skills from scratch after being uprooted to follow her husband’s career. Now, she helps others in similar situations looking for a location-independent career.
3. Write Your Way to Your First 1K
Who It’s For: Write Your Way to Your First 1K is an online writing course best for new writers looking for a deep dive into all you need to begin freelance writing. It contains seven modules, each with its own theme. Most of the topics covered pertain to people just getting started with clients.
The first module, “Laying the Foundation,” covers topics like how to get in the right mindset and how to think of yourself as a freelance writer already, even if you haven’t landed your first client.
From there, it continues with topics like how to word your pitches for maximum impact (including an archive of pitch templates the instructor has actually used), how to write engaging blog posts, and how to interview people for stories.
Who It’s Not For: If you’re an established writer, this may not be the course for you since it’s designed specifically for brand-new writers. This course also assumes that you have some basic writing skills and can learn how to adapt those skills for blog writing specifically.
Instructor: Elna Cain is another standout in the freelance writing world and has been around for a relatively long time. Cain is based in Canada, but the skills she teaches are applicable anywhere.
4. 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success
Who It’s For: 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success is another great online writing course geared toward beginners. While you don’t necessarily need to complete the course within 30 days (you can take as little or as long as you want), it’s designed to get you earning money quickly as a freelance writer.
This course is one of the more comprehensive options for new writers. It includes nine modules with more than 50 lessons. This course does have a more stringent return policy than some of the other courses.
You can get a full refund within 30 days of your purchase. However, you’ll have to provide proof that you’ve tried the lessons in the course, including completing the pitch tracker (which the course provides and teaches you to use).
Who It’s Not For: Again, if you’re an experienced freelance writer, this may not be the right course for you since it’s geared towards getting new writers their first paying clients. Like the other courses, this one also assumes that you have good writing skills.
Instructor: Gina Horkey is the author of the popular blog Horkey Handbook, designed to help people work in location-independent jobs. Horkey also sells courses for Virtual Assistants. She’s not as writing focused as some of the other instructors. However, Horkey is still an accomplished writer in the industry.
Related: How to Get Paid to Write Reviews
5. Killer Cold Emailing
Who It’s For: Killer Cold Emailing is designed to help you do one thing: boost your income by cold pitching. This method includes sending emails to potential clients you don’t know to see if they need a writer. In the freelance writing world, some of the best jobs come from cold pitching instead of applying to a job board.
This course teaches you how to perfect this method by organizing your emails and picking the right niche and the right clients to target. There are a lot of ancillary details that will also help you be successful in your cold pitching efforts, like improving your mindset and setting up a website that converts visitors to customers.
Who It’s Not For: This course isn’t for freelance writers looking for an easy route to success. Cold pitching is one of the more difficult methods of gaining clients because there’s a lot of rejection involved.
It’s also not for writers who need to beef up their basic writing skills, those looking for the business side of freelancing, or for writers looking for a broad overview of how to get started. This course covers how to be a successful writer who sends out cold pitches, and that’s mostly it.
Instructor: Jorden Roper teaches Killer Cold Emailing. Roper’s claim to fame is that she built a freelance writing career from zero to $5,000 per month after getting fired as a three-time college dropout.
6. Write a Blog People Will Read
Who It’s For: Write a Blog People Will Read is different from the other freelance writer courses on this list. This course teaches you how to do one thing — write good blog articles.
Thus, this course is best for writers who want to learn how to be better writers. It’s the essence of freelance writing, essentially. Without good words, grammar, formatting, and stories, you don’t have anything to sell. While the other courses on our list still graze over this topic, Write a Blog People Will Read is the only one that takes a deep dive into the subject.
This course is designed for writers who want to write blog posts and articles really well, but it’s also handy for teaching basic journalistic principles. Many editors come from traditional journalistic backgrounds, so knowing the difference between a nut graf and a lede will be useful and could help you stand out as a freelance writer.
Who It’s Not For: We don’t recommend this online writing course for those looking for a broad overview of freelance writing. It’s best for those who are serious about becoming a better writer.
This course is good for new writers, especially if you haven’t written much in the past. However, seasoned writers can also find plenty of things to spice up their writing.
Instructor: Donna Freedman is an award-winning former newspaper journalist. Freedman also has years of experience as a freelance writer for sites like MSN and Get Rich Slowly.
Should You Pay for an Online Content Writing Course?
If you’re serious about becoming a freelance writer, taking a paid writing course can pay off many times over. There are a few reasons why paid courses are better than free courses if you’re trying to earn money freelance writing, especially if you want to do it full time.
The first reason is that it’ll force you to make a commitment. Research has shown that when you pay money for an item, you value it more. Paying money for a course makes it more real for you. Therefore, you’re more likely to follow through on your commitment.
Secondly, paid freelance writing courses offer the best material. Most free online writing courses give you some good information, but not enough to build a whole business. It’s not as helpful unless you put it into context with all of the information you need to know as a successful freelance writer.
Most freelance writing courses offer a limited guarantee. If you buy the course, give it a shot, and realize freelance writing isn’t for you, then you can often get your money back. Most of them offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll want to get started right away. Make sure to check the details of whichever programs you’re interested in so you know the refund policy before you buy it.
Not All Online Freelance Writing Courses Are the Same
There’s no shortage of online writing courses out there today. Picking the right one can be the most challenging part.
Many people choose a course that covers a wide range of topics from novice to advanced subjects because they think it’s the best value. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but it’s a good idea to consider what you need help with.
For example, if you’ve never run a business in your life, you may want to pick a course with information on these topics. If you’re not confident in your abilities as a writer, consider investing in a writing-specific course. Then practice on your own blog for a while before you seek out paid writing opportunities.
No matter what your goals are, there’s a freelance writing course out there for you.