I got this question on Quora and prepared this answer for you. Perhaps it would be helpful for anyone that seeks to start a career as a freelance or an academic writer. It is true that some online entrepreneurs are surviving on this alone. The bad news is there is no college or university to teach you academic writing or content creation, and the good news is that there are no barriers to entry.
First, it is important to note that academic writing is not very easy neither is it difficult. It is not a get rich quick scheme, or some sought of pyramid scheme where you make a lot of money at once very quickly. Of course, you can make a lot of money if you are good at what you do.
You need patience, self-discipline, and hard work. Prepare yourself if you want to get into academic writing or any form of content creation. It is likely to take you longer or shorter depending on you. Here are some 4 key elements that you need to know:
Writing skills: You need to have a passion for words. Academic writing is the thing for if you can juggle your words well. Tens of sites offer writing skills online. You can google some and get places that teach on this skills.
Research Skills: This is essential to help you find information online. It is not possible for you to be the source of all the knowledge online. There must be people who did explore that topic before. You need their contribution to further your ideas. This also means you need to know several referencing styles. Online writing lab can be a good place to start in understanding these referencing styles. I bet you must have exposed to either one of the referencing styles.
Mastery of language: First of all you need to be very good with your writing skills. Most of the people who seek academic writing services either have poor mastery of the English language or have little time to handle the task. I say this because I have written for academic sites and you need to be good at the language to ensure that you give high-quality essays
Know your subject: Academic writing requires you to know what you are writing. The knowledge of the subject matter of you are writing will help you find relevant material to support your argument.
Remember to be kind to people. Do you best at all times and ensure that clients keep coming back to you. This way you make sure you have income coming through all year round.