You’re a writer who wants to turn your writing into a viable business.
That’s no pipedream: As of February 2022, the average annual salary for freelance writers in the United States is $65,000—and that’s by no means the limit. Upwork lists freelancers who make $150/hr, and we’ll be mentioning writers in this article who easily make six figures.
But how do you start and grow in your freelance writing career? The first step is taking some writing courses to learn the ins and outs of being a freelance writer.
We’ve compiled two lists of courses: one for beginners and one for more advanced writers, so you can grow your business no matter what level you’re at.
Best freelance writing courses: comparison chart
|Course||Price starting at||Best for|
|Freelance Writing Essentials||$130||Learning the business side of freelance writing|
|Earn More Writing||$199||Beginner freelancers who want to increase their earnings|
|Creative Freelancing Freedom||$247||Getting more consistent jobs and income|
|Travel Writing||Varies||Beginner travel writers|
|Gotham Writers Course||Free||Beginner freelancers interested in improving their writing skills|
|Blogging for Business by Ahrefs||Free||Increasing customer acquisition through a blog|
|Create and Go||$297||Teaching writers how to create and monetize a blog from scratch|
|An Advanced Crash Course||$200||Improving overall craft of established freelancers|
|Freelance and Feature Writing||$480||Periodical and magazine writers|
|Ship 30 for 30||$799||Those who learn best by doing|
|Power Writing||$400||Building a loyal audience on social media|
|Enchanting Copywriting||$397||Persuasive writing|
Best online writing courses for new writers
If you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, that’s great! Don’t let what you don’t know intimidate you. Instead, sign up for one of the beginner courses listed below and get cracking.
1. Freelance Writing Essentials by Peak Freelance
Best for: Learning the business side of freelance writing
Michael Keenan and Elise Dopson are a writing duo who have written for companies like Shopify, Britannica, and HubSpot. They have a decade of freelance writing experience between the two of them and created the Freelance Writing Essentials course to share what they’ve learned. Their aim is to pass on the knowledge they wish they had known when starting out.
“Peak Freelance is a direct line to two of the best in the biz—Elise and Michael. It is PACKED with resources, advice, and interviews to help you take your freelance business to the next level.”Kat Ambrose, freelance writer
This course is for writers who are completely new to freelancing. While it does cover some writing techniques, this course is mainly focused on how to get your freelance writing business off the ground.
The Freelance Writing Essentials course goes through things like:
- Finding a niche
- Creating a website and portfolio
- How to use social media
- Legal and accounting knowledge
- How to get your first client
- How to manage your workload
- Scaling your business
The Freelance Writing Essentials course by Peak Freelance is also one of the more affordable classes available. The $130 fee gives lifetime access to the seven-module course. This allows you to go at your own pace and access any course updates for free!
Price: £99 or about $130 for lifetime access. Use code TAKE20BLOG for 20% off.
2. Earn More Writing
Best for: Beginner freelancers who want to increase their earnings
Holly Johnson is a professional blogger and columnist who makes well over six figures through her writing. The publications she’s written for include Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and CNN.
Holly’s online course is designed to help beginner freelancers make more money with their writing. She focuses on how writers can optimize their workday, find dream writing clients, and how to turn those clients into regular work.
This course is fitting for freelancers who need help finding quality freelance writing jobs. The reviews on her site prove how she’s helped her students:
“Earn More Writing is a high-level online course that teaches you the foundation for freelance writing as well as advanced strategies to consistently increase your income. It is an extremely well thought out course that is packed with action steps and strategies for growth – absolutely no fluff!”Roshni Gandhi, business attorney and professional writer
Earn More Writing also offers a free workshop: How to Build a Six-Figure Writing Career is an introductory course with the tips and techniques that helped Holly get her freelance business to where it is now. It’s a great way to sample her teaching style before committing to the yearly membership.
Price: Free introductory workshop, then memberships starting at $199/year with access to all modules.
3. Creative Freelancing Freedom
Best for: Getting more consistent jobs and income
You’ve landed a few gigs off the job boards, but you’re just not creating any sort of momentum in your online business. If this sounds familiar and you’re living gig to gig, but want a little more consistency, you’re in luck. With Creative Freelancing Freedom, Lizzie Davey has built a four-step guide to running a successful freelance business writing the types of content you want to write.
As a contributor to The Huffington Post and National Geographic, Lizzie certainly knows what she’s talking about. Her program simplifies everything into four vital actions you need to take to land clients right away and quit your full-time job in less than a year.
She does this by:
- Laying the foundation for success through creating the right goals
- Helping you create services that attract high-quality clients
- Giving you guides on how to win clients through networking, pitching, and blogging
- Creating a digital marketing blueprint for your business
As an added bonus, she offers things like a pitch package and a freelancing contract template to set you up so you can start taking clients right away. If you’re ready to make your freelance career a full-time commitment, check out Creative Freelancing Freedom.
Price: $247 or three payments of $89/month
4. Travel Writing
Best for: Beginner travel writers
If getting paid to travel the world has always been a dream of yours, Great Escape Publishing’s Travel Writer’s Program may be what you need. This type of writing can be very competitive, but as Great Escape explains, it’s not impossible.
Just take a look at a testimonial from one of their students, Colleen Cowles. She was able to arrange a complimentary nine-day cruise to Alaska—a $10,000 value—when she documented the trip on her blog. She used what she learned in the Travel Writer’s Program to leverage her writing for the free trip.
Price: Varies. You need to contact them for a quote for the current course available.
5. Gotham Writers Course
Best for: Beginner freelancers interested in improving their writing skills
If you want to be a successful freelance writer, it’s important that you find ways to grow in the craft of writing. Gotham Writers offers a large array of writing classes to this end. They have technical programs that teach business writing, how to write a book proposal, and how to use social media, while most of their classes do tend to focus on cultivating creative writing.
Gotham Writers offers everything from free one-hour classes to leveled ten-week intensives. So you can do a one-hour workshop that allows you to simply practice writing or share your work. Or, you can start at a level one 10-week intensive and work your way all the way up to the level three 10-week intensive and really nail down the sort of content writer you want to be.
Price: They have free one-hour classes most Fridays and Wednesdays over Zoom. Paid classes start at $95 for the five-hour intensive go up to $545 for a 10-week course.
6. Blogging for Business by Ahrefs
Best for: Increasing customer acquisition through your blog
Tim Soulo created Blogging for Business to share what he learned through his experience and experiments writing blogs for a living. The best part? Blogging for Business is one of the few writer courses that is completely free.
It’s only four hours long, but Soulo provides some great hacks to get your blog the traction it needs. He covers topics like:
- Content marketing
- How to effectively utilize search engine optimization (SEO)
- Generating content writing ideas that have high business value using keyword searches
- Steps for growing your blog
This course will give you a handle on those tricky Google algorithms as well as insight into how you can finally get your blog to earn you some money. It’s fitting for any freelancers whose posts are being lost amidst the sea of today’s blogs.
7. Create and Go
Best for: Teaching writers how to create and monetize a blog from scratch
Create and Go has a number of courses aimed at helping freelancers turn their humble blogs into money-making machines. Founders Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus came up with these courses after they achieved their goal of creating a profitable blog that earned them $10,000/month. Wanting to share what they learned along the way, they started Create and Go.
The first course in their repertoire is a class that teaches you how to set up a profitable blog from scratch. The Launch Your Blog Biz course goes through every aspect from getting you into the business owner mindset to teaching you how to earn your first $1,000.
The best part is the learning doesn’t have to stop there: Create and Go has subsequent courses that teach you in-depth SEO strategies and how to become a six-figure blogger. They even have options to take their four classes individually or buy them as a bundle for a discounted rate.
Price: Starting at $297.
Best freelance writing courses for professional writers
Even if you’re an established freelance writer, you can always learn more—and you should. Your business and profit hit a threshold when you aren’t willing to stay up to date on trends and push yourself to grow as a writer.
1. An Advanced Crash Course in Writing by Peak Freelance
Best for: Improving overall craft of established freelancers
Helping more advanced writers improve their techniques is exactly what the Advanced Crash Course in Writing will do. In this Peak Freelance course, Elise and Michael teach how to:
- Research and outline a topic
- Write an impactful introduction
- Leave an impression with a strong conclusion
- Effectively format an article
They even have a guest lecturer (freelance writer and content marketer Kaleigh Moore) offer a lesson on sales-driven copywriting. On top of that, the course comes with a live writing Q+A and a number of templates to help refine your skills.
Even someone like Toby Nwazor, who already had bylines in HuffPost when he took the Advanced Crash Course, left this glowing review.
“A part of me felt like, ‘what are they really going to teach me that I don’t know already?’ How wrong could I be? … I literally soaked up everything you taught in that course. Just wanted to say thank you.”Toby Nwazor
You can always learn more, and this course will teach even the established freelancer how to be more efficient and persuasive in your writing.
Price: £149 or about $200 for lifetime access (free for Peak Freelance members) with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
2. Freelance and Feature Writing
Best for: Periodical and magazine writers
The London School of Journalism has taught journalism and creative writing for more than 90 years. Their distance learning programs are staffed with real working journalists and writers. So the Freelance and Feature Writing course is for established freelancers to not only hone their skills, but also get advice and guidance from other working professionals.
Note that the Freelance and Feature Writing course does focus heavily on journalism and writing for periodicals. However, the lessons in understanding your market, learning how to write long features, and the legal issues you should look out for are all transferable to blog writing and content marketing.
It is also a lengthy commitment; not everyone has nine to 15 months to devote to a course. But if you can commit to the course, it’ll be worth it.
Price: £360 or about $480
3. Ship 30 for 30
Best for: Those who learn best by doing
Ship 30 for 30’s motto is that the best way to improve is by doing. Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush use Cole’s portfolio management expertise and Bush’s 15+ years of freelance writing experience to create this course.
Ship 30 for 30 combines live sessions with recorded modules. You join what they call a cohort, which is your digital classroom. There, you discuss with your cohorts the lessons you’ve gone through that week and take part in Q&As with your teachers. This is also where you’ll be kept accountable to write.
By the end of the course, you’ll have written 30 articles in 30 days. Through this exercise, you’ll tackle common writer issues like procrastination, distraction, and generating ideas. What’s more, you’ll get the added bonus of having 30 more articles for your portfolio.
The only drawback is that because a key element of the class is the live sessions, you can only sign up when a cohort is being offered. This also means you need to follow their schedule and won’t be able to participate at your own pace. But if procrastination and writing consistently is an issue of yours, this course is a great way to break those bad habits.
Price: Originally $799, currently $499 for a limited time
4. Power Writing
Best for: Building a loyal audience on social media
Shaan Puri is the host of a successful podcast called My First Million. He’s a businessman and successful freelancer who grew his Twitter following to more than 100,000 in four months by simply using power writing tactics.
His Power Writing course is designed to make your writing go viral. The course details:
- Writing cold emails that get replies
- How to write pieces that go viral
- Storytelling for unfunny people
Much like in Ship 30 for 30, his course has both live and recorded elements. You join a cohort and hold one another accountable as well as give feedback. The only difference is he centers his lessons around being effective on social media.
This course has a do-learn-do structure. You’ll write a social media post, then learn how Shaan Puri would’ve written the same post, then you try again. With this method, you’ll pick up the techniques to become a writer with a loyal following in as few as 10 days.
Price: $400 to join a cohort
5. Enchanting Copywriting
Best for: Persuasive writing
Being able to sell a product or service is a skill, and Henneke Duistermaat is an expert. She’s written two five-star rated books about writing and blogging and is a regular contributor to marketing blogs like KISSmetrics and Copyblogger.
Her aim is to help freelancers and entrepreneurs grow their business by writing genuine yet persuasive copy. In her course Enchanting Copywriting, she teaches:
- Copywriting techniques
- Recognizing the needs and wants of your customers
- Sales page structure
- How to show your value
By the end of her three-part course, you’ll feel confident in selling yourself and your business without feeling pushy or disingenuous.
Henneke also generously provides templates, activities, and webinars to round out your experience and answer any questions.
Price: $397 for lifetime access and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Invest in your continued education to grow your freelance writing business
Get paid to write. These classes alone show people are doing it, so you can too. There’s a class to help you improve, no matter what experience you have in writing or freelancing.
Just remember, you can always learn more and you can always get better, so keep learning.
Ready to take the next step in your freelance career? Take 20% off Freelance Writing Essentials today. You’ll learn how to build a writing skill and a profitable freelance business.