So you want to set up a freelance writing business, right?
Well, the good news, is that this process is actually quite easy - at first anyway. The internet has certainly leveled the playing field and allow more would-be writers more access to both the clients and the serivices they need to make a go of it as as freelance writer.
In most cases, the process starts with finding a web services like Elance, IFreelance, or Guru and creating a profile. Most services have both paid and free access versions that allow you some flexibility. In my own case, I gained access to Elance through a friend and fellow writer who had been doing the freelance gig for several months already. I brought my native writing ability to the table and quickly started bidding on projects. After I secured some clients, I was able to start working my own personal magic.
I did not come in with professional credentials. I'm not even a college graduate. I've honed my skills as a writer and have been largely successful as a freelance writer base on the merits of my abilities. In the three and half years or so that I've been writing, I went on to get my own separate clients and a few referrals from existing ones. I've branched out and taken a gig with Julie-Ann Amos and her freelance operations at Exquisite Writing. I get most of my work from her now with occasional outside projects. It's been another step. More importantly, it's help me pay the bills.
Obviously, if you want to build your freelance writing business you have to keep developing your abilities and you have to be willing to grow as a writer. It can be easy to slip into a rut as a writer, doing whatever project comes your way, and not branching out into new endeavors. If you want to keep moving, you will have to step outside your comfort zone and take some risks.
The reason I'm saying this is as much for myself as it is for those who may read this post. I'm a freelance writer who is not trying to make the leap to a whole other level. It will take planning, it will take its fair share of risk, and it will take time to see if it will work out.
I encourage anybody who is interested to take shot at being a freelance writer. Take advantage of the ease of access to start an account but also be prepared for the time it will take to build any sort of reputation and the requisite skill to warrant a potential buyer's notice. Yes, education and prior experience do make a different to many buyers. There are also those who may be willing to take a risk with you. If they do, bring your "A" game and do the best job you can for them. Not only will you get a little money in your pocket but you might get positive feedback to help you on your way.