4 Signs You're Ready to Become a Freelance Writer

A woman sitting down to start her freelance writing for the day with a warm cup of coffee. Text reads "4 sign you're ready to become a freelance writer... plus how to stop dreaming and start getting paid.)

A recent survey found that 63% of people think about having a different job every single second of every day.

If you’re among them, you likely know what you want. I’d wager you imagine it often, and how your life would be different—from the huge changes to the smaller (but just as satisfying) ones.

What you don’t know is if you’re ready.

Ready to step into the life you’ve been dreaming about for weeks… months… maybe even years.

So, it’s no wonder you’re looking high and low for signs you’re ready to become a freelance writer.

And you know what? I’ve been there.

I can’t tell you how many years I spent standing on what felt like a cliff’s edge, looking down at this beautiful lake that I desperately wanted to be swimming in. But for some reason, the idea of actually diving in absolutely terrified me.

Now that I’ve come to know these waters, it’s almost funny how long I let fear hold me back…

But you don’t have to waste any more time worrying or wondering. I wrote this blog to help you finally get clarity. If you read this post and think, “Yes! That’s me, one thousand percent!”

Then, my friend, it’s time for you to get a running start and leap into this sea of opportunities. (Read ‘til the end for some tips on how to do exactly that!)

1. You’re Passionate About a Specific Topic or Hobby

A woman doing her skincare routine and thinking about becoming a freelance writer.

I’m pretty sure I can hear you raising an eyebrow right now. But it’s true—your passion for skincare / video games / aquariums / etc. is one of the biggest signs you’re ready to become a freelance writer.

I used my passion for beauty and hairdressing to get started as a freelance beauty copywriter. Because I was already well-acquainted with these topics, I was able to focus on learning how to write copy.

If, for example, I’d decided to start writing for the finance industry, my attention would’ve been divided between learning about finance and writing copy. And speaking from my own experience, it’s incredibly difficult to strike a balance there.

And considering that one recent study found 88% of adults have a hobby or passion, chances are good you can tick the box for this sign.

I know you might be thinking there’s no way your specific passion or hobby could possibly lead to freelance copywriting clients who are willing to pay you. But I promise, the opportunities are out there.

You just need to know how to find them. Which brings me to our next point…

2. You Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

A woman being asked "What's your greatest weakness?" by a female job interviewer.

Have you ever been in a job interview where the interviewer asked some form of, “What’s your greatest weakness?”

I have been. Honestly, this question is so common that you can find a multitude of advice online about how to answer this effectively.

But have you ever wondered why  this question is so pervasive? In my opinion, your answer tells the potential employer a lot about what to expect regarding your work performance.

For example, maybe you struggle to delegate tasks in a professional setting. Your future boss will make note of this as something to give you extra training on if you ever pursue a managerial role.

So, I highly suggest having a heart-to-heart with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. As a freelance writer, you are your business. If you tend to procrastinate, no one else is going to pick up the slack for you.

But I’m absolutely not saying you need to be perfect. Perfectionism is a myth, plain and simple.

What I am saying is that you need to be keenly aware of your strengths and weaknesses so you can leverage them effectively.

For me personally, my biggest weakness is that I’m an anxious procrastinator. I’ll spend all day putting off starting a project simply because it’s such a big undertaking and I psych myself out.

I’ll spend hours doing lots of other little things, all the while, that project weighs on my mind and looms over me.

When I finally write the dang thing, I find myself chuckling over how much I freaked myself out over something I love doing. Once it’s done, I feel great! And without fail, I wish I had just started sooner instead of fretting the whole day away.

So, I keep myself aware of this. I hold myself accountable, get started earlier in the day, and try not to let my inner self-critic slow me down. I’m still not perfect, of course (no one is) but I save myself a lot of trouble compared to when I first started writing several years ago.

The ability to be honest with yourself and leverage your strengths and weaknesses is one of the biggest signs you’re ready to become a freelance writer.

Struggling to clearly define these aspects of yourself? Take some time to think through pros and cons jobs you’ve held in the past, as well as what you like and don’t like about the idea of being your own boss.

3. You’re Excellent at Professionalism and Customer Service (Or Willing to Learn!)

A woman providing top-notch customer service to one of her clients as a freelance copywriter.

I mentioned in the last section that as a freelance writer, you are  your business. In a typical job, you may or may not have a role where you interact with customers on a daily basis.

But once you’re a freelance writer, it’s normal to talk with customers (and potential customers) on a daily basis.

You’re doing everything from making a first impression to managing that relationship if they become a regular client. (Unless you hire a team, but that can get expensive—and complicated—fast.)

As the face of your business, you need to excel at professionalism and customer service. Nobody wants to do business with someone they view as impolite, inattentive, and uninterested.

Data backs this up, too. One recent report found that US businesses lost more than $75 billion over one year due to poor customer service.

And the thing is, people can tell when you fake it. For over a decade, the topic of fake politeness in customer service has been widely discussed.

The verdict? Being overly polite when you don’t mean it is obvious, frustrating, and draining for your potential clients.

So, you have to have a genuine appreciation for professionalism and customer service. This doesn’t mean addressing everyone as ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ though.

It means being able to relate to your client’s needs, communicating with honesty and integrity, and maintaining standards for everything you write.

4. You Crave Freedom, Flexibility, and Fun

A woman working on her laptop as a freelance beauty copywriter while on a warm, sandy beach.

Yearning for more control and autonomy over your life is one of the biggest signs you’re ready to become a freelance writer.

Because honestly, if you prefer working set hours each day… taking home a regular paycheck in exchange for your time… and having clearly defined job duties… then that’s fine!

If that's you, I would suggest you become a full-time copywriter for a company rather than a freelance writer.

(That’s one of the best things about copywriting—you can do it pretty much any way you want!)

But if you’d rather set your own hours day-by-day

Maybe taking every Friday off during the summer, or two weeks around the winter holidays

Accepting whichever projects interest and excite you

Calling the shots in terms of how you run your business….

Having the freedom to work where you want, when you want

And finally get to live life on your terms

That’s a great indication you’re ready to become a freelance writer

(Personally, I love having the freedom to meet my husband for lunch whenever I want. What would you do if you had full control over your work schedule?)

How to Stop Dreaming and Start Getting Paid

Woman celebrating her realization that she's ready to become a freelance writer, with her fist pumped happily into the air.

So, you read through this list of signs you’re ready to become a freelance writer…

Were you saying (or thinking) ‘Yes!!! That’s me! It’s like this article is about me!’ along the way?

Well then, my friend, this is your sign that it’s time to start your journey.

How? Let me tell you, getting started isn’t as hard as you might think.

I highly suggest you round up all those thoughts and fears pinging around in your head—the ones that are already stressing about bank accounts and business licenses—and for now, put them to bed.

There will be a time to address all of that (and it won’t be nearly as hard as those thoughts want you to believe!)

But let’s take things one step at a time for now. Head over to my 5-step formula to getting your first copywriting client to get started!


Rooting for you,

Shelby Dennis

Your freelance beauty copywriter