Is it possible to begin freelance writing as a teenager? Absolutely! That’s what I did and, just a couple of short years later, I make a good living by freelancing full-time. If you’re a teenager who would like to begin freelancing, or if you know one who would, here’s how I launched my career, and how you can, too.
I realized I could write several different types of content.
In high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer but there weren’t very many choices presented to me. It seemed like I could either be a novelist (which was a difficult way to make a living), study journalism (I wasn’t sure what I would do with that degree), or become a teacher after spending four years analyzing literature (which makes me want to pull my hair out). So when I discovered the wonderful world of freelancing — SEO-optimized blog posts, email newsletters, magazine features, and more — I was hooked. There are several different types of writing you can do so, if you haven’t found one you enjoy, just keep looking.
I spent hours online searching for blogs and websites that shared freelance writing advice. Whenever I found one (WritersWeekly and Make A Living Writing were two favorites), I binge-read every piece of content they’d ever published. It felt like I was drinking freelance writing through a fire hose, but in a good way. In hindsight, I’m glad I spent my spare time in high school educating myself about freelance writing because, when I graduated, and began freelancing full-time, I had a strong knowledge base, and knew what I was doing.
I started small.
During my senior year of high school, I started writing articles and submitting them to websites. The few sites that accepted my pieces either didn’t pay at all or didn’t pay very much, but I didn’t care. I had another steady job during high school so I treated freelancing as a side hustle, just trying to get my name in print. When I was ready to step into freelancing full-time, I had some published clips to my name that I was able to show potential clients to get bigger and better-paying jobs.
I leveraged my age, and used it as an asset.
Often, I would feel imposter syndrome because all of the people I was working with could have been my parents, or even my grandparents! I soon realized, though, that I had a fresh take. I was very knowledgeable, for instance, about marketing platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat because that’s how I stayed in touch with my friends. And, for companies whose target audience was a younger demographic, I discovered that I could easily write towards that target audience because I was part of it. I knew how to pull them in by using language they could relate to. And, that made me a valuable part of many companies.
So, you’re a teenager and you want to be a freelance writer? Think about the types of writing you enjoy, learn everything you can about them, get something published, and recognize that your age just might be your biggest asset. You can do it!
- Write for Teens, are You Serious? By Ruth Schiffmann
- Teenage Baseball Fan Becomes Adult Self-Publisher By Beth Easley
- Writing For Teens By Mridu Khullar
- Paying Children’s Markets for Writers By Susan Sundwall
- Writing Newsletter Articles For or About Children By Natalie Hale
Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance fitness, marketing, and education writer based out of Atlanta. She is available for hire. Learn more at her website, The Hardworking Creative, or contact her on LinkedIn.
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